In 1967, a very controversial movie called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was released to an unsuspecting public. This movie, starring Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, was about a white couple with very rigid attitudes whose daughter brings home a black fiancé. It couldn’t have been a more challenging era to release a movie of this type with so many racial issues going on throughout the country. Yet, it was a very popular movie, even winning 2 Oscars and nominated for 8 more. The movie is credited by many for opening doors to people in interracial relationships.
The only problem is that bringing your interracial partner to dinner at the home of your racist parents is quite possibly the most terrible idea of them all. Consider this: You’ve told your family all about this incredible new love of yours. They know how wonderful this person is, how well you’re treated, how smart and funny your new love is. However, there’s one tiny little detail that you’ve left out. You’ve left out this piece of information because you know how your parents will react. That tiny detail is the fact that your partner is of a different race that you are.
Now take this scenario a bit further. When you arrive with your partner, you get a less than warm reception. This can range anywhere from a lukewarm hello to a screaming match that ends up with your partner being thrown out of the house. Can you truthfully think of a better way to RUIN a great dinner?
This is why you don’t ever need to make a family dinner the setting of the introduction of your interracial lover to your intolerant family. Who is going to enjoy the meal? Will anyone even EAT? Of course, you may want to have a few bottles of wine on hand so that people can relax, and maybe put out a few appetizers to help soak up that alcohol. However, a full-fledged meal is NOT the way to go.
Plan anything else that will not require you to try to eat. A stressful meeting such as this will go much better when there’s no food involved. If the initial meeting goes well, then a nice lunch or dinner the next day can work out great. It’s just much better if you don’t start out the first meeting with food that needs to be ingested. All that will happen is a lot of indigestion and, if things go really bad, a possible food fight can take place.
Those are just a few of the reasons that dinner is a bad idea when you’re bringing home your interracial partner for the first time. If you feel that there’s even the small chance that your family will violently and vocally object to your new relationship, plan something a little shorter and less nausea causing to make that first introduction. You’ll be very relieved that you chose to do things a bit differently than is traditional.