By: Elizabeth Klein
Ah, Thanksgiving. A time of appreciation and gratitude. A holiday dedicated to the celebration of togetherness. The one day of the year when all your relatives gather around a crowded table that holds enough food to sustain a small country and the adults drink until Uncle Harry’s uncomfortable, off-color remarks are a bit more tolerable.
But having that many relatives together at one time can often bring back some of that old family rivalry that you were forced to endure last Thanksgiving. You know, the kind where a slight disagreement over the placement of the stuffing turns into the classic, “Mom always loved you best!” argument. This year, keep that for the will contests you’re all bound to have soon…Grandpa Joe’s not getting any younger! Let the professionals do the work and hire a Personal Referee© this Thanksgiving!
The Personal Referee© is a trained mediator hired to keep your family interactions as professional as they should be on the field. For just a small fee, these experts will sit in on your Thanksgiving dinner and make sure that when Little Tommy doesn’t get the bigger part of the wishbone, the night’s background music doesn’t become the sound of hysterical toddler shrieks. Personal Referees© come in Little League, College, and, if your family is really problematic, Pro. Here are some services that the Personal Referee© can provide for your dysfunctional family:
The Bench Warmer:
This technique is used on a family member who has already shown in previous Thanksgivings that s/he cannot handle participating in a normal holiday discussions. It’s a preemptive tactic that takes care of the difficult person before they can cause a scene.
Example: Cousin Shirley brings up politics every single year which elevates tensions at the table and increases the risk of angry outbursts. The Personal Referee© will implement the Bench Warmer and move her to the kids’ table before the festivities can even begin.
The Cheap Shot:
This method involves the Referee© stepping in when mild chatter turns into a nasty, below-the-belt insult match between relatives who’ve always had problems. The Referee© will throw a flag and blast a whistle right into the offending party’s ears to indicate that they are not playing fair.
Example: Aunt Ella and Aunt Joanne hate each other. Aunt Ella delivers a backhanded compliment to Aunt Joanne involving her “baby fat,” and Aunt Joanne brings up the wrinkles that Aunt Ella has been developing. The Referee© will administer three whistle blasts into both women’s ears before Aunt Ella comments on Aunt Joanne’s fragile marital status.
The End Run:
In this approach, the Referee© will take measures to go around an awkward situation. The Referee© will physically move anyone who promises awkward conversation topics and relocates this person to a location that will allow you to continue your night without their unsettling presence.
Example: Your father’s fourth cousin, twice removed attempts to begin a discussion with you after dinner about your romantic life. The Referee© senses your discomfort, takes the relative by the shoulders, and leads them into a dark corner where they are not able to pester you with their personal questions.
These are just some of the exceptional strategies that the Personal Referee© can employ. Among others are the Blitz, the Huddle Up, and the Hail Mary. These tactics, when implemented by the Personal Referee©, are a surefire way to confirm that the turkey is the only thing getting heated at your dinner. Hire one now, and we’ll even throw in a set of complementary earmuffs for when Uncle Lionel and his ex-wife continue that screaming match over child support from last year. This holiday season, hire a Personal Referee© and keep your family in check.