Okay, so say it’s getting down to the wire – which it pretty much is for Thanksgiving 2010 – and in spite of my excellent advice two weeks ago, you’re still about to sit down to a holiday dinner with someone who makes your life a waking nightmare.
What do you do? What do you do?
Well, first off, you don’t panic.
Panic never helps.
So here’s what you do while you’re not panicking.
Create a buffer zone. Do your best to keep someone between you and the person you don’t get along with at all times. The less face time you have with that person, the harder it will be for your day to be ruined. If you can get someone to run interference every time they see your nemesis in your vicinity, so much the better.
Become as zen as you can before the arrival of your personal bete noir. Anything you can do to relax and de-stress before doing battle will help you keep your cool.
Keep the source in mind. When that special person starts driving you to drink, remind yourself that this person always makes you crazy. Try to let go of the annoyances as best you can.
When all else fails, keep detailed notes. Seriously, writers always mine their own lives for ideas. Exaggerate the story, add a bit of trim, color up those adjectives, and consider penning your first screenplay. If nothing else, you can tell your war stories to your friends who will hang on your every word.
Make other arrangements early next time. Remember to book a flight to Hawaii or enter a religious retreat in plenty of time for 2011. Do not allow yourself to be held hostage to someone else’s expectations.
I’ll see you all next saturday. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!