We all know that dealing with overly political family members can be taxing on everyone, at least we’ve been separated by a computer screen, until now. The voices behind those overzealous Facebook posts will be asking you to pass the mashed potatoes and there’s no ‘hide post’ at the dinner table.
We should have seen this coming, we should have prepared ourselves, armed ourselves with facts to refute their awful points and booze to cope with our despair. However, if you’re anything like me you wasted this viable time day dreaming about how great it would be to ask my Trump supporting grandfather how good it feels to have a woman in the White House approximately 700 times over the span of a 2 hour meal.
And while dismantling an 84 year old man’s perception of the country and its ideals seems cruel, I was thoroughly looking forward to it.
As the election cycle got under way I occasionally had to listen to him at our weekly dinners yammer on and on about how great Trump was, which was fine. It became fuel for my fire that I would unleash here, now, at Thanksgiving, when the election had concluded.
But, now with under 24 hours until we sit down to celebrate what we are thankful for this shows up on my feed:
Oh good lord, Trump is about to bestow upon us the most electric Thanksgiving that families across the country have ever experienced.
So, how are you suppose to cope with hours surrounded by land mines in the form of hot button political issues?
- Establish your allies
Everyone needs a partner or small platoon during the holiday season. Whether it’s a significant other or an experienced band of cousins, make sure you have a support group.
- Perfect your smile-nod-awkward laugh combo before it’s too late
“Hey, my favorite grandson/nephew, you know who else is my favorite? DONALD TRUMP!” Oh, for the love of Christ, this is the type of thing a grandfather or uncle will spout off that has unlimited segue potential – do not, I repeat do not, open that door.
- Know the kickoff times and channels for every football game
This seems obvious and a tad unnecessary, but every second wasted scrolling channels is an opening to start some politically fueled dialogue. Even if you don’t even like football, find a reason to this holiday season and bask in the hours upon hours of distraction it provides.
- Remember, your family are not their memes
No matter how blurred the lines may have become, it is vitally important to maintain your ability to differentiate your relatives from the horrible offensive images that they have polluted your timeline with for the past year.
- For your own sake, develop a systematic approach to alcohol consumption
The last thing you want is a relative pulling you to the side, or worse announcing it in the middle of festivities, that it appears you’ve had too much to drink. Think ahead, use the same cup each time and pull a couple “oh, no Gram, this is the same drink,” and utilize your support group to fetch for you, so it doesn’t appear you’re living at the bar.
- Consider the kids table
Sure, you may be an adult now, you may even have a college degree, but that doesn’t mean the blissful ignorance of a small child isn’t exactly what you need this Thanksgiving. While kids may be overly preoccupied with where babies come from at least they’re not concerned with the distinction between alt-right and white nationalist and which one your grandpa is.
I admit there is no full proof plan for surviving this Thanksgiving in particular, but hopefully these suggestions can help you formulate your own family specific game-plan.
And if things just become too unbearable, feel free to go all out scorched Earth on your family gathering and dismantle every relationship that you were literally born to have.