Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, gorging on turkey and sides and, if you’re in my family, getting into heated religious and political debates until you want to stab someone with the meat thermometer.
All kidding aside, for new couples, Thanksgiving can be either a time to shine or a time where everyone leaves the dinner table whispering, “It’s never gonna last.”
For women going to their boyfriend’s Thanksgiving family dinner for the first time, it’s important to watch what you say while still maintaining a sense of self.
Here are a few guidelines to keep you out of the crossfire.
1. Keep the past in the past.
I don’t care if you were married to the king of England, don’t blab on about your former flames or even casually mention that you were engaged, married or just got out of a devastating 10-year relationship.
2. What his mom says is law.
Until you’re comfortable enough with the family dynamic to get a few aunts or cousins on your side, stay away from any confrontation with the new boyfriend’s mom.
This means don’t question her cooking technique or tell her your grandmother’s gravy is way better than her recipe (God, rest her soul).
3. Be weary of sport’s inquiries.
Unless you live in Philadelphia and it’s an unwritten law that everyone is an Eagle’s fan, keep your mouth shut about sports until everyone else at the table tells you their team.
You don’t want to get into a Mets vs. Yankees fight with your new boyfriend’s five uncles from Queens.
4. When in doubt, eat.
The great thing about Thanksgiving is that if you have a hard time making conversation or keeping your mouth shut, there’s always a huge plate of food to stuff your mouth with.
Play stupid and if hardball questions come your way, get an enormous bite of acorn squash and stuffing and motion to how full your mouth is.
Holidays are stressful. There’s no doubt about that. But they should be fun and a great time to meet your new boyfriend’s family.
If you keep your mouth shut long enough or tiptoe around the difficult topics, someone else is bound to put their foot in their mouth before you do.