Leaving Room For The Invisible Boatmobile

, , , , , , | | Friendly | June 18, 2019

Some years ago, I bought a second car, so I wanted the driveway widened to double its width. I called up the city and they did a “curb-drop,” and then I had the driveway widened. Until the concrete set, they left barriers around the work. Afterward, they picked up their gear but left one sawhorse barrier; you know, the one with the yellow- and black-striped crossbar.

Across the street from my house is a church and a contractor was doing some work on the roof. He parked his vehicle across the new section of my driveway. Bear in mind that there were no other vehicles parked on the street and he could have parked anywhere else. I knew what game he was playing, so I was not going to play into it by calling the police.

After he left, I went out and got the barrier the city had so fortuitously left laying on my front lawn. I set it up to block him from parking across my driveway the next day. As luck would have it, my wife was standing at the window watching when he arrived the next day. She said he pulled up to the barrier and stopped, and his eyes bugged out as his face went red. He slammed his truck into reverse and actually chirped his tires as he pulled away and parked halfway down the street! Again, there were no other vehicles parked on the street! He could have just parked across the street in front of the church where he was working. She then said he stomped up and down the street dragging boxes of tools to where he was working, his face twisted with rage.

He never tried to park in front of our driveway again. One of the dynamics of this kind of exchange is that the less effort you expend to defeat someone, the greater the victory.

I Think Your New Friend Is A Niffler

, , , , , | | Friendly | June 17, 2019

I am around 11 years old and my siblings are a few years younger. My father’s boss and her husband are coming over and they also bring their ten-year-old daughter we have never met before. We go into my room to play. As I start taking a board game out, the girl asks as the very first thing, “Does your mother have gold jewellery and do you know where she keeps it?”

I excuse myself and go tell my mother so she knows to keep an eye on the bedroom door in case she tries to sneak in there. The girl still apparently plays with my mother’s makeup while visiting the bathroom, mixing all the colours together. Due to the short temper of the boss, my parents never confront her; they do manage to avoid hosting any other family dinners until my father gets a better job, though.

Put An End To That Train Of Thought

, , , , , | | Friendly | June 17, 2019

(I am a teenager travelling with my parents and my little brother for a summer trip to Amsterdam. My mother is Japanese, and I am half Japanese, but since I have several ethnicities I look nothing like my parents. My features are described to be difficult to pinpoint, and I have been mistaken for many different ethnicities all throughout my life. I have most often been mistaken as Indian. At this point, I am wandering the aisles of our express train and looking for our seats. I finally find them and see we are seated next to another family. I don’t pay much attention to them, but I suddenly overhear their conversation.)

Other Father: *in Japanese* “Ugh, I see an Indian family will be sitting next to us on this train.”

Other Mother: *in Japanese* “They are probably going to be so loud. What a shame.”

Me: *loudly, and in Japanese* “Mom! Mom! Looks like our seats are here.”

(The other family was absolutely shocked. I proceeded to talk to my parents, who both understand Japanese, very loudly about various topics. The family next to us looked visibly embarrassed and did not utter a word for the entire rest of the three-hour train ride.)

Say Bi To The Old Me

, , , , , , | | Friendly | June 16, 2019

(I’m white, female, and bi. I am having dinner with someone I met while travelling previously who’s now visiting the UK. We’ve met up a few times on her trip. When we first met months ago, I mentioned that I wasn’t straight — in the context of a discussion about me being a non-straight woman at work and lack of role models — and she seemed to take it in stride. She talks a lot about hot guys and makes comments about the type of boyfriend I should have, which I find slightly annoying, but I don’t call her out on it. I’m due to go on a date with a dark-skinned guy soon, and she seems surprised by this. She then suggests, upon learning that I have previously dated a black man, that dark-skinned men are my “type.”)

Me: “Um. I don’t really factor skin colour in a great deal. I mean, my boyfriend before that guy was white and half-German. And my last two proper relationships have been white women, though I guess one of them was Fr—“

Friend: “Wait, women? As in, a girlfriend?”

Me: “Um. Yes?”

Friend: “You’re a lesbian?”

Me: “No, I’m bi.”

Friend: “You never said that!”

Me: *thinking of the conversation we had months previously* “I have. I’m fairly open about it.”

Friend: “You always talk about previous boyfriends.”

Me: “I said partners, though I may have mentioned boyfriends before since I have had boyfriends before.”

Friend: “You have never said that you aren’t straight.”

(She’s clearly forgotten our conversation from the first time we met, but just as I’m about to explain that I’d not realised she didn’t remember that, something occurs to me.)

Me: “Hang on. I literally made a joke about being bi yesterday to you.”

Friend: “What?”

