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ADHD Is A Vicious Cycle

, , , , , | Romantic | March 31, 2023

I am in a poly relationship, long distance. One evening, I’m calling our girlfriend and my spouse is dropping in and out of the chat while doing chores. The subject of birthdays comes up. Note: we are all neurodivergent and often laugh about our mutual quirks.

Girlfriend: “So, I know both your birthdays are in autumn, but I can’t quite remember when.”

Spouse: “Well, to be fair, you do have ADHD.”

Girlfriend: “Yes, but I want to remember, so I bought a calendar to write it down!”

Me: “Oh, good!”

Girlfriend: “…but now I’ve lost the calendar.”

Culture Shock For The Brain And The Tongue

, , , , , , , | Related | March 29, 2023

My boyfriend and his younger sister are Japanese. [Sister] tells me that Japan has “a very toxic level of respect-your-elders ingrained into its culture”. Whether that’s actually a regional thing or just the environment they grew up in, I can’t verify, but [Boyfriend] definitely shows the effects.

The example that [Sister] gave me was: she’s bisexual, her mother thinks there’s a problem with that, and [Sister] was expected to just sit there and take it. If she spoke out against her mother, [Boyfriend] was expected to take their mother’s side or otherwise not get involved. (Said mother is still in Japan as of this writing, and has no interest in what her children are doing in Canada.) I was not surprised that [Sister] was much more eager to embrace the Western “speak your mind in response to bulls***” culture.

[Boyfriend] and I have reached the meet-the-parents stage of our relationship, and my dad and I go to their place for dinner. The topic soon turns to their upbringing, and [Sister] tells [Dad] what she told me about their culture.

Dad: “That’s not right. If someone is mistreating you, you should stand up for yourself.”

Sister: “Yeah, you get that, and I get that, but [Boyfriend] still has trouble with it.”

Dad: “No, come on.” *To [Boyfriend]* I’m your elder, right? If I just start taking your food, are you gonna sit there and let it happen, or are you gonna kick me out of the house for being an a**hole?”

Boyfriend: “I mean…”

When he keeps hesitating, [Dad] reaches forward and grabs his plate.

Dad: “Here. I’m going to eat this. I’ve decided you don’t get any.”

Me: “Dad, what the h*** are you—”

Boyfriend: “Sir…”

Dad: “Come on. Call me an a**hole.”

He goes to take a bite.

Me: “Dad!”

Boyfriend: “Sir, please!”

Sister: *Suddenly intervening* “[Dad], don’t!”

[Dad] takes a massive mouthful of food… and his eyes start watering. It’s at this point that I remember that [Boyfriend] likes his food VERY spicy. To my amazement, [Dad] forces himself to swallow and sets the food down.

Dad: *Sounding pained* “Are you gonna sit there and let me keep eating your food, or are you gonna call me an a**hole?”

Sister: “[Dad], your a**hole is going to be calling you an a**hole when that gets through your system.”

Dad: *Coughing a bit* “…That’s a problem for later.”

[Boyfriend] was able to take his plate back without any further altercations. I gave [Dad] h*** for the way he was acting… AFTER he’d gotten the spice out of his system.

Here’s To Setting Boundaries!

, , , , , , , , | Romantic | March 10, 2023

Several years ago, back when I was a junior in high school — sixteen or seventeen years old — I started dating a guy who was a grade above me. This was a relationship that I really shouldn’t have said yes to in the first place. There wasn’t really anything BAD exactly, but I’ll admit that I mostly said I’d go out with him just to get him to stop asking me to go out with him.

Anyway, we start dating, and about four or five weeks in, he started asking me to go to a family wedding with him.

Guy: “It’s at the end of September, and it’s going to be down in Olympia.”

Me: “I don’t think that’s such a good idea. We haven’t been dating that long, and I don’t really know your family.”

Guy: “Oh, it’s not a problem. They all want to meet you. And I know seating’s going to be short, but if they run out, I’ll give you my seat and just go stand in the back.”

Me: “Okay, first of all, it’s too early for us to be doing something like that. I don’t really want to meet the rest of your family yet. And second, even if I did decide I wanted to go to this, there is no way you’d be leaving my side.”

He still tried to push a little more and get me to go, but I didn’t budge. As I mentioned, I started dating him for a lot of reasons that really didn’t amount to what dating should be about, even in a high-school relationship. But hey, I was a dumb teenager.

I did end up breaking up with him about three weeks later for several reasons. Things got fun six months after that when he started dating a girl from another school and also tried to ask out one from our school and hide it. Then, he tried to blame me when his girlfriend found out.

I’m so glad I dumped his a** and really sorry I went into the relationship in the first place. At least I got a cautionary tale out of it.

Another On/Off Relationship

, , , , , | Right | March 2, 2023

Caller: “I’m calling about my laptop; it was stolen.”

