The third Thursday in November is upon us! If you’re one of the brave people visiting a black family as a single and childless person, you need to devise a strategy for dealing with nosy people. Don’t think you need a strategy? Well, what are you going to do when Nana gives you a look that says “You should have a baby in those arms instead of that store-bought pie”? Lucky for you, I’ve prepared some canned answers you can recite when people become emboldened after a few nips of Crown Royal.
Your “Uncle” Charlie, who is not related to you or anyone else at the dinner, is going to ask this. At least he’s stopped commenting on how much you’ve “grown.”
At best, this question is an elaborate ruse for him to give out unsolicited advice. At worst, it’s a way for him to offload a used copy of Think Like A Man onto you. Unfortunately, Charlie is not interested in hearing the truth, so don’t bother talking about your journey to self-love or the promotion that has kept you busy at work. Since it’s the holidays, be generous and tell Charlie what he wants to hear: the problem is you. Confess to the sins of being picky and uppity. If you really want to sell it, make sure your voice cracks and you shed a few tears (extra points if the tears pool on your top lip like Viola Davis in, well, anything). In the end, this answer will make you both happy. Charlie will have a reason to leave early for his Turkey Day Spades game and you’ll get to enjoy the rest of the evening in peace.
Here comes Cousin Dee, who got married on the march to Montgomery, with her fail-proof places to meet a mate. “Have you tried meetin someone at church?” Dee slurs as she challenges you to a bounce-off. “Or an HBCU mixer? What about the Home Depot on Nostrand?”
Keep dancing and tell Dee this: You can’t meet anyone at the 50 places she’s mentioned because they’ve all been affected by gentrification. Since you insist on Black Love or Bust, you’ve decided to take a trip to Ghana to find your ‘King,’ and that costs serious money. This answer will satisfy and impress Dee so much she’ll pass around a collection plate to get you a first class ticket to Accra.
What’s going on in your womb is nobody’s business. You would think that not bringing up someone’s reproductive crystal ball is common sense. But, if sense was common, your nosy half-sister-in-law would’ve left Curtis two outside babies ago. Instead of answering this question verbally, I suggest you take the alternative route of crafting a host gift that says “No Babies Yet, But I Am Two Credits Shy of My Masters Degree.”
Step 1: Collect 10 negative pregnancy tests.
Step 2: Glue the tests together into a circle.
Step 3: Decide if you want to present the final product as a wreath for the door or as a centerpiece to complete a festive table-scape. For a wreath, attach a bow for hanging. For a centerpiece, add a candle to the center.
When you present the gift at dinner, your nephew who Facebook Lives everything won’t post your gift. Be sure to take your own pics and tag everyone in it.
So there you have it: all the responses you need to survive as a single person without kids at Thanksgiving. If for some reason none of these responses work, immediately stop talking to all adults present and head over to the kid’s table. Honestly, children tend to be better conversationalists.
LaGina Hill is a writer, director, and actor based in Brooklyn. You can catch her jokes live every month on Characters Welcome at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC).