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Awkward Thanksgiving questions and how to answer, avoid them

Courtesy of David Lee, via Flickr

“So, have you gotten a job yet?”
Thanksgiving is a great time for relaxing and being appreciative for what you have. It can also be the time when all of your family members feel the need to eliminate any chance of silence by asking every awkward question that comes to their minds. The Tiger staff sat down to create this guide on avoiding and answering these face-palm-inducing inquiries.
The “I am up-to-date, are you?” questions: Everyone knows at least one or two things about politics, and they will – oh, they will – ask you about them. You can beat everyone to the punch and be the first to offer up a few interesting tidbits to exempt yourself from later conversations (a few comments on President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees should suffice), or you can abruptly offer an alternative, heartfelt topic: “Let’s all go camping this summer!” One size does not fit all, but you will distract them and, let’s be honest, nothing will actually come from the conversation. My family planning something more than a few weeks in advance is like Jeb Bush becoming president: it won’t happen.
The relationship questions: “So, have you met anyone yet?” or “So, when’s the wedding?” Be vigilant: make the first attack. If you’re single, make it clear that you’re really focused on your classes (try not to giggle); if you’re not, let everyone know that everything is great, and include something about your future to top it off: “We’re even taking a road trip across North Carolina when we get back.” Feel free to exaggerate.
The people you haven’t talked to (or have come to despise) since high school questions: “I talked to John’s mom and she said he’ll be in town until Sunday! You guys should really catch up.” These can be pretty simple to blow off, unless there are follow-up questions. In that case, talk about all of the new friends you’ve made or those high school friends that you actually talk to and like (the more reminiscent laughter during these recalls, the better). If you can sell it, say that you’ve “just gone your separate ways” since then – after all, you’ve changed so much! If that doesn’t work, be upfront with your family. Their lives peaked early, yours didn’t, so you aren’t on the same brain frequency.
The way into the future questions: “So, you graduate. Then what?” If you can answer that, don’t think you’re out of the woods: “What schools are you looking at for your master’s?” “Where do you want to live?” This will be a battle of attrition. Even if you really have no plan, just throw out some ideas. They’re most likely just as much giving themselves a premise to give you advice as actually inquiring on your thoughts. Depending on who is asking, the advice might actually be worth listening to (I know, shocking). If not, create the illusion of a solid plan: a program your professor told you about, the classes you’re taking to pursue it, that event you’re going to next week with that company (yeah, that one). A third course of action is saying that you’re waiting on something: a reply from that guy you met at the job fair, anything. Whatever your choice, be persistent, and be make sure to separate the useless and not-so-useless advice.
But even with all of this in mind, seriously, they’re your family. Yes, listening to them ramble about the politics they think they know makes you worry about America’s future, but unless you’re prepared to change their decades-old points of view (good luck with that), just enjoy yourself and maintain a positive attitude. Besides, you’re a Tiger; you don’t let any number of Cocks ruin your Thanksgiving.

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