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Getting A Leg-Up Early In Life

, , , , , , , | Related | September 3, 2018

My mother’s uncle lost the ability to walk as a child due to Polio. When I was very young, all my cousins and I loved spending time with Uncle Bob and simply accepted that his legs were different than ours.

One day while out shopping with my mother, I spotted another shopper who had a wheelchair and very excitedly started tugging on my mum’s hand and pointing. She braced herself for my childhood wisdom.

I jumped up and down and practically shouted in excitement, “MUMMY! He’s got legs like Uncle Bob’s!”

My mum still tells this story many years later; she said the man’s grin could have lit up the world.

Suffers From Ignoramophilia

, , , | Related | August 21, 2018

(My aunt and her second husband come for a visit. I have to mention that my brother has hemophilia, a genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to make blood clot.)

Uncle: “Hey, [My Name], where’s your brother?”

Me: “At the movies with his girlfriend.”

Uncle: “Is she okay with his little blood fetish?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Uncle: “Heard he has hemophilia.”

Me: “I see you didn’t bother to look it up. Let me bring my tablet.”

(My aunt and parents were not happy. My brother got a good laugh out of it.)

Family Isn’t Quite Dripping With Consideration

, , , , , , | Related | August 16, 2018

(This story happens during a one-month holiday in Vietnam, where we are staying with my mum’s side of the family. I’m about twelve, and skinny as a twig, despite having a bottomless pit for a stomach. My mum has become convinced that something is medically wrong with me. After seeking some medical advice, she brings home an IV drip that is somehow supposed to bring me to a healthy weight. To this day, I have no idea where she got it from. I don’t know if she went to an actual doctor, or some kind of alternative, “holistic” medical practitioner, but she makes me lie down and get fed by the IV drip for several hours. I’m very uncomfortable throughout this whole ordeal, but finally it’s over and I think that’s the end of it. Cut to the next week:)

Mum: “Okay, time for you to lie down again. You need some more of the medicine.”

Me: “What? I’m not doing it again! Last time was awful!”

Mum: “If you don’t get the medicine, you’re not going to get better!”

Me: “What’s even in that thing? Do you even know?”

Mum: “It’s just nutrients; it’s good for you! Stop being a baby and lie down!”

Me: “How many more times do I have to do this?”

Mum: “Just this one time, and that’s it!”

Me: “You said that last time!”

(At this point, my entire family decides to get involved. My uncle and my nanna side with my mum and try to convince me to move from the bedframe I’m sitting on to the big bed where the IV drip is. My mum is being as vague and contradicting as ever, which does nothing to allay my suspicions. I don’t know how much my dad knows what is going on, but maybe — I’m hoping, anyway — he is okay with it all because he knows that the contents of the drip are harmless. In any event, he ultimately gets very flustered with the argument that’s becoming more and more heated, so he comes up and grabs my arm.)

Dad: “Come on, [My Name]. It’ll be fine and it won’t take long.”

Me: “I don’t want to!” *struggles and falls*

(I fall off the bedframe and somehow land VERY awkwardly, with my left arm hitting the floor first. As I get up, I immediately feel a pain in that arm.)

Me: *holding my arm* “Something’s wrong. It hurts.”

Uncle: “Now you’re just being a baby. Quit whining and get on the bed.”

Me: “My arm hurts!”

Dad: “Okay, enough. She really doesn’t want to do it; she doesn’t have to.”

(There is some protest from my family, but my dad will hear no more of it and they finally leave me alone. An hour or so later, the pain in my arm has not subsided; if anything, it’s gotten worse.)

Me: “Dad, I think something’s really wrong with my arm. It’s still hurting. I think it might be broken.”

(My primary school bully broke my other arm once before in grade four, so I know what a broken arm feels like.)

Dad: “Are you sure?”

Me: “It really hurts.”

Uncle: “She’s just wanting attention and trying to make us all feel bad for earlier. If it was really broken, she’d be crying.”

