With midterms under our belts and stress levels soaring to dangerously high levels, we headed home last week in search of clean bathrooms, stocked refrigerators and a lifetime supply of turkey. We smiled. We laughed. We gave thanks.

All was fine and dandy … until we encountered annoying younger siblings, unbearable relatives and old high school acquaintances we’d rather have avoided during the rest of our time on Earth.

While it’s nice to be home, sometimes we impatient college kids need to learn how to deal with impossible, and often very annoying, people from home. Somehow, the fairy who deals out awkward encounters is never very nice to us – not even around Thanksgiving.

These are the main types of people we ducked (and will continue to hide from during the upcoming Christmas break).

1. Overprotective Aunt Nosey: You’re home for just a few days, but this person never fails to act like a reporter from the National Enquirer by bringing up every remotely personal topic imaginable.

Overprotective Aunt Nosey (who can also come in the form of a grandparent, cousin or even a parent) asks these questions just so she can scold you: So, do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? What is your exact grade point average, rounded to the nearest hundredth? I hope you don’t stay out too late on a school night. What time do you go to bed, hun? And the list of questions continues.

2. Joe, The Ex-Football Player: You’ve steered clear of Joe since graduation, and then, over break, you run into him at your high school’s football game.

Joe is that kid who was on the football team and had no identity other than that of his attachment to a pigskin ball. He most likely downed steroids for breakfast and could be found at any given time pumping iron in the gym with his friends.

Today, even after graduation, he still seems to think he’s the best thing since sliced bread. The truth? He’s going to community college and has nothing going for him other than a huge, steroid-induced physique.

3. Teeny-Bopper Cousin Melissa: Over turkey and family get-togethers, you more than likely encountered that cousin who is overjoyed that Backstreet’s back and “like, oh my god” loves you.

Melissa is roughly 11-14 years old. She clings to your side and can’t stop showing off her Abercrombie wardrobe comprised of sparkled logo tees, too-tight jeans, and mini Uggs. She asks you 30 times if you’ll take her to the mall tomorrow.

Melissa can’t wait for her school dance next week and squeals when you ask about her “friend” Shawn.

She’s also currently in a fight with her best friend Kelly. Melissa and Kelly will resolve their differences before the school dance, though, because they totally need to get ready together.

4. The Debbie Downer Relative: Thanksgiving is supposed to be about happiness and joy, but Debbie Downer never fails to discuss some negative issue or complain about something.

She finds the turkey too dry, the cranberry sauce too watery, the stuffing too bland and the water too cold. When you tell her about the internship you’re applying for, she tells you the competition is too hard and you have no shot.

When you tell her about the B+ you pulled off in philosophy, she wonders aloud why you weren’t smart enough to get an A.

When you remind her again how long it will take you to drive back to Fairfield from your home, she automatically tacks five hours onto your traveling time for the intense swarms of traffic she just knows you will encounter.

Why do we even go home?

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