How To Survive Your Family This Thanksgiving

If you’re anything like me, the thought of going home and being with family and eating lots of food is great… until your family members start asking questions.

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“What are you up to?”

“Are you dating anyone?”

“How is school going?”

“When are you graduating?”

“What are your plans after graduation?”
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“Are you going to get your shit together and go back to school?” (I’m not even kidding. This is literally a question I was asked this week. And it’s not even Thanksgiving!)

That is why I’ve come up with a list of tips and tricks for dealing with those awkward and sometimes prying questions your relatives may ask you this Thanksgiving:

Mentally prepare yourself for it. This is crucial to your survival. Remind yourself of this from now until Thanksgiving: “My relatives are going to ask a shit ton of questions and I’ll probably be very stressed and anxious when all I wanted to do was eat.”

Hope for the best (they don’t ask you questions at all) but prepare for the worst (they think you’re an omniscient being.)

Physically prepare yourself. Look good, feel good! Wear something that makes you feel cute. Make sure your brows are fleeked to the Gods. I personally will be wearing big obnoxious fake eyelashes and winged eyeliner so I can fly away if the questioning gets too overwhelming.

Have answers (of some sort). What I mean is, have something to say. After all, you know that the questions are coming.

When asked how school is, tell them about the classes you’re taking next semester. If you have stickler relatives who ask how this semester is going– only opt to discuss your favorite course. Note: If you’re taking a cool course about serial killers, you could talk about that to distract/scare them. You could also try boring them to death if you’re taking something like History and Culture of the Adriatic Basin. If you’re graduating this semester and they try to ask you about what you’re doing after, discuss what your dream job is.

We all have that one aunt/uncle who has the bad habit of always talking about your wildly successful cousin but, try not to take it personally. Remember that everyone has their own journey through life. It’s not for anyone to compare. Don’t let someone else’s ideal of what success means make you feel like you’re any less.  

When it comes to discussion about dating, I can’t tell you how to handle that. I will say for myself personally, I choose not to disclose anything to my family. Not because I don’t want them to know but, because I won’t bring anyone home to my family until I feel like it’s something worthwhile/stable. That, coupled with my goal to talk about myself as little as possible, leads me to believe that “no” is the easiest answer to give when asked if I’m dating anyone.  

EXAMPLE

You: *trying to enjoy your mashed potatoes*

Pleasantly Plump Aunt Who Always Insists On Kissing You: [Name], tell us, are you dating anyone? *sips drink*

You: No…  

Uncle Who Always Brags About Your Wildly Successful Cousin: Why’s that? *trying to be funny* What’s wrong with you?

You: Everything. Except how I dress. *goes back to enjoying mashed potatoes*

END EXAMPLE

See? Easily shut down. On to the next question, please. Better yet, why don’t we discuss one of the following approved topics that everyone at the table can partake in:

How delicious the food is

What everyone wants to do after eating

The “should stores be open on Thanksgiving or closed?” debate

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

How ridiculously large the new iPad Pro looks

Adele’s new album

Fashion from the AMA’s

GLENN ISN’T DEAD

However, if you answer “yes” to the dating question, lots of questions will follow. They’ll ask how you met, his or her name, major, blood type, views on socioeconomic issues, blah blah blah.

Reminder: If your relationship is publicized through social media, you can’t lie. Unless you decide you want to tell them that you guys recently broke up and act deeply saddened by it. Maybe they’ll feel bad and leave you alone.  

I really don’t think relatives mean to be annoying– they just want to know about you (especially if they haven’t seen you in a long time) and can’t help themselves. They have good intentions, they just don’t realize that you’ve got a mountain of pre-finals work to do once you get back to school.

This Thanksgiving, as difficult as it may be in the moment while you’re being interrogated, try to focus on the positive aspects of the holiday.

✔ A break from school and work

✔ Mashed potatoes

✔ The silence that will come when everyone slips into a food coma  

✔ Finally being able to listen to Christmas music

Girl Code

There really are lots of rules when it comes to the Girl World. Why do you think Cady Heron was so confused when she first came to North Shore and met the Plastics? Gretchen Weiners touched on some of the rules:

  1. You can’t wear a tank top two days in a row.
  2. You can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week.
  3. You can only wear jeans or track pants on Fridays.

Any offenses are punishable by being banished from the lunch table! While she definitely made some crucial points, she didn’t discuss the most important aspects of girl code.

Here are some of my own:

Thou shalt not let a woman bleed helplessly. If a woman comes to you asking you for a pad or tampon, and if you can spare one, GIVE IT TO HER!

Thou shalt not comment on another woman’s appearance unless it can be fixed quickly. If anything is amiss–Let. Her. Know! Don’t just let someone walk around looking crazy! We’ve all been there before. You’re having an amazing day — until you look into the mirror and see that your eyeliner/mascara is SMUDGED. You’ve been walking around looking like a raccoon! Or maybe you have something in your teeth. *cringe* Note: This does NOT apply if you just have a negative opinion of a woman’s outfit/makeup/hair/general appearance.

Thou shalt call a sister out on her bullshit. Don’t enable bad behavior. Is she not washing her makeup brushes regularly? Does she wear a white bra under a white shirt instead of a nude one? Is she sexually active and not using any form of contraception? Show her the way! Tell her that you care about her and educate her.

Thou shalt uplift and motivate your sister. Women are entitled to their individual choices, lifestyles, and paths.What’s unfortunate is that, while I think everyone can agree on the above statement, not all women support each other on all of those accounts. While it seems as if it should be simple enough, there is a ridiculous amount of girl-on-girl hate.

What’s really sad is that we sometimes hate each other over petty things.

