Thursday, November 26, 2009

Surviving Thanksgiving

I'm not that "Thanksgiving Survival" and you'll come up with thousands of hits.  I'm glad I did that (google) because I immediately got the sense that there are others out there like me.

First, my likes-I like being grateful, I like gatherings-just not at my house, not for days and not in big groups.  Hmm, maybe I really don't like gatherings all that much.  I like food.

Ok, I've sat here for five minutes and that pretty much covers the likes.

I don't like conversation closeness (aka subject you wouldn't discuss with casual friends) in big groups just because we are "family".  If the only communication we have all year is via facebook updates, don't ask personal crap, and don't ask it at the dinner table.  Survival tip 1: Say, "I'd rather not discuss" and then don't.  Tip 2: If you start giving reasons why you'd rather not discuss it, you ARE discussing it, so just leave it at "I'd rather not discuss."

If tips 1 and 2 get someone's panties in wad, let THEM make the scene, and don't be drawn in or participate.  Eventually that person will either get tired or someone else will jump in and say STFU.  Experience has shown, if you say you don't want to discuss something and then keep quiet, you will not take the hit for any ensuing drama.

Tip 3-don't host anything at your house.  You can't leave. When I'm ready to leave (I live near my folks) I make a point of saying "Well, I'm done for THE DAY, I will see you all TOMORROW."  I try to take my leave while I still have the energy and the will to go home and watch TV or read.  Waiting till I'm already in a fetal position in my head is too long.

Tip 4-have something in advance for people who want to come by later.  No, not drinks.  If someone ignores my clever tip 3 and says "we'll be down later" I say "Please don't, XXXXXX"    Depending on my mood I can come up with a variety of XXXX's, the flaming shits is always a good one, upset stomach, SWINE FLU.  This year, I myself am going with "I'd rather you didn't, I need my alone time."

The alone time only works if you've established yourself as an antisocial hermit beforehand.  It will otherwise cause concern amongst those who care and a new bout of nosiness for those who are nosey.  If you haven't done preliminary work, it's better to stand up and scream "OH GOD, I'm gonna SHIT", run to the bathroom and then leave shortly thereafter, pointedly saying "I'll see you all TOMORROW."

For years I just went to Mexico every year for Thanksgiving, and that is something to consider for future years.

Ok, truth is, I've always used the shit excuse up to now.  I promise I will use the "I need my alone time" and I'll post and let you know how that went.  Happy Surviving!

Oh, one other thing-if your family is not a close knit family-don't feel "strange" because you don't feel that closeness that we are "supposed to feel" on Thanksgiving Day.  You are not strange-it's a strange custom.  Just focus on what you are grateful for, eat a big slice of pie and do the best you can.


soulbrush said...

omg mr prozacville feels exactly this way about xmas, for me it's bah humbug to it all, but will have to do the ra ra ra this year for maggie's sake!!!

Debra Kay said...

I'm improving from a period of total avoidance (I really did go to Mexico every year for awhile) to facing it head on with utter fear and dread, to semi fear and dread and some moments of actual enjoyment.

I'm cooking and hauling the food down to Moms. She really is opposed to making reservations, I don't want everyone piled up in my house-this is our compromise. This year I went a step further and asked to do it all-for better or worse. Collaboration is not something Mom does well, she pretty much wants things her way-and now that she's not cooking, it's time for me to get some things MY way. Actually cooking is a compromise-MY way would be reservations.

I've got some sugar free options and the like in my menu, but I'm not going to bust my ass and sit down with a fat free/sugar free tastless "feast". I do admire people who do that as long as they don't insist that I do.

kj said...

well, how did it go? i was rooting for a surprisingly pleasant day for you.

i ate like a ______fill in the blank. it was wonderful!


Debra Kay said...

It didn't suck, which is surprising. Not sure I'm ready to do it all again tomorrow, and I'm not sure that I will. The gang has decided to go to Jakes, our favorite restaurant so I am off cooking detail, and therefore off the hook for visiting.

I do like seeing my nieces and their kids, and I did that today. Not sure I'm up for doing it again tomorrow and I'm sure not up for a big rib feast. There is time, I will sleep on it, then decide.

kj said...

so far, so good.

and you are not the center of it. that sounds good too.


Renee said...

Debra Kay you are awesome. This was so funny.

Flaming shits har har.


soulbrush said...

sounds like you survived yet another one. whew.