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So, it’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and Christmas followed closely by New Years will be here before you know it. In light of that fact, I’ve decided to spit some Holiday Game you’re gonna need these next 6 weeks. Let’s begin with one of the most important pieces of the pie–Meeting The Parents!
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Let’s be clear! If you’re asked to meet a guy’s parents…you’re definitely his main chick…or at least one of the femmes on his short list. In some kind of way, you matter. So, kudos to you IF YOU GET THAT COVETED INVITE TO EAT WITH THE FAM.
What you DON’T want to do is, ruin your chances with your smitten Cat. You DON’T want to do anything to mess with his state of mind (with regard to you).
- You DON’T want his mother giving you the side eye.
- You DON’T want his sisters giving him the side eye. And,
- you DON’T want your guy second guessing his decision to introduce you to his mom and dad because you made a bad first impression.
What you DO want to do is…
- Leave a good impression on both of the parents
- Make a connection with your guy’s mom
- Leave a good taste in the whole family’s mouth
How do you do all of that?
Peep Game: The first piece of advice I’m going to give you is related to fashion. Select an outfit that is family friendly. Holiday Dinner with the fam is not the club…and it’s not date night with you and your Boo. Leave the Freakum Dress and the stiletto heels at home. Select an outfit that is comfortable and appropriate around children…BUT stylish.
Soft fabrics and warm colors are great choices. But, make sure each piece passes the bend test. If your breasts fall out when you bend forward or your underwear are visible when you bend down…choose something else. If your cleavage or bottom are the main feature of your outfit…choose something else. If you have to keep pulling a top up or a bottom down…select something else.
Think PG-13 fashion. Think about the impression you want to leave. Think about the role you want to play in your man’s life…and dress the part.
What a lot of women do, is they show up to family functions with outfits that are waaay too sexy. Then they wonder why a guy’s mom doesn’t make time to talk to them, and why the only people at the family event giving them any attention are the uncles and male cousins in attendance…
What I want you to do is…dress for the role (in your man’s life) that you (ultimately) want. Show your guy and his family that you are marriage material…or at least girlfriend material. You can slip into something sexy when you leave dinner with the fam.
If you do this…at the very least, mom and sis will give you the ‘thumbs up’. And if you’re lucky…mom and sis will like you so much…that they’ll encourage your guy to get serious and ‘not let you get away.’ (Instead of talking against you, they’ll be your allies in locking your guy down) #WINNING
Now, when you get the invite to attend the family’s Holiday Dinner…accept the invitation right away. But let your guy know when you’ll be available that day and how long you can stay at his family’s house. This way your guy can tell his mother when to expect you and about how long you’ll be staying.
Don’t expect his family to operate like yours. Different family’s do things differently on the holidays. For example, his family might eat once…when every guest arrives. Or, his family might expect you to stay all evening. His family might want to meet you before their other guests arrive. You DON’T KNOW what other people have planned or what other people are thinking.
If you tell your boyfriend when you can go to his family’s house and how long you can stay…you give his family a framework to work with. You don’t feel you have to stay longer than you choose…and his family knows when you’re coming and how long you’ll stay. This way nobody’s inconvenienced!
Another thing to consider is a gift for your host. I would bring something along with me to dinner…even if it’s just a bouquet of flowers for the hostess. You can ask your boyfriend what he thinks you should bring. After all, who knows his mama better than him? $20 is a good amount to spend on a hostess gift…and bottles of wine (if your hostess likes that kind of thing), flowers (who doesn’t need a pretty centerpiece), a decadent dessert (this is the time to show off the goods from that bakery you love) or, a fruit/cheese/appetizer plate (as long as it’s ready to eat) MAKE WONDERFUL HOSTESS GIFTS.
It’s not so much that the gift has to be expensive or impressive…it’s more about expressing appreciation for your invitation. Just make sure you’re not taking a store-bought baked good to a woman whose a baker…or a bottle of wine or to a mom who is a non-drinker.
When you get to the set, watch your moves. Sitting in a corner all night nursing a drink and holding tight onto your date’s arm will send the wrong message. But, walking into a house you’ve never been to acting like you know everybody will also send the wrong message.
I’m pretty good at maneuvering in new environments. What I’ve found that works is…letting your host AND THE PERSON WHO INVITED YOU lead the way. If you’re coaxed to talk…talk. If it seems like the family is connecting with each other…let them be. Go with the flow…and adjust if and when the vibe in the room changes. You don’t want to be labeled “that chick who talks too much” or “that chick who was all in so and so’s face” or “that chick who spent hours in the corner looking lost.” Going with the flow is what I’ve found to be an error proof way to act in new and unfamiliar settings.
As a final note, make sure you connect with your guy’s mom before you leave. Find her and thank her for inviting you into her home. Tell her you enjoyed dinner and that you hope to see her again soon.
It surprises me how many women don’t do that! Some of you all are walking up in another woman’s house, eating her food, and dipping without saying a word. That’s that ish mammas don’t like. ALWAYS thank your hostess and compliment them on dinner. Your boyfriend’s mom will appreciate your thanks and take note of your respectful mannerisms.
Bottom Line: Holiday Dinner with the fam is a test. Nobody’s going to tell you that…EXCEPT BUTTA JONEZ!
So, don’t Play yourself wearing inappropriate clothes or acting inappropriately. Use dinner with your guy’s family as an opportunity to flex your ‘I’m a Good Woman’ muscles and to make a good impression. Do family dinner right…and I guarantee your relationship will flourish. You might even get a proposal for New Years or Valentines Day. That’s a common follow-up when a girlfriend passes the family sniff test.
Now, IF YOU DO family dinner wrong…well…it’s back to the Dating Pool for you! Better luck next time!!!
THIS IS PART ONE OF OUR 2012 ‘BUTTA’S GUIDE TO THE HOLIDAYS’ SERIES! STAY TUNED HERE FOR THAT!
Until next time…Don’t hate the Player, learn the Game!