Essays

HOW TO SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (Just kidding! How to Survive Thanksgiving With Your Family)

  1. zombie-147945_1280Whether you’re driving or flying, don’t overschedule the amount of time you’ll spend at “home” (which won’t be home for you anymore, but it’ll be home for some of your family and probably a home for you at some point in your life). Before the holiday, you’ll be thinking of the fun times playing cards or giggling with the nephews, but by the end of two days with those people, all you will be able to think about is a return to your own couch/bathroom/bed/tv routine.
  1. Bring your own favorite booze. This is NOT the time to experiment with whether you might actually like elderberry wine.
  1. If you don’t smoke (so you can’t take smoke breaks) manufacture reasons to check your smartphone. Technology has become the new excuse for “me time.”
  1. Don’t volunteer to help cook. Family stress levels are highest in the kitchen. Cleanup is better, even if you’re so full you feel like a beach ball filled with mashed potatoes. It takes a long-ass time and some serious spatial skills to get all the leftovers into the fridge, but everyone else will be food drunk (at least) and sitting in a stupor on the sofa.mashed-potatoes-439976_1920
  1. Designate yourself the animal caretaker. If the dog needs to go out, you’ll do it! This will extricate you from dead conversations or overly detailed descriptions of your relatives’ physical ailments, and the dog will always be grateful and never remind you of the many times you were a spoiled asshat as a child.chihuahua-172839_1920
  1. Memorize a phrase to use when different family members complain to you about other family members. Something like, “Yeah, that must be difficult to deal with” or “We [Your Last Name]s are a crazy bunch, aren’t we?”
  1. Go to all the get-togethers, even the everyone’s-hungover-Sunday-morning-it’s-too-early-goodbye breakfast. You may end up hating yourself for going, but everyone else will hate you if you don’t.
  1. Finally, DON’T FIGHT. Holidays are like zombies in that they keep coming back, year after year. Family members are like zombies in that there are always more of them than there are of you. Remember, you’re leaving. When you get back to your own home, you can stop moaning and drooling and re-learn how to speak in coherent sentences the rest of the world understands.

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