Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ask Mrs. Linklater "MEET THE FOOKERS" Edition

Mrs. Linklater is jumping for JOY. That means a leap of about an inch off the ground. She's a woman and she's white. Mrs. L, while on another mission, found yet another advice maven to rassle, again thanks to a link from Chris at Random Thoughts and Ramblings -- sorry I don't do links here because I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW -- OKAY?!!! Anywho this new babe is in Washington D.C. And another blogger, a Mr. RedSneakz -- again no link, but you could Google the guy -- sez he agrees with her as much as he disagrees with her. So that would be what? A ringing endorsement for HALF the time? Outa my way. Lemme at her!!!

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating Phillip for eight months. I am 29, 5 feet 10, and the smallest person in my immediate family. He is 5 feet 6 and looks a lot younger than his age (30). Yet, he is my soul mate.

Even though I told my family Phillip was small and looked young, they were shocked when they saw him. They immediately started to tease and play jokes on him; he reacted very well and laughed. More than once he looked at me, but I said nothing. I have always been a little intimidated by my parents (long story).

After a full day, Phillip told them nicely that he was getting tired of being a target. My family stopped for about 20 minutes and then started again.

Also, he had been reluctant to meet my family because he felt he would be a burden; he is a strict vegetarian because of a digestive problem. I convinced him that my family would not mind. My brother and his wife brought a casserole over that they said was vegetarian. Another joke on him! Twenty minutes later Phillip had stomach cramps, 10 minutes later we called the ambulance. The casserole had meat in it. Everyone just assumed his aversion to meat was ethical, and my family doesn't understand why anyone would have an ethical reason for not eating meat.

My family feels really terrible about what happened. They blame Phillip and me for not explaining his dietary restriction, but offered to pay the co-insurance for his medical bills. He turned down the offer, saying he blames himself for staying when my family was abusive.

That remark really hurt me. That's not my family! He then told me that he expected his life partner would defend and protect him, and that he lost respect for me. I think he is unforgiving, and he says I need to get my head out of the fog (actually a part of my anatomy).


He's 5 feet 6, "yet" he is your soul mate?

Run, Phillip, run.

"Abusive" is your family exactly. It's a breeding ground for bullies. You don't seem domineering yourself -- maybe because you've been bullied by everyone else. But while you admit to being intimidated by your parents, you aren't able to admit to yourself yet that taunting someone is oppressive, deciding which diet restrictions to respect is arrogant, and mocking someone's genetic outcome is just cruel -- and that these represent the values you call home.

Indeed, you aren't yet sure you don't subscribe to these values yourself. Some vegetarians are more worthy than others? "Yet, he is my soul mate"?

It's notoriously hard to see one's family clearly. It can take time, trauma, both; it can elude you in spite of these. It can be painful. Obviously you love these people.

But when your myopia causes obvious anguish and a ride in the screaming white bus, it's time to get your head out of the fog. I think Phillip has shown willingness to forgive just by giving you a chance to grow up and see his point. Now grow up and see his point. (An apology would be swell, too.) Just be careful; bullies are your comfort zone. You don't want to break with one only to serve another.

Mrs. Linklater gets out her Kevlar. She wants to start at the BEGINNING -- which is where this all went wrong.

When she hears that one loved one is going to meet the other loved one's family for the FIRST TIME, she always asks the same question: ARE YOU NUTS? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? Okay, that's two questions.

Mrs. Linklater speaks from too many years of experience. Finally she's learned. She knows she's in trouble the moment she hears "Wait till you meet my Mom!"

Because the first time you meet the family is almost always THE ONLY TIME. It often means the END of your time together.

Are you ready to give up having regular sex? Then don't go.
Are you ready to give up having regular sex? [That's right Mrs. Linklater repeated the question in case you missed it the first time.]


In case you think that sex isn't everything, just wait until it's gone.

No matter how normal you think your family is on any given day, on the day your loved one meets them they will act like complete idiots. Your mother will call your loved one by your ex's name. Your father will too. But only after he insults sweetums poopsie's 1) religion 2) politics 3) career 4) car and, 5) ethnic heritage.

Read Mrs. Linklater's collagen inflated lips: DON'T GO!

Your little brother will fart. You little sister will stare. Your grandmother will use her cane to poke poke poke them in the butt. If you have a neutered dog, he will hump their leg. Your friendly, sweet cat will bite them.

In Phillip's case -- the family started by "joking" about his height. This led to messing around with his food. And finally , they almost killed him.

When meeting the family, remember death is always an option.

Of course, YOU will be helpless to prevent anything. YOU will stand around like a dope because you know this is just a bad dream and it will end soon.

But what's really going to END is your relationship as you knew it. Remember those Sunday mornings in bed? Those Saturday nights on the stairway of a club? Those weekends on the beach? Those holidays in front of the fireplace? Those afternoons at work when you closed the door to your office?

Not any more. Not after they meet your family.

So if you value your sex life -- just say NO.


Mrs. L said...

Carolyn is Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post. The letter was posted on July 28, 2006.

Anonymous said...

Mrs L you are the best agony Aunt anyone could wish for ~ Ally

psychfun said...

Well I did like the humor but there are quite a few who do get married & have kids after meeting the inlaws...of course maybe it is only those 4 times but...ha!

I agree, this woman obviously has been in this abusive environment & does not understand. I'd be very cautious in staying with her if she thinks her family behavior was acceptable.

Anna said...

shadowmaxWhat a bunch of wackos.
Not my family, of course. :p

The Gingerbread Man should run, run, as fast as he can...

dreaminglily said...

Ditto. Run, man, run!

And also my worst fear... My family being jerks... Although it's also followed with a little incident involving me, my grandma, and a kitchen knife... lol


Chris said...

You are the wisest maven of them all!

Don't encourage Phillip to run...she's lots taller and will run him down. It's like being attacked by a bear, running will only make him madder. Just lay there and take it Phillip....she'll get bored and look for something else to do. Too bad bears are vegetarians.

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Jimmy said...

I just sat and caught up with a few of your posts, lol, and they're all pretty much "hit the nail on the head".

I think of some of the horror stories that I have lived through when meeting families. I had similar attacks, except that I'm very tall, so I get all the "Jack the Giant Killer" types who are gonna do everything in their power to cut ya down.

The good thing is, when I've had enough I squash them.

Touché Mrs Linklater! Good to get caught up with ya.