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Monday, December 21, 2009


mighty_mudha asks: So, the boy and I are spending xmas with his family....first time meeting them....any advice? (I'm overly nervous...)

The holidays are a wonderful time to get to know the parents of a significant other—but the experience can go HORRIBLY WRONG if you are not careful. Thankfully, you asked me in time. Right now, go and get as many objects relating to your S.O. as you can get your hands on. Go! Get them!

You see, the main thing parents of an S.O. want to know is that you REVERE their child in the same way they do. Well, not in the same EXACT way, but they want to see the depth of your appreciation. And the FIRST way you do this is by making some tribute tree ornaments, glorifying your S.O.

I realize that some of you are craftier than others and that some of you may find the prospect of making these ornaments daunting. But don’t worry. These can be as simple as attaching a picture to a pre-made ornament. I’ve made one of my friend John Green to show you how easily this can be done.

This simple and elegant ornament requires only scissors and tape.

You will undoubtedly have a collection of totems from your relationship which you have saved and can easily convert into ornaments simply by attaching a hook or a bit of ribbon, and perhaps a short note with a bit of a memory! Here is are two examples:

Your collection of totems can be easily converted in a matter of minutes.

Now, the key part of this is PRESENTATION. You don’t want to just shove this box of ornaments at your hosts. You need to decorate their tree with them. The easiest way to do this is when everyone is sleeping. If you are not staying overnight, the best thing to do is excuse yourself and get outside, taking their car keys with you. Put their car into neutral and push it as far down the street as you can. Then come back in and scream, “SOMEONE HAS STOLEN YOUR CAR!” When everyone runs out, lock the door and get started! If the tree is already decorated, simply remove the decorations and start over. If they do not have a tree, either bring one or hang the decorations on the refrigerator or some other large object. If they have pets, you can also decorate them.

When everyone wakes up or comes in through the window (depending on your situation), they will be ENCHANTED to see what you have done! Imagine the beautiful scene, this display of your love! Don’t worry if no one is talking about your decorating. Sometimes people have trouble expressing very deep emotion. They must just look down, or at each other, or at your S.O. But trust me, your relationship will now be the NUMBER ONE thing on their minds. You have them EXACTLY where you want them. You could easily stop there and you’d be golden, but I think it’s best to press on, burrowing your way further into their hearts like some kind of parasite of love.

At this point, it may be time to eat. This is a major opportunity to impress the parents with your intricate knowledge of your S.O.’s eating habits. It’s important to demonstrate that you are fully prepared—no, fully DETERMINED—to make sure all of their nutritional needs are met. As I am sure you know, real love means exerting control over every single aspect of your S.O.’s existence.

So when the Christmas beastie and the trimmings are being passed around, make sure to examine absolutely everything that goes on to your S.O.’s plate. It might be useful to have a small food scale with you. There are many tiny models that you can slide into a purse or a man-bag, but there is nothing wrong with hauling a larger, industrial model to the table. Be bold. People admire boldness. Whenever your S.O. tries to spoon something on to his or her plate, guide their hand over to the scale. Once you have an accurate measurement of the food, use your computer or a small book on nutrition to calculate the exact nutritional value of each and every serving and edit it as necessary. You might have to bring along some Tupperware containers full of whole grains or steamed vegetables and make up the rest of the plate. (Make sure to have a plastic bag ready for all the unwanted items you scrape off the plate.)

Now that you’ve proven your serious dedication to your S.O.’s health, you need to take that one extra step to prove that you are ready to do anything for them. Nothing, truly nothing, impresses an S.O.’s parents like ACTUALLY SAVING YOUR S.O.’s life RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. To do this, you are probably going to have to nudge certain things along a little—namely, you have to make it appear that your S.O. is in harm’s way. This can usually be accomplished with little to no injury on the part of your S.O. Here are just some ways you can do this:

Choking is a very effective trick, and you can do this right at the table. If you feel comfortable with your Heimlich skills, you can go ahead and stick a fishbone or small pebble into you S.O.’s meal. If you’re less sure, you can go ahead and perform the maneuver whenever your S.O. coughs. (If you S.O. is not prone to coughing, a quick handful of glitter to the face does the trick wonderfully.) Just get up behind them, pull them out of their seat, grab them around the middle and start squeezing, screaming, “BREATHE, damn you, BREATHE!”

