The Curse Of The Cute Irish

| Boston, MA, USA | Related | January 19, 2017

(After a trip three years ago my aunt is obsessed with Ireland. She prepares Irish dishes, buys Irish products, and researches Irish history. At the time this story takes place we are all going to Ireland as a family (her second trip) and are waiting at the gate to board our flight when she shakes my shoulder.)

Aunt: “[My Name]! Look!”

(She’s pointing at an Irish family who are also about to get on our flight. The mother has bought her two very cute children some small toys and books from the gift shop and the children are thrilled.)

Me: “Aww, that’s sweet.”

Aunt: “Oh, my gosh, they’re the cutest! Look at them reading their books so quietly. Those Irish children are so well-behaved. They’re picture-perfect!”

(I ignore her comment and focus on getting my luggage together. When we line up to board the Irish family is still where they are because their seats haven’t been called yet and my aunt appears to be taking selfies. One hour later, while we’re in the air…)

Aunt: “[My Name], look at my photos.”

(To my horror, it’s a candid photo of the Irish children.)

Me: “[Aunt], did you ask their mom?”

Aunt: “Nope! I just pretended I was taking a selfie!”

Me: “Delete it! How would you feel if someone took a picture of your kids without your permission.”

Aunt: “But they’re so cute! And Irish!”

(She didn’t delete it, and now we have a creep shot of some random toddlers in our scrapbook.)

Wish He Could Sit Further Down Streaming

| Tampa, FL, USA | Friendly | January 11, 2017

(I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my husband’s plane to land, watching a TV show on my phone. I have my earphones in and am quite absorbed, so it takes me a moment to realize some guy around my age that I don’t know has sat down in the row of chairs beside me and is trying to get my attention.)

Me: *pulling out earphone* “Yes?”

Guy: *looking weirdly angry* “You know there are better shows than that, right?”

Me: “Maybe. But I’m watching this one. Have a good day.” *I go to put my earphones back in and he actually puts his hand on my arm in a firm grip to stop me*

Guy: “[Streaming App] has [Other Popular Show]. You should be watching that.”

Me: “If you don’t take your hand off of me, your next step is going to be finding someone to reattach it.”

Guy: *holds up his hands and pulls a mocking face* “Okay. Didn’t realize you had to be so sensitive these days. I’m just telling you, that’s not as good a show as [Other Popular Show].”

Me: “Sure.”

Guy: “It isn’t!”

Me: “Sure.” *I turn back to my phone and go to put my earphones back in*

Guy: “You know, I hope you learn some manners before you go out in public next time!” *angrily gets to his feet and stalks off*

(The feeling is mutual, dude, I promise you.)

School/Work Balance

| San Jose, CA, USA | Working | January 4, 2017

(During my senior year of high school, I go with my dad one day to San Diego to check Prestigious College I was accepted at, during my spring break. It is five am and the security line has just opened. There’s roughly ten TSA agents actually working and about ten more just standing around doing nothing. I’m putting my shoes back on when two agents behind me, who have been discussing a club they went to over the weekend, notice me.)

TSA Agent: *condescendingly* “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

Me: “Aren’t you supposed to be working?”

(Everyone that heard me laughed and the agent sulked away embarrassed.)

Won’t Break Your Back To Offer Some Help

| Germany | Friendly | January 2, 2017

(I’m standing on a shuttle bus waiting to be taken to a plane, and see a guy in his 50s struggle with his bags. He clearly has a broken arm, yet no one offers to help. I’m stuck behind a crowd and can’t get past. We board the plane and land, and get on to another shuttle bus. As we walk off the bus we are met with a massive set of stairs. The guy from before gets off at the same time.)

Me: “Can I help you with that?”

Guy: “Really? Yes, please.”

Me: *struggling to pick up the bag* “Wow, this is heavy!”

Guy: “Yes, thank you. I’ve had to pack everything. My daughter has had her baby and I jumped on the next flight.”

Me: “That’s great. Must be a long trip with your arm broken.”

Guy: “Not just my arm; I broke my back as well. I’m in an upper body cast.”

Me: *reaching the top of the stairs* “Do you need any help from here?”

Guy: “No, thank you again.”

(Just to think 20 – 30 people would rather ignore someone so obviously struggling and with a broken back just to get ahead! The kicker: with everyone rushing off, they still had to get straight into a line to wait for customs checks.)

An Explosive Realization

| London, England, UK | Romantic | December 27, 2016

(I am an experienced international traveller, so I tend to take it very easy when passing through customs and immigration. A few years ago I took my boyfriend to Europe for his first ever trip overseas, and we made it a big one: flying into London, taking the train across the channel, visiting Paris and Cologne, and then flying home from Germany. I manage to mortify him at both ends of the trip by speaking thoughtlessly to airport security.)

UK Immigration Agent: “And how long will your visit be?”

Me: “We’ll be here for four days, and then we’ll take the train to Paris.”

UK Immigration Agent: “And will you be coming back to the UK?”

Me: *genuinely confused* “Uh, I don’t know. This is my first time here, so I don’t know if I’ll like it.”

Boyfriend: *exasperated face-palm*

Me: “Oh! You mean on this trip! No, we’re continuing on to Germany and flying home from there.”

UK Immigration Agent: *stamps our passports and waves us through*

Boyfriend: “Can’t you wait until AFTER they let us in before saying stuff like that?”

(Two weeks later, we are in Frankfurt, preparing to fly home. We don’t feel like we are running late, but somehow we manage to be the last ones to board, and of course the security agents decide to pick us for the random explosives check.)

Airport Security: “May I take your camera to test it for traces of explosives, please?”

Me: “Really? Oh, sure, that’s fine.” *I hand it over and start “thinking out loud” to my boyfriend* “Strange that they singled out the camera and not any of the other things in our bags, like our laptops or tablets or handheld gaming devices. Hmmm… Oh, I suppose it’s because an SLR camera is basically a sealed, empty box, so there would be a risk of people smuggling explosives inside them…”

Boyfriend: “Stop… talking… NOW.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Boyfriend: “We’re standing at an airport security terminal and you’re speculating OUT LOUD about the best ways to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft! SHUT UP!”

Me: “But I was just wondering why—”

Boyfriend: “SHUT UP NOW.”

(We got my camera back and boarded without any issues, but my boyfriend had a story to tell for years afterwards of the time I tried to get us arrested in Frankfurt.)

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