This Will Make Sense In The End

, , , , , , | Related | February 14, 2019

(I live in Georgia and work in a “New York Style” pizzeria. I’ve been there for years and have come across many customers that insist our pizza is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and some that, well, don’t. I’m working a double this particular day and it’s after the lunch rush when we’re pretty slow. A middle-aged woman with blonde hair comes in, places an order to go, and takes it back out to her car, but she doesn’t leave. About ten minutes pass and she comes storming back into the store.)

Woman: “What is this s***?!”

Me: *startled* “I’m sorry? What can I help you with?”

Woman: “This! This s***! I am from New York and I can tell you this is some primo-grade horse s***!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry to hear that you don’t like it. Is it the pizza itself? Was it under- or over-cooked?”

Woman: “I just got off a plane with my husband and wanted something decent to eat. I can’t believe you call this—“ *mockingly* “—NEW YORK STYLE!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that it wasn’t up to your standards, and I’d like to make this right. If you tell me what I can do to help you, we can work from there.”

Woman: *bellowing* “I WILL HAVE YOUR JOB! GET ME YOUR F****** MANAGER NOW!”

(My manager, [Manager #1], is in his office and I pull him to the front, then I go hide in the back kitchen until the angry woman leaves. When [Manager #1] returns, he tells me that he ended up just refunding her food, and my job was safe from “entitled crazies.” About an hour later, there’s a shift change, and [Manager #2] comes in. I inform him that I’m covering a couple of shifts later that week, and today is a double-shift. He tells me that if the evening shift is slow, he will plan to send me home early since I’m getting close to overtime; I happily agree. About 7:30 rolls around.)

Manager #2: “[My Name]! Want to go home now? I don’t think it’s busy enough that we’ll need you.”

(Excitedly, I gather my things and clock out. It just so happens that my dad has recently found out that his father — my grandfather — is not biologically related to him, and my dad, using one of those DNA tests from an online ancestry network, managed to track down his half-brother! My uncle is coming to Georgia to meet us and I managed to get off of work early enough to stop by my parents’ house to meet them! Now, don’t beat me to the punch.)

Me: *walking into my parents’ house, calling out* “Hey! I managed to get out early!”

(I walked into the living room and saw a man that looked creepily similar to my father, and a familiar blonde woman. The woman’s jaw dropped, and as I imagined, so did mine. The woman was fairly quiet for the rest of the evening. While I was in the kitchen doing dishes, the angry-customer-that-was-actually-my-aunt sneaked in and embarrassedly apologized to me. My aunt and I never did develop a close relationship, though my uncle comes to visit once or twice a year from their home in New Jersey. I eventually opted not to mention to my dad my previous encounter with his sister-in-law. Also, it turns out my uncle thought the pizza was great!)

This Conversation Is Too Pho Gone

, , , , , , | Related | February 3, 2019

(It’s past midnight and I am on the phone with my brother, who is visiting some of our relatives on the other side of the country. I’m about to end the call and go to sleep when my mum’s cousin, who I’ll just call Uncle H, enters my brother’s room and asks who he is speaking to, which inevitably leads to him asking how I am doing. My brother has his headphones on, so I can hear Uncle H somewhat, but he can’t hear me. My brother and I are speaking to each other in English, but Uncle H is Vietnamese, and my brother’s Vietnamese is a little rusty.)

Brother: “Yeah, she’s good. She’s happy. She’s living in America.”

Uncle H: “Oh, that’s nice. How long has she been in America for?”

Brother: *emphatically* “Oh, she’s been there for years.”

Me: “Erm, [Brother], it’s only been one year.”

Uncle H: “Wow! What does she like there?”

Brother: *to me* “What do you like most about living in America, [My Name]?”

Me: “Oh, geez. It’s too late at night for this; my brain is mush.”

Brother: “Come on! Something you like about America!”

Me: “Um… I like that you get free refills here. Like, when you go to a restaurant and you order a drink, pretty much every restaurant gives you free refills here. There. That’s something I like.”

Brother: *in Vietnamese* “So, [My Name] says that her favourite thing is—“

Me: *cracking up* “Hey, I never said it was my favourite thing!”

Brother: “—when you go to a restaurant, and you get something to drink, they give you… lots and lots of it. Lots of… liquid. To drink.”

Me: “Do you not know the word for ‘refill,’ [Brother]? Or even just the word ‘free’?”

Brother: *laughing as well* “So, she just drinks a lot when she’s there. And she really likes that.”

Me: “You moron.”

Brother: “Hey, I did ask you what you liked most!”

Me: “Ugh. I don’t know. The things I pay attention to are really random and weird! Okay, I’ll give you another example. Here’s something else I like: you know how, back home, when a police car or an ambulance comes through with the sirens blasting and everything, they have right of way, but they’re expected to just manoeuvre around everyone, and it can get really confusing? Well, in America, when an emergency vehicle has its sirens on, everyone just stops and waits and basically lets them pass, and they don’t move again until the police car or whatever it is has gone past.”

