The holidays mean a lot of things. Food, credit card debt, awesome presents, and most importantly, awkward interactions with relatives you rarely see. Ranging from the cringe-worthy to a necessary emergency therapy session, hanging out with your extended family means listening to a lot of stupid stuff.
We’re all just trying to survive the holidays, and these seven statements and questions make even the most polite person ready to strangle before the turkey is out of the oven.
1. “I can’t eat that…I’m paleo now.”
I don’t want to hear about your diet under normal circumstances, and that’s especially true when I’m stuffing my face with delicious gravy-smothered foods. No one gives a shit that you’ve decided to subsist on seeds and twigs or whatever. We’re all just trying to enjoy a little good old fashioned American excess.
2. “Starting on January 1st, I’m finally going to lose all this weight and get beautiful!”
Discussing weight loss at the table is awkward, particularly when you’ve committed to dropping that last 30 pounds for the last decade. You’ll have to pardon me if I ignore your diet and exercise tips while I inhale a third piece of pie and pass out on the couch with my jeans unbuttoned.
3. “Are you going to have anything gluten, dairy, and sugar free at dinner?”
Nothing inspires rolling eyes like someone with eleventy dietary restrictions at Thanksgiving. It’s one thing to have a legitimate allergy to dairy or peanuts, but it’s quite another to decide to quit eating gluten because Gwyneth Paltrow said so. This is the one time of year when we’re not all counting calories and stressing about carbs, so spare us your aversion to dairy and bring your own disgusting vegan cheese.
4. “So, when are you guys getting married and having kids?”
Not all awkward conversations at Thanksgiving are food-related, unfortunately. Whether you’re with with Mr. Right or Mr. Hey He Has A Job, no one wants their nosy grandma to ask when the two of you plan to spawn or get your sex sanctioned by the church. Skip this question and dive straight into whether or not the host has gained a few pounds to maintain your status as the most annoying person in your entire family.
5. “Do y’all think cousin Steve is gay? I sure do.”
Nothing says “holiday spirit” like speculating whether or not your eleven year old nephew is destined for a life of homosexual sin. Bringing this up, especially in front of the poor kid, is a great way to invest in that child’s future career as a writer or musician. Maybe consider starting a savings account for the therapy they’ll need, too.
6. “Well, I just don’t think I could ever be involved with someone who was proud of being a liberal!”
Emily Post should kick you in the ass. You should know better than to bring up politics at Thanksgiving dinner. Were you raised in a damn barn? Stick to topics more suited for you, like the weather or something else that doesn’t involve your opinion of President Obama.
7. “How much are you making at your exciting new job?”
This question. Again, Emily Post would be pissed if she heard you rudely asking your second cousin how much they’re making at that big fancy advertising agency. It’s likely that your cousin has exaggerated their earnings to keep up with you Joneses, so just shut up. You may also say “How ‘bout them Cowboys!” to sound equally out of touch.
You’re probably thinking that you’d never be so presumptuous to make your family feel uncomfortable with these awkward remarks, and that’s a good thing. Maybe this year everyone won’t sigh with relief when you’re gone.