Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Awkwardness

For the first time in my whole life, I am going to a significant other's parents' house for a holiday.

Yes, I am a loser. But that's not what this post is about.

And no, I am not freaking out about anything major. I have already met CN's parents, and I like them. And they like me. So that is good. I'm just nervous about the little stuff. The Czarina is not helping, either. The other evening, she called me.

VB: Hello?
C: Oh! It's loud. Are you out?
VB: Yes, Mom, I'm in a bar. What's up?
C: Are you with CN?
VB: Yes. We are eating dinner.
C: Um, ok. I just wanted to tell you something while I was thinking about it, because otherwise I'll forget.
VB: Ok. Shoot.
C: You're still going to CN's parents' house for Thanksgiving, right?
VB: Right. Is that ok?
C: Oh, sure, honey! That's totally fine. I know it's a pain to drive all the way up here, only to turn around two days later. You can just come home at Christmas.
VB: Ok. I'm glad you're not upset.
C: Oh, no. I just wanted to give you some advice.
VB: Ok.
C: When you go down there with CN, make sure you don't call him "Sweetie" or anything in front of his mother.
VB: [Trying not to laugh] I'm sorry. It's kind of loud in here. What did you say?
C: I just wanted to tell you not to call CN any little nicknames in front of his mother. It comes off as possessive.
VB: [Realizing there is no point in debating the validity of this statement, and it would be better to just go with it, because apparently, mother has smoked crack before picking up the phone.] Oh. Ok. Thanks, Mom!
C: You're welcome. I'll let you get back to your dinner. Love ya!
VB: Love you, too. Bye, Mom.

Ok, is anyone else totally confused about this advice? Because that was probably the strangest piece of advice she has EVER given to me. And I'm having a VERY hard time believing it. It sounds totally absurd. Who gives a fart if I call him "Schmoopie" or "Sugar Pie" or even "Love Bunny" in front of his mom?

I mean, do parents care about stuff like that? Or is my mother crazy? Because normally, her advice is very old-fashioned, which I can understand. Usually, I can see her point. It's never just plain crazy. This just made no sense to me at all. I could understand maybe, if his mother didn't like me, but she does. So I fail to see the meaning and importance of this advice. It's making me wonder if The Czarina is suffering from early-onset senility.

Maybe I'm just naive? Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Funny side note: Right after I got off the phone with The Czarina, CN saw a friend of his in the bar. He introduced me, and the three of us started talking. Then the friend made a joke about how CN and I are going to have babies in "about 5 years". I laughed it off, but CN got TOTALLY flustered! It was so funny. I have never seen someone get so wigged out about a joke before in my life! He acted funny for the rest of the evening, and just couldn't seem to let it roll off his back. I mean, the joke put us on the spot, but there was no harm in it. I don't know why it bothered him so much. Can anyone explain this puzzling male behavior to me?

Ok, back to my Turkey Day Stress.

As if my mother's strange advice isn't making me TOO ill at ease, I have a bunch of other stuff that is stressing me out about Thanksgiving this year. My inner monologue goes something like this:

What if his parents' house smells funny? What if I don't like his mom's cooking? What if I have to meet other members of the family and they hate me? What if I get down there and his family is TOTALLY different than mine and we just don't mesh well? What if they get all dressed up for Thanksgiving?

(My family wears sweatshirts and jeans, because the Big Meal is always served mid-football marathon, and we are NOT about to wear church clothes to watch football games on tv!)

*Note to self: ask CN about appropriate Thanksgiving attire*

What if I have to go to church with them? I am weird about other people's churches. I never know where to go or what to do, and often feel guilty about "cheating". Which, at this point, is kind of stupid, because I have not been to church in about a year. I guess it's because I was raised Catholic. Although I'm not Catholic anymore, I still view my attending "other" churches as being sacriligious. I'm weird, I know. Heck, at this point, I could use ANY church! LOL I'm a heathen!

