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Funny stories about family

A Young Dad Is Better Than Nothing!

, , | Related | November 28, 2022

Several years ago, I dated an older lady who I had met doing a project together in one of my college classes. She had a lovely and charming eight-year-old daughter whose smile would make anyone’s heart melt.

I particularly felt sorry for her because she never got to meet her dad, who is serving a forty-to-life sentence as a habitual felon. This loss in her life definitely would show when she would do things like ask me to drop her off and pick her up at school or make a point of standing next to me and holding my hand at gatherings where other children were present with their parents. Other times, while answering the phone, she’d say, “No, I think that was my dad who called you. I’ll go get him,” and then run and hand me the phone.

Despite knowing zero about parenting or mentoring, I did my best to bond with her by playing her silly little games with her, letting her come along with me when I’d go hang out with friends, and listening to her yammer about her girly online games even though I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.

Then, one day, I was in a bookstore getting some items rung up, and I asked the cashier if she could pull up my discount membership account since I had misplaced my card. She asked for a driver’s license for verification. As she was examining my information, the little girl pranced up to the counter and grabbed my hand.

Girl: *Proudly* “He’s my dad!”

I smiled warmly at her… while I felt my face turn four shades of red as the cashier looked back at my driver’s license again and got a seriously uncomfortable look on her face.

When we got outside, I said to [Girl]”

Me: “Here, listen. Why don’t we say I’m your big brother when we’re out in public?”

Girl: “But you’re a grown-up!”

Me: “Well… some kids do have big brothers or sisters who are grown-ups. The problem is that I’m twenty-one years old and you are eight, and that’s… well… Let’s say it’s going to have people wondering a lot of questions about me that I’d prefer they didn’t!”

Poor Kitty Can’t Handle This Monster

, , , , , | Related | November 27, 2022

We had two cats. The older one was pretty mellow. The younger one tended to startle really easily; the term “scaredy cat” could have been coined for him.

They both loved to crawl into bags and boxes, as all cats do, and if we had a paper shopping bag, we would often leave it on the floor for a day or two for them to indulge their “cave instinct”.

One day, I was in the kitchen when Scaredy Cat came tearing into the kitchen, followed closely by one of the paper bags we’d left out the day before. My first thought was that he and Mellow Cat had squabbled and Mellow Cat was chasing him, but I immediately realized that Mellow Cat could hardly be running while inside the bag.

Apparently, Scaredy Cat had been hanging out in the bag, tried to leave, and got a leg caught in the bag’s twine handle. As he moved, the bag moved, which, of course, terrorized him into running — and the bag chased him.

I was laughing too hard to even attempt to catch the cat (or the Bag From Hell). Scaredy Cat finally tore loose from the bag, ran into another room, and hid for hours. I’m surprised that the poor cat didn’t have a heart attack.

We never again left out a bag with a handle.

“I’m Your Mother. And I Can Do Whatever The [Bleep] I Want.”

, , , , | Related | November 26, 2022

My seven-year-old and I have an outing over the weekend to our local farmer’s market, after which he’s SUPER-wired. To help him burn off some of that excess energy, we walk over to our local comic store, which has a pretty big kids’ section. I don’t really know how I expect this to go, since he’s only familiar with a couple of characters and I don’t know what will catch his eye. (He’s also a very advanced reader for his age.)

He ends up bouncing all over the place, looking at all kinds of random stuff and asking if we could get it, and being a good sport when I have to say no, either because of weight, price, or content. This particular exchange, however, stands out as extra funny.

Son: “Can we get this?”

He shows me an omnibus collection of “The Boys” — a hyper-violent hard-R-rated comic.

Me: “No, that’s for grown-ups.”

Son: “Oh. Does it have bad words in it, like ‘stupid’ and ‘shut up’?”

Me: *Pauses* “Yes. Yes, it does.”

He put down the book and moved on. In the end, he ended up picking a Lego Batman book.

