Guys, this weekend has been rough. As excited as I was to see my family, and I have one of those strange families that gets along well, I have had a deep-seeded and very real fear of running into my high school classmates. I’m still friends with approximately 15 kids from high school, and the rest are just acquaintances who took Calculus with me, or who sat at the same lunch table with me once. They might be nice people, but reliving high school feels as nightmarish to me as reliving my wisdom teeth surgery. At least for the latter you are medicated.
So how do you avoid these people? I’ve devised some ways to avoid those people to whom, the last time you spoke, you told, “let’s keep in touch,” approximately three and a half years ago. I don’t know if these will be helpful to you, given that the Thanksgiving weekend is almost over, but Christmas is right around the corner. (Don’t believe me? ABC Family’s countdown should begin in about a week.)
So here’s my advice:
Avoid the grocery store. It may seem like a nice and generous gesture to help out family members by running to the grocery store to pick up extra orange juice for the mimosa bar. (Normal families have a mimosa bar, right?) Don’t do it. Do not be helpful. You will run into people who you don’t want to see. If you can’t avoid going there, make sure you bring along a buffer. If no family members are available, a baby or a dog will do. Anything is better than venturing out alone. It’s dangerous.
Avoid any coffee shop in town. There is just as nice a Starbucks in the town over, so don’t go to the one nearest to you. Actually, if you’re looking for the best solution, they have these new Drive-Thru Starbucks’s. That’s definitely best way to go. Minimal contact with other humans, maximum caffeine-high.
Avoid any bars in town. I made this mistake this year, guys. I ended up at a bar where I could not avoid high school classmates. They were everywhere. It was like flies surrounding a dead body (not that I’ve ever seen a dead body before unless you count my Criminal Minds marathons). They were everywhere. At least with the dead body-flies situation you could bring a fly swatter or call a mortician. There was no escaping them at the bar. (The dead body metaphor might be a little morbid and dramatic, but it accurately expresses the amount of distress associated with this experience.)
Avoid restaurants. This is the cheaper option, too. Why eat out? Is GrubHub not a thing where you live? Every good restaurant delivers now. Dinner at a restaurant is especially problematic because it’s a minimum of a one hour commitment, and that is a much bigger window for people that you don’t want to see to show up.
Honestly, if we’re talking about the best solution, you really shouldn’t leave your house at all. Avoid leaving your house. There’s nothing you can find outside of your house that you can’t also find in an episode of Naked and Afraid, or Man vs. Wild. Not to mention, the more time you spend indoors the greater the chance that you stumble in a Folgers-style experience. You know the commercials where everyone in a family magically wakes up to a fresh pot of Folgers coffee with wide and enthusiastic smiles on their face? I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of family experience I’ve been looking for my entire life.
One last option is to go to an alternate family’s home for the holidays. I’m talking your aunt’s house in Minnesota, or your cousin’s place in New Jersey. You may have to make small talk with distant relatives about your plans for after college, but that solution would eliminate the problem altogether.
I hope this helps, or that it will help in the future. It’s too late for me, BUT SAVE YOURSELVES.
P.S. If you went to my high school and you are reading this, you are totally one of the 15 people I mentioned earlier. You are absolutely one of the 15 people I mentioned earlier and I love running into you at the holidays. We should totally hang out over Christmas Break. Let’s keep in touch!