Thanksgiving. The word conjures up images of a decadent meal, friends and family filling the seats at the table—unless, of course, you're going to your significant other's for the big day. Then, you picture the same lovely spread of turkey and all the harvest provisions—but this time, you're surrounded by strangers. Or some that you've only met once. (Or some that you're told you've met, but of whom you have no recollection. Sorry, Uncle Dave!) How To Address Your In-Laws
Enter holiday-party-conversation anxiety. Whom will you offend by bashing Tom Daschle? Who'll be put off when you bring up your True Blood lust? And how can you commandeer the conversation so you can avoid the awkward "So when are you getting married/having babies" questions? Rest assured, we've been there—and we've got you covered. Here, six safe Thanksgiving topics to get you through a marathon meal with strangers, and how to prep for the event like a pro.
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Subject: Recent or upcoming vacations.
Required Background Info: Find out if his parents like to travel, where they've been lately, etc.—even though you'll ask these same questions of the parents and/or relatives, it's good to have some background info (and subsequent light research completed). Chances are they'll have gone or are going somewhere you're dying to go/have been, and voila you're trading travel stories like old friends.
Conversation Starter: "Aunt Lorraine, John tells me you and Uncle Mike just returned from a trip to the Southwest. I've always wanted to go! How was it?" The Travel Test: Planning Your First Vacation
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Subject: The food.
Required Background Info: Find out how much/often his parents cook. Is his mom a culinary genius? Or do they prefer to bring in catered food? Are they vegans or do they hate them? All these bits help to avoid awkward foot-in-mouth food discussions.