The Luck Of The Irish And The Entitlement Of Relatives

, , , , , , | Related | CREDIT: Artilleryman08 | November 25, 2022

I love Ireland. My grandmother told me stories and inspired pride and love for my heritage, and she taught me how to properly represent myself. I am NOT Irish, but my ancestors were.

Years ago, I started studying Gaelige, the Irish language. I’m still very novice at speaking and understanding it, but I enjoy trying to learn and like hearing it spoken. Around that time, one of my cousins contacted me. We’d never had much contact because we grew up so far apart, but I liked him well enough. He had started learning Gaelige and was interested in having someone to practice with. So, we helped each other and learned together. It’s a difficult language, and like I said, I’m still very novice.

I started planning a trip to Ireland. I had been a few times, but this time I wanted to stay in the Gaeltacht, the regions of Ireland where Gaelige is primarily spoken instead of English. The people there speak English but as a second language. I thought [Cousin] would enjoy the trip, as well.

I spoke with my uncle and we made a deal. Since [Cousin] was in his first year of college, I told him that if he finished his freshman year with at least a 3.5 GPA, I would pay for him to go with me. He worked really hard and was taking mostly honors classes, and he came out with a 3.4. Of course, I let him feel a little grief about trying so hard only to come up short, and then I told him he was still going with me. You could say I shouldn’t have, but he genuinely worked very hard and I believe he earned it; plus, he is a good kid, and I want to encourage him to keep working hard in his education.

Now for a little background on my cousin’s parents. [Aunt] and [Uncle] are people of limited means. I’m not speaking poorly of them; [Uncle] works hard to give them a comfortable life. [Aunt] is my dad’s sister, and the grandmother I mentioned earlier is their mom. [Uncle] is the son of Italian immigrants.

While trying to put [Cousin] through school, they couldn’t afford to send him on vacation, but I assured them that the whole trip was on me. I actually was splurging a bit because I wanted it to be an awesome experience for [Cousin]. I got business class seats for the flight and booked two rooms at a really nice bed and breakfast. I was excited, but [Cousin] was so pumped that he was shaking.

Then, [Uncle] called me.

Uncle: “Is there any chance you could include [Aunt] and me on the trip? I understand that this is a huge thing to ask, and there is absolutely no pressure.”

I thought about it a bit and decided I would bring them along. My grandmother would have praised the generosity. I told him that, since it was so close to the trip, I could only get them economy seats. [Uncle] said it was fine. I also managed to book another room at the B&B. I stressed that the purpose of this trip was for [Cousin] and me to interact with native Gaelige speakers, but there would be time for some sightseeing. We could also visit the town our ancestors came from in County Mayo.

This is where I learned what an entitled jerk my aunt is.

It started at the airport. I had managed to upgrade their tickets to economy plus which, on an international flight, is not too bad.

Aunt: “You and [Cousin] should sit in economy while the grown-ups get the nice seats!”

I was thirty at the time; my cousin was nineteen. My uncle looked embarrassed. [Aunt] told [Cousin] to give her his ticket and he almost did. I had to nip this in the bud.

Me: “I paid for all of these seats, so I will determine who sits where. Those are still nice seats. Enjoy your flight.”

Aunt: “Oh, so, since you paid for everything you think you’re in charge?”

Me: “Yes, and if you don’t like it, you can go home.”

She huffed but stayed silent. [Uncle] gave me a wink, and [Cousin] apologized for his mom’s behavior. At one point he quietly said to himself, “She always does this.” Great.

We arrived in Ireland and took a cab to our B&B. The first two days were great. [Cousin] and I went out and tried to awkwardly converse with the locals, who were as gracious as you could wish for and helped us a lot. We mostly did stuff separately from [Aunt] and [Uncle], which was fine, but I noticed that [Aunt] was getting a little edgy, and on our fourth morning, at breakfast, she snapped.

One of the girls working at the B&B brought them their breakfast and apparently greeted them in Gaelige, like she did every morning. This was the point when everyone there began to hear [Aunt] screaming.

