Honest Timeline: The First Thanksgiving With Your Girlfriend’s Family
So, you have a girlfriend. (Congratulations!) And your relationship is serious enough that her family has invited you over for Thanksgiving. (Our sympathies.) While meeting the ‘rents seems like a momentous event worthy of a toast, the reality won’t likely live up to your expectations…unless your expectations are along the lines of Meet the Parents. Just kidding. It probably won’t be that bad. (We hope. For your sake.) Either way, you don’t want to go into the lion’s den unprepared. That’s why we’ve created this honest timeline that will show you what might happen when you go to her home for the holidays.
Cover Photo: skynesher (Getty Images)
4 PM: Your girlfriend goes in first to assess the situation.
Your girlfriend has warned you that things might be tense. She hasn't brought anyone home yet, and Daddy (yes, that's what she calls him) can be a little...um...territorial. For your own protection, your girlfriend goes in first to take the temperature of the room. When she comes back, she reports that her dad was cleaning his guns but that he's ready to meet you now. Yikes.
4:15 PM: Her dad explains the house rules.
You've been granted access, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with Daddy's Little Princess. Your girlfriend's dad lays out all the rules. And there are a lot of them...some of which you've already broken. Whoops. You politely nod your head and say, "Yes, sir," at appropriate intervals and hope he doesn't see your trembling hands.
4:30 PM: You meet the mother.
Finally, one family member on your side. Your girlfriend's mother is super sweet, almost too sweet. And she's a hugger. But that's OK. You breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.
4:45 PM: You make small talk on the sofa.
You talk about the weather, your college majors, how you met. What you don't talk about: your pot habit, your failing grades, or the pregnancy scare you and your girlfriend had last week. You smile so hard and for so long, your face hurts. But you're pretty sure you're making a good impression now.
5 PM: Her asshole brother joins the conversation.
Not willingly, mind you. Your girlfriend's mom has to drag her youngest into the living room by the ear, after which he sneers at you and starts spouting off about what a waste a liberal arts education is and how Trump is going to bring back mining in a big way. He asks about the origins of your last name and, based on that information, makes a slew of racist and utterly unfunny jokes. If you were in a bar, this is when you'd knock this asshole's lights out, but instead, you sit and take it while everyone just brushes it off, even the mom (your one ally!) with an "Oh, honey."
5:30 PM: The mom makes her famous punch.
Looking to lighten the mood, your girlfriend's mom invites you into the kitchen to see how her famous punch is made. The secret ingredient? A shit ton of rum. You're not much a rum drinker, but you will be tonight if it means keeping the peace.
6PM: It's finally time to eat. (Thank God.)
The Thanksgiving spread is incredible. There's just one problem: you're a vegetarian and your girlfriend forgot to tell her mom. This requires excessive and defensive explanations about your beliefs regarding meat-eating and climate change, topics which are beyond everyone's comprehension. ("If nobody eats the cows/pigs/turkeys/chickens, they will be an even bigger environmental problem!") You can't even shovel the stuffing in your mouth like you usually would at home, over your stove, because it was cooked in the bird and is soaked in turkey juices. Ew. Now you're stuck with a mound of mashed potatoes (no gravy), some cranberry sauce, and wilted salad. Here's hoping dessert is better.
7 PM: It's time for dessert...but your girlfriend's aunt won't stop kissing you.
Your girlfriend's aunt shows up in time for dessert. You're eager to dig in to all the food that doesn't have a face, but the aunt won't let you have a moment of peace. She's strangely drawn to you and keeps peppering you with kisses...that feel like something more than familial. You make the "Help me!" eyes at your girlfriend but she just shrugs. Fuck this dinner. Now you're just counting down the minutes until you can leave.
8 PM: You drink too much punch and say something scandalous.
You're totally wasted on punch and it's all your girlfriend's fault. She openly criticized you for chewing your pecan pie with your mouth open and embarrassed you in front of her family (as if their manners are any better). So you excuse yourself, ask where the spare bedroom is, and say your girlfriend is in need of punishment. It was supposed to be a joke, but her mom has read 50 Shades of Grey and is now staring at you with a look of repulsion.
8:30 PM: Your girlfriend tries to redirect with a dance-off.
Families are supposed to be fun, right? (Yeah, right.) Your girlfriend gathers everyone into the family room for a Dance Dance Revolution competition but you're so drunk now you can barely stand up. You leave the blood relatives to it and hope your girlfriend falls flat on her face. As soon as this is over, you're breaking up with her.
10 PM: Your girlfriend's mother takes you to the airport.
You were supposed to stay the night at your girlfriend's parents' house, but everyone agreed (during a whispered huddle in the kitchen while you were puking up your guts in the bathroom) that you should go home ASAP. Your girlfriend's mother feigns friendliness and drives you to the airport, where she politely says goodbye and pretends that she'll see you at her holiday table again, though all parties involved know you'll be splitsville before hitting the security line. Next year, you vow to stay home on Thanksgiving, girlfriend or no girlfriend.