How to Survive Family Time

There are ways to make yourself seem like less of a disappointment when compared to your overachiever siblings without actually lying. The key to survival is to never lie.

My preferred weapon of choice is to not get hung up on details when asked about something you might not be very proud of. For example, if a family member were to ask me how the soccer season went, I would reply, “Oh it went great, we had a good season and won a few games.” Since we are not getting hung up on details, I left out that I was the manager for Thirds and I never actually played in a game because they won’t let juniors play on a freshman team. Since I never actually said something that was untrue, this is not considered lying, and is a very easy way to avoid letting my family know just how unathletic I am.

Another useful but less favored tactic of mine is to keep answers short and vague, quickly followed by a subject change and a break for the exit. I only use this tactic when I’m unable to leave out details.


Aunt: “So do you have a girlfriend yet?”

Me: “It depends (points over aunt’s shoulder)…oh look over there! Mom put out food. You like food.”

(Exeunt Dev out the nearest window.)

Your final option is the tactic of defeat, only to be used when there are no available exits and there is no way around the truth. I’ve only ever used this tactic once, when I was asked the question that must never be asked, the question feared and dreaded by all students, the question that must be avoided at all costs: “How are your grades?” When faced with this terrible combination of words, made to terrify and condemn students to no escape, you are defeated. That’s it. You’re done. You’re only option is to armadillo. Curl up in a ball, sway back and forth and go to your happy place, because that’s the only option left. They’ve beaten you.

(Copyright 2017 Matt Dev)

Matt Dev

Matt Dev is a senior and an editor for the Oracle.