Pass the salt and give me shit about it: It’s Family Month on Man Repeller!

November first marks the commencement of holiday season, which means gatherings galore uniting all different kinds of families. There are massive feasts where your maternal and paternal families converge over turkey comas and midnight leftover sandwiches, awkward office parties, Friendsgivings. It’s fun and important for the heart, but of course, families — in addition to being our lifeblood, lifeline and source of love in so many literal and metaphorical ways — can bring about a whole host of emotions. Families are complicated, stress-inducing, messy and all over the place. But isn’t it a comfort to know that mostly everyone feels this way? In fact, that’s the only “norm” I can guarantee you’ll find, because no two families are the same.

Consider this google search of “animal families,” for example. (A real day-maker.)

Within the broad category of families, we have…

+ Family-families: those connected to one another by either gene pools, your parents’ friends (“aunts and uncles”) and/or paperwork
+ Work families: those who bond over spreadsheets, brainstorms and paychecks
+ Friends: if you have a Pinterest account, then you know that friends are our “chosen” families
+ Pets: don’t tell a dog owner that a pup is not her sister or daughter
+ Neighbors: they count if you count them!

The list goes on for as many definitions as you yourself include, which is pretty beautiful, isn’t it?

We’ve got some great stuff planned for this month ahead that we can’t wait to share with you, our Man Repeller family. And since the comment section is our equivalent of a dinner table (still waiting for that salt, by the way, no worries — I see you’re still using it), settle in down below and let us know what kind of content surrounding this topic you’d like to see. We just might break out the cranberry sauce and write it.

Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi; Creative Direction by Emily Zirimis. 

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  • heat11her

    *passes salt*
    I would love to see an article on holiday-approved outfits. I’m a fool for those office apropos, maybe a thanksgiving feast one? with the categories being what was defined above: friendsgivings, family, girlfriend/boyfriend of the family, etc. Happy Family Month!

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh well count on holiday outfits!!!! we definitely have some stories planned that aligned w. this. can you hand me the butter now plz?

      • heat11her

        Happy to! Can’t waaaiittttttt 🙂

  • Hayley

    I think an ironic holiday gift list would be swell!

    • Amelia Diamond

      oooo haley nahmannnnn

  • Madeline C

    How to go home and not immediately feel exactly like you did when you were 15. Most specifically the inevitable bickering and reliving of fights with your family that somehow overwhelms you the minute you walk in the door no matter how much you tell yourself “NOT THIS YEAR, I AM AN ADULT.”

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh yea that’s a great one. a great great one.

  • Would love to see something on how to navigate potential blow-ups with Conservative Dad. And where to buy him Christmas gifts that AREN’T Bill O’Reilly books.

  • I’d love to see an article about how to navigate people judging or shaming you during this holiday/family season when you’re not very close with your family and don’t see them very often even though they live 20 miles away.

    • Maggie Lanham

      Yes! I get heaps of guilt from family for not living in the same city/state. That’s something I deal with every time I go home and it is rough trying to keep my cool. I absolutely love the holiday season, but it does come with it’s fair share of guiltguiltguilt.

  • How about Haikus about awkward family encounters. It’s the season for annoying family members.

  • Emily M

    Something about not spending all your time at home competing with your family members? I have a twin sister who is, by society’s standards, leaps and bounds ahead of me in the “success” department and I have a hard time not comparing myself to her when we’re both home. Anyone on Team MR have a twin or sibling that they can’t help but compete with???

    • Fransjejohanna

      I can relate to this story so much! I also have a twin sister, we are both 20 and beginning to get our own lives at university and living on our own. I moved back to my parents house because of personal reasons and I feel like I am comparing myself to her now all the time since she is very content with herself and her life (it seems), while I am still figuring it all out. Comparing yourself to brothers and sisters is one thing, but when you have a twin it is even.. weirder since you are the same age.

    • Lizlemon

      My mom and sis are best friends. She may not be successful per se but my mom cuts her more slack because they’re so similar. It seems like a lot of readers want to hear about how to deal with the complicated parts of families.

  • megmary13

    I just moved back in with my parents so this is appropriate!

    • Julia

      I feel you, friend. I am at my parents’ house for a few months (this is month 5 of 8) and the I-am-an-adult-even-in-my-childhood-bedroom struggle is so real

      • Senka

        I know it’s not the greatest of situation, but while it lasts think about how great it feels to come home and always have someone you love there. Always have someone to eat with, cook with, grab a tea or coffee. I have been living alone for a while now, and often when I’m at my parents I realize I miss that life very much.

