Pulling Weeds

Sure I’ve got my short list of things that I’m looking for in a mate: ambition, openness, playfulness (and chemistry), but there is also one very important question that I must ask myself when dating someone: would this person get along with my family?

I’ve found this one question very successfully weeds out the good matches from the bad (for me), though I realize the Q is not universal. Some people are not close with their families or see them very often…  This is not the case with me.

My family is spread out across the U.S. and I somehow see them more often than friends who live in my very own city. It’s because my folks are keen on family vacations (multiple times a year), visiting me, and having me visit them. There you have it.

The benefit of close family ties? If you are my significant other you get to go on a lot of free vacations. Like skiing/snowboarding? Enjoy long weekends in Vegas? How about laying by a sunny pool in Chicago? New York for Thanksgiving? You got it. The only trips you may not get to join are the international ones (I know, bummer). You would have gotten this privilege a couple years ago but my folks made a new rule: you’re only invited overseas if you “put a ring on it” (Beyoncé inspired them to get serious about travel). We’ll see if they stick to their guns…

The trade-off? (What you have to do besides loving me:)

* eat and drink excessively
* talk loudly (and entertain while doing so)
* smoke the occasional cigarette
* candidly answer personal questions
* tolerate minor (yet warlike) family disputes
* play with dogs (6 of varying size/breed)
* have opinions (or at least agree with some of ours)

…I’m sure you (said significant other) could do other things to win their collective heart, but these are the main ones. Why not keep it simple?

Now, to all the “single ladies” (I mean, readers): what qualities does your family require? Or what other ways do you weed out good matches from bad ones?

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