Social Question

sliceswiththings's avatar

How to avoid a bloodbath when the boy meets Grandma?

Asked by sliceswiththings (11718points) May 16th, 2011

I’m just starting to date someone, and before too long the guy will be meeting my grandma.

They’ll get along great, BUT there is one specific topic on which they passionately disagree. Both are unswayed from their positions. It would be best for everyone if this topic didn’t come up. I’m trying to decide if:

A. I should straight-out tell Grandma to avoid that topic, although she just might bring it up anyway to try to convince the boy he’s wrong;

B. Tell the boy to lie about his college major, because if she asks and he answers truthfully, it will definitely come up;

C. Just hope it doesn’t come up and prepare something to radically change the subject if it does (like faint)

What would you do? What distracts grandmas?

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39 Answers

rebbel's avatar

C+. Hope it doesn’t come up, but if it does, your boyfriend presents your gran with a kitten/puppy.

erichw1504's avatar

What would you do?

A or C, if it doesn’t come up when they first meet, it will at some point. Also, lying is never a good idea.

What distracts grandmas?

Tea and The Price is Right.

WasCy's avatar

He should tell the truth and attempt (you should both attempt) to be diplomatic and non-argumentative when Grandma proclaims that he’s wrong. She can do that, and he can avoid arguing, and that can be the end of it. When she starts trying to proselytize against whatever it is that she thinks he’s doing wrong, then it’s appropriate to change the subject.

Just don’t rise to the bait. She might surprise you and be more diplomatic than you think, too.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is your boyfriend’s job to be respectful of your grandmother’s opinions. Warn him she differs greatly on that topic, ask him not to get into a big disagreement.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Why can’t you ask the boy not to bring it up? If your grandmother tries to do so, have him say something like “let’s not talk about that just now” or something else.

jrpowell's avatar

Might as well go with honesty. It will eventually come up. What is the conflict about his major? Does he work at Planned Parenthood?

janbb's avatar

How close and comfortable are you with Grandma? If you trust her, I would talk out the issue with her before she meets “boy.” If you can’t trust her tact, then warn him to be diplomatic – but I wouldn’t lie or try to control the issue.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Thanks all! You want to know the conflict, @johnpowell? I might as well share it:

Grandma is a firm believer that the Earl of Oxford was the real Shakespeare. Boy is a firm believer that he was not. He majored in Shakespeare studies, so if he mentions that the debate will begin :)

janbb's avatar

Oh – I love that! Woudn’t they both enjoy the discussion then?

sliceswiththings's avatar

I am close with Grandma, but she’s not always easy to bargain with. If Boy can’t bite his tongue, then maybe he’s no good for me :)

sliceswiththings's avatar

I love it to, as far as disagreements go! The thing is, it isn’t all in good fun. I had to sit through both of them giving me their entire arguments separately this weekend, and just imagining the two made me uncomfortable. But now that you mention it, @janbb I’d love to see my Grandma challenged like that. Maybe I’ll make some popcorn.

janbb's avatar

She will end up loving “the boy” – trust me. Sounds like a feisty grandmother who will love having someone who is engaged with her mania.

jrpowell's avatar

@sliceswiththings :: That is a bit easier than providing abortions in Alabama. :-)

sliceswiththings's avatar

@johnpowell Haha yes it is. Although my grandma would support that to, she’s not like most grandmas :)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Wow! Thank you for providing the additional information. It sounds as if they are both passionate about this topic, and you know that it is bound to come up at some point. I vote to let them have this debate when the time arises and not attempt to avoid it.

Along with the popcorn, would you be willing to set up a video camera? I know a few people who would love to watch that debate.

ucme's avatar

I’d start the conversation something like this, “to be or not to be, that is the question….. discuss.” See what transpires, it may be worth watching.

JLeslie's avatar

@sliceswiththings oh, I agree with those above, I would imagine she will like the debate and love your boyfriend. That is something they have in common, not really opposing views from where I sit.

Do most grandma’s oppose abortion? Mine didn’t. That generation fought for abortion in the US.

flutherother's avatar

I would advise your boyfriend to arm himself before the meeting. Things could get violent. lol

sliceswiththings's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Good idea. I bet I could sneak a recording.

JLeslie's avatar

Not related, but related…when my boyfriend, now husband, met my grandma he offered to carry her suitcase, and she loved him from then on.

tinyfaery's avatar

Why are you trying to control the situation? Maybe they would both enjoy a discussion. I’m sure the boyfriend and grandma can remain civil.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@sliceswiththings You might also want to have a referee shirt and whistle on hand.

blueiiznh's avatar

Vincit Omnia Vertias
Truth Conquers All
Better to deal with the truth than a lie.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Hehe, this is adorable!!

I think you should just give boyfriend the heads up, he may disagree with your Grandma’s opinion, but would he really proactively or disrespectfully argue with her? Perhaps this could be a bonding thing for the two of them.

WasCy's avatar

Oh, well then. It’s easy. He should neither lie nor attempt to evade or avoid debate. Academic debates such as this are excellent material to find out how he argues. You already know your Grandma, and you can’t (and wouldn’t) sever relations with her no matter how she argues. But if your boyfriend is going to be condescending, arrogant, nasty, snide, off topic or otherwise a bully or cad during arguments, best for you to learn that now.

Best case scenario: No one changes the other’s mind, but you come away with new respect for the arguing styles of both, and they are both eager to meet again in debate, maybe with new ammunition and/or rejoinders and rebuttals – with you as a third wheel.

marinelife's avatar

This topic is very close to both of them. It is bound to come up. So just be prepared. Tell your guy about your grandma’s obsession and ask him to be diplomatic with her.

Don’t tell your grandma in advance and just hope the issue doesn’t come up. Your guy could simply say English Literature when asked what his major is, for example.

By the way, I am with your guy on this. There is no credible evidence to the Earl of Oxford theory and much evidence for William Shakespeare as the author of the plays.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Damn. My bet was a major in Religious Studies.

I’m with @WasCy. This isn’t really the kind of debate worth avoiding, and you can learn a lot about the boy by seeing how it goes.

I want to laugh about what a geeky thing this is to argue over, but then I remember I’m in the middle of grading 64 philosophy essays.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@SavoirFaire Haha, isn’t it wonderful? It’s such a mystery, and there’s nothing at stake, since everyone involved is long dead.

@marinelife I agree too. My grandma has a book that she claims is full of “proof” about the earl, but I still give all credit to the bard.

john65pennington's avatar

Is that all? Is it all about Shakespeare? You have got to be kidding us. This is your problem?

I thought you were going to tell us your boyfriend was an ex-convict or something just as serious.

Shakespeare? You have got to be kidding.

Jeruba's avatar

I think the fact that they are both passionate on the same topic—Shakespeare—is a greater commonality than the difference in their views is a divider. For all you know, they may both love the debate. And they should both be mature enough not to go at it with anger or make a personal issue of their differences. It’s not as if they’ll be canceling each other’s vote in an open election.

If I were you, I’d do nothing to set either of them up on the topic. Let it arise and play out naturally, and you stay out of it. You do not have to manage what happens between them. If the young man is a keeper, they’ll sort it out. If he’s not, it doesn’t matter.

I like the Earl of Oxford theory.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I don’t like the Earl of Oxford theory; but then again, I don’t doubt Shakespeare’s authorship. And even if I did, I am fraternally obligated to favor the Francis Bacon theory over all others.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, @SavoirFaire, I guess we’d better not meet to talk about it, or there might be a bloodbath.

Hibernate's avatar

Tell your friend to avoid that topic by sying ” it’s a private matter .. it does not concern you grandma .. sorry ”

Hopefully it will work.

augustlan's avatar

I love this question.

janbb's avatar

(Me too – I want to me “the boy”, the Grandma and sliceswiththings.)

sliceswiththings's avatar

(@janbb to me us? Be us? Meet us?)

janbb's avatar

I think I meant “meet.” Sorry, bad night!

Jeruba's avatar

@sliceswiththings, you must come back and tell us how this turns out. Especially if Grandma says “I hear you like Shakespeare” and Boy says “Sorry, Grandma, that’s a private matter and doesn’t concern you.”

sliceswiththings's avatar

Haha now I’m excited to report back :) I’ll have to make sure the wine’s flowing that night so they don’t notice the camera crew.

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