Aunt: “DOES ANYONE IN THIS F****** PLACE SPEAK ENGLISH? JESUS CHRIST, IT’S LIKE BEING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! MY GRANDMOTHER LIVED HER WHOLE LIFE HERE, AND SHE COULD SPEAK ENGLISH. WHY CAN’T YOU?!”

Before I could appreciate that my aunt had actually said, “It’s like being in a foreign country,” I was out the door and running across the yard. I apologized to the poor girl and gave her a 50€ note, and then I went to talk to my aunt.

Me: “Do you not understand what I told you about this part of Ireland? I thought I explained that Irish Gaelige is the primary language spoken here. Most people will start interactions in Irish, and it is a big part of the B&B’s business, too.”

She just went and sat in her room looking huffy, and [Uncle] told me he’d handle it. He had fallen in love with Ireland and had been thoroughly enjoying the trip, so I let him deal with it. Then, I went to talk to the landlady to ensure we wouldn’t be thrown out. She didn’t tolerate mistreatment of her staff, but she said if it happened again, they would have to leave.

That day, I had rented a car and would be driving out to where my ancestors originally lived near Castlebar. I invited [Aunt] and [Uncle], but [Aunt] just stayed in the room, so the three of us went without her. It was an emotional thing visiting the little village, and I can’t describe it, but [Cousin] and I both felt like we could feel the spirits of our ancestors there. I know it’s corny, but it was powerful. We found the graves of some of them, as well. [Uncle] was mostly silent and respectfully let us experience it. Later, he told us about his parents leaving Italy.

The rest of the trip was pretty quiet, but [Aunt] never left the room or spoke to anyone there. Although, she did charge a pretty expensive lunch to the room — on my card — through a local high-class restaurant. [Uncle] offered to pay me back for it, but I refused.

We flew back, and for the whole flight, [Cousin] was going on and on about how amazing it was. It was clear that he had found a new love for international travel.

Me: “If you keep your grades up, maybe we can go again next summer!”

It became a regular trip for us — we never again brought the parents — except for his final year at school. I was not going to have the time off to go, but thought I would mix it up. For a graduation gift, I sent [Cousin] and [Uncle] to Italy to see where that part of his family was from. I intentionally left out [Aunt]. If she was upset about it, she never told me, though I heard she was “deeply insulted”.

Gaslighting Is My Least Favorite Side Dish

, , , , , , | Related | November 24, 2022

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I ask my mother-in-law what I can bring as a side dish for dinner. She asks me to bring mashed potatoes.

On Thanksgiving, I make homemade mashed potatoes with the skin still on and lots of milk, butter, and garlic. They’re rich, creamy, and full of flavor. I am excited to share them with the family.

This happens when we arrive at their home.

Mother-In-Law: *Making a face* “Why did you bring mashed potatoes?”

Me: *Confused* “You asked me to?”

Mother-In-Law: *Sighs* “[Sister-In-Law] brought mashed potatoes. Oh, well. I guess we’ll just have two things of mashed potatoes.”

I can tell she’s irritated at me but I don’t say anything. [Sister-In-Law] has brought instant mashed potatoes, and even though everyone takes both types of mashed potatoes, everyone compliments mine and eats all of it. [Sister-In-Law] is furious.

After dinner, my mother-in-law pulls me aside.

Mother-In-Law: “Next time, don’t bring the same dish that someone else is bringing.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I thought you asked me to bring mashed potatoes when I offered to make a side dish.”

Husband: “She’s right, Mom. You told [My Name] to bring mashed potatoes a few weeks ago.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, I didn’t. I would have remembered that. I wrote it down and had [Sister-In-Law] bringing mashed potatoes. [My Name] clearly hurt your sister’s feelings by bringing potatoes that everyone else liked more. You owe her an apology.”

I refused to apologize and to ever cook for them again. My husband now makes our side dish for Thanksgiving with them.