When Your Kid Brings A Lover Home for the Holidays


If you have a child who lives in a different city and you host holiday celebrations, eventually you will have to face the day when they bring home someone with whom they’ll blithely assume they can share a bed. Under your roof.

Here are the polite fictions that will help you through the ordeal.



  1. Don’t talk about religion or politics. Or their jobs. Or their families. In fact, best not to bring up anything personal unless they do so first. You may be dying to find out how this young person who looks homeless plans to make a living, but you must at all costs pretend that unshaven is a look that works for them. That goes for male or female.
  2. Offer alcohol if they are of age, but pretend not to notice the amount they drink, even if you have to send someone out for another couple of bottles of wine so you don’t run out. Later, when your child has returned to wherever they live, you can always ask idly, “So was he nervous, or does he always take his wine intravenously?”
  3. Pretend you are not noticing every time they turn up their nose at some dish you slaved over because they don’t like it or their ethics won’t allow it. Slapping them with the pate is always a bad idea.
  4. Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to. And if you do, pretend to believe the lie. Questions like, “You guys aren’t going to have sex while you’re here, right?”
  5. Turn the music on really loud when they retire for the night. Or when you do. No parent should have to hear the bedsprings squeak in the childhood room and wonder whether their child’s “friend” is just a restless sleeper.

darlingbedaring holidays


3 thoughts on “When Your Kid Brings A Lover Home for the Holidays

  1. Too funny. I have no kids but a nephew that could pass for one. I wish I’d known that slapping them with a plate was a bad idea…before I did:) And maybe I shouldn’t have sent his girlfriend
    out to buy her own wine…without a map or directions.

  2. mitternight

    Jacqui, check again. I recommend not hitting with PATE (couldn’t find the darned accent) NOT a plate. Although that would work too. Thanks! And perhaps I will find the accent before I try to write a French word again. Or maybe I will just use a different word entirely!

  3. Jim Anderson

    Helen – very funny and sort of sad. My daughter is in this stage and though I just read your advice today – Kathy (my wife) and I have been following this path! Glad to hear others have traversed this ground with the same strategy. Hope you are well and enjoying S.C.

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