It’s Wednesday afternoon and you’ll be headed out the office soon to get the long weekend started, Hell Yes! Then as you start to think about it….”I am about to spend 3 days with my in laws, my own family, or at some friends house” and your sanity starts to slowly disappear. Yes, we can all relate to this precarious situation as most of those that are going to read this have been doing this for a while and know how to survive. Lets say they have learned to adapt. However in the event you are that small percentage of the population who hasn’t then here are some personal recommendations for making the best of it.
- Always have that initial hello conversation with space. Try not to let it happen in a small room where after about 3-5 min you do not have an escape route. You must always think past the first handshake, hug or hello. If not, it could be 15-20 min of some conversation that you honestly do not care about.
- Be sure to find the seat where you have room. Even if that means sitting on an ottoman, off to the side, then that baby needs to be yours.
- Kids…It’s different if they were your own.. Bullshit! If you have kids and they so happen to be there, then be the parent that walks into the room and your kids stand at attention just as if General Patton himself just walked into the room. If you’re the parents who’s kids are making everyone drink wine straight from the box then get yourself together and take care of business. You will be more liked and get nicer presents on your birthday and at Christmas time.
- Don’t show up empty handed. If you’re a guy bring one of your favorite brews, single barrels, or best agave bottles. If you’re a lady, then bring lady stuff like Wine. Hosting a get together like this isn’t cheap and a nice token of appreciation goes a long ways. Plus it gets you out of having to help do any kitchen clean up duties. If not then you went to cheap.
- Going to the bathroom…this is probably the one where you have to be most strategic. Nobody likes walking into a small room that smells like death and you do not want to be that person that gets labeled as the grim reaper. Wake up early, make the coffee and get your privacy before everyone else. In a dire situation always bring a small box of the wooden match sticks. Light one and let it burn for about 10 seconds then shake it out. The sulfur in the match will help make the space safe to enter.
- Get outside. This is probably the one where you can save yourself as often as needed. Just step outside and take in whatever the surroundings may offer up. For those in the city look past the cars and building. Those that are remote and alone, well done and you probably already know what to do!
- Sports, if you are going to watch the games make sure you know a little about the game or teams playing. It’s the easiest way to loose all street cred with those in the room. You will never get this back. For those who will have that one relative wearing a jersey from a team from 20 years ago, do not make eye contact during a bad play and never criticize the team the jersey represents. It’s the easiest way to make everyone in the room feel uncomfortable.
- No when to say when. Please don’t be the person who “had a little to much”. No one ever woke up the next morning proud of being that person who said things that should have never been let out of the bottle. That will get ya in the doghouse with everyone. It’s not worth it..
- Through all things holy please limit your social media time. If Kanye decides to cancel all shows forever…well that may be a reason to share something. Social media will be the downfall to those who will never know what a hike through the rockies is like or wade fishing the Texas gulf coast. Make it your year to find a local spot and be the motivator to get everyone to buy in and get some fresh air. State parks are typically in distance or a nice park close by. It will give everyone space (see tip #1) and the ability to not get familyphobic (being smothered by a family member).
- Be thankful…Last on this list for a reason. No matter what your current family situation is, how bad you think you have it or how much you wish you could be on your couch, please be thankful. Thankful you have this family . Thankful you have the food with which you are stuffing yourself. Thankful you made it another year. Thankful for all the things we all lose focus on because of the hectic lives we all live. None of us are so busy that we should moan and groan about having to spend time with family. I am lucky, I have the most amazing in laws and family in the world.
Happy holidays to everyone and get outside…Robbie