The thing about long distance relationships with your family is that you can easily put an exclamation point on a conversation even when it's not quite over. When your mom, or your great aunt, calls you at 1:30 p.m. while you're at work to ask you about your dating life or your menstrual cycle, you can wrap up the I-really-don't-want-to-talk-about-this conversation with a polite and painless, "I'm about to lose service -- I'm walking into the subway!" Or drop them a line about how the connection must be fuzzy and it's hard to make out quite what they're saying or that it's not very nice to chat while you're in the elevator and you must get off the phone.
But when you step off the plane or veer off the highway back to your family's abode for the holidays, the good old phone tricks won't be by your side. You'll have to stuff your mouth with mashed potatoes or press your lips against a chilled glass of chardonnay just to spare a few seconds to compose yourself and finally answer those questions that you just can't avoid. Like...
1. Did you sit next to anyone cute on the airplane?
2. Are you eating enough super green vegetables?
3. Why aren't you dating anyone?
4. When's the last time you went on a date?
5. Will you let me go on your online dating profile? I bet I can find you at least three charming guys in a few minutes!
6. Are you wearing your night guard retainer that Dr. Schetner told you to wear at night to help with your stubborn overbite?
7. When do you plan on giving us some grandkids?
8. What's all this fuss about selfies?
9. Whatever happened to [Insert name of ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend that you haven't spoken to -- or thought about -- in at least three years]?
10. Can't you just move home?
11. You work through dinnertime every single night -- when are you going to ask for a raise?
12. Now if I post something on my Facebook page, will all my friends see it?
13. What does twerking mean?
14. Are you getting enough sleep?
15. Did you hear about how [insert everyone you knows name] is engaged?
16. Are you going out late tonight?
17. Who are you going out with?
18. Are there any boys going out with you tonight?
19. Can I go back to [insert your new place of residence] with you, please?
20. Why don't you ever call your mother back, huh?
21. Do you know how much I miss you?
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