Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet the Parents

Andrew and I are finally introducing our parents to one another on the day after Thanksgiving. We are all getting together for lunch; A's parents are driving from Red Wing, MN to Morris, IL where A's only living grandfather resides. My parents, A and I will drive from my parents' place in Frankfort, IL (a SW suburb of Chicago near Orland Park) and meet them there. I predict they will get along well, but here are some tips from The Knot I found to read to calm myself a bit beforehand:

*You can prepare until your eyes pop out, but whatever happens will happen. Here are some mantras and tips to keep in mind once the food starts flying:
*You Are Not Responsible For Them: Parents are adults (too) and you can't tell them what to say or how to act. They are responsible for their own actions and mistakes.
Have a Sense of Humor: The best defense against disastrous first meetings? Lighten up and keep your sense of humor cemented firmly in place.
*Cut Your Parents Some Slack:Don't sweat it if your dad tries too hard to be funny or your mom fusses over every little thing: Remember that your parents are very likely nervous about this meeting. It's not everyday they meet people soon to be permanent (albeit extended) members of the family!
*Steer the Conversation Away From Dangerous Waters:The purpose of this first meeting is simply to get acquainted. This means no wedding talk -- especially about the budget! -- no white elephants (charged issues), no political debates, no talk about exes. Remember: This is not the negotiating table.
*Don't Force Them to Click:You'll likely be stunned at how different your parents are! Don't try too hard to find things they have in common or to show how much they should like each other. The chemistry may take time, or may never happen. All you can hope for it that they get along -- many couples don't even enjoy that luxury!
*Edit Yourself:No matter how comfortable you are with your parents or with his, remember that they don't share the same easy rapport with each other (yet). Keep dirty jokes and personal stories hush hush for now.
*Suck It Up:If the evening seems interminable, remember that this may be the only time you'll have to spend with both sets of parents alone. From here on, other family members and friends are often included in the mix, easing the pressure considerably (whew).

Good luck to all of you who are meeting your FI's parents for the first time or are introducing your parents to one another! Please let me know how it goes, or feel free to share any tips you may have with us all!

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