Gina’s Guide to Your Dilemma-Free Thanksgiving Day Holiday Meal

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A reference manual to avert common disasters.

It’s your stomach’s favorite secular holiday where hedonism is on the menu. With all that pie for your pie hole and couch time for your big belly, what could go wrong? Nothing, provided you have Gina’s Thanksgiving quick reference guide to help you navigate a few common pitfalls the Pilgrims didn’t anticipate.

Avoid the Iron Maiden
Most civilized people agree that the most dreaded sentence in the English language to hear is either, “It’s cancer” or “Let’s go around the table and say what we’re thankful for.”

The former is a given, and the latter’s utterance is the verbal equivalent of being slammed inside an Iron Maiden. (Which might be more pleasant if you don’t have your answers at the ready.)

If you’re like me, you’re sick of hearing your family yell, “Boooo!” each time you freeze, stop yourself from fainting and then stammer, “Um, dogs?” or “Men with full heads of hair!”

This year, there’s no need to fear because I’ve developed a foolproof list for you: 1) gyms with no windows; 2) Andy Rooney’s retirement; 3) Pepto Bismol; 4) Rite Aid’s 2/$5 wine “special”; 5) The end of the Latin music craze; 6) Not being Lindsay Lohan; 7) indoor plumbing; 8) that video of Kimberly Stewart falling off a motorcycle on a red carpet; 9) deodorant; and 10) elastic-waist pants.

Decommissioning Drunk Uncle Lenny
Whether he goes by Lenny, Sam or Harvey, it’s a (near) fact that every family has at least one old duffer who drinks an offensively tremendous amount of booze, potentially smells “off,” and embarrasses or generally annoys everybody else.  Nothing spoils the anticipation of delicious sweet potato pie like Drunk Uncle Lenny serenading the table with “La Cucaracha,” while using his cane as a microphone.

So how do you solve the problem of drunken Uncle Lenny and enjoy your pie in peace? Let Lenny’s soft spot for the sauce work to your advantage: Offer him a cocktail; make it a stiff one, too. Offer him another. Make it even stiffer.

Eventually, Drunk Uncle Lenny will reach a catatonic state of snookered where he has no choice but to be quiet as his mouth can no longer form words. And, as added value for the off chance that Drunk Uncle Lenny tricked some poor woman into marrying him, this trick ensures she will enjoy some quiet time, too.

Buttoning Your Pants the Next Day
Doubling as Violet Beauregarde on her way to the juicer in Willy Wonka is fine when you’re only rolling your way from the dining room to the TV room, but what about the next day when you actually have to button your pants and interact with the world?

You could force the pants shut and make yourself uncomfortable, or you could do what I do: Release the gut.

Why turn your jeans into sausage casings when you could simply spend the weekend with your pants undone, masking your belly with an extra long T-shirt?
Better yet, if you’re a female, flow free under a maxi dress. (Yes, maxi dresses do serve a purpose other than ensuring men won’t hit on you.)

Treat your engorged stomach like something that you truly love — set it free. Should your formerly trim tummy return, great. If it doesn’t … diet.

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