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Thee Urban Sophisticate: The Gentlemen Guide to Meeting Her Parents on Thanksgiving

As the time dwindles down, the jitters rise, understandably so… It’s your first thanksgiving with your significant other. The fear of the unknown, I get it, you’re thinking will her parents like you? What should you wear? Should you bring anything? What can you do to make a great first impression? First let me tell you, the fact that you even feel a case of the jitters, is a good sign, it means you actually care. You want to prepare prior to arriving, so ask your lady if it’s any crazy uncles or reckless cousins you need to worry about. You don’t want to go in totally oblivious to the nature of her family.

But let’s dive into it …

You’re about to sit in the house with people you don’t know, stuff your face, while enjoying drinks & football games. No need for suits + ties, throw on a pair of joggers, drivers, and a polo. You want to be in clothes you can be very comfortable in, as that waist expands a bit after the 2nd and 3rd plates. But now that you’re all dressed and ready to go, don’t forget to arrive with some sort of gift. It’s rude to come over empty-handed so bring a bottle of wine and get this thing started off on the right foot.

and now you’ve arrived and walking up to the door …

This is undoubtedly the most nerve-wrecking part of the entire day. But that depends on how you choose to view this opportunity. First and foremost, your lady already made her decision. She likes you, and considering she’s bringing you around family on Thanksgiving, you’ve already impressed the most important person, her. At this point it’s about making sure you don’t make her look like a fool for bragging about you so much.

The door opens …

As you address the Mr & Mrs., remember firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile.  You not only want to articulate your honor to meet the parents, but you also want to communicate positive body language.

Now you’re in. Grab a seat and enjoy the feast. You want to mind your table manners, napkin on lap, no loud chewing, and don’t even bother trying to initiate the topic of conversation. You don’t know what’s on or off base for them, so play it cool by playing the back initially. You want to build chemistry and a great way to do this is to mimic them but also stay true to yourself. If her cousin uses a little slang, come back with a bit of slang yourself, if her uncle prefers a dap over a handshake, then dap it up with him.

I’ve eaten, now what ….

After you’ve finished your second helping of Sweet Potato Pie make sure you make yourself available for conversation. You don’t want to isolate yourself. Mix and mingle with the family. If you want to be charming, be engaging, and you do that by genuinely engaging in conversation. Sure, her parents, aunties and uncles, and the rest are looking to get to know you, “the new guy” but that curiosity should be mutual. If all works out, this’ll be your extended family as well, embrace the good vibes and enjoy them.

Exit Strategy …

Be sure to pitch in to help clean up after everyone is finished. Take the initiative and just start. Depending on the family, they may tell you not to worry about it, but hey, at least you offered. Make sure to not slip out without saying goodbye. Whoever’s still there, be sure to say goodbye and shake the hand of them all. Compliment her mom on that amazing Mac and Cheese and let her father know you look forward to seeing him again.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! – Thee Urban Sophisticate


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