Hana Shafi The Dreaded Family Lunch*

Family lunches; an almost fatal occurrence. Good for you if you absolutely love spending time with your family, have close bonds with all your cousins, and enjoy talking to your aunt and uncle about what you’re currently doing in school. For the rest of us, family lunches can be torturous, mundane, soul-sucking experiences, only endured for the sake of good eats.

The worst part: trying to act even vaguely interested when asked the same boring questions: how’s school? how’s work? do you like your program? got lots of work to do? I attempt to give my answers with at least a tiny hint of an enthusiastic smile to mask the underlying cries of “just shoot me.” I think I’ve told every single member of family at least 40 times where I go to school and that I like what I study. Nonetheless the same question is asked every time. Maybe I ought to start lying to shake things up a bit: “No, Auntie, I absolutely loathe school so I dropped out and joined a traveling circus. I also cook drugs in the basement, just for kicks.” That should do the trick. 

There’s no drinking when it comes to my family lunches, so there’s no option of even getting a good buzz going to help ease the pain of small talk, screaming gossip ladies, and stuffy old men. But the food makes up for it; the key is to eat enough to end up in this total haze of a carbs overdose. Then shovel some dessert down your throat and you’ll be good to go. 

The best thing to do at family events is simply sink into the background. Give your few mundane comments to all the mundane questions and then kind of melt away with your plate of food. Feel free to take unusually long bathroom texting breaks. Get into the conversation every now and then so no one can accuse you of being anti-social. Minimal effort, but you get to leave your mark that you did in fact sit through that family lunch and have at least a short discussion with a few family members. 

And remember, when all else fails, you’ve suddenly developed symptoms of pneumonia and need to go home and sleep. Or, you know, just eat enough food until you collapse. Good luck! 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.