Wedding Etiquette Forum

Having a Talk with Dad...(long vent)

At the end of July, my parents met my FILs. FI and I had planned it to be super casual; we went camping and invited them both. Thankfully it worked out that FI's parents had just bought some property close to the campground and did not actually camp, they just came down for dinner. I was a nervous wreck the entire time because my parents and FILs are completely different people (my parents are EXTREMELY conservative and FI's parents are moderate liberals).

That being said, my dad broke several conversation rules. Within the 1 1/2 hours that we were together he told my FFIL about ALL of his health problems, including some that occurred 10 years ago.

Within in the first 10 minutes, they were talking politics!

And not only that, but FFIL is from Columbia, SC and his entire family went to USC. When my dad asked him where he was from, he followed the question with "Did you go to USC?". FFIL didn't go to college but replied "No, but my family all went to Carolina". My dad replied to that with "Oh, that's not the REAL Carolina. There is only ONE Carolina and that's NORTH CAROLINA. It is the oldest... blah blah blah". FI heard this entire conversation I did not, but I am MORTIFIED that this happened. All of FI's family are doctors, lawyers and successful businessmen. They all donate tons of money to the university, hold season tickets, and are die hard for their alma mater. FI said that if my dad talks to his uncles like that, it's probably not going to be pretty. Especially since my dad did NOT go to UNC Chapel Hill.

SIDENOTE: FI and I were unable to completely monitor/help change the conversations between our parents because we were going back and forth between the campsite/camper and picnic table preparing dinner.

Knowing that this is how my dad talks to people he's just met (I thought he knew better), I feel like I need to sit down with him and have a talk about basic conversation skills like not talking about health problems, politics, or talking crap about other schools when you DON'T know that person (especially since USC and UNC Chapel Hill have that "REAL CAROLINA" rivalry). I know it seems like I'm making a big deal out of this school thing, but being a gamecock IS a big deal to FI's family; and when FI said his uncle gets super defensive (like has punched someone in the face) over his alma mater, I figured it might be best to prevent a conflict from ever happening especially since the first time they meet will be either our RD or WD.

Is this a good idea? And if not, what do you think I should do?

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