This item originally appeared in the December 9, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
Meeting the parents of somebody you love can be harrowing.
Nothing -- no amount of mental preparation and pep talks -- can truly prepare you for the moment the ice breaks.
I met my girlfriend's parents over Thanksgiving break. She's from Sulphur, so we devoted an evening to the trek down south in bad conditions.
She also prefaced the "vacation" with a warning: her dad hadn't liked a single guy she'd brought through his front door. And he wasn't bursting with joy to know she'd be bringing somebody with her.
When we actually got to the house, the dreaded parents were nowhere to be seen, and the everyday calm about their things was a little disorienting. Maybe it shouldn't have been.
First things first, nature called, but while in the bathroom, I heard an odd scratching sound and Rosalyn saying, "Dad, no! Don't."
Right. I looked into the mirror and said a silent prayer, then opened the bathroom door with a grin on my face and my hand stuck out. Then I saw the guy.
And his big dog, Barney. Barney has big teeth. He looked particularly underwhelmed to meet me.
Rosalyn's father Dyrell, however, wore a smile.
In the coming hours, I got to know his Winston cigarettes, his VO Gold and his work. I also came to the realization that he's just another human being.
The man even bought me drinks. I went to bed that night thinking if I could get past the first meeting, it was smooth sailing.
Then a weird thought, rather, one that was almost unrelated to the stress of my day, struck me.
What if my parents met hers? Would it be like matter and antimatter meeting, which would lead to mutual annihilation?
Let's see, we have a self-made businessman who works in cooling machines and his wife, then we have my mother and father, a psychologist and a promotions manager for a T.V. station.
I imagine it in my head as something like this:
Rosalyn's father, in blue jeans, boots, and work jacket, walks up to my dad with a cigarette in his mouth and his hand stuck out. My dad, in his alligator-skin boots, reading glasses and vest, sticks his hand out.
Her mother, a really cool lady who works with her husband, glances at my mother, and notices her style.
Thus the chatting begins.
Rosalyn's parents' deer hunting, four-wheeler riding and Cajun cooking meets a Natchez plantation girl and her big-city Shreveport husband, the guy that was the president of the local theatre troupe association for a while.
Of course, it could be the complete opposite. Rosalyn's father could look at mine like a guy who thinks he's too good to get his hands really dirty, and her mother could think mine wears her hair too blonde and her chin too high. North and South Louisiana might just be oil and water.
Nick Todaro is a senior journalism major from Shreveport and serves as associate editor for the Tech Talk. E-mail comments to email@example.com.