Most of us have family who aren’t really family. Your mom’s brothers, cousins and their dogs for instance, are not people you meet often or even consider friends. Yet just a few times a year, you have no choice but to sit down for a couple of hours with all these semi-strangers and these sure are horrendous torture sessions. Even the normal among us feel the strain, much less the less-socially inclined otaku brethren who would be far more comfortable in his room watching the latest episode of Penguin Musume Heart.
There are many daunting perils, some of which are listed below, along with the means to counter them.
Problem: People Picking on your Appearance
There’ll always be relatives who want to demonstrate their superiority by pointing out your fashion faux pas. "Why aren’t you wearing a Hugo Boss belt?" they ask. "It’s really the basic apparel for a male your age." and their hands gesture towards their own full body suit of Hugo Boss, never mind the large pauch it covers.
Yes, otaku wear t-shirts, shorts and slippers everywhere. The most formal ones wear jeans. So what’s wrong with wearing a t-shirt filled with naked cartoon girls HUH?? Teach them the fashion haute coutre of the otaku by stripping off your otaku sweat-stained COSPA t-shirt which is printed with Ayanami Rei, and squeezing your otaku manboobs (moobs for short) into their smug faces!! That’ll teach ‘em. For a Finishing Touch (remember to point out this is Cloud’s level 3 2nd Limit Break and that you are angry cos only angry otaku can use limit breaks), rip off their Hugo Boss and offer them the COSPA sweat-stained otaku shirt as the only piece of clothing alternative. Then continue your moob attack relentlessly.
Problem: People who Tease You on your Beliefs
There’ll certainly be those who without fail, must impose their beliefs on you or mock where your ideals lie. Be it religion, ambition, goal, morals. A good example is the ingestion of Sharks’ Fin Soup. This may seem barbaric to non-Asians, but the SFS is a staple for all proper Chinese dinners. In fact, it’s a status symbol dish that is deemed essential to many. It is also expensive. But what SFS is just shark cartilage which has no taste, boiled in delicious chicken broth. The broth tastes heavenly, and still tastes heavenly without the fin. Because I make it a point never to eat the SFS even when served to me, my relatives love to make fun and trashtalk. Previously, since they are uncles, I would just keep silent.
Gather your spiral energy and destroy them. Otakus must learn from Light Yagami. Weaknesses must be exploited, and the people who trashtalk you can be countered easily without you appearing rude to the non-aggressive relatives. You have to change the topic and make the target shut up, which is easily achieved by a sharp retort. The SFS one which I used recently was "I’m not eating it so that you can have two bowls, since you love it so much but can’t afford it yourself, bankrupt boy." Usefully, this uncle was on the verge of bankruptcy and my words achieved double damage critical attack. Similarly, another uncle who was near 60 and talking nonsense about how weddings should be about making people drunk violently, was silenced with a "Wtf, this old man is full of shit. Must be the male menopause."
You don’t know anyone well there, nobody has the same interests and the food takes ages to arrive.
Taking out your headphones and PSP/DS/Laptop might be a good solution, but others would quickly tell you to put it away because playing games during mealtimes is rude. Yes, staring into space is very polite. The correct thing to do is to take out your EARPHONES and PSP/DS. And when someone asks you to stop gaming, you hold it to your ear and ask, "Hello? Who called? I’m at dinner now. I’ll call you back later." and then resume gaming. Your foolish relatives will think it is a handphone. Handphones are OK in most families as they are not games and instead, a means to make money.
Problem: People Attempting to Communicate about your Hobbies or Worse, Ask You to Fix the Computer
The worst thing that can happen is your parents or siblings telling everyone you are an otaku or geek who likes anime and computers. Next, you’ll get all the kiddies coming to talk to discuss WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE NARUTO HERO, or illiterate adults commanding you to fix their computers which are full of spyware, porn and viruses.
Always state, even if you have to lie (but try not to lie as it will not be successful), a really boring-sounding hobby or major or career option when people ask you the relevant questions. For hobby, if you like Gunpla, say "I’m interested in polystyrene moulding and 3D structure design." If you like anime, it’s "Modern Visual Culture with a dash of Japanese influence" and games "Interactive virtual simulators". The danger is that to dumb relatives, all these sound like "I’m good with computers" and thus can fix for free any time any place. The trick then is to say loudly, "NO These have nothing to do with computers!" and then act frustrated, following it up with some jargon-filled ramble. As for those who wish to talk to you about anime, they’ll ALWAYS ask, "What anime do you watch?" and as fast as possible try to follow it up with "Do you know Naruto?" The solution is simple, reply to the first question with "Everything." and they’ll generally get daunted and stop asking because they realise the difference in levels. But if they are too dense and continue the Naruto road, you must say, "No, let me show you better anime" and then ramble off a list of at least 15 anime, all so esoteric they wouldn’t have heard of. If this doesn’t scare them off, they must be cripples.
There you have it, the most common problems solved. There’s probably more, that you guys have experienced, so bring them up!!
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