Corrigan: Meeting the family isn’t easy

John Corrigan gives advice on meeting a significant other’s family.

John Corrigan

John Corrigan“Not so much butter, dear.”

“Yeah Dad, you’ll have that beer belly down to a six pack.”

“And don’t forget you’re going for a few laps around the block tonight.”

Is he fat?

He doesn’t look chubby.

If they think he’s overweight, they must think I’m Norbit.

Do I agree with her and her mom?

Do I defend her father’s girth and possibly sound like a brown noser?

See, this is why I never come over for dinner. Dudes don’t want to meet the family. Unless your girl was raised by a MILF or has a hot older sister hanging around, we aren’t interested. I’m in a relationship with you, not your family.

That’s called marriage.

My friend Roosh suffers from an extreme case of “lingering-familyisis” — his girlfriend consistently tricks him into attending family events.

She’ll invite him to dinner, he’ll decline, they’ll talk about other things and then an hour before the dinner she’ll text him, “So are you coming to dinner or nah?”

“Nah” is a dangerous word — to the untrained eye it suggests indifference, but in reality, “nah” implies forced obedience.

Although I maintain a decent GPA, put bread on the proverbial table and treat their daughter like royalty, my girlfriend’s parents still have had one major beef with yours truly.

Since women believe their men should wait with bated breath for her majesty’s arrival, “fashionably late” has transformed into injury time during a soccer game. If I claim that I’ll pick her up at 6:30 p.m., we both know I shouldn’t pull up to her house until 6:45 p.m.. And when I arrive at her abode, I usually honk the horn to indicate my presence.

Well, her parents find my beeping disrespectful and would prefer that I walk up to the door to say hello and escort her to the chariot. Call me brash, but I can’t follow this archaic notion of rummaging for a parking spot and then peeping in to make small talk. We have places to go.

Connor Farnan, a junior criminal justice major at Holy Family University, respectfully disagrees.

“Many people in today’s generation are quick to honk, but I think it’s pertinent to walk in and meet the parents because it is courteous and gentleman-like. They want to know their daughter is safe and treated right,” Farnan said.

So now I call when I’m close rather than ruffle any more feathers. Sure it’s time-consuming, but compromise is the foundation of relationships.

Remember the awkward tension of Temple orientation? Add alcohol as well as crushed expectations and then you’re ready for family parties.

You have to introduce yourself to aunts, uncles, cousins, the pastor.

I’m not a people person, that’s why I hide behind a keyboard.

They’ll barrage you with repetitive questions:

“What’s your major? Where do you work? So how did you and her meet?”

I should just wear a nametag scribbled with “journalism, KYW, Fresh Grocer produce aisle.”

How are you supposed to look these people in the eye once you’ve heard their stories?

Aunt Sylvia kicked grandpa out of Easter dinner. Uncle Frank hibernates up in the mountains for six months without his family. Of course I’m going to stare at Bobby’s mole now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that walking through my front door is equivalent to entering a flash mob at Chuck E. Cheese.

My brothers are screaming newfound obscenities, stealing cell phones to prank call Mr. Softy and pouncing on the closest victim. Since the lock of my bedroom door has become a casualty of their madness, straining my back to push the bureau in front of the door is well worth the elbow grease.

Everybody is simply more comfortable around their own family at their own home. We judge each other’s parents based off our own parents because we don’t know any better.

As my parents plop on the couch Saturday night savoring each moment of solitude before the ogres emerge from their slumber, my girlfriend’s parents are returning from their weekly neighborhood pow-wow at the local pub.

When my girl describes how the steam from her father’s head fogged the car window after an argument, I wonder how many crimes I would have to commit before my easy-breezy dad laid the verbal smackdown.

Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend’s family is full of wonderful people. They practically leave a plate at the dinner table for me, offer me to join their Wildwood crabbing escapades and even sent flowers to my mother when she was in the hospital. I’m lucky to be treated with such hospitality from people who could easily give me the cold shoulder.

“Hey, can you pass a burger over here? Thank you.”

Yeah, I’ll take the heat off her father. He too was once a young buck annoyed by his doe’s herd.

Families interfering with promising relationship — it’s hereditary.

John Corrigan can be reached at


  1. Just so you can look back at every opinion article you wrote and see just how misguided you are, you have several problems that don’t seem to go away. I shudder to think of what types of grades you get as a Journalism major, since you can’t seem to comprise full paragraphs.

    1) Every sentence is a paragraph to you. Which is fine, I guess, if you’re writing a children’s book, or being paid on a weird “per paragraph” arrangement, or hoping that extra white space will make it look like you wrote a ton. Stop it. It’s painful to read.

    2) You aren’t a good writer. Sorry, but your writing hasn’t really progressed to a level where you should be happy to show it off. Maybe it’s marred by your clunky phrasing, or maybe because these opinion articles are set up as tongue-in-cheek but lack in any type of humor, I couldn’t say.

    3) Your weird, antiquated views and attitudes towards women. Seriously, I understand you want to to be free of the PAIN and AGONY of having to go to a girls door to pick her up, but be respectful. Don’t honk your horn. She isn’t a dog. She’s a person, treat her with respect. Actually, ask someone first what respecting women is like, because if you go based off your own notions you might run into a few problems.

    • Yeah, after reading the charming “Time of the Month” column, I figured I would go back through and read the others. I’m honestly surprised that no one called this guy out earlier on his apparent issues with women (and I’ll say it again here – trying to say “They’re just a joke! I’m joking! Hahahaha!” does not excuse the fact that they are still indicative of underlying misogyny).

      This one is particularly great since he manages to reduce all of the women in his life – his girlfriend, his girlfriend’s mom, his girlfriend’s sister (whom he would only want to meet if they were a MILF or hot, respectively) – to single-dimensional objects designed only to a) provide aesthetic/sexual pleasure and b) apparently make his life miserable or overly complicated with all their “rules.”

      Look, man. I’m not impressed. I can’t imagine that any of the women in your life would be either. The whole “wah women are complicated and they take so long to get ready and why should I have to care about things they care about (like their FAMILIES) and ugh they want to be treated like actual people with respect” shtick is not only played out, it’s offensive, it’s juvenile, and it definitely doesn’t merit any legitimate consideration. Despite what the GOP still seems to think, it’s not the 1950s anymore. We should be past this by now, and since we’re apparently not I think it’s important to call it out as bullshit whenever possible.

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