We all have them in our family; the awkward, the unfriendly, the just plain annoying. While we all sit together around the living room making forced conversation, we begin to appreciate how normal our own nuclear family is in comparison to your extended family. The tension is thick enough to win a Guinness World Record and then someone spills red wine on the carpet. Needless to say, this party is a Stage 5 Disaster – but no one is brave enough to say anything until it is long over. If you have to have a time that doesn’t involve drinking yourself into a coma, be sure to avoid these five train wrecks for a foolproof way to enjoy the holidays.
The Irrational Drunk
Chances are, you’re not the only miserable person at the party. You’re in college and the unintentional nasty comments about your love live, outfit choice, and future degree are all too expected. You’re forgetting the awkward 30 something aunt or uncle who has it way worse than you are. They are getting criticized for lack of a family at their age and why their job hasn’t promoted them in God knows how long. Just like you are grabbing for another glass of peppermint schnapps, they are too. The Irrational Drunk drinks away their awkward situation only to make it worse by, you know, being drunk. When asked questions about their past year, they manage to spew angsty comments at anyone who comes near. This is sure to leave Grandma is tears and the family outraged. At least we have the excuse that our semester was “way too busy to get involved with someone.”
These people live in their own personal day dream all the time and we’re all just visiting. Despite the unspoken rule of no gift-giving, this person casually forgets it and passes out gifts to a select few. While bumping into you during said gift-giving, they claim to forget you were even coming to cover up why they don’t have anything for you. Even if they did remember you, they probably forgot what your name was. Kayla? Kaylie? Karen? Whatever. No amount of reminding can change them. When they finally hand over your gift, it’s a plastic Santa ornament you saw on the tree walking in.
The Cousin With Too Many Kids
Every year, they bring over yet another kid and every year they try to pawn them off on you to babysit. In order to dodge the nightmare, you’d rather fill in your half deaf grandma on the past semester than go anywhere close to them. This cousin always acts completely overwhelmed, like their kids are out of their control, and makes it clear they want to leave – but drinks more than their fair share of the champagne. In the middle of a semi-decent dinner, they are probably the only one screaming at their kid in the other room for the table. These types of people are perhaps the most irritating of all at the holiday party.
The Constant Complainer
You’re definitely going to need another glass of buttered rum to be around this person. In their eyes, no one had a worse year than they did! Even mentioning that you might have messed up on your research exam, they jump at the opportunity to one-up you with their most recent divorce. Reminiscing at the table usually turns into them reminding everyone of their terrible childhood. From Uncle George rear-ending him outside of the Walmart to Great-Aunt Helen selling her bike at a garage sale, the holiday party is the only time they have to force people into listening about the pathetic life they live. It’s a never ending exhausting cycle.
The Overly Emotional
These people are a prime example of emotional overdevelopment. They always assume that everyone is accusing them of something, leaving them in tears and half way out the door. Of course, they couldn’t really leave or they’d assume that the other party goers where talking about them. Nothing is ever right. The house is either too hot or too cold; regardless of temperature, it’s far too crowded for their liking. No amount of catering to their needs makes them any happier.
While there is no universal trick to planning out exit strategies for these people, we can’t let them ruin our time with the family. Don’t try to fill the awkward void by drinking too much yourself, or you might create a more awkward situation than the one you entered in the first place.The best you can do is sit back, smile, and be as positive as you can without sounding overdone. It’s the holidays! Try to enjoy yourself!