Zephyrus’ guide to surviving Thanksgiving

Mia DiLorenzo, page editor

Thanksgiving: a time meant to spend with relatives, but notoriously known for tension-filled family interactions. As Edina High School students start gathering with family to celebrate the holiday, Zephyrus has some tips for dealing with uncomfortable situations that will undoubtedly arise.

  1. Avoid talking about politics. It’s likely that you guessed this would be on the list. Family-wide political conversations hold the most uncertainty; you could either have a productive conversation about the current state of affairs, or it could turn into a battle that ends with more than one family member needing to leave the room (I’ve found that the latter typically occurs). As a conversation about immigration ethics unfolds, be prepared to dodge various flying pieces of food. Though the conversation may get chaotic, at least you’re somewhat safe from the destruction.
  2. Don’t comment on what the food really tastes like. Thanksgiving has been anecdotally recognized as the holiday with the best food. Maybe your uncle has watched too many episodes of “The Great British Baking Show” and is now convinced that he could win the prestigious glass cake stand. He might know what proofing is, but that doesn’t mean he can bake. If that’s the case, just smile and nod! Animals or nearby plants have proven to be an excellent place to stash burned cherry pie.
  3. When college inevitably comes up, change the subject. As your relatives not-so-subtly attempt to hint at your future plans, remembering a small detail about one of your aunts may serve you well. Upon hearing the word “college” in the conversation, mentioning Aunt Amy’s 20-minute Vegas marriage might bring about a much needed change in discussion. After masterfully transitioning the attention away from yourself, sit back and watch the events unfold.
  4. As family members’ names are brought up, act like you remember them. Though you may have forgotten that Brad, your second cousin once removed who was involved in a major money-laundering scheme, nod along as though you also remembered that he was a family member. Forgetting the names of your relatives would be the worst-case scenario; if you are unlucky enough to have that happen to you, Zephyrus recommends an immediate departure from the table and a quick nod to each person at the table before driving home.
  5. Don’t bring up embarrassing subjects. While it might be fun to watch your siblings squirm as you bring up your best friend’s brother (who is now ‘dating’ your middle school aged sister), it can easily go the wrong way. What starts as innocent banter can escalate alarmingly fast and result in an uncomfortable silence and awkward attempts at restarting conversation.