[Welcome to a special Thankgiving edition of SPEAKSLEAZY, where resident relationship/love goddess Nikki Lanka shares her knowledge of how to survive the holidays in the best and sleaziest way possible.]
In the very back of my mind, I have a vague memory of when Thanksgiving was just a day for all my older relatives to make a bunch of food for me to eat without even asking me to clean up afterwards, and it was awesome. Aunts and uncles complimented me all day for not flunking out of, like, the sixth grade. I could watch the Macy’s Day Parade at 9 a.m. without sorrowfully squinting through a hangover.
I was so young, so foolish. But I’m older now, and there’s not enough pumpkin pie in the world to sugar coat what I now know to be true.
Thanksgiving is a vicious, bloody war zone. All the overflowing plates of stuffing and sweet potatoes are just the holiday Trojan Horses psycho relatives use to sneak into your living room, catch you and your little turkey-stuffed chipmunk cheeks in your most vulnerable state, and explode into a full blown, no-limits strike against everything that you are and have ever known.
It’s brutal. It’s terrifying. Luckily for you, I have prepared a fool-proof guide to ease your Turkey Day woes. Now, you’ll be fully prepared whenever…
Anyone acknowledges that a presidential election just occurred, or references politics in any way.
Change the subject as quickly as possible, but make as many subtle jabs throughout the holiday as you can. “Wow, we finished about 47% of that pie!” “There are more women in this kitchen than in Mitt Romney’s binder!” “Watch your fingers! This bowl of potatoes is more heated than the Israel-Gaza conflict!”
A relative asks when you’re finally going to pick a “real” college major.
Rip out that copy of The New York Times you keep in your back pocket, shove it in their face, and scream “DOES THIS LOOK LIKE FAKE WORK TO YOU!??!?” Then bury your face in your wine glass to mourn an imminent future of unemployment and crushed dreams.
Someone asks if you’re ever going to start bringing a date around to holidays.
Get on your “I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no man” soapbox and point out that you like cats better anyway, before meowing softly and slinking back to your wine.
The glass of punch you spiked with Everclear somehow ended up in Grandma’s hands, and she hasn’t noticed yet.
Observe from afar to judge whether she’s drunk enough that you should intervene. She’s rambling about how in her youth she always snuck away at Thanksgiving to smoke pot? No problem. She starts trying to relive her youth by swinging around the living room support beam and unbuttoning her cat sweater? Might want to take it away.
You don’t give a damn about football and that’s all anyone will put on TV.
Irritate everyone around you with profoundly ignorant statements, e.g., “They sure have sucked since they traded Jim Thome,” “If the quarterback is Jewish, isn’t it insensitive to call a blitzkrieg play,” “I don’t understand why they don’t just kick the ball everywhere, it would be so much more interesting.”
Your uncle tells everyone he bought a bullet proof vest because the CIA is watching him.
Nod slowly, excuse yourself and bring him your bike helmet from the garage. He better be prepared for headshots, too.
Grandpa casually slips racial slurs into conversation.
Have a TiVo list prepared for whenever football is over (is it ever over? Is it a hell that never ends?) made of nothing but BET sitcoms, Spanish Channel soaps and commercials with the Old Spice Guy. Then press a magic button so “Gangnam Style” starts playing on repeat as you ride into the sunset on the OSG’s horse.
What did I say. Fool-proof.
Be sure to hit up Conor and Nikki with your post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas holiday love woes in the comments, on Twitter, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.