You know the drill. You come home from one day, planning on just how your Saturday is going to go (out with friends for a 'good' time - maybe even catch the new movie) when all of a sudden your parents ambush you with the biggest grin on their faces.
"It's fixed. We are meeting them tomorrow in the food court of the local mall."
Huh? In the few minutes it takes for you to clear your head, you recall a vague memory of seeing some blurry picture sent to your cousin sister's husband's hotmail (insertfullnametillAdam@hotmail.com). You remember saying 'not bad', and you will 'think about it later'. You also remember making up a quick excuse to leave the room immediately.
Well, now it has come to bite you back in the ass, as you get the first hint that your Saturday is not exactly going to go according to plan.
Compiled from advice from older cousins and friends, here are a few ways of how to deal with the situation.
1. You are going to meet someone. Officially sanctioned by the parents. Ofcourse they will remain ten feet away from you at all times (so you can forget about telling that joke about the Sardar and the pharmacist's daughter). And naturally, family members you never heard of will arrive at the mall. They are all running in the How To Make Things Even More Awkward trophy.
They will ofcourse, accompany you until you sit down at the table opposite your prospect. And suddenly, they will remember they have to check out the new sports shoes they have at Roots (the guys) or the new Dana Carling perfume at Sears (the girls). The extended family aunties meanwhile head to Dollarama.
2. Decide on what you are going to order at the food court. Avoid experimentation at this time. Don't order Columbian spicy cinnamon coffee with drop of mango leaves. It doesn't impress anyone, and you never know what will give you gas. Just get a double double.
3. Don't, EVER, discuss religion. Especially on a first meeting. There is no sane way to come out of that discussion looking good. Religion is personal - you should form your opinion from observation. Similarly, questions such as 'how many kids do you want' or 'do you believe birth control is allowed in the Hanifi sect of Islam' should be relegated to the dustbin.
4. Don't, EVER say 'well I am not ready for marriage at this time'. Why are you here then? To go on a date with ten members of your extended family tagging along? Not to mention making up stories such as 'I went bungee jumping on the Himalayas'.
Feel free to add more tips if you know some.