The sad reality is — these days more than ever — there are people like this in lots of families. People who can’t seem to leave their opinions and politics at home and have a nice time on one of the best holidays of the year. People who think it’s their moral duty to “correct” and “deprogram” others who happen to hold different views.
May your Thanksgiving be free of people like Molly Jong-Fast.
You may also be the one person who unreservedly loves Thanksgiving, but let’s be honest, for most of us a five-hour meal with relatives you see once a year is no one’s idea of a great time. Have you ever thought, This is the gauzy Hallmark-movie fantasy I’ve always longed for?
I’ve done 43 Thanksgivings, and the best one was probably in 1997, when I was 19 and getting sober at Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota. I’m here to tell you Thanksgiving is terrible, and if you at least spend the time trying to deprogram your niece, you won’t be bored or depressed (though you might be enraged that Fox News or Infowars has convinced her Trump can “save America” from Joe Biden’s radical agenda of giving people hearing aids and free pre-K).
Maybe it won’t work. Maybe you’ll leave Thanksgiving dinner as divided as you were when you sat down at the table five hours and 4,000 calories ago. Or maybe you’ll plant the seed, sow just a little doubt about whatever Tucker Carlson is saying now. Maybe you’ll even change a heart or a mind. Maybe you’ll bring the temperature down just a tiny bit. Or maybe you’ll need to report a relative to the FBI! Either way, it’s something to do besides just eat.
— Molly Jong-Fast in Deprogram your relatives this Thanksgiving