Lunchtime poll – holiday hullabaloo
November 18th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
Share this on:

If popular culture is to be believed, there is no such thing as a Thanksgiving meal uninterrupted by drama. It might be a tipsy and belligerent uncle, a cook's meltdown when the entire table skips her gluey mashed potatoes, or a cousin who decides that the lull between the clearing of the turkey carcass and the presentation of the pumpkin pie is the ideal time to announce that his roommate isn't, uh, just his roommate. TV and movies are rife with over-the-top T-Day debacles, but is that the case in real life?

Most of mine have gone smoothly, so the few incidents that occurred have burned onto my brain like marshmallows on the edge of a sweet potato casserole pan. A guest power-chugged cheap Champagne in the last 15 minutes of her stay, smashing a bottle on the street when we tried to hail a cab for her. A relative who will remain nameless phoned her parents, stone cold sober, and berated them for not making her feel loved enough as a kid. My Grandmother deemed me a "slut" for having at one time had a platonic male roommate.

I celebrate Thanksgiving with several friends now.

Years ago, a college friend recounted the tale of a Thanksgiving wherein his mostly born-again family went around the table, citing things for which they were grateful - plenty of food, the word of the Lord, America. When it came around to my friend's brother - a brooding, often darkly hilarious teenager, he offered, "I am thankful that God gave us the word "monkey."

Silence. Then, from across the table, an aunt...


The calming down took a tad, and once an bitingly insincere apology was issued by the brother, the blessings recommenced - this time, with a cousin, freshly released from drug rehab. "I'm (snort, eyeroll) thankful for my family."

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Classic Lunchtime Poll

    November 20, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Who got all dat gold! (Awesome lunchtime poll.)

      I got all dat gold!

      November 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  2. really

    my born again family is the homeless population and I try to spend all holidays respecting and doing good for them. they don't judge, ask questions or demean and demoralize, they just appreciate in their own way. cheers

    November 20, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  3. TK

    My cat and I share a can of tuna and some grilled yams. She's very low drama.

    November 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • SniffiSnooki from New Jersey

      Something smells fishy about this post,but I can't put my nose near it!

      November 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  4. JainaJade

    While most years are rather calm there have been some rather memorable events in the past, normally brought on by the stress of the situation due to certain visiting family. The top two have to be when my younger brother was made to sit outside by that certain visiting member because he wasn't eating what the rest of the family was eating. This might have been a blessing except that it was just above freezing outside and she made him stay there until she was finished eating which was well past everyone else. The other "fun" memory was when this same person decided they needed to sit at the head of the table...well another family member did not agree with that statement. This kept escalating until the person setting the table was kicked out for telling one of them to "do something" to themselves. Found out the VERY hard way that few gas stations are open on Thanksgiving...

    November 19, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  5. LTBD

    One year back in the 70's my drunken Dad had a meltdown over his wife's (my stepmonster) brother in law smoking cigarettes. This was in the day when people didn't even think of politely smoking outside. The debacle started at the gorgeous dinner table, stepmonster was a sublime cook. (I'll never understand that marriage. She must have had at least a few other redeeming qualities- under the sheets, but that's not my story.) Anyway dad was standing and shouting, frothing and spitting by the time the argument reached full blowout proportions. Napkins and silverware were thrown down, chairs pushed from the table, and everyone left, with my stepbrother outside consoling his sobbing fiancee. As cars pulled away I remember the relatives yelling strange insults out their car windows: "You dirty thing!" and "I hope you wipe your ass with hundred dollar bills!" (What in the hell was that supposed to mean?) At least there were alot of great leftovers to eat, despite the leftover memories for all!

    November 19, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      How uncomfortable.

      I, too, fail to understand a few of my Dad's marriages. They all must have given good BJ's, but even that is not worth the strife of the rest of the day.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  6. M.

    Any drama at my family gatherings came from my cousin and her loser boyfriend. Then they decided that they don't want anything to do with any of us. I'm sure they have no idea how delighted we all are. Holidays are way more pleasant now.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  7. csw4

    did you all digest dinner yet? going nowhere on turkey day due to (1) no one can cook i wont for these guys(2)sisters cant either(3)turkey so dry its like hay and (4) YOU KNOW!!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  8. johninmemphis

    I will have a cooler full of beverages on hand on Thanksgiving.
    I will not – I will not – I will not be drawn into any bs – thank you very much.
    Happy Thanksgiving y'all.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  9. johninmemphis

    I love jdizzle

    November 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  10. Anna

    There's no drunkenness at my house because they don't allow alcohol but there sure is controversy and mayhem. It usually starts out by my dad or brother bringing up democrats and how awful they are, then it goes to every political issue that they (remarkably) have the exact same opinion as Glenn Beck on...then begins the harassment about why my boyfriend and I haven't gotten married yet. Oh, and my dad always has to work in a comment about how fat I look.

    By the time we finish 1st dinner at my family's house, we're more than ready to go to my boyfriend's family's Thanksgiving dinner and have some wine and intelligent conversation.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • v8440


      Just tell him you're pregnant and that's why you look fat. It doesn't have to be true, but it'll either shut him up or cause him to blow a gasket. Either way you win.

      November 19, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  11. Erin

    I was hoping to find some fun stories down here, oh well.

    Unfortunately I don't have any holiday drama stories. We're fun drunks in my family.

