Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want.
painting photo by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
For those of you who are currently driving to a gathering where fundy family members will be present, please stop reading this and keep your eyes on the road.
Once you’re no longer driving, however, here’s a quick guide to navigating the inevitable awkward conversations.
“Where are you going to church these days?”
Rule: Comparing churches with people who believe theirs is the only true church will never end well.
If you’re going to church: “It’s a place not that far from us and the kids love it there.”
If you’re not going to church: “We’ve been thinking about checking out this place not that far from us because the kids would love it there.”
“Can you believe that Obama…”
Rule: Political discussions should never be undertaken with family member who also frown on drinking.
If you didn’t vote for Obama: “Wow…yeah…hey, do you want some coffee?”
If you voted for Obama: “Wow…yeah…hey, do you want some coffee?”
“That reminds me of what Pastor said last Sunday…”
Rule: Direct confrontation won’t work. Instead, confuse them with verbal judo.
If their pastor is a jackass: “That’s really interesting. Can you give me the references he used to back that up so I can look them up later?”
If their pastor is not a jackass: “You know that reminds me of a quote by (Billy Graham, the Dali Lama, Buddha and/or Bill Clinton).”
“Well we sure would love it if you would come to our Christmas program.”
Rule: Don’t do it. Do. Not. Do. It.
If you already have plans: “We already have plans for that night.”
If you don’t already have plans: “We already have plans for every night that month.”