What if they don't like the pies I'm making? I will ruin Thanksgiving! (I am making a sweet potato pie, and I've never made one before. I'm worried I will mess it up.)

What if they eat weird food for Thanksgiving? Like squash or chitlins or goose or something? What if I don't want to eat anything except my own pies?

What if I want to watch different football games than they do? Or worse -- what if they don't watch the football games at all!?

What if I get homesick while I'm there and I start crying? (To make things really interesting, I am all hormonal and PMSy -- which means I cry about anything.) Or worse, what if Cranky, PMSy VB comes out and I bite someone's head off?! EEEK!!

What if something really awkward happens? Someone could bring up a personal topic, or CN and I could get into a fight. Or his parents could turn into MY parents, lecturing us to death. Ugh.

What if I get sick when I'm there? What if we start playing board games, like we do at The Czarina's, and I turn into Obnoxious Board Game VB, who plays for blood and screams at people?

Ugh. Ok, change of subject. I can feel my stomach twisting up. I need to chill, don't I? I'm being ridiculous. Everything will be fine. I could always just pop a vicodin -- Lord knows that always chills me out.

I'm kidding.

*Note to self: get prescription for Xanax.*

Does anyone have any advice for me? Because I've never done this before, and all I am imagining is that I will be like Sarah Jessica Parker's character in The Family Stone and it will be horrible horrible horrible. (By the way, if you have never seen that movie, it is hilarious!) My Overactive Imagination is having a field day right now. Pessimistically Paranoid is screaming and running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Clearly, I need to talk to CN and get him to calm me the eff down. I swear, guys, this is the hormones talking. They make me crazy. Sorry if I'm being TMI today...

Why did I quit smoking again??? Gah, I'd kill for one right now.

So any advice is welcome. Tales of Warning are good, too. And if you have any funny or embarrassing stories, please share those, as well.

But mainly, I'm looking for an explanation of my mother's weird advice. Seriously, WTF??!

14 comments:

Kari said...

While it sounds crazy, it's true. Try not to use any cute nicknames in front of the parents (more the mom then the dad). This is her "little boy" and you have to potential to take him away from her. Other then that, you'll be fine, your pie will be fantastic and it'll be tons of fun!

RWA said...

I think you've already given yourself the best advice. Talk to CN. Ask him about Thanksgiving at his house.

I'm sure that will answer most, if not all, of your questions, worries, fears, paranoias, etc.

cmk said...

Okay, so this happened AFTER we were married, but still...

My husband was an identical twin. We went to school together from kindergarten and I couldn't tell him from his brother until we were in 9th grade. About 7 months after we were married, his twin died as the result of a motorcycle accident. We had to travel from South Carolina back home to Michigan for the funeral--a trip we made in a little over a day. (We finally had to stop and sleep.) Anyway, a few hours after we got 'home,' we were supposed to go to the funeral home with his family to pick out the casket. K was too tired to go--actually he had passed out from lack of sleep and I wasn't about to try and wake him up. So, I called his mother to tell her he would be a no-show--only I didn't used those words. I told her, "K won't be going to the funeral home with you because he is just SO DEAD!!!" My parents about had heart attacks when the words left my mouth. I thought I was going to cry.

If you can keep from making as big of a blooper, then you have nothing to worry about! By the way, I asked my MIL many years later what she thought when I said it, and she claimed that it never even registered with her at all.

You'll do fine, my dear. And I'm sure they will love you. (Well, maybe not strange Aunt Sue, but everyone else will. :))

kimmykins13 said...

That's kind of funny because my mom always hated it when my ex used to refer to me as "Baby". She would be like "Why does he always call you Baby?" and I was like "The same reason why Dad calls you Honey" - LOL, she never liked him to much but tolerated him for 5 years.

I'm sure everything will be fine and you will have a great time and the food will be fantastic!!! I'm sure they will love your pies.

Have fun!!! - I want to hear all about it when you get back.

