How to: Survive the Holidays with Your Relatives
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except probably you because you’re up worrying about what curveball questions your extended family will throw at you this holiday season over casual sips of eggnog. You love your family, you really do, and I don’t know if it’s the itchy sweaters or the flashy Christmas lights but something seems to make them forget the ridiculous amount of stress you’re under as a college student. What exactly do I mean by this? Well you just finished your finals; you’re waiting for that one grade that determines the ever-important difference between an 89 and a 90 from Professor. Wont-Round-Up-Under-Any-Circumstances in Class-I-Really-Need-An-A-In, you’ve just packed up half your life to come home for a few weeks and you probably forgot something, and you’re already missing your local bar. You’re ready for a nice, relaxing holiday season free from essays and online modules and full of hot chocolate and way too many look-the-other-way Christmas cookies, but instead you find yourself pondering your future while staring at yourself in the shiny Christmas tree ornaments while your second-aunt twice removed drills you with questions about your non-existent boyfriend and your classes.
We’ve all been there “What’s your major?” “What do you want to do with that?” “How’s school?” “How are your friends?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Why not?” “Do you like your teachers?”… you get the picture. Well fear not, Collegiates! After much careful thought and consideration, I have constructed several foolproof plans to deal with this influx of questions you will undoubtedly be bombarded with this holiday season.
1. Cause a distraction
You’re sitting there, patiently awaiting the dinner you’ve been building up in your head all day, the obligatory family photos have been taken, the table has been way-too-meticulously set, and you’re waiting calmly at the table, that is, until your grandmother comes up “So, where’s your boyf…?” CUT HER OFF. Do it now! Throw in a quick “What’s that, the turkey is ready? (or better yet) It’s burning?!” “Baby cousin Jakey got his hand stuck, AGAIN?!” This is your chance, the second she looks away, RUN.
2. Change the Subject
There’s no way you’re the biggest failure of the family; surely you have that one cousin that has way more issues than you! Now is the time to set aside comradery and loyalty and throw them under the bus. “Oh yeah? You want to ask why I’m single? Why don’t you ask cousin Johnny why he got suspended twice last semester?” Sorry, Johnny, every man for himself.
3. Fake an Illness
College can really mess with your immune system, trust me, I have learned this first hand. Senior year of high school I never took a sick day, now I’ve had strep throat twice in one year and lost my voice more times than I can count. This is where close quarters and a weakened immune system FINALLY work in your favor, but you really have to commit to this one. “What was that? Why don’t I have a boyfriend yet? Too bad I can’t answer, I lost my voice again and have become totally inaudible.” For this tactic you will need a few sticky notes with basic “yes” “no” and “pass the potatoes” instructions as well as a ridiculous amount of self-control. Don’t you dare join in on those Christmas carols.
4. Fire back
This one is risky depending on who you’re talking to, but it’s so crazy it just might work. Remember that teacher that never answered any questions and just fired back with another question? Well I hope you were taking notes because that is exactly what you’re going to do now. “What am I going to do with my life after college? What’s your retirement plan?” “What am I going to do with my major? How well did your major work out for you?” “Is school fun? I don’t know, how’s bingo night going for you?” I know… ruthless. This is only for the most daring of the holiday survivors.
5. Cause a scene
Let me preface this by saying this is a last-ditch-effort option, but nonetheless, an option. You’re THAT fed up with the annoying questions? It’s time to take that cranberry sauce to another level. That’s right, start a food fight. Maybe you can even blame it on your little brother, but you better make sure the chaotic scene you cause at this family meal stops any and every attempt at a question about your future from every nosey aunt, curious uncle, concerned grandmother, EVERYONE. Warning: side effects may include cornbread crumbs in hair and mashed potatoes on your new blouse.
~Happy Holidays, Everyone!~