12 Things Guaranteed to Go Wrong at Your First Grown-Up Thanksgiving
So you’re officially a grown-up now, and you’re going to prove it by hosting Thanksgiving. Good for you! Preparing a feast for your nearest and dearest is definitely one of the milestones of adulthood. You’ve organized the holiday dinner potluck-style, spruced up your living space, purchased a turkey, and have plenty of booze to get you through this momentous feat. Now all you have to do is wait for everyone to show up…and prepare for the unavoidable disasters inherent in these kinds of gatherings. To help you do just that, we’ve outlined the 12 things guaranteed to go wrong at your first grown-up Thanksgiving. Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and make sure you have a backup plan (Chinese food for everyone!) just in case it all goes to hell.
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Uninvited guests will crash dinner.
It's inevitable. People will show up whom you didn't invite or who didn't bother to RSVP. Whether it's a long-lost aunt or your cousins dragging their fling of the week or best friends from college along, prepare to have your Thanksgiving table ambushed by a bunch of unfamiliar (but very demanding) faces.
No one will bring what they said they would.
Oh, sure, everyone was so gung-ho about cooking a homemade side dish three weeks ago. Now, half of the guests have shown up with cheese and the other half brought orange soda. This was not what you had on the menu, but now you'll have to make do. Fondue with a Fanta chaser, anyone?
You'll run out of something essential and have to dash to the store.
You're a novice, so we'll forgive you for not knowing that you need flour to make gravy. (No, it doesn't just flow out of the bird on its own.) Now you have to haul ass to the corner store in the hopes that they'll have one measly little bag of flour that isn't expired. When they don't, you'll make the rounds to every store in a 10-mile vicinity, hoping to make it back before the turkey timer goes off.
You will cut yourself.
This will come as a surprise because you didn't even think your knives were that sharp, but there it is, a chunk of your finger, forever separated from your body on the cutting board, which is quickly being doused in blood. Apply pressure, elevate, and determine if you need to get to the ER, STAT, or if you can live with a deformed digit for the rest of your life so dinner can be served on time.
The turkey will be undercooked or overcooked.
You're a Thanksgiving virgin, so it's highly unlikely that your first bird will be anywhere near edible. Whether it's undercooked (and downright dangerous to eat) or so tough you can hardly hack a carving knife through it, the turkey this time around is going to suck. The best you can do is disguise your failure by smothering it with lots of gravy or cranberry sauce.
The dog will launch a sneak attack.
You didn't know Fido could jump that high? Well, he can. He was just saving his secret skills for the right opportunity. If you alone discover him face-planted in the mashed potatoes, just clear the dish (or the affected area of said dish) and replenish with a fresh one. No one has to know. (And kennel that beast already, would you?)
Someone will get stupid drunk.
It's bound to happen. All you can do is try to run crowd control and keep Aunt Can't-Hold-Her-Alcohol from doing something untoward in front of everyone. Assign someone to take her on a stumble-walk around the neighborhood until she exhausts herself and passes out on top of all the coats in the guest room.
A fist fight will break out.
Whether it's differing political opinions or a battle for the wishbone, two of your hot-headed relatives are going to come to blows on Thanksgiving. Clear the room and contain the fight as best you can. In a pinch, use canned whipped cream in lieu of mace to stop the carnage.
Kids will break something.
It might be your new high-def TV. It might be someone's bones. Who knows. The one thing that's for sure is that kids break shit. Lock up any valuables, keep plates and glasses at counter height or higher, and wrap your precious electronics in Bubble Wrap. If all else fails, you can always replace your broken stuff for cheap on Black Friday.
Someone will throw up.
Maybe it'll be Aunt Alcoholic. Maybe it'll be the new baby in the family. (Let's hope it's the baby; less volume, fewer chunks.) Whoever it is, someone's going to ralph during your turkey dinner. You can only hope it's on an easy-to-clean surface and not the carpet, but this calamity is entirely out of your control.
The toilet will get clogged.
All that food and alcohol has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is your toilet. By the time someone bothers to tell you the john is acting up, you'll have a backlog of body fluids to unclog. Make sure you have a heavy-duty plunger, a pair of rubber gloves, and the number of an emergency plumber on hand. This could get ugly.
You'll eat until you feel like you're going to burst.
If this happens, you've actually succeeded at your first Thanksgiving. Overeating means there was more than enough food for everyone, there was enough downtime for you to actually eat, and the food was delicious. File this under "Nice Problem to Have."