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The Luck Of The Irish And The Entitlement Of Relatives

, , , , , , | Related | CREDIT: Artilleryman08 | November 25, 2022

I love Ireland. My grandmother told me stories and inspired pride and love for my heritage, and she taught me how to properly represent myself. I am NOT Irish, but my ancestors were.

Years ago, I started studying Gaelige, the Irish language. I’m still very novice at speaking and understanding it, but I enjoy trying to learn and like hearing it spoken. Around that time, one of my cousins contacted me. We’d never had much contact because we grew up so far apart, but I liked him well enough. He had started learning Gaelige and was interested in having someone to practice with. So, we helped each other and learned together. It’s a difficult language, and like I said, I’m still very novice.

I started planning a trip to Ireland. I had been a few times, but this time I wanted to stay in the Gaeltacht, the regions of Ireland where Gaelige is primarily spoken instead of English. The people there speak English but as a second language. I thought [Cousin] would enjoy the trip, as well.

I spoke with my uncle and we made a deal. Since [Cousin] was in his first year of college, I told him that if he finished his freshman year with at least a 3.5 GPA, I would pay for him to go with me. He worked really hard and was taking mostly honors classes, and he came out with a 3.4. Of course, I let him feel a little grief about trying so hard only to come up short, and then I told him he was still going with me. You could say I shouldn’t have, but he genuinely worked very hard and I believe he earned it; plus, he is a good kid, and I want to encourage him to keep working hard in his education.

Now for a little background on my cousin’s parents. [Aunt] and [Uncle] are people of limited means. I’m not speaking poorly of them; [Uncle] works hard to give them a comfortable life. [Aunt] is my dad’s sister, and the grandmother I mentioned earlier is their mom. [Uncle] is the son of Italian immigrants.

While trying to put [Cousin] through school, they couldn’t afford to send him on vacation, but I assured them that the whole trip was on me. I actually was splurging a bit because I wanted it to be an awesome experience for [Cousin]. I got business class seats for the flight and booked two rooms at a really nice bed and breakfast. I was excited, but [Cousin] was so pumped that he was shaking.

Then, [Uncle] called me.

Uncle: “Is there any chance you could include [Aunt] and me on the trip? I understand that this is a huge thing to ask, and there is absolutely no pressure.”

I thought about it a bit and decided I would bring them along. My grandmother would have praised the generosity. I told him that, since it was so close to the trip, I could only get them economy seats. [Uncle] said it was fine. I also managed to book another room at the B&B. I stressed that the purpose of this trip was for [Cousin] and me to interact with native Gaelige speakers, but there would be time for some sightseeing. We could also visit the town our ancestors came from in County Mayo.

This is where I learned what an entitled jerk my aunt is.

It started at the airport. I had managed to upgrade their tickets to economy plus which, on an international flight, is not too bad.

Aunt: “You and [Cousin] should sit in economy while the grown-ups get the nice seats!”

I was thirty at the time; my cousin was nineteen. My uncle looked embarrassed. [Aunt] told [Cousin] to give her his ticket and he almost did. I had to nip this in the bud.

Me: “I paid for all of these seats, so I will determine who sits where. Those are still nice seats. Enjoy your flight.”

Aunt: “Oh, so, since you paid for everything you think you’re in charge?”

Me: “Yes, and if you don’t like it, you can go home.”

She huffed but stayed silent. [Uncle] gave me a wink, and [Cousin] apologized for his mom’s behavior. At one point he quietly said to himself, “She always does this.” Great.

We arrived in Ireland and took a cab to our B&B. The first two days were great. [Cousin] and I went out and tried to awkwardly converse with the locals, who were as gracious as you could wish for and helped us a lot. We mostly did stuff separately from [Aunt] and [Uncle], which was fine, but I noticed that [Aunt] was getting a little edgy, and on our fourth morning, at breakfast, she snapped.

One of the girls working at the B&B brought them their breakfast and apparently greeted them in Gaelige, like she did every morning. This was the point when everyone there began to hear [Aunt] screaming.

Aunt: “DOES ANYONE IN THIS F****** PLACE SPEAK ENGLISH? JESUS CHRIST, IT’S LIKE BEING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! MY GRANDMOTHER LIVED HER WHOLE LIFE HERE, AND SHE COULD SPEAK ENGLISH. WHY CAN’T YOU?!”

Before I could appreciate that my aunt had actually said, “It’s like being in a foreign country,” I was out the door and running across the yard. I apologized to the poor girl and gave her a 50€ note, and then I went to talk to my aunt.

Me: “Do you not understand what I told you about this part of Ireland? I thought I explained that Irish Gaelige is the primary language spoken here. Most people will start interactions in Irish, and it is a big part of the B&B’s business, too.”

