Friday, February 23, 2007

How To Make Your Friends' Parents Like You

Now, there are many ways to make your friend's parents like you. You can be polite to them, (mis)leading them to think that you're a nice young man/woman, whose parents did a good job of raising.

You can talk with them sociably, telling them with confidence about where you want to go in your life. For some reason, they like that. They may not always agree with the whole "I want to be a filmmaker thing" ("But, in Malaysia, very difficult you know..."), but on this level at least, they can respect the fact that you, as a person, as a man or a woman, have purpose. You know what you want, and you have an idea of how to get there.

You can try to learn some of a new language, though this is the optional option. If they have the same mother tongue as you, then it's not quite as impressive or cute to say, "I cannot eat pork."

Coming from a Malay guy, in the Chinese tongue, however...it can be pretty powerful, melting even the coldest of aunties' hearts. Time it right, and the ang pao might just be heavier as well.

You can even tell a few jokes, half of them lame, half of them at yourself. In fact, the proportion need not be measured in equal quantity, though this comes with experience at the amount required.

Plus, you need a really, really thick face to land on when "I know Rain, but Rain doesn't know me lah. Haha" doesn't quite get the response you may desire.

But the most important attribute, the one which would overpower any of the above skills that I mentioned, can be summed up in two words: Frank Sinatra.

Or three, if one goes with his nickname instead. Never mind that his nick is longer than his actual name, or that it is grammatically incorrect, Ol' Blue Eyes illustrates perfectly the adage that music trascends barriers. Such is his power that even when he's dead, and even when the songs in question aren't his (so to speak, the classics from that era has been covered many times to the point of identity confusion), the walls are broken down quicker than a frightened cat streaking into the night.

And on a more general basis, he serves as the flag for a generation. Meaning to say...you don't even have to know his songs. So long as you know a singer or a band from his generation (e.g. Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, etc).

"Very unusual lah, for young people to like that kind of music" was heard across the table as I first listened, confirmed, and then sang the lyrics to Strangers in the Night (you get bonus points if a song is especially obscure) playing in the background. In that instant, you no longer just their son or daughter's friend, no longer a stranger in any night.

You become one of them. And that...is how to make your friends' parents like you.

How to make them keep liking you...well, that's a whole other post... :>

2 comments:

teMMe said...

it's time for an update, don't you think?

Fikri said...

Perhaps. Am waiting for the clamour from my fans to die down before starting again :> Doing several other things right now, but don't worry. I'll get back to writing soon enough.

Fikri