Do You Need To Be Drunk To Enjoy Your Family’s Happiness?

, , , , , | Related | September 11, 2020

My love and I are going to get married and we have an occasion where we can tell family members in person and we’re not stealing the spotlight from someone else.

Me: “So, the cards will come in a few weeks. Please let us know if you come!”

Aunt: “Of course I’ll come! I love wedding parties!”

Wife-To-Be: “Yes, and we decided to do things our way, so expect things to be different. But what and how things will be different… will be a surprise!”

Aunt: “Oh, that’s okay. Just place me at the bar and I’ll have the best time of my life!”

Me: “Yeah, about that… We decided to keep this wedding alcohol-free. There will be no alcohol served.”

My aunt snaps her head around to look at me. Her smile is gone. 

Aunt: “What did you say?”

Me: “We… asked the bar to not serve any alcoholic beverages.”

Aunt: “But… but… why?!”

Wife-To-Be: “We have our reasons. Besides, we want everyone to have fun and not have to worry about who has to drive.”

Aunt: “Oh… okay.”

Uncle: “Well, we’ll be looking forward to your invitation!”

My aunt and uncle did not attend the wedding; they had forgotten about a planned vacation they booked one week after we told them. Such a shame.

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Coke Addiction Is No Laughing Matter

, , , , , , | Related | September 2, 2020

I have an aunt who doesn’t get invited to family functions very often. Stuff like this is why.

It’s my grandma’s birthday. My dad and his siblings, including my aunt, decide to treat her to a new restaurant my grandma has wanted to try ever since they opened. We make reservations, arrive, and are seated, and our server comes over to take our drink orders.

Aunt: “I’ll have a Coke.”

Server: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we only have Pepsi products. Would Pepsi be okay?”

Aunt: *HUGE dramatic sigh* “Well, I only drink Coke, so no, Pepsi’s not okay.”

Server: “I’m sorry. Is there something else I can get you? We have [other drink choices].”

Aunt: *Another HUGE dramatic sigh* “No. I only drink Coke. Nothing else. Why don’t you serve Coke?”

Grandma: “[Aunt], that’s enough! Be nice to her or leave. I don’t want you to ruin my birthday dinner just because you’re a snob.”

Aunt: “Mom, you know I only drink Coke! Pepsi just tastes awful to me. I don’t know how you people can be okay with drinking it.”

Grandma: “Then leave. Go home and buy your own Coke.”

Aunt: “Well, they could find a way to get me a Coke.”

Grandma:They don’t serve Coke! I’m not joking, [Aunt]. Shut up and order something else, or leave.”

My aunt starts fake crying, but when she finally realizes that nobody is on her side, she stands up and shouts, “I’m never coming to this restaurant again!” and storms out the door.

My grandma turns back to our server, who has been standing at our table the entire time looking like she wants to cry for real.

Grandma: “It’s not your fault, dear. She’s always been like that. My other kids, as you can see—” *gestures around the table* “—are perfectly normal, so I don’t know where she gets it from. Anyway, you’re doing great, so don’t let an entitled b**** like her get to you. If you need to take some time to calm down, that’s okay. I think we’re all still deciding what we want to eat, so you can head back to the kitchen for a while while we look through the menu.”

Our server nodded and walked back to the kitchen. The rest of the night went very well. Those of us still at the table had a great time, the food was delicious, and the server was wonderful once she realized that my aunt really was the crazy one in my family. We left her a huge tip, and we’ve gone back to the restaurant a few times for special occasions, but we’ve never invited my aunt to join us.

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Droll Gender Roles

, , , , , , | Related | August 28, 2020

Growing up, I had very long hair; however, I started cutting it short with shaved sides a few years ago. I’m having dinner with my dad and uncle one day when my uncle feels the need to comment on it. My uncle’s hair is buzzed short to about a quarter of an inch.

Uncle: “So, why did you cut your hair so short? It looks better long.”

Me: “Why did you cut your hair so short?”

Uncle: “It’s cooler and easy to maintain.”

Me: “I cut it short because it’s cooler and easier to maintain.”

Uncle: “Oh.”

I can’t help but notice that these sorts of comments only come from the older men around me. All the women and younger men who have seen my new style always say how much it suits me and that they can’t even picture me with long hair anymore. How droll.

