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International Student Delighted to Be Invited to Tense, Angry Dinner with Friend and Friend’s Family


Photo by Good Free Photos / CC0

Ernesto Cruz (E ’21) was delighted to be invited to the home of his close friend Liam Parker (C ’21) for dinner on Friday evening, expecting a fun, wholesome experience like he had back home in Portugal. However, Cruz was surprised to realize that rather than a dinner full of laughter, the meal was an extended angry and tense silence punctuated by passive aggressive questions from Parker's parents about their only son’s choice to be an English major

Cruz reports Parker’s asking about his own future in mechanical engineering without making eye contact, choosing instead to glare at her son pointedly as a reminder that he, too, could have been an engineer. Halfway through dinner, Liam slammed his glass down yelled to his mother, “English is what I love, mom. Okay?! Do you want me to do something that I hate?”

After a simple “maybe” from his mother, younger sister and high school sophomore Kaitlin Parker declared that she “hates this family” before pulling out her iPhone and refusing to speak to anyone for the rest of dinner.

“It was definitely an interesting experience,” said Cruz after the dinner. “My only question is really why they choose to come down to Philly to have dinner with him once a month when they all clearly hate spending time with one another.”