+ our first advice column: "I'm meeting my partner's parents for the first time - help!" + two stray thoughts that were cut from the "far away from my parents" essays
Good call on propositioning the mom
Thanks for the advice! My girlfriend read the article for me out loud as I was driving and thought it was hilarious
THIS IS GOOD ADVICE! specifically, "Honestly the biggest thing - be curious. Ask them questions about their lives and especially about your girlfriend"
many specific other goods, including BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
"classic normal stuff!"
"fart but not too much NO DO NOT FART AT ALL!!" / "a fart fact"
"FIND OUT BEFORE HAND IF THEY ARE HUG PEOPLE OR HANDSHAKE PEOPLE!!"
you're great! i advice YOU to keep you-ing it up!
happy thanks week to all!
Oh snap I missed National Cashew Day!
So yeah this is really good advice for meeting anyone the first time, really. Esp being more interested in getting to know the person than in trying to impress them. I often tell myself, “All you have to do is be kind!” And it takes the pressure off and I can be all the other things without trying too hard.
So happy your newsletter is making you happy I know the feeling!
Hilarious! Of course, you'd give the best advice! Lauren is so lucky:)
well, as it happens today is my birthday so that is how i will be spending today. my email inbox was full of Various Companies being like "happy birthday! [buy something from us please, RIGHT NOW]" so anyway all the subject lines were happy birthday and then yours was happy early national sardines day!!! and it was very good and funny i appreciate the bonus comedic content for me specifically. substack should allow readers to post images in comments bc i would have just posted a screenshot instead of writing all this and it would have been way funnier (maybe) but here we are.
also i was just saying to my partner the other day how it's so great that i literally never again have to smell tinned fish in our house since we live alone and not with A Person Who Regularly Not Only Ate Kipper Snacks Straight From The Tin But Also Would Not Rinse The Tin And Would Put The Tin Half Full of Putrid Fish Juice Into The Recycling Bin That Only I Emptied. anyway we've lived alone for like...almost a decade now but i still rejoice about this periodically.
accents are wild - i used to have a rhode island accent that was so thick that i was watching a home movie where i was saying the word "heart" and it was totally indistinguishable from the word "hot." the weirdest part is that at 17 i moved to boston, which has it's own thick accents and mine...went away?? you would have thought it stayed the same or got worse (RI accents are like a mix between boston & NY) but it just disappeared. i truly can't explain it. it does still come out sometimes, if i am really hype or really pissed or really drunk and/or around other ppl who have thick RI accents. (my partner's boston accent doesn't seem to affect me. his is like...the words seltzer and salsa sound exactly the same so it can be confusing once in awhile if you ask him what he wants from the store.) and certain words i still can't pronounce. like "drawer." it's draw. if i try to say drawer it sounds like i'm having a stroke. also a water fountain is a bubbler and a shopping cart is a carriage.
i fucking love nesting dolls. and your advice column! "you did get the part!" - YEAH SO GOOD SO TRUE.
the first time i met any of my partner's family it was his brother, and i was really freaked out BECAUSE it was the day after we first hooked up and i was still wearing a kind of slutty dress from the night before and my partner was like, just come to this bar with me for a drink with my brother and i was like...i literally look like?? so inappropriate? also why are you wanting me to meet your brother this is so weird and too much? but of course it was just that my not-yet partner was totally oblivious to any subtext one might glean from a dude wanting you to meet family after one night together and really he just didn't want to go to the bar alone, lol. his brother is v. cool tho and was unfazed by it all (this could have been a red flag lol) and actually years later me and his brother lived together for a bit (platonically).
the first time i met my partner's mom and sisters (who were little at the time and now they both have kids of their own, i cry) i don't think i was nervous at all? actually i was really excited because i was getting the good "ok cool he cares about this relationship as much as i do, neat" butterflies. also his mom is a verified saint, literally the most wonderful person. my ex's mom was weird as hell - she literally NEVER ONCE spoke directly to me, like i would be right there with my ex and she would ask him "does she want [drink/food/etc]" and it was so uncomfortable. we dated for years! and there was a time i would go to his house which was also his mom's house every weekend! anyway meeting my partner's mom was like, sweet relief, a normal person, hooray. she always thanks me for taking care of her son, and always wants to take me aside to make sure he's treating me right. i just love her so much. my partner has two dads that he is estranged from for Very Good Reasons and i have never met either one - although i did technically meet his stepdad once but i had no idea because my partner introduced him by his first name which meant nothing to me so i was just like "nice to meet you, some guy" and it wasn't until months later where i mentioned i had never met him and my partner was like, yes you did! i introduced you! i was like...WHAT. THANK YOU FOR THE CONTEXT, COOL.
comment or grommet? comment or sonnet? i don't really want to read or write sonnets tho. comment or...yeah i got nothing.
Your advice really touched my heart. You’re a good egg, Alex Dobrenko.
I meant to read this days ago but we are in a Matryoshka Möbius strip of everyone dying of the plague and then when one person feels better the others start feeling bad again so it’s also kinda like whack a mole and a little of the twilight zone.
Anyway I have a hilarious story from when I met my husband’s family for the first time, 20 years ago at his niece’s first birthday party.
I was 19 and had no idea about things in the world. I had an outfit I wanted to wear, but the bras i owned (very practical, Wal-Mart grandma editions, I knew nothing of the options available which in 2002 probably weren’t that great anyway) didn’t go with the top I’d chosen. So I opted for no bra.
So afterward he asks his family, “What’d you think of Nicci?” And his grandmother’s only response was, “Well she’s a nice girl but she should have worn a bra.”
Clearly the memory has stuck with us. 😂
You are so hilarious! I'm answering a question that wasn't asked but was spurred into my brain when reading the questions at the end of your post - one year we all gave my partner's parents one of those digital frames where you can email photos to the frame. Later that night as I was emailing a bunch of photos,, I realized that i had dragged my finger across sexy-selfie-titty-pics taht i'd sent to my partner. . . so i had to make a frantic call to his mother to say "please delete the photos of my boobs." She was amazingly chill about it and we still laugh about to this day.
Happy Thanksgiving, Alex. I am thankful that I stumbled across BAT this year!!
And also for Barenaked Ladies. :)
Fantastic, Alex :) Loving the advice on how to thread the needle at significant others' family gatherings, could come in handy in all Thanskgivings (often celebrated with turkeys, the Sardines of the land) and other events, was sucked into the rabbit hole of the full set of full nesters dolls :) (I hope both demographic tail-ends of the men in family are feeling better.)
Did u ever ply the hiding game sardines tho