Teens Bringing Dates to Thanksgiving Dinner

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Do you know what the teens in your life are up to on Thanksgiving? Just transforming a stodgy family holiday into a cheap date night. 

NBC reports that teens are bringing home dates for Thanksgiving dinner. During this brief break from high school, the teens anticipated the difficulty of not seeing their boyfriends and girlfriends for Thursday's 3 p.m. locker chats. So, why not make a romantic date out of the whole tradition? It would be a chance to call each other sweet potato and pumpkin pie and side dish

One reporter dug in and interviewed a mother of four in Cincinnati, Ohio, who's dealing with such scheming teens. She reported that her oldest child, 16, asked to bring his girlfriend to their house for Thanksgiving. 

My first reaction was, why would we do that? This is family time. The hurt is "you care more about her than you do about me."

This teen, skilled in the ways of manipulating parents, was just like: Whatever, we'll go to her parents house. They're COOL. And his mother retorted:

It was like, whoa, whoa, I don’t want you to go somewhere else.

So the teens ate at the girlfriend's house, then the boyfriend's house, and managed to get two free meals — and two awesome dates — out of the whole event. 

Once it was believed that a teen would avoid introducing his or her parents to his or her love interest. But now, the teen is like, meet the whole family, sit in between some random avuncular relatives, and pretend you love Aunt Cara's Brussels sprouts or she will literally spit in your water.

Meanwhile, a family psychologist interviewed for the article, Brad Sachs, says that this development in teen dating is “a tremendously big deal”:

It carries tremendous metaphorical weight because it signifies that things are changing and the family needs to evolve … What he or she is saying is, "Does this family have the capacity to demonstrate some elasticity or flexibility as I and my siblings begin to move out in the world, or is this going to be an airless dungeon in which we’re all consigned to?"

Whoa, getting dark real fast with this. Apparently, bringing a date to Thanksgiving is not just your teen's puppy love tendencies acting out. It is actually a request that you prove he or she is not a resident of an inferno that will steal every last breath of oxygen and use it to cook the Turkey.