Dear Uncle Henry,
I am not sure what to do and a little nervous.
I am spending the whole of this Easter with my girlfriend’s parents. I have met them but only for dinner and they are nice people and we seem to get on. It will be the first time I have spent significant time with them and also with my girlfriend in front of them.
What should I do to make a good impression?
Thank you for your question: it’s a real humdinger! Visiting and staying with the parents of the beloved for the first time is always a safari filled with dangers at every turn to the unprepared.
I remember, quite a few years ago in my early twenties, toddling off with my girl at the time to visit her parents. We drove there in my little car and we turned the corner and started down this massive long driveway to this imposing figure of a house. What my darling had neglected to mention was that her family were titled and rich! That was a hell of a weekend, let me tell you, Andy. Once again I am rambling… back to your conundrum!
With a little preparation and some basics you will do fine and you will all be sitting around laughing at the table come Easter Sunday.
Firstly, make sure that you are not walking into any Landmines (as I did), make sure that you check things like dietary issues, health issues, what flowers her Mother likes, what core hobbies her Dad has and especially over religious holidays, how practising (if any) of the faith they are. Also check what activities you might do over the weekend. You never want to be told you are going fishing with the Lord of the manor and you have nothing that is appropriate, as happened to me.
The PG team always say a little preparation goes a long way.
Secondly, never turn up empty handed, especially for an extended stay. Bring flowers for the initial greeting and a few bottles of wine or whatever the tipple of the house is. It is Easter, so bring some good quality chocolate. I am partial to Godiva. Do think about an unusual and thoughtful gift, hence asking questions beforehand.
Thirdly, dress well! This is not your home. No slouching in those ripped tracksuit bottoms that are really comfy. Remember you are on show the whole time and therefore you need to act like it. Dress casually, but be smart.
During the weekend make yourself useful:- help with the cooking, make cups of tea, do the washing up, help in the garage or in the garden.
But, most importantly, their daughter likes you and is willing to take you there for an extended period. There is good about you, she sees it and she wants her parents to see it too, so let that shine Andy. Let the parents see the good man that their daughter has fallen in love with.
Wishing you luck and have a Happy Easter All!
If you have a question for Uncle Henry email firstname.lastname@example.org or #askhenry on Twitter @ThePGentlemen