28 Relaxed Days Later

, , , , , | Related | March 10, 2020

I am set to go to Thailand in the spring flying on Korean Air. I book the tickets before the virus is a huge international thing and it is mostly contained within China. As the situation evolves, I keep an eye on it to make sure it won’t impact my travel plans. I am planning on staying with some friends who teach English outside of Bangkok.

Less than a month before I fly out, I get a message saying I need to rebook on a different airline or cancel, because the school has issued a travel ban on at-risk countries, including Korea. They forward me the emails, which say that if I come on Korean Air, I will have to have a 14-day self-quarantine and my friends will, as well. I could try and rebook on a Middle Eastern airline, but I decide against it and make the hard decision to postpone the trip until next fall or next spring and hope I can get a refund on my tickets. The day after I get this news, my uncle comes over. I explain my situation to him. He drops this gem.

Uncle: “That’s rough. Although, you could go and get a 28-day vacation out of it.”

Me: “What?”

Uncle: “Yeah. You do the 14-day quarantine in Thailand, then come home and do another 14-day quarantine in the States, and you get a 28-day vacation. Granted, you would be all alone, but you wouldn’t have to go to work.”

I appreciated his effort to cheer me up, but it did not work.

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Dyslexic Or Dys-lazy?

, , , , | Related | February 12, 2020

(It’s the day of my brother’s wedding and I’m helping some of my other family members with last-minute things. I end up working with my aunt, attempting to set up some of the drink dispensers with spigots.)

Aunt: “Hey, Mom? I need you to do this for me; I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do.”

Me: “[Aunt], it has directions.”

(I’m thinking she lost the direction sheet, but I see it sitting right on the table next to us)

Aunt: “You know I’m too dyslexic to read this. Mom?!”

Me: “[Aunt], it has pictures!”

(She still called for my Mom-Mom to come and help her.)

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Not Destined To Get Through

, , , , , | Related | January 5, 2020

(I am about thirteen, and I have just gotten my braces off. With this, they have given me a retainer which makes me speak with a lisp until I get used to it. Unfortunately, I have an S name, so this makes even saying my own name difficult. My mom wants to talk to her sister on the phone, but she has her hands full, so she has me call first. My uncle has a very dry sense of humor and thus is not very personable to talk to. I’m okay talking with him now, but at the time I’d rather just get to my aunt. This is before caller ID is in most homes.)

Uncle: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi, it’s Stephanie. Is [Aunt] there?”

Uncle: “Who is this?”

Me: “Stephanie.”

Uncle: “We don’t know any Destiny. Sorry, you have the wrong phone number.” *hangs up*

Me: “Uh…”

Mom: “What happened?”

Me: “It was [Uncle]. He said he didn’t know a Destiny and I had the wrong phone number.”

Mom: “Try again. I’m almost finished.”

(On the phone:)

Uncle: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi, it’s Stephanie. Can I talk to [Aunt]?”

Uncle: “Who is it?”

Me: “Stephanie.”

Uncle: “Destiny?”

Me: “No, Stephanie!”

Uncle: “I told you, we don’t know any Destiny. You have the wrong number.” *hangs up*

Me: “He keeps hanging up on me!”

Mom: “What? Why?”

Me: “I don’t know! He keeps calling me Destiny!”

Mom: “Try again. Try to speak more clearly.”

(On the phone:)

Uncle: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, this is Stephanie. Is–”


(I started crying. My mom finished what she was doing and called. Her sister picked up this time. She apologized for my uncle. She was wondering why he was angry on the phone, but my mom and aunt laughed about the situation for a while. Eventually, I found the humor in it, and now they sometimes call me Destiny.)

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The Woman From Auntie

, , , , , | Related | December 29, 2019

(I am holding my new nephew and talking to my sister — not the baby’s mother.)

Me: *cuddling baby* “Isn’t it nice to finally be an auntie?”

Sister: “I’ve been an auntie for five years.”

Me: “Who?”

Sister: “Your kids!”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I forgot you were their auntie.”

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Auntie Is Aiming Low

, , , , | Related | December 27, 2019

(I am the same person who submitted this story. I wake up one day and see that I have a text from my aunt. It is a link to an online sale on bras, and is accompanied by a message:)

Aunt: “I have often wanted to tell you that you needed a better bra but was afraid of embarrassing or offending you.”

Me: “I’m confused right now. How do you know I need a better one? I’ve never complained about it or anything. Where is this coming from?”

Aunt: “Just by looking at you. Boobs should not be down at your waist; they should be above your elbows. And [Grandma] mentions it to me every time she sees you and I am there. I am sorry if I embarrassed you.”

(First, I think to myself, “Wait. Now my grandma thinks I look weird, too?!” Second, I look down at myself. Even with just my loose-fitting pajamas on, I’m pretty sure “the girls” aren’t sitting as low as my waist.)

Me: “I’m pretty sure that’s just the way they are. They’re big, so they hang down. The bras I wear right now actually look pretty similar to the ones in the link, and they are the only ones I’ve found that don’t cut into my shoulders or have my breasts threaten to pop out if I bend too much.”

Aunt: “Okay, I was just trying to be a helpful auntie. I’ll tell [Grandma] that I talked to you the next time she brings it up again.”

(After a bit more back and forth, including me letting her know that this whole conversation had actually made me more self-conscious about my looks, she did give a better apology. I accepted it, and I thought the matter was put to rest. I did end up ordering from the link she sent me because the product was at a very good price. I made sure to wear the new ones whenever I saw her, hoping that would keep the issue from being brought up again. A few months later, she sent me another link. Once again, it was about bras. This time, I just sent her an “unimpressed/side-eye” emoji. She never responded or brought the topic up again. I brought this text conversation up with my mother at one point, which prompted her to share a story. Apparently, during my late teen years, a woman approached her at church and expressed concern over my self-confidence since I “covered up” so much. Note that my typical style, both then and now, is jeans and a slightly baggy T-shirt. Honestly, why is everyone else so much more invested in how I present my chest than I am?)

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