You know how it is in the early days of a relationship. All freshly-shaved legs and no dirty boxers on the floor. You’re tip-toeing around each other in the most delightful “I like you too” dance. Challenges? What challenges! You guys are awesome. Life is great. What could possibly go wrong?
Then it’s time to meet the parents. Hurdle number one. You’ll be fine, but there are a few stages to get through first…
You can’t sleep a wink the night before
Every single possibility is running through your mind. Chances are you won’t destroy a priceless family heirloom by resting your hand on a table but that won’t stop you imagining it. Best not to distribute body weight in any direction and move at a snail’s pace at all times.
You change ten times before leaving
Having already bought an outfit specifically, after hours of panicked shopping. Do I glam up, or will she think I look ridiculous? Do I go au natural, or will they think I didn’t make any effort? Heels/no heels? Is there some form of facemask it’s acceptable to wear in public – that might conceal how stressed I am right now.
You have gift anxiety
I’ll bring wine. No, they might think I NEED wine. Or they might not like it and think I’m cheap. I’ll bring a cake. No, they might think I can’t cook/bake/do anything useful. Flowers! Everyone loves flowers.
What if they hate flowers?
You misjudge the greeting
Is she going in for a handshake or a hug? I CAN’T TELL! I turned my face too soon. Did we just kiss? I need to die of shame now.
You make up the story of how you met
It was not in Coppers during the 5ive megamix. It was not in Coppers during the 5ive megamix. It was not in Coppers during the 5ive megamix.
You’re surprised with some additional family members
OH, HONEY, YOU DIDN’T SAY THAT ALL YOUR AUNTS AND UNCLES AND YOUR MAM’S NEIGHBOUR KATHLEEN WOULD BE DROPPING BY. HOW NICE FOR US ALL.
Your nervous laugh will escape
That’s not an attractive sound. You were going for coquettish. You came off more bunny-boiler. It won’t stop. Why won’t that sound stop coming out of my mouth?
You allude to something you really didn’t mean to
You’ve had that glass of wine. You’ve survived the first hour. You’re starting to relax a little. Maybe 5 per cent. Then you crack a joke abut something and realise it was far, far too soon for that and everything suddenly sounds like a sex-related pun.
You read too much into every single gesture and sound
She didn’t pass me the salt. She hates me. Should I ask for the salt? No, no. Then she’ll think I don’t like her cooking and it needs salt. I’ve said salt so much in my head the word has lost all meaning.
You’ll lie like hell when you finally leave
They’re the nicest people I’ve ever met. I like them better than my own parents. Honestly. Can we go again tomorrow?