The Relative You Are Most Excited to Evade at Thanksgiving This Year

The Relative You Are Most Excited to Evade at Thanksgiving This Year
Image:Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Maria is out on vacation this week so unfortunately, you will all have to cope with a Pissing Contest by me. In case you’ve forgotten and have jumped all the way to Christmas, Thanksgiving is next week! Normally, this is a time to gather around a table with your family and grit your teeth to prevent yourself from railing against that one uncle who is an insufferable asshole and won’t admit that he’s a Trump Republican even though you can tell from the way he talks, that’s exactly what he is.

But this year because of reasons we don’t need to rehash, the Thanksgiving table may be a computer screen or phone or tin can with a string—whatever device you choose to call your family and pretend things are normal as you eat a Hungry Man turkey TV dinner on your couch. So since you don’t have to face them this year, tell us about your worst relative and why you’re so excited to not have to see them.

I promise Maria and the normal Pissing Contest will be back next week! Until then, I’ll be nosey and pick a few winners from last week’s entry: The most important political event of your lifetime.

Seabassy, who met a star before they were a star.

We get there, the rally is outside, it’s fucking cold. I’m standing off stage right, teeth chattering, and there’s a little bit of hubbub about the guy right behind me, getting ready to walk up on stage to say a few words in support of the gubernatorial candidate.
He gets up and there’s applause. Never seen him before. He starts talking. Good speaker! Very motivational, love the cadence and content of his speech. He finishes, more applause, and he exits stage right to go back to standing right behind me. I say “nice job up there!” and he smiles this mega-watt smile and says “Hey, thanks! Your guy was really good too, I think he’ll win.” Then he leaves.
I find out years later that the friendly, impressive speaker was Barack Obama, then a baby senator out of Illinois.

MiaMontreal, did you spit back???

For me here in Quebec it would be the first referendum vote in 1980. The retoric running up to the vote was so tense that even as a kid of 7 I was very aware of it and the general feeling of either you were a french quebecois or you were the enemy. I even had a grown ass woman spit at me when she heard me speak English to my mom. The no seperation side won but the tension is still always there with a second referendum, the language police (yes it’s an actual provincial government branch) and both seperatists and non getting into it every once in awhile. Still not as intense in feeling as the first but maybe that’s because I can vote now

Assistant Undersecretary of Only Okay, I don’t think there was a school on earth that didn’t fumble post 9/11 memorial assemblies

But the tension really started to mount when the color guard brought in the American flag and asked everyone to rise for the pledge of allegiance. Quite a few people (including myself) chose to sit it out. A teacher yelled at a friend of mine to “go back to Iraq” for this action. There were several speakers who gave mostly jingoistic presentations about standing up for the country against terrorism, and only one person who seemed to care about memorializing the actual people lost. At the end of the assembly they encouraged students to go down and form a human flag on the gym floor. I guess there had been a memo put out to have all of the freshman and sophomore classes to wear white, juniors to wear red, and seniors to wear blue (or something like that, I could be mixing up grades here). They had marked out on the gym floor where everyone was supposed to stand so it would look like the American flag so they could take a nice photo for the local paper. I looked up this photo on microfiche a few years ago and I was able to actually find myself, wearing all black, standing on the back of the bleachers with my friends. I remember being so angry during this whole thing. That assembly was one of the first wake-up calls I had that the country, and even my local community, was much more nationalistic than the bubble myself and my baby-punk friends were living in. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to be a foreign exchange student forced to attend.
Later freshman year record numbers of my classmates walked-out to march against the Iraq war. Those were much better photos to look at

Drop that relative tea in the comments below.

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