Funny stories about family

War Will Leave You Cold

, , , , | Related | August 4, 2021

My grandmother, having been through two wars, was unbelievably thrifty and would not throw away anything until it was so worn that it couldn’t be mended any further. And, of course, nothing new could be put into use as long as the old stuff had some mileage still in it.

I always suffered from cold feet. I have some woollen “bedshoes” that belonged to my mother, crocheted in a honeycomb style that leaves most of my skin exposed and does nothing for the cold.

An elderly aunt, staying with us for a while, knits me a magnificent pair of bedshoes: fully enclosed, ankle-high, thick, and warm. I profusely thank my aunt and start wearing her bedshoes.

A few days later, after my aunt is back with her family, I’m asleep in bed. I wake up with a start, in pitch darkness. My covers are lifted and there’s someone in the room, hovering above me. Bogeyman? Wild bear? Kidnapper? No, it’s my grandmother, replacing my bedshoes with the old ones at two in the morning and scaring me to death in the process!

She tells me to shut up (which I do — she’s already positioned to slap the bejeezus out of me if I don’t comply), takes away the warm bedshoes, and goes back to sleep.

The following weeks are an endless game of hide and seek with the bedshoes between the two of us until, at last, summer comes. Being a small child, I eventually forget about the bedshoes until years later, after my grandmother is long dead and we find them in their last hiding place, too small for my feet by now, and completely disintegrated. It’s a small relief to know that at least the moths enjoyed the bedshoes undisturbed.

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Thank You For Being A Friend (And An Amazing Uncle!)

, , , , , | Related | August 3, 2021

I don’t recall my exact age when this story happened, but I know that puberty came much earlier for me than my peers and that I was presumably in the very early stages of it at this point, as I’d just recently started to consider the idea of dating and romantic (or sexual) attraction.

This new attraction confused me a bit, mostly because I found myself as attracted, or perhaps more attracted, to other boys as I was to girls. I grew up in a more conservative area and so didn’t realize that there were people who weren’t heterosexual out there yet.

My parents had a close friend who visited semi-regularly. He would often take time to spend with me as well, to the point that he was almost like an uncle to me. One day, he was in the living room talking with me while my parents were busy doing something elsewhere in the house.

Friend: “So what about you? Do you have yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend yet?”

Me: “What did you say?”

Friend: “I asked if you were dating anyone.”

Me: “You said, ‘boyfriend’?”

Friend: “I said girlfriend or boyfriend, whichever you have.”

Me: “Boys can’t have boyfriends.”

Friend: “Sure, they can! Most boys prefer to date girls, but some boys end up preferring to date other boys, just like some girls end up dating other girls.”

Me: “Why do they date boys?”

Friend: “That’s just who they like to date. Everyone is different and likes different things, right? You like vanilla even though I know chocolate is much better. Same thing with dating — some just feel happier dating other boys instead of girls.”

Me: “How do they know?”

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Me: “How do they know they want to date other boys?”

Friend: “Oh, well, I’ve never been gay — that’s what they call boys that only date other boys — so I can’t really say for sure. I mean, can you explain how you knew you liked racing games more than other video games? It’s just something you figure out because it’s what you enjoy and like doing. Like, if you close your eyes right now and picture dating someone, are they a girl or a boy?”

This question was a little too on the nose for me. I panicked a little, not wanting to admit that I’d probably pick a boy, so I lied.

Me: “I don’t want to date anyone!”

Friend: “Oh, girls all have cooties, right? Well, just for the record, whenever you do decide to date someone, your parents and I would love to meet them, whether they were a girl or a boy.”

I remember thinking that day that he was staring at me like he saw through me and already knew I was lying. For years after that, whenever any topic about dating or sex came up, he seemed to make a point of saying, “girlfriend or boyfriend,” and generally making it clear that he would be supportive whichever I ended up dating. I never knew if he would have done that anyway or if he was doing it specifically because he suspected I was gay.

He was the first person to suggest to me that being attracted to the same sex could be okay, and his continuing to hint that he would be supportive of me even if I was gay was honestly a real help as I struggled to identify, and admit to myself, my own sexuality. It was good to know that at least one person would be my friend no matter what.

