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Use Your Words, Especially When There Are Knives Involved!

, , , , , , , | Related | September 22, 2021

I’m at a large family reunion at a cabin owned by some extended family. Obviously, not everyone there knows everyone else well, since the relationships go back to my great-grandparents’ generation.

[Cousin #1], her brother [Cousin #2], and I are in the kitchen. [Cousin #1] has deputized her brother and me to squeeze limes and chop garlic; she herself is working steadily through a large pile of avocados, taking the pits out by slicing a knife into them and twisting them. 

One of my aunts from another branch of the family, who doesn’t know my cousins, is a notorious busybody. She can never resist telling everyone exactly what she thinks without asking herself if that’s a good idea. She comes in, sees the situation, and makes a beeline right for us just as [Cousin #1] is moving the knife toward an avocado pit.

[Aunt] grabs [Cousin #1] suddenly and jerks her arm.

Aunt: “Stop!”

Cousin #1: “Aaaagh!”

She drops the knife — luckily onto the counter — and grabs at her left hand; I see blood. She whirls on [Aunt]. [Cousin #1] is about five-foot-nothing and has a bit of a babyface, but she has an extremely loud voice.

Cousin #1: “Jesus Christ, what the f***?!”

It’s the first time I’ve seen [Aunt] speechless even for a second.

Cousin #1: “What is wrong with you?! Do not sneak up like that! I could have cut my g**d*** fingers off, you idiot!”

Aunt: “I was trying to tell you not to cut the avocados like that. You could have hurt yourself!”

Cousin #1: “So, you decided to grab me from behind while I was moving a knife?! Yeah, that’s really safe! Whatever happened to ‘excuse me,’ huh? Get out of my way. I need a bandaid — if I don’t need stitches. [Cousin #2], finish the guacamole. And you, dumba**, out of my kitchen!”

She storms past us towards the bathroom. [Aunt], of course, doesn’t leave.

Aunt: “There’s no reason to be rude! I was just trying to help.”

Cousin #2: “That was pretty mild for [Cousin #1].”

Me: “Yeah, I think she only used the F word once. And she doesn’t need your help. She’s a professional chef; she knows what she’s doing.”

Aunt: “I would never let one of my children do that.”

Cousin #2: “She’s not a child; she’s twenty-eight.”

Realizing she wasn’t going to get any sympathy from either of us, [Aunt] finally left. I later found out that she tracked down my cousins’ father and complained to him about his daughter’s behaviour… and then learned where exactly [Cousin #1] had learned not to suffer fools as he bellowed at [Aunt] that it was her fault his precious jewel got hurt. 

I don’t know if [Aunt] has learned to stop butting in all over the place, but she may have learned to choose her targets better.

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Jesus Came Down On The Back Of A Tyrannosaurus

, , , , , , | Related | August 30, 2021

At a family gathering, I, the oldest and only adult grandchild with twenty-five-plus immediate cousins, am playing games and telling stories with all the kids. They get really interested in my husband’s work as a cook, and the conversation somehow shifts to him teaching the kids about vegetables and how differently Americans tend to make them compared to other countries. This brings him to discussing how humans have been hunting and gathering for food. Note that most of my family are part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while my husband and I are not.

Husband: “Okay, you know where our ancestors are from, right? Where do they say our ancestors come from?”

An eight-year-old cousin pipes up.

Cousin: “HEAVENLY FATHER!”

Me: *Cracks up* “He’s asking where we’re from, not how humans were created!”

At least, I assume that’s how it works in their belief system

Cousin: “Oh… JESUS CHRIST!”

Me: “Honey… you need to tell them what ‘ancestors’ means first because they have zero idea what you’re talking about.”

My husband explains and the kids seem to get it.

Husband: “Okay, and what did our ancestors eat?”

Cousin: “DINOSAURS!”

My husband finally stopped asking questions and just went on with his point. I silently laughed and wondered what interesting teachings I’ve missed in the church.

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What’s Mine Is NOT Yours

, , , , , , | Related | CREDIT: maddmoiselle_1 | August 29, 2021

My cousin is a single mother who lives with her elderly parents. Her daughter, age five, was exposed to someone with a certain contagious illness and is now starting to show symptoms. My cousin calls me.

Cousin: “Is there a possibility that you could go stay with your parents for two weeks so I can isolate with [Her Daughter] in your house?”

Going to my parents would mean having to put in leave at work. She can afford a guesthouse, and even if she couldn’t, our government actually provides accommodations for cases like this. I point this out.

Cousin: “Going to such a place would be restrictive to my dearest baby, and she would just die without a proper TV and Wi-Fi. And your backyard is so nice and big; we would love to use the pool during the hot summer days. And since your parents are elderly, they could probably use your help for two weeks.”

Believe me, they don’t want me there, and I have health conditions that would make the illness deadly for me if I caught it. I gave her a swift no.

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Being Eight Is Really Hard, Okay?!

, , , , , , | Related | August 11, 2021

My husband and I go out to lunch with some of his family members. His grandmother, who is in her nineties and still sharp as a tack, orders a glass of wine. She drinks maybe a third of it before accidentally knocking over the glass. It doesn’t break, but the wine spills into the lap of my cousin-in-law’s daughter, who is about eight.

We flag the server over to alert her. While the server is mopping up the spill, she knocks the wine glass over and the rest of it — you guessed it — splashes the same poor kid AGAIN. We all start laughing at the unfortunate coincidence while the girl sits glumly in her chair, her lap soaking wet.

My cousin-in-law shakes her head.

Cousin-In-Law: “I really hope I don’t get pulled over on the way home. I don’t want to have to explain why my kid smells like booze.”

She didn’t get stopped, thankfully.

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Bending Your Knowledge Of Medicine Until It Breaks

, , , | Healthy | June 22, 2021

I went on a winter holiday in Austria. It was my second time snowboarding after finishing my lessons the year before. On the afternoon of our third day there, I was exhausted and I tried to push myself up from a sitting position but fell right away. I felt a small snapping sensation in my right ring finger, but I didn’t think much about it.

Thirty minutes and two ski lifts later, I realized that my finger was swollen. I decided to go back to our hotel. I asked my cousin — a med student — about what I needed to use to reduce the pain. She tried to feel the bone but couldn’t because the finger was very thick already.

Cousin: “Can you bend your finger?”

Me: “Only like a third of the way.”

Cousin: “How painful is it out of ten?”

Me: “I think six.”

Cousin: “I think you just sprained it. Just use the ointment to reduce bruising, wrap it with elastic sport tape to keep it still, and you should be okay in a few days.”

Me: “You don’t think it’s broken?”

Cousin: “You would know it if it was broken. You would feel more pain.”

Me: “I don’t have to go to the emergency clinic here, then?”

Cousin: “Nah. It’s too expensive here. You can wait until we’re back in Amsterdam.”

Me: “Okay.”

A few days after we were back, almost a week after the accident, I had to go to Indonesia. By then, the swelling was gone, but the finger was still crooked and couldn’t bend. I decided to go to a clinic there.

From the x-ray picture, they saw that I had a hairline fracture close to the second joint of my right ring finger. Unfortunately, it had already been too long, so the bone already started healing itself, in the wrong position. Now the finger is forever crooked.

When I told my family about it, [Cousin] received a lot of teasing, and the story is retold every winter holiday. She did not choose orthopedics as her specialty.

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