I love Thanksgiving, but I would love it a lot more if it didn’t mean having to bite my tongue to get through a meal with obnoxious relatives. Everyone has them: there’s the mother-in-law who gets on your case about not having a baby yet, the know-it-all uncle who likes to get the last word in a conversation by throwing out random facts, the religious sister-in-law who likes to quote the bible to make her point, the brother who likes to start political debates, and so, so many more.
Is there an app for that? Sadly, there is no one-stop app for dealing with family. But with a little ingenuity and foresight, you can plan ahead for the conversations that will inevitably arise.
- The Mother-in-Law who wants to know why you haven’t had a baby yet
This one is irritating for a number of reasons that don’t even need stating. The question is: how do you
discreetly handle that question without actually promising to start trying right after dessert? My solution: she wants to know why you haven’t had a baby yet, so give her all the reasons why you think babies are overrated. To do this effectively, download the Babycenter app, which comes with a complete pregnancy and child development guide so you can individually address each issue. Example: “It says here that babies need stuff—which, if I remember correctly—costs money. I prefer to spend my money on MY stuff.” Or: “Yikes, according to Babycenter, babies need to breastfeed? Talk about crossing some boundaries…” It won’t get the baby monkey off your back entirely, but it should stall for a while.
- The Know-It-All uncle who likes to get the last word in a conversation by throwing out random facts he knows NO ONE will know anything about
This is the uncle who wanders into a conversation you’re having with someone about how great the movie “Titanic” was, and he shuts the whole conversation down with a line about how that movie was totally inaccurate because they didn’t even tie Windsor Knots back then. Or some such nonsense… Most of what he says is complete BS, but who is going to actually stop what they’re doing and take the time to look up the facts he spouts out and call him out on it? Answer: you. How? By downloading the Wikipedia app on your phone. A quick, surreptitious search on Wikipedia of the Windsor Knot will allow to fire back (albeit slightly delayed) that the knot was actually named after King Edward VII (the Duke of Windsor), who reigned from 1901 to 1910 and was known for preferring ties with thicker cloth to produce a wider knot. The Titanic sank in 1912, so it’s perfectly possible that people were using the Windsor Knot at that point. Ha! In your face!
- The religious sister-in-law who likes to quote the Bible when making a point
This one can be irritating for religious and non-religious folks alike if they don’t know their Bible verses, since it automatically changes the rules of an argument to make the Bible the go-to point-of-reference. Case in point: remember the whole “Obama is the antichrist” spectacle a few years ago, when Obama was running against McCain? The controversy came from a verse from Revelations, which supposedly implied that the antichrist will be of Muslim descent and he will be highly charismatic. Obviously, that points to none other than Barack Obama. MY religious sister-in-law quoted this verse (incorrectly) to explain why she feared for the world’s future if Obama was elected president. If you’re confident in your critical thinking skills, you can beat the Bible-quoting sister-in-law at her own game by downloading the Bible app to check the verses she’s quoting—or to invalidate the use of the Bible to win an argument by pointing out the verses that contradict one another.
- The brother who likes to start political arguments at the dinner table
There’s no easy answer for this one since political topics are all over the map—from the economy to foreign policy to social issues and so on. You could try downloading an app on every single one of these topics, but in this scenario, your best bet is to defuse the situation by pulling up a YouTube video of a cat playing the piano or a laughing baby.
It’s not an all-encompassing guide, but hopefully this will help you get through Thanksgiving with your obnoxious relatives so everyone makes it out alive and no one gets cut off or removed from the Christmas mailing list.
Good luck, and God speed.
Note: This article is for entertainment purposes only. These are all completely misguided and unhealthy ways of dealing with horrible family members.
Image source: reallychill.org