Funny stories about family

The Flashlight Is On But There’s No One Home

, , , , , | Related | February 28, 2021

Dad: “Do you have a flashlight?”

I start to hand him my phone.

Dad: “Right. Phones have flashlights.”

He pulls his phone out and wanders off. A few days later:

Dad: “Do you have a flashlight? I can’t find mine.”

Me: “I use my phone.”

Dad: “Oh! Yes, right.”

He pulls his phone out and wanders off again. The next day:

Dad: “I need a flashlight.”

Wordlessly, I hold my phone up. He rolls his eyes, pulls his out, and walks away. The next day:

Dad: “I can’t tell if the sump pump is working and I don’t have a flashlight in the house, do you—”

I just looked at him. He shrieked in annoyance, pulled his phone out, and stalked off downstairs.

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What Are You Feeding Those Sparrows?!

, , , , , | Related | February 27, 2021

During the health crisis, my mum’s gotten exceptionally bored as she’s had to shield, so she has picked up the hobby of bird watching by looking at the front garden from her chair in the living room. She’s been very successful in getting birds — almost exclusively sparrows — to flock as she’s been putting an inordinate amount of varied bird food, plus housing, out for them on the tree just outside that window. These are probably the most pampered — and fattest — wild sparrows in the UK.

As we’ve been hit by snow, Mum’s aggressive bird feeding policy has only upped, resulting in a LOT of fat little sparrows gathering. As of the week of this story, we’ve got about a hundred of the little hooligans fighting over the abundance of food and attacking every other non-sparrow that so much as glances at it.

I’ve made a cup of tea and, upon reentering the living room, I notice that all the little fat things have gone and that a lone sparrowhawk — without any prey — is perched on the tree with the food on. I slowly get my phone out to take a picture.

My mum is sat in the chair next to the window.

Mum: “What are you doing?”

Me: “Don’t move; there’s a sparrowhawk.”

Mum: “It’s just a large sparrow.”

Me: “Did you actually look?”

She looks directly at the MUCH LARGER THAN A SPARROW sparrowhawk.

Mum: “It’s just a sparrow… Where are the other sparrows?”

I’m struggling with my phone whilst trying not to spill my tea.

Me: “They’ve f***ed off cause a sparrowhawk tried and failed to nom them.”

Mum: “It’s not a sparrow—”

The sparrowhawk flies off.

Mum: “Oh, it was a sparrowhawk. I thought it was a sparrow.”

Me: “It’s like 100 times the size! Only the colouring is similar!”

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An Unexpected Transition

, , , , , | Related | February 26, 2021

My grandpa is a very tall, straight-back, and straight-laced veteran with a no-nonsense attitude who diligently attends church every Sunday. He occasionally mentions his aunt and her friend; when Grandpa isn’t around, Granny clarifies that they’re lesbians in a long-term committed relationship and that Grandpa just isn’t comfortable talking about them like that.

Now, he is in his late eighties and has somehow gotten sterner. My mum, older sister, and I have gone over to see my grandparents. My older sister is dating a trans man. We are all having a chat in the living room and the subject of her boyfriend comes up. I can’t quite remember how it gets to this point, but it does.

Mum: “Oh, he’s a transman.”

Grandpa: “A what? What’s that?”

There’s a bit of an awkward pause and my sister glares daggers at my mum.

Sister: “He’s a transgender man. It means he was born a female, realised he was born into the wrong body, and is transitioning into man. He’s on hormone therapy and will soon have one of his surgeries, and I’ll be there to help him through it.”

Granny: “Oh… She’s—”

Grandpa: *Sharply* “He.”

Granny: “No, [Grandpa], she was born—”

Grandpa: “I heard. But he is a he. He is [Sister]’s boyfriend. He is a trans man. He is having hormones to be a man. He is thus a man and the appropriate pronoun is he.” *To my sister* “Unless he prefers different pronouns?”

Sister: “N-no, his pronouns are he/him.”

Grandpa: “There we go. He. Not she.”

Granny: “She’s clearly confused!”

