There's something about Thanksgiving that makes all those inspirational quotes on your Pinterest board seem extra relevant. Maybe it has to do with giving thanks. Maybe it has to do with that joy you get when you see your family in the same room after months of being apart. Or, if you're like me, and have a large family with lots of opinions, the quote "you are capable of more than you know" pertains more to your uncanny ability to skirt around every horrifyingly awkward and invasive question your grandparents try to ask you, rather than to pushing through that tough workout you've had saved for months. Don't get me wrong - I love my family to pieces, but sometimes they ask you those questions you've been trying to avoid having to answer for yourself. Personally, I don't have an "inspirational quotes" board, but I do enjoy a spiked something every now and then. Instead of pairing wines with cheeses, I've chosen the most awkward Thanksgiving conversations you're bound to encounter, and the drink that's most suited to help get you through it.
"Have you been working out lately?"
Alright, whether you've dealt with the stress of finals by dropping a couple of pounds or by dropping your dedication to the gym, this is the question you get hit with first because it's the first thing your family sees of you. Being asked about your weight isn't necessarily terrible, because I think its the easiest way for your family to look out for you, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make you feel awkward as hell. Binging on Ben & Jerry's is never a good way to deal with stress, and neither is forgetting to eat. Not to mention, all the good hitting the gym does for your mental stability. But, that being said, being confronted with it so blatantly is just straight up annoying. For this question, pull out your vodka soda. It's light in calories, and, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, this drink can easily be spruced up with a dash of cranberry juice and a hint of lime. Fun, easy, and considerably less boring then the OG, sipping on this will get you buzzed and in the "let's do this" mindset. Just be sure to take it slow, and drink a glass of water before moving on to the next drink.
"Oh...What are you going to do with that major?"
This one irks me because I ask myself this at least five times a day. Sure, I'm getting my degree, but there is no way I have my life figured out enough to know what I actually want to be doing with it ten years down the road. That being said, no one has to know that but you. If you're OK lying to the world, this is the perfect time to pour yourself a nice glass of wine. Whether it be white or red you can at least trick the world into thinking you have your affairs in order. Any distraction from the amount of classes you've skipped and extensions you've asked for this semester, is a welcome one. If you look forward to the Thanksgiving appetizers as much as you d the drinks, follow this simple how-to guide for pairing all those cheeses with a glass of the good stuff.
"Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet?"
"Who did you vote for?"
Who you voted for in this election is a nonissue. What matters is that even if you voted for the same person as the majority of your family, there are bound to be a couple of people who think you voted for the. worse. candidate. possible. and you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote ever again. This I saved for last because (1) this conversation usually occurs around the dinner table and (2) because this drink is hard to swallow, but will be completely necessary if this topic comes up. Hey, tequila. If you need something to mask it with, try pairing your tequila with a mixture of simple syrup and a citrus juice - maybe lime or grapefruit - for a simple, but refreshing cocktail. Whether you're trying to have fun with it or need a quick fix, tequila works the best here.
For all the cynicism Thanksgiving stirs in me, I, too, am prone to the sentimentality and nostalgia that being in a warm room with your relatives, provokes. I love my family, especially because, for whatever reason, they've chosen to keep me around these past couple years. Hopefully these drinks add some fun to your holidays. If other college students are attending the festivities - cousins or family friends - Get them in on it and make it a game; "Did you hear what crazy Aunt Margaret just said?". Take it slow, and remember, this only happens once a year, so make the best of it and roll with the punches.