I’m really getting tired of Thanksgiving Survival Guides. I wrote one about Christmas parties here. It stinks. Why would you need a “survival guide” for a party? Everyone thinks that other people’s Thanksgivings are filled with normal relatives and wonderful tradition. That’s a load of junk. Your dysfunction and awkward holiday moments are unique to you and everyone has them. People who really need survival guides aren’t so lucky.
Now tuck in to Me-maw’s creaky antique dinette set, enjoy the day and don’t be an ass.
Leave the think piece in your Prius
It’s that time of year when mediocre writers (look in the mirror, dummy) and generally obnoxious wonkish twits take to their blogs (again, mirror) and try to provide you with talking points to bring to (ruin) your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. If you think it is your duty to America to enlighten your family members trying to enjoy food and company with snarky lists, you’re the moron. Sorry. I know you think your uncle is an idiot but trying to change his mind with pie charts and Pew polls is idiotic. It’s not going to happen so eat your stuffing while you silently loathe him, special boy. (If you need a definitive piece on the history of Thanksgiving, find it on these very pages)
Save the rye flats for another occasion
I know it’s hard to lose weight. I’m trying. Right now, I can hear the fibers in my shirt scream in agony as they hang on for dear life, “how fat is he going to get?!” For those on a diet, one day isn’t going to kill you. Leave the rye flats at home and have a little turkey. But stay strong my chunky brother in arms.
No one needs the judgmental eye of their Pilates-instructor sister-in-law on Thanksgiving, either. If you’re in shape I’m really happy for. If you recently lost a lot of weight congratulations. But we don’t need to hear about it in every conversation. And keep your eyeballs off my plate. It’s Thanksgiving, be an example not a nuisance.
Embrace the nuts
Everyone thinks their family is “crazy.” It’s not. Charles Manson is crazy. Your family has character. Some are dullards, some are kooks, some are loons; embrace the nuts. Thanksgiving naturally provides the tools to do this. Use booze, football and calories to distract yourself from Aunt Edna trying to put pants on her cat.
Pretend to like the slop
I’ve never tasted ambrosia salad because thankfully, good cooks surround me. The fact that it exists repulses me. I’d rather eat a salad made of eyeballs. Everyone has that one dish at Thanksgiving they hate. I’ve never cared for cranberry sauce, but most people love it so I politely ignore the can-shaped gelatin. I’m suggesting you do the same with your un-liked dish of choice. Appreciate the effort it took to make, put it on your plate in a quarantined area and smush it around some when you’re done to make it appear consumed. No one needs to hear why you don’t like something or about your turmeric allergy. All some people have in life is the small joy knowing someone ate their kale casserole. It’s not too much to ask to fake it.
Luck and Thanks
We are lucky to live in a country where so much complaining about a holiday full of eating and libation is allowed. My favorite part of the Thanksgiving tradition is that you can make it yours. Nothing is mandated. You certainly don’t have to listen to me. I love Sil’s description of an Italian Thanksgiving below (warning: Bada Bing stripers in the background) If it behooves you to be an ass at your Thanksgiving dinner then ass-on. I hope you choke on the Tofurkey.