While Thanksgiving can be a stressful affair, thanks to factors like family drama, travel arrangements, and the great dance of compromising with your S.O. on where to spend the holiday weekend, Friendsgiving is like its wine-soaked, conflict-free cousin. For the uninitiated, Friendsgiving is a portmanteau of “friends” and “Thanksgiving” and means just that: a Thanksgiving celebration, typically potluck, spent with your friends (aka the family you choose). But just as all families have complex social dynamics, so too do all friend groups. It’s a balance. Because while there’s the one friend who slaves away in the kitchen all day basting a Martha Stewart-level turkey, there’s always the other who rolls up two hours late bearing nothing but a half-consumed bottle of cheap red. For those of us who fall somewhere in between, here’s what your contribution to Friendsgiving says about you.
Photo: Gabriel Garcia Marengo
You’re a leader who takes initiative. You’re the person your friends go to when they need something to get done, whether it’s the planning of a birthday dinner or simply keeping their phone away from them when they’re four drinks deep and thinking about texting their evil ex. You’re fiercely independent and can probably also be kind of a control freak. Your friends all know not to even bother asking you if you need help carving said turkey because they know you’ll shoo them out of the kitchen before they can even form the words.
Your friends like you because you’re reliable—the one they know they can call on anytime, even if it’s four in the morning and they’re locked out of their apartment. You’re a lifelong people-pleaser who often has a hard time saying no to someone, even when it’s at the expense of your own interests. Which is probably why this is the sixth Friendsgiving event you’ve committed to attending in the span of a week.
Whether it’s Brussels sprouts or creamed spinach that you specialize in, you’re the chill one in the friend group. Confrontation is not your thing, so you selected an item you didn’t think anyone else would want to make, which maybe even means you got stuck cooking something random like creamed corn, but whatever, it’s all cool with you. Your idea of a solid Friday night is staying in, binge-watching the new season of Stranger Things, and maybe even partaking in some marijuana (with or without indulging in the added benefits to your sex life), which may or may not be your secondary contribution to the evening.
You’re the cool, creative member of the group, which probably means you dress like a cross between an Instagram model and an elementary school art teacher, have a made-up seeming, jealousy-inducing job like DJ/model or the curator of a children’s museum, and are the subject of intense speculation from your friends on how it is you actually pay the rent. Your salad is based on something your lifestyle blogger acquaintance recently posted on Instagram, and, of course, the ingredients are entirely organic and the cheese cost more than most people’s entire dish.
Mac & Cheese
You’re the nurturing type, often falling into the role of Group Mom (even if you’re also a mom to, like, real children). When all your friends are too drunk to call an Uber, you take care of it. When Becca got cold feet before her wedding, you were the one who was summoned to comfort her. And you’re forever trying to feed everyone delicious, carb-laden goodness, even when it’s very much not in their diet plan. They’re looking too skinny these days anyway!
You’re an extroverted introvert who always thinks they want to be the center of attention—until all eyes are actually on you, and then you want to crawl into a hole and hibernate ’til spring. You’re also kind of lazy and not much of a “joiner” but don’t want to be seen as such, which is why you chose a dish that seems intimidating, but actually only takes, like, 20 minutes to make. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.
You’re a bonafide badass who would probably be universally intimidating, if not for your goofy, disarming sense of humor. You wear vintage band tees, ride your bike everywhere, eat whatever you want but somehow have abs that rival J.Lo’s, and are one of the only people you know who genuinely like your job. But you’re also not above doing stuff like putting straws in your mouth and pretending you’re a walrus while at a fancy restaurant.
Photo: Alexander Mils
You’re a proper lady whose most prized possessions are the pearl necklace you received for your high school graduation and your great-grandmother’s apple pie recipe. You never swear, wouldn’t dream of sleeping with someone until at least the sixth date (and that means a real date, none of this “group hang” nonsense), and only own monogrammed towels. It’s quite possible you baked this pie while wearing heels and a customized apron, and that doesn’t even strike you as weird.
You’re still a child at heart and a mischevious, energetic one at that. While the rest of your friends have grown stressed-out and world-weary by the realities of adult life (you know, pesky things like money, family, and the stuff in the news), you manage to keep that child-like optimism. You’re either a kindergarten teacher, because of course you are, or you’ve inexplicably managed to spend the past two years backpacking around the world. Either way, you’ve got some great stories.
You’re one of the women people talk about when they talk about “having it all.” You have the kind of high-powered job that requires you to wear heels on a daily basis (Louboutins, natch), but you still somehow manage to make dinner for your adorable kids and gorgeous spouse every evening. You have a ton of friends, attend stuff like gallery openings and charity events on the regular, and never have visible roots. Oh, and you washed, cut, and mashed every one of these potatoes with your own bare hands, thank you very much.
You’re either the richest member of your group or the biggest mess, with the difference depending on whether you opted for a full case (you’re a doctor or a lawyer or the founder of a successful start-up who makes more in a month than some of your pals do in a year), or a single bottle (you woke up late with an unspeakable hangover and figured you’d catch less flak for showing up with nothing but a $9 Merlot you picked up on the way than for ditching the event altogether). Either way, people appreciate wine way more than is ever acknowledged, especially when the group has been through seven bottles and dinner hasn’t even been served yet.