1. Before entering the Gathering, interceptions will be made as someone has to explain the special . . . um . . . nuances . . . of certain family members.
2. Referrals to psychologists will be distributed for the inevitable fall out from said Gathering and aforementioned nuances.
3. Narcotics will be offered to anyone with the slightest itch of the nose or broken nail.
4. Psychological warfare will be abundant. Tears will be shed. People will cry for their mommy's. And this is just among the adults.
5. If you are under the age of 74 you will sit at the "Kids Table" until you have acquired a spouse.
6. You will then traumatize the kids at the Kids Table out of sheer boredom.
7.If have yet to acquire a spouse you will be gently and not so gently reminded of this approximately 9.4 times before the end of the Gathering. This will start at the age of 12.
8. You will be asked where you work 6 times. By the same well meaning relative. You will change your answer 4 times because you're not as well meaning.
9. If you are under the age of 30, it will be assumed you are in college. If you are not, you will be asked why. Your answer will not be good enough (even if it is "I graduated 3 years ago") and you then will be given a lecture. You will then learn why lying to family is a necessary evil.
10. When someone aims a camera at you this means you must duck for cover, leap behind large pieces of furniture and knock small children out of the way. You will then wonder why there are no photographic evidence that you attended any gathering since infancy - and why all the children start developing twitches by the end of the night.
11. You will receive at least 2 lectures throughout the gathering. It will happen, so any denial of this fact is futile. The best course of action is to encourage it and get it done with as quick as possible so you can 'enjoy' the rest of your evening. To do so, here are some great conversation starters that ensure you will be receiving a lecture within 4.6 seconds:
- "Guess what? I just got a new Credit Card! Time to go SHOPPING!"
- "I like to leave my AC on at 65 degrees. It feels better that way. And I'm sure it is very economical this time of year."
- "I think this Health Care reform thing is a good idea."
- "I don't think identity theft is that big a problem. That's why I carry my social security card AND 4 copies of my Drivers Licence with me everywhere I go. And did I mention that I leave them unattended in the airport from time to time?"