Editor’s Note: This is a DisreGuardian satire piece
So, you want to go home for the holiday season. Well, I commend your bravery during these times. I completely understand that you’re feeling emboldened by the recent results of the presidential election, but are you really prepared for this? Do you have your fact sheet ready? Are your arguments solid and foolproof, but simple enough that even your younger cousins at the kids’ table can understand? Are you sure? 100 percent positive? Not a doubt in your mind? I sensed some hesitation there, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. However, if you’re looking for facts, genius arguments, and genuine advice, you won’t find them here. Here are some (illegitimate) tips and tricks for surviving a holiday with politically hostile friends and family.
- Be prepared for anything.
Mentally prepare yourself, because things could get rough out there. Come up with some game plans, escape routes, anything to ensure survival. Queue up your favorite playlist beforehand to get that adrenaline pumping (I know you have a hype playlist lying around somewhere). This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is the culmination of months of preparation. This is your time to
shine be tolerant.
- Take a shot of sparkling cider every time someone mentions Trump and voter fraud.
Honestly, there is not a lot that you can do in this situation (reference point four for more details). It’s highly likely that you will run out of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider before the night is over. At that point, panic and drive away; it’s really the only sensible thing you could do.
- Burn a Trump flag in the backyard (to be used in extreme circumstances).
Now I’m sure everyone in the family knows you’re the “snowflake” with the left-leaning, “socialist” views, so why not go all in and have a little fun while you’re at it? Maybe your family will come to their senses and you can all roast some marshmallows over the campfire that is, conveniently, already lit thanks to you. You might end up with some crispy pieces of cloth in your s’mores, but it was totally worth it.
- As those penguins in “Madagascar” once said, “Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.”
Sometimes politics just isn’t worth arguing over. People are often deeply rooted in their ideas and opinions, and no amount of undeniable facts coupled with scientific evidence that you throw at them is going to change their mind. I’m not saying you have to validate their opinions, but the attention you give them will most likely only encourage them to stay obstinate and immediately discredit anything you say. Not to mention, you’re most likely just playing into their narcissism and selfishness, so take a deep breath and let it go. While this may be difficult and frustrating to accept, I promise that you’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache by realizing that some battles simply can’t be won. Wait a minute, that advice was actually kind of good…
- Need some relaxation? Lock yourself in the bathroom and scroll through your choice of meaningless social media!
Personally, I recommend TikTok. It’s all the rage these days, and while the “For You” page is scary accurate — which is disconcerting on so many levels — the entertainment and escapism it provides is top notch. Trust me, you won’t find the same amount of emotional gratification on Instagram when you scroll through your old high school classmates’ posts and stories. Do you really want to read that Fall-and-leaves pun in Jessica’s caption? I didn’t think so.
- Hide behind a mask, literally.
Try planning an outfit before the big dinner event, and buy a nice mask to match the whole ensemble. Masks are the new accessories, right? Or is that just large corporations trying to profit off of a global pandemic by making masks fashionable? Or could it be a marketing scheme to make masks trendy and pretty to encourage people to wear them? Ah, capitalism makes for a fun guessing game. Anyway, point being, use the rise in mask usage to your advantage. Hide that grimace or scoff with more than just a fake cough or other not-so-subtle hand motion you commonly use to cover your face.
- Do your best to avoid realizing that you’ve made a huge mistake.
All the political talk has grown incessant and you’re tired of hearing it. It’s almost a guarantee that at some point in the evening you’ll begin to miss sitting in your quiet dorm room doing homework, and that’s when you know you’re in trouble. Who misses homework? People on the brink of madness, that’s who. If (or when) you reach this point, try your best to remain calm. This is a great time to try some meditation exercises and good coping skills that you most likely haven’t been employing since your arrival at college. Though, if you’re anything like me, then just revisit point five for more details.
While I’m still not entirely confident that you haven’t gone completely mad by allowing yourself to be exposed to awkward, veiled bigotry in the form of political discourse over a family dinner, I have a final piece of actual advice: always leave with love and forgiveness. All jokes aside, these people are your family members, and it’s important to practice rising above hate no matter what. I know that you are frustrated and angry and hungry for an open-minded world because I am too. However, we have to be the ones to shape that world, and it all traces back to love and forgiveness. Anyway, I hope to see you in one sane piece when you get back, and maybe we can grab a celebratory dinner at the Bistro when all is said and done (after we all quarantine and get tested, of course). Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Art by Kalo Grimsby for the UC San Diego Guardian