You Are Not Their Number One Relative

, , , , , , | Related | December 22, 2018

(It’s the week before Christmas and our neighbour from across the road has just come over. We’ve lived in our current home for over 15 years.)

Neighbour: “Here you go, as always.”

(He hands my dad a card, marked with our neighbour’s address but my dad’s name.)

Dad: *sighs* “Thanks, mate.”

Me: “Who’s that from?”

Dad: “My cousin. Always sends their Christmas card to number two.”

(We’re number one and have been the entire time we’ve lived here.)

Me: “But we’ve lived here for over a decade.”

Mum: “I know. But they never seem to take the hint from the return address on the envelope.”

(This year, Mum’s writing our address in the card! See if that breaks the fifteen-year streak.)

Keeping It In The Family Circle

, , , , , | Related | December 20, 2018

(I’m visiting my extended family for the holidays. Nobody bothered to get things ready for the upcoming party, so a handful of my relatives and I are hectic, running around the house, cooking and decorating. Since we’re so busy, my young cousin is left without supervision in the living room, and is currently drawing gigantic circles on the wall.)

Me: “[Cousin]! Look at this mess! You can’t just go and draw such big circles on the walls!”

Cousin: “Sowwy…”

(I leave and come back sometime later. He’s still drawing circles, but this time, they’re the size of pennies.)

Me: “[Cousin], stop that! Your dad will be mad!”

Cousin: “Okay.”

(I left and came back yet again. He was nowhere to be seen, but he’d left a message on the wall. It read, “Don’t be mad, Daddy.”)

Makes You Wonder If You Even Know Your Cousin At All

, , , , , | Friendly | December 16, 2018

(My cousin who’s working in China calls me.)

Cousin: “Hey, cuz, my debit card doesn’t work in China. Could you please buy me a ticket to fly back from Hong Kong to Singapore and I’ll pay you back later?”

Me: “Sure, just give me your passport number.”

(Since everybody calls him by his English name, I buy a ticket for Jon [Surname] without thinking about it. On the day of his flight, I get a frantic call from the Hong Kong airport.)

Cousin: “I’m having a problem checking in. My ticket says Jon [Surname].”

Me: “So?”

Cousin: “My passport says [Surname] [Chinese name].”

Me: “Dude, how was I supposed to know Jon isn’t your legal name? I didn’t even know your Chinese name!”

(Fortunately, he managed to convince the airline staff that he was the same person, and at least the passport number matched.)

You Never Understand Parenting Until You Become One

, , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2018

(Not long after having my first baby, I am visiting with my cousin, who has two children of his own. My husband and I ask about local motels in the area to stay overnight in, and my cousin invites us to stay with his family. We are unloading so much luggage out of the car.)

Me: “I’m sorry there’s so much; we had to bring a lot more than normal because of [Baby].”

Cousin: *laughing* “You don’t need to apologise to me; I’m a parent, too.” *more serious* “I was an absolute a**hole to my friends when they had babies; I kept telling them that they shouldn’t let the babies run their lives. I would let them have it whenever they told me they couldn’t go out with me or go partying because the baby was sick or too tired. After we had [First Daughter], I went around to each of them and apologised for being such a d**k to them.”

The Moaniest Place On Earth

, , , , , , , | Related | October 3, 2018

(Years ago, my aunt generously invited me, my two cousins — our age group was somewhere around five or six — and all our parents to come spend time with her and then to go to Disneyland. This was a very expensive gift from her, even decades ago. However, when we get there, my cousins decide they don’t want to go to Disneyland; they want to go to Magic Mountain. They start whining about it. I have never been to Magic Mountain OR Disneyland before, so I am curious about both. My cousins begin to whine so much that we are all asked separately:)

Aunt: “[Our Names], would you like to go to Disneyland, or Magic Mountain?”

All Of Us: “Magic Mountain.”

Aunt: “Well, you know, I’ve actually already paid for the tickets to Disneyland.”

(I apparently thought about that, then shrugged:)

Me: “Oh. I didn’t know that. Okay then, let’s go to Disneyland. I’d like to go to Disneyland too.”

Cousins: “I don’t care! Disneyland is for babies! We want to go to Magic Mountain!”

(My cousins whined and complained the entire time we were at Disneyland, about how boring it was, how it was for babies, and how Disneyland stunk. I do remember how even I got thoroughly sick of their complaining, and told my parents that I didn’t want to wait in line with my cousins anymore. I had a great time, and even got a stuffed toy and some activity books from one of the stores. My cousins complained so much, and hated the Disney trip so much that they didn’t get anything. Years later, I learned that while I was invited to visit my aunt and occasionally go to the various theme parks over the years — I’ve been to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Magic Mountain while growing up — my cousins were never invited back. It’s also a family saying to tell my cousins, “You would be bored at Disneyland, so stop complaining!”)