Sometime between your aunt asking about your ex boyfriend, and your cousin stealing your left sock (I swear, he’s like a cat), you’re going to lose your cool. Truth is, no one can get through a family function without help. Put down the steak knife, we can get through this together.
Buy some booze
I’m not advocating alcoholism, but sometimes alcohol is the only answer. Don’t just pour yourself a glass, pour one for the most uptight member of your clan and wait for the entertainment to begin. Is there anything funnier than your drunk grandma talking a sharpie to her photo albums? This comes from experience, right down to the devil horns and mustaches. And hey, if a drink will loosen you up enough to play a rousing game of “never have I ever” with your folks, all the power to you.
Update your phone plan
Nothing gets me out of a conversation faster than pulling out my phone and claiming work needs me (thanks BK community). At the same time, gathering around a tiny screen to delight in the latest viral cat video is a great way to get off the topic of your irritable bowel syndrome. Just don’t be the family member who post Facebook updates throughout the evening. Knowing my sister’s every action is bad enough when I’m not sitting right beside her.
Apart from the to be expected bodily functions that may or may not ruin your festive blouse, babies are a great way to avoid the chores necessary to run a family function. When you’re cradling someone else’s bundle of joy, there’s no way you can set the table, strip the turkey of it’s gizzards or help grandma with her girdle. So, while it’ll look like I’m giving mom and dad a break from baby duty, I’m cool chilling, and listening to coo’s instead “did you hear about”s. Same goes for pets!
If your relatives are anything like mine, they hoard old things like the pressure of their guilt will turn them in to diamonds. Turns out, grandma’s old book ends and post cards look pretty cool in my apartment. So when food’s not on the table, browse from room to room and probe to see if anything is up for grabs. What you find might top anything they’d have picked out to gift you at your next birthday anyway (win, win).
Since sitting out of this year’s seasonal “parties” and obligations isn’t an option, making the most out of the mishmash that is my blood line is the best I can do. At most events, you can find me dodging tattoo questions and flipping down old photos like it’s my job. Just remember, we don’t choose our families, we just choose to put up with them. And when that doesn’t work, mumbling insults under your breathe can be pretty fun too.
By: Eva Severed