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The Pitfalls of Mr. Perfect

The Guy I’m Seeing met my parents a month ago, on the night of their 40th anniversary, at a party they held for 60 of their nearest and dearest. At the time, we were only a month or so into the relationship; usually I wouldn’t have thrown someone to the pack of wolves so soon, but, well, who doesn’t like a good party? Plus, dodging the question “What’s new in your life?” with “Work is going great!” was getting old. Now I could just shove TGIS in the face of anyone who asked.

We also agreed it would be a strategic move: With so many friends around, my parents would be too distracted to interrogate him. The plan…

The Guy I’m Seeing met my parents a month ago, on the night of their 40th anniversary, at a party they held for 60 of their nearest and dearest. At the time, we were only a month or so into the relationship; usually I wouldn’t have thrown someone to the pack of wolves so soon, but, well, who doesn’t like a good party? Plus, dodging the question “What’s new in your life?” with “Work is going great!” was getting old. Now I could just shove TGIS in the face of anyone who asked.

We also agreed it would be a strategic move: With so many friends around, my parents would be too distracted to interrogate him. The plan worked.

TGIS couldn’t have been more comfortable, especially considering the circumstances; it’s almost irritating how easily he blends in with any crowd. Even more infuriating (OK, in a cute way), he exchanged numbers with a couple of The Boys the night he met my gang at Relax Lounge, and they’ve been buddy-buddy ever since, meeting up for drinks when I was in Vegas, and joining each other’s football leagues and poker games.

With the big introductions out of the way, he’s earned everyone’s seal of approval—and then some. “You done good,” a lifelong friend said to me at the Bears game last Sunday. “I’m his biggest fan,” another told me over the phone. “I think I love him,” yet another said at a party. And I get the question “Are you calling him your boyfriend yet?” almost weekly from a married guy friend.

I must be missing the relationship gene, because this would make any sane woman happy, right? If the most important people in my life adore him as much as I do, the rest should be cake. But what happens when everyone falls head over heels for him before I’m even sure where the relationship is going?

I’ll tell you what happens: Severe panic sets in.

Then came last week’s Jewish holiday.

“Would you like to invite [TGIS] over for dinner?” Mom asked. “No,” I said, “because then we’ll be pressured to do the whole splitting time between the parents’ houses thing, which only married couples should have to suffer through.” The holidays are stressful enough.

At the last minute, though, I did invite him—for both nights—mostly because I thought he’d like my mom’s brisket (he did, of course). On night one of Rosh Hashanah, my immediate family started off by interrogating him, and then turned the tables on me, launching into the ever-so-endearing bit about my challenging childhood antics. Worse, by the end of night number two—with 30 guests in attendance—TGIS was exchanging e-mail addresses with my mom’s best friend’s husband. The nerve.

That’s it, I decided: Mr. Perfect was moving in on my turf.

But just when I thought he’d won, he sprung this on me: “My parents want to know when they get to meet you.” Meet me? I thought. This was my chance: Two can play the perfect game.

The big event took place Tuesday night at Myron and Phil’s. I learned a couple of things from the encounter: a) even his parents are perfect; and b) they read the blog—hi, guys!—which made for what you could call an awkward moment. Good thing I’m parent-friendly. It didn’t hurt that they were even lovelier in person than TGIS had described. As we parted ways, I scored an open invite from his mom to visit them at their home in Scottsdale, securing my own approval rating.

Look who’s perfect now.


 

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