“He’s got… tattoo’s” said Mum. “When’s he shaving that beard off?” quizzed Dad. “Umm I think the beard’s staying Dad.” These were comments from my parents on seeing photos of the guy I was dating.
I’m thirty-urgh-one. Should I really be worried about what my parents are saying about the person I’m dating? At sixteen, yes, they control your locked-in-your-smashing-pumpkins-bedroom life. But once you hit the thirties, really, it’s all up to you, you’re an adult. When my parents were thirty, they were deciding on a third child (me, naww) Whereas I’m still deciding do I binge drink Friday… or Saturday night?
Oh I hear you, I should have stopped listening to the parents awhile ago, but it’s hard when all you’ve heard your tween and adult life are jokes about potential partners with things like, “Don’t bring one home riding a Harley with tattoos” or “You’d better find a good looking one, with lots of money”. I know it’s all tongue in cheek, joking around type stuff but some of it sticks.
What about when it starts clouding your judgment on someone? I am my parents daughter – surely those words get in the only-date-a-good-looking-one’s way. I used to be the most superficial person on the planet when it came to dating; unless he was suited up, drove a nice car and looked like he could afford ‘things’ he wasn’t really in my date-osphere. Then I realised how many idiots wore suits and I went to live in London. Whoa perspective. Thank you Big Ben.
It’s hard enough finding someone you like in the first place then you’ve got the stressfulness of bringing them home to meet the family. I’ve watched siblings bring home other halves and the jokes we’ve made and nicknames behind their backs are still going on years later. Thing is, I’m not doing anything to stop that – they’re hilarious. You want an example? Well his name was hard to pronounce being foreign and my brother was finding it increasingly difficult with each can of Carlton to get it out, that it slurred into ‘Rotary hoe’. That guy will be forever known as a piece of farm equipment under our roof.
My parents, like many parents of my thirty-something friends still associate tattoos with criminals and men of the sea. Not for their daughter and certainly not for guys who want to date their daughter. So I see how they have a hard time breaking the connection. I judge people that wear suits with sneakers, I wouldn’t trust them to do my tax return. Yet they choose to wear that, just like beards and tattoos. I see the similarities – but we need to drop the stereotypes; maybe they left their dress shoes at home.
I shouldn’t really mention these parental pet hates (long sleeve shirt will cover the tattoos till Perth summer) Considering he’ll be worried enough about meeting the parents and their shotguns (haven’t told him that yet) that he doesn’t need all this other worry aswell? Yet, no-filter me, already did. I’ll be quiet from now on. I know how uncomfortable it is when the partners blonde parents point out at dinner you’re ‘common’ for having brown hair. Wouldn’t want to ruin that perfect bloodline would we? What is this Game of Thrones?
Now, don’t start berating me, I’m not that hung up on what the parents think. He’s dating me remember, not them. Back to the sailor tattoos and beard, well I like them – strangely enough, because I like him. And that’s all that matters at the end of the day, isn’t it? Till then it’s smiles with long sleeves and we won’t mention he rides a Vespa. (709)