holiday party etiqutte

How to Meet Someone

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Con’t be afraid to crop out dark spots in your photos.
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With the end of the year comes a host of potentially awkward situations for an Oreo: office holiday parties, obligatory shindigs thrown by vague acquaintances, family dinners, the lack of new Shark Tank and Kitchen Nightmares episodes.

Not only is the Oreo forced to make make-believe merry with people who also don’t want to be there, but she or he might get stuck talking to another of color, or worse, an RBP. In some cases, an Oreo might find herself in the extra sticky situation of having to introduce another melanin-rich individual to someone else. Or worse, they might be introduced to a black person by a malicious member of their blanchetourage.

In either case, it is imperative to make it clear that the Oreo a) does not know this person well b) does not wish to know this person well and c) hopes no one gets to know this person well. Too much familiarity and an onlooker is certain to fear a gang-fight.

Here are some steps you can take at your next party to make sure that everyone knows you’re only shaking this person’s hand to be polite.

Mispronounce their name. Nothing says that you just don’t give a shit like the mispronunciation of a name you just heard learned. If you’re meeting a Michael, try calling them Michelle, La-Michael or Quantas to make sure no one thinks you’re friends. Adding an “accidental”  “La-” a “D'” or a “-eesha” to the beginning or end of most names will make them sound super black and thus allow everyone to recognize how little you think of this person. It will also draw attention to their darkness and keep people from looking at yours.

Look Away. Whether you look just above their heads, to the left or right of their ears or bury your face in yours or your neighbor’s purse, keep yourself from locking eyes with the Other. You don’t want them thinking that they can engage you in further conversation or steal your soul–which they will do.

Accentuate the negative. This will highlight your own accomplishments as well as ensure that mutual friends will try to keep their distance, which in turn, will help you keep yours. Try saying something like:

  • “Hi Marcie, this is LaJennifer-eessha, her divorce should be just about final by now.”
  • “Nice to meet you.. D’Steven, was it? Didn’t I see you in the parking lot just before that busload of children was shot… Huh. Must have been your twin, then!”
  • “This is LaD’EeshaJohnFootballPlayer. His sentencing hearing is next week. What’s that? You’ve never been convicted of anything? Huh, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I mean… look at you!”

With phrases like these, you’ll ensure that the conversation will be brief and your humiliation bearable.

No touch. While you may not be able to get away with avoiding a handshake, do not under any circumstances hug, kiss, tickle or sleep with this person. You’re dark enough. You don’t want that shit rubbing off on you.

For more tips and tricks for social situations, see below.

Click here for an additional Holiday Party Survival Guide

Click here for info on how to deal with someone who looks Mixed Race

Click here to see how to deal with a white person who surprises you by suddenly sounding all black out of nowhere.

Celebrate carefully, my friends.

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