Nothing says love like a good old-fashioned family feud. They may be our oldest and closest friends, but that doesn’t mean getting together is always easy…
1. The Adult Children Suddenly Having Curfews Issue
When you’re in your late 20s and have been living out of your parent’s house for 10+ years, but your mom is like “Excuse me, you’re going where tonight? You know I don’t trust that Scott character.” And you’re like “Mom that was over a decade ago, Scott is a dad and a practicing lawyer now.” And she’s like, “Ok well I guess I can’t control you.” And you’re like “Nope, that’d be illegal.” So she just sighs melodramatically and then proceeds to text you just to “check in” when you’re not home by 9.
2. Not spending every minute with family
Dad – “So we’re all set to do family weeding day tomorrow.”
You – “Aw Dad I would love to but I already have plans with some friends.”
Dad – “Friends, huh? Seems like you’re forgetting who your FIRST friends were…”
3. The “Oh…you’re wearing that?”
When you’re about to go to church, or synagogue, or out to dinner, and your mom takes one look at your jeans and is like “I don’t know, it just hurts my feelings that you’re not making more of an effort.”
4. The Food Insecurity Issue
Whoever cooked of course has to make 30x comments about how undercooked / overly salty / a total disaster it is, and everyone else has to be like “It’s greaaaaaaat!” until they’re finally broken and say one thing like “Maybe a pinch less salt next time.” Which is either met with a look of utter devastation or a hurt “Well why don’t you make it next time then!”
5. Who got more or better presents
In families with two or more kids, this is inevitable. Worst is when someone gives you guys the same thing but in slightly different versions, like two little matching photo frames except somehow you sister’s is cute and classy and yours is puke green with a realistic rendering of a frog on one side.
6. The “When are there going to be babies???!” question
That is, if you’re not still dealing with the “Are you two ever getting married?” question or “Seeing anyone special yet?” which, when the answer is “Still no” is followed by “You know I ran into [ random childhood acquaintance ] the other day…he’s got a GREAT job!”
7. What movie to see
Someone inevitably wants to see whatever big blockbuster action movie just came out and someone else clutches their pearls like “That’s FAR too violent for Christmas!”
8. Overly competitive board games
Every healthy family knows that games of Monopoly, cards, even freaking Jenga can turn into a vicious, Darwinian gladiator pit if drawn out for too long.
9. The ridiculously small disagreement that becomes a metaphor for any and every injustice that has ever plagued your life
It’s Christmas breakfast and your dad comes out to serve sausage – obviously everyone’s favorite part of the meal. Only there is just enough for everyone to get two – except you. Which is fine, because they assume you’ll be okay with it. Which of course you are. But…and not that you’re trying to make assumptions…and not that you’re trying to be immature….but OF COURSE YOU GOT LESS YOU’RE ALWAYS THE ONE OVERLOOKED and, honestly, it’s probably a subtle way of them telling you they think you’re fat, and…what? No you’re not crying it’s just, can you be excused for a minute?
10. Fact-checking each other’s childhood memories
Dad: “That’s like the time I taught you to ride a bike Champ.”
Brother: “Dad, I’m the one who taught her to ride a bike.”
You: “Um, it was actually the neighbor.”
Both of them: “Stay out of this you were too young to remember!”
11. Not ‘rushing through traditions’
When your parents want to drag out the pre-opening present time foreeeever, by taking their sweet time making coffee, calling a friend, etc. So you make one push to get things rolling like “Hey guys ready when you are! Got a few other things on my plate today” and they’re like, “We have one week together all year and you want to rush off to play Scary Birds or whatever it is??!”
12. The drinking disagreement about when is the right cut-off, who drinks too much, and who can outdrink whom among the Adult Children.
If you come from a drinking family, then you’re definitely going to have fights over what everyone’s “cut off” should be. Then someone is going to snarkily suggest that somebody else drinks too much. Then that person is going to point out that just because they can outdrink them, it doesn’t mean they drink too much. And then one of the parents will eventually be blamed for all the adult children’s drinking genes. This all of course happens after arguing about what what should be served as drinks to begin with. Yay, family time!
13. The ‘innocuous’ comment that means something else
During the holidays our nerves are all on high gear. Any insecurity is lingering right below the surface, so it could take the tiniest comment to put us over the edge. Like when you’re all watching Interstellar and you’re like “I don’t know if I liked the ending” and you’re brother’s like “Do you know how black holes work?” and you’re like “WHAT, you think you’re better than me just because you studied neuroscience and graduated a year early GOOD LUCK IN THE REAL WORLD EINSTEIN!” And then there’s just awkward silence for a minute and you’re like “Sorry. I think you’re really smart. More pie?”