My sister wrote me, livid that my parents surprised her with a blind date with a friend’s son. Plenty of parents do this, I’m guessing. But not many would go on the date with you, the boy, and his parents. My sister had woken up that morning, smiling, reading, and all was peaceful until they invited her to brunch. I’m sure there was a tone in their voice that gave her a clue that something was up. They’re terrible liars. I’m guessing she asked, prodded, and cajoled until she was absolutely convinced they were hiding something. We’re not a family that would do well in torture situations; a minute or two of questioning is all we need to give up any information we have–anything to avoid repetitious questions.
“Is this a set up?”
“No… what do you mean?”
“You’re acting funny. Did you guys plan something?”
“No…well, not really”
“You’re setting me up with their son, aren’t you?”
“well yes, but it’s not a date!”
“Can I not go?”
“You’re making me go?”
“There’s no way out of this?”
And that, ladies and gentleman, is a microcosm of a great majority of the parent-child conversations in our household.
An hour later my sister is at a table, next to her blind date, who was a very nicely chosen boy–clean, good job, seemed nice. And on either side of them, our parents and his parents pretending to have their own conversations while obviously listening in.
“How long were you on the East Coast?”
“About 5 years”
“Were you dating anyone then?”
“umm…I don’t know?”
She was trying to signal to him to end this line of questioning in front of their parents but he kept on going, pleasant and cordial as ever.
At this point in her story, I’ve learned a few things. Not only are my parents awful liars and couldn’t set up Legos without exposing their design plans first but the boys parents must be terrible at lying too. Apparently it was clear to my sister that she was the only one at brunch who didn’t have advance notice of the situation; everyone else had their “we’re so comfortable here” faces on, which only makes people look like they’re hiding something important or smelly. She was trying to hide her horror (come to think of it, this might be the same facial expression… my sympathy for the others at the table grows). Clearly this was not going to work out.