You are viewing thequestionclub

The Question Club - [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The Question Club

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[Nov. 29th, 2012|08:12 pm]
Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry

thequestionclub

[feeeny]
It was my birthday not too long ago and my girlfriend's father, who owns a local bar, let us have the party there. He ended up picking up the tab for all the food (there were 20+ people) and it was an extremely nice gesture.

Here comes the question... I've been with my girlfriend for about a year now and she's very close with my parents. They hug and have conversations and she's become part of our family. On the other hand, I'm not very close with her parents. Not because I haven't tried, it's just not their style. They're also going through a divorce and neither one of them is around a lot, and we spend a lot of time at my apartment since I live alone... so while I've had small talk with her dad a couple of times in passing, we haven't really established any kind of relationship. Our families are very different.. my parents like to have home cooked dinners, give hugs, say I love you, etc. Hers are a lot more reserved and quiet.

I want to give him a thank-you card. Should I address him as Mr. ____ or by his name? Should I mail it or give it to him in person? I'm worried it will be awkward because we don't know each other well at all, but Idk.. Maybe I'm just being a pussy. What do you think?

Any general advice about getting to know your s/o's parents? Since we're not a hetero couple, this is the first time I've "met the parents." My previous relationships have had to be kept on the down low.

dk/dc: what's the coolest gift you've ever received?
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-30 01:15 am (UTC)

(Link)

what do you call him when you talk with him in person (or what would you call him if it hasn't come up)? - I'd go with that.

my husband got me a mother-child pendant after our daughter was born, and that's still very dear to me. his dad got us a new furnace for our house one year, and that was the bees knees in my mind! :D
[User Picture]From: feeeny
2012-11-30 01:17 am (UTC)

(Link)

See, I've never been in a situation where I've had to address him personally. Honestly, I'd probably call him Mr. _____ because I don't want to seem disrespectful, though my girlfriend would probably just tell me to call him Greg.
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2012-11-30 01:18 am (UTC)

(Link)

since you're thanking him for a very nice favor, I'd go with your instinct and address the card as "Mr. _____". if he'd rather be called by his first name, I'm sure he'll say something when you two next talk.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-11-30 01:18 am (UTC)

(Link)

I second calling him what you call him when youre together. if for some reason, calling him by a title has never come up, go with Mr.X, better to be more conservative I feel. I think a thank you card is great, thats extremely sweet. Id give it to him in person if you can/if you live in the same city. Or get your girlfriend to give it to him. Really, quiet people like him appreciate friendship as well, they just have a different outward attitude. I bet deep down inside he enjoys his relationship with his daughter and enjoys his relationship with you, you just need to find the niche, that thing you guys have in common, that you can chat and maybe bond a bit over. You need to try to engage him. I think especially with him going through a divorce, that would be super positive!
[User Picture]From: feeeny
2012-11-30 01:21 am (UTC)

(Link)

This is all great advice; thanks!!

They are very close, and very similar in a lot of ways, but my gf is more.. friendly? Not that he's not friendly, she's just more open around new people. I live about 10 mins from their house (my gf still lives at home) so I can definitely give it to him in person.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-11-30 02:21 am (UTC)

(Link)

Theyve known each other for years though, and im sure shes had plenty of time to figure out when hes being friendly and affectionate ;) Youll get there!
[User Picture]From: ironphoenix
2012-11-30 01:29 am (UTC)

(Link)

"Mr. _____" is classier; let him be the one to tell you to call him by his first name.
[User Picture]From: due27south
2012-11-30 01:29 am (UTC)

(Link)

I'd also title it Mr. ___ and then offer to take him out to dinner with you and his daughter :)
[User Picture]From: tamaracat
2012-11-30 01:34 am (UTC)

(Link)

I'm not close with my father in law at all and avoid saying his name if I can. That being said, on a card I address him as Arnie, which is what everyone calls him, because I'm going going to call him Mr. Lastname because that's my last name too... And I addressed him as such before I was married as well.

In terms of advice, it depends on the parent. My in laws are pretty superficial and very different from me, not to mention they're just cruel. So, I don't really try to get to them very well because what I do know makes me want to run and hide. My mom has told me that she just likes when my husband is himself and comfortable talking with her, answering her questions, etc. They have a pretty good relationship although I wouldn't call them close, but we do go on vacation with my mom once a year and visit her at her home whereas we never sleep anywhere near my in-laws.
[User Picture]From: cordelia_sue
2012-11-30 01:36 am (UTC)

(Link)

That is a super generous gift! How cool. I'd call him whatever you call him in person. Or maybe your girlfriend has a suggestion? I think if you're going to err, err on the side of being a bit too informal, since it's a personal relationship.

The coolest gift I ever received was a couple of beautiful snakes for my birthday this past year. They're Magdelena Plains rosy boas, a couple of sisters. They are so beautiful, I love them to bits. I was already hoping to get them, but I would have had to wait until my summer job kicked in to save up the $350 they cost.
[User Picture]From: grrillaesthete
2012-11-30 01:38 am (UTC)

(Link)

Mr. X and mail. Cards that are mailed seem more formal, everyone is surprised and happy to get mail, and it's weird to hand a thank you card to someone in person, because then they read it and feel compelled to comment on it. (I send out a great quantity of thank you cards, and always mail them, even if I am seeing the person the same day.)
[User Picture]From: feeeny
2012-11-30 01:42 am (UTC)

(Link)

i'm going to her house in a few minutes i think i'll leave it on the kitchen counter; he will likely not be home. the only reason i feel weird about mailing it is the fact that i am at their house often, we just aren't always around at the same time.
[User Picture]From: grrillaesthete
2012-11-30 01:44 am (UTC)

(Link)

That works. Avoiding awkwardness is the best!
[User Picture]From: briansue
2012-11-30 01:50 am (UTC)

(Link)

Even though you're nervous just remember that was a really nice thing he did for your birthday and even if he's kind of quiet and you're kind of nervous, he probably wants to have a nice relationship with you. He obviously doesn't think you're terrible or anything.

I think a thank you card in the mail would be sweet and a nice gesture and if your girlfriend is comfortable with it maybe you two could take him out for lunch as a thank you and a brief time to start getting to know each other. Going out to lunch puts you all on neutral turf and it's easy to know when the meal is over so nobody has to wonder when it's rude to leave. And if it goes terribly you know it will be over soon. BUT I think it will go fine:)

In general, just be yourself. Try to find something you have in common and if there's nothing, find out what he's passionate about and ask him about it. People love to talk about themselves and it will probably make him seem a bit friendlier and easier to talk to.
From: saloonperfume
2012-11-30 01:51 am (UTC)

(Link)

You should address him as "Bro".
[User Picture]From: 911pleasehold
2012-11-30 02:14 am (UTC)

(Link)

This
[User Picture]From: georgefantana
2012-11-30 02:11 am (UTC)

(Link)

Mail a thank you card and address him as Mr.
[User Picture]From: catchingspirit
2012-11-30 02:47 am (UTC)

(Link)

You've mentioned this family tends to be formal, and it would probably be best to go along with that. Besides, being formal can't be seen as rude, and being more familiar than he's comfortable with can be seen as rude (even though that obviously wouldn't be your intention). As others have said, let him be the one to suggest calling him by his first name.

Alternately, simply ask him, "What should I call you?" since it seems you're not sure in general interactions, either. Use whatever he tells you for the card.