DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY STARTER PACK™

Just in time for Thanksgiving--otherwise known as the Dysfunctional Family Biathlon. We've been training all year for this!
  1. Blended family built from ashes of epically messy divorce battle
    Perhaps your dad's first marriage ended poorly. Very poorly!
  2. History of unacknowledged mental illness
    Be the only family member who's been in extensive therapy (but not the only one who needs it!) then sit back and watch the spookiest Twilight Zone episode yet.
  3. Webs of hostility complicated by alliances of convenience
    The enemy of your enemy is your friend! Until your enemy is your friend again then your other friend is now your enemy. Ok?
  4. Estrangements, far and wide
    Don't be stingy! Snap those bonds whenever they seem a little brittle! Maybe your older half-sisters tried to poison you as a baby. Boom! Lifelong estrangement
  5. Pride! Lots of it! Thicker than the mashed potatoes.
  6. Well-established pattern of money as substitute for love
    So everyone has crazy weird ideas about the role of money! And love!
  7. Place settings established weeks in advance of the holiday, with maximum available space between each person
    So all participating family members can spend these weeks casually walking past the dining room and making peace with their placement and the fact that this holiday is actually happening
  8. Shared inability to mute emotional distress
    Wanna scream? Scream! Wanna cry? Cry! Wanna throw a glass? Throw a glass baby! Unless it's one of Mom's crystal Lalique champagne flutes. Maybe throw a fork then?
  9. Superhuman retention for any mistreatment you ever suffered
    Hold a stack of grievances and grudges in your back pocket. Pop 'em out and spin 'em around like a DJ: "Now, we're gonna slow things down with this CLASSIC track about all the times I've felt emotionally abandoned!"
  10. Decorative cornucopia of wine and pills
    Just like the Pilgrims had