Me: *angrily* “I’m not lying. It actually really hurts!”

(My dad looks worried, and there is another short argument between my family, but ultimately we all pile in a car and drive to a nearby hospital. The entire trip, my uncle rolls his eyes about it being a waste of time, and says I’m just being manipulative, but my dad believes me, and even my mum is worried enough that she wants to make sure. We get to the x-ray room and I get my x-ray done.)

Me: *explaining to the x-ray technician* “…so, my dad tried to pull me up off the bed, and I ended up falling off and landing on my arm. I think it might be broken.”

Uncle: *scoffing* “She’s just trying to give us all a scare. It’s all for attention—”

Technician: *interrupting him* “Well, according to these x-rays, you have a break in your upper arm, right here. See?” *points to x-ray*

Me: *glaring daggers at uncle*

Uncle: *shuts up*

(My entire family is very quiet on the ride home. My uncle in particular makes a point of avoiding eye contact with me. My dad quietly apologises to me once we get home, and I tell him it wasn’t his fault.)

Mum: *muttering* “Well, maybe if you had just accepted the IV drip, your bones wouldn’t be so weak, and none of this would have happened, anyway.”

Me: *incredulous stare*

(For the remainder of the holiday my arm was in a cast, but I never had to endure the IV drip a second time, for which I was grateful. Said IV drip was never mentioned again; it was removed as quickly as it appeared, and what “nutrients” it contained, and from whence it had come, remain a mystery to this day.)

Can’t Make Up Over This Make Up

, , , , , , , , , | Related | August 15, 2018

(My boyfriend’s mother insists that we organize an engagement party, where we have to follow the traditions of his family — not mine — and there are tons of rules to follow. She insists this due to the pressure of other relatives of hers, which I never liked, since their reasoning is that we have dated for so long, we should get engaged. It is quite a disaster! Even though his grandmother tells us she is going to help pay for the photographers, she later claims it’s too expensive and only pays 30%! And when it comes to decoration, we have a hard time choosing it, as the relatives have lots of opinions, even though the party should be about my boyfriend and me, not about them. One of my boyfriend’s aunts does bridal makeup. When we ask for a makeup trial to see the colors, and ask for the price, it is very unreasonably high. She also uses the very same makeup brushes for all her clients without washing them after using! We find another bridal makeup artist who is willing to give much better prices, and does the makeup and hair so much better than that aunt. On the day of the engagement, his grandmother keeps rushing us to finish changing my dress — after the first prayer, I have to change my saree into another saree which is the official engagement one — and that stupid aunt and her son take all the chocolates that are offered to the groom’s family. My boyfriend’s sister is really mad at this matter:)

Sister: “That is the offering from the bride’s family to the groom’s. This should be shared to the groom’s first before being further shared to the relatives.

Aunt: “I’m part of the groom’s family; why can’t I take anything? Not to mention that you guys owe me the money for doing your makeup!”

Sister: “What? You said that was just a free trial. You have done this business for many years; of course you need to understand there are times where you might not get any business deals.”

Aunt: “I WON’T FORGIVE YOU FOR NOT PAYING THE RIGHTFUL MONEY TO ME!”

(This is not the first time she did something like this. Previously, another relative was really unsatisfied with the bridal makeup she did, so she asked for a discount as she thought it totally ruined her big day. Not only did she not apologize or do anything of the sort, she kept insisting that she was not in the wrong, and even asked her to pay more than the amount they agreed on prior! To this day, I don’t talk to that aunt and her rude son, who is as rude as she is.)

Not All Recoveries Are Medical

, , , , , | Related | August 4, 2018

My uncle recently passed away due to tumors in his lungs and brain. After the memorial service, my cousin relates this story.

After a brain surgery, a therapist is asking Uncle how much he knows and remembers. He points to my aunt and asks Uncle if he knows who she is. Uncle looks at her and clearly draws a blank, before smiling and saying, “The love of my life.”

He had (temporarily) forgotten her name, but it was generally agreed he made a smooth recovery.