A Recovering Alcoholic’s 5 Tips on How to Survive Thanksgiving with Your Family
BY: Tim Myers
It’s time to pack the entire family around the table and saddle up for the biggest feast of the year.
Relatives you haven’t talked to in years are ready to chat. Uncle Richard has inappropriate pictures on his phone he thinks you’ll think are funny, Aunt Dot can’t wait to tell you that story she told you fifteen times. Grandpa is already snoring at 11 am.
Thanksgiving – the Native Americans survived it and so can you. Here’s how.
5) Make Sure You Have a Means of Transportation
I don’t care if you have to rent a car, borrow Grandma Donna’s mini van, take your cousins bike, or suck it up and roller blade around town – make sure you have a way to get out.
Thanksgiving can be stressful. You’ve got family members sitting face to face for the first time in years. It’s only a matter of time before Uncle Mike hits the bottle too hard and starts crying about how no one one loves him.
You have to be able to get out in a hurry, even if it’s just for five minutes. Make sure you have a way to get some air or get some alone time. When you have that much family drama all compressed in one container, at some point it’s going explode.
Just make sure you don’t.
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4) Avoid “Serious” Conversations
Thanksgiving is not the time to ask, “WHY AM I NOT IN THE WILL?” It’s not the time to bring up the fact that Jimmy still owes you $20,000 from the internet company he tried to start ten years ago.
If someone corners you and says something along the lines of, “Do you remember last fall when you called me a ________?” Say this, “I really think we should just enjoy each others company today, but I would be willing to discuss this with you tomorrow.”
That will work 50% of the time. If they persist, let’s hope you took my advice on tip number one. Start strapping on your blade runners.
3) Use The Buddy System
“Uncle Richard, this is my friend Brian. I bet he hasn’t seen those special pictures on your phone.”
“Oh Aunt Dot, you have any stories from the nursing home you want to tell Brian?”
See, it works perfectly. Having your buddy around will also deter the family from completely launching the family nukes across the table. Most families won’t spread the drama butter all over the floor if there’s an outsider present.
Plus, if the storm does start to get nasty, you and your buddy can retreat to safety together.
One by one your relatives are going to be telling you stories. If you’re anything like me, you spent a good portion of your life not giving a care in the world about other peoples’ problems or successes.
Now’s a good time, no, now is the perfect time to actually be there for people. You don’t have to give advice or take sides. You just have to listen, be supportive, and be the person that your family came to spend time with.
Many years from now you may wish you had a little extra time with these people.
1) Don’t Drink