1. Don’t Watch Football
It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, I get it, but this year, save yourself. As a Lions fan, I watch my team on Thanksgiving every single year. They haven’t actually won a game on Thanksgiving since 2003. Each year, the world doesn’t get to see how bad the Lions are until Thanksgiving, but on that day, the cat is out of the bag and everybody knows. This year they are 4-6 and facing the 9-1 Texans. Please watch something else. Anything else. I will be watching the game, but that’s only because I hope against hope that we won’t lose by 30.
2. How to Survive Dealing With People You Don’t Actually Like
Everyone has an Aunt Agnes and an Uncle Harry or some derivative. Nobody likes these two characters. Heck, they don’t like themselves. They’ve cheated on each other five times in the past two weeks with six different lovers.** They’ve been talking about getting divorced even before they were married. Yet, they come to Thanksgiving dinner and we are all supposed to act friendly. Screw that. Why wreck an entire day and dinner? Instead, fan the flames. When the conversation lulls, ask Uncle Harry what he did last weekend when you know he was hooking up in the back of his pick-up truck with his mistress. Ask Aunt Agnes if she thinks she found her soul mate and find out the secrets to a great marriage. At that point, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Watch out for the inevitable food fight.
Summary: Stir up Thanksgiving drama because it's fun.
3. Go to Someone Else’s House
Who wants to do dishes, make sure nobody steals stuff, and clean up after the food fight that will ensue once Aunt Agnes and Uncle Harry remember that they hate each other? Not you. I know it’s last minute, but make sure not to have anything of any importance at your house. I have begun taking this rule more seriously after years of finding condom wrappers and empty bottles strewn about my house.***
4. The Food
If you’re like me, you don’t stop eating until all the food is gone or you’ve gained 10 pounds. If there is food in front of me, I’m going to eat it. You’ve all heard that you should wear tight pants and generally tight clothes to prevent yourself from eating the whole turkey alone with dessert. That’s terrible advice. You’re going to look horrible after consuming all that food in those clothes. The buttons on your jeans/pants are going to pop**** and you’ll get gravy all over that nice new outfit. Instead, eat something about an hour before dinner and you won’t feel that full. Oh, you’ll still gain weight and your lover won’t love you as much for about a week, but it’s better than saying “I’ll control myself” and trusting yourself. That never actually works.
5. Don’t Invite Your Lover!
Face it, your family is insane. My family is insane. Thus, do not invite your lover to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a horrible idea. You’re essentially committing sexual suicide. Instead, why not show your lover pictures of you during your awkward teenage years? What a turn-on. Everyone knows what will happen if your lover is invited to Thanksgiving Dinner. Your family will make rude comments and look generally unruly, Aunt Agnes will tell her she looks like a slut. Uncle Harry will keep seductively winking at her. And what’s the best case scenario? Everything goes well, then next year when you’ve broken up, everyone will ask you what happened and every person you bring to dinner will be compared to her. Save yourself! Tell your lover to go kiss a porcupine if they insist on coming to dinner.
* For Jews, that day is Christmas, a.k.a., The Worst Day in the World, but that’s another post for another day.
** Figure that one out. The math works, but it’s complicated.
*** That is, unless you want someone to say, “hey, remember Thanksgiving Dinner? That’s where baby Trevor was consummated! Good times, good times. Did we mention we had sex on your bed?”
**** That’s only happened to me once in the past two weeks.