8 Most Painful Parts of Thanksgiving Dinner

By Giana Scavotto

Thanksgiving is a day for gathering around the table, spending time with family and loved ones (not to mention all of the food!). During this holiday, students return home from college, the family meets the latest significant other of someone at the table, and someone’s grandfather or uncle always recalls his account of an embarrassing, funny family story… That said, here are just eight ways in which Thanksgiving dinner is painful:

The “Kid’s” Table

Let’s get this out of the way right now — the “kid’s table” is horrible. I’m 21 years old, and my grandma still makes me sit at the kids table with all of my cousins, who are all basically in their twenties as well, with the exception of one, who is five. This concept is awkward and weird, and what is going on at the “adult table” that we can’t hear about? The (often folded lawn or plastic) chairs are too small, my legs barely fit under the table, and I’m sitting there with a glass of wine, while the five-year-old is screaming about not liking his carrots. More wine, please!

The Significant Other

No matter who brings their significant other, it’s always a little uncomfortable — especially with a family like mine. With the alcohol flowing and the over-eating, there’s always an eyebrow-raising comment or an unwarranted bodily function to embarrass you. Not to mention that everyone’s initial reaction is either, “Wow! About time you got a boyfriend!” or “Jeez, another one? She’s not as pretty as the one he brought last year.” Also, depending on your ‘family culture,’ it’s usually an interrogation of the person — my family wants to know it all, pretty much right down to the moment they were born.

The Same Embarrassing Stories

“Hey Sam, remember when you peed your pants at your middle-school talent show?” or “I’ll never forget the time, five years ago, when Nana’s dentures fell out into your boyfriend’s drink.” We have all heard these stories more times than we can count, and we’d like to forget them. We get it, it’s all in good fun, but come on, you really didn’t need to tell my new boyfriend every single one. And don’t even get me started on the embarrassing home videos…

Political Arguments

This is inevitable at any family gathering. Someone’s a liberal, someone’s a conservative, and there’s always a debate about the President, pro-life/pro-choice, and the infamous gun-control debate. Every conspiracy theory circling the Internet will make its way into conversation and someone might even shed a tear.  Everyone’s screaming at each other and grudges form that won’t get resolved until Christmas.

The Drunk Uncle/Aunt

It’s always an uncle or aunt – not saying it couldn’t be grandma – but we’ve all got that one relative that has a little too much to drink and needs to leave before the meal is over. They always make an awkward remark like, “So, who’s your latest flavor of the week?” in front of your 97-year old grandfather, and we can’t forget the time they fell over in their chair and knocked the gravy all over the table.

Small Talk with Distant Relatives

“Like who are you related to again, and why are you asking me if ‘kids these days still watch (insert some 1970’s show here)’?” There’s always a relative that you’re not exactly close with, and they always want to talk to you about something you don’t truly care about. They try to get to know you, despite the fact that you have grown without them in your life, and you have the same awkward conversation every year — and it never gets any better. Avoid at all costs.

Strange Food You Have to Try

Yup, Aunt Suzy brought the stuffing mixed with chocolate chips and hazelnuts again, and mom says that you have to eat it (and pretend to like it). If you don’t, Aunt Suzy’s feelings will be hurt. We all have that one relative who tries “something new” and brings it for everyone to “enjoy.”

Turkey Pardon. Just…why?

Why does this even exist? A televised event of the President sparing the life of a turkey… just to go eat the other turkey inside cooking? Weird concept, one that I’ll never understand.

Thanksgiving certainly isn’t Christmas, but it’s definitely the warm-up routine for all the holiday fun. So, hold on tight, drink that fourth glass of wine or spiked eggnog, and prepare for a day filled with awkward small talk, arguments, and lots of carbs!

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