10 Things – When Family Gathers For the Holiday
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
I just got an email from a friend who has family visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. It got me thinking about my family and the families of the men I now call ex-es. Let’s just say I have had some interesting family gatherings over the years.
Here is a list of things, from all of these family experiences combined, that I thought might be fun to share. Not all happened to me necessarily, most I was just witness to. While mostly true, I have changed names and have taken a little creative license here and there.
Comparisons – Your Brother in Law asks “Why can’t you be like your cousin Sally who is a Heart Surgeon and married a Psychiatrist?” You half-jokingly say, “Because I throw up at the sight of blood and frankly, no one in this family has any business marrying a Psychiatrist!”
Suddenly you notice everyone else is looking at you like you’re the crazy one. Seriously?
Politics – You and your parents have fairly similar political beliefs, but the rest of the family is completely on the other side of the aisle. This is a particularly precarious year for political discussions around the Thanksgiving table too. Politics will come up.
It is advisable to have a half dozen mindless but contentious topic changes for when someone inevitably says something stupid.
“Hey Auntie, how about that Kim Kardashian breech baby and what’s with this ‘Push Present‘ fad? Bet Uncle Bob didn’t get you anything when you gave birth did he?”
Whew, that was close, but all eyes are now on Uncle Bob and politics are off the agenda. For now.
Weight – If you gained or lost it will be noticed. Your sisters in law will politely admire you if you lost weight, but will whisper behind your back that you are full of yourself now that you’re skinny.
If you gained weight they won’t say anything to your face but they will let your Mother in law know they are deeply concerned about your health. So touching.
Relationship Status – When you’re married, your single cousin resents you for having it all, even though you’re secretly miserable. When you divorce and that same cousin gets married, she now thinks you’re selfish and self-centered, but you’re actually happier than you’ve ever been.
If you divorce and the family loves him/her, you’re going to be at fault. If they hated him/her they won’t stop talking about how they knew it was going to end and give you a hard time for being so stupid.
Booze – Someone in the family is going to be drunk or get drunk. This can either be entertaining or pathetic. Depends on the family member and the level of drinking they normally do.
Oh yeah, and Grandpa just snuck out back with the stoner crew. Arthritis you know. wink wink.
Lifestyle Choices – Uncle Albert is concerned that you have pet rats, he’s heard the Bubonic Plague is making a comeback.
Cousin Monica also just read an article about how unhealthy it is to live with cats, she’ll be happy to email it to you when she gets home.
Grandma just saw on the news that vegetarians can lack protein and thinks you must be deficient.
Your sister in law read that the fumes in the walls of your RV are dangerous so you should give up your dream to live and travel in one.
Anything you love or are passionate about, someone in the family will know something, have just read or watched something, or know someone, who has done it and it turned out bad.
Judge and Jury – There is one cousin who absolutely hates everything about you and tries to invent reasons you are awful. But when you show up for Thanksgiving she is all smiles and hugs, like she never sent you that series of emails telling you how much the entire family despises you, with bullet points about why you suck.
No worries though, you’re sure to get another hate filled email within days after Thanksgiving, critiquing your performance as a respectable family member.
Kids – So. Many. Children. And don’t even think about punishing them for anything. If you tell Suzie not to do something, she’s going to start crying. Suzie is then going to run to her Mom and tell her you were mean to her.
Mom is now coming after you because Suzie is sensitive and you embarrassed her by calling her out in front of the other kids.
And don’t forget Grandma, she’s cuddling Suzie in the kitchen and giving her a cookie while glaring at you.
Suzie, on the other hand, is now giving you her very best ‘I win’ smirk.
Clean up – This can go many ways. There is the martyr who cooked and does all the cleaning, declining any offers for help. She is going to use that against you next year though. She will call you out for ‘disappearing’ when it came time to clean up last year.
Then there is the cook who names who she expects to do the cleanup after dinner. It’s advisable to stay away from the kitchen during this clean up because I promise you there’s a ticked off person washing knives in there.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!