Thanksgiving Rules for the 21st Century

Oh, Thanksgiving. The holiday that recognizes that the only way we can stand to be around family is to emotionally eat ourselves into a tryptophan-induced state of apathy. Boundaries are pushed. Feelings are hurt. There's no clear-cut etiquette, no collective list of things that could be avoided to make Thanksgiving more than just something we endure through excessive intake of cranberries.

Why don't we have any rules for Thanksgiving? If the pilgrims and Indians had sat down and written out some boundaries, like "don't give us smallpox" or "please let us keep our scalps on our heads," we wouldn't feel so guilty and depressed when we visit Indian casinos.

This in mind, here are some Thanksgiving Rules. Add your own in the comments, and report all violations to whoever cooks the bird in your house. They are the law.

~ Thou shalt not insist that we wait on someone to arrive late. I haven't eaten in two days to build up some calorie equity. Try and make me wait even 15 minutes longer than I have to and I will rip your earlobes off and shove them in my mouth.

~ Thou shalt not put newlyweds in an awkward position by making a big deal about where they spend their first Thanksgiving. They are already in the awkward position of being married.

~ Thou shall cook your dish at home and not try to cram into the full kitchen with a can of green beans in one hand and a can of French's crunchy onions in the other.

~ Thou shalt not bring your pets. If my pet bird Carl Feathers can stand to be left at home, so can your incontinent Yorkie.

~ Thou shalt not try to mess with the traditional Thanksgiving meal. No one wants to try Asian fusion today.

~ Thou shalt not ask when someone is going to get married/have a baby/graduate from college/find a job. We're all already dealing with the shame of having eaten more food in one sitting than people in other countries get in a month, we don't need the additional guilt right now.

~ Thou shalt not insist that someone "try" a dish they obviously don't want, unless you want to hear about the details of their Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

~ Thou shalt not ask stupid questions about the mechanics of football during football. Trust me, my cousin's girlfriend, it's not cute.

~ Thou shalt not talk about politics under any circumstances whatsoever.

~ Unless you do a bitchin' Rick Perry impersonation.

~ Thou shalt not take pictures of people eating. No one ever says, "I really like this picture you took of me desperately shoveling too much pie in my face."

~ Thou shalt not try to get me to take a picture after I've just stuffed myself with four pounds of salty food and have swollen up like one of Rosie O'Donnell's fingers.

~ Thou shalt not take more than your fair share of leftovers. We're all trying to ride the turkey train out until next week so we don't have to go to grocery store in elastic-waist pants.

~ Thou shall help with the clean-up, or thou shall find all of the dirty dishes in your car.

Okay, your turn. Let it all out. We're here for you.

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Sundey McClendon
Contact: Sundey McClendon