The Story of Friendsgiving: Origins, Types of Guests, Survival Tips

Welcome back to my sporadic complaint forum; the outlet which allows me to air my misanthropic proclivities so that I can remain a socially-functional human being in real life. Ahhh. Feel that? That’s the sweet kiss of honesty. You are safe here (at least until I accidentally shit on an essential cornerstone of your belief system and/or personality, which is highly possible — apologies in advance). Now that we’ve all hopefully survived Spooky Season with minimum emotional attachments and accompanying STDs, it’s time to move onto the next commercial holiday with quandaries to be aware of: Thanksgiving.

At a certain point, many of us reach an age of either realizing that our families are remarkably bad for our health, or are too inaccessible to merit making contact for one random Thursday during the work week. Whichever bucket your scenario falls into, it’s kinda sad. Thus emerges the tradition of Friendsgiving: Typically a motley crew of individuals hailing from similar socio-economic groups, coming together to honor the fact that we’re all orphaned over Thanksgiving, and also that several hundred years ago we absolutely annihilated some Native Americans — sentiments which, as we all know, both taste like pie.

On the surface, Friendsgiving is just a party with good friends and good food. But really, it’s so much more…

Actually, no, that’s what it is; it’s pretty straightforward. So you might be wondering why I insist on peeling back the layers of such an innocuous, cheerful holiday to delve into the psychological undercarriage which may or may not actually exist… The answer, simply put, is because I can. Also, nobody forced you to be here, so strap in tight or get out. But actually, emotions run high around the holidays. Many people want to be with their loved ones, but can’t be. Many people are realizing how single they are, and don’t want to be. Many people may now be carting someone who started off as a Spooky Szn fuck-buddy around to various friend and family events, and realizing that they’ve made a huge mistake (you should’ve participated in NNN like the rest of us, you heathens). Add to that mixture an absurd amount of alcohol and carbo-loading, and you’ll see that, in reality, none of us have our heads on straight right now. Don’t fret though, your favorite cynic (me) is here to help break down the holiday tropes and equip you with some useful pointers. We will get through this together. Let’s start with some archetypal Friendsgiving personalities:

The Host(ess) Doing the Most(ess)

If you host a Friendsgiving, like in your actual living space, God bless you. I’ll happily have a few thotties over to watch It during Spooky Szn, but if you think we’re going to microwave our 25lb turkey squad deep in my one bedroom apartment while thanking our lucky stars for each other, you’ve drastically overestimated my fondness for entertaining. That being said, if you are gracious enough to host the Friendsgiving, you are not allowed to be a psycho about it. Like, if you’re going to make 20 people take off their shoes, use coasters, and eat over the sink; or follow your guests around with a broom/sponge and complain about messes/noise the whole time, do us all a favor and simply do not host the Friendsgiving. We can just go to Waffle House instead — that place fucking slaps.

The Dish Defender

Every year, there’s at least one person at the party who is willing to die on the hill that their rendition of a certain food is better than anybody else’s. Often times, there are enough people at a Friendsgiving to warrant a few duplicate dishes, and this person will not like it if theirs is one of them. “This mac and cheese recipe has been in my family for six generations, I’m making the mac and cheese.” Well buddy, listen here… my mac and cheese recipe has been in my possession since I Googled it exactly three (3) years ago, and furthermore, it’s the only thing I know how to make. So if you want to turn this lighthearted event into Throwdown With Bobby Flay, you just let me know. Otherwise, let’s carry on in peace and not lose sight of what Friendsgiving is really about: ensuring that everyone at this party experiences a massive dairy and tryptophan hangover tomorrow.

The Sentimental Susan

No Friendsgiving is complete without a person who forces everyone at the party to do things like pose for a group photo, or go around the table and say what they’re thankful for. This is the role typically occupied by my own mother at regular Thanksgiving, so part of me is grateful for Susan — her (or his) cloying nature spikes my cortisol levels to a region that I’m accustomed to around the holidays, and therefore am strangely comfortable with.

The Freeloader

Then there’s the person who thinks they can coast right in, fill up a plate (or two, or three), and contribute nothing tangible to the event. These are the same people who didn’t show up to any group meetings in college, but still expected to share the project grade, and possibly even reprimanded the rest of the group if a certain level of excellence wasn’t achieved. Odds are that your personality is not good enough to justify this kind of behavior, ma’am or sir. If I can wake up at 9am — still blackout drunk from the night before — and cook green beans over a gas stove while emanating highly flammable breath and sweating pure vodka (my actual physical state from a Friendsgiving this year), you can certainly pick up some turkey shaped cookies on the way over.

As far as “tips” go, I pretty much only have one, and it is this: Just get drunk and watch football. I usually hover around this territory, and it hasn’t served me wrong thus far... Because if you are opting to get fucked up at Friendsgiving, where you go from there is very important. If you get too drunk and do the Sentimental Susan thing, you risk bumming everybody out. If you get too drunk and do the territorial chef thing, you risk inciting an altercation. But if you get drunk and plant yourself firmly on the couch with a beer? Well, then, as far as I’m concerned, you’re doing Friendsgiving just as it was meant to be done (our ancestors notwithstanding).

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you liked this article, follow me on Twitter @baythehuman for more unfounded advice and opinions.

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