This Should Ruffle A Few Feathers

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 16, 2019

(I’m cleaning up after a cat incident, letting out harsh, barking coughs every few seconds. After a few minutes of this, my housemate sticks her head out her door in concern.)

Housemate: “You okay? What happened?”

Me: “[Cat] caught a bird. It wasn’t hurt, so I let it go outside, but it lost a lot of feathers.”

Housemate: “Aren’t you allergic to feathers?”


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“Able” To Bring Her Down

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 15, 2019

(My uncle is considered by the rest of my family to be a “child-whisperer” because he can easily manage five children at a time by himself. He can take five of us — his kids and my siblings and our other cousins — on outings and manage to keep us all safe while we have fun. We all love him because he is very easygoing and patient but also can be silly with us. We go to the zoo when I am nine, with my ten-year-old and four-year-old cousins — his son and daughter — and twin six-year-old cousins — his nieces. We overhear two old ladies speaking. One of them points at my six-year-old cousin who has one leg.)

Rude Old Lady: “It is fitting that they brought that freak to a zoo.” 

(Her companion laughs. My uncle overhears this comment, as does my cousin, who starts crying. While her twin and the rest of us are attempting to cheer her up, my uncle walks over to the ladies, smiling.)

Uncle: *in a jovial sort of way* “Hello. Would you kindly repeat what you said?” 

(One of the women looks apprehensive, but the other doubles down on what she said before.)

Rude Old Lady: “I said that it is fitting that you brought your freaks to the zoo.”

Uncle: “Freaks? That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?” 

Rude Old Lady: “No, it’s accurate. You’ve got two kids wearing glasses — that ought to be child abuse, especially when you’re doing it to a little girl — and a kid with one leg. Plus, that kid has another kid who looks just like her except she’s whole.”

Uncle: “Oh, the twins? They don’t look that similar. For a start, she has blonde hair and she has black hair. I might consider it child abuse to not let children wear glasses, regardless of gender.” 

(So far, my uncle has been very conversational in tone. Now, he spreads his arms out like he’s making a grand speech and starts speaking loudly. The other people near the bear exhibit — and even the bears themselves, probably — are listening now.)

Uncle: “Understand this, O ableist hag! I do not appreciate you calling my family freaks, O she-who-made-a-kid-on-crutches-cry! I have nothing more to say to you, O demon-in-a-woman’s-body! Begone, I say!” 

(While my amputee cousin starts laughing at the absurdity of the statement, the rest of us cheer, and the woman, publically humiliated and shamed, stalks off, her companion saying, “Well, you were a bit rude, don’t you think?” to her on the way out. I bring this up now, years later, only because while visiting our grandmother during the summer, the oldest of my cousins and I go to the grocery store. My cousin nudges me in the ribs and says:)

Cousin: *just loudly enough for her to hear* “Hey, it’s the demon in a woman’s body!” 

(She scowled at us and kicked in our general direction before walking away.)

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Do Not Cross Him

, , , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2019

(I attend a weekly Bible study class at my church. My fiancé isn’t always able to attend as he works various shifts but he is starting a job with regular hours soon.)

Leader: “It’s great that [Fiancé] will be able to come more often with his new job.”

Me: “Yeah, it will be. Fingers crossed! And everything else crossed, too!”

(The next meeting we both attend, and at the end, the leader takes my fiancé aside and they chat for about ten minutes. I assume it’s just a chat welcoming him and seeing if he needs anything. As we leave the church and walk towards the car, my fiancé looks really confused.)

Me: “What did [Leader] say to you?”

Fiancé: “He was asking me about my new job. He wanted to know if it was anything to do with spirits or the occult.”

Me: “What?! Why would he say that?”

Fiancé: “He said that you mentioned a ritual last week that was about crossing bones or something to make sure my job would be okay.”

(When I asked the leader about it, he said that “crossing” things had to do with the occult and I should have said, “God willing,” instead.)

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A Sad Sign Of The Times

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2019

(I am at the water park with my older brother, my fianceé, and her two younger brothers. Her youngest brother is deaf and speaks primarily using ASL. While we are waiting in line, my fianceé, her brother, and I are speaking to each other with ASL, making jokes about how hot it is. Behind us is a woman who grows quite huffy with us throughout the thirty-minute wait.)

Woman: *to us, raising her voice in a very angry, “motherly” tone* “How dare you make those signs with your hands?! I didn’t know [Park] allowed gang members into their parks! Despicable!”

Fiance: “We’re speaking sign; my brother is deaf and he can’t hear us.”

Woman: “I don’t want your excuses! I want you out of here!”

Fiance: “For talking with our hands? Lady, you’re off your meds if you think they’re going to kick us out for speaking sign language.”

Woman: “We’ll just see about that!” *stomps out of the line, presumably to find a security guard*

(We go through the rest of the line without seeing her, nor a security guard. We do see her when we get off the ride, however, being told by security that they won’t do anything.)

Woman: *at the top of her lungs, so everyone around the ride can hear* “That’s it! I’ll be speaking to Mr. [Park Founder] about this!”

Me: “I hope she has a ouija board!”

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Hit Your Ceiling With Bad Neighbors

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2019

I rent the lowest apartment, which is halfway in the ground. It means I spend less on cooling and heating, but everyone else’s actions affect me. Here’s a good example.

One winter, our hallway light went off. We went to change it, but the glass bowl around it was filled with water! We immediately called the emergency maintenance line. Someone came within an hour, looked at our light, and then ran upstairs.

It was three days before we got the full story and our light fixed. The neighbor’s pipes started leaking, but they did nothing. “Just a small leak,” they said to him. But something that is constantly leaking can flood the entire floor. The neighbors had let it go for at least a week. If it weren’t for my report, our ceiling could have caved in! They would have been responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damage and we would have no home. As is, they still spent several hundred fixing the ceiling.

This is why I try not to let anything go, no matter how minor it seems.

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