Saturday, May 26

"Meet the Parents"

When I was in 6th grade, a classmate of mine was sending me letters. After reading them, threw it all away. I was so mad. Having relationships at a very young age is a far, far thing from my mind. Same thing happened in high school. Another classmate gave me chocolates which I gave to my sisters. Letters are all over but I couldn't afford to keep them for if my dad finds out, I'll be grounded. They would call me in the house but my ever protective dad would tell them, I'm sleeping or doing something...In college, I avoided any talks of courtship. I was really scared of my dad who commanded early on that we shouldn't have a boyfriend until we finish college. And so I thought...I can only have crushes. Fair enough huh? After college, I found the real world and met guys of all colors (shapes & sizes too)...Meeting my parents was such an agony for them, as I can remember.

To the guys out there who are planning to meet the parents of their girlfriends (be it a serious relationship or just for fun-thing), I got this from a Philippine Star column with the same title written by Celine Lopez-Lilles.

Here are a few survival tips for you guys out there when you meet the parents: Take note. Would you go to a job interview for IBM without knowing what IBM stands for? (No, it isn’t International Babe Market.) You should have the same attitude regarding meeting your girlfriend’s parents; it may seem ruthless, but you need to do some research. Ask your girlfriend what you should know about her parents and family: what line of work they’re in, what their preferences are, their hobbies, political leanings, religious practices, etc. Don’t chastise the government without first asking whether her father is a politician or not. Don’t go slamming jueteng, unless you’re certain that her father is not a jueteng lord. Otherwise, yours could be the next body found floating in the Pasig River. Don’t oversell yourself. Of course you want her parents to realize what a good catch you are, but you shouldn’t go overboard. Don’t talk about yourself unless you are asked. Your aim should be to get along with both parents and get on their good side.

But here’s a little secret: her mother can be your most powerful ally if you play your cards right. Bring something. Nothing fancy, which will trumpet that you are indeed trying to buy their affection. Bring a token gift like a bottle of wine, a box of candy, a small bouquet of flowers, a fruit basket. Be imaginative. Polish your small-talk skills. Don’t sit there and make like a tree — contribute something to the conversation, and I don’t mean the occasional "Uh-huh."

Read up and stay informed a few weeks before D-day. Look for common ground you can share with either parent, such as similar hobbies and interests, a love for the same sports team, a passion for dogs, and work from there. Suggested topics: your job; your family; sports; movies (recent or old, and all G-rated); pets (if they own any); a current newsworthy tidbit. Stay away from: jokes (until you’re familiar with their sense of humor); politics; personal questions (like "Where did you buy your toupee?"); religion; money or income.

Get on Mom’s good side. Flatter her looks or her clothing. Be sparing, though: there’s a fine line between charming and obnoxious. Compliment her on her dress and always underestimate her age by seven to 10 years if she is at all like me and asks you how old you think she is (don’t exaggerate or she could take it as sarcasm). Make sure to eat as much as you can; at least finish what’s on your plate. Compliment her on her cooking. If you don’t, she’s sure to hand you the bill as soon as you’re done. I know I would!

Get on Dad’s good side. Talk about sports or cars; these are usually safe topics between men. If his interests are something you wouldn’t be caught dabbling in, like stamp collecting or hotel matchbook collecting, at least show some interest in his passion. If he shows you his extensive gun collection and starts polishing his favorite pistol with the muzzle aiming straight at you, stay cool. Fetch that can of WD-40 and that piece of chamois from your car. Hand it to him and say, "Sir, these might help." Let him talk about anything he wants and seem truly interested. It might be torture for you, but if your girlfriend is truly gorgeous and worth it, grin and bear it!