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Auntie Needs To Chill Out

, , , , , , | Related | CREDIT: Scarlet-absol13 | August 28, 2021

In early December, my father came down with a mild case of viral pneumonia. He took medication and rested for a week or so and felt better, so we thought that was that. Fast forward to two days before Christmas. My father relapsed, badly, and was admitted to the hospital with bacterial pneumonia and a lung abscess. He spent five days in the hospital and was basically on strict rest orders for most of January. He was released on December 28th, and we got our first major snowstorm on January 4th. We must have gotten about a foot and a half of snow.

That evening, we got a call from my aunt, who lives with my grandmother. My father had the phone on speaker, so I heard the entire conversation.

Aunt: “Hi, [Father].”

Father: “Hi, [Aunt].”

Aunt: “Mom and I want to know when you’re going to come to shovel our driveway.”

Father: “[Aunt], you’re going to have to figure something out. I can’t come shovel your driveway.”

Aunt: “What do you mean, you can’t come shovel our driveway?!

Father: “[Aunt], I got out of the hospital for a lung abscess a week ago. I’m not allowed to do anything physically strenuous for the entire month.”

Aunt: “But our driveway isn’t very big. It only ever seems to take you half an hour or so.”

Father: “[Aunt], I get winded just walking up my staircase. I’m not allowed to even go to work for another two weeks. I can’t shovel your driveway.”

Aunt: “Even with that snowblower I bought a few years ago?”

Father: “That snowblower you bought barely works and makes shoveling harder. So, no, not even with the snowblower.”

Aunt: “But I have somewhere to be tomorrow. Couldn’t you just shovel out where my car is?”

Father: “No. Get one of your friends to do it, because I medically can’t.”

Aunt: “You know that the friend who used to do that stuff for me recently had half his leg amputated and can’t do stuff like that anymore.”

Father: “You understand that your friend can’t because he has a medical condition, so why can’t you understand that I also can’t do it because I also have a medical condition at the moment? Where’s Mom? Let me talk to her.”

Grandmother: “Hello, [Father], how are you feeling?”

Father: “I’m doing okay. Could you please tell my sister that I can’t shovel your driveway because I’m on rest orders?”

Grandmother: *To my aunt* “WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I THOUGHT I F****** TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL YOUR BROTHER, YOU DIPS***! HE JUST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL! IF YOU WANT THE DRIVEWAY SHOVELED SO BADLY, DO IT YOURSELF!” *Pauses* “NO, NO! NO, I’M NOT ASKING YOUR BROTHER IF HIS SON CAN COME DO IT! NO, I DON’T CARE! DO IT YOURSELF!” *To my father* “I’m sorry, [Father]. Have a good night and feel better. I’ll deal with your idiot sister.”

Father: “Thanks, Mom. Good night.”

My father made a full recovery with no adverse effects from the illness. I was reminded of this story because just this week my aunt called my father in the middle of a snowstorm asking him to run to the market for her because she needed cigarettes. You’ll be happy to know my father refused.


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

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Cake And Abel

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2021

My dad’s family is a bit entitled. It’s my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. Upon our arrival, my dad seeks out the caterer and shows him the cake he made.

Dad: “It’s a family tradition for me to make cakes for special occasions. Would it be okay if I distribute the cake at the end of the meal? We brought paper plates and plastic forks for it.”

Caterer: *Horrified*  “There will be no paper plates on one of my arrangements! I will cut the cake and distribute it on proper China.”

Dad: “Okay, thank you.”

He hands him the cake. He secretly suspects that part of the reason is that the caterer wants to find out how my dad created a cake a meter long (a bit over a yard) in a household oven.

Next comes my uncle. He’s playing in a national sports team and has a tournament today, making him late. He arrives after the main course, and he just enters the kitchen area without an introduction and starts fumbling the food and munching on it. Strangely, he gets chased out by the caterer. He protests.

Uncle: “My parents are paying the bill! I can do as I wish.”

I’m pretty sure that if he had properly introduced himself and explained the situation, he would have had the whole meal and not the put-together dish he had now.

Can you guess which brother praised the service and which one loathed it?

Milking That Excuse To Meddle

, , , , , | Related | August 7, 2021

My mom, eighteen-month-old daughter, and I are on a road trip. One of our stops is to visit family. My aunt has some pretty strong views when it comes to politics, vaccines, etc., and very much believes she is always right. She also believes anything she reads on the internet, even if it’s something off of Reddit, Tumblr, etc. We are staying at her house, and other family members, including one of my cousins and her nine-month-old son, have come by. My aunt witnesses me giving my daughter coconut milk.

Aunt: “You know you’re starving her brain, right?”

Me: “Excuse me?!”

Aunt: “You aren’t giving her whole milk! She needs the fat! She’s too tiny.”

Me: “She’s doing just fine, [Aunt]. She doesn’t tolerate dairy milk well. It gives her a rash and makes her constipated, and she throws it up whenever we’ve offered it. Her pediatrician told us to switch.”

Aunt: “Well, I read online that if they don’t have adequate fats, you starve their brains and then they get dementia. She doesn’t weigh enough for her age.”