Me: “You made a comment about guys preferring a different style to mine in women, and I made a joke that started along the lines of, ‘Well, the good thing for me about being bi is…’. What did you think I was talking about?”

Friend: *waves her hand dismissively* “I don’t always listen.”

Me: “You told me to stop being silly, so I assumed you’d heard it.”

Friend: “I really don’t think you’ve ever said anything.”

Me: “I made a comment about a hot woman the other day. I literally wear a pride badge on my jacket.”

Friend: “That doesn’t mean anything.”

Me: “I have definitely told you that I’m not straight. Yesterday included.”

Friend: “You haven’t. But I don’t mind. I’m okay with gays.”

Me: “Er, good.”

(She then proceeds to tell me she doesn’t like women hitting on her, and shares an anecdote about an admittedly creepy-sounding woman hitting on her. I respond with an anecdote about a creepy guy hitting on me, to make the point that it’s the person that can be creepy. Still, she does seem mostly okay with it so I don’t make a fuss. We chat a bit more. Then:)

Friend: “So, why did you switch back to guys?”

Me: “What?”

Friend: “You said you were dating lesbians. Why men now?”

Me: “I didn’t switch. I’m bi. The last date I went on was with a guy, but the date before that was a woman.”

Friend: “Does your date know that you used to be a lesbian?”

Me: “You mean that I’m bi?”

Friend: “Yes.”

Me: “Well, I assume so. It’s on my profile.”

Friend: “Oh, really? Why would you put it on your profile?”

Me: “Um. Why not?”

Friend: “What does he think about it?”

Me: “It’s not really come up. I’m assuming he’s fine with it. But if he is homophobic, then that’s his problem. I’ve not got time in my life to put up with that.”

(By this point, although she’s assured me several times that she’s “fine with gays,” I’m a little nervous about what she’ll say. Thankfully, however, she laughs.)

Friend: “Yeah! You go! That’s the right attitude!”

(She then tried to give me advice on staying safe due to my orientation. It came from the right place, I guess, so all’s well that ends well. I actually mentioned the conversation to the guy; he just wanted to know how my joke about being bi ended.)

It’s Payback Time… Literally

, , , , , , | | Friendly | June 15, 2019

(I am broke, living with my broke friends. We won some tickets to an event in another city, and a well-off relative of mine is paying for a hotel stay for me, but he has asked for my friends to contribute their fair share back. This is easily agreed upon by everyone involved, with an invoice/contract for fairness’s sake. But, naturally, it can’t be that easy. [Friend #1] pays her share right away, [Friend #2] is paying in a couple of paychecks from now, and [Friend #3] is turning into trouble. [Friend #3] is the only one of us with a full-time job, and she is only living with us because she is fighting with her boyfriend. This takes place a few months after the event.)

Friend #3: “It’s no big deal; I’ll pay at the next paycheck.”

Me: “Okay, [Relative] is getting really impatient. You promised you’d pay him last month.”

Friend #3: *scoff and rolls eyes* “Well, I had expenses! The next check is Friday.”

(What she had was a fancy manicure, several new foreign comic books, two new video games, and five character plushies.)

Me: “Then, we’ll meet with him on Monday. Be ready so we can make it quick.”

(Over the weekend, [Friend #3] brags about her new anime plushies — which she bought on Saturday — has an entirely different manicure with acrylic nails and glitter-glaze, and has some new mid-range designer clothes, and her room REEKS of reefer. On Monday, [Friend #3] refuses to come to visit my relative.)

Friend #3: *shrugs and clicks her fake fingernails together idly* “I don’t have the money. I had bills to pay, so he can wait.”

(I’m pissed at this point, because my friend’s debt is causing tension in my relationship with the one relative who ever so much as tried being kind to me after I came out. I don’t reply; I just walk to [Friend #3]’s room and grab the nearest shopping bag of brand-name consumerist garbage, still new with tags. I check what’s in the bag to find four $60 figurines of popular anime characters.)

Me: *fake smile* “I’m sure this’ll be enough. I’ll just return these for you since you need to pay back your debts and you didn’t need to buy anime character figurines.”

([Friend #3] sputters and grunts; she can’t even come up with an argument. She follows me as I load the bag into my car. Just as I sit in the driver’s seat, she gets into the car.)

Friend #3: *dejected and quiet* “Take me to [Bank], please.”

(She got out the right amount of cash, so I let her have her stuff back and took her home. I brought the cash to the relative alone to avoid drama, but then he was upset with me because I couldn’t convince him that it was her money. He still thinks I covered for her. [Friend #3] helped herself to literally all the food in the house as revenge and gave it to her boyfriend, who she moved back in with. The rest of us were forced to go hungry for the next two weeks.)

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