I've met my girlfriend's parents exactly once. I got there, terrified, and some of the rest of the family were there too, checking me out, as they hadn't seen me yet.

"Take your jacket off," said the dad. I did, quickly, so I wouldn't look weird. But of course, my two arm tattoos were then on display. My very mature, important reasons for getting them suddenly sounded childish and stupid when I explained them. I tried to ease the tension with a joke: "I've got a two foot long dragon tattooed on my back," I japed, merrily. Stony silence. "A dragon? Huh. It'd be dragged off ya," countered the dad.

Oooookay... So we sat there some more, and I was left alone with him. He was watching a horse race, and asked me if I was a betting man. Eager to fit in, I said "I only bet one time, and won 60 quid" (which was true), thinking it would help. "It's a fool's game, you should never bet" he replied.


I was there for an hour, but it felt like a week. I was told later that he actually liked me, as normally he didn't talk to people that much. He died earlier this year, so I never got the chance to ask him, or to get to know him better.

We're going over to Dublin next week, for my girlfriend's sister's birthday. The whole family will be there, most of whom I haven't met yet, and who will want to investigate the guy who's taking their little girl away from them (we're engaged).

I'm shitting my pants at the very thought of it...

Later thoughts: Of course, I never even gave a thought to dragging my girlfriend over to meet my crazy family, selfish wanker that I am. But then, she thinks mine are normal compared to hers, and I think hers are normal compared to mine. Families, eh? Who'd have em?