I think that my dad’s worst nightmare has always been me falling in love with someone.
As the only daughter in the family, my parents have always been overprotective, in a good way. My dad has never allowed my friends to drive me to the fiesta. He covers my eyes when there is some romance in a movie we are watching together (yes, he covered my eyes when Rose and Jack were making out in that car on Titanic). And he and my brothers always give the stinky eye to any male specimen that dares to look at me on the streets.
This is why I always knew that the day I actually liked a boy enough to introduce him to the family, it was going to be mayhem.
And it happened, I met someone who I actually like enough to put though the misery of winning my familia over. I like him so much that I needed to make sure that my family would welcome him without making his life a living hell and make him run away from me in panic.
I thought about many ideas to make this work and I was starting to lose hope because every idea sounded worse than the previous one. And then, one weekend while watching a Rams game, it dawned on me. My family loves football and my significant other not only loves it too, he actually played it in high school (and this is probably one of the things I like most about him).
And what’s better, we are all Rams fans. This, I think, is a sign from the universe. How often do you find someone who loves you AND loves your team. So, I decided that football was my best shot at making mi amor and mi familia intersect.
I am writing this to help other young souls out there who are in the same situation. And believe me, it worked. I might as well write a book about this or try to make some money selling the method because winning over my dad is harder than trying to fix global warming with a taco.
These were my seven steps to success:
1. Introduce the idea of having a boyfriend that can join your dad, brothers, tíos and primos whenever they watch football.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if I ended up falling in love with a football player, have a Rams themed wedding and celebrate with the whole family going to a Rams game?” (HELL NO this will not be my wedding. But I needed to plant the idea, like Inception, and let it marinate on their minds.)
2. Talk about this new friend who used to play football in high school.
Very spontaneously, when watching a game, drop the first mention. Casual. SUPER casual. Pinch your arm so you don’t look nervous. Check for any reaction. If they didn’t even hear you, that’s fine. Again, think Inception.
“So my friend (Insert name of love interest here), who was an running back in high school, was at the first Rams game when they came back to L.A.”
3. Bring home a Rams souvenir for your dad and tell him your friend got it for him.
“Yeah dad, remember my friend who was at the Rams game, well I told him you were a Rams fan and he said that he saw this and thought of you.”
By this point your dad will most likely start suspecting something. But you are keeping it cool. DO NOT mention his name again for at least 3 days.
4. Ask your dad if your friend can come over and watch a game with them.
This, ladies and gentleman, is the most genius idea I’ve ever had. This is not a “please drop me off at the movies where this boy and I will make out for two hours straight” or a “drive me to a party where hopefully I will drink enough tequilas to find the courage to kiss him”. Nooooo, this is a “I am bringing him to your territory so you can see that this is the most incredible human being that has ever rooted for the Rams”.
Your chico has to move fast and bring some nice flowers for your mom and a BIG box of hot wings. No cerveza, this time is just botanas and flowers. That’ll do.
Also, make him be up to date with all the telenovelas your mom likes. When after the game your mom takes control of the couch to watch Santiago Rodrigo tell Isabel Margarita that he loves her, your man has to be able to comment on the issue with absolute confidence and hand a tissue to your mamá when she can no longer fight the tears.
5. Repeat at least 3 times.
I recommend seizing the first part of the season where your team plays every week. If you wait until the postseason, you risk that your team might not make it and the bond might take longer to happen.
They will ask questions and you have to answer with complete indifference. Know that your mom WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ALONE. Don’t lose it, keep it cool. Paciencia querida, MUCHA paciencia.
“Yeah he’s nice but we are just friends. I actually just hang out with him because he knows a lot about football and he’s great at math.”
“Really ma? He has a nice smile and a perfect jawline?… Haven’t noticed…”.
6. Tell your boy to save all his summer job money and help you buy tickets to invite everyone to the next local game. THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
Again, you don’t want to wait until the postseason. Trust me on this one, because you don’t know how far your team is gonna go and it would be fine if it’s just for you and your man but now it’s you, your familia and your man.
7. Let your family be the one who comes up with the idea of you and your man being together.
Yes, Inception all over again. Now it’s them who will tell you “hey, how about you give this great human being a chance”. And you play it cool and say that you will think about it. By this point, he is already invited to all the games and your brothers like him more than they like you.
Just beware. Make sure that, like I did, you REALLY like this person. Because once the family and him bond over football, if you breakup, it’s very possible that he will still show up on Game Day at your place and things can get awwwkward. So if you know he’s worth all this planning, GO FOR IT. It’s a solid plan and if it worked for me, it will work for you too.
Buena suerte to all the young lovers out there!