As you sit in traffic, wait in line at your local TSA checkpoint, or however you idle on your way over the river and through the woods this Thanksgiving to your mother’s house, remember that it’s in everyone’s interest that the day and weekend go as smoothly as possible. That doesn’t mean it’s only up to your parents to make sure the turkey get out of the oven in time. You’re a part of this family, too. And as an adult child there is a different set of expectations your mother might have of you when you’re home for the holidays. How do we know? We asked our moms.
The doyennes of our respective Thanksgivings were all too forthcoming with tips on how to be a good son this week. Employ them at your discretion. She’ll love you, still, no matter what.
FIRST AND FOREMOST
“What does a mom want from her kids at Thanksgiving? To come for Thanksgiving! If the plane tickets weren’t so damn expensive.” –Cathryne Goulet; Harbor Beach, MI (Mother of Matt Goulet; Senior Associate Editor)
“Make mommy a drink. That’s always a good thing. A strong drink. All holiday weekend. Let’s say you’re coming home. You know that dad is going have the bar set up. And let’s say you have a drink you like to make, like an old-fashioned. So, say, ‘Here I’m gonna make you a an old-fashioned.’ And just give it to me. Why wouldn’t I drink it?”—C.G.
BE THE CHARMER SHE KNOWS YOU ARE
“Be nice to the obscure relative or new-to-town acquaintance that mom invited. Engage them in conversation. Your mom will be so proud and grateful to you.” —Peg Aston; Grapevine, TX (Mother of Ross McCammon; Special Projects Editor)
ON THE BIGGEST BAR NIGHT OF THE YEAR
“I want you to go out on bar night on Wednesday. In fact, I’d like it for your old friends to come by before you went to the bar, just so I could see them. If you’re going to get loaded, that’s fine. Just know that I don’t want you to get sick and I want you to be up to be a part of things. Don’t sleep until 1 o’clock when company’s coming over at 3 o’clock.” –C.G.
LET LITTLE GESTURES DO THE TALKING
“Your mom works hard to make the day special, so show her you appreciate the effort by being punctual and polit. Tell happy stories and help carry dishes. That will let her know you are thankful for her presence in your life.” – Rebecca Schrodt; Miami, FL (Mother of Paul Schrodt, Culture Editor)
DON’T SCREW UP THE DYNAMIC
Just don’t bring home any one awful. What I say, it will take one Yoko Ono to ruin the family. It’s true! Who broke up The Beatles?! It only takes one! –C.G.
COMPLIMENT. EVERY. LAST. DISH.
Make sure you find out who brought what and praise it to that person. They are proud of their version of green bean casserole even if it’s taken from the can of fried onions. Don’t tell them about the one you read that features 3 kinds of wild mushroom and bechamel sauce. And be sure to tell your Mom afterwards that her recipe for the same dish is way better. —P.A.
LIMIT THE TRIPS DOWN MEMORY LANE
“It’s fun to look at old videos, sure. But keep it limited so in-laws don’t think, Well, this is boring. Because I remember going to Grandma and Grandpa’s and looking at slides and…Man, it’d be a snoozefest. Go easy on the photos and the old family videos.” –C.G.
DON’T INCITE AN INCIDENT
“Other people, they get drunk, they start arguing, and they bring out the carving set and they go at each other. Know who you’re with. Maybe you have to avoid political conversations, unless you want to be a real ass and want to get people going.” –C.G.
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