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I Refuse To Cry Uncle

, , , , , , | Related | August 19, 2020

Several years ago, I went back to my hometown to visit my uncle, which coincided with a church event he was overseeing as the pastor. My uncle asked if I could help out with setting up, using the familial tone of, “I’m making it sound voluntary but it really isn’t.” He tried to get me to ride with him in his car to the church, but previous experiences had taught me not to take that offer, so I drove my own car.

It was a good idea in the end, since we arrived at the church at about ten in the morning, six hours before the event, which I think was some kind of holiday potluck — honestly, between all the holiday parties and family reunions I’ve been to over the decades, they all kind of blend together — was meant to start. I tried to help out, mostly in picking up heavy things and being a gofer, but I eventually ran out of things to do. I didn’t know enough of the people helping out, and my few family members were there with their kids, who had also been dragged along, though they at least had brought over their own tablets to play with.

There were about forty-five minutes of time that I spent more or less being a particularly awkward statue, my phone was steadily running out of battery life, and I decided that I wasn’t being productive and told my uncle I was going to head back to his place and clean up for the party. “We need you here,” he said, and listed off all of the things that I’d already helped with. I told him that I was basically just standing around doing nothing. “You could watch the kids,” he suggested, pointing at my cousins, who were between the ages of six and ten at the time, and who chose that moment to start running around screaming, which was a sentiment I could agree with, given just how boring the remaining time between then and the party was going to be.

As politely and respectfully as possible, I declined and said I’d see my uncle at the party since he didn’t seem to need me to assist in the preparations anymore. I also refrained from pointing out that he’d basically brow-beat me into coming and I hadn’t volunteered, nor did I live here anymore anyway.

I could see the gears turning in his head as he tried to think of ways to keep me there, and then, apparently, a lightbulb flashed, and he said, in a smugly familial way, “I can’t really drive you home and back again; I have to stay.”

I drew out my own keys and told him I had driven myself, remember?

My uncle had the audacity to look put-out that I was finding ways out of being his free labor, and he told me that I wouldn’t be able to clean up, since his house doors were locked, as a last resort. I said that was fine; I’d just go to my grandma’s house, which — unlike the venue building — had air-conditioning, and I could help her out with her contribution to the potluck, take a quick shower before leaving, and be at the party without looking — and likely smelling — like I’d just gotten back from the gym.

So, of course, while I was being far more productive helping out my grandma with the food she was making — a big pot of Brunswick stew as well as from-scratch mashed potatoes with bacon bits and homemade brown gravy — I heard secondhand from one of my cousins, the mother of a few of the kids at the venue, that my uncle started loudly complaining that without me, the preparations weren’t going to be finished in time and that I was just being lazy.

Predictably, the preparations were done two hours before the party, and — again, according to my cousin — my uncle was sulking around for some time before he went home to clean up with enough time to come back and greet the first people to come in for the potluck. He didn’t acknowledge me throughout the party, and I was a lot less stressed than I otherwise would have been, so I considered that a win.

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Wait… So, Who All Is Coming?

, , , | Related | August 4, 2020

My aunt tends to repeat an idea multiple times, even if she heard and understood it clearly. At this family gathering, only my younger sister and I are in attendance. The other three members of my family did not come. This conversation ensues.

Aunt: “Is your mother coming?”

Me: “No, she had to do [event].”

Aunt: “Huh? Your mother’s not coming?”

Me: “No, she won’t be coming.”

Aunt: “Then your dad?”

Me: “No, he went with my mother to [event].”

Aunt: “Oh, he’s not coming, either?”

Me: “No, he’s accompanying my mother.”

Aunt: “Then how about [Older Sister]?”

Me: “No, she had to do something for school.”

Aunt: “Oh, [Older Sister] is also not coming?”

Me: “No, she won’t be able to make it.”

Aunt: “So, your mum, your dad, and [Older Sister] are all not coming?”

Me: “No, they won’t be coming.”

Aunt: “Huh, they’re all not coming?”

Me: “No, they’re all not coming.”

Aunt: “So, it’s only you and [Younger Sister] here today?”

Me: “Yes, it’s only me and [Younger Sister].”

Aunt: “Only the two of you?”

Me: “Yes, only us.”

Aunt: “Only the two of you, and the rest of your family aren’t coming?”

Me: *Facepalm*

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