I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how parents handle the significant others of their children, especially when meeting them for the first time. My parents didn’t even meet my husband until the day before we got married. We lived in New Orleans and my parents lived in Virginia and we only dated 5 months before we got married so it just didn’t work out that they met until the day before the wedding. I didn’t meet his parents until after we’d been married for a while. He and his dad were sort of estranged at the moment (when we got married) and his mom lived in Japan.
I did have a few adventures in dating though. The was one guy I dated that when he came to pick me up, my dad happened to be sitting by the walk in a lawn chair drinking a beer and when he walked up the walk I came outside and my dad looked at him and then turned to me and asked VERY loudly “You’re going out with this dog? Of course the guy heard him as was my dad’s intention. And when he and I both ignored my dad he stood up and said “Seriously, he looks like a shaggy stray dog with that scraggly long hair. You can do better than THAT!”
Another time a guy that I was “going out” with (I don’t know why I called it going out… I was like 15 and I wasn’t allowed to GO anywhere with a guy) had another friend of ours bring him down since he didn’t have a car. The guy that brought him down was probably 16 and the legal drinking age WAS 18 at the time. When they got to the house my dad offered them a beer. They both declined. My dad kept insisting and insisting so finally the friend accepted the offer and popped the top and took a sip and my dad jerked it out of his hand and said “NOPE! You just failed THAT test. You fellas need to leave!” I tried to reason with him that he had practically twisted their arm and the guy I was seeing wasn’t even drinking but he still made them both leave and told me I was never to let them come back again.
I’ve seen those little “applications to date my daughter” and as the mother of three daughters I have many times WANTED to give one out. I’ve heard many tales from other parents of things they have said to dates and potential dates. One of my favorite was from my old high school friend Jack. He told me that the first time his daughter would go out with a new guy he would welcome the guy “to the family” and put his arm around their shoulder as he escorted them in the house. Jack was NOT a small man. He would then tell them how he hoped they had a good time and to have fun and not to stay out too late and do whatever they wanted and as they were walking out the door he would say “Oh, and ONE more thing…. WHATEVER you do to my daughter while you’re with her? Just so you know? When you get back with her? I’m doing the SAME THING to YOU.” That always made me roll.
My hubby would occasionally tell them (guys our daughters dated) stupid stuff like he’d just gotten out of prison and he was Mike Tyson’s cell mate and he made Mike wear the dresses. One of my favorites was he’d tell guys that he had decided that our daughters were not allowed to date unless they found someone who was bigger than him (he’s almost 6’8”) and meaner than me! When #2 was in 5th grade he told that to a little boy that had asked if he could “go out” with her. Hubby gave him the speech about being bigger/meaner. He kind of frowned and furrowed his little brow and walked away. A few minutes later he came back to me and said “I got it! I’ll get a pair of stilts and buy a shotgun!” I had to give him an A for effort.
The first time #1 had a little boy get his nerve up to actually come to our house to see her, she was probably in 6th grade. She had no idea he was coming. He lived a mile or more from our house and he got on his little bicycle and just showed up one afternoon. It happened to be one day when hubby was home. Hubby insisted that the young man come in the kitchen where he was cooking. He made him sit at the table while he (hubby) sharpened his BIG long kitchen knives. Then he handed the poor boy a popsicle and he was so nervous he almost shook the ice cream off the stick he was so scared. When he left he asked #1 if her dad was always like that with his knives and #1, being the little smart aleck that she is, replied “Oh, yeah… we’ve got little boys buried all over the back yard!” I’m sure he knew she was kidding but, he never came back to our house again! That’s one way to keep them away!