The Top Ten List of What Not to Do When Meeting Potential In-Laws for the First Time

There is a new collaboration in the works that includes Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at We thought it would be fun to put our heads together one day a week and come up the Top Ten List of What Not to Do in a number of situations. This idea was born in a discussion about Top Ten Lists and so we thought we would have a go at it. The lists will be simu-published (new word) on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

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The Top Ten List of What Not to Do When Meeting Potential In-Laws for the First Time

10. When asked where you live; do not say “together,” even if it is true since there is a good chance you can mumble the city name and get away with it.

9. When asked about your ambitions in terms of employment; do not say “I’m happy with my government job” since there is a good chance they will consider you a lardbrick and unworthy of membership into the family.

8. If asked to dinner and you are asked your favorite food ahead of time; do not say “Lobster,” even if it is since there is a good chance the parents will kill themselves to get you a meal you will like and hate you forever.

7. If the potential mother-in-law asks you where you bought something; don’t say “Neiman Marcus,” even if it is true since there is a good chance she has never shopped there and will think you are a spoiled brat. (Which you probably are).

6. If the potential father-in-law asks you what you are driving and you know he has a truck; do not say “BMW,” even if it is in the driveway since there is a chance he will think you borrowed it.

5. When asked what your favorite sport is; do not say “soccer” since they will likely be perplexed at the idea of grown person hitting balls with their heads.

4. If you are offered a drink; do not ask for a shot of Tequila with a beer chaser since there is a good chance the man of the house will drink you under the table and you will get sick and be forever embarrassed by your actions.

3. If there are brothers or sisters of your intended present; do not ask about school, church, hobbies or favorite songs to curry favor since there is a good chance they have some emotional problem and hate you anyway.

2. When asked about your own parents; do not say that your parents have married and divorced each other several times and you no longer remember who your real father or mother is since there is a good chance they may worry about your own stability.

1. When it is time to say goodnight; do not pat your intended on the butt on the way out since there is a good chance the parents will instantly become jealous and hate you forever.


  1. Seems like pretty much everything you do or say will result in them hating you!


    • In-laws are definitely tricky. I think my mom was so happy that I found someone who was gainfully employed that she would have welcomed him regardless of any mistakes he might make. But I don’t think my husband’s family liked me from the beginning. It might have had something to do with me not changing my last name and us not having children. My mom didn’t care but apparently his did ;)


      • So glad my mother isn’t one of those mothers who are just dying to be grandparents – she’d be waiting a VERY long time ;) I’ll be meeting the Dutchman’s mother in August so I’ll definitely be keeping this list in mind!! Although, I think just ‘not being Latvian’ is already a massive point in my favour ;)


  2. What a fun idea. I like it.


  3. Good advice! I’ll keep all this in mind! ;)


  4. Oh my. I have been thinking about this very thing a lot lately. I should print this. Two of my favourite people in the same place at the same time. Just so you know, I can’t think of anyone better to work together than you two.


  5. Very funny. Wise words of caution, I think. Worth remembering.


    • Thanks, Julian. I wished I had had this list before I met my in-laws ;)


      • I hope you didn’t commit too many of the faux pas you have mentioned.


        • Not those, but believe me, I did commit a couple of faux pas ;) To know me is not always to love me …


          • Surely that is not so.


            • Well, one thing I had going against me was I’m originally from the North (US) and they were from the South. Some people here still have not gotten over the Civil War.


              • Not a lot you could do about that I suppose. I am not sure where people originate from should really be a factor, although I know it often is.


                • In the North, we call it The Civil War. Here, they call it The War of Northern Aggression. Fortunately for me, my husband considers himself more of a Californian than a Southerner. Long story.


  6. Hilarious! Especially numbers 2 & 3.


  7. Way to go. I finally got here today to say I think you are brilliant. Great job


  8. Reblogged this on Kate Shrewsday and commented:
    Marie Anne: a new find for me, someone who loves to write and stood up for another writer in her hour of need. She has a lovely writing voice: and this post demonstrates it perfectly. Enjoy.


  9. Perfect! Thanks for a good chuckle!


  10. So, basically, what you’re saying is . . . Honesty is NOT the best policy when meeting potential in-laws? ;)

    I love the concept behind these simu-posts. And am here via Kate’s reblog.


    • Thanks for coming by and commenting. Yup, for some of us anyway, honesty is not always the best policy ;)


  11. Right, so you keep a zipped lip and they decide you are as dim as a lightbulb in a power failure. Easiest just to live secretly in sin forever?


    • Oh, I like that: dim as a lightbulb in a power failure … that is so good :). It might be better for the potential in-laws to think you are dim than to give them ammunition for scuttling the relationship ;)


  12. It always been a problem for me. I always recall the movie “Meet the Fockers” whenever I meet my in-laws, n’ hope the meet to turn out Hillarious (just so I can share it with my kids someday in future :D)

    I just read Annapurna base camp trek map


  13. Stuill no guarantee that they will like you! My mother in law is long gone, but I recall my daughter calling me hypocritical when i dressed differently for our meetings :-)


  14. Love it! Good points. LOL


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