The holidays are a special time of year. On the one hand, there are all kinds of delicious themed cocktails for you to imbibe. On the other hand, there's the people you're related to and the impending prospect of being forced to spend time with them. Ah, family. Guaranteed to love you, guaranteed to ask you awkward questions about your life that you don't really want to answer.
I discovered some time ago that the key to successfully answering awkward questions is to, in turn, be as awkward as humanly possible. We often try to answer prying queries by being polite, but why? Because we don't want to make the situation uncomfortable? Well, screw that, it's already uncomfortable. The only way to get the questions to stop is to play a little game of personal discomfort chicken.
If you're unattached, this is the number one question you'll field as your extended family begins to fear for the shelf life of your eggs. Sure, it's rude. But you can be ruder.
Answer: Make eye contact. Really get in there. Now lower your voice to a whisper and say, "It's the goiter. Wanna see?"
If you've decided to go back to (or stay in) school, be prepared for people to pretend interest in what you're doing so they can suffer through sitting across from you at dinner.
Answer: Tears. Loud, sloppy tears.
In a long-term relationship with someone? Do you love him almost as much as you love fielding questions about when you will finally shackle yourself to him for all eternity? If so, you're in luck this Thanksgiving.
Answer: "As soon as the divorce is final." Do not elaborate, but do high-five your partner.
Ah, money questions. Despite the conventional wisdom that says to never discuss money, religion or politics, family can always be counted on to go straight for one of the three. As passive aggressively as possible, of course.
Answer: "Who knew pot farming was so lucrative?" Chuckle and shake your head as you walk away.
After years of fielding the "When are you getting married?" question, you now have multiple holidays to look forward to fielding the "Hey, are you two gonna hump soon or what?" question.
Answer: If you're expecting this question, take some time to prepare. Print out lots of pictures of different cats and then pull them out at dinner. You and your partner should spend the next hour going into great detail about Mr. Scrambles' and Professor Softypaws' personalities and eating/toilet habits. Don't let up until dessert.
Yay! You have a child, and — surprise — it has some kind of genitals. Now when are you going to go for the complete set so life is worth living?
Answer: "Wait, you can do that?" Ask people to explain how that works.
Hey, Fatty, are you sure you want to keep eating? At dinner? On a holiday that revolves around food?
Answer: Say nothing. Just grab another roll, stuff it in your mouth and hiss at the offender, wild-eyed.
If you accidentally forgot to stop having sex with your spouse once you had two children, you might as well accept that people are going to now switch gears and badger you about your grotesquely large family.
Answer: "Ooh, ooh, I know this one!" Start at the beginning with "When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much..." Bonus points for using the salt and pepper shakers as visual aids. You can stop when no one is making eye contact anymore.
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