For this Thanksgiving I had a plan. I was going to have a peaceful Thanksgiving if it killed me damnit! My plan was to unvite some parts of my family for Thanksgiving. Yeah, you read it right. I said unvite instead of invite. That’s a Seinfeldian term from the sitcom by Jerry Seinfeld. Let me explain- On the show Elaine is given an invitation to a wedding which is in India the next day. She correctly guesses that it is an unvitation. The person really doesn’t want her there but can’t really just come out and say it. She is livid, but she goes just because she knows that she’s not wanted there. While there she wreaks havoc.
For an unvitation to be effective, it has to be issued at the very last minute, and, this last part is very important, the person has to believe that you want them to come when you really don’t.
So, now that you know what an unvitation is, you can understand what I was trying to do. I love my family. I really do, but (and there’s always a but), I don’t want to be bothered by them all the time, especially during the holidays because some of them are soooo cheap. I, and one of my brother-in-laws, provide all the big ticket items like the Honeybaked Ham and the Honeybaked turkey. The only thing that I ask my family to do is bring a side dish to feed at least twenty. Yet, they balk about that. So this year, I said enough already. I want to hold it at my house, but without the hassle.
This is what I did. I mentioned it on 4th of July that I wasn’t sure that I was going to hold it at my house. Then, a couple of weeks later, I said that I would. My plan was to create uncertainty about whether or not I was going to do it. However, should that plan not work, then I would resort to the unvitations.
When a couple of people called me and asked about it in the past week, it was obvious that misdirection and confusion were not working, so I knew what I had to do. I called sister #1, Nikki, and asked her if she was going to bring the homemade Mac n’ Cheese which she is known for. At which point she started stammering and saying that she didn’t know. This is when I started going into the unvitational unvite.
“You know what?” I said. “It’s my fault. I didn’t really give you enough notice. If you can’t make it, then you just can’t. Don’t worry about it”.
To which she replied, “Oh no.” I’m not going to let you down”.
“No, no, no,” I replied.
Basically I tried to talk her out of coming, but it didn’t work.
Fast forward to sister #2, Aletha, who said that she couldn’t make it. Okay, girl. If you can’t make it, then you just can’t make it. Phillise will really miss Jaunae, but we’ll see her another time. To which she replied, “We’ll come by and say hi”.
At this point, my husband is just looking at me like how pitiful. You are not good at this. Whenever you want them to come, you can barely get them to come; whereas, whenever you don’t want them to come, they want to. Why don’t you try to be a reverse psychology motivational speaker?
“Shut up,” I said, but had to think about it. Maybe he does have a point. I’m going to open up a practice right away!
My first client will be Jerry Seinfeld. He’ll understand me. We’ll talk about other Seinfeldian terms. I’ll have him cured in one session!