Here’s a little glimpse into Planet Julia from a column she wrote in October 2005 about how she’s been winning over her boyfriends’ relatives — NOT — since she started dating. You’ll notice she makes reference to the sister of poor James Fay, the wealthy fool whose house she’s staying at in L.A. later this week. Funny she doesn’t mention why the fistfight happened — it was when she swiped his credit card after he dumped her and started running it up with expensive purchases. Classy!
Almost as classy as her behavior a few years later, when she contacted another close family member to let them know their beloved relative was insane. Why, you might ask? Because he had the gall to break up with her, and clearly wasn’t raised correctly.
Anyway, feast your eyes ….
Dealing With Your Honey’s FamilyDEALING WITH YOUR HONEY’S FAMILY
AM NEW YORK – “THE DATING LIFE”
OCTOBER 10, 2005
BY JULIA ALLISONI’m not sure what it says about me, but I’ve been having problems with the relatives of guys I date since I was 16 years old.
My first love’s parents banned me from their house. My college boyfriend’s sister and I actually had a fistfight. And the last guy I dated had a brother who just wouldn’t warm up to me – his allegiance lay with my guy’s ex-wife.
Unlike Jennifer Aniston – who apparently maintains a better relationship with Brad Pitt’s mother than Pitt himself – I’ve come to believe my boyfriends’ families have small parties when we break up, ecstatic that they will never again have to see me and/or worry about me marrying their wayward sons.
Of course, I’m not alone with this problem; families have been making dating life difficult for centuries. His mother hates you, your father hates him, your cousin got drunk, slept with his brother, declared him to be “tinier than Tom Cruise” and now Thanksgiving is beyond awkward.
So what does one do in these situations?
“Start saving for therapy,” says my mother, who knows whereof she speaks. She and her mother-in-law have waged cold war since the 1970s. “Or just laugh, because there isn’t a single piece of advice that’s fool proof.”
It may be too late for her, but it isn’t necessarily for you. Of course, the easiest way to ingratiate your partner’s family to you, (or to warm up your parents to your new partner) is by not screwing it up in the first place.
Bad first impressions are extremely difficult to get over, so start off with a calmer, gentler, less, ah, controversial version of yourself. Preparation makes all the difference – go over everything you should absolutely not mention in their presence, from Ann Coulter to your fervent hatred for creationism, uh, intelligent design.
And whatever you do, watch the alcohol consumption. One too many glasses of Pinot Noir can turn the most well-intentioned first meeting into a memorable series of humiliating gaffes.
If you’re already stuck with relatives whose cup doesn’t runneth over with love for your partner, try to dissuade them in any way you can – logic, persuasion, cash bribes – but realize what you’re up against. Families are medal contenders in the international Olympic sport of grudge-holding.
Or–don’t make the relationship permanent. That seems to be the advice celebutante couple Paris Hilton and Paris Latsis took recently. The identically monikered twosome’s engagement was recently derailed, supposedly by less-than-enthusiastic future in-laws.
And if nothing else works, remind your parents that it could be much, much worse. At least you haven’t married Kevin Federline. Yet.