Monday, November 26, 2007

Interracial Story:Boy meets parents

Meeting the parents is a time-honored tradition that everyone dreads. Will they like me? Will I like them? How will this affect my relationship with my significant other? Even if you're not nervous about the meeting, you still ask yourself these questions. I know I did when I met my boyfriend's parents. Last week it was his turn to bite the bullet.

I usually go home for Thanksgiving, but this year, with plane ticket prices at $450 round-trip, my parents decided to drive the 17 hours to visit me instead. They said this gave them an opportunity to take a mini-vacation and see the daughter they have not seen since early May. Of course, the other motive of the trip was to meet Johnathon, the guy I've been dating for 15 months.

I met his parents about two months after we began dating. Because we are an interracial couple, I was very nervous about what they would think. But they love me. Once we got to talking, I found myself hanging out at their house, going out for birthday dinners and watching movies on the couch with his mom, Tina.

There was no doubt in my mind that my parents would like Johnathon. So we decided to go to Red Lobster for a meet and greet. This event just happened to take place on the night of the LSU vs. Arkansas game.

I was born in Louisiana and my sister went to LSU, so it is a requirement to be a Tiger fan in my family. Johnathon, on the other hand, was pulling for Arkansas. He arrived in the middle of the fourth quarter, which meant we all had to watch the game together. Oh, what family fun.
After LSU's loss in three overtimes, my dad was a little down, but he did appreciate Johnathon's knowledge of football. So this was good. The first crisis was averted.

During dinner, my mother asked one of the most awkward questions she could ask. She asked, "So, what are your intentions with my daughter?" Seriously, that is the weirdest question to ask a couple if they aren't on the verge of marriage. Johnathon froze up, so I covered him by saying, "Umm, just to date." Second crisis was sort of averted.

After Johnathon left, I told my parents to give me the dirt. I wanted them to tell me what they really thought of him. But there was no dirt. They liked him. My dad didn't like his jeans with holes in them, but my mom just said it was the style. Other than that, they really liked him.
Johnathon and I decided to also get our parents to meet each other while mine were in town. So the next morning, the two families went to breakfast. It was nice, with good conversation and no dead air.

All in all, they liked him, and my mother began making space for Johnathon at our house over Christmas. The best part was when my parents were leaving to head home. My mother pulled me aside and said, "Good choice." That simple phrase made the whole weekend, even the awkward parts, a success.

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