An awkward dinner with my boyfriend’s parents

Published 1:06 pm Monday, October 30, 2023

Dear Aunty Pam,


I’ve been seeing Jason for a couple of months and it’s going well. He asked me over to dinner to meet his parents. I picked up a bottle of red wine as a hostess gift and evidently, that started things off on the wrong foot as Jason’s mom was serving fried chicken and sweet tea. She took the bottle of wine and said, ‘Oh, maybe you’d better keep that because we don’t drink.’ I said I completely understood and apologized.

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Things got worse from there. I cannot stand sweet tea. It just tastes like pure sugar to me. So I asked if it would be alright if I had a glass of wine and she stared at me and said, ‘You can, but not in this house.’ Strike two. So I drank water instead. Then when we sat down, she asked me if I would like to say grace, which totally threw me and I said I’d rather she did because I couldn’t think of one off the top of my head. I looked at Jason to bail me out and he was staring at his plate. Anyway, his mom said a blessing and we ate in complete silence. I complimented his mom on the chicken and she just said, ‘Thank you,’ then I asked Jason’s dad if he was enjoying retirement and he said he was more busy now than he’d ever been, but didn’t say anything more. Seriously, it was crickets the whole time. 

I left as soon as I could. I had driven over by myself and when Jason walked me to my car I felt like he was acting weird too. It’s been a week and we’ve only talked twice on the phone, but I feel he’s on the verge of ghosting me. He’s being vague.

Do you think I’ve blown my chances with him?




Dear Sharon,


Aunty Pam thinks you have blown it with Jason and you should fall on your knees and give thanks.

Honestly, have his gentleman bits descended yet? What kind of man wouldn’t give his girlfriend—whom he obviously thinks enough of to introduce to his parents—a heads up that they are a strict teetotal household? And how could he not step in and try to initiate conversation at the table instead of letting you be ignored in a way that just reeks of rudeness? There is no excuse to treat anyone so shabbily.

As Jason also doesn’t seem to have the guts to break up with you, I’m afraid it’s up to you to indulge in a bit of self-preservation and cut things off cleanly with him. You needn’t be rude, but he should hear that his complete inaction left you feeling both abandoned and humiliated at a dinner HE invited you to, and his subsequent inaction has made it clear that you need to be moving on without him.

Now, go open that bottle of red wine and toast having the ovaries to look after yourself!


Cheers, dear!!

Aunty Pam