50. It's that time of year again. You've bought your plane ticket, taken the time off at work, and now it's time to lie awake at night and fear-sweat.
49. You're going home for Thanksgiving. And your whole family will be there.
48. Why are you even still celebrating this holiday? Aren't we over eating jumbo-sized birds yet?
47. Luckily for you, you have some plans for how to minimize the agony and maximize the eating.
46. Well, kind of.
45. Divide the day into a pie chart, so that you can track your progress.
44. Make plans with your family! Like watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV (i.e. falling alseep on the couch).
43. Watch the National Dog Show after, and don't mention that you've become a cat person since you graduated.
42. When your parents ask about your friends, don't panic. Make up some names and go with it.
41. Ignore your mom's comments about your weight.
40. If you need to, cry in the bathroom later (but turn the fan on and actually sit on the toilet, or she'll know you're faking it).
39. And definitely don't take this opportunity to zing her back.
38. When your family sits down to eat, make sure you choose a seat that is, a) close to the desserts,
37. b) far, far away from the kid's table,
36. c) next to your favorite relative,
35. d) within arms' reach of alcohol.
34. d) *just have a bottle of alcohol with you at all times.
33. If your brother comments on how much you're drinking and asks if everything in your life is going ok and do you need to talk, do not resort to violence. This will only prove his stupidface point.
32. Don't use your phone at the table, this will give your grandmother an excuse to talk about the devil that is technology.
31. Try not to flip out when your baby cousin blows spit bubbles into the communal pan of stuffing. You share a gene pool, you'll live.
30. Whenever someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, stuff your mouth full of food and start humming.
29. Your grandfather will never understand your job. Ever.
28. Your chatty aunt is who she is, just let her tell you about that medical procedure she had last August for the millionth time.
27. Avoid political talk at the dinner table, your dad isn't going to suddenly trade in his shotgun for a peace pipe.
26. Give yourself small rewards for good behavior. Your uncle brings up Prop 8 and you don't go bananas? High-five to you, self!
25. Remember, you are surrounded by food, the ultimate therapy!
24. The ultimate theraPIE!
23. So when your second cousin asks if you're wearing plaid because you're a lesbian, eat those feelings.
22. And if your favorite food isn't there this year, try not to lose it.
21. If your awful demon of a younger cousin tries to sit on your lap during dinner, politely tell him that anything that comes between you and food today will be promptly destroyed.
20. Ignore your skinnier sister who's only eating salad, you were way more popular than her in high school anyway.
19. And don't worry about overdoing it, because bathroom time = alone time.
18. Stay out of the kitchen. Don't go near your mom, she's on the verge of killing you, everyone else, and herself.
17. And if, somehow, your mom is faking happiness, don't question it. Smile/nod/repeat.
16. If something looks or tastes off, don't say a word. Smile/nod/repeat.
15. Your grandmother will hate whatever you wear. You lost this battle before it began.
14. After your uncle asks you for the hundredth time if you have a boyfriend yet, resist the urge to lose it.
13. When your dad mentions how much money you're making, don't get mad. Take a deep breath, stab yourself in the leg with a fork under the table, and change the subject.
12. When your brother asks if you've considered grad school, feign deafness.
11. Whatever happens, try not to make that epic exit you've dreamed about, because you're stil going to need a ride to the airport tomorrow.
10. If you absolutely have to get away, try to make your exit a subtle one.
9. When your cousin announces that she was going to wait to tell everyone, but she and her boyfriend just got engaged, keep your true feelings inside.
8. Your true feelings:
7. And definitely don't take this opportunity to share your own feelings on marriage.
6. Or how, whatever it's fine no one cares, but your personal life is going just great, thanks.
5. When your uncle gets uncomfortably drunk and emotional, try to remember this: he won't remember this.
4. And when he gets even drunker, forgets you're related, and winks at you, see #40.
3. If all else fails, have a backup plan.
2. Because even though these people are lab specimens, they're your family, and they love you enough to give you free food.
1. And always remember, there are way worse holidays on the horizon. So try to enjoy this one.
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