[Here are some wise words from former Portlander/current Denver resident and verrry funny comedian Andie Main that she wrote for us in 2016—and yet still hold true today!—eds]
1) Steel your nerves in the car before entering the house by watching the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, and that scene near the end of Schindler's List when Oskar wishes he'd done more. YOU ARE JUST AS STRONG AS TOM HANKS AND LIAM NEESON. ALSO, ISNT SPIELBERG A NATIONAL TREASURE?
2) Bring your partner, even if the family doesn't approve of them. Especially if they don't. Never let go of your partner's hand and remember that we are just dumb primates, and this is one of those weird turf wars they like to have. Did you know that Bonobo Apes trade sexual favors for dominance in their family hierarchies? Be thankful you are not a Bonobo Ape.
3) Drugs. You have two different options. You can either medicate yourself with a tranq... or??? Medicate your relatives! Make those weed brownies and make 'em irresistible! Just don't let anyone have more than one and use less weed than it would ever take to get you high. Aunt Dorothy has a low tolerance and she is a nice lady.
4) Ninety minutes into Thanksgiving is going the time when either everyone is high or just you. THIS WILL SET THE TONE FOR THE REST OF THE MEAL. YOU MUST ASSESS THE SITUATION AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.
On top of that, this is when Uncle Elmer has had a few Milwaukee's Best and thinks he can drop some truths about immigrants. Remind Elmer that America was a nation of immigrants. If he is responsive, remind him that we were responsible for the genocide of Native Americans. BUT TREAD LIGHTLY. IS UNCLE ELMER HIGH? THIS WILL AFFECT HOW HE IS GOING TO PROCESS THE INFORMATION.
5) Are your relatives now regurgitating stories they saw on Infowars? Make them cite their sources! Advise them that feelings do not equal facts! Give them your phone and tell them to use it to cite their sources. They don't understand phones so this will take a lot longer than the argument will last, which is a bonus!
6) STAND YOUR GROUND. But be polite. Grandma may not understand what Democratic Socialism is, but she does know that good manners are important!
7) Keep holding on to your partner's hand. You are both doing great!
8) Make sure you've eaten all you want because Uncle Elmer is going to bring up Black Lives Matter soon. He always brings it up and you just sat there and nodded before, but this time you're going to make a statement.
9) The moment Uncle Elmer says "All Lives Matter!" Is the cue for you and your partner to leave. FEEL FREE TO YELL AT ELMER THAT TRUMP IS NOT GOING TO REOPEN THE STEEL MILL. TELL ELMER THAT YOU ARE A LOVED MEMBER OF YOUR COMMUNITY AND YOU DONT NEED TO TAKE HIS BULLSHIT ANYMORE. TELL ELMER TO SOAK IT UP 'CUZ HE HAS TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING RACIST BEFORE YOU EVER SPEAK AGAIN.
10) Have a printout of the graphic showing an all-blue America—the one representing if only millennials voted. Put it on the table on top of the center piece.
11) Make your way to the door. Let Elmer know that he's a dinosaur and going extinct so he'd better be kinder because there will be no more Social Security soon and your generation gets to decide how to fund welfare for his generation.
12) Kiss Grandma and Aunt Dorothy on the cheek and thank them for the lovely meal. It's not their fault Elmer is a shithead and they're brave for putting up with it.
13) Avoid eye contact with your parents.
14) Spend next year with your partner's relations. Or if that's fizzled out—Friendsgiving!
15) Be strong and do every single thing you can to fix America. Remember Schindler? He had to sabotage a munitions factory. You just have to call your congressman and write some letters. You got this.