Grandpa:No! He is not. I imagine he was much less confused when he was growing up not feeling like he belonged in his own body! You’re confused; he’s not! I hate that word! They called my aunt ‘confused’ and they set fire to her home and threw bricks through her windows because they were ‘confused’ by who she loved! They were happy, consenting adults. That’s all that mattered! This man is happy as a man, and it’s nobody else’s place to tell him he’s wrong or confused! It doesn’t affect anyone else!”

My grandpa died of cancer a few years back, but his tirade is a very fond memory I have of him as it allowed me to see a side I hadn’t known was there. My granny did improve her knowledge and opinions on transgender issues, though.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for February 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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A Heart-worming Tale

, , , , , , | Related | February 26, 2021

My teenage son and I have just finished checking out. He takes the receipt and starts to toss it in the trash.

Son: “I should just throw the receipt away, right?”

Me: “No, we have to keep it.”

Son: “Why? You can’t return food.”

Me: “You can if there’s a worm in your celery.”

Son: “…”

Me: “I once got some celery, and when I cut into it, a worm had eaten all of the inside parts. I put the worm in a jar, took the celery back, and asked if they wanted the worm, too. They exchanged the celery but didn’t want the worm.”

Son: “So, did you keep the worm? Love it? Nurture it? Raise it as your own?

Me: “Well, this wasn’t how I wanted you to find out, my little celery worm.”


This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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Keep The Ring In The Family, Lose The Weird Prejudices

, , , , | Related | February 25, 2021

This conversation takes place when I’m at the age where jewellery starts becoming a part of my life. My mom promised me anything I wanted from her collection as a gift. She’s taken all her jewellery out and is showing me the pieces, one by one.

We’ve gone through a truly surprising number of pieces, including a ring engraved with my name that I am eyeing. But then she pulls out one last ring, and it stands out because of how old it looks.

Mom: “And this horridly outdated piece is our family engagement ring. It’s been passed down from mother to daughter since before World War Two. I got it off Grandma back when she thought she was going to die any day.”

Me: “Wait, what? But Grandma’s so healthy.”

Mom: “Turned out to be a false alarm, but she gave me all her jewels back then. She really regrets that now.”

Me: “Wait, it’s an engagement ring. How is it that mothers give it to daughters? I thought engagement rings were given by the guy?”

Mom: “Normally, it’s given from mother to daughter-in-law. Well, more accurately, the son will ask his mother’s permission to marry, and his mother will give him the ring to propose with. But as things happen, Grandma doesn’t actually like [Aunt #1], [Aunt #3], and [Aunt #4].”

Me: “What? But they’re all so nice.”

Mom: “Well, Grandma was supposed to give it to [Uncle #1], but she didn’t like [Aunt #1]. She thought she was a gold digger, so my older brother didn’t get the ring. Not that it stopped him.”

Me: “Ridiculous. [Aunt #1] is my nicest aunt.”

Mom: “My mom had this silly belief that brides shouldn’t be older than their groom, and [Aunt #1] is older than [Uncle #1].”

I shake my head in disbelief.

Me: “Then what happened with [Aunt #3]?”

Mom: “Back then, Grandma didn’t actually think architects were a real job. So she was really annoyed that [Uncle #2] became an architect. So when my younger brother married [Aunt #3], who was another architect… Well, there’s a reason they live in another country.”

Me: “I get the point.”

Mom: “And I trust we don’t have to discuss [Aunt #4]?”

Me: “Nope. I already know what Grandma thinks of [Aunt #2] marrying [Aunt #4].”

My mother’s older sister had to go overseas to do it, as Singaporean law forbade — and still forbids — same-sex marriage. Grandma still insists that the marriage is invalid.

Me: “So, because she never gave it away, you got it when she gave you all her jewels.”

Mom: “That, and I’m her only child that had a ‘respectable’ marriage.”

I snort.

Mom: “Anyway. That’s the last piece in my collection. Want the engagement ring?”

Me: “No, thanks. Maybe in the future. For now, the ring I want literally has my name on it.”

That conversation was nearly a decade ago. Now, I have that ancient engagement ring in hand and am about to go out for dinner with my girlfriend. Wish me luck.


This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of February 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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