Conversations Appropriate for the Dinner Table DODGING THANKSGIVING AWKWARDNESS
Thanksgiving conversation is often a minefield of topics: political divides, your English degree, and Aunt Marjory’s insistence that you meet her neighbor’s cousin’s dog walker’s uncle’s son who’s a fantastic up-and-coming podiatrist. Between constantly passing the potatoes and dodging your relatives’ questions, Thanksgiving can be an exhausting holiday. But it’s a day to be grateful for what and whom you have in your life, so why do so many people leave their annual gatherings feeling overwhelmed and misunderstood? This year, when the conversation begins steering in an awkward direction, try these conversation starters for a more relaxing and fulfilling holiday. 1. What’s your pet been up to? Maybe Fluffy learned a new trick or Oscar is undergoing some intensive grooming next week. Whatever the case may be, people love to talk about their pets. 2. What Thanksgiving dish can you not live without? Without going culinary critic on your grandma’s meal, gush about your favorite dish. Just like with pets, people love discussing foods and
recipes. You may start a fun debate or a recipe swap with this question.
3. Dad did what as a kid? Getting to know your relatives, friends, and significant others better will only strengthen those bonds. You’ll likely hear some interesting stories you can share with others and forge a stronger connection with your relatives. 4. Stupid human tricks, anyone? Let’s see those double joints! This one might not be for the squeamish at the dinner table, but it’s a fun, goofy activity that’s best shared over a glass of after-dinner wine. 5. How about we get coffee? Sometimes part of the stress of answering your relatives’ questions stems from holiday pressures. It may force you to address your bank account, love life, and general life choices. If you really do want to talk about your job or your love life with relatives, suggest meeting up again without the holiday atmosphere. While you’re all in one place trying to enjoy a piece of pie, plan a family winery tour, beach day, or camping trip. Family situations will always be a little stressful, but without the pressure of the holidays, you might feel more relaxed.
Committed Paralegal and Business Owner Nicole Dell’Orfano is one of the best Nicole Dell’Orfano
enjoyed it. Everyone here is awesome and works well together. It’s like a family, and everyone has each other’s back. The staff and attorneys are caring people who genuinely want to do the best we can for our clients,” she says. Not only is Nicole an excellent paralegal with extensive knowledge in the medical field, but she also runs her own business — a construction painting company. “I’m always working,” she admits. “When I’m not in the office at the firm, I’m busy with the business, and I’m constantly working on my house too.” When Nicole was a teenager and needed a job, she happened to meet someone who took her under his wing and taught her the ins and outs of construction painting. Ever since, Nicole has taken what she learned and combined it with hard work and diligence to run her business. Finding free time for herself can be tricky, but when she does, Nicole spends time with her family. “We try and do a lot of outdoorsy activities. I like to go zip lining and hiking mostly. Otherwise, we just relax at home.” All of us at Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky & Simoneau want to thank Nicole for her continued zeal for our firm. We’re grateful to have such a wonderful paralegal on our team!
paralegals we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Not only is Nicole dedicated to helping the clients who come to us, but she is also committed to helping other members of our staff. Nicole has been our paralegal for the past 5 1/2 years and takes care of everyone who comes through our doors.
Nicole’s interest in law started during school. She says, “I was pursuing a medical career, and I’d been in that field for 10 years before I extended my focus to include criminal justice and philosophy.” Taking on the three subjects went smoothly for her. “I was majoring in criminal justice and biology and minoring in philosophy; everything kind of ran together. The subjects intertwined with each other, so it wasn’t a rough transition at all.” When Nicole graduated from Rivier University, she learned about Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky & Simoneau from the career center. “I learned all about the firm and applied soon afterward. Since I first started working here, I’ve really
2 • www.DaveNixonLaw.com
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