A list of responses to save you this holiday season

The holidays are here, in case you hadn’t noticed your increasing feelings of dread and despair. If your extended family is anything like mine, we’re either related, or you’re about to get a barrage of personal questions you’re in no conceivable way prepared to answer.
Rest assured, I’m here to help. Years of experience and an inner sense of sass have led to the following; typical questions, and a response to shut that down. You’re welcome.

“How’s school going?”

This is arguably the worst time to ask about school. Finals are approaching and a quick glance at your grades says you’ve dropped your “straight-A semester” shtick in favor of a “C’s get degrees” approach. Much more realistic, but much more difficult to communicate to family. For relatives that don’t leave you alone after “Fine,” just take a bland and boring concept from one of your courses, name drop it, and watch them lose interest faster than Uncle Randall gets a sweet buzz going from the Irish coffee on hand. Examples include:

  • Journalism: “We’re working on disseminating the pros and cons of the Nikon D3300 DSLR in multimedia journalism.”
  • Computer Science: “I’ve been trying to get this program up to speed but my code just isn’t where I want it to be. Sure, clean and simple code is nice, but what would happen if I expanded on what was possible?” (The more you sound like a douchey post-drop out Mark Zuckerberg, the better.)
  • English Literature: literally anything involving the Bronte sisters
  • Philosophy: “Just discussing how close the latest translation of Plato’s Republic matches up with the original text.”


“What will you do when you graduate?”

The dreaded follow up. 

Look, this one’s easy. Just tell people you’re thinking about law school. No matter what your major or background, for some godforsaken reason, law school almost guarantees no follow up questions. If there are any, say you’re looking into litigation. No one wants to talk about that. They’ll probably just switch to the weather. This means you’re safe.


“Are you seeing anyone?”

Never fear. That’s what the Internet is for, where you can find such gems as this Craigslist hero ready to save you.


“This election/president-elect/major issue/ poicy is just so…”

Now’s your chance to grab a turkey leg, shove it down your throat and start choking to distract all from the potential family war that may ensue. 

If all else fails, grab a pair of beats headphones (so big they can’t miss it) to communicate a clear don’t talk to me while I’m trying to stuff my face with the eight kinds of pie I see before me while silently giving thanks during family prayer for the real god; Dr. Dre.

​Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have any fool-proof responses to a relative’s intrusive questions? Don’t be selfish, share with the class!


2 Responses

  1. I’m rolling on the floor LOL. Wait til you’re old like me when the question is “When are you retiring?” I don’t know, do I look that used up?

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