If you are lucky enough to have an S.O. with a very serious allergy, this is a piece of cake. Slip the allergen quietly into the scene and let nature do the rest. MAKE SURE you have the EpiPen or any other necessary medication on the ready, otherwise this is just attempted (or completed) murder, and that will not impress anyone.

I know that for some people this last step might seem like too much, but trust me . . . once you have saved (or appeared to save) your S.O.’s life in front of their parents, they can NEVER REJECT YOU and you can do whatever you want, forever.

I hope this has helped. Please, continue to send your questions, and I will continue to answer them.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, I am auctioning off the beautiful John Green ornament seen above for CHARITY! The ornament is paper on glass, handcrafted and absolutely one of a kind, with artist's signature. Send your bids in to Twitter. The auction starts NOW and ends at noon tomorrow (EST). The winner will make an online donation to Citymeals on Wheels, and I will send the ornament with my SPECIAL THANKS.

PLUS . . . you will ALSO get the ONE AND ONLY HARDBACK COPY OF SCARLETT FEVER, my PERSONAL copy with my handwritten notes in it. Truly, you cannot get it ANYWHERE else.

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Blogger Zara said...

Hysterical. Oh, and I love the labels: advice, cheer, dead bodies...all in a day's blog.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone actually does any of these things. PLEASE get it on caamera! haha
Loved the blog!

11:23 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I always forget that your advice tends to be the opposite of what you should do. =P

11:24 PM  
Blogger BoN said...

oh Maureen, you make me lol

11:32 PM  
Blogger Mary Clare Dowd said...

I'll be sure to do this when I meet my own significant other's family. They will just love me. :) Thanks for the advice - it's too bad my boyfriend doesn't have an allergy, though.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Wow. I ALMOST had turkey come out of my nose just now.

My favorite is the advice to "MAKE SURE you have the the EpiPen or any other necessary medication on the ready..."

Merry Christmas!

11:36 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I once gave an ex a shrine to myself for xmas. I think that made his family like me, or maybe they were just pretending to like me because they were afraid.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Thank you SO MUCH! I am meeting my S.O.'s children this week, and I finally feel prepared.

I'm so fortunate that he is allergic to peanuts!!!

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

Thanks, Maureen. Seriously. I'm going to visit my boyfriend's grandparents for the first time over the holidays, and I'll try all these tricks! I just know that my lovely performance of the Heimlich will win them over after the unfortunate Top Hat Incident with his parents at Thanksgiving.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Alicia said...

I'm glad I have you to help with all the important social issues in life, Maureen. Question: If YOU could make a holiday movie, what would it be like?

11:58 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

MJ, it sounds like you have a lot of experience with homicidal Christmas. Thanks for the advice!

12:30 AM  
Blogger Mudha said...

Thank you Maureen! It was helpful and made me more cheery!
*bakes lots of brownies and the like that are full of cheer*

1:16 AM  
Blogger Ami The Salami said...

Aw, that's sweet :)

1:52 AM  
Blogger Snottlebie said...

Maureen, I'm pretty sure you're completely made of brilliance. That or you're crazy. Either one. :)

7:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

My favorite part is where you use the car keys to put the car into neutral and push it instead of driving it down the block.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Ms. E said...

Still under the influence of whatever you were drinking/smoking/inhaling at your party the other night?

9:13 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Maureen, you just seem to know everything. Your advice is always so helpful, and I appreciate it greatly.

Also, my word verification word is "ingern," which sounds a lot like "injure," which somehow seems appropriate for this post.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Joey-la said...

hahahaha!! great advice!!
I have a question for you:
I am planning to get my mother a book by an author she is interested in, but said author seems to be non-existent (as in, I have been to heaps of book shops and have found nothing!) so, if I cannot get the book what should I get for her insted?

3:05 AM  
Anonymous kira902k said...

Oh, phew. *wipes sweat from brow* I was just wondering about how to make my (non-existent) S.O.'s family love me. Your advice, like always, is amazing. I'm sure they'll fall for the pushing-the-car-down-the-street trick. :)


4:10 AM  
Blogger Manderiffic said...

I'm not sure how I stayed amused during the horrible time before I started reading your blog.

1:10 AM  

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