Are you exhausted from trying to schedule your family gatherings? Do you often regret planning events that only your least favorite family members attend? Studies show you’re not alone. Gallo Research Institute estimates up to 130% of families experience deep distress around the holidays, mostly due to scheduling snafus.
Thanks to a new app ToodleDoodle that is partnering with scheduling app Doodle and task management app Toodledo, families can now seamlessly plan their holiday gatherings. Family members can not only enter their available times, but ToodleDoodle uses advanced algorithms that allow the organizers to choose gathering times based on the availability of family members weighted by their importance. That way, families with the most cute grandkids get top priority, and single family members over age 25 with bad cooking skills will not skew the scheduling toward undesirables.
Look out for the 2020 version, ToodleDoodlenmo. This app will synchronize with your Venmo account so that family members can enter how much they were planning to spend on each other. The app will then just redistribute the money accordingly. For example, if Uncle Joe was going to buy you a $20 gift, you were going to buy Aunt Diane a $10 gift, and Aunt Diane was going to buy both of you a $5 gift, then Aunt Diane pays $0, you pay $0, and Uncle Joe gives you $5 and Aunt Diane $10. We think? That’s what the advanced algorithms are for! The point is, pesky gift shopping will be a thing of the past.
Local couple Rebecca and Max have both always loved the holidays, but this year is more special than ever. Over Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, the couple has encountered dozens of extended family members hinting darkly about nuptials.
“It’s exhilarating to be grilled about the future of your relationship in front of your entire family and significant other while you’re trying to relax,” Rebecca gushed. She explained that dating years are like dog years. Having been with Max for longer than 6 months, they are seen as life partners.
“Rebecca usually flies through the men so fast, her relationship with Max has whipped us all into a frenzy,” Rebecca’s Aunt Jean explained. “Not only did we see Max at Easter, he’s still here at Thanksgiving. It’s cute how they seem to have a Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn thing going on.”
Max mentioned he enjoys reminders about the length of his and Rebecca’s relationship paired with expert advice on how quickly to progress the relationship. “I honestly didn’t know how long Rebecca and I had been dating, until my cousin reminded me. It was such a blessing to hear what the appropriate stage of commitment Rebecca and I should be at right now.”
Rebecca especially enjoys the educational conferences from family members and friends about her biological limitations. “I have a PhD in neuroscience, but I guess we never covered human reproduction in relation to aging. Who knew I had such little time left!” Rebecca marveled.
Max and Rebecca both confirmed neither of them had even considered the future of their relationship before their familyies brought up so many good points. “I never really thought of Rebecca as wife material,” Max explained. “But after all these these distant family members told me where our relationship should be, I guess I’m headed to the ring shop.” Rebecca chimed in “That is so incredibly romantic, babe! We can’t waste these eggs, now can we?”
What’s Rebecca’s and Max’s Christmas wish? “That all dating couples had families and friends that were so helpful and informative as ours!”
You’ve heard some variation of this question, whether from someone you actually know or while watching some dramatic interaction on the telly. It’s usually a question that doesn’t really want a real answer. It’s typically asked to shame the other person more than anything else. The implicit assumption is that real love wouldn’t want or ask for someone to change anything about themselves.
I’m not sure if that’s true. Here is why.
You will change, guaranteed
As the renowned Timothy Keller points out in the Meaning of Marriage, you should never be so enamored by the person your partner is right now that you would be devastated if they ever change. Why? Because they definitely will. Experience changes us. Time changes us. Relationships change us! It’s inevitable.
You should want to change
Everyone has varying degrees of ickiness in themselves. Let’s take for example, me. I like myself. I think I’m pretty legit. Yet, I know I have flaws. My acknowledgment of my flaws doesn’t lead me to severe self-hatred, but I do want to tame or obliterate them depending on their severity.
People who love you should want you to change
My friends and family who support me in moving forward and becoming a better version of myself are good for me. I am thankful for them. Who wants a friend spitting out their tobacco and snarling “You think you’re better than us?” and resenting your growth? Not I, said the fly.