She just went and sat in her room looking huffy, and [Uncle] told me he’d handle it. He had fallen in love with Ireland and had been thoroughly enjoying the trip, so I let him deal with it. Then, I went to talk to the landlady to ensure we wouldn’t be thrown out. She didn’t tolerate mistreatment of her staff, but she said if it happened again, they would have to leave.

That day, I had rented a car and would be driving out to where my ancestors originally lived near Castlebar. I invited [Aunt] and [Uncle], but [Aunt] just stayed in the room, so the three of us went without her. It was an emotional thing visiting the little village, and I can’t describe it, but [Cousin] and I both felt like we could feel the spirits of our ancestors there. I know it’s corny, but it was powerful. We found the graves of some of them, as well. [Uncle] was mostly silent and respectfully let us experience it. Later, he told us about his parents leaving Italy.

The rest of the trip was pretty quiet, but [Aunt] never left the room or spoke to anyone there. Although, she did charge a pretty expensive lunch to the room — on my card — through a local high-class restaurant. [Uncle] offered to pay me back for it, but I refused.

We flew back, and for the whole flight, [Cousin] was going on and on about how amazing it was. It was clear that he had found a new love for international travel.

Me: “If you keep your grades up, maybe we can go again next summer!”

It became a regular trip for us — we never again brought the parents — except for his final year at school. I was not going to have the time off to go, but thought I would mix it up. For a graduation gift, I sent [Cousin] and [Uncle] to Italy to see where that part of his family was from. I intentionally left out [Aunt]. If she was upset about it, she never told me, though I heard she was “deeply insulted”.

Looks Like Everyone’s Going Cold Turkey This Year

, , , , , , | Related | CREDIT: WolfPetter42 | November 24, 2022

Last year, I went to my uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. I slept on their couch the night before, and I woke up to my young cousin screaming in my face to make him chicken nuggets at 4:00 in the morning. They never make him behave, nor punish him for anything he does, so I ignored him and went back to sleep after he decided to go scream at his parents that he wanted nuggets.

At 9:00 am, everyone was getting things ready for the day, and cooking was beginning for the dishes that needed a few hours in the oven. They didn’t buy a turkey; they asked me to buy one, so I had cooked it the day before and put it in the fridge. I thought we could toss it into the oven an hour before the time to eat arrived so it would be warm.

However, their kid started randomly coming up behind me and screaming as loudly as he could into my ear. I asked them to make him stop, seeing as I prefer my hearing intact and don’t like anyone just screaming in my ear for no good reason.

Uncle: “It’s our house; if you don’t like it, leave.”

They were shocked when I actually did just that. I opened the fridge, took my turkey out, got into my car, and drove away.

Not one minute after leaving, I started getting spammed with calls and texts asking, begging, or threatening me to come back with the only turkey for Thanksgiving. When I got home, I called my uncle.

Me: “You told me to leave if I didn’t like it, so I left. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

Then, I hung up and blocked his number.

I have many stories about them refusing to control their kids and then them having to deal with the consequences.

Never More Thankful Than When They Finally Leave

, , , , , , , , | Related | November 24, 2022

This story takes place on Thanksgiving Day at my home. My husband’s maternal cousin, her husband, and their three children suddenly dropped into town from out of state two days before the holiday, and they wanted to have Thanksgiving with my husband, his parents, and me.

My husband hates his cousin and her family, but his mom pitched such a hissy fit that he gave in. His cousin’s children are QUITE poorly mannered and have a reputation for completely destroying the homes of people that they visit. I also ended up having to buy extra food at the last minute because our guest list went from four to nine. I also had to revise the menu because his cousin sent over a LONG list of foods that her children do not like.

We live on a small farm. Our house is over a hundred years old and is quite small by American standards. I am sitting on the couch grading assignments from the students in my Introduction To Supply Chain Management class at the local community college.

Husband: “My cousin and her spawn just pulled up the driveway. Hopefully, they don’t wreck the house! If they start running around the house, I am sending them back outside and they can run around the goat pasture!”

As soon as my husband opens the front door, his cousin’s children rush in and IMMEDIATELY start touching anything that they can get their hands on. The oldest daughter grabs the remote, turns off the program I was watching, and starts scrolling through channels.

Oldest Daughter: “Why don’t you have the Disney Channel?! I wanted to watch [Show] and you don’t have it. I can’t live without my Disney Channel!”

Me: “I think that you can for a few hours. If you want, I can find something on one of the streaming services for you guys to watch.”

Oldest Daughter: “BUT. I. WANT. THE. DISNEY. CHANNEL! You should have gotten satellite TV when you found out that we were coming!”

