All the emotions you’ve felt in your life are all put together in a little mixing-pot and not even allowed to boil over when you have to meet the in-laws for the first time. Anxiety attacks you like a piranha, you become sweaty with bouts of clumsiness. And most of all, you are scared beyond your wits. Keeping your cool seems like a Herculean task. You want moral support from your significant other – whether you say it out loud, meeting your prospective in-laws can be THE most tactically frightening thing you can face in your adult life (remember the movie Meet the Fockers?). You want everything to be perfect but feelings of all kind rush to the surface with no way out.
1. The meet and greet:
“Should I touch their feet or should a handshake suffice?” Anyone who had to meet their prospective in-laws for the first time, have faced this conundrum. What do you do when the door opens and look upon the faces? Do you abruptly aim to touch their feel or smile and go for a handshake?
2. “What if they don’t like me?”
The million dollar question is if the in-laws will like the first impression which can be a shit-in-the-pants scary scene for a few.
3. “What if I knock over a vase?”
If you are a clumsy person, chances are you will knock over more than one vase. I have personally witnessed my then-future brother-in-law drop a glass of water and bending over to clean it up. It was like watching Bambi learn how to walk, only in a super slow motion. This feeling is apt and may make one lose one’s cool.
4. “What if I am politically incorrect for them?”
They might be a Congress supporter and you might be a stark Bhakt. Politics is a big thing for a few households, especially for the father. Try to steer clear from controversial topics. Stick to things like “That’s a lovely view from the window” or “What a beautiful furniture!”
5. “What if they ask me if I drink or smoke? Do I lie or do I tell the truth?”
Ah, sometimes honesty might not be the best policy. It’s always safe to stay in the grey zone. Answer these kinds of questions with “Sometimes, very occasionally.” Higher chances are that your girlfriend has already mentioned about your occasional indulgences to her parents, so worry not!
6. “What if I fart accidentally?”
Oh, boy! There is not going back from this.
7. “Will they ask me serious questions or super chilled questions?”
What if they aren’t questions at all and few assertive statements? Do I correct them? Or just let it go? Try to ask your partner as much about your in-laws as possible so that you can always be on the safe side. A wrong first-impression may land you in more trouble than you think. Act wisely and prior-information is the winning trump card!
The emotions at stake and the risk – everything runs high. Try not to lose your cool. Whatever you say can and will be held against you in the future. It’s challenging but a little research goes a long way. Know the political inclinations, know which relatives aren’t much liked by your in-laws (steer clear of praising them) and the likes. But once its executed properly, you are gonna be loved and welcomed into the family with open arms. Think of it like an interview at the end of which you are gonna be paid with a whole lot of love.