Unhealthy Conversation

, , , , | Related | February 2, 2018

(My dad’s American and my mom is from the Philippines. Every couple years, we visit Mom’s side of the family. One of my cousins has a new girlfriend, and all the aunts and uncles are excited to meet her for the first time. My parents and I end up being unavailable when he brings her to meet the family, so later we ask my aunt, that cousin’s mom, about her.)

Mom: “So, how did it go? How was she?”

Aunt: “Healthy.”

Mom: “Okay? What was she like, though?”

Aunt: “Just healthy.”

(I asked my mom about this later, and she confirmed that my aunt was saying the girlfriend was fat. No other indication of her personality or accomplishments, just that she was fat. As much as I like being Filipina, they can be savage, and I’m glad I don’t spend a lot of time with that side of the family.)


This story is included in our Philippines roundup – part of the Not Always Right World Tour!

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Absorbing Some Common Sense

, , , , , , , | Related | January 16, 2018

(My cousins are visiting us for the weekend, and we are about to head out for my youngest brother’s soccer game. My dad, brothers, uncle, and female cousin have already left, leaving my mom, aunt, my male cousin, who is ten at the time, and me. I am thirteen. My cousin gets a bloody nose, and it’s a pretty bad one, with blood running down his face. I take him to the bathroom and get him cleaned up, then notice I’ve used the last of the toilet paper to do so, and there are no tissues or paper towels in sight.)

Me: “How are we supposed to stop the bleeding?!”

Cousin: “You’re the one who’s supposed to know this stuff! Think of something!”

(I suddenly remember a tip my English teacher — an avid outdoorsman, and a little weird — told us. I go into the lower cabinet and grab one of my mom’s tampons. My cousin doesn’t know what it is, so I just unwrap it and stick the cotton part up his nose. It quite effectively stops the bleeding, and we go into the kitchen where my mom and aunt are.)

Mom: “[My Name], what the heck is up [Cousin]’s nose?!”

Me: “A tampon. His nose started bleeding!”

(My aunt is laughing too hard to respond at this point.)

Mom: “Why did you put a tampon up his nose?”

Me: “His nose was bleeding, and in the movie we just watched in English, a girl pretending to be a guy sticks a tampon up her nose for her fake nosebleeds, and Mr. [Teacher] says it’s really effective!”

Mom: *face-palms* “While I’m sure it might be, it’s not something he can have up his nose in public!”

Cousin: “Wait, what is it supposed to be for?”

Mom: *freezes*

Aunt: *falls over laughing*

Me: “It goes in a woman’s lady parts when she gets her period. It’s made to absorb blood!”

Cousin: “So… it’s doing its job?”

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Sibling Rivalry Never Dies

, , , , , | Related | January 7, 2018

My aunt has six children, two of which were twins. Sadly, one of the twins died as a baby due to cot death. This year is the remaining twin’s 30th birthday. She planned a big party for herself and invited her mum — my aunt — along.

Her mum told her she couldn’t make it because she was throwing a party for [Dead Twin]’s birthday.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I understand that you want to remember the child that you lost, but at the cost of ignoring the twin that lived?

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And Jojo Was Her Name-o

, , , , , , | Learning | January 6, 2018

(Years ago, when my youngest aunt first attended school, she had until then been called “Jojo” by family and friends instead of her birth name. This wasn’t an issue until she started school.)

Teacher: “[Aunt]? [Aunt]? I guess she’s absent.”

(After roll call is done, my aunt raises her hand.)

Aunt: “You didn’t call me!”

Teacher: “I didn’t? What’s your name?”

Aunt: “Jojo!”

Teacher: “There’s no Jojo on the list; your name can’t be Jojo.”

Aunt: *getting upset now* “Yes, I am! I’m Jojo!”

Teacher: *light bulb goes off* “The only absent person is [Aunt], are you [Aunt]?”

Aunt: “NO! I am Jojo! My name’s Jojo!”

Teacher: “[Surname] is your last name, right?”

Aunt: “Yes!”

Teacher: “Then you’re [Aunt].”

Aunt: “NO! I said my name is Jojo!”

(She then proceeds to have a full-on tantrum, so the teacher drags her to the office and calls my grandmother to try to resolve the issue. My grandmother just laughs.)

Grandmother: “OH! Jojo is her nickname. I didn’t realize we were only calling her that. Yes, this is [Aunt].”

Aunt: *stomps her foot* “Mooooooom! You’re dumb! My. Name. Is. Jojo!”

(Forty years later, the family will not let my aunt live it down.)

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When Arguments Happen At Christmas, The Claus Come Out

, , , , , , , | Related | December 28, 2017

(My husband and I have never let our children believe in Santa. We host my in-laws for Christmas this year. They live 2000 miles away, so they stay for a couple weeks. We adults are chatting a couple days before Christmas, when my four-year-old comes up to me.)

Daughter: “[Nine-Year-Old Uncle] is angry with me.”

Me: “Why is he upset with you?”

Daughter: “Because I told him Santa isn’t real.”

(Thankfully his parents were amused, not upset! I had another chat with my daughter about not telling other children about Santa, even though she knows he’s pretend. Meanwhile, it’s not everyday that a niece breaks the news of Santa Claus to her uncle!)

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