A Happy Thanksgiving may be hard to come by in Maine.
A recent survey by real estate blog Estately ranked the U.S. states that are the most miserable on Thanksgiving, and Maine ranked No. 8 - by far the highest in New England.
Estately gathered data from the CDC, social media, and election results, and came up with six criterion for Thanksgiving misery:
- Likelihood of a family food poisoning episode (most cases of salmonella per capita from CDC data)
- Likelihood of relatives getting drunk and making a scene (Prevalence of binge drinking per capita from CDC data)
- Likelihood of political arguments (states that are politically divided, from 2012 election results)
- Dietary restrictions impacting meal quality (data from CDC and Facebook)
- Likelihood of favorite NFL team losing on Thanksgiving (NFL statistics and Facebook data)
- Likelihood of guests/cooks abandoning meal to shop Black Friday sales (Facebook data)
The most miserable state was determined to be Ohio, while Hawaii was the most pleasant. Other New England states were in the middle of the pack – so only somewhat miserable.
Psychotherapist Robert Myers of Portland, Maine, sees an increase in patients wanting to discuss family issues during the holidays. He says part of the problem is the emphasis on having a "perfect family."
"I think Maine specifically has such an emphasis on family life," said Myers, "but there is no perfect family."
His advice to Mainers who may make Thanksgiving miserable - have fewer drinks, avoid talking politics and remember to relax.
"Just navigate [the holidays] one breath at a time," said Myers.