Stuff people say at family gatherings–and how to deal.

I know, I know, it’s been weeks, and I’m pretty much rubbish at updating lately. For that, I do apologise, because I have been unwell for the same period of time.  How are you guys though? How are your preparations for Christmas? I’m sure you’re all breezing through it! 🙂

And speaking of Christmas, no doubt, you will be busy with family gatherings! Here in the Philippines (and course, elsewhere in the world), Christmas season is the season for family reunions. And family reunions would mean having to encounter relatives who mean well but sometimes…let’s just say, some of them might not be well-versed in diplomacy!

I know, I know. I know exactly how you feel. You feel like this whenever you hear something you don’t like. So, what are the things you don’t want to hear during family gatherings and parties of that ilk? I’m pretty sure, you’ve heard them all before!

Cheer up, though, this post also offers an arsenal of witty, but still polite (oh, all right, not so polite) comebacks (to fire at your risk) designed not to offend Great Aunt Myrtle, or nosy cousin Janet!

1.”Oh look, how fat you’ve grown.”

As a chubby girl I’ve heard this for years on end. And man, it stings, big time. Then you’ll hear other “well-intentioned” relatives who offer you scads of weight-loss tips, some of them you’ve probably tried (and did not work). Or just when you’ve come to love your own body–curves and all.

So, how can one deal?

Suggested comebacks:

1. “Every day is my cheat day.” -I mean, really. Who doesn’t love to eat? Who can resist? Granted, one should still use a certain amount of discipline in gorging down food (because, hello high blood pressure for the uh, not so careful), but can you resist that second serving of  apple pie, baked by grandma? Or that seriously decadent chocolate cake ala Mum? Of course not. Especially not this time of the year.

2. “Where I come from, we were taught not to waste a morsel of food.”- While this one might be a bit snarky, but this can be a wake-up call to relatives who get more food than they actually need and not consume everything! Haha!

2. “How are you and __________? Why isn’t ______ here?”

Oh, ouch. Way to remind you that you broke up with your significant other. That person you thought was going to be “The One”…except that she or she wasn’t.

You can, however, reply…

1.”__________ and I decided to call it quits because he knows I’m aiming for world domination.”-Enough said.

2. “He/she went into outer space exploration, and sad to say, the black hole ate him/her up.”-This is good if you’re trying to make people laugh…well it’s worth a try!

3. You can also explain politely that both of you want different things, and that you’ve moved on from it. Easier said than done, but it can be done.

3. “You’re still single? But why?”

Seriously, it’s hard to understand why people seem to think that being single is a curse. While it would be nice to have someone you can cuddle with, but there’s no harm being single! No, really. In fact, it could be more fun sometimes.

Oh, how to deal? Here are polite…and some not so polite quips (sorry about this one!).

1.”I still need to get rich. I’m sure you know how expensive it is to raise a family nowadays.” -Well, this is true! Bringing a child into the world is no joke. Nothing comes cheap nowadays.

2.”I’d rather be alone than be unhappy.” -‘Nuff said.

3.”Tell me about your marriage. I’d like to hear it from someone who’s been married for a long time because I’m wondering if it’s a step worth taking.”-Because really, people should think about what they say before shoving other people into something they’re not ready for.

4. “When will you graduate? When are we going to have our (doctor/lawyer/architect/nurse/accountant/engineer)?”

Seriously, it’s hard to understand how some people think that being in college/university is a walk in the park. Because it isn’t. Sure, you might enjoy uni life, but there’s still the related course work, professors who hate you, the stress of exams, and God only knows what else.

What can you possibly say? You have four choices.

1.”I could get there faster, you know, but it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts.”-College (uni to Brits) has been the best four years of my life–no kidding. While failing a subject is not something to be proud of, but it’s part of the process. Sometimes, you learn more by failing.

2.”I would need a time machine to go into the future, but golly, that’s no fun.”-Life is like your favourite meal. And when you’re eating that, you don’t gobble it up, don’t you? Of course not. You savor it, feel the medley of meat, spices, and what have you on your tongue. Can you eat that turkey subway sandwich like your house is on fire and still say it tastes good? Sure you can, but you would wish you had more time.

3.”Sure, but can you go to my classes for me, submit my coursework, and take my exams for me?” -While it may be nice to have some relatives who are as involved as you and your parents in your educational journey, some people are just plain nosey. #sorrysosnarky

4.”Tell me about your college/uni years. Did you enjoy it? Were you a straight-A student? How did you do that?”- Why not take the opportunity to pick someone’s brains out and talk to your family members about their experiences? Who knows, you just might be inspired.

I have more, but I could go on all night!

Hope you all enjoy the festive season!

 

Image credits here.

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