Thanksgiving is a special time when family members, spread far and wide across this great land of ours, unite under one roof to dine, catch up, and recall exactly why it is they are so careful to avoid one another the rest of the year.
Those of us strangely blessed with mental illnesses of various descriptions are especially vulnerable, since these allegedly cheerful events feel more like crime scene reconstructions where the horrors that sent us running down the path to Cookoopantsatopolis are revisited endlessly.
Seated at the table, any progress made in therapy over the past year seems to magically melt away. Before long we find ourselves reclaiming emotional baggage we’re desperate to abandon. No matter how far we’ve progressed in life, there, seated in front of that defenseless avian carcass, we’re seven again; and it ain’t pretty.
Small wonder so many of us cringe as we witness the approach of Thanksgiving, contemplating the event with a dread one might reserve for dentistry without anesthesia.
If you are faced yet again with this psycho-emotional Armageddon, take heart!
Turn your Thanksgiving dinner table into a payback battlefield with you commanding the tanks! As soon as trouble approaches, apply one of these brass-knuckle gambits certain to turn the tide!
Take Charge Of Thanksgiving Dinner With These Psychological Grenades!
Insist on saying grace before anyone can start eating. Launch into a rambling, incoherent list of wonders that inspire you with a sense of gratitude, including, but not limited to, salt & pepper shakers, lamps, lint removers, self-winding watches and anchovy paste. Do not stop until you can see the vein in your dad’s forehead protruding.
Instead of asking your mom, dad, or sibling to pass the potatoes, say, “Please pass the resentments.”
As your sibling drones on about a recent social triumph, raise your wine glass in their direction and say, “You know, the more I drink the more interesting you become.”
Just when things are settling down, deliver a long, impassioned toast dedicated to, and describing in detail, the imaginary family you wish you’d had. Do not refer to your actual family at all.
Share odd details about turkeys. Say things like, “The fleshy growth from the base of the beak, which is very long on male turkeys and hangs down over it, is called the snood. Sometimes I wish I had a snood.”
As you listen to family members converse, randomly say “Hmmm” and scribble feverishly in a tiny notepad. When one of them asks what you’re doing, patiently explain that you’re observing them and will be reporting back to the authorities soon. If pressed simply say “Hmmmm” a lot.
Bear in mind that these techniques will not heal psychic traumas of youth, nor will they help you outgrow any damage done to you by your family. However, they will provide you with a lot of laughs at your family’s expense, and that’s got to count for something.