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This Aunt Gets Around

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 20, 2018

(I work in a church. During busy times, we often take on extra shifts as hosts. That means we sometimes meet people who work completely different schedules.)

Guest Host: “Did I hear you were a missionary in California?”

Me: “Yes, in the San Fernando area.”

Guest Host: “Oh, which cities?”

Me: “Van Nuys, Sylmar, San Fernando, Palmdale…”

Guest Host: “I used to spend summers in Palmdale, working for relatives! Do you know [Man]?”

Me: “I don’t, but I was in the Spanish-speaking congregation there.”  

Guest Host: “Oh. And he speaks English.”

Me: “I have a friend from Palmdale with that last name. Is he related to [Friend]?”

Guest Host: “Yes, and I’m her aunt!”

(The next week, I mention this to another host.)

Host: “Well, I’m from California, but up by Oakland.”

Me: “Oh, my aunt lives in Piedmont, so I know that area.”

Host: “Who’s your aunt?”

Me: “[Aunt].”

Host: “She and I used to babysit each other’s children!”

(The world is sometimes extremely small.)

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Earhart With A Big Heart

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | February 18, 2018

(My best friend’s four-year-old daughter is like a niece to me, and since I don’t have children of my own, I love when it’s time to give her birthday and Christmas gifts, etc. This year, I will be out of town on Christmas, so my friend lets her open her gifts from me early. I always get her one item from her wish list, and a couple of books in whatever reading level she’s up to now. Her mom mentioned that [Niece] has been really interested in figures like Amelia Earhart lately, and I found a kid’s book about famous women who changed history, like Earhart, Marie Curie, etc.)

Niece: *opens her first present, a jewelry box that matches her bedroom theme* “Yay! Thank you, Aunt [My Name]!”

Me: “I’m glad you like it! Here’s your second gift.”

Niece: *opens the second package, two new books, including the one on famous women* “THANK YOU! I love them!”

(I chat for while longer with my friend and watch [Niece] organize her new jewelry box. Later that night after I go back home, I get a text from my friend. It’s a picture of [Niece] reading her new book.)

Friend: “[Niece] loves her book! She says, ‘When I grow up I want to be a woman that changes the world.’”

(My heart just melted! I love giving kids gifts that are fun but also challenge their imaginations and ambitions.)

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This Is Not A Feint

, , , , , | Related | February 14, 2018

(My aunt has some fainting spells when she is a teenager, but she can feel them coming on. She and my mother are visiting their grandmother’s house when my aunt feels that she is going to faint.)

Aunt: *comes out of bathroom* “Grandma? I’m going to lie down on the floor right now and faint. Don’t be scared, okay?”

Great-Grandmother: “What?” *sees my aunt on the floor and starts screaming for my mom*

(Five minutes later, my aunt wakes up on the couch with a damp towel on her head, two fans on around her, and my mom fanning her. My great-grandma is frantically talking into the phone to my grandma — my mom and aunt’s mom.)

Aunt: “Hmm?” *groggy* “Grandma, I told you not to freak out.”

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Who Needs A Soap With This Kind Of Drama

, , , , , , , | Related | February 4, 2018

(While attending post-secondary school, I share an apartment with two of my cousins, one of whom attends a different school. My program is only two years, while hers is four, so immediately after I complete my program, I have to travel away for a job. As I’m not totally moving, I keep paying my share of the rent, so I can have a room to come home to when I have days off from the job. I am at the apartment for perhaps ten days over a three-month period, May to July. My aunt, my cousins’ mom, has come to visit for a few days, in July. The apartment is a complete and utter disaster; there is a horrific fruit fly infestation and mold on dishes waiting by the sink. It’s disgusting. I am in town, as well.)

Aunt: “[Cousins #1 & #2]! This is a complete pigsty! How did it get like this? Have you guys not been doing your chores at all?”

Cousin #1: “Well, I’ve been too busy with school. I was so behind on so many assignments! My professor gave me a summer extension.”

Cousin #2: “It wasn’t my turn to do the dishes.”

Aunt: “Well, whose turn was it?”

Cousin #2: “It was [My Name]’s!”

Aunt: “But hasn’t [My Name] been away for work since May?”

Cousin #2: “Well, yes, but—”

Aunt: “So, you haven’t done any dishes since she left?”

Cousin #2: “But it was her turn!”

Aunt: “Were the dishes done before she left?”

Cousin #1: “Yes, because it was my turn before her.”

Aunt: “So, what you’re saying is that you used dishes, cooked, and so on, and left the dirty dishes for [My Name] to clean up, even though she wasn’t actually living here, and kept piling them up, waiting for her to come do them, because it was her turn?”

Cousins: “Yes!”


(It was a huge relief to have them put in their place. They are wonderful girls, but it was absolutely ridiculous that they somehow expected me to be responsible for cleaning up after them when I wasn’t even living in the apartment. One cousin had to do all dishes, while I helped the other scrub out the cupboard to get rid of the fruit flies. Tip: apple cider vinegar will draw them. I now have a major sensitivity to fruit flies, and deep-clean my own house anytime even one shows up.)

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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!

Read the next Philippines story!

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