Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aunt Lola's Etiquette Advice For All Possible Occasions: Thanksgiving Edition

For the most part, Aunt Lola offers her advice on twitter, but for those questions for which one hundred and forty characters simply isn't sufficient, I have offered her the space to answer them here on my blog. Enjoy.

Dear Aunt Lola,

Do you have any advice on getting through a Thanksgiving with a non-traditional family? Mother recently left Father for a younger vampire (she says it's a werewolf thing, but frankly, none of us are buying that) and she wants to bring him along, which is a problem because Grams says he tried to feed on her back in the 1870s. Aunt Mary's second husband is a zombie, and he always puts brains in the stuffing, even though no one else likes them. Grandpa insists on killing the turkey himself, except that with his false teeth it takes forever for him to rip out the throat, and by the time he's done there are feathers absolutely everywhere and most of the meat is ruined. (And don't even get me started on my cousins and their "science projects.") And the worst part is, I'm bringing my new boyfriend to meet them all for the first time, and I don't want him to think that we're weird. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Hungry For the Holidays


Dear Ms. Holidays,

Firstly, it is foolish to ever ask Aunt Lola if she has advice. Aunt Lola always has advice, for all occasions. It's right there in the name. Secondly, don't worry so much about things you can do nothing about. There are some things in life we can not control, and family is most of them. The best we can hope to do is contain the damage. Therefore, I would suggest that you tolerate your mother's new beau as best you can, for her sake, However, if you think he is likely to attempt to renew his acquaintance with your grandmother, I would recommend that you keep a cup of Holy Water on hand, which can be "accidentally" spilled, as it is awkward to try and explain attacking someone with a stake in a social situation. As for the issues with the dinner, your best option is simply to have a quick bite at home before you leave, so you can take just enough food to be polite, without feeling compelled to eat it. Remember that Thanksgiving is more about family coming together and celebrating traditions than it is about the particulars of the feast, and it's better to wait while your grandfather gnaws his way through a turkey throat than to insult him by suggesting he is no longer able to play a valued role.

Thirdly, and finally, do not try to hide or change your relatives for the sake of your boyfriend. They are who they are, and he is bound to find out eventually. And the sooner he knows them, the better he will be able to arm himself for the next encounter.

Yours Truly,

Aunt Lola