Yesterday Slate announced that Emily Yoffe is stepping down from her post as advice guru for the popular Dear Prudence column. I was sad to hear the news, but even more excited by the fact that Mallory Ortberg, co-founder of The Toast, is filling her shoes. Ortberg's a great writer, and someone you can expect hilarious but honest answers from.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we've got our own slew of awkward situations we'd like answers to. These aren't necessarily personal issues, but common things we've heard of from friends and readers. So hey, Mallory, can you help us out a little? We need your advice.
1. Should I Pay?
I'm having Thanksgiving at my friend's home this year for the first time. He asked me to pay $50 upfront. I totally get that Thanksgiving can be expensive, but doesn't it make more sense for someone to request a side dish? Or a pie? Do you think I should just suck it up and pay?
2. Dealing with the In-Laws
How do I tell my in-laws I don't want to go to their house for Thanksgiving? We've spent Thanksgiving there for the last 10 years, and I kind of just want to do it with my partner this year. I know my mother-in-law is going to be upset.
3. Changing Diets
Do I have to make a whole separate meal for that guest that changes diets every year? Last year she was vegan, two years ago she was gluten-free, and this year she is paleo. She fully expects me to make enough food for her, plus leftovers. It's a lot of extra work, and she doesn't seem grateful. What should I do?
4. A Dry Thanksgiving
My partner's friend has been a recovering alcoholic for the last five years. He's coming to Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I don't know if it's OK to serve wine at the table. My partner says it's fine, but I'm not convinced. What should I do?
5. Playing with Food
My kid's friend plays with her food during dinner and it really grosses me out. I'm talking full-on throwing mashed potatoes at the walls. We don't do a kid's table for Thanksgiving. How can I tell my friend to control her kid while we eat? She thinks it's just cute.
6. Chewing Noises
My sister makes incredibly loud chewing noises at the dinner table. I tried telling her to close her mouth, but she gets super sensitive about the whole thing. My new partner is coming to Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I don't want to gross him out by her chewing. What can I do?
7. Hand over the Bird
My brother isn't a good cook, but he always insists on making the turkey every year. How can I tell him to hand over the bird without hurting his feelings?
8. Not Married
Please give me a response to the "Why aren't you married yet?" question my throng of aunts always throw at me at Thanksgiving. Please. Help.
9. Death of a Loved One
This is the first Thanksgiving after my partner's grandmother passed away. He always use to spend Thanksgiving with her. How can I make it special for him?
10. Need the Credit
My sister-in-law always takes credits for the pies I bring every year. I spend a lot of time working on these things, but somehow she always gets the credit because she brings them to the table. I'm angry! How can I slyly take my victory back?