Meeting The Family Went By In A Haze

, , , , , , | Related | January 12, 2019

(My relationship with my current girlfriend has progressed to the point that I feel comfortable introducing her to my family over dinner. In the days leading up to the meeting, I run around cleaning most of the house — nothing too major, just touch-ups mostly. However, I elect to leave the back hall untouched, despite it being separated from the kitchen by only a door, for two reasons. First, it’s the winter. There are only two reasons anyone, besides my father, would go into the back hall: to get something out of the refrigerator or to go outside. So long as I get all of her drinks and we make sure there are no emergencies necessitating an evacuation, she’ll have no reason to go into the back hall. Second, my father would muck it up five minutes later. He’s a carpenter, and since the hall is mostly unused, it’s become his storage area for materials. It’s never organized, always changing, always a wreck, but has never been a safety hazard, so I don’t bother cleaning it. The day of the meeting, I finish work and then bring her home. My mother intended to do the cooking, but upon my return is immediately more interested in interrogating my girlfriend, so I take over the cooking. Before my mother can get to discussing anything more than my girlfriend’s job, or even make a snide remark, I try to remove her from the situation.)

Me: “Mom, how about you get us some drinks from the fridge? Between our car ride and you working all day, I’m sure we’re all thirsty.”

Mother: “Oh, sure. What would you like?”

(She stands up and crosses to the back hall. I intend to use this moment to start a conversation and try to refocus her energy. However, just as she opens the door:)

Mother: “Wow! Who cleaned the back hall?”

(My mortification chases away any conversation ideas I had. My mother’s tone is getting less friendly, and I’m still without any ideas. As if in answer to my prayers, the front door opens and my brother walks in.)

Me: “[Brother]! How was work?”

Brother: “Just fine.” *notices my girlfriend* “Who’s this?”

Me: “[Girlfriend]. The one I mentioned would be joining us for dinner tonight.”

Brother: “Oh, yeah! Chinese food, every Thursday! We love those leftovers [My Name] brings home!”

(During this rant about how my family swipes all of our leftover date food, he crosses the kitchen, evidently hoping to get a drink.)

Brother: “We were all excited, and you go and ask for pizza fro— Who cleaned the back hall?”

(So, now, my brother’s not my buffer. Lacking any other ideas, I throw the dice.)

Me: “So… where are [Sister] and [Father]?”

Mother: “Your father’s downstairs working on something, and your sister’s still asleep.”

Brother: *glances the clock and notices it’s nearly five* “That’s got to be some hangover!”

Me: *fighting every urge to beat up my brother* “How about you two go get them and let them meet [Girlfriend]?”

(Thankfully, that works. They disperse almost immediately. I’m too ashamed to look anywhere but the stove, or to say anything, so there’s dead silence until my brother and sister enter the kitchen.)

Sister: “If it’s not ready yet, then why the f*** am I up?” *notices my girlfriend* “And who the f*** are you?”

Brother: “It’s [Mangling of Girlfriend’s Name], [My Name]’s girl. She’s staying for dinner.”

Sister: “Oh.”

(That’s right. No greeting. No apology. Nothing. She just walks across the kitchen like nothing happened.)

Sister: “Who cleaned the back hall?”

(Once she comes back with a beer in each hand, my parents come up the stairs, oblivious to the double-homicide that should have happened.)

Me: “It’s almost ready, Dad. How about you say hello to [Girlfriend] while we wait?”

Father: “Sure, just let me get a drink. Oh, hey! Did you all see how great I cleaned the back hall?”

(And so starts the first meal with my family. The only remaining thing I can post at all is what happens when my father sees how uncomfortable my mother’s questions are making me.)

Father: “So, since you’re all old enough to drink now, I figure you’re old enough for the dirty jokes!”

(No matter how dirty the jokes got, I couldn’t even blush hard enough to pass out. And after taking her home and yelling at my family for an hour, I was able to confirm this was not some form of hazing. Two miracles have since occurred. The first, my family has not been murdered. The second, that girl somehow agreed to marry me.)

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