Ah, the holidays! A time to reflect on the many gifts of life we’ve enjoyed throughout the year, look to the future and hope to better live our lives impacting the world around us in a positive way and, a time to fend off unnecessary personal-attack-style probing questions from family that we haven’t seen since we did this same dance last year. **sigh** Don’t get me wrong, families can be delightful, a blessing and a safe haven from the chaos of the world around us, BUT…you know.
Though you may have come through Easter with ease, the 4th of July without a major explosion and, more recently, found yourself thankful for coming through Thanksgiving mostly unscathed, beware, the holidays are not over. With this in mind, I’ve created this handy dandy guide to Rocket City-specific conversation shifts that may actually save your season.
We’ll start it off with one for my 20-something daughters who’ve taken it on the chin like champs so far this holiday season. I got you, girls.
Family member deflecting from their own personal life: “So…are you seeing anyone?”
YOU: “Yeah, I’m seeing lots of people! Have you heard of Martin? Miller? Humphrey? Jefferson? Sam OR Greg?” Honest ;), there are a ton of (strangely male-named) good times to be had in downtown Huntsville and you don’t need a significant other to have them!
Family member who needs to worry about themselves: “How’s school going?”
YOU: “Speaking of school…have you made it out to Campus No. 805 lately?” Trust me, leading the conversation here is doing everyone a service. With Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza, Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer Brewing, Civil Axe Throwing, Wish You Were Beer, Lone Goose Saloon and the list goes on and on, this is an A+ change of subject no matter how you look at it. (Unintended bonus: you’ve subconsciously relayed the information that there’s a potential you have excellent axe throwing skills acquired with beer on board.)
Family member trying to start a political debate: “What do you think about this voter fraud thing?”
YOU: “Honestly? I think Rocket City Trash Pandas won fair and square. I mean, I was team Moon Possums but, whatever, I’m still excited for them to start playing baseball back in Huntsville/Madison. Do you have your season tickets yet?” This subject change will have your fellow family members cheering from the stands and congratulating you on a home run topic turner.
Family member up in your personal business: “When are you guys ever going to have kids?”
YOU: “Kids come with way too many toys to trip over and I am not about it. The only “toy” I want in my life is Toybox Bistro. Have you been there?” With waffled mac and cheese, spicy fried pickles, burgers as big as your head and a motto of “Eat, Drink & Be Nerdy”, this “Toybox” is for appreciating the LEGO not stepping on it and I would mark that in the dinner conversation “win” column.
Family member who has no room to talk: “Have you put on a few pounds?”
YOU: “Actually…I keep in excellent shape by doing a ton of walking. I’ve recently added the Downtown Huntsville Craft Coffee Trail to my regimen. You should give it a go!” 10 stops of yummy, caffeinated (and non-caffeinated) goodness to give you the strength and energy to keep on smiling this time of year.
Well, that’s my time! I’m sure there are a few absurdly-personal family inquiries perhaps I overlooked on this first attempt at an essential guide to survival. But, I take solace knowing at least you’re not venturing out into the dangerous world of family dinner unarmed. Stay strong, friends, and Happy Holidays!