It’s that time of year again. When you head home for the holidays, cheery and in spirit, only to have it slowly drained by the the things your family says and does year after year. Sure, you love them. But that’s ’cause you have to.
It’s true the rest of the year you can convince yourself you’ve grown up, matured, and are a better person. But for those few days you immerse yourself among your kin, you go from Thomas to Tommy, from self-assured in your career to never living up to your older cousin.
While there are so many things to look forward to during the holidays, the following experiences are not:
“So, you’re still single?”
Oh how we hate hearing this. Yes. I am single. But you know what? It’s OK — as long you don’t follow it up with how you know a “really nice” girl/guy who is the daughter/son of your co-worker because I DON’T CARE.
“Those football cheerleaders are pretty bouncy this year, eh?”
We know who this is. It’s your creepy uncle and he’s waggling his eyebrows as he says this. He gives unsolicited hugs, advice and smiles. Your whole family has learned to ignore him — but remember: prep anyone new you bring home. For while we all may have a creepy uncle of our own, we’re not at all used to yours.
Family Member A: How’s work going?
Family Member B: How’s work going?
Family Member C: How’s work going?
Family Member D: What do you do with your life, again?
It’s enough to make you stand on a table and make an announcement: FAMILY, GATHER ‘ROUND AND LISTEN CLOSELY. It’s strange though — as you tell your work story over and over, it becomes more and more meaningless. You start out all, “My life is full of rainbows and sunshine…” and end up all, “Why am I even on this earth?” Only family has this ability to make you question your existence. And they do it every single year.
“Peter, I mean Sarah…What’s your name? There are so many of you I forget which one you are, LOL”
I’M IMPORTANT, I MATTER.
“Have you seen cousin Bobby?”
Cousin Bobby got fat, Aunt Jane looks older than ever, and you have no desire whatsoever to find out what they’re saying about you.
So, when are you buying the ring?
A follow-up to the single question, this one comes if you’ve been dating someone for a while, the family knows them, and intentionally puts you on the spot in hopes the question will be popped right there. The longer you date, the worse it gets. Sometimes you consider getting hitched just to avoid this question next year.