IT’s the most wonderful time of the year – we get that. But no large gathering is complete without its caveats. Gird yourself for our politically incorrect guide to the biggest buzzkills we deal with year after year.
01: Newly-minted parents
These couples will not stop talking about how they divvy up sentry shifts and resupply the battlements. Conveniently forgotten: how it was them who opted into the personal ‘Nam of having a squalling infant.
Congrats, you’re now obliged to coo over endless photo albums, and will get real good converting from weeks to years while slightly sloshed. God forbid, they may have brought the tyke along.
02: Newly-minted pawrents
As above, but substitute with a ‘furkid’, and perform the math with cat or dog years instead of weeks.
(FYI: It’s seven years for dogs, four for cats. And if you correct us on the cat years, you’re one of them.)
03: The environmentalist
Prepare to be read the riot act – again – on the evils of consumerism, disposable plastics and the abuse of fir (fur, they’ve already won).
Delivered by someone who’s attending a party themed around the single most consumeristic, disposable-laden and fir-heavy event in the calendar year. The human race sucks and we know it – we just want to keep that out of mind once in a while.
04: The overachievers
They’re making 30-under-30 lists (and possibly rank among our A-Listers), are perpetually on holiday and rock a social media feed that’d put a wealthy retiree to shame. You swear they’ve gotten some work done – how else do they look better every year?
But really what bites is how ready they are to remind everyone just how swimmingly life could be going. Mix and match with the other items on this list.
You’ve got nothing against this guy. As a matter a fact, you’ve got nothing on him at all.
But he’s gone ahead and stopped the group conversation dead with a “Hey, remember me?” – without dropping a single cue to jog your memory. Oh, he’s also bought you a thoughtful and expensive present. You jerk.
06: The smug ex-girlfriend
Somehow your common friends managed to not choose sides when you two split amicably, which seemed a fair idea at the time. Until these damned annual reunions.
You know how this goes down. It’s either a battle of who brought the hotter plus one to the party, or who’s been keeping more pounds off. Make sure you come prepared – the winner of this showdown keeps the belt for an entire year, no matter what happens in between.
07: The e-vegan-gelists
Potentially more harrowing than The Environmentalist, these examples are hellbent on guilt-tripping and converting more warm bodies for the cause – almost as though they’ve an annual KPI to keep up. It’s like they didn’t know there was going to be turkey, ham, dairy and confectionery at the table.
Be sure to steer clear of the admittedly clever opening spiel: “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?”
08: The “chaperone”
They’re way past their prime, but invite themselves to these parties and elbow their way into comfortable huddles. Eighty per cent of conversation with these guys is them name-dropping what they don’t realise are other victims.
But no one’s really got the heart to cut them out. No, they have to do that to themselves… which they will, probably, once the Botox stops working its magic.
09: The blabber
He’s usually Fort Knox with everyone’s secrets, but slip this guy enough booze and it’s like he’s high on truth serum. This can make for a hilarious night with the right crowd, but more often ends in grief or immense awkwardness as he drops truth bombs on everyone that were better left forgotten or unspoken.
Worse yet, he could end up ruining your chances of scoring. Remedy by arresting his flow of alcohol early – or by helping him overdose on it so he goes straight into a couch coma.