Not A Jerk Like Other Girls

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2020

My cousin has a very “I’m not like other girls” attitude, and she also happens to be a major know-it-all, which annoys everyone else. 

One day while she, my best friend, and I are out shopping, my best friend and I decide to duck into a boutique to look at summer dresses. My cousin is huffing and hawing the whole time, groaning about fashion and “girls who try too hard.” She’s starting to get dirty looks from other customers and sales girls alike, so I start trying to shush her. 

Cousin: “Come on! This is useless. You’ll just throw them on the floor after you meet some guy, just like all other girls do! Just accept that you’re a fashion victim!”

I try to shush her again, but this time, she’s caught the attention of the entire shop. 

Best Friend: “It’s okay; not everyone can look as good as we do!”

Several people start laughing, and my cousin blushes. 

Me: “You are not ugly, but your personality is. Grow up. You’re almost an adult.”

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Sheep Dung’s Better Than The Alternative

, , , , , | Related | April 11, 2020

My mom has well over a dozen cousins and keeps in contact with them more or less regularly, with one exception. This exception looks somewhat like Catweazle and is a CAM practitioner — Complementary and Alternative Medicine — selling all kinds of diagnostics and treatments that have no scientific foundation whatsoever and that he partially made up himself. In other words, he’s a quack.

He’s infamous throughout the family for breaking ties with his own sister when she refused to take his herbs instead of a proper treatment of her breast cancer. Now, however, the health scare seems to lead some family members to forget about that. This is a message my mom got from one of her — usually reasonable — cousins:

Cousin: “As you know from the media, the Corona can cause pneumonia. Well, I remembered something my cousin told me once! He said that sheep’s urine has healing properties for the lungs. So, I called him and he confirmed my theory! According to him, to prevent infection, you should cook milk with sheep’s dung and drink a cup of it in the morning! It works both as prophylaxis and as treatment.”

Some other family members got this message from her, as well. I don’t even have words for how shocked and disgusted I am.

Dear everyone: please stay sane and stay healthy. Keep social contacts to a minimum, and listen to your doctors and common sense.

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I Yam Dead

, , , , , , , | Related | March 2, 2020

(My dear grandfather has died quietly in his sleep of old age. We are hosting a wake for a whole week in my grandparents’ home, hosted by my grandmother. Local custom states that we have an open casket in the living room, which was a bit unnerving at first, but we get used to it. Despite protests from family members, my grandmother insists on being an impeccable host, cooking and serving drinks and snacks to my many, MANY aunts, uncles, cousins, and over a dozen great-grandchildren. I have just been served a homemade local dessert — Ube Roll — as I am chatting with my cousins.)

Me: *takes a bite* “Hmm. I think something is off with this roll.”

Cousin #1: “Yeah, it’s hard as a rock!”

Cousin #2: “I think she might have left it out too long and it’s gone stale.”

Cousin #3: “And it’s really heavy! Did she actually make it with rocks?”

Me: “I can’t eat this.”

(The dessert really is bad; it is basically a paperweight.)

Cousin #1: “Me, neither.”

(We all look around at the many relatives struggling with their “rock cakes.” A few have discretely tried to leave the room with their dessert to “eat it outside,” but Grandmother is keeping a vigil on everyone. Disposal is going to be tricky.)

Cousin #1: “Poor [Grandmother]. She’s been through enough without spending the next few weeks finding half-eaten stale ube roll wedged behind cupboards and hidden in drawers all around the house.”

Cousin #2: “Wait a minute. [Grandmother] served all the great-grandkids first, and they all had empty plates when they ran outside to play. They couldn’t have eaten them, could they? They must have stashed them.”

Me: “But where? I can’t see where.”

(We look around for a while to see if we can find any cleverly-hidden half-eaten cakes but to no avail.)

Cousin #1: “Where could the little idiots have put them? There’s no way they ate them!”

Cousin #3: “Unless…”

(All of us look over towards the open coffin.)

Me: “Oh, no…”

(We slowly approach Grandfather with trepidation. Being the closest, I am silently volunteered to “pay my respects” one more time. I bend down and check the lower half of the coffin, which is closed. I turn back towards my cousins.)

Me: “Well, let’s just say that if Grandfather is accidentally buried alive, he won’t go hungry for a while…”

Cousin #1: “You mean those little b*****ds stuffed their cakes into poor Grandfather’s coffin?!”

