Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Guide to Holidays With Dysfunctional Families

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You all know I come from a weird family.
You all know that my relationship with said family is a bit of a roller coaster on normal days, and when a holiday comes along it can be a recipe for disaster.
Now that I have 25 years of holidays with these people under my belt, I want to bestow my knowledge and wisdom upon you.

1. Have lots of alcohol on hand. This will come in handy when your mother asks you in that not to supportive tone if you've "found a boyfriend yet", the yet hovering in the air like tiny nuclear bomb. You don't know when it's going to destroy your planet, but it will. Have a drink.

2. Play some music. Play it loudly so as to drown out the rising chorus of everyone talking over each other at the top of their voices about why Democrats are evil or how many marshmallows you should put on the candied yams.

3. Invite a friend. When we grow up, we all make our own chosen family. We find our people, and they understand us, love us, support us, and know all about the people we had before them who hurt us in all the fragile and intangible ways Family is known to do.

4. Avoid cutlery and sharp objects.

5. Come up with a mantra. Something calming that you can repeat to yourself over and over. Something along the lines of "I do not want to go to prison over one of these assholes" should do the trick when creepy Uncle Ned grabs your ass after his fifth Scotch and water and asks you if you remember how to say anything in French, because you took that one semester of it your freshman year of high school.
No, Ned, I do not know how to speak French, and I am not going to prison for stabbing you with a cocktail sword in the carotid artery.

6. Try to laugh. Of course you don't want to look at the macaroni art you made at the Children of Alcoholics Weekend Camp you had to go to while Mommy was "resting" 16 year ago, but your dad is going to pull it out anyway and try to make you put it on. Try to laugh and remember that at least it wasn't you who was in rehab.

7. Have another drink.

8. Remember that for whatever reason, these people are your family. No, you didn't choose them, but you were born with them and therefore now obligated to eat 3 pounds of turkey, drink hard alcohol and fall asleep in fancy clothes on their living room floor.

9. Write down some good things to bring up in your next ACA meeting. If you're going to be there you might as well get something out of it.

10. If all else fails, stand up and announce you're writing a detailed, tell all book about your childhood. Everyone will avoid you forever.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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