Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My son went through high school without a single date. He’s a good
kid, and surprisingly comfortable with adults. He’s a geek but not a
nerd, and never seemed to need much human contact with his peers.
Now in his second year of college he’s been dating the same girl for
more than a year. She’s lovely, and they’re both 4.0 pre-meds, but of
course I want him to have more experiences in life than just dating
one girl. But he seems so happy with her and, I am pretty sure, with
no longer being the only virgin he knows. We have no problem with
her visiting him but her parents, who live two hours away, are very (I
think overly) protective. We’ve never met them but she talks about
them in the kind of careful way that I have seen some of my students
use when there’s dysfunction in the family. They sent us a lovely
fruit/cheese /nut gift basket for the holidays, something that never
even occurred to me to send to them, seeing as we’ve never met. How
should I respond?
Two different issues. As for your sons slow-starting social life, he
seems to be making up for lost time very nicely. Although relationships
between college kids may seem serious, if they’re both aimed towards
professional careers the chances that they’ll stay together are pretty
slim. As long as he keeps up his grades and seems happy I would
counsel you to let life take its course.
As for the gift basket, send a polite note: Dear Mr/Mrs [Name]: Our
family enjoyed every bite of the delicious fruit, nut, and cheese gift
box you sent us. How kind and thoughtful! We&'ve enjoyed getting to
know [daughter name]. She is a lovely person through and through.
I&'m guessing that the apple does not fall far from the tree. I’m sure
we’ll meet some day if they continue to date. That shows you are
polite and supportive of the relationship, without pressuring anyone to
do anything different. As for their presumed dysfunction, it’s not your
problem to solve.