1. Occupy Wall Street
You may think “this is what democracy looks like.” And hey, we would agree with you, but Uncle Anthony who fought in Vietnam thinks “this is what a bunch of stupid hippies look like” and he’s just about to have his fifth scotch. Danger. Say how excited you are to watch the Lions and the Packers, but that you miss Brett Favre. That should get him going on an angry rant that isn’t going to hurt anyone.
2. Your Cousin’s Newly Revealed Bisexuality
Don’t get us wrong. Feel free to talk to your cousin about it. Congratulate him. Let him know you support him. That said, I wouldn’t talk about it in front of Aunt Carol. If he had come out as gay she would have at least had her long standing fandom of the male cast of “Will & Grace” and Neil Patrick Harris to help her figure out how to feel. But this? She doesn’t know what to make of it, but every time he leaves the room, she keeps muttering about how he needs to “make up his mind” and “get through this phase.” Our advice, change the subject immediately. Thanksgiving is no time for a civil war. Ask her what she thinks of “NCIS.” We don’t know her tastes for sure, but mathematically speaking, she watches it.
3. Barack Obama
It may seem innocent to mention your admiration of the President, but then you might have to listen to your Aunt Em’s conspiracy theory that he’s actually a terrorist sleeper cell agent who is hoping to institute Sharia Law (“Did you know his middle name is HUSSEIN?!”). And as entertaining as that is… Probably best to dodge the topic. She loves “Dancing With The Stars.” JR Martinez won. I don’t know who that is either, but she does. Ask her about it.
4. Your Aunt’s “Casserole Surprise”
If you talk about it, you’ll probably have to eat it. Nobody wants that.
5. Uncle Joey’s Parole Application
He didn’t get it. Again. Which is a shame because he gave a really beautiful monologue about how “rehabilitated” is just a word the prison system made up so somebody’s son could wear a suit and have a job. But you can enjoy the cake your mom already made. So… win some, lose some.
6. Your Boozy Grandma’s Lazy Eye
Discussing it only makes it worse. It’s like it can hear you say it’s name. Like you’re summoning it forth. Better to tell her how skinny she is, or how natural the blue in her hair looks. You know, believable things.
7. How Ugly Your Sister’s New Baby Is
I know you’re a terrible liar, but it is very, very important that the first time you see your new nephew that you don’t laugh and/or scream at his ugly visage. I know he’s the color of smashed plums. I know his head seems to be shaped like a goat. I know that having that one red eye makes him look like the devil, but there’s a pretty good chance that he isn’t. Your sister loves him, and you love her… At least at the moment. Who else would smuggle you Vicodin from her work?
No. Just. No.