5 Tricks to Make Attending Family Reunions Less Awkward

April Peveteaux

surviving a family reunionLess awkward for you that is, no guarantees on how anyone else will fare. It's family reunion season! If you have even one semi-motivated member of the family that thinks it's a good idea to gather together in one place for fun, fights, and inappropriate familial behavior, then chances are you've got a reunion coming up any day now.

So pack a lunch, and gas up the car! What? You say you'd rather stay home and clean out the corners under your toenails? Instead of making up a lame excuse to avoid those who share your same genetic material, why not give in to the moment and make this a family reunion no one will forget? Whether that's in a good way or a bad way is totally up to you, and the efforts you put forth.

Here's what I would do:

1) Arrive at least an hour late.

You avoid the awkwardness of standing around and making small talk with the other early birds (who are, let's face it, the worst) and then your family reunion is only half as long, and half as painful.

2) Feign ignorance

As soon as the inside jokes begin -- the ones that inevitably make you look stupid -- pretend you've completely forgotten what happened that night when you were 14 and you parked in the driveway with a 20-year-old. Emphasize the point by saying, "That wasn't me. You're thinking of the neighbor girl."

3) Pack your own food

Unless you're lucky enough to belong to a family of gourmet chefs, you're going to have to eat Grandma Margie's famous spaghetti that comes from a can. Take preventative measures, and sneak off into the corner with a bag of num-nums. Do not share.

4) Lie about your life

Before you head into the lion's den, create a fictional resume and memorize it. You have a new job, a new romantic interest who couldn't make it because he/she is currently orbiting Mars, and just put a bid on a brand new beach house. Ignore any follow-up emails inquiring about all of the above.

And if all else fails --

5) Bring a flask

Unless your family reunion has an element of booze (mine don't, but maybe you're lucky that way), you're going to want to bring your own mood enhancer in a bottle. Again, do not share.

How do you make it through your family reunions?


Image via anyjazz65/Flickr

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