On the off-chance you’ve actually impressed a lady enough to the point that she wants to introduce you to her parents, it’s helpful not to blow the meeting. Nerves can ruin even the smoothest of smooth-talkers, especially if Daddy is an ex-war hero. The George Fockers of the world should pay particularly close attention to the following tips:
1. Bring a housewarming gift. A bottle of wine, if you’re over 21, is a standard staple; if her parents are recovering alcoholics or you’re underage, a bottle of sparkling cider will suffice. While it may seem hokey to your year-2000 sensibilities, her parents will appreciate the age-old gesture.
2. Hold the door. If you’re meeting in a restaurant or somewhere inappropriate for housewarming, hold the door open for everyone. Chivalry goes a long way in making Mom say “Aww,” which is always a good sign.
3. Keep conversation polite, intelligent, and appropriate; Mom and Pop probably won’t find your beer pong antics funny, nor the story of when you almost lost the condom. Talk about career goals, school goals, field goals — anything they’ll consider worthy of a future for their daughter.
4. Leave your cell phone in the car, or if you MUST bring it in because Gramma might go at any moment, leave it on silent. Cell phones are rudeness personified, and her father won’t appreciate your disinterest when he’s showing you his gun.
5. Dress to impress. If it has holes, patches, rips, or tears, forget it. Think business casual — khakis and a polo, a collared shirt and dark jeans, etc. Don’t overdress in a suit unless the occasion calls for it (important ceremony, etc.), lest you seem like a pompous prick.
6. Be yourself. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; if she likes you and it’s real, her parents likely share in the genetic mapping of her thought-processes and will like you, too. Find something to bond over and hold fast–unless it’s over how good their daughter is in bed, in which case you should probably call a professional.