Columnist plays ‘Meet the Fockers’

Danny Andrews

Danny Andrews

To live life, you have to sell yourself. You sell yourself to friends, family, bosses, coworkers, girlfriends and boyfriends. You have to spend most of your life selling yourself, and not all of those sales are going to be easy or fun.

I spent my Thanksgiving break attempting to sell myself to my girlfriend’s family. Right away, she broke cardinal rule number one: “Never leave the date alone.” We walked in the house and she vanished like some kind of ninja. All that was left was me holding a casserole and standing in the kitchen of a house that I have never been to, filled with people I’ve never met.

Honestly, there is no greater feeling of being alone than standing in a house of strange people that you need to make like you somehow. I had to sell, and I had to sell hard.

First, I had to find my girlfriend. Not knowing where to start, I followed her father to the garage and I was introduced to the uncles. I shook the hand of Uncle Keith and turned to shake hands with Uncle Bob. He looked at me for a moment, put both his hands in his pockets and walked across the garage. I had met my match. I would have to sell Uncle Bob.

Hustling from the garage, I made my way to the living room, where I met the judgmental eyes of the aunts. I felt like an instant celebrity. Everyone stared, but no one could approach me. When they weren’t sidling me with corner-of-the-eye glances or hushed whispers, they were completely ignoring my presence. Fun!

Finally, I was lucky enough to stumble across my girlfriend who had just finished picking out the rye bread wafers out of the numerous bowls of pretzel mixes. I felt the warmth of love spread across me. In retrospect, though, it might have been the wine I had tried drowning myself in.

Anyway, with one obstacle cleared, my girlfriend and I set forth to get Uncle Bob to like me, or at least shake my freaking hand.

He sat near us at the longest, quietest dinner I have ever been a part of. Whenever someone spoke, no one replied. A cousin mentioned he was apprenticing as an electrician, and I expressed my interest in the apprenticeship program. I was in the middle of a word when I glanced around the table and caught the intense, almost homicidal stare of Uncle Bob. I spent the rest of my meal quiet and contemplating the phrase “as quiet as the grave.”

Dessert came and went. Leftovers were placed in Tupperware and saved for a later date. Relatives said their goodbyes and left, a little heavier than they came. All the while, Uncle Bob just sat quietly and stared intensely at me, should I make a noise. I had failed a sale and made a real enemy, apparently. I don’t know what I did to make him dislike me so much, but am I ever eager to find out this Christmas.

#1.883588:3180229316.jpg:Andrews, Danny (fun).jpg:Danny Andrews, A Geek Gabs: