Dear Chip #11: “Chilling in the Back with Music”

Dear Chip #11: Chilling in the Back with Music

Dear Chip,

At what point are relatives not family? One time I dread during each year is Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I’m glad to say that I had the best Thanksgiving of my life at home, but it’s not always like that. Usually, we go all the way to another town just so I can suffer for hours and eat mediocre food before leaving and never speaking to those people until another holiday. I wouldn’t mind if I enjoyed meeting those people, but aside from my grandparents and two of my cousins, I hate being at any family gatherings.

My close family is the odd one out at the gatherings already, but it’s especially hard for me since I’m the odd one out within them. Me being put with a bunch of evangelicals is like sending a baby giraffe into a pack of blindfolded hyenas. I know it’s not like I can change my family, but all I get from them are panic attacks, mental breakdowns, and the desire to knock someone’s teeth in. Is there any way to convince my parents to let me stay behind, or at least let me chill with music the entire time?

Best, Anxious Outcast


Dear Anxious Outcast,


I have a similar issue to yours. My mom’s side of my family lives in Louisiana, so we usually go there for thanksgiving. I love seeing my grandma, and I like maybe 2 of my 11 cousins. Because of this, I typically sit in a guest room and play on my phone because I know that one of my cousins will make fun of me. I can do this because years ago, one of my cousins did something I didn’t like, and there was a “Fiasco,” let’s call it. I asked my mom If I could sit in the guest room, and now I just occasionally come out. What you should do about your situation is as follows. No matter what, I would think of a list of issues you’ve had before at family gatherings, like a fight or argument. Make sure you have a longer list of problems than your parents could have of benefits. If your parents like to sit in the living room with you and discuss it, make sure you remember your points and how much more fun everyone would have if you weren’t there. Make it sad, but not too sad, just enough they feel bad for you, but not enough that they feel sorry. Also, try to ask in a situation where you could only easily talk to one parent, preferably the easier one to convince. When you’re discussing it, make sure to have a comeback for everything they say against you staying home, and save chilling in the back with music as a compromise if they really want you to come.