Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Etiquette 101


I'm hoping to catch some of you before you commit Holiday Faux Pas that could get you 1) cut 2) disinherited or 3) shamed. There are some basic rules of etiquette about this Thanksgiving dancerie. (Yes, dancerie is a word, please check with the MJB dictionary if you don't believe me.) Back to the topic at hand: If you are the least bit unsure of what to do, just don't do it. Please... don't get beat down with a turkey leg or find yourself eating a turkey sammich at the airport Subway with the imprint of someone's boot on your hindparts. Do the right thing...

1) Don't show up unannounced or uninvited to Thanksgiving dinner unless it's an immediate relative. Your friends may love you but this is a family holiday. Unless you've been invited, showing up is no bueno. Showing up with several extra mouths to feed is just as bad. And even if it is an immediate family relative...

2) Don't show up empty-handed unless you're prepared to do work. Forget what you heard, it's not cute to show up late, plunk down in front of the TV and ask "When's dinner going to be ready?" No. Bring a bottle of wine, a pitcher of kool-aid, extra napkins... something! Or get in the kitchen and offer to stir, chop, set something.

3) Even though we fam and all? This is not your opportunity to play twenty questions about folks' life. That means not asking the single people why they ain't married. Not asking the married people when they putting some beans in the oven. Not asking the ratchet side of the fam how the parole hearing went. Just sit down and make chit-chat about turkey, weather and football. (H/T to @TiffanyNHouston for her FB update yesterday)

4) We're all in this together. Respect the personal space. This means that cousin Tay-Tay needs to lay off the fake Giorgio perfume cloud she usually douses herself in, Uncle Charlie shouldn't be smelling of the Jack Daniels' distillery at 10:00am and Lil Junior needs a healthy supply of fresh diapers on hand. I'm just saying. Family funk is still funky.

5) If you cannot cook, please 6lb 9oz Baby Jesus - go pick something up from Whole Foods. Do not show up with some tore up leaves swimming in bacon fat and call it greens. No. Thanksgiving is no time to experiment with grown folks' stomach linings. Crescent rolls are always a win. A fruit tray says "I respect your intestinal tract" - know your limitations people.

6) If this isn't your mother's house and you show up with your own Tupperware/Aluminum foil, you have failed at life. 

7) If you are a bringing a brand new snuggle-buddy to Turkey Time, expect aforementioned date to be eyed up one side and down the other. To be grilled, talked about and basically put through 10 of the first 20 torture practices from Guantanamo Bay. I don't recommend holidays for the initial family meet-n-greet. It's too much pressure all the way around. But if you and your new boo get down like that? Hope you are thick-skinned and locked and loaded. Also, be prepared to be asked about your 2011 cuddle-cocoa for years to come. "Whatever happened to...?"

8) If you are a guest in someone's home (unless that is your childhood home), please don't act like you're at home. Ya feel me? Keep all your nasty questionable unhygienic personal habits to yourself. I say this having had a guest who felt comfortable going to the restroom and leaving the door open AND carrying on a conversation while doing their business. #WDDDA?

9) If you are not a sports fan... this is not your day. You already know that at least two (this year three) professional football games will be on. People will want to watch them. If you don't care to participate, bring a book or your laptop or a deck of cards - something to keep you from complaining about the game being on all day long. It's Thanksgiving... football happens. Get over it.

10) Last but not least... don't be the family member who sips one cup too many of the spiked cider and starts cutting a fool. Don't be that person. Airing all the family biz and calling folks out their name while you drop verses from "Watch the Throne" helps nobody. Waking up the next morning in the garage wrapped in a snuggie with nothing but an empty rum bottle for company is just pathetic. Ease up on the liquid cheer so you don't have to apologize every day until Christmas.

[Bonus rule for the social media folks: Do not. I repeat. Do NOT! take pictures of your food plate and send them out into the innanets unless you KNOW they look edible and delicious. No one wants to see that mess. And you will get retweeted and talked about. Please and thank you.]

Good people, these are just the basics. We'll see how you do with these and then we'll step it up to the next level for Christmas. In the meantime... did I miss any? Do share and hey... let's be bougie out there. Happy Thanksgiving!

39 comments:

SouthernWes said...

You are a mess!
*prints out to hand out to people walking in the door tomorrow*

Grace said...

#4! And 6 and 8! BWAHAHA!

MsJamie14 said...

LOL. This list is great. Thanksgiving is easily my most drama free holiday. Usually spent local with other friends that don't go home and all we have to do is bring a bottle while the host (from Mississippi) cooks an elaborate feast. Oh and we're encouraged to bring our own to go plates and tupperware. Love it.

When I do go home, all I have to do is show up as they're just glad to see me (I do offer to cook/help). I'll even entertain a few questions from #3 to feel I've earned my plate. LOL

One personal question fail tho: Asking single people when they're gonna have a baby... o_O #WDDDA? (not my family, but seen with someone else's. Wow!) You're just gonna abandon any idea of them having a partner or marriage huh? LOL

Happy Thanksgiving to all of BougieLand! Enjoy!

ClayJones said...

*screams* I wish I knew how to quit you!
Thanksgiving dancerie? Parole hearing? Jack Daniels distillery? Snuggle-Buddy? Waking up in the garage with a Snuggie on?
The fact that your mind works like this....
I salute you, ma'am.

Brendadc said...

Hilarious!  This makes me miss my uncle Dennis (RIP) - who had my back one holiday gathering when some relatives started grilling me about why I wasn't married yet.  He shut down all of those 20 questions.

MsJamie14 said...

I was so done at "experimenting with grown folks' stomach lining." LMAO!!!!!!!

GammasWorld said...