You cannot change everything about yourself
An important distinction in this entire Chat du Change is to strive for – and hope for, in others – changes that are actually possible and/or likely. I may not like that I can be overly emotional sometimes, but barring a drastic personality change I’m not likely to become a stoic anytime soon. BUT, I can still hope to change how much I am controlled by my wavepool of feels.
All that being said, I also know it’s foolish to enter into a relationship (romantic or otherwise) wanting and expecting someone to change in the exact way that I want — especially if that person shows no signs of wanting that change themselves. Or, even if they appreciate the idealized version of themselves, they are making little to no progress getting there.
[IMPORTANT ADDENDUM 04/12/19: I have had a few fellas that became very smitten with a version of Cgallo that wasn’t real. It’s a little delicate, but maybe the best scenario is to have clear double vision — the ability to see and love who someone is now, but also the ability to see, love, and support a future version of themselves that they see and want to become too. I think?! I ain’t no relationship therapist! ]
Altogether, I think what might be important is surrounding yourself with people who are excited for and encourage you to be the person you could and will probably turn into. Anddddd can put up with your flaws in the meantime. God bless ‘em!
The holidays are supposed to be a holly-jolly time with loved ones, but they can also be a hairy-scary time with pinterest as you frantically try to whip up some rum-spiked eggnog cake with peppermint frosting.
Galloswag is here to declare: Don’t let your ability to make merry be sabotaged by the culinary pressures of the holiday season! I have a few tricks up my sleeve that are guaranteed to release you completely from all of the stress, fatigue, time, money, and emotional breakdowns that inevitably occur during holiday food preparations.
What’s the secret? Well, just between you and me…
The secret is to get all your friends and family to stop asking you to bring food to any holiday gatherings.
Sounds to good to be true?? Read and learn, my friends — read and learn!!! These are tried-and-true methods that either I or my family members have empirically tested and proven to be successful.
·Make your dishes memorably terrible
oYou can’t half-ass this, folks. I’m not talking about rolling up to Christmas dinner with an underwhelming pot of green beans. The key here is to make a strong, negative impression on all the guests. One of my personal favorites is leave out whichever ingredients make the dish good. For example – mom asks me to make some homemade hot cocoa? Sure thing, but I’ll leave out the sugar. My aunt needs me to whip up a batch of mashed potatoes? Gladly, but those taters will arrive sans buerre.
oA second technique that is a nuanced yet sophisticated variation of the “leave out the gooduns” described above was perfected by my brother. He doesn’t just leave out what’s good, he leaves out what makes the dish the dish. Yep — leave pumpkin out of the pumpkin pie and chuckle to yourself as your family reels in shock.
oThird, simply omit important steps of the recipe process. All the ingredients are there, but you masterfully manage to still ruin the texture somehow. A simple example of this is to not drain pasta before mixing in the sauce. Turn that mac ‘n cheese into a watery soup with floating pieces of pasta and just a subtle hint of velveeta. They will be incensed!
oIf passive omission isn’t quite your style, you can always aggressively substitute ingredients until the entire dish is unrecognizable. Trade that butter for apple sauce, sugar for molasses, pasta for potatoes, cilantro for parsley, and pretty soon you will have a disastrous cacophony of flavors that is sure to distress the most appeasable of palates.
·Insist on making the main dish, but then show up 3 hours late.
oThis is advanced technique that can only work if you are a central figure in the family. If you are the rando fiancé of the weird cousin that lives far away, this is too bold for you. If you have a mind for long-term strategy, the key is to spend the other 364 days of the year tricking your family into believing you are dependable enough to carry the weight of the main dish. Then, take that trust and crush it under your heel as the bellies of your family members ache with hunger.
·… I wish I had 3 points, but I don’t. This is a cotton-pickin’ blog, not Southern Living! Gah!
Alright, I’ve given you the tools — it’s up to you to use them skillfully. Work on one or two of these techniques now so you’ll never have to work another holiday again!
I’m not a mom, but I could play one on TV. Harhar, just kidding. Okay restart – I’m not a mom, but I still want to post about mommyhood because even as an adult (so they tell me), my mom still plays a big role in the Life of Galloswag.*
Perhaps ironically, the older I get the more I want my mom’s advice. I guess once I pushed past my hormone-addled, continuously-angsty teenage years, I started to appreciate how frickin’ wise my Majer is.
