Awkward encounters with your father-in-law are one of the most delicate challenges of married life, especially when it comes to traveling in opposite directions down a narrow hallway in the same small house. Whether the relationship between you and your FIL is cordial, tense, or loathsome, here are four ways to adorably dance your way out of that tight squeeze.
1. The “Hey, ho!”
If you generally have good feelings toward your man’s dad, a series of jolly, rudimentary dance moves will help you joke your way around your father-in-law and into the bathroom. Polka, hoedowns, and Irish jigs are historically most approachable dances, and are the best moves for quelling any accidental discomfort. You’ll all laugh about it one day!
2. The Flat Stanley
Your stoic father-in-law sees you as a parasite, sucking the life from his child and ruining any chance of his success. Instead of making painful small talk when you bump into “Dad” in the hallway, flatten yourself against the wall, shimmy those shoulders, and turn your head completely to the side. Avoid eye contact at all costs; if you can’t see him, he can’t see you. Back at the dinner table, your conversation will be as stale and flavorless as ever.
3. Stewardess and the Captain
Your father-in-law might seem like the perfect gentleman as he steps aside and gesture for you to pass by, but be warned: He’s probably looking at your butt. This is a holdover from the age of the jetset, where a captain would gesture for a stewardess to pass in front of him so he can check out her can. You’ll have to choose whether to allow him this one moment of indulgence in his sad, boring life, or if you’ll come back with a feminist, “No, after you.” Either way, your rump is the nicest roast he’s seen in years so you should put a jaunty little dance-y bounce in your step and feel good about yourself as you walk away.
4. The Loose Love
If the chemistry is undeniable, chances are that everyone around you notices, too. If you’re heading to the kitchen, and he’s heading for the bathroom, but then you feel your heart heading for his heart, lean back to do the Bernie dance and when you come forward just lean in and kiss him already. Go with the flow and embrace your new normal. He’s got a house and a pension—way more than his loser son will ever have.
Don’t get caught on that narrow dance floor without any moves! Study up and send the right message to that new retiree.