Thursday, 22 November 2012

American Thanksgiving Singles Survival Game

It has crept up on me and surprised me at the last minute! Oh my little American Singles, it is the dreaded day of turkey doom, that day upon which you will be asked by random relations you see but once or twice a year the perfidious question: So, dear, do you have a boyfriend yet?

The rules of this game are very simple. You have to pay attention to all references to your long-term single state so that you can report them here. Obviously you are on your honour here, so no padding. Just counting.

And then reporting! Because the best part of the American Thanksgiving Singles Survival Game is telling us all in delicious detail what your Aunt said and then what your Uncle said, and then what your smart-aleck cousin said after that.

In past years readers have reported their own variations on this game, including in-house competitions between sisters.

The beauty of this game is that (like grace) it heals and elevates the stupid So, dear, do you have a boyfriend yet? questions and Don't worry, you'll be next remarks into POINTS! Feel free to bring a piece of paper and pencil to the table. Actually, put a pencil and paper in your pocket right now because sometimes relatives can't walk in the door without immediately saying "So, dear, do you have a boyfriend yet?"

SCENE: A charming family home in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, nestled between cornfields. Ceramic dwarves stand frozen on the lawn in mid-gambol.

The doorbell rings.

Mom: Dear, can you answer that?

You: Okay, Mom.

You open the door and behold on the doorstep Uncle Billy and Aunt Jean from Chicago.

You: Hi, Uncle Billy! Hi, Aunt Jean! Come on in.

Uncle Billy and Aunt Jean come on in.

Uncle Billy: How's my girl? (He seizes you in bear hug.)

You: Great! Ouch!

Aunt Jean: Now, Bill. Leave the girl alone. Let's look at you. My, my. How time does fly. (Her voice sinks.) We must have a proper chat in the kitchen. I want to talk to you.

Uncle Billy (loudly): Uh, oh. Girl stuff. No men allowed!

Aunt Jean: Now, Bill. Don't you start. (Her voice sinks again.) Honey, I read this column in Better Homes and Gardens about Single girls and it made me think of you. Hold on a minute, I'll get it from my purse.

You: I'll be back in a sec.

You rush to your room, seize a pencil and a piece of paper and write a big, thick /.

Mom (yelling up the stairs): Honey?! Why aren't you helping your uncle and aunt with their coats?

You: Coming!

Mom: I don't know what's gotten into that girl.

Aunt Jean: Well, apparently Single girls get a little funny during the holidays. It's the pressure of family expectations. I read about it in Better Home and Gardens.

You write another thick /, making your tally //. You feel a thrill of early victory. It's only three in the afternoon: depending on what's happening on the East Coast and Florida, you could be in the lead!

Uncle Bill: Don't be silly, Jean. There's nothing about that girl a good boyfriend wouldn't solve.


You: I'm coming! Sorry, Aunt Jean.

Aunt Jean: That's okay, dear. I'm all right and tight.

Uncle Bill: She's all right but not yet tight! Where's the punch? It's party time!

Aunt Jean: Oh, Bill. (She turns to you.) Now dear. Into the kitchen with you.

Uncle Bill: Uh oh. Here comes the grilling. Give only your name, rank and serial number!

Aunt Jean: Oh, Bill. Really, that man. You just wait till you're married, hon, and then you'll understand what we all have to put up with.



Let the games begin!


Sarah said...

Oh, I just realized I will be the only single girl at the table this year.

At least I won't have people "asking." No out-of-towners are coming so they all know my relationship status... but I will at least keep track of the "Men. Just wait til' you're married..." or suggestions that I get together with some NCB we know. Let the games begin. ;)

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

We stay away from the crazy relatives at all cost, and at any rate I'm far from home celebrating the holiday with a mostly single crowd, but I've linked to this on Facebook as a recommendation for other single friends! I almost wish I had more meddlesome people, but while my folks know I'd like to be seeing someone, I don't get pressured about it.

Tina aka Snupnjake said...

Bonus points if Grandma asks if you are a lesbian at the dinner table with everyone gathered around it....

Bless her heart.....

Seraphic said...

Yes. Definitely bonus points for anyone who is asked if she is a Lesbian.

Maria said...

Words cannot express how much I love today's post.
While I've never gotten it at family reunion time (Christmases for us), lately my older brother and parents have started sneaking in comments here and there. My older brother was even very rude about it. Fortunately my younger brother is understanding and great support.

Kate P said...

I'm in. Heading over to my parents' in about an hour. My uncle with coming with girlfriend in tow, my longtime-single aunt as well. . . and I am thinking DOUBLE BONUS POINTS if my younger sister walks in with an engagement ring. (It could happen.)

Seraphic said...

I shall write it in the book. Four points to any Single woman whose younger (not older, younger) sister or niece walks in with a surprise engagement ring. Plus a point for everyone who says "Your turn next!"

leonine said...

Well, fortunately, I spend Thanksgiving with my single aunt. It's totally the way to go. ;)

Jam said...

I had a big ol' goose egg! Although one of my aunts asked if I would be coming up for Christmas in a very significant way, right after my mom said we'd be coming up... but I choose not to interpret that as anything but hospitality. :)

Anonymous said...

The last of my siblings is now engaged, leaving me as the one last unhitched person in all of my family--that's including immediate and extended family (and no, I'm no where close to be the youngest in line). Please pray for me during all the upcoming holiday gatherings!

~Last one standing

Claire said...

I was the one who put my own foot in my mouth this year. As we were going around the table each saying what we were grateful for, everyone was grateful for the new additions to our family this year (in the form of my younger sister's new husband and my much younger brothers new fiancee). After one of these comments, I opened my mouth and blurted and we will be grateful for any additions to come next year too! Referring solely to any future nieces or nephews that might be arriving! But that's not the way everyone else took it. Oh dear. I had to laugh though.

Bernadette said...

Luckily, I spent Thanksgiving with my immediate family, which is almost entirely searching or serious singles. So I got to spend a lot of time playing with my baby niece, and the only reference to singleness I heard was when my younger sister (the most seriously searching single of the group) announced that, while she was grateful that we didn't have any weddings in the family this year (last year we had three), she would like to have more weddings at some point. At which point everyone said something on the lines of, "That's nice, dear." and we changed the subject. I kinda love my family.

On the other hand, through the grapevine at work I have discovered that one particular woman has decided that it is her Moral Duty to Set Me Up With Someone since I am Such A Nice Girl. Never mind that she has never asked me whether or not I am already attached, nor that she knows me so little that she has no conception of what I'm looking for in a mate (I don't think she even knows I'm Catholic). These things give her no pause. Plus apparently part of the fun has been talking about her plans to everyone within earshot. So, you know, fun times ahead!

Anonymous said...

I had a relative tell me I should do a self assessment as to why I'm still single. Maybe I'm self-centered?

-Not self-centered

Seraphic said...

@Not Self-Centred: Honey, that is a point if every I saw one. Anyway, from what I've seen, some men flock to self-centered women. Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper are not just comic book characters: they are archetypes.

@Claire, I'm giving you two points: one for being misunderstood and one for having a good chuckle with everyone else.

@Bernadette, ah the poor girl. As for the lady at work, well, take it as well-meaning flattery but protect yourself from nosey-parker behaviour. You don't have to go out with just anyone; in fact, you shouldn't. Ugh.

Jackie said...

Has there been a winner declared yet? ;-)

As for me: A big ol' goose-egg, thankfully! It was just me, my dad and brother-- and their newly adopted cats. Cute!

We talked about all kinds of interesting subjects (oil rigs, blizzards, weather patterns!), current events and caught up with my sister in South Africa (isn't communication like Skype *amazing*?!). A good time was had by all, huzzah!

My dad has never pressured me about marriage, dating, relationships or appearance. For which I remain eternally grateful. :)

ladywisdom said...

Does it count if it comes a couple days late? My Dad asked me this morning if I thought he and my Mom had done anything to put their children off marriage (3 daughters, 25-33, none married).

bolyongok said...

Auntie Seraphic, I have to report that one of the very best things about being deployed over the holidays is that no one you're deployed with gives a tinker's curse if you're single or married. They just care about when it's their turn to use the phone to call home.

This is the first Thanksgiving in a while where I haven't had any points, and I really enjoyed that and the unusually good chow! :)