Brother: “Interesting.”

Me: “Yeah! I know it’s really random, but I think it’s neat and I like it. We should have that back home.”

Brother: “That’s cool. Okay, I’ll translate.” *in Vietnamese* “So, another thing [My Name] really really likes… is the food you can get in America.”

Me: “OH, MY GOD.”

Brother: *also laughing* “Yeah, so, in addition to having lots of stuff to drink… there’s also so much stuff you can eat there…”

Me: “You little s***.”

Brother: “…and that’s why [My Name] likes America so much.”

(Eventually, Uncle H leaves.)

Brother: “It’s fine. You’ll probably never even meet [Uncle H] in real life, anyway.”

Me: “He probably thinks I’m a total fat-a**!”

Brother: *laughing hysterically* “He totally does!”

Baby-Talk Is Very Adult

, , , | Related | January 17, 2019

(I’m the youngest in my generation of the family, and everyone else of my age group has gotten married. I have a small line of relationships that didn’t work out, for one reason or another. At this point, I’m single again after a two-year relationship.)

Aunt: “You know, [Cousin]’s wife is pregnant already. When are you going to have a kid?”

Me: “Uh… I’m single and still smarting from that, so, no thanks. I also kind of need a boyfriend for that, anyway.”

Aunt: “Oh, honey, you don’t need a boyfriend. Just find a random guy and…”

(I give her a look of pure appalled disgust.)

Me: “…I’m not going to do that.”

Aunt: “Honestly, honey, you’re going to be left behind. Everyone else has settled down to have a family. You’re the only one who hasn’t.”

Me: “You KNOW why I haven’t.”

(I’ve been very responsible about this decision, and have taken proper precautions, as I haven’t wanted to bring a new human being into the mix of college, college debt, and job hunting.)

Aunt: “So when ARE you going to be an adult and start a family?”

Me: *fed up* “When I d*** well want to!”

(I have no idea why she thinks that having a baby is the only thing that will make me an ‘adult.’)

All Family Are Equal, But Some Are More Family Than Others

, , | Related | January 17, 2019

(My aunt, my mother’s sister, is a childless woman who has never married. She consequently spends her time telling my mother how to raise HER children. I have just had my first child and named her. We didn’t choose the name for family reasons, but it happens to be the name of my father’s great-grandmother as well.)

Aunt: “I don’t know why all you kids are picking all these new names. Aren’t there any good names on the family tree for you?”

Me: “We really liked this name, and it’s also a character in [piece of classic American literature], and we really admire the character.”

Aunt: “But it has no family value. No respect for family. None of you kids have any respect for family values.”

(Irrelevant, but between me and my siblings, we have nine kids, not including this one, and every single one of them has some kind of a nod to a family member in either their first or middle name.)

Me: “Well, if we’re being technical, my dad’s mother’s grandmother was named [Name].”

Aunt: “That’s not family. That’s your dad’s family.”

“Well Done” For Surviving The Barbecue

, , , , | Related | January 17, 2019

When I was young, we always had family get-togethers at our house, which at the time I was told was because we had the biggest house and yard. While that was true, others had houses that were at least big enough to accommodate everyone. It wasn’t until I was around twelve that I found out the real reason: of all the “local” family members we were the only ones that apparently knew HOW to host a party. My grandmother wasn’t physically up to it, which was understandable; my one maternal aunt and uncle lived in a small apartment; and the in-laws were always so busy they’d only ever want to just order catering when the rest of us preferred home-cooked.

Then there was my OTHER maternal aunt, who whenever (for instance) we were grilling, would always insist on getting her burgers “well done.” Come to find out her idea of “well done” was what the rest of us called “complete charcoal.” The fateful day was when she and my uncle got a new grill and invited just us over to help test it out, which I was all for but my parents, not so much. We get there, and they already have the grill going and all the burger on it. No hot dogs, no chicken, no veggies, no anything else, JUST hamburgers. Okay, I think to myself, it’s a new grill so they’re playing it safe.

Then I tried to remind my uncle, who was doing the cooking, that I liked my burgers cooked rare. “No.” Yeah… So, not only did they like to completely overcook their food, they wouldn’t NOT overcook anyone else’s, even on request! The buns they got were ultra-cheap and had the texture of packing peanuts, and they wouldn’t even allow us proper CONDIMENTS, just a small dollop of ketchup in the middle of the bun and that’s it. Because that’s how they liked it, so that’s how everyone was going to eat it.

They never understood why none of us looked as thrilled with the dried out, burnt, flavorless meat-pucks as they did. They also didn’t get why we never went back to a cook-out at their place, or let my uncle anywhere near the grill at ours.

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