My cousin and I play this game most holidays. Like me, she’s a pop culture obsessive and (don’t say that dirty word) a millennial. In other words, we both grew up on the Internet and whispering “Crying Jordan” serves as inside joke instead of meme.
I’m not sure when it started, but we started this holiday tradition of debating which celebrity would we invite to produce the most interesting gathering possible. Think of it as a magical plus-one, where surreal and fun and chaos are the real goals.
Who we invite depends on multiple variables: Am I feuding with my parents or other family members? What latest celebrity controversy is everyone pretending to care about? What holiday/family event are we at? Who you include for a wedding differs from who you want at Thanksgiving varies from the vibes necessary on spring break.
Over the years the game has changed. It’s become more about how creative we can make our desired celebrity choice. Sometimes the best pick is also the most obvious one and becomes rather boring. Picking Bill Murray or Kanye (some men just want to watch the world burn; I am one of those men) are fine choices, but you’re not original.
Though we’ve never discussed this, my cousin and I tend to focus our choices to the moment. Miley Cyrus received some consideration around the release of Bangerz and that “Wrecking Ball” video everyone loved parodying, for example. Thanks to Creed, Michael B. Jordan won last Christmas holiday.
Anyways, this year is tough. Tensions run high for all the obvious reasons. Do we pick someone like Chance the Rapper, sure to handle any awkwardness with grace and warmth? Or in this weird, strange year of ours, do we get weirder and stranger and pick someone Internet-y like Lil Yachty or (ew) Lil Dicky?
I’m going for someone in between. Someone who can deliver the weird, strike up some awkwardly intimate conversation, but not transform thanksgiving into World War III.
That’s why I’m choosing Shia LaBeouf. I’m a huge fan of his abstract art projects and American Honey is one of my favorite movies this year. His upcoming Man Down also seems worthy of conversation.
Shia doesn’t need to accomplish much to prove my choice worthy. I’d be ecstatic if he just stared at my grandpa intensely and silently throughout the dinner. Or if he asked my mother what sea animal resides inside her heart. Just bring the weird, Shia. Make it a Thanksgiving we’ll all remember.