Painting A Barren Landscape

, , , , , | Related | March 8, 2019

(I’m talking on the phone to my cousin shortly after a big family party.)

Cousin: “Oh, by the way, I was so sorry to hear about [Daughter]’s problem.”

Me: “Huh? Which problem?”

Cousin: “Well, that she’s… not able to have children.”

Me: “What?! [Daughter] isn’t infertile, at least that I’ve heard.”

Cousin: “She told me she was!”

(Immediately after finishing this conversation, I call my daughter.)

Me: “Why is [Cousin] under the impression that you’re sterile?”

Daughter: “Probably because I told him I was.”

Me: “Was there some reason for this or was it just a passing fancy?”

Daughter: “He kept bugging me about [Son-In-Law] and I having kids, and I didn’t think it was any of his business, so I told him I couldn’t get pregnant to get him to shut up.”

Me: “[Daughter]! He feels terrible!”

Daughter: “What? Telling someone they ought to be having kids is rude. You’d tell me off if I did it to someone. He acted like a jacka**; now he feels like a jacka**. Maybe another time he’ll stop and think about it before he says something similar to someone who actually can’t get pregnant.”

Me: *after a pause* “I blame your father. You turned out too clever.”

Daughter: “Love you, too, Mom.”

Textbook Case Of Creepiness

, , , , , , , | Related | January 10, 2019

(My older brother and I have a typical brother-sister relationship, though most everyone I meet says we’re way closer than a lot of siblings. One day, my cousin, who lives nearby and has always been best friends with my brother, comes over. They’re both three years older, and we all live at our homes. My girlfriend comes over, too.)

Brother: “[My Name]! [Girlfriend] is here!”

Me: “Thanks!”

(My cousin walks into the room just as I greet my girlfriend, and we move to go upstairs.)

Cousin: “Hey, what’s a pretty girl like you doing holding those textbooks? Let [My Name] carry them!” *laughs, grinning at my girlfriend and my brother*

Brother: “Actually, you should let me carry them.”

(I’m shocked because it sounds like my brother is flirting with her, and I thought he would never do that.)

Girlfriend: “No. I’ve got them, thank you very much.”

(She sneers, though I know she’s scared, because my brother is probably a foot taller than us, and my cousin isn’t much smaller.)

Brother: “Please, just one?”

(He winks at me, where my cousin can’t see, and I nod to my girlfriend. My brother takes the books and whirls around, hitting my cousin in the head.)

Me: “[Brother]!”

Brother: “Leave. Now.”

Cousin: “What the f***, man?

Brother: “You’ve always been a creep, and I put up with it when it was about porn stars and s***, but my sister’s girlfriend? No way! Get the f*** out of my house and don’t come back!”

Cousin: “You’re a [LGBT slur], [My Name]? No wonder you’re so ugly! I—“

Brother: “SHUT. THE. F***. UP! NOW!”

(My brother throws the book on the floor, and grabs my cousin’s hair, which is past his ears.)

Brother: “[My Name], door!”

(I scrambled over the railing, dropped a foot to the floor, and ran to open the door. My brother pulled our cousin along and threw him outside. I moved to slam the door, but my cousin grabbed my arm and started screaming cuss words. He tried to yank me outside, but my brother punched him in the face, and as soon as our cousin let go of me, slammed the door closed, locking it. Obviously, we didn’t drive him home, and things were a bit tense at Christmas.)

Wedlocked Into That Narrow-Mindedness

, , , , , | Related | January 2, 2019

(When I am born, my mom isn’t married. Due to circumstances good enough for another story, my mom becomes a single, working mom. At one point when I’m about four, my mom takes me to a dinner with family at her cousin’s. When everyone else is seated at the nicely-set-up dining room table, my mom’s aunt comes in, sees me, and says:)

Cousin’s Mom: *slightly irate* “I’m not sitting at the same table as a child born out of wedlock!”

Cousin: *recovering more quickly than the rest* “Oh, no problem, Mom. I’ll set the table for you in the kitchen, then, shall I?”

Good Luck Finding A Babysitter For Baby-Critter

, , , , , | Related | January 1, 2019

I’m visiting my aunt and my younger cousin who’s not quite five years old. My grandma gave me the nickname “Critter” while my mother was still pregnant with me and has called me that through my entire life, and my aunt has called me that my entire life, as well, only using my name when I am in trouble.

We realize my cousin doesn’t know my name because she asks my cousin, “Hey, can you go ask [My Name] if he’s going to stay for dinner?” My cousin looks at her like she grew a second head. It takes her a couple minutes to realize what the problem is and she just bursts out laughing.

My aunt comes out of the kitchen with my cousin behind her, points to me, and asks, “What’s his name?”

My cousin says, “Critter,” and my aunt has to grab onto the wall to stop herself from falling over laughing.

She explains to me what’s making her laugh and I fall out of my chair laughing. My cousin is looking at us both like we’re crazy, but he starts laughing at us because we’re both having trouble breathing at this point.

We have to talk to him for almost an hour to convince him that Critter isn’t actually my name; it’s a nickname, just like he has a nickname.

Even now, almost three years later, every so often my aunt points at me and asks my cousin, “Hey, what’s his name?” Now he actually says my name when she asks him, but he still only calls me Critter.

Christmas Isn’t Ruined; It’s Spoiled

, , , , , , | Related | December 26, 2018

(It’s the holiday season, and this year, my younger brother and I have decided to spend our own money to buy Christmas presents for our family, including our three younger cousins. As we’re high school students and our only jobs are as baseball umpires, we don’t have a ton of money, but it’s enough to get my five-year-old cousin a stuffed dinosaur and my twelve-year-old cousins sunglasses. I’m slightly concerned because the gifts were relatively inexpensive; our cousins are very demanding and spoiled, and their parents and our grandparents feed right into that. On Christmas Day, this happens when we go to open presents.)

Twelve-Year-Old Cousin #1: “A pair of sunglasses! Ooh!” *tries them on and says, angrily* “But these are made of plastic and aren’t [Really Expensive Brand]. I don’t like them!” *throws them on the ground*

Twelve-Year-Old Cousin #2: “Cheap, cheap, cheap! Good thing we have other presents that I actually like.” *tosses her sunglasses into the garbage can*

Twelve-Year-Old Cousin #1: “Mom, can we go get [Really Expensive Brand] tomorrow? Please, please!”

Aunt: “Yes, of course, dear. We’ll make this okay.” *glares at brother and me*

Five-Year-Old Cousin: “Daddy, I don’t like my dino! Get me a new one now!” *throws the dinosaur across the room*

Uncle: “Of course, buddy. We don’t want you to have things you don’t like.”

Five-Year-Old Cousin: “Yay!” *blows a raspberry at brother and me*

Aunt: “You two have ruined my children’s Christmas! I hope you’re happy with yourselves!”

Mom: “[Aunt], the boys spent their own money, and [My Name] even drove them to get it. It was what they could afford.”

Aunt: “Don’t make excuses for them! They shouldn’t be such cheapies! My children will always have plenty of money to spend on only the nicest things.”

Mom: *opens mouth to argue but instead says nothing*

Grandmother: “Let this be a lesson to you boys. If you don’t have enough money for something, go ask your parents for it. You know perfectly well that they’re wealthy, and I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded. Because of you, Christmas is ruined.”

(This wasn’t the only incident of favoritism shown toward my cousins. Because of issues like this, my extended family and I are not very close, which is too bad because I had a great holiday aside from that.)