How To Insult Your Judgmental Relatives During The Holidays (Without Them Realizing It)
It's here! "The most wonderful time of the year." Whoever coined that phrase was one hilarious, sarcastic, simplistic, yet creative genius – basically, a renaissance version of myself. I'd bet the house that he was a New Yorker. Or maybe it was a woman who coined the phrase, but who really cares? It's not the point of the article and I've never been known for my outstanding ability to be politically correct. This is why the holidays are (not) my favorite part of the year.
I was born in New England, a fact I don’t admit much. Every Thanksgiving, I take the four-hour journey back to the suburbs just to have dinner with a very blasé group of non-New Yorkers. In other words, they don’t get me.
The only people angrier than me on Thanksgiving are New York City taxi drivers, and who can blame them? The Macy’s Day Parade makes your commute even more awesome. What genius came up with the idea to put a parade in the middle of Times Square, blocking off all transit in and out of the city? I would bet it was probably the guy who coined the phrase, “This is the MOST wonderful time of the year!”
I can see him, sitting at his desk, wondering, “How can I make this holiday seem even more like hell? I know! I’ll stage a parade every year, fill it with tourists and have every New Yorker navigate their way through happy people.” Perhaps this man saw the parade as a gift; an excuse handed to us on a platter as an explanation to why you were unfortunately unable to make it to Thanksgiving dinner. Well, it’s the best excuse ever. It’s on television, and I’m sure your entire family is watching it, so you’ve got your alibi.
However, if you’re like most people, you didn’t see that the parade was your “out.” So, due to your lack of pragmatism and observatory skills, you have arrived at your destination ready to eat. I’m not a food snob, but after a decade in the city, if I commute four hours, I would expect the food to be nothing less than “out-of-this-world, we-flew-in-Mario Batali” kind of amazing. Alas, it never is. The turkey is dry, your vegetables are vegetables, and the cranberry sauce came from a can. I navigated through a parade to be here; the least the host could do is have it catered.
Time to face it: you’re there. It’s official. If you are the only New Yorker at the table, you probably are the most interesting and most judgmental one in attendance, and this very second your relatives are likely reading an article on “how to deal with my from-the-city-I-think-I-am-too-fabulous family member.” Brace yourself for enthralling dinner conversation about babies, marriage, houses, kids, public health care, school systems and infrastructure.
If you are anything like me, you want to start throwing plates at people. Subtlety is clutch when answering the inevitable questions about why you aren’t married at 30. Calm down, ask for more wine, and remember the following responses to get you through:
So you dressed like a boss?
Then expect this stupid question: “Why are you so dressed up?!”
You should respond to this inquiry with the likes of, “You are hilarious! All of my dressy clothes are still at the dry cleaner from NYFW. It’s been months and holiday parties are coming up, so I need to pick those up! My neighborhood dry cleaner, by the way, LOVES me. He holds my clothes for me forever. He gets it - I’m all over the city, events, galas, openings, fundraisers…I mean does it ever stop?! My apologies, though! All of my nice clothes are stuck at the dry cleaners so I had to come casual today, not really my “thing.”
Now, flip the switch! Why not? They already think you are one sassy b*tch.
“Well don’t you look cute! Boot-cut jeans? Wow, vintage? I don’t believe it! Samantha, come here! Have you seen Melissa’s vintage? Wait, shut up; they’re not vintage? I haven’t seen these since high school! And that was over a decade ago! We’ve got this FABULOUS vintage shop by me that has high-rise vintage flares from the 70s. Those aren’t high-rise are they? Yeah, didn’t think so.”
Do NOT stop talking about yourself and your dry cleaner until your family member walks away.
Get your hair blown out and buy yourself a new Yurman piece; it’s Thanksgiving. You deserve a thank you gift.
Then expect this stupid question from everyone at the table that already knows the answer: “So? Tell us, who are you dating?”
Respond with something along the lines of, “I’m exploring my options. I’ve found a few worthy of my time, but why settle? Chrissy, your wedding was beautiful, by the way!”
Time for more wine? Ask for a glass of Montepulciano. They won’t have it, and you’ll look like a prick. Well done.
Then, expect this stupid question: “Where are you meeting people?”
Between us, let’s be honest: Tinder, J-Date, beer pong on the UES. Just keep the truth to yourself and politely answer, “Oh, you know, functions, galas, charity events, conferences. All I’m doing is meeting people! Summer was great, spent a lot of time out in the Hamptons.”
Details, details, details. Look at your cousin's manicure and casually say, "Essie's new winter collection, shearling darling, right?”
She will likely be very confused. Everyone at the table will most likely be very confused. Great! Proceed with your questions, then! Ask her for her thoughts on sable collar versus vested interest.
Talk about yourself, but vaguely, using one-word answers.
Then, expect this stupid question from your aunt or uncle: “When are you going to settle down, have a family and move to the suburbs?”
Respond with an alarming, “When I decide life is no longer worth living.”
At this point, NO ONE should want to talk to you, but unfortunately, these topics might still come up:
“My friend just had a baby!” says your overly excited cousin, Janice. To which you reply, “Oy vey! Can you imagine? Schlepping around a baby stroller? No thank you.”
“How much are you paying for rent?” asks your annoyingly curious brother-in-law, Zach. You reply, “Relevance?” This will totally lead to awkward silence, which is awesome because you’re dominating right now.
“I just got engaged!” cousin Melissa exclaims, needing a Xanax. You rudely answer, “Oh! I didn’t even notice the ring! Come closer, so I can see. Mazel!! It’s beautiful.”
Congratulations. You will have survived Thanksgiving. Holiday season has just begun. Brace yourself.
Photo credit: The CW/Gossip Girl