Hey, welcome to Black Wednesday in your hometown! Surely you remember this cornucopia of uncomfortable reunions from last year’s Thanksgiving trip? Glad to have you back.
This year, you’ve got a wingman for your bar blitz: The Takeout. We’re here to hold your hand, guide your booze choices, and tuck you back into your childhood bed at the end of the night.
Find the situation below that applies to you and set out that bottle of prophylactic Tylenol.
Your hometown is still boring as fuck.
You’re drinking: Tequila
Word is there’s a Target coming to the next town over, and that’s about it since your previous visit in 2014. You’re headed to the same bar with the same people, who are doing roughly the same things they were then. Let’s get weird. Tequila shots! Fermented agave now flowing through your veins, someone might try to sing karaoke at a bar with no karaoke machine.
You’ll be at the same bar as your ex, who is now engaged.
You’re drinking: Imperial stout
OK, the dial’s at 11 now. Thanksgiving hangover be damned, you are getting turnt, sauced, sloppy, whatever is your region’s preferred term for “Did I fall down last night?” Pounding shots is too conspicuous, but a few glasses of imperial stout or barrel-aged beer will achieve the same effect. It’s boozy but not bitter, just like you.
You’re out with your sibling who just got promoted at their lucrative, boring job.
You’re drinking: IPA
“Just sooooo happy for you.” Drone this aloud every ten minutes like it’s a yoga mantra, and order a moderate-strength IPA. A pint or two will create that diffused, friendly haze in which it doesn’t matter exactly how much of the story you’re catching. Talk of management hierarchies and the virtues of a Roth IRA slip blissfully behind a hop curtain until you’re actually, genuinely happy for the little shithead.
You’re introducing your new significant other for the first time.
You’re drinking: Red wine
Holidays on someone else’s turf are tough enough to navigate without your partner having to babysit your drunk ass. Hold it together, order a glass or two of red wine and, for bae’s sake, sip slowly. Then when your strange cousin—the one with three first names—brings up another one of his political conspiracy theories, you’ll have the wherewithal to deploy a diversion tactic.
You’re heading to Trumplandia.
You’re drinking: Whiskey sodas
What are you, some kind of Amstel Light-sipping libtard? Brown spirits should get you toasted enough to soften the shock of returning to MAGA country, but make sure to cut the booze with soda to keep you from getting “sort of fighty.” Maybe you’re even courting a hangover that will allow you to sneak off for a nap when Uncle Fred drools the word Benghazi out of his crusty lips.
You’re heading to coastal elite territory.
You’re drinking: Whiskey neat
Surprise, it’s whiskey again, snowflakes! It’s this year’s official alcohol sponsor of Cross-Political Family Gatherings ©, presented by Xanax. While everyone else debates the merits of Aperol spritzes and chenin blanc and is that man drinking rosé in the winter?, you should cozy up to your three fingers’ worth of brown spirit like the good Lord intended.
You’re hanging with the remnants of your high school clique.
You’re drinking: Domestic lager
This scenario is a massive wild card considering your group text conversation has been silent for seven months. Did anyone go to jail? Are any two members of this party hooking up? Be ready for anything—including your unannounced exit—with your choice of easy-drinking domestic light lager. If the reunion goes well, then hey, you’re toasting your continued friendship with the same Schlitz/Hamm’s/High Life/Yuengling/Coors Light you all drank back in the day. Mazel.