Damn prudish parents

So, jeevgurl and I went to visit my parents this weekend. First time she met them. I thought the weekend went fine.

I then get this email from my mom telling me that she and my dad are very upset with me. Well, it turns out that they were upset because jeevgurl and I would hold hands while around them, or that I would sometimes sit with my arm around her. I was told that:

  1. It’s inappropriate to do such things because it’s boasting that you’re having sex.

  2. I’m the oldest child, and have to set a higher example for my younger cousins and sibling.

  3. Because I engage in such displays of affection, it looks like my parents failed to raise me properly.

Bear in mind, we’re not talking about making out on the sofa or having sex in the dining room. We’re talking about holding hands and sitting with my arms around her. Things that couple friends of mine do all the time. I even tried to raise that, and was told that I have the “wrong friends” if that kind of display is appropriate among them.

Now, for Indian parents, my folks are usually pretty cool. But this just pisses the hell out of me. It’s one thing to say “holding hands, etc. makes us uncomfortable, please don’t do it around us.” I can accomodate that. But to suggest that I’m a failure as a son because I display my affection in public at all just pisses me off.


<jaw drops> Holding hands with someone means you are having sex with them? I think that moves from “prudish” to “weird”. Still, arguing with her about this would probably be a mistake.
You have my sympathy about the whole “bad son” thing. It’s amazing the way parents can make us feel guilty into adulthood.

Holding hands? Arm around her?

Quick alert thine Town Elders! There be a man and woman that need to be thine dunking and heavy stones pressed upon thy breast for thou misdeeds and debauchery!

Sheesh! I know old customs and all that argument, but great googly moogly, how the heck did you get made? :smack:

I’m guessing, by the traditional method, and after the marriage ceremony…

Are your parents originally from India, or are they 2nd- or greater descendants of immigrants? If the family’s been here for a while, this does seem a little odd. If they themselves were born over yonder, it makes a little more sense that their dating rituals wouldn’t exactly match up with what we see on the WB.

Except for 7th Heaven, of course.

Until you mentioned that your parents are Indian, I was wondering if we might be related.

And I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m 41 now and my folks are still that way. Though now that I am married it’s OK to hold hands with my husband. :rolleyes:

Originally from India, been here about 30 years. Their marriage was a love marriage (i.e. not arranged), but I’m fairly sure there was no pre-marital sex. Not only is it taboo in India, obviously, but the kind of personal privacy that would generally be required to accomplish it is sorely lacking in India. Most children don’t have their own room, homes aren’t large, and many middle-class homes have at least one servant. Not that it doesn’t happen, obviously, but there’s more effort required than simply meeting after school to listen to records.

At least it could be worse. My friend’s (Indian) parent learned that she had a boyfriend, and they sent her to religious camp in Florida, threatened to make her go to college in Wisconsin, and just about said they’d disown her if she continued having a boyfriend. Now they call her up with marriage proposals from random guys every week. She’s not amused.

Meanwhile, I told my mom I was having a bad day, and she suggested that I needed “nookie”. Egads!!!

You are a sex maniac and she’s a slut. Period. :wink:

Gee, thanks Kalhoun. :slight_smile:

When I pointed out that my friends don’t think it’s at all weird or abnormal or immoral when people who are involved discreetly display affection in public, I was told that I have the “wrong friends.”

I think if they had been this controlling throughout my life, I’d be better able to adjust to it. But right now, it’s just pissing me off. Justifiably, IMHO.

They’re trying to parent you by email? How passive-aggressive is that?

Maybe the two of you should give them something to really complain about. A little leather wear, a little whipped cream & the dining room table, I bet the whole “holding hands” thing would be forgotten in no time.

No, the email was to tell me that they were upset. The expression of being upset was by phone. I composed my thoughts and sent them an email setting forth my position, namely, that I’d be more discreet when I’m around them, but that’s all I promise, and they should stop disrespecting my friends and my girlfriend. And that the next time we talked, I would forget that the whole exchange happened, and expected the same from them.

Besides, I’m 30 years old. The parenting is done.

Please print that statement out and display it prominently somewhere that you’re likely to see it when your children turn 30.


I can relate, jeevmon.

When my fiance and I went to visit my parents in January of 2002, they insisted on separate rooms for us. Even though they knew we were living together and all that. I advised them that they needn’t worry we were going to do anything inappropriate, but they still insisted. Okay, fine. We might not agree, but I can respect that.

And then we got married. While visiting my parents last month. My stepdad asked what we planned on for the wedding night, and I just told him I was thinking we could wait until we got back.

So my parents paid for the hotel so we could engage in mad monkey love. And let us share a room (although they asked for no S-E-X – spelled out, like my twelve year old brother couldn’t string that together and figure it out. :rolleyes: )

jeevmon, back when I was not-quite-going-out with BinkaGirl, I was over her place watching videos while her parents were out. She made me watch Titanic, but that is beside the point… her parents came home, saw us sitting on the same couch, and her dad wanted to let me know that “enough is enough”.

Her parents, and therefore by extension herself, are Fijian Indian. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. It was also about 5 years after her sister was married that they felt it was OK for them to hold hands in front of the parents.

Ok, this all makes my parents, adn the SO’s parents sound perfectly normal!

My mother assumed from nothing but body language that the SO and I were seeing each other and warned me not to do anything inappropriate in public. When asked as to what was inappropriate, she said “holding hand or kissing where someone could see you”.

As for the SO’s parents, we’d been seeing each other for about 6 months, and living together for a bit longer than that. His parents, insisted on seperate rooms, and made sarcastic comments about the fact that we were gasp affectionate in front of them! By affectionate, I mean holding hands!

His parents are English, so I don’t get the overly prudish behaviour, bt seeing as my parents are Indian, I’m not overly surprised by their behaviour…

Light hearted answer:
jeevmon rent the videos Buddha of Suburbia, and My Beautiful Launderette. Start listening to Culture Club and the Village People. Start complaining about the state of the interior decorating at you parents house. Pretty soon your parents will be glad that you bring home and hold hands with your girlfriend:)
Cheers, Bippy

Let me get this straight—you’re married, your parents pay for a hotel, but they asked for no S-E-X?

I don’t get it.

I can understand a “traditional” family requesting that non-married couples not share a room or not have S-E-X while in their house, because they think it’s wrong, etc. etc. This is nothing new. But trying to dictate that married couples not have S-E-X? What? Did I misunderstand?

And jeevmon: My sympathies go out to you. My jaw dropped open at the OP. I guess it’s such a vastly different cultural thing, that many of us are never going to understand. I think your parents are way over the top, needless to say. But I guess you just have to placate them as best you can and hold hands with your girlfriend when they are not around.


Just for the record, if telling your parents what your friends do had worked, it would have been the first time in recorded history, I believe.

Of course you don’t. I don’t get it myself either.

And then I realised that, in the midst of my hellish migraine, I forgot part of that post.

The wedding night at the hotel was fine for sexual activities. And they let us share a room in their house too. That’s where the “no S-E-X” came in.