Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Bride-to-be worried about her parents meeting his parents

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

With engagement in offing, she's nervous about parents meeting

Q: My boyfriend and I have talked about getting engaged in the next year, and recently decided our families should meet. When I told my parents about this and asked if we could invite my boyfriend's parents to an upcoming family holiday gathering, the reaction I got was, to say the least, odd. My parents reacted in a strongly negative manner, saying the house is a mess (admittedly, it is), and until they are able to replace the carpet, repaint the walls and buy new furniture, they would not be willing to host my boyfriend's family. My boyfriend has been over several times, so I'm not buying it.

They did offer to set up a dinner at a restaurant halfway between our homes, but I know my boyfriend's mom is already planning to invite them over (to which my mother's reaction was, "Do we have to?").

I'm deeply worried my family is going to embarrass me once we are able to make arrangements to suit everyone. My mother also asked if we "were really that serious," and is telling me I'm too young to know whether marriage is a good idea (I'm 25), which makes me wonder if there's another discussion we need to be having.

How do I go about making them feel more comfortable, or at least less vocally displeased, with all this?

Parents, Engagements and Holidays, Oh My!

A: Let them make the plans they're comfortable with, at the halfway-there restaurant. That's just fine. That your boyfriend's parents have invited them to their home is immaterial. Your parents aren't you, or an extension of you, and expecting them to shape their image to your liking is only going to make you nuts.

So, let your parents be themselves without the strings of your pride attached. If your boyfriend's family judges you through the lens of your parents, without regard for your value as a person, then that will be their fault, not yours or your parents'. And even then, that's only if the worst happens and your parents behave rudely and/or his parents are snobs. Neither of these is a given.

Besides, if this marriage happens, your "real" parents will come out eventually. Might as well see upfront what all of you are getting into here.

Low-key husband drops ball for her 30th birthday celebration

Q: My husband is very low-key about birthdays, holidays etc. I get much more excited. I accept that we see things differently and that if I want to make a big deal out of things, I have to do the planning myself.

However, before my 30th birthday I told him I really wanted this birthday to be a big celebration. In the months leading up to it, I threw out ideas, offered to put together an email list of friends, etc.

I was horribly disappointed. Did I set myself up, or should he have pulled something together for the one birthday I made clear was important?

Different Ideas on Celebrating

A: I'm going to split the Mylar balloon and say he should have rallied for you without your having to spell it out, and you should have spelled out for him anyway, "I realize you don't do birthdays, but for my 30th I want you to throw me a party."

Comments
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival This year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflow...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Our editors' picks for things to do this weekend.
Updated: 1 hour ago
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

SHORTS: Art and Short Film Mini-FestA fundraiser for the [email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio tonight. There will be four short films, an exhibit of artwork by Corinne Leavengood and photography by Diana Lucas Leavengood. P...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last year’s Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampa’s largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

1 Tibetan Monks’ Mandala: As part of a Sacred Art Tour, eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India will be at the Florida CraftArt Galleries for a week to create a sand mandala of the Green Tara, a female representation of the Buddha of Compassion....
Published: 05/23/18

Tell Me About It: Can she trust her new beau not to cheat?

Q: Is it really true that "once a cheater always a cheater," even when the cheater didn’t cheat on you?A few years ago, I left my husband after I found out he was a serial cheater. We are now divorced. I have been seeing someone new, and he seems lik...
Published: 05/22/18
Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

No matter what Cress Williams does the rest of his acting career, he’ll always be remembered as the first to play Black Lightning.The 47-year-old actor with roles on ER, Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights is now that face of a DC comics franchise...
Published: 05/22/18

Tell Me About It: She has little sympathy for troubled sister

She has little sympathy for troubled sister"target="_blank">She has little sympathy for troubled sisterQ: My mom died when I was 10 and my sister, "Abby," was 6. My dad did the best he could but life was hard. I tried to make it up to him by helping...
Published: 05/22/18
Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Well, you did it millennials. As of this month, every sit-down restaurant in the Magic Kingdom now serves alcohol. It was a big deal back in 2012 when the world’s most visited theme park broke with Uncle Walt’s mandate to keep alcohol ou...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18