Personally, I know I’ve gotten snarky remarks about my major:

“Oh it’s so easy.”

or

“Your workload in comparison is much lighter.”

What?! Do you know how many unpaid work hours I’ve put in to build up my resume?  

Girls who get mad over their friend buying the same top as them or girls who won’t tell you where they got “X” article of clothing/accessory. Really? Why? I love when someone asks where I got something because my rule of shopping is simple: “Anything you buy should make you feel like a goddess when you wear it.” Why wouldn’t I want to pass on that good feeling to someone?

I’m no saint when it comes to the girl-on-girl hate, I used to be really petty about people posting selfies on social media.

Me year two years ago:

*eyeroll* All she does is post selfies. Does she not have any friends? Ugh, she’s so full of herself.

Ew, I can’t believe I used to be so judgmental… over something that literally had no impact on my life. Now I can’t get enough of people’s selfies!

Me now:

Yaas girl, you’re feeling yourself! *likes* Get it. *comments with a million heart-eye emoijs*  

Who are you to judge how another woman lives her life? Why are her personal decisions so nightmare-inducing for you? Ultimately, it says much more about you and, I’m sure upon closer inspection, reveals some insecurities you may have.

Uplift the women you have in your life and help them to be the best they can be. If you see a job/internship posting that is relevant to a friend, send it to them! If they post a fabulous #OOTD photo on Instagram, leave a compliment!

Thou shalt not leave a drunk girl in need of assistance. This rule applies whether said drunk girl is your best friend or a total stranger. It’s easy to roll your eyes and be judgemental of the girl who’s slurring her words and tripping over herself but, instead, show some compassion. Check on her, make sure she’s okay. Does she need water? Is she alone? If not, where are her friends? How is she getting home? You’d want someone to do the same for you.

Thou shalt be on call in the event of an emergency. If your friend calls you telling you that she didn’t get into her first choice grad school, just had a bad breakup, or is just feeling down– be there for her. Have a slumber party, get her favorite food, and invite her other gal pals.

I’ll never forget during my sophomore year of college when my boyfriend and I broke up. Insult to injury, it was moveout day so I had to finish packing up my dorm (okay so, this was totally my fault because I waited until the last minute, but whatever my life was falling apart OKAY?). Two of my friends came to the rescue and helped me finish packing/cleaning and then one of them housed me for three days all the while I cried continuously and told her the same stories repeatedly.

Thou shalt protect your fellow woman. Women need to unite. There are only positive things to gain from working with and uplifting your fellow woman. Go back to the golden rule that we all learned in elementary school. Treat others with the same respect and thoughtfulness you want from the rest of the world. Whether or not you agree with someone’s lifestyle choices does not make them unworthy of your common courtesy or respect.

an open letter to men who don’t like make-up

Hi. Let’s talk.

One morning, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw that an acquaintance of mine recently changed her profile picture. In said photo, she was rocking a red lippie and winged eyeliner.

But what really caught my attention was the rude comment someone made about her make-up and how she was wearing “so much”.

“I like wearing make-up!” she quipped.

To which he sarcastically replied, “I wonder why.”

This really irked me.

Women who regularly wear it are deemed  “high maintenance” or “vain”.

“You’re too pretty to wear make-up.”

“She looks like a whore.”

“The natural look is best.”

“I like a girl who is confident enough in her own beauty that she doesn’t HAVE to wear make-up.”

And yet, if women leave the house without make-up, the same people who previously claimed that “modest is hottest” are saying things like:

“They’re hideous!”

“They must not take care of themselves.”

*eye roll*

Women wear make-up for a myriad of reasons:

“It makes me look and feel polished and ready for my day.”

“Make-up is an art!  It’s simply an extension of my personality– just like my clothes. It allows me to express myself.”

“It lets me correct things that I have no control over, like the occasional breakout or dark circles under my eyes from a brutal and hectic week with little to no sleep,”

Do you know what all of us have in common? (Even with women who don’t wear make-up.)

We don’t care about you.

Re-read all of these reasons and notice that it has nothing do with men.

It’s not about you.

It’s not about you.

IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

“At least some women wear makeup at least in part because they believe men like it.”

I think it’s pretty perilous to assume a 1:1 correlation between social attractiveness and sexual appeal to men.

“I think a little make-up is okay– just not too much!!”

Men don’t know what they like. Many insist they don’t like women who wear “too much make-up” (or any at all) but will swoon over the models and celebrities they see on the red carpet and in magazines without the slightest idea that they spent hours in a chair being prodded and worked on by a village of people to look the way they do.

Spoiler alert: They are most definitely wearing make-up.

“The natural look is the best.”

*sighs so deeply I die*

Let’s be honest. You don’t really want to see us out and about as if we’ve just rolled out of bed. It’s similar to how you expect our bodies to look a certain way but moan and groan when we order salads at a restaurant.

The actual translation of this is: “I don’t want to be able to tell that you tried.”

Sorry to break it to you but if we want to wear fake eyelashes and bright lipsticks, we’re going to. And we’re going to look damn good doing it.

“Are you so insecure that you can’t step out of the house without make-up!?”

I believe that wearing make-up and dressing well can be a sign of confidence just as much as going without make-up can be.😉 So what if we like to show off a little bit?

As Gabourey Sidibe so aptly put it,

“One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.” 

Ultimately, I think that my biggest problem with man’s crusades against make-up is that if you genuinely are turned off by a girl who wears make-up– there are plenty of women in the world who opt not to wear any, so why are you harassing those of us who do about your preferences?

Because at the end of the day, the only person we have to please with what we choose to wear or do to our faces and hair is ourselves. It’s not about you. It never was.