Holidays. That word means so many things. While it primarily holds a positive vibe, I can’t help the teeny tiny part of me that flinches when I hear that word. Why, you may ask? Because holidays mean . . . extended family. Yup, I said it. You know what I’m talking about, those family members you really do love deep down. Like way deep down. But no matter how much you love them, they drive you absolutely spare.
You might be asking: How does she make it through the holidays with her already questionable sanity in tact? My answer: I read. I read and read and read.
So to those of you suffering from familial exposure, here is my Brilliant Master Plan to Keeping Your Marbles During the Holidays article!
- Find a nook: Yeah, not kidding. I mean it. Find a nook that’s accessible–so you don’t get called anti-social and all of a sudden you’re trying to get out of that pesky little intervention your family throws because clearly normal people don’t hide–but hidden enough that your nook doesn’t encourage people to engage in long conversations. I always have good luck by–or in–the bathroom.
- Perfect the intensity: Look a little crazy, a little unhinged. Look like you’re super wrapped up in something good, and when they interrupt, don’t change your expression. It works for me all the time! Sure, they may back away and whisper for a bit about how odd I am, but at least I get to go back to my book.
- React to interruptions with unmitigated talking: No wait! Hear me out. Is there anything worse than someone who doesn’t shut up about things you have no interest in? Do you seek these people out? Do you? Ahh, there it is. I see your light bulb flickering on. Talk and talk and talk about the weirdest things. Sometimes recapping the book you’re reading in a zig zag pattern–like starting with the scene you’re on, then asking them to wait while you explain, and then backtracking–until they’re suddenly hearing their name from somewhere on the other side of the house works perfectly. You’re welcome.
- If all else fails, rub your nose and give yourself the infectious look: No one wants to spend their holidays sick, so that should give you a decent amount of time until they catch on.
Have a better idea?
Let me know! Or, better yet, let me know what book you’ll be reading to keep those pesky family members at bay! I think I’m going to tackle some fantasy this year. The rest of my family tends to ignore me when I read fantasy, likely in hopes I won’t gush into detail about why elves and dwarves just don’t get along. They’re more firmly rooted in the Sappy Romance With Absolutely No Supernatural Additions Other Than Extreme Romanticism That Borders On The Creepy And Pretty Unnatural Sexual Prowess category.