When you’ve been away from the home for a certain amount of time, it can be difficult for you to show your family the complex person you have become in the absence of their aggressively toxic behavior. This Christmas, follow our simple pointers to determine which version of yourself you should present to the family who has never believed in you:
The “Business Professional”
Want to create the illusion that you actually have your life together? Pencil skirt, heels and hair pulled back will do the trick. When around your family, act like you need to send “just one more email” before conversing with them. Your half-brother Philip will pause for a moment before reminding you that you’ve never changed and have always made other people a bigger priority than your family.
The “Happy” “Relationship”
Grandma wants to know who you’re dating? Show her 82 photos of the hot part-time bartender you’ve been banging but have absolutely no emotional connection with. Grandma will appreciate the increased blood flowing through her veins as she imagines her granddaughter dating a real, live prince. But not before reminding you of how you never grew out of your awkward stage and it must be nice to meet a boy who loves you for your personality.
The “Single and Loving It”
Does your cousin Valerie ask what is so wrong with you that you can’t give up your standards and accept the first fat Italian with a soul patch who wants to impregnate you like she did? Fuck this fucking bullshit. Tell your family that you don’t buy into the idea that women need to value romantic relationships above all others. Then, text your high school boyfriend to see if he’s around for some car sex on Memory Lane.
The “Getting-Ready-for-That-Backpacking-Trip-of-Self-Discovery” and The “Really-Making-Progress-on-Your-First-Novel”
You’re not the black sheep, you’re free-spirited. This means doing things that the rest of your family just doesn’t understand, whether it’s taking a break from school to find yourself, or writing the next great American novel in Starbucks. If your family ever questions you, just quote Infinite Jest or A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius. They’ll be unable to keep up with your references so you can go about planning the next failure of your life. They can add it to the list of mistakes you’ve made that they seem to have memorized, since they rattle them off each time they see you.
Grandma thinks you look awesome. You’re almost as much of a waif as she was during time when people were rationing food and not drowning in abundant wealth and food options. Your family doesn’t need to know that you temporarily lost your will to live after Tom unceremoniously stopped randomly texting you at 2AM for sex and started taking another girl on actual dinner dates. Your family doesn’t need to know that you’ve been falling for the wrong guys ever since Derrick in 10th grade, who, they will remind you, is happily married.
Just breathe. This will all be out of your system in 6-8 hours. Your family, however, will be there forever.
If all else fails, just tell them your flight was cancelled. Your roommate’s cat is all the family you need.