Wow. It has been a long time since I have continued with this. I was inspired to take it up again after reading a friend's account. You can find previous issues of this fascinating saga here.
Usually when you are dating a person, you want to slowly introduce them to your family. Family can be overwhelming with all the inside jokes, hidden jabs, and the embarrassing childhood memories that can be dredged up at a moments notice. It is always best to introduce one family member at a time, if only so that you are not out numbered. Also, you really don’t want to showcase all your families quirks and skeletons right at the beginning of a relationship as that can really scare off a potential suitor.
I know this. This is basic dating 101. Yet, that didn’t prevent me from having the brilliant (read: relationship sabotaging) idea to invite Mr. F. over to my sister’s for Thanksgiving. (Actually, to be historically accurate, it was my sister’s idea to invite Mr. F. over, but I agreed to the crazy scheme.) This also wasn’t just Thanksgiving dinner. This was Thanksgiving Break: four days in a too-small house, 250 miles away.
This was my charming invite:
From: Lady Susan
To: Mr. F.
Subject: Thanksgiving Plans
My sister has, by the way, extended an invitation to you for Thanksgiving. You have made the guest list. However, it isn’t all that elite as they also invite the crazy people from their ward (I haven’t decided who has the most dysfunctional ward, you or them.) I know you have plans to go camping with the boys, and heaven forbid that I encroach on a male bonding experience, but i thought I would extend the invitation just the same.
On the chance that you accept, I should warn you that you would meet not just my sisters, my brother-in-law, my niece, and my nephew, but also my brother-in-laws parents, siblings, and spouses. You will also get to witness first hand the family show down when it comes to Thanksgiving pies. Every room in their small townhouse will be filled--with the kids being shoved in with the parents (don’t worry, they are being shoved in there anyway) and all sharing the one full bathroom. We might even have to draw up schedules. As my sister says, one more person is not going to make much of a difference in an already crazy household. So if you are feeling daring....
Was there a more backhanded invitation ever written? Let me remind you that we had known about each other for only a month and had gone on approximately three dates. He had, up to this point, held my hand once (only to remove it again!). I didn’t even know if we were “officially dating,” and here I was inviting him to spend 4 days smashed inside a tiny house with 11 other people and one bathroom. You would think that I disliked the guy and wanted rid of him, rather than the truth....which was that I really liked him and was desperate to make a good impression. Here was Mr. F.’s reply:
From: Mr. F.
To: Lady Susan
Subject: Re: Thanksgiving Plans
So I made the guest list. Reading between the lines and through the “So, if you are feeling daring,” I will assume that you also extended the invitation? An invitation from your sister is nice. An invitation from you earns time for serious consideration. In that case, I think I might be daring. I’ll call you sometime this week when both our schedules are crazy to figure out my possible plans.
So yes, he did accept my invitation, and yes, he did survive the ordeal. Not only that, but he was still interested!