    One time though when I was young my grandmother turned off the oven not long after someone put the turkey in to cook all day (my grandmother was not a cook). No one figured it out for a few hours so we didn't get to eat until pretty late in the evening. Also there was at least 35 people there for dinner. You can imagine what the atmosphere was like around the house that day...

    November 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  12. RichardHead

    O.K.-Now where were we ?

    November 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Snow

      we were discussing drama at the family get togethers!!

      November 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  13. RichardHead@SLT&KAT

    Thank You-I was gonna blame all that on Jdixxle.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Truth@RichHead

      I was going to ponder "Why don't we see Timmy and JDizz in the same place", but that would be an insult to JDizz, and I don't want to go there...

      November 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
      • RichardHead

        He's got that Big Chief pencil under his chin right now while sleeping thru an important meeting. Besides, he can't type that fast and neither can I.

        November 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
      • Truth@RichHead

        Actually, I would probably find his class interesting. I am a finance wonk. Majored in Econ in grad school...

        November 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
      • RichardHead@Truth

        I bet he would have paid you to take his place today.

        November 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  14. 4U Mister

    The comments make less sense with no little timmy, but glad he is gone, he was turning the hullabaloo hella-blue...thanks admin!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Snow

      YAY! Timmy is gone. So they just deleted his posts... can he come back under another name or do they have a way to block his computer???

      November 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
      • RichardHead@Snow

        Only The Men in Black know this info!

        November 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Just look at the liiiittle red light. There you go.


        You passed out and hit your head on the computer. It no longer functions. Have a good day.

        November 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  15. RichardHead

    Thank You my lovlies-anybody want an energy drink from yesterday?

    November 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  16. Evil Grin

    Man, I almost missed the troll! They're fun, though I think you're trying just a little too much, Timmy.

    I wish King of Cuisine from this post would come back. He was a very stylish troll.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  17. 4U Mister

    Don't worry everyone, Little Timmy will be back in school after the holidays–his parents will move away while he is gone, hopefully he won't find them again...Little Timmy, get a job!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  18. RichardHead

    Well,that was special. Now who wants pie?

    November 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  19. Truth@Timmy

    Uhm, Timmy, I think I speak for the majority of us when I ask you to kindly kill yourself by the swiftest means possible. Thanks pal!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  20. RichardHead@slt

    Slt-there is a delete key on the main board

    November 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • RichardHead

      ReBoot and reset preferences-you've still got a glitch from yesterday afternoon.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  21. Snow

    I take it you are some jobless loser sitting at a library posting disgusting comments while at the same time collecting welfare checks and food stamps?? Typical.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • 4U Mister

      Methinks Timmy protests toooo much...Timmy, you don't realize this, but your preferences are showing. Just so you know.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  22. Truth@RichHead, Jerv, Kat

    Timmy is clearly a case of stunted emotional development.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Snow

      Thanks for including me. Didn't you see my post? What's with your little high school clique?

      November 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
      • Truth@Snow

        Sorry, friend. Did not see.

        November 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  23. billp

    Families are the wellspring of ultimate evil and cruelty. People endure abuse from relatives that they would never accept from anyone else.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • 4U Mister

      Amen, billp. Amen.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  24. RichardHead@Kat

    Timmy seems to be having issues!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • Snow

      He's posted something horrible on all of these threads. :(

      November 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  25. Ed

    Sure was stinky on the way out. :(

    November 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  26. Snow

    Look at the old guy in the picture. "For the Love of God will you kids get off those god d@mn phones!"

    November 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  27. Caroline

    It's just not a holiday in my family with out some sort of disaster. It's usually the one drunken cousin, but others have contributed over the years. My favorite was the Thanksgiving when my brother, fresh out of a lovely week end retreat at a local penal facility, announces to the table full of relatives and friends that he had run into a old boyfriend of mine while "away" and he said to say hello. Also that he's going to call me when he gets "home." Thanks, bro.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jerv@RichardHead&Truth

      Not sure if I should be laughing at that but, yeah, thanks for the favor.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  28. Truth@RichHead

    My family is in NY and we are in Co, so we don't see a lot of each otehr. Mom has Alzheimer's though, and Dad Parkinson's, so we have drama the rest fo the year. No need to wait for holidays for that.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • RichardHead@Truth

      Sorry Buddy,been there and done that. I was caregiver for my Mom who passed from Alzheimers in "06 after showing signs in 2000. Dad passed in "99 from colon cancer so I guess I have alot to look forward to in the coming years. Wonder Dog and I try to make every day special.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • Sir Biddle@Truth

      Was just in Denver last week for a conference – great city!

      November 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  29. 4U Mister

    It's the same relative every year–she is "constructively" (in her opinion!) critical of the food, the decorations–even the clean up duties! She is entertaining, though–we all pick on her, in a "constructively" critical way until she shuts her pie hole! And then she pouts and asks not to be invited next year...but we do (she is entertaining!) and of course she always shows up.

    Mom, I luv you! Sometimes...

    November 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • RichardHead

      That's cold but I Love It!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  30. RichardHead@Truth&Jerv

    In the picture please notice{and I am assuming} the brother and sister are communicating via cell phone to each other. Reminds me of my family before the food fight starts.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • Jerv@RichardHead&Truth

      Oh yeah, let the fireworks begin. Looks like the old fart in the photo is telling them, "put those damn phones away!"

      His ear looks like a Vulcan ear. "Live long and prosper."

      November 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Peace and Long Life

        November 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
| Part of