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Guide to Surviving the Family Cookout

By now you’ve probably been to countless cookouts and family gatherings since Memorial Day; but everyone knows that August is not only the hottest month in the summer, it’s also the month where navigating the cookout becomes a skill you need to learn.

Heat, mosquitoes, drunk uncles, bad ass little cousins, a myriad of personal questions and extra burnt hot links become a lot to deal with in 106 degree weather with no place to sit. You gave up your seat to Great Aunt Billy Mae who’s 106 and still talking smack. Luckily I’ve developed a guide to help steer you clear through to a cool shower and a plate of leftovers in your air-conditioned apartment.


1. Don’t make eye contact with the old aunties huddled in the kitchen; quickly give kisses and hugs and get the hell outta there!

2. Do kiss your oldest relative in the wheelchair and one arm hug the cousins; beware cologne.

3. Take a cold beverage to the grill cook from the rear so all the old uncles aren’t watching you walk away.

4. Check with your mom to see exactly how close you and the cute “cousin” are before eye-flirting begins.

5. Notice when big-cousin-can’t-understand-how-we’re-related starts bragging about your car; they are about to ask for something; just say it’s a rental and walk away.

6. NEVER take a swig of the uncles “drank” in the brown paper bag, you’ll die.

7. Remember MUTE RKELLY does not apply to the family cookout; don’t quote me.

8. Expect old neighborhood flings to stop by so make sure you’re dressed the part and have an inspiring story about your unemployment.

9. Don’t get carried away with giving your Lil bad ass cousins the water gun work, you’re an adult.

10. Give up your chair to your elder, you know there’s never enough seats.

11. Ask who made the potato salad.

12. Take deodorant and baby wipes, you’ll need them.

13. Eat before you get to the cookout. They said everyone will start eating when the food is ready around 4 p.m. which actually means 6 p.m.

14. Try to avoid throwing shade to Auntie-always-in-everyone-else-bidness-but-not-her-own-husband’s when she tells you you’re too old to not be married with kids and a house by now.

15. Always follow your favorite cousins to their old school car that has one door that doesn’t work; you’re bound to have a great conversation while getting lit.

16. Pray before you head to the club after the cookout with the cousins, Ray Ray n dem taking you to bullet hole central.

17. If you bring a friend of the opposite sex be prepared to be grilled by family about why you’re not dating or headed toward marriage.

18. If you bring a friend of the same-sex after not dating anyone for years be prepared for the awkward sermon given to “everyone” about what the Bible says while simultaneously fending off cousins who are trying to talk to them.

19. Enjoy beautiful weather with the one family you have this summer cookout and all to come!

Hey Builders! Help me finish this helpful guide by giving me a #20! Tell me about your cookout experiences this Summer ☀️



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