Words || Lily O’Harte
Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time is normally fuckin grim. Well, for me it is.
When the fatal words “hey, my parents are home, wanna just pop in to say hey before we go to –insert date activity–?” Suddenly I’ve become this person I don’t know. This version of Lily is what I like to call “I-am-a-bland-individual-and-totally-have-not-had-sex-in-your-family-car-on-multiple-occasions-oops-Lily.”
I’m a nervous wreck, sweating in strange places, like behind my ears or something, trying to attempt to impress them with my lack of direction in life, saying stuff like “yeah that reminds me of something that I’m lying to you about just to make it seem like we have something in common!”
You’d think you would know all too well how I felt when my current boyfriend suggested I’d meet his parents – BUT YOU’RE WRONG. The catch? My boyfriend is from Portugal, he lives in Portugal, and his parents don’t speak a word of English AND I don’t speak Portuguese. How, the FUCK, was I meant to impress my foreign lover’s superiors you ask?
One word – confidence.
Minus the fact that I have no confidence whatsoever. It was summer when I met them so I was already stress-sweating enough. If you can you believe it, I think I somehow managed to gain the love of my boyfriend’s parents, and it was all thanks to one fantastic substance – goon.
Limping off a 24-hour flight into the arms of my distant love, he dragged my terrified soul all the way into central Portugal, to the country town of Pombal, where his parents opened the door for me.
Alex (my boyfriend): “They’re asking you if you’re hungry.” I was not.
Alex: “Actually, we say ‘Sim.’ This isn’t Spain.”
Still a great start.
Lunch proceeded, with me just listening to Portuguese people talk about Portuguese things in Portuguese, all the while I was just sitting there, kind of weirdly smiling. Then frowning because I’d been smiling too long, but then smiling again because I didn’t want them to think I didn’t like the food. I must have looked emotionally confused because his mother apparently told Alex that it was a good idea to fetch me a drink “that wasn’t water.”
That’s when it arrived, like a shining beacon of bloody gold – Goon. European Good too, so very fancy! You wouldn’t understand.
Placing a glass underneath the box and opening the valve I was like “is this literally happening? Are they genuinely giving me a glass of goon to calm down?” Boy did it go down like bloody tap water. The muscle reflex I’d carefully developed in one week at Surfers Paradise was working a treat four years on, and my god, suddenly it was ON.
Confidence, charisma, ease – a parent-in-law’s fuckin dream come true I reckon. Though I couldn’t understand a word of the conversation during lunch and later found out that according to Alex’s mother, “Australians certainly eat a lot,” I felt like I was on FIRE, feeling proud to be sitting there and proud to be the girlfriend of their son.
So, take my advice. Meeting the parents of your partner can be real tough, you are not alone there. But be grateful you have the chance to really express who you are through your own words, because right now I’m only communicating through smiling or dotting my eyes around the room as if I’m REALLY interested in my surroundings! And that’s fucking weird.
Also, goon is still so shit and maybe don’t drink anything before meeting the future in-laws okay?