Do you suddenly feel a rising sense of panic? Are you bursting out in irrational tears at your girlfriend about how she's always trying to run your life, just like your mother? Are you suddenly inventing a dating life/career/real estate holdings to tell people about?
I bet you're about to spend time with la famille -- it must be Thanksgiving weekend! For those who have issueless family gatherings, well, mazel tov to you. But for the rest of you, here's a handy Thanksgiving weekend family survival kit. And remember, it's just turkey. Please don't throw it at your brother.
Need to sneak away for a little toke to calm your nerves but don't want to be caught rolling a fat over the yams? Try this sneaky lipstick tube pipe to fool all (1, Shanti Baba, 546 Queen West, $18), or drop a little brandy-flavoured Bach's Rescue Remedy on your tongue (2, Smith's Pharmacy, 3463 Yonge, 416-488-2600, $12.10).
Instead of bringing a lovely Happy Thanksgiving card, how 'bout telling it like it is? (3, Red Pegasus, 628 College, 416-536-3872, $4.50).
If your pushy aunt is really getting on your tits, we suggest a coping strategy of gently locking her in the den with these trusty handcuffs. Yeah, listen to her scream, baby (4, Sugar Mountain, 320 Richmond West, 416-204-9544, $6.99).
Alternatively, to ignore her screams, stuff your ears with these (5, Smith's Pharmacy, $3.49). An inspirational ashtray (6, Urban Outfitters, 235 Yonge, 416-214-1466, $15) or, for when you're really down, a Bag of Love that when squeezed tells you that it loves you and you're gorgeous -- a very popular item around this office of misanthropes, malcontents and romantic failures, by the way (7, Urban Outfitters, $18).
Revel in the tales of other people's psychoses, including the most famous dysfunctional families de jour (8, All Families Are Psychotic, $21, 13, The Osbournes, $13.95, 14, The Sopranos Cookbook, $44.95, all from Pages, 256 Queen West, 416-598, 1447).
To keep yourself going when your overachieving cousins are getting you down, take a few swigs of high-powered hooch from your fancy flask (9, Groucho Cigars, Eaton Centre, 416-599-8900, $36) or pop a couple of these Adrena tabs (11, $18) or homeopathic help (10, $13.50, both from Smith's Pharmacy).
Get yourself a magnet to celebrate your dysfunction (12, Red Pegasus, $35) and, if all else fails, scribble your dirty family secrets under the table in this stylie journal (15, Urban Outfitters, $18).
With files from Joy Kittredge