This might be total news to you, but the presidential election in 2016 was brutal. It was long, it was divisive, and each day brought a new awful headline about something one of the candidates had said or done. Now it’s over, and the horror continues you — not just for the half of the electorate who didn’t get the leader they wanted, but for the whole country as it’s beset by hate crimes and more angry rhetoric.
And yet! Turkey is on its way. Although, the holidays are likely to be even more tense than usual at homes across the United States this season. With that in mind, consider some of the following ways to stop any awkward conversation dead in its tracks — and keep your sanity in check.
1. Ask your happiest aunt and uncle how they met. Stop them for details several times along the way.
2. Bring up a work problem and ask for everyone’s advice. There is nothing a human loves more than to solve the problem of someone younger than they.
3. Tell everyone about your most recent one-night stand. Sorry, marrieds, this only works for the singles.
4. Ask your little niece to explain the latest kid vernacular. We’ve definitely moved past on fleek, right?
5. Just start clearing people’s dirty plates. Not done? That’s their problem.
6. Make Snapchat puppy faces with the person next to you.
7. Go around the room and supply a theory of what really happened with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
8. Debate which cult classic movie from the ’80s or ’90s should be remade for no reason.
9. Develop a secret signal with your siblings for when you need conversational assistance. Use it.
10. Spill something into your own lap. Oops, gotta run into the kitchen! Wear something cotton and easily washable for this option.
11. Go to the bathroom and pull up a meditation app on your phone. Breathe in, breathe out.
12. Smack your palm against your forehead when you realize you left dessert in the car, then run outside to get it. Be sure to leave dessert in the car before entering your relative’s home.
13. Try the Saturday Night Live trick and play some Adele. Everyone loves Adele, seriously. She’s the great equalizer.