Anticipating her family’s inevitable questions, Mary Beth Barone prepared an informational pamphlet before going on a date.
“They are a CURIOUS bunch,” she told Mashable through Twitter DM.
Barone, who’s a comedian based in New York, attended a wedding in North Carolina last year and hit it off with another guest, who was from Miami. Barone happened to have a family vacation planned about an hour from Miami a few weeks later, and wanted to sneak away from her family for the date. But there was a flaw in her plan — as the youngest of five siblings traveling with 20 to 30 extended family members, it would be difficult for her to leave without a decent excuse. Barone said she had three options in order to successfully sneak away with the family’s rental car: lie, try to hide it, or over communicate.
“I knew once I mentioned it to one person, everyone would have questions,” she said. “So instead of answering them all in a flurry, I decided I’m just gonna foresee the line of questioning.”
She came up with a pamphlet titled, “I’m Going on a Date While We’re on Vacation,” made around 15 copies, and passed them around. She shared pictures of the pamphlet on Twitter on Wednesday, where it quickly took off.
Through an FAQ section, she told her “nosy and caring” family that she was meeting up with her “friend Sarah’s brother,” and no, they’re not dating, they’re “just getting to know each other.”
“More questions?” she concluded at the end of the FAQ. “Don’t.”
Barone said she’s a “planner through and through,” and added that her brothers had a “field day” with the pamphlet. She explained that it was a way to “control the narrative in a way” since writing down all of the information left no room for interpretation.
“I was strategic, I passed it out merely hours before my departure,” she said. “So no time for them to bug me!”
She did acknowledge that her family is only so nosy because they love her and they care, and they thankfully didn’t ask for “dirty deets” when she came back the next morning after a night of drinking rosé and getting breakfast with her new boy.
“The guy did end up ghosting me, which isn’t ideal but … [it] somehow is the classic ending to a whirlwind romance these days,” Barone joked.
While she doesn’t have a date lined up for the next family vacation, she mused about making more informational pamphlets for other family events.
“I’m thinking it would be a good idea for the next holiday season to efficiently update everyone on my comedy career,” Barone said.