  • not that I want to get all depressing over hereeeee but the holidays can be a very sad time for some people for a multitude of reasons so it might be nice to hear some of those stories..kind of puts everything into perspective, makes you grateful and empathetic. i look very much forward to the holidays but frequently think about those who don’t have the same privilege, i’m sure there’s a story out there begging to be told. ho ho ho now pass the yamz xoxoxo

    • Amelia Diamond

      no for sure

  • Ashley Minyard

    My family is visiting ME for the holidays for the first time this year. It’d be swell to get some hot tips on hosting well enough to convince your parents that you are a fully functioning adult who doesn’t live in a shoebox in a big scary murder city. And how to not fall apart while trying entertain them for a week/hold your professional and personal life together?

    • gracesface

      i hope for your sake they are staying in a hotel! 😉 (that is step #1 for me anyway)

  • Diana McNeill

    How to navigate the inevitable, awkward, heated, uncomfortable, unavoidable “talking politics” at family dinners during the holidays.

  • Megan

    Maybe like some cool boots to wear and subsequently get lost looking at when your family is asking too many personal questions?

  • Anon

    Maybe this is anti-family-month, but what about something for people who are estranged/no contact with family members that does not advocate or involve reconnecting with them?

    • Amelia Diamond

      yup on it. would you want to know like “how to handle” this, or prefer to hear someone with a similar story who you relate to?

  • Claire S

    Something about divorced parents please! I personally struggle during the holiday season (would go as far to say I kind of hate it). Thanksgiving I have knots in my stomach because I can’t share it with both parents. I don’t have many friends with divorced parents so any support/tips/relatable stories would be great.

    • L Winfree

      OMG this past Christmas was the worst one ever. Over the holidays my parents broke the news that they were getting divorced…it’s also weird because it’s one of those late-in-life divorces and I have no idea what the holidays will look like this year, or if I’ll even be home for the holidays.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I grew up w divorced parents and weirdly this has mostly become more complicated as an adult? will put in pipeline

  • L Winfree

    How to get to know and reconnect with your siblings now that you’re all adults. In my brain my siblings are still babies and after not living under the same roof for the last few years due to college and branching out on our own, it’s kinda like meeting a stranger or an acquaintance.

    • gracesface

      Very true! I visited my sister when she was still in college a few years ago and it was very, very hard not to find myself comparing MY college-self with hers! And now that 2 of my 3 siblings are living on their own far from where we grew up I have to make time (and $$) to go visit! Kinda weird.

  • molly_maureen

    how to navigate the holidays when you can’t drink (due to pregnancy, diet, etc.) because honestly, how else do you handle excessive, all-day family time if not with copious amounts of mulled wine?

    • Lanatria Brackett Ellis

      yesssss!!!
      -signed pregnant party of me 🙁

    • Brooke W

      Yes! I feel like everyone else either deals during the holidays with alcohol or keeps pouring to make a party, which is fine but I can’t participate like that and don’t want to be a prude or a bummer or be left out.

  • Anna Z

    I am currently going through a major reflection about my relationship with my mum, so the announcement of the monthly theme just came like an unexpected hug! I would love to see/read something about mother-daughter relationships and the emancipation of the daughter in that equation – how to immunize yourself against emotional blackmail, guilt talk and unsolicitated advice while trying to figure s*** out and trying not to become your mother.

    • Brooke W

      Yes! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I would love to read something on this.

  • rien de rien

    For some reason i clicked on “animal families” fully expecting it to link to something about “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell. Not that I’m -ever- disappointed by baby animals.
    Sometimes vicariously enjoying other people’s crazy families is really the best possible familial situation, though. And the Durrells are one of the best to make it into print. It’s nice to see proof that Tolstoy’s adage about all happy families being alike isn’t true.

  • Marina Corrêa de Moraes

    I’m trying to pick one dilemma of plenty I have and all of them sounds too serious to put in a post.

    But I’ll go with the simplest one: how to accept your family as they are when all they are awful parents.

    • sorry to hear that 🙁 not to be ‘that person’, but you are under no obligation to accept awful people, even if they are family. esp when it’s family, take care of yourself first, you’re probably the only one doing it!

  • SC

    I want to hear about how to really reconnect with your family and friends from home. Sometimes catching up can feel so superficial. How do we make the most of our limited time over the holiday?