Lawds I wish I knew what TIH's status was to inspire this keeper?  Not having a shin-ding this year but will go in file for next year :)

Jubi The Great said...

Love this list Chele! Of course folks won't adhere to it so FB & Twitter will be popping with conversation throughout the weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

tiffanyinhouston said...

Gamma,

This was my FB status cause I was sitting down for a minute while taking a break from cooking and I thought about the ratchet relatives that I will see tomorrow.

Questions rude ass relatives should not ask at Thanksgiving: 1) Do not ask about people's weight loss or gain. 2) Do not ask single people when they are going to get married. 3) Do not ask married people when they are going to have a baby. 4) Do not ask unemployed people when they are going to get a job. In fact, don't ask me shit. STFU, eat some turkey, and watch some football.

tiffanyinhouston said...

Jamie,

Before I got married, I did have my uncle's common law wifey of 30+ years suggest that I should just go ahead and have a baby since I wasn't married. The only thing that saved me from clowning was that my mama was sitting there beside her on the couch and gave me the mama side eye. And this is coming from a woman who has 6 kids by 3 different men. My uncle is the father of her last child, who is my first cousin.

Let's just say that Jesus saves..he saved me and he saved her ass from getting embarrassed.

Earthangel172 said...

iCan't with this! hahahahahaha

Thank God mama gave you the side eye though.

CaliGirlED said...

"Do not show up with some tore up leaves swimming in bacon fat and call it greens." *hollers* I.cannot.find.the.words. *hollers again* I keep hearing that statement in my aunt's voice! *hollers one mo-gin*

True story: One of my aunt's friends made a banana pudding and brought to my house for Thanksgiving. (May she forever rest in peace). Anywho, no one would dare even taste it. So one of my cousins every so often would go and dish some out and throw it away so that it looked like people were eating it....My family is a very tough crowd to please when it comes to food. I sure do miss them around this time!!!

Earthangel172 said...

::hollers:: at this entire post!

Kudos  for the bonus rule though....Some dishes taste better than they look.

Can't wait for the Christmas post. I know it's going to be EPIC! LOL

GammasWorld said...

Sums it up!  Chele cleaned it all up but my people would be mumbling "what she tryna say"?  Your version would get the "who she thank she is - acting all siddity" but they'd understand LOL  

MsJamie14 said...

*hollering!* Bless her heart.

Brenda Kay said...

One more for Chele's wonderful list ~ Do not think it is okay, appropriate, or just fine to grab a plate, pile it high with food, ask for some foil, and then loudly and proudly say, "I'm just gonna take this home with me for a late night snack."

Ahhhh, no sir, no ma'am. 

This tomfoolery will not be taking place this year. You are welcomed to eat as much you want at the table. But reaching for that plate to take home after donning your hat and coat will result in your feelings being hurt, fuel for the family gossip mill and Mature Bougie being scratched off the offender's Christmas gift list.

GrownAzzMan said...

9) If you are not a sports fan... this is not your day. You already know that at least two (this year three) professional football games will be on. People will want to watch them. If you don't care to participate, bring a book or your laptop or a deck of cards - something to keep you from complaining about the game being on all day long. It's Thanksgiving... football happens. Get over it.
^ This.Right.Here!

Happy Thanksgiving Bougie Peeps

Bougie Girl said...

If you have crackheads in your family, arrange to have some in your family act as the official Purse Keeper. Also, make sure to have to go boxes and enough aluminum foil for wrapping plates.

Jasmin said...

Hell yes on #6. My parents divorced when I was 3 (Keep in mind I'm 23 now). Up until a few years ago, he would always ask for a plate when he dropped us off at our grandma's house on holidays. Who parlays a 4-year-marriage into over 15 years of home cooking?

Technically, I did show up uninvited (#1), but it was a surprise for my family, since I live over 2000 miles away. Now, showing up when you live a half-mile away is just trifling.

David Chase said...

Let's add to #1 Showing up with people no one wants to see. My cousin just showed up with my ex-girlfriend. No one is amused.

invectiva said...

Uhh... that ain't right. Dang. 

C Nelson said...

No one present is amused...  ;)

JoycelynC said...

What in the world? Now he couldn't find another woman out there?

JoycelynC said...

Yeah, my brother invited his newest flavor of the week and asked us to show her some stuff in the kitchen.  I told him today is not the day for all that. 

OneChele said...

Flag on the play. Male cousin or female cousin?

David Chase said...

Female. Messy. Trifling.

tiffanyinhouston said...

WDDDA?? Ain't nobody trying to give no damn cooking lessons today, of ALL days??

GrownAzzMan said...

I smell future post. When you say 'no one is amused' you don't mean us right?

Sol_dier said...

messy lol. 
GAM, this can only mean you have had no drama on your side. lol

rozb said...

I have a big one. Please. for all that is good in life, do NOT make moves on any of your relative's SOs. Don't flirt, stare, or randomly brush up against any man or woman that did not come with you.

You know that is gonna happen at somebody's house. Even the most bougie among us is not immune from this ratchedness.

CaliGirlED said...

I bet it's that same one that said you don't look like a gold digger! But I'm going to respect David's family! That is all.

CaliGirlED said...

Wow, just wow!

CaliGirlED said...

LMAO!!! Yup!

JojoRaze said...

All I have to say is that this post Chele is so full of WIN!  I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

You'd think that went without saying. *le sigh*

Singlelif said...

Woosah !  I'm so glad Thanksgiving is over I don't know what to do with myself.  I've been gone for a while. Hope you all had a Happy !

bashowell said...

I'm glad we keep it small.  Immediate family.  Three days in Atlantic City.  Amen.

JojoRaze said...

Common sense ain't common

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

It sho' ain't.

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