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The voice of the student.

The Wave

The voice of the student.

The Wave

Recipients Collette Combs, Gordon Davis, Daniel Heekin, Thomas Heekin, Austin Hendrick, Makayla Hendrick, Isabella Kakaty, Piper Noyes, Celine Schauer and Grant Tirrell being congratulated for receiving the Marco Island Woman’s Club Award by presenter Anne Marchetti Marco Island Woman’s Club and MIWC president Sharyn Kampmeyer.
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Buzzkill: Top 10 Worst Conversation Starters for Thanksgiving

Photo credit to Claudio Schwarz via Unsplash under Unsplash License. Thanksgiving Day is one of the most anticipated holidays in America, with a common turkey centerpiece.

As the weather gets colder, the days get shorter, and seasonal depression slowly creeps in, there are three things capable of providing an almost immediate fix to any tough day: friends, family, and food. 

And though the combination of these three may seem like the greatest pick-me-up created since the invention of bread, why is it that Thanksgiving, the holiday that just does that, never fails to remind everyone why exactly they only suffer through it one day a year?

Whether it’s the countless awkward side hugs with unrecognizable strangers who hide behind the line, “I knew you when you were a baby,” or the congregation of men stanced around the oven supervising the turkey as it bakes, Thanksgiving Day sure has earned its own distinct charm. Yet despite it being an annual tradition, some guests can never seem to comprehend the idea that some thoughts should be kept inside the concerning limits of their overly judgmental, or even worse, naive mind.

So, to ensure that everyone seated at the dinner table will remain chopping up the turkey rather than your head, here are 10 conversations of the worst possible conversation starters which must be avoided at all costs, unless of course you don’t mind being the hot topic of the post-meal debrief. 


1. “This is vegan, right?”


Yes. This suspiciously thick, deep brown concoction of boiled bones and fat being poured generously on top of this dead animal carcass is 100% plant-based, why do you ask?

Listen, no shade to miserable millennials with miserable eating habits, but exactly what about a family Thanksgiving dinner in the South screams “vegan?” I completely understand that it’s a huge inconvenience that you’ll have to find a protein source other than spoonfuls of kidney beans, but I’m sure there will be plenty of gray, floppy slices of generously seasoned tofu available at your expensive yoga club’s monthly gathering. Now, unless you’d like to camp out by the cranberry sauce, would you please pass the gravy? 


2. “How’s school/college going?”


“I’m not too sure, Aunt Margaret. How’s your second marriage going? See? Isn’t it incredibly uncomfortable being asked about your current situation which may or may not be permanent or reliable, but is nevertheless capable of leaving you absolutely penniless and in a state of constant regret as you rethink every decision that led you there? Anyway’s school’s going just fine.” 


Stick to the script, and this question will never, ever be asked again. 


3. “How’s so and so?”


Who? The ex-boyfriend you met once in an awkward photo shoot before last year’s prom, or the strictly platonic guy-friend that makes way too many appearances on Facebook, kick-starting embarrassing dating remarks from in-laws in the comments? 

So you’re telling me, out of years and years of knowing each other, the best question you could come up with to ask me, isn’t even about me? Is my life really that much of a bore to you? Or are you just looking for a non-confrontational conversation starter to gain triple-A access to the teen drama of the year? 


4. “So, when will ___ happen?”


(Bonus points if this is directed at a couple past the ages of 25.)

“So, when will he pop the big question?”

“When will you give me a few grand kids?”

“When will you guys buy a house?”

I don’t know, Grandma, but based on the way your children turned out, I’m not too sure that children are a fate I’d like to bestow upon myself.

Or, slightly more age-appropriate:

“When will college decisions happen?

“When will you get a job?”

“When will you move out?”

Hmm, that’s a great question. When will you get that mole on your forehead checked out? Because while I’m still able to retain my privacy, that’s something not even those terrible bangs can hide. 


5. “What even is this?”


Well, well, well. If it isn’t the unmistakable whine of a ten year old cousin who’s entire diet consists of Kraft macaroni and cheese, Cool Ranch Doritos, and Capri Suns. Oh, wait, that’s Aunt Nancy’s voice, and not her runny-nosed, ketchup scented child? 

Well, if she can’t even judge the food, how is she supposed to predict who’s next to move back in with Mom? 


6. “Wow, someone’s clearly hungry.”


Careful everyone, we’re now entering “almond mom” territory. Ooh – sorry. Did that nickname pinch a nerve? Maybe someone should do a few extra stretches before suffering through the annual Turkey Trot.

Anyways, why do these people even show up? Do they really believe that we’d take the time out of our day to go to the grocery store, commit 3 felonies just to snag the last frozen turkey in stock, fight our way out of the parking lot, spend 8 dreadful hours in the kitchen screaming at each other to get out of the way, and dress the table just to stare blankly at the dressing, then go to sleep? 

If I had to earn myself a lifetime ban at Publix for this spread, of course I’m going to eat it. 


7. “I can’t eat that, I’m dieting.”


Oh, no worries! I’d love to have you silently stare at me as I raise my fork to my mouth, before saying some painfully predictable line like “Wow, someone’s clearly hungry.” Oh, wait – we just covered that didn’t we? See, it all ties together. Now, how about we step away from the steamed kale, and head into another topic that might be easier for everyone at the table to swallow.


8. “I don’t care what *insert any controversial celebrity* said…”


Yeah, I take that back. This might just be the worst one yet. 

Typically, this one doesn’t pop up until later in the evening, when the family is signing spontaneous karaoke, and one person decides they want to sing a song by one of *those* artists. 

There’s also a probable chance of this happening during a humble game of “Apples to Apples” or even worse, “Cards Against Humanity.” 

But if, perish the thought, these words happen to come out of someone’s mouth while everyone is still enjoying their meal, the only solution is “accidentally” burning a pie and setting off the fire alarm. Family memories, right? 


9. “Is that another tattoo/piercing?”


“It’s fake.”


10. “Thank goodness for the pilgrims.”


Each day I become more and more concerned for the future of public education. 

But hey, if you can’t rely on the state to accurately teach history, at least you can rely on The Wave to continue posting Buzzkills. Happy holidays!

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About the Contributor
Annabelle Frazer
Annabelle Frazer, Editor-in-Chief
Annabelle Frazer is a senior at Marco Island Academy, and the Editor-In-Chief of The Wave. At any given moment, Annabelle enjoys listening to music, going to concerts, and panicking about the future. She loves cats, fashion, the color black, and will do anything for an ice-cold Shirley Temple. After high school, Annabelle would love to attend college and obtain her master's degree in journalism, and fight to change the world. However, she would also settle for one more cat instead.
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    Sophia LowrieNov 28, 2023 at 1:25 PM

    best ending 10/10 made me giggle