Don’t even mention the issue

Most people talk about introducing their significant others to their families as though it is an incredibly big deal. I mean, they act like that’s practically slipping the ring on her finger right there. I’ve never understood why it’s such a formal and serious stage of a relationship – it just seems like folks meeting folks to me. That being said, there are a few things that I warned my boyfriend about before I allowed him anywhere near my own family… but they’re different. The rules are pretty simple, really. Don’t threaten my brother Matt’s masculinity. Don’t mention my brother Eric’s drinking. And above all, no matter what you do, don’t say a word about my mother’s menopause. Don’t let on that she could possibly be at that stage of her life. Don’t even acknowledge that menopause happens to other people. You must pretend it isn’t a reality, no matter the cost. That’s how we wound up at my mother’s house wearing thick winter coats, hats, and gloves last week. When we arrived at the house, it was clear that the furnace hadn’t been running in a few hours. I didn’t worry about it at first, because that means the heat is sure to spike again within a few hours, whenever my mom’s internal thermostat calmed down again. I waited for her to suddenly look up and declare “It’s so cold in here!” before running off to the air temperature control equipment down the hall. But it never came. Five hours later, she still hadn’t exited her hot flash mode. The house grew colder and colder, as she continued to flush with heat. We all made excuses to wear winter outfits indoors. And no one said a word about the open windows or her menopause.

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