Every family gathering is unique, but should come with its own handbook on how to navigate intricate details. Regardless of the many weird and whacky characters our families are made up of, it’s a given we tend to love them anyway. So, lovely, snarky, or everything in between, here are some questions you’ll probably be asked at your family gatho.
#1 “So.. are you seeing anyone? Well why not!? Ugh my god you’re too picky.”
Much like the time on a clock, this question is recurrent and routine. It’s asked in that particular manner, with that even more particular tone of voice. You know the one. A quarter cup of condescension, a third of a cup of misplaced pity, with two dashes of underlying challenge.. actually, make that three. Much to everyone’s shock horror, it’s concluded that no, you’re not seeing someone. And yes, it is absolutely mandatory that you provide and an essay like explanation (citations included) regarding why you’re more than capable of functioning without the aid of a partner.
#2 What is it you do again? Oh.. that’s more of a hobby isn’t it?”
Work and your general progression in life will be brought up, and depending on your profession, you may want to prepare yourself. While some family are open and understanding, there will always be one member that doesn’t get the gist. If your career prospects are of the science, math or law nature, congratulations, you’re safe. If you’re in a creative industry, it may be less accepted. However, it’s a relatively easy fix by making it sound as technical as possible (seeing as most CI jobs are more intricate below the surface, this shouldn’t be too hard.) However, if you’ve changed from a science based industry and are now in a creative field, God speed, chaps. Sure, they may not take you seriously at first and call your legitimate career a hobby (can personally confirm this happens), but you’re doing what you love. Totally worth it.
#3 “Wait, so what happened to that nice boy/gal you were seeing?”
There you are, minding your own business, eating cake that your aunty made and talking about a safe, mundane topic. When suddenly, this query gets thrown out fast enough to give you whiplash. Luckily, you’ve prepared for this and can casually explain the general overview of what happened, looking no more flustered than before. “Oh, but they were so sweet!” No, turns out they weren’t. You’ll probably hear a comedic jab at one of your many flaws that you brush off while giving a half-hearted chuckle. “Were you too much for them to handle, aye? Hahah.”
#4 “When are you going to give me grandbabies?”
Trust me, this question is applicable to both women and men, no one is safe. It usually doesn’t matter whether your status reads ‘single’ or ‘in a relationship’. Your age is also no match for family (I was 17 the first time this question graced my virgin ears.) Of course, in amongst the nervous laughter and trying to deter the heavy questions to ones that seem less minefield-like, the family tends to ogle you in all your nervous glory. If you want a quality laugh, just tell them you don’t want kids and watch the chaos unfold.
#5 “Why do you continually dye your hair/ pierce/ tattoo yourself?”
You could also add, “are those jeans ripped on purpose?” to this painful interrogation list. This is often asked when you’re sitting on the couch having a beer. If you really want to up the ante and make this an occasion to remember, there are ways to achieve this. Answer back with a challenge like “The Christmas money you sent me paid for my tattoo, don’t you love it?” or “I’m thinking of piercing my nose next.” No matter how you choose to navigate the (not so) niceties, just remind yourself that they’ll always love you, despite not understanding your ways of self expression.
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