Last year around this time I wrote a column about the best ways to avoid Holiday Hounding—you know the sort of existential questions your family is bound to bombard you with over the holiday season. For example: “How’s school?” and “What do you want to do after graduation?”, and the ever classic, “Sooo, anybody special in your life?”–usually accompanied with a wink and an eager smile.
So what happens when the season rolls around and you actually do have someone in your life? And especially what do you do when you’re actually taking them home for the first time?? Well, lucky for you, I’ve found myself in that exact predicament this year, so I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the situation and have compiled my checklist for surviving the season.
First order of business: Get your story straight.
I can guarantee every person you introduce your significant other to will want to know the lovey-dovey story about how you met. Every. Single. One. If you have some cute or mundane story about how you met, this really isn’t an issue. But what if you met while the two of you were both drunk off your ass downtown, or what if you don’t remember the first time you met, or even more scandalously, what if you met on Tinder? (*Cough, cough.*)
While your family members are staring at you with that starry look in their eyes waiting for every little gory detail, you can’t panic. Like I said before: they can smell fear. On the car ride or plane ride home the two of you have to nail down exactly what story you’re going to tell, and you have to be on the same page for every single detail. Leaving it at a vague “oh, we met through friends” isn’t going to cut it. TRUST ME.
Next: Establish your territory.
Even if you’re a *genuine adult* with your own apartment that your significant other sleeps over at on the regular, chances are your parents will be wary about you staying in the same bedroom, let alone the same bed (especially if they’re Catholic.) It’s just a parent thing; you can’t hold it against them, they truly mean well.
You’re their baby after all, and all your parents are probably going to hear when you say “hey, is it okay if (insert bae’s name here) stays in my room with me?” is that their baby is going to be getting freaky with the dude or lady they just welcomed into their home for the first time. When in actuality, it’s more of a case of “yo it gets really cold in the basement and I rather not make them sleep alone on a couch when there’s a high chance they’ll wake up with our cat sniffing their face in the middle of the night.”
You might have to be firm with them, and remind them that since your baby brother’s room is DIRECTLY above your room nothing other than sleep will be happening, but hopefully they’ll cave.
Final step: Prepare them.
If you’re a better girlfriend/boyfriend than I am, you probably won’t find the entertainment value in throwing your love into the family fray unprepared just to see how they handle it. (I know, I’m the worst, but honestly it might be kind of funny). My family is what I would describe as aggressively nice, you know the type of people who will smother you with hugs, food, booze, and leave your cheeks sore from all the photo ops, so I’m really not too concerned for my boyfriend’s wellbeing.
However, if you don’t completely want to throw your love to the wolves, it would probably be crucial to the health of your relationship to prepare them for the next few days. Let them know who not to get into politics with, which sports teams not to talk shit about, and other sort of topics that usually lead to family rifts. “Babe, no matter what my uncle says, DO NOT pull his finger. Don’t fall for it. I beg you.”
Hopefully this helps at least a little bit. Good luck to all you love birds out there, I wish you the best.
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