Your holiday guide to meeting the family and not being an idiot

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Tis the season to be jolly az fuck, homies.

It’s also the season for traveling with your new boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend to their hometown for the holidays. It’s stressful meeting other people’s parents and family because all families are pretty weird and have their own fucked up origin stories. It’s like stepping into a new little country where you have to learn the rules quick and not piss off the dictator–or else you’re eating at the kids table with little Damien who pees on shoes and cuts hair when you’re not looking. Here are some tips to avoid being peed on completely ostracized that will hopefully ease your holiday travel nerves.

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1. Take a gift. It is always good manners to present your host, especially around the holidays, with a small gift. Wine is a really safe and classy bet because what kind of total grinch doesn’t love wine? (Alcoholics, that’s who. Find out if the family drinks, and if they don’t, a nice apple cider is perfect.) This Chilean wine from Concha y Toro called Casillero del Diablo is relatively inexpensive for how good it is. I believe it is around 8-10 dollars a bottle. If you have even less money to spend, baking brownies or cookies is a really great, super cheap and very sweet alternative.

casillero-del-diablo

2. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. There is absolutely no excuse for being a rude piece of shit and sitting on  your phone during a holiday trip, ESPECIALLY if you are meeting your friend’s or new lover’s parents and family for the first time. Nothing says “you’re boring and I think you suck” more than a set of eyes glued to a smartphone screen during any kind of party, dinner or hang out. There’s no way around it. Rude. As. Hell. In the eternal words of Uncle Joey, “Cut. It. Out.”

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3. Keep the conversation light. Unless your gf/bf/bff’s parents are Serious Intellectuals who openly welcome thoughtful debate on controversial topics, keep your opinions about abortion and gun control to your Twitter feed. Nothing sours a first impression quite like a heated political debate, amirite? To detract from a conversation in dangerous territories, say a series of vague statements like “Life is so complex! Can you pass me the rolls? I LOVE your shirt!”

Don't be this awkward. Image via the age.com.au
This is what you look like during awkward conversations and probably also during sex. Image via the age.com.au

4. Don’t shy away from conversation. I am extremely social and conversational so I have no idea what it’s like to be “awkward” or “shy”. But I do know this: most people really don’t care if you’re shy or a little strange as long as you’re also nice/not a huge asshole. You can ask people questions about themselves. You can tell people things about yourself, even if you think it’s sorta weird. Just don’t casually bring up how you like to eat paper or the fact that you save your toenails cuz that shit is definitely weird as fuck.

5. Offer to help with anything. Normally there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but offer to help chop, set the table or pour the drinks anyways because it shows that you’re not a completely useless human guest. If you don’t help in the preparation or setup of dinner, the least you can do is offer to help clean up afterwards. Large holiday dinners are stressful to prepare, and the last thing your gf/bf/bff’s family probably want is to clean up after your freeloading meal. In other words, get a job, hippie!

This is a rendering of what René Magritte's childhood hand turkey might have looked like. Image via blouinartonfi.com
René Magritte’s imagined childhood hand turkey. Image via blouinartonfi.com

6. Err on the side of being really gracious. It is better to come off as overly enthusiastic about the generosity bestowed upon you by your bf/gf/bff’s family than to come off as ungrateful. Really. At least they’ll be left with a positive impression of you rather than “that guy sucks.” Don’t be that guy, man. You’re better than that. So even if it sucked, be gracious, be kind and you’ll be fine.

7. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t be an idiot.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM 20POORANDFABULOUS

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Happy Independence Day, America!

God Bless America, the one who birthed GA-GA!!!!! Image via collegedj.net

We should use the 4th of July as a time to be thankful and reflect on how great we have it in America, despite the economic situation.

Or we could just get drunk and light shit on fire with family and friends.

You decide.

‘MERICA!