One of the big things about Thanksgiving is the coming together of family and friends. This holiday has the busiest travel period for the entire year, even more than Christmas. It has to do with the relatives coming together around the dinner table. When my family got together for Thanksgiving, there was always a lot of relatives there. Also, whenever I visited my in-laws for turkey and stuffing, there are always a lot of people there too; maybe even more so than my relatives. So yeah, I’m gonna talk about my awkwardness around my wife’s family.
Now, I don’t want to sound critical of them because from what I’ve seen, they’re all nice people. I just feel weird around a large family who are familiar with each other but I’m not as familiar with. So since I’m not a great conversationalist, my interaction could be like:
Elderly man: Hey, how’ve you been?
Berdo: I’m good, and you?
Elderly man: Can’t complain.
Berdo: Good, good.
Just imagine that uncomfortable silence peppered into a conversation several times in 5 minutes and you see where I’m coming from. Luckily, it’s been several years of weird chats during Thanksgiving so I’m getting a little better.
One good thing about visiting my in-laws is that there is a lot of wine. A LOT of wine. That means the alcohol loosen lips which kinda works in my favor. It also works against my favor because my in-laws have an established political background and their opinions about all sorts of political subjects start coming out. It doesn’t work for me because my in-laws are at one end of the political spectrum and my wife and I are at the complete opposite.
What do you mean, “You didn’t vote for Obama?”
This means that I can hear falsehoods and all kinds of slander repeated in the media about my political affiliation and I hold my tongue because I don’t want to get thrown out. It doesn’t help that my college major was in Political Science and Philosophy. I just have fun keeping a count of how many fallacies I can identify and how to refute claims in my head.
Ring the bell, Ref!
However, the best thing about visiting my in-laws on Thanksgiving (besides seeing the ones I’m actually comfortable with) is the food. Holy crap, they have everything there. I’m talking ham, turkey, baked ziti, baked macaroni, and I could go on and on. I think people bring dishes from their homes and since there’s so many people there, there are lots of variety and a large amount of it. If I didn’t feel awkward there, the food and wine would have me in a coma until the start of the new week. And the food is all good. I can’t complain about anything there.
Think this but quadrupled.
Although I still feel a bit awkward about visiting the in-laws on Thanksgiving, I’ve gotten a lot better at it. There are relatives who come from out of state who I don’t know, but at least if the opportunity arrises, I try to make better small talk. If it’s possible, I try to get a drink in me as soon as I can since it makes me more sociable. And isn’t socializing is what a family gathering all about?
Family gatherings and wine!