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Keep Her Away From A Certain Roald Dahl Book

, , , , , , | Related | July 3, 2018

(My aunt and her three-year-old daughter are at a festival when they come across a person dressed like a giant peach. So far, my cousin has been very calm with all the costumes, but this one really freaks her out, enough so that they have to go home because she’s so terrified. The next day…)

Aunt: “We’re going grocery shopping.”

Cousin: *fearfully* “Will there be a peach?”

Aunt: “No, honey, there won’t be a peach.”

(Some time later…)

Aunt: “We’re going out to a restaurant.”

Cousin: “Will there be a peach?”

(This continues for months. My aunt is at her wit’s end, but finally, after this has been going on for a very long time, my cousin is starting to not be afraid of seeing a peach everywhere she goes, and only asks about it every so often. One day:)

Aunt: “We’re going to [Charity Thrift Store].”

Cousin: “Will there be a peach?”

Aunt: “No, sweetie, no peaches.”

(They got to [Charity Thrift Store], and the moment they walked in the door they saw a GIANT stuffed peach with eyes, arms, and legs just sitting on a shelf, staring at them! My cousin freaked out and they left immediately. Her fear was blown back up to huge proportions, and she continued to be terrified of leaving the house for many months after that. The story of how there JUST HAPPENED to be a huge peach at [Charity Thrift Store] is now legendary in our family.)

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The Meanest Animal Is Not In The Zoo

, , , | Related | June 28, 2018

(I live in the Netherlands. I’m about nine, and my family — uncle, aunt, and cousins — from the USA are visiting. Around their visit, the rest of the family has planned some activities, one of them being a day at the zoo. We agree to arrive at our other aunt and uncle’s place in the morning, so we can go to the zoo from there on together, and ride along with them since we don’t have a car. My aunt answers the door in her bathrobe. Apparently, my uncle is still in bed, too.)

Aunt: “Oh, you guys are here already? What time did we agree on, again?”

Mom: “Around ten in the morning, which it is now.”

Aunt: “Oh, silly us! Don’t worry; we’ll get ready. Why don’t you come in and have a coffee in the meantime?”

(Two hours later, both aunt and uncle seem ready to go; they’ve showered, had breakfast, and all. We kids are getting excited to finally go… but the morning rolls by, turning into afternoon, and all of us are still sitting in their backyard, having coffee, and making no attempt at all to leave. As you can imagine, we kids are bored to tears. My mom and my other aunt and uncle drop some hints to our hosts what the idea of the day was, but my aunt waves it away with “still having plenty of time.” My uncle doesn’t dare to disagree with his wife, and just meekly lets it happen. Three pm rolls by.)

Me: *to my mom* “I thought we were going to the zoo. What time are we leaving?”

Mom: *gritting teeth* “Not anytime soon, most likely.”

(The day was spent at their place, not going to the zoo. My aunt behaved like this with every single plan we made for the rest of the week that my USA family was there. My USA family didn’t speak to that aunt for several years. When my uncle did finally divorce her, we all cheered.)

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Christmas: A Time For Logistical Nightmares

, , , , | Related | June 13, 2018

(The following unfolds over several years of my family trying to “organize” Christmas. Three aunts have somehow become the ones who lead the “vote” with all the aunts and uncles on how to plan things, a vote which somehow usually happens after my parents — who live four hours away — have had to leave. One year:)

Aunt #1: “So, I don’t want to do the ‘draw a name from a hat’ exchange this year. It’s not fair!”

Aunt #2: “Why? Everyone buys one gift under $20. You don’t have to draw a name if you don’t put yours in. The kids have a separate name draw, and your son is an adult so you don’t have to buy for any kids, anyway.”

Aunt #1: “Because my son and his wife are poor, and with the new baby, everyone gave them extra presents last year and they felt bad! They can’t buy presents for everyone in return, so people shouldn’t give them anything!”

Aunt #3: “But… those were because it’s the first baby in ten years and we wanted to spoil her. They don’t have to buy anything in return.”

Aunt #1: “It made them feel bad. It was rude. If everyone wants to give them presents, everyone should give everybody else presents. But not so expensive…”

(Which is how the next year we ended up with a system where every family member had to buy EVERYONE a gift, under $5. Since it’s a big family, that put each of us — kids included — on the hook for over $50. And we each ended up with piles of cheap junk nobody wanted. The next year:)

Aunt #1: “We need to figure out something better for Christmas. My son can’t afford to buy gifts for everyone again!”

Aunt #2: “Why don’t we go back to the old system? If he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to participate. Then he won’t have to buy anything!”

Aunt #1: “NO. That would make him look cheap! I have a better idea…”

(The next year, the adults don’t exchange names, but instead pick a child’s name from the hat. Since there are more kids than adults, some adults are randomly picked to have to buy for multiple kids. [Aunt #1]’s son gets stuck buying three gifts for other kids while only getting one for his own daughter. The next year:)

Aunt #1: “Christmas was so unfair! My son was so upset that he had to buy three toys and only got one back. He couldn’t afford to get anything for his own daughter!”

Aunt #3: “We would all love to buy things for her! She’s still the only little one and I love shopping for little girl clothes and toys.”

Aunt #1: “NO, that makes them feel like you’re saying they can’t afford nice things and aren’t raising her right! We just need to limit who is in the gift exchange more so there aren’t as many kids to buy for.”

Aunt #2: “How? We could put the age cut-off at 18, or high school graduation.”

Aunt #1: “I’ve been thinking about this, and I have a plan…”

(I live far away, and my parents later told me that the aunts had decreed that only kids would exchange names, with each other, so every family would only buy as many gifts as they get. But they limited the pool of kids by decreeing that anyone not in school was not allowed to exchange presents. As the only one of the “kids” who had just finished college — I know, pretty old, but I was the oldest of that generation of grandchildren — that only cut me out. I was sad to be excluded, but figured it was fair, as my next youngest cousin was only a year behind and soon we would both be out. But no, [Aunt #1] decreed that since she was thinking of going to grad school, she would still be in the exchange until she graduated again. She went to nursing school for six years, so was allowed in the “kids” exchange until she was 28. The next cousin after her was taking a class through the community college, so he got to stay in, too. For seven years, I was the only one of the grandchildren not allowed in the “kids” drawing. And [Aunt #1]’s son continued to get piles of presents every year from then on for his daughter, since he complained constantly and loudly about not being able to afford anything for her. And that’s the story about how I got voted out of Christmas because my adult male cousin felt bad that his daughter was getting too many presents.)

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Well, He Did Say “Just One”

, , , , | Related | June 7, 2018

(I have an uncle on my father’s side of the family who is fairly self-important, demanding, and bashful. I tend to just ignore it, but my mother has some trouble dealing with him and can get annoyed by his persona. We are sitting in the living room, the phone rings, and my mother picks up.)

Mom: “Hi, this is [Mother].”

Uncle: “Hi, [Mother]. Listen, I have just one question.”

Mom: “Okay, what is it?”

Uncle: “Is [Dad] there?”

Mom: “Yep.”

(And with that, my mother hangs up on him. We later heard that he was furious about it, but his wife, my aunt, was rolling on the floor laughing about it!)

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That Bread Must Taste Sassy

, , , , | Related | June 6, 2018

(I’m discussing angel food cake, because I’ve never seen any bread or cake this bright.)

Me: “How is it so white?! It’s even whiter than white bread!”

Aunt: “It’s because they use b****ed fire.”

(There’s a slight pause while she realizes what she said.)

Aunt: *laughing* “I meant bleached flour! I’m really tired.”

(We’ve all been there, Aunt.)

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