Happy almost-Thanksgiving! Hopefully, you’ve figured out what to take to tomorrow’s celebration (I’m doing this, and a pumpkin pie) or, if you are actually hosting, have found enough chairs and also congratulated yourself on that massive undertaking.
Now. Inspired by this brilliant Onion article, a gentle reminder that no one wins the bickering-with-extended-family-about-religion/politics game. This year, refuse to be drawn into it. Here’s the very simple game plan, repeated as many times as necessary:
Uncle So-and-So: Did you know that Obama is actually a transgender French woman?
You: Oh, Uncle So-and-So, I’m not going to talk about politics. (Voice tone: gentle)
Uncle S-a-S: But don’t you realize what she is trying to do to America?
You: I’m not going to talk about politics. (Voice tone: gentle but matter-of-fact)
Uncle S-a-S: Everyone, except white people and seniors and senior white people, will be given their own small business. But the kicker is that each small business will have been taken away from a white person who built it.
You: I’m not going to talk about politics. (Voice tone: same as above)
Uncle S-a-S: Entitlements … black people … gays … baguettes …
You: Hrmmmmm. (Voice tone: gentle but bored, more of a neutral, quiet noise than anything else. At this point you have full permission to wander away or turn to whomever else is around you that won’t be such a pain in the ass.)
No one, no matter how desperately they wish to argue, can withstand this stonewall effort. Whatever they are saying, however wrong they may be — you will not change their minds, and you especially won’t do it by getting in a big fight during a family gathering. So right now, summon all the zen you may need.