The Family Tree’s Branches Can Get A Bit Twisted

, , , | Related | October 7, 2019

(My nephew is three and is just learning to talk and understand. My dad is playing catch with him.)

Me: “Dad, we’ll be back.”

Dad: “Where’re you going?”

Me: “To the market, Dad.”

Nephew: “Hey! Dis is grampa! Not Dad!”

Me: “He’s my dad and your grampa!”

Nephew: “No! He’s your grampa!”

(Guess we should work on the family tree explaining later. Though, to be fair, I recall thinking my mom’s name was Mom and my sister’s name was Sister as a kid.)

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When Romance Becomes Horror

, , , , , , , | Related | October 7, 2019

(When I am 19 or so, my taste in books is a bit, well, trashy. I read “bodice-rippers” pretty much exclusively. My mother hates this and nags me constantly to “stop reading that garbage and read something good, instead.” I tell her to leave me alone; I enjoy those books and I am not harming anyone. One day, my dad approaches me:)

Dad: “My coworker is in the hospital, and she phoned yesterday to say that she could really use something to read. Do you think you could lend her some of your books?”

Me: “Really? Sure! What do you think she’d like?”

Dad: “How about those?” *points to my pile of romance novels* “I bet she’d like them.”

Me: “Well, I don’t mind, so long as she knows they’re just on loan.”

Dad: “Don’t worry about it. She’ll return them once she’s done.”

(I pack up all my trashy novels and give them to Dad. Weeks later:)

Me: “Dad, is your coworker done with my books yet?”

Dad: “Hmm? Oh. No, not yet.”

Me: “Really? It’s been ages. Surely she’s not still in the hospital?”

Dad: “No, she’s out now, but she’s still reading them.”

Me: “She does know that I want them back, right?”

Dad: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “Well, okay.”

(A few weeks later…)

Me: “Dad, can I have your coworker’s phone number?”

Dad: “What on earth for?”

Me: “I’d like to ask for my books back.”

Dad: *getting angry* “For Pete’s sake! I told you she’ll return them when she’s done.”

Me: “But–”

Dad: *loses temper* “ENOUGH!”

(This went on for months. I’d ask Dad to bug his coworker for my books, he’d make some excuse, I’d persist, he’d lose his temper and yell at me, and the cycle would repeat. I finally gave up when it had been more than a year. In hindsight, I can’t believe I was so naïve; there was obviously no coworker. This was a scheme cooked up by my parents to rid me of that “garbage” for once and for all. Joke’s on them, though; I now read Stephen King constantly, which disgusts my mother even more. Oh, well. I’m 55 now, and I’ll read whatever I darned well please.)

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Was About To Have A Face Off

, , , , , , | Related | October 6, 2019

(I’ve just had all four wisdom teeth pulled. My grandma is driving me home, and since I don’t remember, tells me my antics the next day.)

Grandma: “What’s wrong? You look sad!”

Me: “I want my face back!”

Grandma: “What?”

Me: “The dentist took my face!”

Grandma: “What do you mean?!”

(I’m nearly in tears at this point.)

Me: “They said they’d only take my teeth! But my face is gone!”

Grandma: “How do you know your face is gone?”

Me: “I can’t feel it anymore! They took my face!”

(My grandma has to pull over due to laughing so hard. She pulls down the mirror to prove I do, in fact, still have my face. I start crying out of sheer joy.)

Me: “MY FACE! IT’S SAFE!”

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Having A Word With God

, , , , , | Related | October 5, 2019

(When I’m in elementary and middle school, I compete in an annual school spelling bee. I get very tired of participating very quickly, because I always pass the writing “tryout” with amazing scores but struggle to spell out loud, and I hate having to study words when I could be playing or reading books. I also happen to go to a religious school, so I end up having to memorize and be able to recite quite a few Bible passages. I’m talking with my mother, who is much more enthusiastic than I am about my academic endeavors.)

Mom: “I don’t understand. You don’t even want to win. Think of how cool it would be!”

Me: “I don’t know why you care so much.”

Mom: “Because I get to brag about my smart daughter!”

Me: *quoting a Bible verse that popped into my head* “’Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth–’”

(My mother doesn’t let me finish before she runs out of my bedroom and looks towards the ceiling.)

Mom: “WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE HER SO SMART?!”

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A National Irony

, , , , | Related | October 4, 2019

While on break from a statewide high school ceremony, my family got to watch as several hundred people were officially made US citizens at the courthouse across the street. It was a very moving ceremony for not only the participants, but we spectators were reminded of the greatness of this country and the spirit of the American dream.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the participants were paraded out to a very American Bruce Springsteen song. My daughter asked me why I was laughing. 

“Because,” I said, “none of these folks were Born in the USA.”

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