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.
“What are you up to?”
“Are you dating anyone?”
“How is school going?”
“When are you graduating?”
“What are your plans after graduation?”
“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.
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*
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*
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