Everyday Life · Everything Marriage · Life in Nepal · Personal

Meeting my South Asian parents-in-law for the first time

In my previous blog post, I recounted the events leading up to Scott’s admission to his parents about our relationship. In this post, I will pick up where I left off and talk about the first time I met my future parents-in-law. While there are common themes in many cross-cultural relationships (opposition from family, strict mother-in-law, dealing with differences, etc), the “meet the parents” stories are unique. Some are full of drama, while others are not, but there’s always an element of the unexpected, and the details are never the same. Today, I’ll tell you mine.

Cross-cultural relationships are still uncommon in Nepal and, prior to us, was nonexistent in Scott’s family.  Our unprecedented relationship was a series of firsts. None of us have been in this position before. Scott and I were nervous, his parents didn’t really know how to deal with the idea of “us”, and there was a language barrier. These are perfect ingredients for one awkward, tense, and mostly silent meeting. Fortunately, Scott’s parents were joined by his sister. I’ve met her before, back when Scott and I were just friends. She was also a few years younger than me so I felt fairly comfortable being around her.

One afternoon, Scott suggested that I join her sister in the kitchen to make tea, which I can then offer to his parents. We chatted while she made the tea which I then gave to my future mother-in-law. Mum drank it, and said “this is salty.” It turns out that Scott’s sister mistakenly added salt to it, instead of sugar. This would have been a major mistake on my part, except that it was pretty clear to everybody that I didn’t make that tea so I got away scot-free. It was more awkward than embarrassing. Some time later, I did commit a faux pas when I flippantly passed something on to Mum with one hand. Scott later whispered to me that when you’re giving something to someone, especially if they’re senior to you, you should use both hands. Ooops. I’ll remember that for next time then. I didn’t think they noticed, but there was a good chance that they did and just let it go…or they mentally added it to their reasons why I was not their choice for a daughter-in-law. But that deserves a separate post, so I’ll save it for next time.

Overall, I thought that first meeting went well. They were also gracious towards me the entire time. They weren’t exactly warm and affectionate, but they weren’t rude and dismissive either. It is what it is. Or should I say, it was what it was.

Do you have parents-in-law? How was your first meeting with them? What do you remember most from that moment? 


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