Ask Aunty Pam: My boyfriend’s parents freak me out

Published 9:25 am Monday, December 26, 2022

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Dear Aunty Pam,

Ok, so this is a weird one, I’ll admit!

My boyfriend and I are going over to my parents’ house, first, on Christmas Day and then going to his parents’ afterward and staying the night because they live a couple of hours away.

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My boyfriend, ‘Mike,’ and I have been together for three years now and I always have a creepy experience when I go to his parents’ house. First of all, his dad is very ‘touchy/feely’ and seems to go out of his way to give me a hug, or put his arm around my shoulder, giving me a squeeze, that sort of thing. If that’s not weird enough, I was taking a hot soak in their tub and, like an idiot, forgot to lock the bathroom door. Mike’s MOM came in, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry!” but then came in to get something out of the medicine cabinet and said something, “Well, we’re both girls, aren’t we? It’s not like we haven’t seen other women before.”

Then she came in TWO MORE TIMES, and honestly, I felt like she was making excuses to come in to ‘get something.’ Later that night, she came into our bedroom, just as I was getting undressed for bed because she “just wanted to put away some laundry.” So there I was, naked from the waist up and holding my pajamas against my chest.

I told Mike when he came in and he just laughed and laughed. He said his dad’s always been that way and his mom has always been crazy. I said I am honestly wondering if they are ‘swingers,’ then Mike got a little defensive and told me I was as crazy as they were.

I’m dreading our Christmas visit—what should I do? I don’t want any more hugs or weird stares from Mike’s mom!

Freaked Out


Dear Freaked,

Wow…I have to admit: I think I’d leave the car running if it were me making this visit!

Clearly, Mike’s dad does need to be told that his ‘Roman hands’ and ‘Russian fingers’ need to be kept to himself, even if his intention is completely innocent. I also feel that’s a conversation that needs to be had in private so that neither of you are embarrassed. So, until you have the opportunity to say, “You know, Al, I get that your spirit animal is an octopus, but the deal is, I’m not a hugger, and to be perfectly frank, it makes me uncomfortable, so I’d appreciate you’re not doing it anymore,” maybe say something like, “Whoa, no hugs, Al! Somebody at my office has Covid and I’m being extra careful to keep everyone safe around the holiday.” Yes, it’s not being honest but trying to prevent anyone feeling offended on Christmas Day strikes me as a good way to go.

The mom? OK, yeah, that’s pretty bizarre. As long as there’s a lock on the door, you should be covered. And just in case she has a key, maybe not bathe and make sure you wear a tracksuit the entire time.

I gotta say I’m a little surprised that Mike doesn’t think his parents’ behavior is inappropriate. Unless, of course, having grown up with them, it’s ’normal’ for him? If so, that’s a whole ’nuther kettle of fish. Big, weird fish.

Cheers, dear!
Aunty Pam