Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Meeting the (Turkish) Parents

You know I've been dating First Kiss for more than a few months now, and recently went with him to Turkey, which is where he is from. And we stayed with his parents for a week in Istanbul... Ohmygawd, meeting the parents for the first time!

That alone can be very daunting. There are guides, articles, sometimes even movies about this very subject. But add in that they are from another country, don't speak English very well and are Muslim...  talk about a brave new world for me!

I suppose not all of that is true. My mother immigrated to the United States when she was much older and so did many of my relatives, so I'm pretty good at communicating using just a few, simple words.And that was definitely a skill put into practice when meeting his parents, in fact they seemed to really appreciate how well I could understand them. But it's one thing to get some basic ideas across, another thing completely to have a nice conversation where I charm the pants off them! In the end all I could really hope for was that they thought I was pretty... >.<

I also admit that this Catholic school girl hasn't really had any real interaction with anyone of the Muslim community until I was an adult. Even in college! Now my boyfriend is one - though he's nonpracticing, I know his parents are at least a little religious. Why did it seem so scarier to meet them over the very Catholic parents of some of my other exes?

I suppose I should have tried to learn more about them before I met them, for some reason I was too shy to ask a lot of questions! I think the fact that they were an unfamiliar, mysterious blob to me probably made them much scarier in my mind.

Luckily they were very welcoming and seemed to like me - his mom gave me lots of hugs and even made me this cute beaded bracelet! Hopefully I made a good first impression, and next time maybe I'll even have learned some basic conversational Turkish to impress them even more!