Now, about your date’s mother. He’s given you his perspective on her, and maybe it’s entirely accurate. Let’s hope that she’s doing her best B. Smith impression for the day and trying to present a picture-perfect Thanksgiving.
Ask your date what you should bring to dinner that his mother would appreciate. Whatever it is, pick it up and present it to Mom in an attempt to butter her up. Post-dinner, don’t forget to fawn over the food. It’s hard to be rude to anyone who’s showering you with gifts and praise. (Even if this doesn’t go over as planned with Mom, your date will appreciate the effort.)
If Mama’s not at her best, you must remain on your p’s and q’s. And no matter what she does, don’t bring up anything negative that her son has said to you about her. If she asks too many invasive questions, pass them off to your guy if he’s nearby. If he’s not, excuse yourself to the restroom and let things cool down. Find him when you exit and let him act as your buffer for any additional problems.
If anything goes terribly awry, even if you think you can handle it, just tell him what the problem is and have him handle his family. He knows the personalities far better than you do and can tell them to back off without making too much of a scene or doing too much damage.
Last but not least: Show up with the intention of having a good time. Sometimes we can worry so much or think so many negative thoughts that we practically will bad things to happen. Just because you’ve had bad holidays in the past is no reason you have to continue to have them in the future.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.