Me: “She eats just fine, and she’s meeting all her milestones, including growth. She is just on the petite side.”

Aunt: “She needs more fat. You don’t want to starve her brain, do you?”

I just picked my daughter up and took her to our room. Later, I found out my aunt thought I was starving my daughter because she weighed the same amount as the nine-month-old baby there. When it came time to eat dinner, my aunt promptly dropped it when she saw how much my daughter ate.

Thank You For Being A Friend (And An Amazing Uncle!)

, , , , , | Related | August 3, 2021

I don’t recall my exact age when this story happened, but I know that puberty came much earlier for me than my peers and that I was presumably in the very early stages of it at this point, as I’d just recently started to consider the idea of dating and romantic (or sexual) attraction.

This new attraction confused me a bit, mostly because I found myself as attracted, or perhaps more attracted, to other boys as I was to girls. I grew up in a more conservative area and so didn’t realize that there were people who weren’t heterosexual out there yet.

My parents had a close friend who visited semi-regularly. He would often take time to spend with me as well, to the point that he was almost like an uncle to me. One day, he was in the living room talking with me while my parents were busy doing something elsewhere in the house.

Friend: “So what about you? Do you have yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend yet?”

Me: “What did you say?”

Friend: “I asked if you were dating anyone.”

Me: “You said, ‘boyfriend’?”

Friend: “I said girlfriend or boyfriend, whichever you have.”

Me: “Boys can’t have boyfriends.”

Friend: “Sure, they can! Most boys prefer to date girls, but some boys end up preferring to date other boys, just like some girls end up dating other girls.”

Me: “Why do they date boys?”

Friend: “That’s just who they like to date. Everyone is different and likes different things, right? You like vanilla even though I know chocolate is much better. Same thing with dating — some just feel happier dating other boys instead of girls.”

Me: “How do they know?”

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Me: “How do they know they want to date other boys?”

Friend: “Oh, well, I’ve never been gay — that’s what they call boys that only date other boys — so I can’t really say for sure. I mean, can you explain how you knew you liked racing games more than other video games? It’s just something you figure out because it’s what you enjoy and like doing. Like, if you close your eyes right now and picture dating someone, are they a girl or a boy?”

This question was a little too on the nose for me. I panicked a little, not wanting to admit that I’d probably pick a boy, so I lied.

Me: “I don’t want to date anyone!”

Friend: “Oh, girls all have cooties, right? Well, just for the record, whenever you do decide to date someone, your parents and I would love to meet them, whether they were a girl or a boy.”

I remember thinking that day that he was staring at me like he saw through me and already knew I was lying. For years after that, whenever any topic about dating or sex came up, he seemed to make a point of saying, “girlfriend or boyfriend,” and generally making it clear that he would be supportive whichever I ended up dating. I never knew if he would have done that anyway or if he was doing it specifically because he suspected I was gay.

He was the first person to suggest to me that being attracted to the same sex could be okay, and his continuing to hint that he would be supportive of me even if I was gay was honestly a real help as I struggled to identify, and admit to myself, my own sexuality. It was good to know that at least one person would be my friend no matter what.

I ended up being somewhere between gay and bi; I’ve had relationships with both sexes but generally, I’m a bit more attracted to men. When I finally came out officially, the friend was right; my parents were fully supportive of me. As to their friend, his response basically boiled down to, “I knew it, and I’m glad you’re finally ready to come out to us.”

I don’t know how long it would have taken me to even realize that non-hetero people existed without him, or how difficult it would have been to come out if I didn’t know I had someone supporting me through it.

Meet Uncle Yikes

, , , , , | Related | July 28, 2021

My uncle has “views” on the topic of tattoos and piercings. Specifically, he believes that they are ugly, gaudy, unnecessary, and that anyone who gets them is a vain idiot. He is very vocal in expressing these views, much to the annoyance of the rest of our family.

I have accepted an offer to attend college at a fairly well-known liberal arts college, which convinces my uncle that I’m going to get “inked up” and come home a hoodlum, etc. He tries to convince my parents that they should bar me from going, but they are both very supportive of me and so ignore his “advice.”

After my first semester, I come home for Thanksgiving and our extended family is all there, including [Uncle]. That leads to this moment in the middle of our living room.

Uncle: “All right, [My Name]. Let’s go check you out.”

Me: “What?”

Uncle: *Standing up* “Come on. I’m going to make sure you’ve been keeping your skin clean.”

Mom: *Walking in* “Excuse you?!”

My uncle starts to launch into his typical rant about tattoos and how “no niece of his” is going to mess herself up with them. My mom turns around, lifts up the back of her shirt, pulls down the hem of her jeans, and reveals a small butterfly tattoo on her lower back, which I (and most of the family, apparently) had no idea was there.

Mom: “You can kiss my a** if you think you are going to go anywhere with my daughter to ‘check her’ for tattoos.”

[Uncle] exploded, ranting and shouting. He ended up hauled out of the house bodily and thrown onto the lawn, giving my dad and younger brother some bruises in the process. After some of the things he said then and in the next couple of weeks, most of our family has cut ties with him, with only our grandma (his mother) still keeping in actual contact with him.