For 8 months I’ve been seeing the delightful Boything, and for 8 months I have successfully managed to avoid meeting The Parents. This is by no sheer accident or oversight and it is most certainly not due to the lack of nagging from a certain man (that would be Boything, not the bin man. I’m not sure how much interest he has in me meeting his family), but finally, at the risk of them committing him to a mental home for his “imaginary girlfriend”, I relented and a date was placed very firmly, and with no room for negotiation, in my diary.
Those who know me, or have read more than a few words of posts gone-by, will know that I’m not exactly regarded as the withering wallflower type and I’m clearly very well blessed in the social arts and graces (when I’m not discharging a cattle prod into someone’s derriere or stabbing them in the neck with a biro), so why should the mere mention of meeting the beloved mama and papa of my own dear sweetheart turn me as white as a nun’s knickers and squirmier than a squid on a shoplifting charge?
The answer, quite plainly, is that no matter how many times I was reassured that “they’re really lovely and they’re going to like you”, all I heard was “YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY MOTHER AND MY FATHER KEEPS THE BODIES OF ALL MY GIRLFRIENDS-PAST IN THE CELLAR!”. Quite a logical and rational train of thought, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Faced with Sunday afternoon tea chez The Girlfriend Slayers, I realised I had just two very reasonable choices; break up with the man I adore or, more realistically and kinder to all concerned, fake my own death. I opted for the faked death, but apparently Boything isn’t quite as perturbed by a seemingly fatal stiletto injury as I had first hoped, and now I know exactly what a man will do when left alone with an apparently unchallenging woman for half an hour. It isn’t the washing up, I can tell you.
Plan foiled, I was left no option other than to get on with calming my nerves and soaking up the warm words of reassurance that came from my man. Well, actually, his pre-parental visit chat went a little more along these lines: “When you meet them, don’t belch, don’t fart and don’t swear.”
Damn. That was all my tried and tested ice-breakers out the window and most of my finest character traits too! He may as well have said “just be yourself, so long as that isn’t anything like your actual self”. Without my potty mouth and bodily-gas Royal Family impressions, I’m left with very little to actually contribute to a conversation. Time to break out the twinset and pearls.
Having Googled “twinset and pearls” and found it not to be a sexual act so deviant, it can get you out of meeting his parents, I decided to do something even more perverted and wrong. I baked. For the first time since I was 9 years old, I actually baked. My kitchen felt violated, I felt violated. In fact, I’m pretty sure I may have created a whole new level of violation just from this one baking incident alone.
We thought it might be terribly nice and awfully festive if we went armed with a fresh batch of home baked gingerbread men to dazzle and delight. What actually happened was that upon realising that my kitchen is better equipped to make salad and hangovers, several items were hastily procured. You know, a few key items such as all the ingredients and all the equipment, and yet even in the run up to Christmas, and with me living in one of the most diverse and bountiful cities on the globe, not a gingerbread man cookie cutter could be found.
Being a girl of resourceful means, I didn’t let a trifling thing such as a missing key bit of kit get in the way of gingerbread bribery, I simply turned to what kitchen essentials I already had to hand; a wine glass. Apparently wine glasses, when not being used to administer wine, make excellent biscuit cutters. This did however mean that instead of the full bodies, we just had the gingerbread heads, or sauvignon blanc faces if you will. To be quite frank, with all the mixing and rolling and hovering over a temperamental oven, and surveying the resulting mess, I can see why 50’s housewives turned to mainlining gin!
Anyway, after several taste tests, and thwarted attempts to jump from a moving train, I arrived at the home of the most fearsome beings on the planet. Would they like me? Would they chain me to the wall of the cellar? Would I accidentally let out a trump when offered more tea? More importantly, would the gingerbread give them the trots?!
I’ll be honest, the scariest thing his mum did was to hug me as soon as I got through the door and from then on, offer me enough tea and cake to have the W.I. in a constant holding pattern for the loo. His dad, well, he may have previous girlfriends bodies locked in the cellar but I escaped with a pleasant exchange about the merits of Monty Python.
Just one member of the family wasn’t quite so welcoming. The dog tried to eat me, proving that dogs are excellent judges of character.
Oh, and if you’re still wondering, I managed to hold in the fart.