I ended up being somewhere between gay and bi; I’ve had relationships with both sexes but generally, I’m a bit more attracted to men. When I finally came out officially, the friend was right; my parents were fully supportive of me. As to their friend, his response basically boiled down to, “I knew it, and I’m glad you’re finally ready to come out to us.”

I don’t know how long it would have taken me to even realize that non-hetero people existed without him, or how difficult it would have been to come out if I didn’t know I had someone supporting me through it.

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Extended Family Extending Your Confusion

, , , , | Related | August 2, 2021

My father is trying to get me to remember his aunt, whom I haven’t seen since I was ten. My father’s branch of the family migrated into a different country before I was born, and we only really meet up with the rest of the extended family once a year during the family reunion. And after my grandparents died, we stopped attending these get-togethers.

Father: “She’s married to [Uncle].”

Me: “I know the name, but not the face.”

Father: “The GP.”

Me: “The one with the big house?”

Father: “I don’t know if the house was big?”

Me: “Okay, the one with the exercise equipment downstairs?”

Father: “Uh, I don’t remember.”

Me: “The one with chocolates downstairs?”

Father: “That’s an even worse description! No, he was [Cousin #1]’s father.”

Me: “Who?”

Father: “[Cousin #2]’s father, as well. You went to his wedding in Greece.”

Me: “That was when I was six. I don’t remember.”

Father: “He’s [Cousin #3]’s father. You know, [Cousin #3]’s wedding was the other year.”

Me: “Wait, the twins?”

Father: *Relieved* “Yes, the twins. [Cousin #3] and [Cousin #4]. [Aunt] is their mother.”

Me: “You should have just said that from the get-go.”

Father: “How do the twins get remembered so easily and not their more successful brothers? They’re unremarkable and air-headed bimbos.”

Me: “Are you seriously asking why a ten-year-old boy found his hot twin cousins more interesting than two stuffy, nerdy men?”

Father: *Totally serious* “Yes!”

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Maybe Don’t Stop And Smell The Roses

, , , , | Related | August 1, 2021

My family is getting ready for a Fourth of July cookout. Dad is grilling chicken, Mom is running around cleaning the house before her guests get here, and I’m just waking up because I work the night shift. I’ve just gotten an allergy test, and I reacted badly to seventy of the seventy-two things they ended up testing me for. 

Mom: “I’m going to put some daylilies on the table.”

Me: “Can we use the ceramic flowers in the other room? I’m allergic to daylilies.”

Mom: “Okay, I’ll use sunflowers.”

Me: “Allergic to those, too.”

Mom: “Daffodils?”

Me: “Can we use the decorative ceramic ones?”

Mom: “I know you’re not allergic to daffodils; I put them in your room all the time!”

Me: “And it always makes me feel terrible because I have a reaction.”

She put the daffodils on the table. I spent the entire meal sneezing and went to work with a massive headache and a rash on one arm where the pollen got to me.

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Are You Shore?

, , , , , , | Related | July 31, 2021

This happened back in the 1970s. I was nearly five and my little sister would have been about three. After growing up in London, we had just moved to a small town.

Mum was taking my sister and me on our first trip to the shops in this new town. My sister was in her buggy and I was walking by the side. As we walked over the crest of a hill, something flat and grey-blue came into view, although neither my sister nor I paid any attention to it until Mum asked us about it.

Mum: “Do you see that blue thing in the distance?”

Sister & Me: “Yes, Mummy?”

Mum: “Do you know what it is?”

Our guesses included a stream, a river, a pond, and a lake until, eventually…

Me: “Mummy, is it the sea?”

Mum: “Yes!”

Sister & Me: “Wow!”

When we were growing up in London, Mum and Dad didn’t have a car, so going to the beach was a very rare event — maybe once a year — so Sis and I were quite taken with this knowledge that we were near the coast.

That night, when Sis and I were in our rooms, Mum came to check that we were asleep and was quite surprised to see me awake. I was really worried.

Mum: “Are you all right?”

Me: “You know the sea, Mummy?”

Mum: “Yes, dear?”

Me: “Will it still be there tomorrow?”

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