Thanksgiving Conversations Everyone Dreads

November 22, 2017  |  
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Gettyimages.com/Smiling Black brother and sister at dinner table

Are you going home for Thanksgiving? When you’re winding down those last couple of days at work before you travel, and packing up your cute Thanksgiving outfits (the ones you plan to wear so you can look fabulous when you run into old high school friends), you’re so excited. All you can think about is the warm feeling of being surrounded by family, the much-needed break from work, and the delicious meals. That’s right: you’re lured into the lion’s den by the smell of cinnamon, pumpkin, and turkey. But once you get there, your family pounces. You know what I’m talking about: the interrogation, the third degree, the surveys. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without some uncomfortable banter. Here are Thanksgiving conversations everyone dreads.

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Why aren’t you making more money?

No matter how much money you make, it’s never enough for your family. And perhaps you don’t make a ton of money, but you cover your bills—it’s not like you ever ask for handouts—and you’re able to put a little money aside. Shouldn’t the fact that you’re happy be enough? (HA! That’s hilarious! Yeah right!)

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Your diet is all wrong

You’re either not eating enough, or someone points out that you’re hitting those mashed potatoes pretty hard. If you don’t eat gluten, sugar, or meat, that prompts a whole debate about the virtues of your diet. You didn’t ask for this debate. You just asked that your mom not put gravy on your plate.

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Let’s talk about the will

At some point, some morbid family member wants to discuss the will and the estate. Who will get what when so and so dies? What are the plans for this piece of furniture or that old jewelry? Who is going to make the final call if this old relative is on life support? It’s pretty heavy talk for appetizer hour.

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Why are you still single?

If you’re single, you better believe there will be a half hour discussion about that. Your relatives will start pitching each other people to set you up with—as if you’re not sitting right there. They’ll also tell you what about your habits and personality is keeping you single. You didn’t ask.

marriage proposal

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Well, why aren’t you guys engaged yet?

If you’re in a relationship, then everyone wants to know when you’re going to take the next step. Whether that’s moving in together, getting engaged, or having kids, your family will not drop it and just let you enjoy this phase of your relationship.

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You don’t visit enough

However often you visit, it isn’t enough. Your mom will point out that her friend’s children visit them far more than you visit her. (There will be no mention of the fact that those kids live very close and only work part-time).

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When you visit, you’re distracted

No matter how much attention you pay to your family when you visit, if you so much as take one work call, you’re (apparently) “Distracted when you visit.” You’re best off just sitting on your mom’s lap the entire time.

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I call grandpa; do you?

There is some old or widowed relative in need and everyone competes to show off about how caring they’ve been towards said relative.

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You didn’t help with the meal enough

You can stand in the kitchen all day, making yourself available to help, but your parents will never give you instructions. When you all sit down to eat, they’ll make some passive aggressive comment about the fact that you didn’t help make the meal.

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You should buy a home already

Your parents have, naturally, pulled up several links to homes they think you should buy. They’ve calculated your down payments and mortgages for each one, as well as how much each property will appreciate over time.

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Politics

Ugh. There’s always some dumb*ss who thinks that somehow he can successfully carry out a political conversation. Yes—he is the messiah who can somehow navigate this topic without triggering people. Sure.

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You’re not religious enough

No matter how religious you are, it isn’t enough for your family. You go to church each Sunday? That’s nice. But your sister volunteers there during the week. You go to temple every Saturday? That’s lovely, but did you know your cousin does legal work for the rabbi, pro bono?

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You’re drinking too much

Someone always has to say something about how much alcohol you drink. (You drink it so you can tolerate these ridiculous conversations).

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How’s that one friend of yours who is better than you?

Your parents always hold one friend of yours in such high regard. She has the boyfriend and job and house they wish you had. (They don’t know about the painkiller and shopping addiction problem she has).

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How’s work? (Tunes out)

Your family doesn’t really know what you do. They ask how your work is going, but when you begin to talk about it, you see their eyes glaze over. In fact, they usually interrupt you mid-sentence to ask you to chop some carrots.

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