Malta (proper noun); an island where everyone drives like a nutcase, everyone knows everyone, and where the chances of your parents approving of your partner are as likely as them switching political parties in their fifties.
Here are a few ways of meeting a new guy which make the ordeal of introducing him to the family an even bigger one:
1. Il-Każin Tal-Labour/Nazzjonalisti
What’s worse than having to welcome someone into the family from the opposing political party? Nothing.
Your parents will have to hide l-Orizzont or The Malta Independent, have the TV in the background on a random politically-neutral channel like Style TV which nobody ever watches, and dinner conversations feel somewhat stifled and forced without their normal healthy dose of political jokes and insults.
‘Laburist/nazzjonalist imġiddem dak.’
2. Travelling Around India
It took your parents a while to come to terms with your plans to quit your job and go to India in search of yourself.
Returning to Malta with a pierced nose and a Maltese boyfriend who now wears harem pants that make him look like he’s taken a dump in said trousers twice, however, is probably not their idea of happiness.
‘Ma rridx bums fil-familja. U għidlu jneħħi dak il-qalziet tie-dyed bil-bażwa, xi kruha.’
What? Doesn’t every parent dream of their children meeting their soulmate on an app in which users judge whether they’re interested in a person based on a few photos? Mind-blowing.
Most parents are not accustomed to the new, time-saving world of online dating and will call you batshit crazy to meet someone who could be… anyone. Anyone! #StrangerDanger
‘ISSA KIEKU KIEN QATTIEL?!’
The only thing that appeals to your parents less than dirty ol’ Paceville is the idea of you – their daughter – meeting their potential future son-in-law there.
‘M’għandekx xi tridu binti’
5. ETC Job Centre
It’s bad enough you are unemployed. Try breaking the news to your parents that – so is your new boyfriend, you know, the one you met at ETC.
You may have just been on two dates (including the one where you met while queueing at ETC) but in their heads, this shitstorm has already unfolded.
‘ISSA ŻŻEWWEG TA, ĊUĊ, ĦU D-DIVORCE U…’
For Maltese parents, the world of ballet and ballet-watching are synonymous with being gay when it comes to male hobbies. Therefore, in the highly unlikely case you happened to meet a guy at the Bolshoi theatre…our advice is to just keep it to yourself.
‘Żgur gay, kemm tiflaħ tkun fidila’
Bonus: The Gym
Who’s going to beat a gym goer up when it all turns sour?
‘Jaqaw xi dardira da?’