With so many of us traveling to see long lost (or wish we could lose) relatives for the holidays, let's make a game out of those super awkward situations. Once you have heard one statement from each letter of "BINGO" you shout "Bingo". If you can play with a partner or cousin, it will be more fun. If you're the type that likes to play nice, once you have one of each letter, you don't have to play nice anymore.
- B = "Back in my day, women did/didn't ..." Depending on your family dynamic, there could be some very creative ones here. I started my own company this year, so maybe I'll get a "back in my day, a woman was never the boss." Since I have the lovely task of reminding a few family members that they addressed their holiday cards to someone who doesn't exist (my first name + my husband's last name), I expect that I'll get a "B" in BINGO for "Back in my day, a woman took her husband's name when she was married."
- I = "If you did ____, you'd be so much prettier" There is so much pressure on women to be outwardly conventionally beautiful, that for some reason people think it's okay to give you unsolicited beauty tips. One of my favorites is "If you wore makeup, you're be so much prettier." Oh, I'm sorry, I don't need to put chemicals on my face to be happy. Wait, I shouldn't apologize for being myself.
- N = "Not that it's any of my business, but ..." If you have to start a sentence with this, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESSES. Some examples include "Not that it's any of my business, but when are you going to get married?", "but you're getting older and having kids is going to be harder", "do you think that you'll really make money doing that job?"
- G = "Gee, I'm just smitten with Donald Trump, golly he is the best" Misinformed people love the Donald, and will be happy to tell you. With his surprising popularity, we might as well call this one a "free space" because it's going to happen once you get a group of people together.
- O = Ovaries. Anything to do with ovaries or reproductive regulation. Discussions on how "wonderful" it is that Planned Parenthood was defunded totally count for this category. Any misinformation about reproductive issues like the morning after pill (no, it doesn't cause abortions), also count for this category.
Here is to a holiday filled with tolerance and hoping there are very few BINGO winners out there. If you happen to be an unlucky one who achieves BINGO, it's time to leave the party and go create some happiness away from judgement.