Meeting the In-laws

4 Feb

Dear LetterBalm: Meeting my prospective in-laws for the first time, I suddenly got violently ill at their dinner party and vomited (messily) into the flower arrangement. My fiancée is mortified, my parents are embarrassed, and my fiancée’s parents don’t know what to make of me. They were pretty nice about the whole thing, considering. But I’ve got to do something to make up for what I did. But what?

–Humiliated in Cincinnati

Ah, the public upchucking. It happens to the best of us – pop stars and Presidents included. Ms. L.B. hopes a very expensive bouquet of flowers has already gone out to your hosts with a plain card that says “With my apologies” and your name. But why not take this opportunity to let them know how much you love their daughter and how honored you are to join their family? Send them a letter on your best stationery. Hand-write it if your penmanship doesn’t look like a drunken pigeon has walked across the page. Otherwise, type it, use spellcheck and read it over several times before you sign your name. Here’s what your letter might say:

Dear  Muffy and Bill,

It is said that good can come from misfortune, and you were nothing but kind to me at our first – and memorable – meeting. Thank you for making me welcome and for easing my embarrassment.

But I’m not surprised at your graciousness. Many of the qualities I love in Jennifer clearly come from parents who have raised her well. I’m lucky to have found Jennifer, who is the most wonderful woman in the world, and I will love and honor her always. I am proud to be joining your family.

Sincerely,

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