How to Navigate Thanksgiving Conversations

Jefferson Thomas Freeman
3 min readNov 22, 2018

Dear Everyone,

Here’s my comprehensive list of the best things to talk about over Thanksgiving. This is a list of responses and topics which surely everyone at Thanksgiving can agree on.

#1: Respond to anything with: “Well, that’s because They just want to make money.”

We probably disagree on who They is. But, we can agree They just want to make money, right?

#2: Ask someone: Why are You so defensive?

Everyone takes something too seriously, so find out what it is quickly before you stumble upon it and make things awkward for everyone.

#3: De-escalate something with: “Where did you get your facts?”

I feel like we have such different versions of our internet that we’re never going to be able to find common ground. Maybe we could just share where we get our facts. Tell me about your internet, no judgment, I’m just curious.

#4: Agree with someone: “Totally, They’re just a bunch of mouthbreathers.”

Like we can agree we’re supposed to breath out of our nose, right?

I mean unless you can’t.
Like a stuffy nose or something.

But most of us are supposed to breath out of our noses right?
I thought that’s why they made Breathe Right Nasal Strips.

Like mouth breathers have horrible breath. I think it’s a sign.
I think the nose is supposed to be our primary means of breathing.

I don’t know.

When someone says mouthbreather I don’t really picture a specific person, I just feel a specific feeling.

Get out of the left lane you idiot!
There are other people on the sidewalk, stop taking up the whole thing!

Well, actually I usually do picture a specific person.

#5 Respond with: “you’re just an idiot.”

Don’t say that.

#6 Say at anytime: “This is delicious.”

Food is good, we all agree on that right?

#7 See how someone reacts: “I’ve been feeling kind of scared of the future recently.”

If we’re not sincere with our online facades, shouldn’t we at least be sincere in person? See if anyone wants to have a sincere conversation, I might be wrong but I think we are all a little nervous about the future.

To varying degrees, and we probably disagree on the specifics. Hell, we probably disagree on the broadest themes. But the future is scary, right?
Maybe it’s just me.

#8 If all else fails try to find common ground.

I think the root of all disagreements is that we have trouble describing how we feel. It’s hard to describe how we arrived at an opinion, right? Because it’s not just facts we listen to. We listen to our emotions too.

I think.
And words and emotions aren’t super compatible.

Words and emotions are friends at best.

I don’t know.
My father would understand.

I’m sorry if you read this whole thing, I was just trying to write a joke to make myself feel better. It feels selfish to share, but sometimes sincerity is nice.
Maybe it’s just me.

I probably could have saved you and myself a lot of time if I was better at putting my words to my emotions.

So if I’m honest, all I was trying to say was:

Dear Everyone,
I miss my Father.
He could always shift my perspective to a laugh.


Filename: DearDad.IloveYou

This piece is dedicated to my father, James Shepherd Freeman III



Jefferson Thomas Freeman

Perpetual Anti-Candidate for President of the United States of America.