Perhaps ironically-er, the more I want my mom’s advice, the less specific her advice has become. Recently I was stunned by her complete disinterest to micro-manage my life, even when I kinda wanted her to.
For example- last week, after I near-tearfully poured out my woes about a dramatic situation that was 100% my own making, she laughed and said, “You have a good head on your shoulders. You’ll figure it out.” And that was it. No lecture, no judgement, no step-by-step instructions. And honestly, even though I felt like a lost little girl, I realized my mom thought of me as a smart, grown-ass woman with good character. I’ll tell ya, that was so much more effective and uplifting than a judge-y lecture with specific instructions would have been.
So don’t worry sweet (hot?) mamas- you will always be needed, even when your babies are adulting with the best of ’em. But what your lil babies will need is going to change. Instead of dictating every move of your adulabies life, you can show confidence in their character to make the right moves. Hurrah! Take a load off 🙂
❤ ya Mom! *smoochies*
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*Coming to a theater near you in 2028 (just in time for my Presidential bid)
I’m the youngest in my family, so almost all my sibs and cousins are full-blown adulting with kids and real jobs. When I visit with my fam, I’m kinda blown away by how much having a hubs or wifie, and especially kiddos, requires so many sacrifices all throughout the day.
I have suffered with insomnia for oh.. at least 6 years.. so you can imagine I am a Belligerent Claire Bear when someone wakes me up after I finally do get to sleep. Yet when I visited my sister, she would be up and at ‘em like every 3 or 4 hours at all sorts of unholy hours of the night so that my niece could be fed, cuddled, etc.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself incredibly introverted, but I am a fan of my me-time. I’ve also grown very accustomed to doing what I want, when I want. Yet when I visited my cousin and his wife, they have to be “on” basically all day every day. If you start eating a sandwich, everyone wants a sandwich. When you’re sitting there reading, someone is going to want you to play with them, or watch them jump off the couch, or whatever.
It kinda fills me with awe to see my sis and cuzzo be so selfless – I am strained when I have to delay my din time by 45 minutes so I can eat with a friend. #sacrifices
“But can’t you just be a dutiful daughter, friend, volunteer, or whatever?” you may ask. Yeah, sure. But at the end of the day, I still have almost full control over how my time is spent, when I eat, and what I do. People with a little nuclear fam don’t have that luxury. And I think because of that, they have a million bazillion more opportunities to be selfless than I do.
On top of that, people around you hold you accountable to a certain standard of normalcy. Right now if I want to eat a jar of pb for dinner, that’s my deal. If I want to put together a particularly tacky pj combo to sleep in, no one raises an eyebrow. If I decide to plan a super inefficient day, no one is there to say “Um, have you thought about doing it this way instead..?” So at the end of the day, even if I start out with the best intentions of being somewhat normal, over time I’m just going to start developing bizarre, idiosyncratic habits because I don’t get that daily feedback.
So anyway, I’d like the marrieds to give us singletons a little slack. Yes we are selfish, yes we are crazy. But frankly, I think the noble virtues of selflessness and normalcy are not automatically attained without the external pressures of your own fam. We’re like the mantle of the earth just waiting for those deep source volcanic eruptions of fam life to turn us into sparkling diamonds.*
Oh! Singletons should give each other a little slack, too. I think sometimes we compare single men to our friends’ hubbies and we’re like “ewww so immature,” and maybe men look at single women and are like, “ugh so crazy.” It’s possible that the all the sane women and mature men have already married, leaving the rest of us to find our way in the circus of characters who are left. But I don’t think so.. I would like to oh-so-timidly suggest that being married can (often does?) change you into a better person. I think the tricky part is to figure out who will emerge like a radiant diamond and who will turn into ashy dust crumbles when the pressure is on. #realtalk
But.. bright side!!! .. in the meantime, I get this entire jar of pb to myself..!! Nom nom nom.
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*I was originally going to use a lump of coal analogy, but the interwebs told me that the coal-into-diamonds idea is a myth. Wow! I’m sure most of you found that out in grade school, but my mind is BLOWN