With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, not everyone is looking forward to squeezing around the grown-up table (or worse, trying to balance on a too-small chair at the kid’s table) for an afternoon of forced conversation.
Every year, it’s the same people with the same irksome habits making the same idiotic statements. I really hope you don’t have to experience all of these—but I’m certain that a few of you will definitely recognize these annoying people sure to be at your Thanksgiving table:
1. The Late Arrival.
Does dinner start at three? You can bet that this person will stroll in just after four and wonder why everyone is staring at them as if they’re starving. This person is also sure to blow a gasket if you start without them.
2. The Holy Terror.
Kids, in general, tend to run around, roughhouse, or even yell occasionally. But then there’s the one who hits, kicks, swears, bites throws things, and simply will not listen to instructions. That’s also probably the kid who spills grape juice on the new sofa, and wails like she/he is dying if anyone dares to tell them “No.”
3. The Religious Zealot.
Whether it’s a devout Jesus enthusiast or a militant atheist, there’s always someone at dinner who wants you to know that they would be happy to manage your spiritual journey for you. The idea that you might know what works best for you never occurred to them.
4. The Unwittingly Un-PC.
Political correctness hasn’t reached everyone yet, so don’t be surprised by that one relative who doesn’t understand why they shouldn’t refer to “coloreds” or “illegals” in disparaging terms, or why homeless veterans are more than simply “lay-about freeloaders.”
5. The “I hate football” Guest.
Not everyone loves football—I know I don’t. But not only is it rude to complain about what the host puts on the TV, but it’s also pretty much a given that Thanksgiving means watching the Lions lose at football.
6. The Lush.
If booze is found on your Thanksgiving table, you can bet at least one relative will over-imbibe. This could lead to orneriness, crying, passing out, or having to watch them tell everyone what they “really” think of them.
7. The New Guy.
Whether it’s your Aunt’s new boyfriend or your cousin’s college roommate, there’s bound to be someone at the table who doesn’t know everyone. This can be fine unless/until they ask why Uncle Sappy is missing a foot, or when someone is finally going to make deer hunting illegal.
8. The Politically Active.
There’s sure to be someone who insists on a political rant despite no one else wanting to talk about politics. Watch for dismissive over generalizations, un-sourced ‘facts’, and dickish words like “sheeple.”
7. The Harried Host(ess).
Chances are, there’s at least one person scurrying around like a maniac checking to make sure everyone drink is fresh, hors d’ouvres are hot, and that everyone is comfortable. You might be tempted to offer help, but your best bet is to stay out of their way.
8. The Braggart.
Everyone is glad that little Hannah passed her spelling test, or Trent Jr is on the JV football team—but the braggart just can’t shut up about how much better their kids are than yours. Chin up though, after Thanksgiving dinner is over, you won’t have to hear about it again until you get the bragging Christmas letter!