Putting the Funk in Dysfunctional


Have you ever had a normal Thanksgiving? If so, I’m guessing it was pretty boring and not a lot of people were around.

I’ve had a few of them and they pale in comparison to the typically crazy, oft stressful, and always dysfunctional get-togethers that my family was famous for. If you believe you have a normal family then I’m guessing you are the cause of a lot of stress around the holidays. (The old, if you can’t find the crazy one go look in a mirror bit.)

Let’s take a look at what makes the best of all Thanksgiving experiences.

1. The Uneasy Conversations

This one is a no-brainer. BASICALLY, there are two options on Thanksgiving. Stay home or at your parents and make the guests who aren’t usually there feel uneasy (i.e. your spouse or significant other) or go to someone else’s house and feel uneasy yourself (i.e. your SPOUSE’S parents)
What’s even BETTER is you probably went to both and now neither of you like the other’s family. She doesn’t like that your entire family finds farts entertaining and you can’t stand that her parents argue about whether or not they once saw Johnny Depp walking out of the local Piggly Wiggly (Anyone still got a piggly wiggly?)
And it’s not just feeling uncomfortable in an unknown situation it’s about the weird conversations. Let’s face it, everyone’s family is weird but our own and even they should be cared for by Nurse Ratchet.
AND WHY don’t they get your jokes. Everyone ELSE get’s your jokes. But NO, you’re trying to win over the love and respect of a group of people who think humor is the 8th deadly sin. MOVE OVER CRAZY, dysfunction’s sitting in to throw down.

2. The Obligatory 5 trips to the supermarket.

This is it, the one day a year you don’t have to shop for food. I mean, THERE ARE HUNDREDS of dollars worth of groceries here. You have been told for 3 days not to eat the eggs those are for potato salad and deviled versions of themselves. You braved the crowds at the local superstore (WAL MART) to buy all this food and ate sandwiches for a week because “By GOD I am not going back there this week.”
But SOMEHOW, no one thought, we may need more milk.
Even though it happens every year there is STILL only one stick of butter in the fridge.
And HOW could we forget stuffing ENTIRELY???
And by the way, if your family only makes one trip to the store on Thanksgiving you aren’t truly dysfunctional. NO SIR you are not TRULY dysfunctional until the 5th time when the words “Is there ANYTHING else I need to get while I’m there because I am NOT going back again” are uttered for the 3rd time.
Oh, and side note to this. If you are a teen waiting to learn to drive on your own, guess what, you are the designated person to go to the store once you do start driving. And don’t try the old, “I’ll get the wrong thing and then they won’t make me go back and I can play more games in my room” trick because they WILL send you back. Oh yes, and they will add on things you’ve never heard of as punishment. Ever seen a giblet? NO! No one has, it was made up to punish people who couldn’t understand the difference between butter and margarine on Thanksgiving store trips. The fact that there is a giblet gravy is only a testament to how far they took this cruel joke. THAT’S dysfunction.

3. The Belt Joke

Oh the belt humor. What’s belt humor? Well, it’s after the second plate of food is eaten that someone inevitably utters, “Gonna have to loosen my belt so I can eat some more.”
This only counts as a lame joke unless they actually DO loosen their belt (Or remove it) and get more food when it becomes Dysfunction.
Extra points if someone in your family has “Thanksgiving Sweats”. These are loose fitting, dirty, holey sweats that allow them to engorge themselves without the worry of uncomfortable waist stretch.
If the person announces the fact that they are wearing Thanksgiving Sweats to your new girlfriend/boyfriend you win the Dysfunctional trophy.

4. The Hand Off

Sure, there is football on Thanksgiving but the best hand-off is always when your sister gets mad that your mom keeps making comments about her stuffing. This goes on up and to the point that she screams for the neighborhood to know, “FINE! YOU make the stuffing then if you know so much about the science of fine cuisine.”
Ok, maybe the players, the dish, and the exact words are different, but this is not uncommon.
On this one, you can get extra points of dysfunction by predicting the players, dish, and basic phrase that will be said. Remember when you played Clue growing up? Yeah, that’s got nothing on this drama.

5. The Main Course

Ok,  the tension is rising. I’ve been to the store 6 times. Mom has passed the Mashed Potatos to Nana in disgust and Dad has on his Thanksgiving Sweats. No one can hear the football game over Papa’s snoring despite the fact that he only awoke 20 minutes ago. Worst of all, dinner is running late and no one ate breakfast because they were anticipating the huge gluttony that is early dinner on Thanksgiving.
And now, my brother brings his girlfriend whom everyone hates in despite the fact that mom said no. It’s throw-down time.
We’ve all had holiday arguments so let’s just touch some highlights. For true dysfunction you need at least one of the following…

i. A Broken dish – Extra points if it was full of the mashed potatoes. Minus points if it had turkey on it cause, come on, that’s just not cool.
ii. A slammed door – No no, it’s a holiday. Crap has to fall off the walls for this door slam to count.
iii. 1 point for every smart alec who cracks a joke to egg on the argument.
iv. The abrupt exit – Yes, if someone storms out to have Thanksgiving on their own you are winner winner turkey dinner.
v. No abrupt exit – You want REAL dysfunction. Everyone stays but all of a sudden the fighting just stops and everyone pretends like it never happened. Underneath the surface they are plotting to slash tires, poison drinks, and cut others out of wills but for now, lets eat. IT’S THANKSGIVING AFTER ALL!

Don’t worry if you are just now realizing how messed up your holidays truly are. I have burst your bubble but now you can go burst someone else’s bubble to get satisfaction. And just think, only another month and we can do it all again at Christmas.



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