It's not just turkeys that get nervous this time of year. Chances are high that a failing relationship will also meet its end during the holidays. That's because it's not just turkey season — it's turkey drop season.
"The turkey drop is that holiday breakup season where all the college students return home for their first major vacation, and everyone breaks up," Washington University junior Carly MacLeod tells guest host Robert Smith. She writes the romance column for the student newspaper.
It's often freshmen who do the majority of the turkey dropping, MacLeod says. After three months living apart and making new friends, high school sweethearts reunite to find their long-distance relationship is more burden than they want. Upcoming finals add to the emotional stress. "Go home, hook up and break up is pretty much the pattern," MacLeod says.
You're not safe from the turkey drop if you're out of college, either, according to relationship and sex advice guru Dan Savage. "For grown-ups," he says, "it's the anticipation of being stuck for three or four more months.
"You're a cad if you break up around Christmas. And then there's New Year's — and you can't dump somebody right around New Year's. After that, if you don't jump on it, is Valentine's Day," Savage says. "God forbid if their birthday should fall somewhere between November and February — then you're really stuck.
"Thanksgiving is really when you have to pull the trigger if you're not willing to tough it out through February."
Both Savage and MacLeod speak from experience. MacLeod was turkey dropped her first year in college, by a boyfriend who told her the distance was too hard to handle. "He was still a senior in high school," she says. "That one hurt even a little bit more than, I think, a regular breakup."
Savage doesn't have any advice to share from his breakup. "I'm actually bad at the turkey drop," he says. "I had a turkey drop that was coming, and I fled the state."