Cousin #2: “No wonder all the kids wanted to pay their respects to Grandfather for so long! I was surprised that kids that young would be so thoughtful!”

(Luckily, we were able to remove the evidence without Grandmother noticing. One of us took her upstairs to “reminisce” while the rest of us collected the alarmingly heavy cakes from all the relatives and threw them out without her noticing. Wouldn’t have wanted to see what would have happened had the stash been discovered later on by poor Grandmother!)

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Not Trained For This Situation

, , , , , | Related | February 18, 2020

(For my grandma’s 80th birthday, her kids all host a big party for her. My youngest uncle has just had a new house built, so that’s where it’s hosted. I’m the oldest grandkid; I am 17, while my uncle’s son is two years old. After spending the morning running around preparing and cleaning up the house, my two-year-old cousin — now very bored — begs me to play trains with him. It will keep him quiet and occupied in the back room until the party begins, so I agree. The next thing I know, I’m suddenly aware that there are four other kids in the back room with us, and there’s music and talking in the rest of the house. I’m about to go join the party when two little girls take over my cousin’s train set.)

Cousin: “No! No, no, no, no, no!” *begins to cry*

Me: “Hey, buddy, it’s all right. Look; they’ve got the red train and the blue train, and you can have the green train! That’s your favourite one!”

Cousin: “No!”

Me: “Okay, which train did you want?”

Cousin:My trains.”

Me: “Yes, they’re your trains. The girls are just borrowing them for a little while. It’s important to share so that you can all play together.”

Cousin: “NOOO!” *throws himself on the ground, about to go full meltdown*

Me: “Right. I’m going to pick you up, and we’ll go find Mummy, okay?”

Cousin: “Nooo… ‘kay.”

(I wander out into the party, my cousin goes to cuddle with his mum until he feels better, and I go on my way to eat cake and talk to people I know.)

Lady: *grabbing my shoulder* “YOU!”

Me: “Uh, hello? I’m sorry, I don’t think I recognise you–”

Lady: “What are you doing outside the playroom?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Lady: “You’re going to be sorry. I went to check on my dears and found you missing.” 

Me: “I don’t understand.”

Lady: “How dare you?! You’re getting paid good money to watch those kids, and you fob it off to steal party food?”

Me: “Paid?”

Lady: “When I checked, there was no one watching the kids. My girls were even about to get into a fight with each other. You’re going to get back there and do your job, and when I find [Aunt], I’ll see that she never hires you again.”

Me: “Can you let go of me now?”

Lady: “You need to learn some responsibility and–”

Dad: “[My Name], there you are. Come here; it’s time for the speeches. Oh, hello, Mrs. [Lady].”

Lady: *suddenly sickeningly pleasant* “Oh, hello, [Dad]. I haven’t seen you in years! How have you been? How’s [Mum] doing?”

Dad: “She’s fine. [My Name], this is [Lady]. She’s a part of Grandma’s congregation. I used to babysit her when I was your age.”

Lady: “You should have said you were related to [Grandma]. I thought you were the hired help.”

(I turn to look at the projector, showing photographs of Grandma through her life, right next to us. The current image is one of Grandma in her wedding dress; I have listened to twelve people today already marvel over how it looks just like me, before I’ve even introduced myself)

Me: “Sure. If you say so.”

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A True Hero

, , , , | Related | February 14, 2020

(We are at a Christmas party with all of our family and friends around. My cousin is very much a follow-the-rules type, except for this one incident.)

My Mom: “[Cousin], how did getting your federal clearances go?”

Cousin: “It went okay, up until the part where they ask if you any wrongdoing in your past. I got a bit nervous because the only thing I could think of was when I was in high school. I taught my whole class to learn sign language to help get everyone through an extremely tough test that wasn’t even a part of the curriculum. We signed helping each other out through the test. So, basically, I cheated and helped everyone else cheat. I was terrified when I had to admit this in the clearance reviews.”

Cousin’s Dad: “While we don’t condone this behavior, I was rather impressed that she taught the whole class another form of communication.”

Me: “Well, did you pass your clearance exam?”

Cousin: “I did! It took a while to get the report to come, but I now have a security clearance.”

(Apparently, the officer was impressed with her and said that was nowhere near as bad as some other stories they have heard. All’s well that ends well, and now she stops cybercrime.)

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