Inlaw Tip of the Day

Everyone's families are quirky. But no one's family is more quirky than your husband/wife's or boyfriend/girlfriend's. Here are a few tips to help you minimize the awkwardity of the holiday season when you'll undoubtedly interact with some very weird individuals if the family is nice enough to invite you to join in the festivities. And remember, your significant other has had likely 20+ years to get used to these odd fellows. You're just meeting them.

1. Find an overly-gabbing, self-glorifying nincompoop to talk to. By finding one such person, you yourself can avoid small-talk. Just smile, nod, and let the holiday tryptophan kick in.

2. Sidestep the "Booby Hug." Every family's got one. The "booby-hugger." The person who insists on hugging WAY too close. Turn a booby-hug into a side hug and avoid the awkward press.

3. Wait for the awkward in-law to determine the greeting. Will it be a hug? A hand-shake? A kiss? Let the person you're meeting determine it. Nothing's worse than going in for a hug when the person only wants a shake.

4. When in doubt, ask any older male relative about "the war."

5. On second thought, avoid "the war." Could be a sensitive subject. If someone brings up "the war" it's OK to talk about. If they don't, you shouldn't be the one to ask.

6. Prepare yourself for insolent reactions from the little ones. If you ever say to a child called Laird, "Laird, this is my girlfriend Christine! Isn't she pretty?" He just might say, "NOOOOO....." He doesn't mean it. Even if he socks her in the shoulder afterwards. He's just a silly little noofer. Honest.

7. Brace yourself for every form of stuffing known to man.

8. Brace yourself for a slam on every possible race, nationality, gender, religious creed, and/or sexual orientation.

9. You can spend at least 3 hours milling around talking to everyone in earshot about how good the food is. Great conversation starter.

10. For fun, make crap up and tell it to old people. Tell them you won the lottery. Tell them you use to be a mummer. Tell them you know how to ride a unicycle. If they ever call you out on it, just claim THEY'RE making crap up. They're too old.

11. Take scary pictures of yourself and send them to your roommate to wish her a happy holiday.


vander said…
Of course, if you have been gifted with the innate ability to completely repel the opposite sex, you can skip steps one through eleven and move straight to step twelve:

12. Use your spinsterhood as a pity tool to claim the most leftovers for your journey home. (Crap. I forgot to look sad and ask for extra pie. Dangit!)
LDB said…
Haha...great tips...I feel like you visited my family to get a lot of 'em!
Jay said…
Similar digits?
Pete said…
LOL, very funny.

Based on the writing style I was about to say "Jason Did write this did he?" And well when I got to #11, I knew.
Jules said…
This is great. After hearing a bit of the fun from, uh, someone, I laughed even harder. The last tip also works if you're sitting in a church sanctuary on Thanksgiving night with 80 dirty college students all wearing matching t-shirts, waiting for a meeting to start.

Pete said…
Ah, Julie, good times.

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