Way Out Parenting: How to have a successful night out with straight parents from your child’s school

Receiving a one-on-one invitation from a set of straight parents is an indication you have really worked hard to gain acceptance in your school community. You are going on a double date. Congratulations! Now comes the real test of your assimilation. Can you successfully observe straight couples’ socializing conventions?

Spend a day in public settings really observing heterosexual couples. Chances are, you will notice that whenever two or more heterosexual couples are together they divide into same-gender subgroups. The women talk to the women, and the men talk to the men. In the straight world of couples socializing, male and female conversations intersect only occasionally.

The implications for you and your partner are clear. To experience a successful double date with your new straight-couple friends, one of you must assume the role of husband and the other must play the wife.

How do you decide? Many couples need no discussion at all. They understand and fully accept their relative positions on the Lesbian or Gay Continuum (more about that in a later blog) and they naturally gravitate to the husband or wife role. If, however, neither one of you gravitates to one of the required roles, flip a coin and accept your fate. Don’t make the fatal mistake of convincing yourselves that you can negotiate an entire evening of conversation that includes all four of you. Other gay couples have tried and failed. The reality is that there are few topics of conversation of interest to both heterosexual men and women.

Once you have committed yourself to your role, there will be no turning back. The bonding experience depends on the fidelity of your role implementation. Study the appropriate topics of conversation provided below. On the day of your dinner date, Google the topics that are foreign to you. Remember that your mission is to find common ground and stay on it. Never veer into areas of politics, religion, or gender issues on your first “date.”

Safe Conversation Topics for
Gay/Straight Couples Socializing

Wives Only
• Pediatricians
• Favorite day spas
• Your children’s social and academic challenges
• recipes
• the strengths and weaknesses of your babysitters

Husbands and Wives
• The quality of instruction at your children’s schools (five minutes only—this gets boring quickly and lingering here proves you have nothing else in common)
• Your search for the perfect home or apartment
• Home renovation horrors
• Movies (keep in mind, your tastes may be very different)

Husbands Only
• NFL, MLB, and NBA sports
• Automobiles and SUVs (pick-ups if you live in Texas)
• The stock market
• The economy
• Your jobs
• More sports

Have you had your “first date” with straight parents at your children’s school? How did it go? Send me a note.

© 2008 by Carrie Smith. All rights reserved.

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