Every year, families across the country come together for Thanksgiving and have a nice, home cooked feast, telling each other how thankful they are. Why? Because apparently, Halloween wasn’t scary enough. Hollywood comes out with an unfathomable number of movies about dysfunctional families and their Thanksgiving holidays with an ending that says “for family, the craziness is worth it”. This is the director’s way of saying “We still don’t know how to survive it.” Sure, family is great and stuff. But there is only so much you can hear about the economy and your aunt’s coworker’s brother-in-law’s second cousin once removed.
The thing about the holidays is that one can’t just waltz in and wing it. That is the mistake of an amateur. Family holidays require mental preparation, extensive research, practicing greetings in front of the mirror, etc. Use flashcards. Flashcards can be helpful to bring to your family dinner. Weird, but helpful. Plus, it beats having to stammer and explain what you want to do for a living to Uncle Todd, whose three kids are in Harvard medical school. Research will mostly consist of looking up universities and extra-curricular activities that look good on college applications. This is because there will be at least five ambitious helicopter parents who will be asking you a list of questions on behalf of their twelve-year-old child (who could care less).
Most people would think that the best way to escape confrontation from relatives is by hiding in a dark room with the cell phone screen’s brightness down to the minimum. But this can lead to more trouble. Because as everyone knows, there is that one wanderer in the family who will see you in the dark room alone and make assumptions, and before you know it, your parents are yelling at you for talking to some boy over the Internet. This is just the start. There is more to come.
After talking to everyone and settling down, chances are that you will end up spending the rest of the evening with your cousins. Crazy cousins are both a blessing and a curse. They are useful for only one purpose: evidence that you’re the good grandchild. Hello inheritance! But then there is the worst cousin of them all: the married cousin with her new spouse. This leads to relatives (usually the grandmothers) coming up to you and saying, “You’re next.” Thank you for that horror.
Spending Thanksgiving dinner with your family is like watching the movie, Life of Pi. It’s a great movie and all, but one just finds herself waiting for the end. It’s awkward trying to find a common ground with people you haven’t seen in a whole year. But at the end of the night, just enjoy! It’s not every day that you get free food just by showing up. Enjoy Thanksgiving with the people you don’t have to impress get their love. And on that note, pray that none of your real opinions come out at the Thanksgiving dinner table.