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Handle Her Family
  • Posted May 15, 2014

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If you haven’t seen this clip that surfaced of Beyonce’s younger sister, Solange, attacking her husband, famously known as Jay-Z, in an elevator at the Standard Hotel in New York City following the MET Ball which occurred earlier this month, I’m sorry.

The clip is a run-of-the-mill, low quality, surveillance of the drama that went down.  While we are probably just minutes away from Beyonce’s camp releasing a statement that Solange is to attend some sort of rehab for “physical and emotional exhaustion,” this situation got me thinking – families are difficult.

As such a complex machine, I consider families to be small tribes of blood (and I do say so myself).  Little can break a family unit and understanding their personal language is a trade in itself.   So how exactly should you handle her family?

Patience

Patience is a virtue, especially when you’re dealing with a set of people you may have otherwise never have encountered.  Allow others to take their time in approaching you with personal details.  Understand that this unit may not have any common ground with the norms that you were raised with.

Understanding

My biological parents separated when I was young, so I have two distinct families.  This can be a bit confusing because I have four parents: mom, step dad, dad, and stepmom.  Families can be even more complex than mine, or as simple as the traditional tree.  Be aware that there is no right or wrong in this situation.

Lifestyle

Chardonnay or cheap rosé?   Every family has a different standard from alcohol to furnishings.  Compliment the familiar, find appreciation in the dissimilar.  If her family would prefer foie gras to Hamburger Helper opt for the nice wine rather than the two buck chuck. On the contrary, if they’re not connoisseurs of the finer things, don’t bother with expensive tastes and bring the green bean casserole.

Communicate

Talk to her about her family.  Understand the expectations that may be set upon you.  Gather notions about their intricacies, down to the way dinner is served.  Communicate with them and ask to exchange contact information.  Emailing her mother a recipe will mean more to the family than merely making your significant other happy.

Be Yourself

She loves you for a reason, don’t shy away from your personality traits, just be sure to be on your best behavior.  Compromise is key.  Take into account the things that bother her and show a willingness to find a resolution, without deluding yourself.

DO:

  • Gift them with a communal bottle of wine or artisan appetizer their choice of alcohol upon entering their home
  • Discreetly ask your server to bring the bill directly to you

DON’T:

  • Ask them to lift a finger
  • Act like anyone but your best self

You may have 99 problems, but her family won’t be one.  What is the craziest family you’ve experienced?  


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