I am about to scold her when my husband realizes that the two youngest have grabbed my work laptop out of the office/guest room and are trying to crack my password. I go to stop them.

Then, I hear a smash and turn around to find that the oldest daughter has taken her shoes off and thrown them at my framed Master’s degree on the living room wall, shattering the glass and knocking it off the wall. This really sets me off because I worked really hard for that degree and the frame was a quite expensive custom job.

Me: “You are going to pay for that frame! It wasn’t cheap. And I think that you have also damaged the diploma. I have to get a new copy from the college, and that is going to set me back about $50. Go outside before I start to lose my temper further!”

My husband’s cousin jumps in.

Cousin: “You shouldn’t let [My Name] talk to my children that way! They’re good kids, so they should get everything they want!”

My husband used to be a drill sergeant in the Army. He gets this look on his face like he is about to really roast his cousin and her kids. He responds in the loudest drill sergeant voice he can muster.

Husband: “You shouldn’t allow them to be monsters about it, then! They have damaged property, been completely disrespectful to my wife and me, and created utter chaos from the second that they set foot in this house! GET THEM OUT OF MY HOUSE! You gave my wife two days’ notice that you are coming for Thanksgiving dinner and expected her to cater to all of your whims by giving her a laundry list of foods that she shouldn’t cook because your demon spawn don’t like them! You are outrageous people, and you are no longer welcome at my home!”

Cousin: “But what are we supposed to do for Thanksgiving dinner?”

Husband: “FIND A RESTAURANT! Good luck finding one, though, because I seriously doubt that the only restaurant open on Thanksgiving in this town is going to put up with your children!”

My husband’s cousin left with her kids in a huff. My mother-in-law was so mad at my husband and me for throwing them out that she didn’t talk to us for over five months! She was mad because she didn’t get to have Thanksgiving dinner with her niece and her great nieces and nephews. We held firm because her kids were in our house for less than five minutes and this was the chaos that they created. They probably would have destroyed my home if they had stayed for dinner!

Mother Knows Best! (But Not In The Mother Gothel Way)

, , , , , | Related | September 28, 2022

My infant daughter has several food allergies, so we are trying foods out very slowly. For the past two months, we haven’t been able to find a single definitely suitable food, so currently she only has eight solid foods in her diet. This obviously stresses me out as she approaches the one-year mark, and some of her allergies are so bad that I can’t have those foods either while breastfeeding.

I’m visiting my relatives in my old hometown, and the visit starts on shaky footing when my mum first wants to serve me breaded fish (can’t have wheat) and then cream stewed fish (can’t have dairy). I end up cooking the fish myself, which I’m perfectly happy to do.

As we’re getting ready to eat, my daughter is happily sitting in her high chair with her food while I’m getting myself a plate. When I turn around, I notice that my cousin has given her a piece of lettuce from the salad bowl. Instead of getting angry like I should, my brain kind of freezes, unable to process the situation. Eventually, I take the piece of lettuce from my daughter — luckily, she has only eaten a tiny piece — before addressing my cousin.

Me: “Please don’t give her more lettuce.”

Cousin: *Huffily* “Well, of course not!”

Me: “It’s just that, even if lettuce was okay, there are tomatoes and cucumber in there, too, and we haven’t tried those yet.”

Cousin: “Oh, come on. No one is allergic to cucumber! It’s mostly water!”

Me: “Actually, you can be allergic to cucumber, and since she’s allergic to bananas, she’s very likely allergic to cucumber, too, since they have crossed allergens.”

Later on, when insistently being offered sweets with coffee, I explained that I couldn’t have any since there’s wheat and dairy in them, and my cousin blew a raspberry and rolled her eyes.

At least now I know who DEFINITELY won’t be babysitting my daughter, ever. The worst part is that she knows very well how allergic my daughter is. She knows all about the first two months of non-stop screaming and crying, day and night, that my daughter did before we figured out she had allergies. She knows about the terrible rashes that still sometimes break out, the gastrointestinal pain, the diarrhoea, the constipation, and the acid reflux, and she STILL behaves like this.

That Must Be Mhairi Confusing For You

, , , , , , , , | Working | August 15, 2022

My coworker is trying to find the correct mailbox for another (new) coworker.

Coworker: “Why is Vah-ry’s name spelt with an M?”

Me: “Mhairi. It’s Gaelic, like in Niamh.”

Coworker: *Laughs* “I have a cousin Niamh. I should have thought of that.”

Sometime later…

Me: “How many cousins do you have, anyway?”

[Coworker] thinks for a moment.

Coworker: “Twenty-two. Oh, wait. I missed one side of the family. Twenty-eight.”

Me: “…”