Me: “I would advise you to call the police and file a police report. Then we can assist in recovering it.”

Caller: “I don’t want to involve the police. It was my girlfriend that stole it, and I just want you to turn it off.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t understand. How would we turn it off?”

Caller: “You guys should just be able to turn it off, right? I’m pretty sure if you turned it off that she’d let me have it back.”

I had to explain to her, in the most professional way possible, that as long as this person had access to an electrical outlet, they would be able to turn the laptop on. She seemed genuinely disappointed that we didn’t have some sort of satellite power controller for intervening in lovers’ spats.

Thank Goodness You Figured It Out Before They Became Your In-Laws

, , , , , , , , | Romantic | February 18, 2023

Back in my college days, I had a girlfriend who I had been dating for just shy of a year and a half. She invited me to join her family for Christmas during the break. I didn’t have any other plans (my own parents and I did not, and still do not, get along), so I agreed.

My girlfriend is the oldest of seven children, and as her parents are fairly well-off, they have quite a large house, but there were two sets of aunts and uncles also visiting, with six kids between them, so the house felt very crowded when we arrived. My girlfriend was going to share a room with her sisters upstairs, while I was relegated to a cot in their garage.

Honestly, that cot was the best part of the trip, as the kids weren’t allowed in the garage, and it was actually pretty well-insulated for a garage, so I had a nice spot to retreat to if things got too much.

Probably the first sign of problems I had was with the bathroom arrangements. To make things “easier”, each person was assigned a bathroom for the stay. The bathroom I was assigned was the one right next to the garage. The problem was that it was the “half” bathroom out of their “four and a half” baths, meaning that it had a sink and a toilet, but no tub or shower. I tried asking her mother where I was supposed to shower.

Me: “Can I use the master bathroom?”

Mother: “No, that’s our private space.”

Me: “What about either of the upstairs hall bathrooms?”

Mother: “No, the little kids shower there.”

Me: “The downstairs guest bathroom?”

Mother: “No, that’s totally full with [Girlfriend]’s brothers and sisters.”

Nope, I was just expected to deal with it by… not showering the entire time.

Well, I sucked it up and did my best to wash up in the sink. We’d arrived the day before Christmas Eve, and things went… okay through Christmas Day. I got a few looks for the fact that I’d “only” brought presents for her parents and siblings — I hadn’t been informed about the aunts and uncles and cousins — but other than that, things were fine.

Then, on the twenty-sixth, they announced that they were having some annual outing to a nearby winery. This was apparently a tradition for the adults, but my girlfriend had never gone before, as she’d been picked to watch all the kids. So, now the parents, aunts, uncles, and my girlfriend all loaded off to this wine-tasting event.

Notice who was left out of that list? That’s right. I was explicitly not invited.

Mother: “Oh, I forgot to get you a spot. So sorry. You’ll just have to stay here and watch the kids?”

Uh-huh, and what was the plan if I hadn’t come?

Anyway, I come from a large family myself, so wrangling the kids wasn’t too difficult, especially when they had a bunch of new toys they were playing with and they were still somewhat sluggish from the sugar highs they’d had on Christmas. But, talking with some of the older kids, they let slip that the adults would usually go off and do things the day after Christmas every year. Hmm, suspicious.

I talked to my girlfriend and her parents after they got back, asking about the plans for the rest of the break. There was a bit of hemming and hawing, but eventually, they admitted that they had some adult excursions planned: a winter hike, some Christmas concert, etc. And, as I’d suspected, they’d “completely forgotten” to arrange things so I could go. So sorry.

Me: “I didn’t give up my break to be a free babysitter for you. Thank you for opening your home to me for the holiday.”

Then, I headed to the garage to see about arranging a cab and plane ticket back home. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. My girlfriend’s ticket was paid for by her parents, but I’d had to pay for my own. Maybe that should have been the actual first red flag?

Anyway, I did actually manage to rearrange my plane ticket, though there was an upcharge. Still, I headed out. The kids all cheerfully said goodbye, her parents looked sternly angry, and my girlfriend seemed to have no emotion about it whatsoever.

I ended up enjoying myself just fine once I got back home. After the break, my girlfriend came over and we had a talk.

Girlfriend: “I’m so disappointed that you couldn’t stick it out for the entire break. I had to deal with my parents all growing up, and you couldn’t manage to deal with them for two full weeks. I’m not sure if this relationship will work if you can’t help support my needs.”

Things got heated after that. There was plenty of shouting, and we were very much an ex-couple when everything was said and done.

But the cherry on top of all of that was when I got a call on December first, eleven months after our breakup. It was [Girlfriend]’s mother.

Mother: “I’m calling to see if you plan to join us this year for Christmas. Are you going to stick around and help out properly this time?”

I just ended up repeating the word “Ha!” over and over again at louder and louder volumes before hanging up on her.