GrewUpRural said...

Go talk to CN and ask what to expect during Thanksgiving with his family. That's what I plan to do with my roommate tonight.

I have to agree with the Czarina - don't call him any pet names in front of his parents. You may get along well with his mother, but you are dating her "little boy" as someone else commented.

Just be yourself and have fun.

When Darkness Falls... said...

My son is only 16 so I haven't gotten in to this much yet with him. However, my 19 year old daughter has dated some real winners! From a mom's point of view - your mother is right. I don't appreciate some one coming in my house and trying to "stake a claim" on one of my children. This can be done through pet names, being all over the person, talking incessantly about what the 2 of you have done together, etc. As parents, we know you are there because our child is involved with you. We don't need proof! It's really just one of those things that is hard to understand if you don't have children. I would have thought my mom was crazy if she would have given me advise like that too!

I agree with everyone else. You need to just talk to CN so you know what to expect. Then you need to chill the eff out! :) You seem totally adorable and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Megan said...

Your mom isn't crazy. The pet names in front of the mother, don't sit well. If I call my husband Hon in front of his mom she always counters it with Sweetie Son. GAG ME!

Talk to CN and get the scoop - actually I am super surprised you haven't already done this.

OH YEA - Almost forgot - FIND OUT WHAT THE SLEEPING ARANGEMENTS ARE - AHEAD OF TIME!!!

I wasn't allowed to be alone with my husband (before we were married) in his parents house.

Good Luck!

Alison said...

This is totally something I would do---worry myself sick! You are going to be fine though, and I agree with everyone else about talking to CN about Thanksgiving at his house. His parents already love you and the rest of his family will too. And, I'm sure your pie will be delicious! :)

JP said...

Wow, and I thought I over thought things. Hope you have a great Turkey Day and I will keep CN's family in my prayers.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

You'll be fine!

Look at it this way, this is the first time you will be meeting everybody. Everyone will be on their BEST behavior. Its the third and fourth time that you'll have to watch out for.

Good luck!

Phantom Hater said...

Yeah, don't use terms of endearment like sweetie or cutie or anything in front of his mother. Instead, use words like, "Sweetdick", "Love-machine", and talk about his penis a lot. His mom will love you.

I think your mom's advice might have a grain of truth to it. You should probably keep the PDA to a minimum, but if you act too cold to him, she won't like you much either.

It doesn't matter what food they make, just grin and bear it. Unless CN's dad forces you to choke down a Thanksgiving steak. :)

I'm pulling for the Gamecocks myself in the Clemson game, but only because I hate Clemson.

Becky said...

i effin love that movie btw but i HOPE your tahnksgiving is uneventful there and you come back saying it was just like your familys and everything is hunky dory!

and i wouldn't think that pet names are offensive to moms with boys but what do i know. i can't remember when i said that stuff around matts mom...or if she even cares. i dont think she does.

Debbie said...

I *love* the Family Stone. I watched in theatres 6 times before and after Christmas last year. Not really sure what it is that draws me to it... maybe the fact that my brother died last year and I love seeing the family bonding thing going on.
I hope CN's dad is ok. It's very scary when your parent is sick. My dad went in for a newly found brain tumor and was dead after 5 weeks of after affects. So this Christmas is going to be really tough, having lost a brother and dad 18 months apart.
He's lucky to have you be there to support him. Hopefully his dad will get better soon so your first Christmas together won't have any worries!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and thank you for adding me to your list of readers.
Debbie in CA

tallglassofvino said...

I agree with your mom - it's never comfortable to hear you kid's S.O. call then pet names. It's partly due to that 'ownership' issue, but also partly just too intimate of a scene for them to see. Also, if they've met and been close to previous people their child has been involved with, it can be uncomfortable because it calls to mind some OTHER person who used to say 'sweetie'. gah.

I just call S "hey YOU" in front of his parents. Seems to work just fine. [grin]

Happy Leftovers Day!