With the holidays approaching, these things are certain: Someone in the office will begin playing the Mariah Carey Christmas station on Pandora today, Black Friday deals will assault you via airwaves and billboards, and you will undeniably run into the following five people if you head home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
1. The Person Who Never Left
Every town and every graduating class has one. These people were overly involved in high school, might have momentarily considered leaving -- but eventually ended up getting a job teaching or coaching at a local middle school. They probably sit in the same bar every night reliving the glory days of high-school athletics.
How to spot them: High-school apparel and bumperstickers claiming, "I Love (Insert Town Name Here)" Keep reading to find out who else you'll run into.
2. The Person Who Found God
A Reliant K concert was most likely the culprit behind this person's conversion. When you run into him (or her) at your town's holiday parade, he will likely invite you to listen to his Bible podcast and tell you that he'll pray for you once he notices that your hot chocolate is spiked with schnapps.
How to spot them: Bible in hand and Christian fish magnet on their car.
3. The Post-College Success With Something to Prove
The last time you saw this person was probably during Christmas break freshman year of college, when you scoffed at him for double-majoring in chemical engineering and international affairs. Now he'll be ordering rounds of shots for everyone at the bar to celebrate his new job offer with the Department of Defense.
How to spot them: Haughty Facebook statuses tagging you and your graduating class.
Continue on for the last two people you'll see in your home town this holiday season.
4. The Early Onset Alcoholic
You used to throw back plastic cups of jungle juice with this person, but over time you outgrew the need to get black-out drunk every night. While you're sipping on a Colette and listening to your friends talk about their jobs and significant others, the early onset alcoholic is offering a round of Jell-O shots for the third time and slurring something about getting chocolate wasted.
How to spot them: A flask filled with Fireball that they carried into the bar.
5. The Person Who Married Their High School Sweetheart
This person, either male or female, comes in two types: The first married her prom date, popped out a few kids and is now settled into the suburbs where her parents live. When you run into this couple at a coffee shop back home, they'll show you photos of their kids, and they'll reminisce with you about how much fun you all had at prom, since that was their last big outing since getting married. The second type married his prom date, popped out a few kids and is now divorced and miserable, hitting on 21-year-olds at the bar.
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How to spot them: Whether they're still married or divorced, you'll see school photos of their kids falling out of their wallets and stick-figure families on the rear window of their van.