The Alone Ranger

, , , | | Friendly | August 12, 2019

(My sister and I are attending church with our mother. Our brother usually comes with his four-year-old, but they’re not with us this time. About halfway through the service, our nephew’s friend abruptly jumps out of his pew, scurries down the aisle, and climbs into our mother’s lap. His mother trails behind him at a more church-friendly pace. After the service, we finally get a chance to talk.)

Mom: “[Friend] must have been disappointed to get all the way back here and see [Nephew] wasn’t with us today.”

Friend’s Mom: “No, that’s why he came back. He told me you must be very lonely without [Nephew], so we had to keep you company.”

What A Trans Wreck

, , , | | Friendly | August 11, 2019

(An LGBT group at my university has hosted a lecturer to speak about trans issues. I decide to go along and bump into my friend, who is trans, who decides to tag along. This happens shortly after we leave.)

Me: “So, what did you make of it?” 

Friend: “I found it very uncomfortable to sit through. You shouldn’t have dragged me to it.”

Me: “I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but I didn’t ‘drag’ you. I was already going.”

Friend: “Whatever. I just found it incredibly misogynistic for a man to talk about what happens to my body when going through the transition.”

(I find this strange, as the speaker, who quite clearly is a woman, introduced herself as a trans woman who had undergone a full transition.)

Me: “Okay. I assume she wanted to share her experiences, and who else to share them than someone who has actually transitioned.”

Friend: “THAT WAS A WOMAN? Well, he needs to try harder if he’s going to be like us.” *laughs*

(I don’t know if this was internalised transphobia or if she was just joking, as she had only just started the process and was confused quite a lot on campus for being male, to which she reacted badly and with hostility. I can’t imagine why she would put someone else down who had gone through what she was about to. Either way, I’ve stayed away from the issue since then, and only talk about it when she introduces the topic herself.)


, , , , | | Friendly | August 10, 2019

(When my boyfriend goes to a party for one of his old college friends, another college friend tells him that her cat is pregnant and almost due to give birth. My boyfriend and I have been thinking about getting a kitten for some time now, so my boyfriend thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get one. He immediately expresses interest in adopting a kitten once they are born, and the college friend agrees to let us have one and keep us posted. Three weeks later…)

Boyfriend: “I haven’t heard from [Friend] yet about that pregnant cat. Let me text her.”

(He gets a text back saying that the cat gave birth two weeks ago.)

Me: “I thought she would keep us posted?”

Boyfriend: “Maybe she forgot. Let me make an appointment, so we can choose which kitten we want before we can take it home.” 

(Kittens need to stay with their mother for at least eight weeks.)

Boyfriend: “All right, I made an appointment to go see the kittens in two weeks. She couldn’t make time earlier than that.”

Me: “Sounds reasonable. I’m so excited!”

(It’s five days before the appointment and we get a text from that friend.)

Friend: “I hope you don’t mind, but I gave every kitten away except one. Is that a problem?”

Us: “What?! Of course, that is a problem! We wanted to choose our own kitten! We wanted a calico cat and now all you have left is a grey-white!” 

(There were four calico kittens and one grey-white.)

Friend: “Oh, I didn’t know you wanted to choose.”

Us: “Why else do you think we made that appointment?! We made that specifically so that we could choose our own kitten!”

Friend: “So, do you still want that kitten?”

Us: “Actually, no. We are not going to be treated like this. You failed to inform us in the first place that the kittens had been born, you scheduled an appointment with us quite late because you couldn’t sooner, and now you’re taking away our choice?! What do you think they are? Stuffed animals? We were really looking forward to a kitten, but we are now going to search for another litter of kittens. Thanks for nothing!”

(We never heard from her again about this matter. [Friend], please take into consideration that with real animals, there are real human emotions attached to the choosing process. I really hope you won’t disappoint future cat adopters if your cat is pregnant again.)


God’s Dirt Has Been Paved Over In China

, , , , , , , | | Friendly | August 9, 2019

(I am outside my university’s research lab building, by the parking deck. I am American, but ethnically I am half Chinese, which some people can spot right away. I’m also a scientist and an atheist. I am walking towards my lab and using the sidewalk next to the parking garage. There is a security guard standing on the sidewalk next to the garage, watching some birds in a patch of grass. I smile and say hi to her. She stops me.)

Guard: “Isn’t it amazing?”

Me: “…?”

Guard: “You can just throw anything in God’s dirt and it’ll grow!”

Me: “Uh… what?”

Guard: “Yeah, you can have any seeds at all, throw it into God’s dirt, and it’ll grow, just like that! Isn’t it amazing?”

Me: “Well, yes, life in general is pretty amazing. But I gotta tell you, not everything you throw in dirt is going to grow…”

(I launch into a very short explanation about plant needs, soil fertility, and crop rotation, which apparently is quite lost on the lady.)

Guard: *quickly changing the subject* “So, you work in that building over there?”

Me: “Yep, I’m a graduate student here at [University].”

Guard: “Are you Asian?”

Me: “I’m half Chinese.”

Guard: “Isn’t China a communist country?”

Me: “Yep.”

Guard: “Well, you have yourself a nice day.”

(She couldn’t get rid of me fast enough! Shun the non-believer!)

A Very Testing Person

, , , , , | | Friendly | August 8, 2019

One of my sisters and I are in our twenties and the other one is in her teens. The three of us were at the grocery store a few weeks ago when this happened. We were wandering around discussing stuff when I stopped to look at the stuff on the shelves, so my sisters stopped, as well. I was not paying attention to anything, as usual, but I trusted my sisters to warm me if I was blocking someone or something. 

They saw this woman coming in our general direction with her cart, so one of my sisters moved away and my other sister pushed me closer to the shelves and came closer to me to provide space for the cart. This woman kept coming at me and my sister, and when she was close enough said, “Excuse me,” in a rude tone. I said sorry, sort of a reflex response, and my sister tries to pull me away to make more space for her. 

She kept coming at us and kept saying, “Excuse me,” loudly and still in her rude tone. I kept saying sorry and my sister started trying to push me into the shelves to give her space. It got to the point that this woman’s cart was going to run me over, so my sisters and I looked at her. At this point, I don’t know what we would have done if she was a major b****, as we all hate confrontation. 

Turns out it was one of our neighbours who we know fairly well. She looked at us, said sorry, and laughed. Then, she explained that she’d done it to other neighbours as a “politeness” test or something, and told us that we’d all passed. She then told us that she did it to another neighbour, who we all know to be a nice old lady, and she apparently lost it and was cursing up a storm until she realized it was our neighbour. 

My sisters and I laughed it up with the neighbour and walked away, all feeling very confused. Up to this point, I don’t know how I should feel about her “test.”