The Bar Belle: Holidays can be beerable

Holidays aren’t easy. Sometimes they’re not even fun. Sure you have the day off of work, but it often feels like you’re putting in overtime at a sweatshop owned by Kathie Lee, dealing with your family and all. I’m not sure if dealing is the right word. Coping. Existing. Trying to keep your sanity, perhaps? Holidays put the age-old questions front and center: Did I really come from these people? How did I make it out alive? Is that what I’m going to look like in 30 years?

This is where alcohol comes in mighty handy. Food is good. Great even. But is a helping of lumpy mashed potatoes worth dodging those awkward questions from cousins so far removed that you could actually legally date (… at least here in Kentucky)? Aunts and grandmas combing through your sordid past. Moms and dads bickering over every last detail. Sister-in-laws screaming at their unruly Tasmanian devils who just broke Grandpa’s new flat-screen. “Go to your room!” “One … two … you know what happens when I get to three!” “Come over here and dance for Grandma!”

All of this cacophony can be silenced, or at least brought to a reasonable level, with booze. Lots of booze. All flavors, shapes and sizes of booze. Let’s just refer to it as family therapy in a bottle.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s a drinking game you can play by yourself or with any semi-sane family member you have left.

1) The first four times a family member asks you when you’re going to get married, even though you’re single and obviously didn’t bring a date to Thanksgiving, take three drinks of Grandma’s shitty gin.
2) The fifth time someone asks about marriage and/or rearing children, go to the garage with Uncle Jack’s rum and finish the bottle.
3) When your creepy cousin Billy hits on you, chug two beers.
4) When Grandma’s schizophrenic sister Middy talks to her voices, take two sips of the wine you brought and listen in.
5) When your nephews break something, including their own bones, smile and take four pulls of bourbon.
6) The sixth time someone asks about marriage, stumble to the corner tavern and make yourself at home.

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