Thanksgiving is less than a week away. It's a day packed full of traditions; turkey and mashed potatoes, watching football, a little competitive ping pong (usually dads versus the kids), and time spent after dinner scrutinizing the Black Friday newspaper ads.
It's a holiday filled with snacking and catching up with those we haven't seen in a while. The time comes when the food is laid out, everyone packs their plates, and then chooses their seat at the dinner table (depending on the size of the group there may still be an adults table and a kids table).
Then the moment of truth comes; everyone is seated across from each other without the distraction of people coming and going and a football game on the TV. So what do you talk about now? Here is my list of bad conversation topics and the tried and true 'safe ones'.
Don't start any sentence with 'When are you going to ...'
When are you going to set the date and get married?
When are you going to get a job?
When are you going to stop smoking or start exercising?
Never put someone on the spot. It's not like you pointing out the topic in front of a roomful of people is suddenly going to give them the answer that you want to hear. In general it's a good idea to avoid the topics of politics, increased healthcare costs, and whether or not professional football players should be kneeling during the anthem. Try to avoid the topics that you know will undoubtedly push someone's buttons. Remember that everyone has already had a beer or a glass of wine and is there to enjoy some down time.
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering and for being thankful. Bringing up conversation topics that will cause indigestion is never a good idea.
My advice? Stick with the topics that start with 'Remember when ...'
Remember when we went to that concert and stayed out too late?
Remember when we were kids and we broke the bed and tried to put it back together without mom noticing?
The 'Remember when ...' topics result in a lot more laughter and truth be told, the stories get better each time we tell them, even if they are exaggerated just a bit.
So this Thanksgiving be grateful for the food, be grateful for family and friends, and be thankful for the laughter. We'll try to solve all the world's problems on another day.