Dating, texting and meeting the family
Years ago, well about 40 years ago, one of my friends was invited to Sunday tea with her boyfriend’s family. In those days, this was a significant stage in the progress of a relationship so, on best chatty meet-the-family-behaviour, she decided to admire the china. A foot-in-mouth moment unfortunately.
“What a pretty tea set, its just like my Granny’s. Did you get yours with Green Shield stamps too” ( For those not old enough to remember what Green Shield stamps are- they are equivalent to saving up with your Tesco club card points)
Turned out the china was actually an antique bone china family heirloom… so this was not an auspicious introduction into the family bosom.
In this same period, the 70’s, when someone wanted to take me out for a date, they had to phone and get past my Dad who always managed to get to the phone first. He was a bit like the keeper of the prison jail keys.
With no mobile phones then, dating on the sly with anyone remotely unsuitable was much more of a problem, especially with mobiles and texting not available for another 30 years. It sounds like the dark ages doesn’t it?
If you’re in the same age group as me, nearly 50, the meeting of your boyfriend’s parents has now been replaced with the meeting of his grown-up children (from his previous marriage). This is way more traumatic than mistaking antique china for give-away china.
And at what point in the relationship do you decide the time is right to meet the children? And there’s of course the making sure you say the right things to them. Awkward…
When meeting the family, in Puritan New England, sweethearts were very strictly chaperoned, often by a watchful grandmother seated between them.
With no mobile phones to help their private communication, The Courting stick came into play.
The courting stick was a wooden tube, 6 or 8 feet long, through which the lovers could talk to each other privately. Apparently the tube could be passed in front of or behind Granny – which enabled romantic conversation.
Now this could solve a lot of problems…