Ah, the holidays. There’s nothing like celebrating these special, precious moments with your nearest and dearest.
Until those special, precious moments are terrorized by feelings. Shockingly, 17 in 12 Americans will suffer feelings this season. Some may take days — even weeks — at home in bed with Netflix to recover.
Quick feelings facts:
- Feelings are strong swimmers
- Feelings are as fast as racehorses, even uphill
- Feelings are agile tree climbers
- Feelings are nocturnal and diurnal, and rarely if ever sleep
And while this information may be disturbing, the good news is that you don’t have to stay vulnerable. You can protect yourself from this emotional menace.
Read on to learn how.
The safest plan is avoidance.
Make wide detours around areas where feelings have recently been sighted. In fact, your best bet is to restrict travel to areas which are not natural habitats for feelings, such as a tent on a beach in Costa Rica or a villa in the south of Italy.
Use the buddy system.
Since 100% feelings avoidance isn’t always feasible, the next best plan is to avoid traveling alone. Bring a friend, and if that’s not possible, at least let others know where you’re going. In this digital age it’s easier than ever to notify 437 of your closest acquaintances of your whereabouts. “Heading to my MIL’s house” is more than a sufficient warning and you can remain confident that a few will follow up in concern if you’ve been gone too long.
Never approach a feeling.
Feelings aren’t “cute” or “cuddly.” Feelings are unpredictable and dangerous.
Remember, a feeling is more scared of you than you are of it.
Just kidding, feelings are vicious predators with razor sharp claws and powerful jaws.
If you should encounter a feeling:
- Never look it directly in the eyes. Eye contact can be construed as a direct threat. Level your gaze down and to the side, so that you can still watch the feeling in your peripheral vision.
- Make no sudden movements. Feelings startle easily, and may lash out.
- Make yourself appear bigger. Open your shirt or coat and raise your arms to create the illusion of girth and height. The feeling may become confused and fearful and slink off to stalk another victim.
- Create a ruckus. Holler and bang some pot lids together, or abruptly change the conversation topic. “HOW ABOUT THAT DUCK DYNASTY STUFF, HUH?” is likely to buy you some time to put distance between yourself and the feeling.
If a feeling approaches you:
Remain calm and move away slowly. If necessary, drop an object such as rare china or an Elf DVD to distract it. When in doubt, compliment the feeling on its exquisitely assembled green bean casserole or brand-new Pandora bracelet.
What to do if a feeling attacks:
- Never acknowledge its existence. If you ignore the feeling, it will usually go away.
- Cover the feeling with the nearest available food item. Pie is particularly handy, as are those red and green peanut M&Ms your sister likes to put out in a ceramic Santa-shaped jar.
- Drown the feeling in hot bath water behind a locked door as your nephews relentlessly squall and tussle and your stepfather gripes about your cousin’s cooking, or at the bottom of a glass of clear or brown liquor.
Remember, with a little knowledge and advance preparation, you don’t have to be a statistic. Stay safe out there, friends.