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Columnist: Shannon Stecker

The fall season signifies thigh boots and earth tone oversized sweaters. It means apple picking, costume shopping, turkey trotting, and dashing through the snow on an extra hour of sleep.

Up until recently, I was obsessed with the season because it’s the only time of the year for suede peep-toe booties. While fall may have the best fashion trends, I’ve learned that it functions as more of a placeholder for the time between cookouts and dysfunctional family functions where families come together to jingle bells and pretend there is no drama.

Some of you will find these functions joyous because it is prime time to showcase your happy, successful relationships. However, if you are professionally single and a few lonely, cuddling seasons away from being the new face of the dollar bill, ’tis the season to have your personal life invaded, because walking into a holiday dinner alone means you are fair game for questioning. Every aunt, uncle and third cousin will corner you and ask, “Why are you still single?”

If you are like me and find the invasive questioning unnerving, we’ve likely crossed paths at the local grocery store purchasing a personal bottle of courage juice to face Grandma Mildred’s disapproving eyes. “You women and your careers. Back in my day…” Yes, Grandma Mildred, we know.

So, how can you fill your cup discreetly when you’re cornered, the heat is on and your cup is running low on holiday cheer? Follow these five tips and you are sure to maintain a good buzz without being labeled the family drunk. You certainly don’t want to steal that title from Uncle Ray whose holiday contribution is usually a bottle he finishes on his own.

1) Designate a driver.

2) Know your tolerance. Whether you’re buzzed off one shot or four, you don’t ever want to look sloppy.

3) Keep your food close, but your bottle closer. Shot bottles fit discreetly in your pockets and in your boobs. Utilize the space.

4) Mix your alcohol with drinks that don’t look like drinks. Hot teas, egg nog and apple ciders are good covers.

5) Drink water. Let’s be honest, we don’t recover from hangovers like we used to.

Follow these steps and when the time is right, you will unapologetically clap back at your aunt who minds your business more than her own.   What’s a family dinner without a good clapback anyway?


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