If you’ve been reading my work before bed every night (which I insist that you do, and will be really hurt if that isn’t the case), you likely remember my tips and tricks for avoiding the fam if they got to be a little much. Odds are, you have printed it and framed it above your bed, and it has replaced the prayers I know you say before drifting off to sleep and dreaming of how often I @-reply Leonardo DiCaprio.
Which means that 2016 calls for another one. Because while I’m sure we’d all like to pretend that our families are perfect and share our opinions about everything and in no way make us come up with reasons to stay in the kitchen and do dishes for the duration of the Christmas holidays, in truth they are people. And we are people. And all of us can get to be a little much in only a matter of seconds.
Here’s how to get out of that much-ness with little to no fanfare.
“Let me check!”
This is the quickest way to get out of anything because as soon as somebody hears you say this, they will think they missed a crucial part of the conversation — or worse: think they asked you something and totally spaced. So they’ll say “Check what?!” maybe and you will just laugh and go to a different room. No one’s feelings are hurt, everybody is fine and whatever conversation you were having will never, ever happen again.
“Is that . . . ?”
We have all found ourselves in a situation where there is no time to waste and you need the chat to end immediately. So that’s when you smile, nod at whatever, throw in a laugh, then say, “Oh! Is that . . . ?” like you heard something in another room. No one will ever shout, “Who? What?!” but especially if they have a mouth full of whatever-holiday-food-is-being-served. Which they will, because that is when you say the greatest two words in history.
“Tell me more about that!”
Welcome to the fastest way to a mental reprieve. Sometimes, family or friends, I will think, “I want to leave” but I can’t because life is unfair. So, I will get us onto the topic of movies or music or books, and when they begin describing a movie/music/book, I will say “Oh! Tell me more about that!” and then think about my day and what I might wear tomorrow when they describe it in detail.
Note: this also works if you feel sick and know you can’t physically leave a place yet. You’re welcome.
“I have to go to the car”
It doesn’t matter the reason, nor does it matter that you’re leaning on the side of it gazing up the moon and shouting “WHY.”
“I’m still so tired”
I know you said this last year and honestly I do not care. You said you were tired. Well, guess what: you’re still tired. And the only thing worse than a tired person is one who is perpetually tired. Now you’re just always tired. You are not fun. You are a buzzkill on an entirely different level now, and you are free to live your life without being invited to anything ever again (minus the mainstay holidays). No one ever wants to hear about how tired anyone is.
Which is why, my friends, that phrase is my new cover letter.