Anna Turner

Now that you are spending the obligatory three weeks of winter break in your hometown, there are certain people you will inevitably run into and certain conversations that will most definitely ensue.

If at all possible, avoid these …

1. The doctor

Once you turned 18, you neglected to find a real doctor. Because of this, your mom forces you to go see Dr. Wiggles the pediatrician every winter break “just to make sure you’re healthy.” While you secretly love the free pencils and My Little Pony stickers you receive after a successful visit, the tractor-themed triage room you’re sitting in is the last place you want to be right now …

Dr. Wiggles: Hey, there college student!

You: Oh, hi … I like your … hat. (Dr. Wiggles spins propeller on top of hat and does the Wiggles Giggles dance)

Dr. Wiggles: Wiggles Giggles, Wiggles Giggles! Now, I hope you’re wearing a sports bra, because we need to check you for scoliosis! I’m just being silly.

You: Ha. Ha ha. Ha.

Dr. Wiggles: Wiggles Giggles, Wiggles Giggles! Now that you’re a big bad college student, I think it’s time we had the talk about being “sexually active.” What does it “mean?”

You: Why are you using so many air quotes?

Dr. Wiggles: Well, what “sexually active” means is that –

You: No, stop. Stop, I know what it means.

Dr. Wiggles: Good! So this next question will be easy: Are you “sexually active?”

You: Um …

Dr. Wiggles: Don’t worry about your mom being in here, just answer the question: Are you or are you not “sexually active?”

2. The relative

Family holiday parties are always a riot, especially when your annoying aunt (or cousin? How is she related to you again?) catches you at the appetizer table, stuffing your face with chips and dip.

Annoying relative: Slow down there!

You: Oh, hi! (hug her awkwardly, trying to remember her name. Something with a C … or an L?)

Annoying relative: How’s school?

You: Great! Really great. (You consider asking her about her life, but you can’t remember anything about her life, so why ask?)

Annoying relative: What year are you again?

You: I’m a junior.

Annoying relative: See, that’s what I thought, but then I saw your freshman 15. (pats your stomach and laughs) You must really be enjoying the dining halls.

You: I mean, I enjoy them as much as anyone else.

Annoying relative: Yeah, anyone else on More To Love. Do you watch that show? It’s like The Bachelor only everyone is fat. You would like it.

You: Hm. Well, I’ll check it out. (No, you won’t)

Annoying relative: So, how much weight have you gained since high school?

3. The ex

You’re at Blockbuster, trying to decide between Sour Patch Kids or Mike and Ikes, when an adorable couple gets in line behind you. The girl is holding The Notebook – a stark contrast to your selection of Mulan – and the guy is … your ex. What?

You turn around, put your hood over your greasy, unwashed hair and pray he doesn’t recognize the pair of gray sweatpants you’re wearing because they just so happen to be his. You thought that stealing his sweatpants was sweet revenge … false. You don’t disguise yourself fast enough and he sees you.

Ex: Hey!

You: Oh hey! I didn’t even see you there!

Ex: Yeah! Oh, hey, this is Allison!

(gestures to girlfriend who shakes your hand. She smells like Marc Jacobs’ Daisy, and you smell like your older brother’s dirty sweatshirt, mostly because that’s what you’re wearing) Allison goes to school with me! She’s triple-majoring in music performance, biochemistry and psychology. She already has two books published! Bestsellers, too. She was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance? and went on tour with them last summer. She is fluent in eight different languages and won 13 medals at the Beijing Olympics!

You: Oh. It’s nice to meet you, Allison.

Allison: You, too! What movie did you get?

You: Oh, um … Mulan.

Allison: Mulan?

You: Yeah … It’s about this girl in China whose dad can’t go to war to fight the scary guy with the yellow eyes, so she cuts off her hair and climbs this –

Allison: Oh, I know what it’s about. I actually did the singing voice for Mulan because the voice actress couldn’t sing very well.

You: You did the singing? But, you would have been, like …

Allison: Nine years old.

You: Oh. How exciting for you. Well, it was actually my boyfriend’s choice, not mine.

Allison: Where’s your boyfriend? (looks around) Is he here?

You: What? Oh, no … He’s back at home, making me a delicious meal.

Ex: Really? Because I just talked to your brother yesterday, and he told me that you don’t have a boyfriend.