Post # 1
I’ve been with my new SO for a little bit. We’re working on 6 months now. It’s been a whirlwind of fun and deep feelings. We were best friends for about 7 months before we started dating so we knew a good deal about each other.<br />This all sounds pretty great, right? Wrong.
He’s going to meet my mom in 5 days.
Now, I love my mommy. I really do. But this is freaking me out for many reasons:<br /><br />
1. She’s from West Africa. So she has a beautiful accent. And she talks quickly. And sometimes mixes other languages in with English. SO is about as white as you can get. He’s heard me talking to her on the phone and has no idea how I can understand her. Sigh.<br /><br />
2. I grew up below the poverty line and my mother still lives that way in my childhood home. There’s always people living all over, things are broken, the yard’s a mess. We have furniture from some lady in the drive way, the front end of a car on the porch and like 5 broke down cars parked everywhere. Inside the house is just packed with stuff. All sorts of stuff. SO grew up in suburban New York.
I’m always kinda weary of bringing people that I didn’t go to highschool with home. Everyone was around the same class in my urban highschool so my house didn’t look so abysmal in comparison to theirs. But SO is so small town, upper-middle class white that I don’t even know if he can handle the ghetto-African wonderment that is my homelife.<br /><br />Any advice on how to handle this?
Post # 3
jomir: Hopefully your SO is open-minded. Juat because he’s from a more upscale background doesn’t mean he will look down on your mom. And if you notice he gets lost in what she’s saying to him, could you help him out and rephrase it so he understands what she is saying? Other than that, be comfortable and it will encourage him to be comfortable as well. Tell your mom to take it easy on him 😉
Post # 4
I can understand you being nervous that he is meeting your mother for the first time! However, I don’t understand why race and class would be an issue? If he doesn’t like being around someone of a different race and social class then he isn’t that great of a guy (which I hope that isn’t the case :P) I don’t think you have anything to worry about, just try to enjoy the get together (: Good luck!
Post # 5
Honestly, I wouldn’t stress about it. My fiances father speaks with a very strong accent. Most of the time I have no idea if he’s speaking English or his native language. Whenever I don’t respond to something I’m supposed to, my fiance just repeats it or translates it. No one has any hurt feelings, and we still all have a great time when we’re together.
Post # 6
In terms of your mothers’ accent, if you think it’s too much for your SO to handle there’s nothing wrong with stepping in and helping. My parents both speak OK English, but they often forget to do so and switches over to Swedish. When that happens I immediately step in and translate so that my husband stays in the loop.
As for the home conditions, I think we’ve all walked into someone else house at some point in our life and felt our eyes go wide for some reason. I think it should all be fine as long as you prepare your SO for it. In comparison, my husband grew up in Toronto – so a big city and my family lives out in rural northern Sweden among trees and reindeers. HUGE difference! I know he was a little blown away by how remote it was the first time we got there, but it definitely helped that he knew that stores would be far in between and that he couldn’t get hold of anything he wanted by taking the car for a 2 minute spin.
Post # 7
Regarding the accent, he’ll get used to it eventually. Just needs to get used to how she pronounces words. Maybe after you leave meeting her you can ask how he was with understanding your mom, and if he had any problems, explain what she was saying. My SO’s family is from Guyana and his Mom had an accent and so do some of his aunts and uncles. I was raised in a 99.7% white community in the far north. The only accent I was used to was French. I couldn’t understand them very well. Once I got used to how my in laws spoke, I was fine.
Not sure what to say about you being nervous about where and how you grew up. How and where you grew up has made you the woman you are today and you shouldn’t be ashamed of anything! He loves you for you and he shouldn’t care about that sort of thing!
Post # 8
He’ll get used to the accent hopefully, just step in if you see him floundering. Both my future in laws are deaf, and my future FIL is very difficult to understand. During the first few meetings, my FI would translate for me when needed. Just tell him to look over at you if he needs help. There’a nothing wrong with not being able to understand someone who speaks differently, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Over time, he will probably get used to her speech!