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A Visit to His Parents


Submitted By cami053g
Words 672
Pages 3
A visit to his parents

The short story “A visit to his parents” was published in 2006.
The story takes place in Frostproof in Florida, where a woman is visiting her parents-in-law with her boyfriend. The main theme in the story is: “things aren't always what they seem”. Other themes are drinking problems and love despite flaws.

Frostproof sounds like a perfect place and when the boyfriend’s father let them try his two motorbikes, you’ll get the impression that everything is perfect. The parents-in-law live at a nice place with perfect surroundings and the two motorbikes indicate that the family is quite wealthy.
But this perfect picture ends fast. On the second day of their visit the boyfriend crashes on his motorbike. She holds the horn down so his parents will come out and help, but he pushes her hand away and tells her that holding the horn down just will scare them. She says that she is sorry and he replies: “You can stop apologizing. I’ve heard it enough”. The fact that he says he has heard it too much, shows that he probably has had a lot of disappointments in his life before and therefore he has heard those words many times before.

At night when everybody is asleep she sneaks outside to drink whiskey of her shampoo bottle. She uses a shampoo bottle instead of a real whiskey bottle to hide her abuse. But at the same time she says that she doesn’t’ care if her boyfriend detect it.
On the one hand she hides it, but on the other hand she doesn’t.
In the morning he smells it on her skin, and he rolls away from her. “I specifically asked you not to bring liquor into my parents’ house” he says. This shows that she doesn’t have a problem about drinking in front of him, and that he’s obviously aware of the problem since he tells her not to bring liquor.

After breakfast when she clears the dishes, his mother whispers: “You’ll break his heart”. This shows that the mother is aware of her abuse.

Later they decide to go sailing. While talking on the boat he brings up children as a subject. He believes they could have beautiful children, but she replies with “Sad girls and fickle boys”. Her drinking problem could very well be causing the sadness. Maybe she has had a tough life.

When they come to land again they meet a woman who invites them to drink a beer. He allows her to drink one beer. This shows that he has accepted her problem. But even though he has forbidden her to drink more than one beer, she asks for a couple more and he doesn’t react at all.

Back in the trailer at night the men has left the women for a couple of hours. The mother tells her that she knows what it’s like to like drinking. That’s probably why the boyfriend “accepts” her drinking problem – he has dealt with it before, and knows how it is. Even though he doesn’t appreciate it, he doesn’t do anything to make her stop.
The mother asks her to leave and she does.

On the way home, the boyfriend suddenly turns off the headlight and drives in complete dark. He turns off the light to show her how he feels about her drinking problem.
His life is very dark. He is dating an alcoholic girl, and he honestly doesn’t know his future. He wants a child so badly that he has left his wife because she couldn’t have a baby, and as long as his new girlfriend drinks she can’t get a child either.

Under the surface are there many problems and that could very well be one of the themes in this short story: “things aren't always what they seem”. Other themes are drinking problems and love despite flaws.

(722 words)

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