- Eat - You cannot argue with a mouth full of Sweet Potato Puff. Focus on the food, limit discussions to your grandmother’s quiche and the proper way to brine a turkey.
- Remember who won - No matter what anyone says, remember who won the election. The country spoke and it spoke Democratic. Don’t gloat or brag, just remember: in the end, your side won.
- Reach across the table - Despite punditry to the opposite, there are more areas of common ground than differences. Attack Obama on an issue you disagree with (NDAA, drone strikes, etc.) to put them in the position of defending the president. Arm yourself with knowledge of talking points and facts before dinner.
- Clean Up - Nobody wants to do the dishes or clear the table. Being the brave one to step forward and take one for the team will earn you brownie points. And nobody likes to argue with the person elbow deep in soap suds. Plus it excuses you from the conversation.
- Be a huge football fan - If someone insists on turning the channel to Fox News, pester them for the football scores. It doesn’t matter if your last sporting event was a round of Halo 4, you are today the largest football fan in the room. So you know which games to ask for, the games on Thanksgiving are: 12:30 p.m. ET – CBS Houston Texans at Detroit Lions, 4:15 p.m. ET – FOX Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET – NFL Network New England Patriots at New York Jets. Go Team!
- Be respectful - It doesn’t matter if your 80-year-old father-in-law is the loudest Ditto-head in the room, be respectful of him. Remember that you will be casting more ballots in the future than they will, and smile to yourself as they go on and on about the latest Photoshopped picture showing the President pledging allegiance with the wrong hand.
- Volunteer - Can’t stand it? Give yourself the best excuse ever. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, women’s shelter or similar charity. I know we all love Thanksgiving dinner, but having the excuse of helping the poor and unfortunate is the best excuse ever to miss it. Unless your relatives are selfish pricks, they will save you some leftovers as well.
- Pick another subject - Just don’t talk politics. Discuss the weather, the library, your great aunt’s surgery, any topic but politics. If you have relatives like mine, you likely know the topics which will ensure hours of politics-free conversation. Never before has your uncle’s collection of antique fishing lures or your mother in-law’s classic 1948 Harley Davidson WLC been so useful. You know your family, use that knowledge to your advantage.
Monday, November 26, 2012
How to survive family meals with conservatives at the table: