Meeting The Dad? Read This
Last week, The Scarlett Letters discussed the potential pitfalls of girlfriends meeting your mother. It seems only fitting to explore the tricky topic of you meeting her father.
As cliché’s go, a good-intentioned chap hoping to impress his girlfriend’s Dad would be met at the door by a terrifying axe-wielding Mafia tycoon in slippers. Relax: this almost never happens. If you ask me, it’s much scarier for a girl to meet the mother than for a guy to meet the father.
Dad’s are generally fine. I know mine is. A softly-spoken vinyl collector with a penchant for cigars and Alan Bennett, Mr Russell is nothing to be scared of. But understandably, from the bloke’s point of view, the initial introduction is daunting. Because you know full well that they’ve got your number. Dads know your game. They know because they were you 30-odd years ago.
Teenage boys definitely have it the worst. Raging, uncontrollable hormones and desperation to have sex with basically anything that society deems acceptable does not a dream boyfriend make.
Fast-forward a decade and, hopefully, you’re now a respectable young man in employment and without any prison tags or unruly facial hair. All fathers really look for is a stand-up, polite guy who’ll treat his daughter well and showing the potential to provide for their daughter in years to come (no pressure then…). Pull off some polite and intelligent chat, figure out which sport he’s into and you’re sorted.
That’s not to say there aren’t situations to watch out for. One friend shudders as he recalls meeting an ex-girlfriend’s father for the first time; “He was an orthodox Jew and I rocked up to the house wearing a silver crucifix around my neck and a ‘Who Killed Kenny?’ South Park t-shirt. I stupidly thought he’d give me credit for being ‘individual,’ but he almost didn’t let me in the house.” Quite frankly, who could blame him?
Some dads like to put potential suitors through the wringer to test their patience and commitment. My brother had a cringe-worthy encounter a few years back visiting his girlfriend’s family home: “The father was playing cricket with his toddler age son,” he recounted “And when the lad hit the ball onto the shed roof, he made me shimmy up there to fetch it. My nice shirt was basically ruined.”
Finding common interests is, of course, key. Football team, musical era, political standpoint. Even if you don’t agree, take an interest in his passion. Never mention drugs, financial woes or, worst of all, anything to draw attention to the fact that you are sleeping with his daughter.
In the interests of equality, I will share with you a story to prove that it’s not just men whom have difficulty meeting the father. My friend Kate was once at her now-husband’s stuffy upper class family home. Bored, she knocked back several gallons of wine and tried to lighten the mood by describing her recent discovery of Urban Dictionary. “Like, where they explain colloquial words and phrases,” she slurred. “Such as Moobs, Clusterfuck and Monkey Face.”
“Monkey Face?” the Dad queried.
Delighted to have piqued the table’s interest and seizing her chance to impress, Kate eagerly replied; “Yes, Monkey Face! You know. When a girl is giving a guy a blow job and, unbeknownst to her, he holds shavings of his pubic hair then ejaculates in her face, chucks on the hair and shouts, ‘Monkey Face!’ Come on, you know the one!”
The family looked on, aghast. Kate, tipsy and unsure quite what she’d done wrong, was hoisted from the table by her infuriated boyfriend, who hissed: “My father is a barrister for Christ’s sake!”
Unfortunately, that is a true story. The moral of which is, it’s unnerving for anyone to meet the prospective in-laws, but as long as you stay on relatively impeccable behaviour and steer clear of any stories involving ejaculation, you’ll probably be fine.