or a lucky few people, Thanksgiving is a heartwarming family holiday filled with turkey, ham, and only the tiniest hint of mass genocide. For the rest of us, Thanksgiving is war – an entire day spent employing strategic military maneuvers to avoid those nearest and dearest to you.
Here’s a little primer to get you going.
Look! That cousin you hate is coming at you from the right!
In this instance, we employ what’s known as the duck and weave. Duck so he won’t spot you and then weave until you reach the more welcoming arms of the liquor table or that other cousin whose name you always forget.
Either way, the conversation here will be much more pleasant than one where you reluctantly recall all the times your hateful cousin gave you a wedgie back in middle school because he still thinks it’s funny.
Oh no! That uncle that gets inappropriately touchy after a few drinks is coming at you from the left!
When your uncle wants to talk about Trump’s “grab them by the p****” moment, employ the tried and tested maneuver of attract and distract. Basically, you attract the attention of your prettiest cousin (don’t play dumb, we all know who that is) and then shove them into your Uncle’s path, thereby distracting him.
It’s a cheap and horrible ploy, but then you’re a cheap and horrible person and you’re already going to hell anyways, so what’s one more sin to blacken your foul, foul soul…
Sweet Baby Jesus! That busybody aunt who bought those $66 collard greens from Neiman Marcus is coming to poke her nose in your business!
The truth is, Aunt Busybody doesn’t really give a crap about you. What she really wants to know is whether her kids are more successful than you, which is why she bought those greens over as a conversation starter/silent statement of superiority.
Upon this foul nemesis, we employ the ancient art of deflection.
When she asks you what you’re up to, smile the sweet smile of inscrutability and tell her, “nothing much,” then deflect by asking about her kids. When she asks about your significant other, tell her “he/she/it is fine,” and then ask about her kids’ significant other/s.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a significant other, or job, or house, or whatever. The point is to keep Aunt Busybody guessing. Do NOT give a straight answer and do NOT confirm or deny anything.
Trust us, it’ll drive her nuts.
Dear Me! Your favorite aunt – who can’t cook to save her life – is approaching with a sample of her turkey!
Okay, we’re gonna level with you here. That turkey – drier than a dry season riverbed in the Sahara. Even then, there’s no way you’re going to get out of this one. That’s your Aunty Margie and you love her, so pull up your pants, and take it like an adult.
Also, when you choke on it, make sure you smile and assure her that “no, the turkey isn’t dry at all.” That hoarse sound you’re making – it’s just air, rattling down your throat.