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Are You Sure They Weren’t Just Scared You’d Spill It?

, , , , , , | Related | July 19, 2023

When I was five years old, my family went to dinner at a well-known Mexican restaurant. Our table wasn’t ready, but as a courtesy, they allowed us to sit at a smaller spot and have some chips and salsa — and margaritas for the adults — while we waited.

Then, our table was ready, and we could move over there. Helpful little five-year-old me carried the basket of chips… and my dad’s margarita.

Cue a chorus of adults trying to stop the child from carrying the alcohol. 

And that’s how I learned that was illegal.

Thank God He Doesn’t Share DNA With Them (And Never Will!)

, , , , , , , , , , , | Romantic | July 13, 2023

When [Friend] told me this story, I just HAD to get her permission to share it. She gave it, so here we go. Fair warning: I fear the number of IQ points that may be lost in reading this.

[Friend] started dating [Idiot] about two years before this incident. Things seemed to be going all right between them. She told me he was a bit of a derp and sometimes incredibly oblivious to some things. He couldn’t pick up subtle cues, and even suggestions flew over his head with about a mile of airspace between his skull and the suggestion. She originally chalked it up to him being on the autism spectrum, as she has a few other friends who have similar problems picking up cues. So, she just switched her behavior from “talking to neurotypical” to “talking to neurodivergent”, and the bumps smoothed out for a while.

All was well and good.

Then, the talk of taking the relationship seriously came up — marriage, becoming a family, etc.

And that’s when the relationship began to die.

[Idiot] announced that he wanted to DNA test [Friend]’s kids to make sure they were his — the kids who were five and three when [Friend] and [Idiot] started dating.

[Friend] said she had to come to a full stop in the conversation for several seconds while her brain rebooted.

Friend: “They’re not your kids. You know they’re not. My ex-husband and I had them together before I ever met you.”

Idiot: “Yeah, and now that we’re getting married, they’ll become mine. I just want to DNA test them to be sure of it.”

Friend: “Let me see if I understand this. Do you… Do you actually think my children’s DNA will… change… to become biologically yours?”

Idiot: “Obviously. I just want the confirmation on paper, is all.”

There was a long conversation about how DNA didn’t work that way, with his rebuttal that adopting them would make them BECOME his. Then, there had to be a conversation about how becoming his children would only happen on paper, and in the legal system. She had to explain that, no, the children would NOT magically transform into his own biological children once the paperwork was filled out. He kept insisting that EVERYBODY said the kids became theirs once adoption happened. She explained the concept of “adopted children are loved just as much as if they were biological”, and that was what that meant. He insisted that everything pointed to kids BECOMING “theirs.”

[Friend]’s mom eventually had to become involved to back [Friend] up. His DAD had to become involved to back [Friend] up. A few books had to get involved to back [Friend] up.

[Idiot] was furious! He couldn’t understand why people would EVER adopt a kid if the kid didn’t “become” the actual, biological child of the people who took them in. He went on about how stupid and selfish it was for kids to retain the DNA of the sperm or egg donor! How could any kid who wanted to be adopted REFUSE to change one little thing so they could have parents?! “DNA doesn’t work that way” is a bulls*** excuse!

He ranted and raved, and right in front of his own parents, he told her that if her kids weren’t going to become his kids, then the marriage wasn’t going to happen.

He told her that he would give them all a week to change their minds and agree to be his biological kids. He said that WHEN they stopped being selfish, and WHEN the DNA test proved it, he would take the kids in.

Friend: *To me* “And that’s how the relationship ended.”

Me: “Uhhhh, wait. Hang on. Was he just looking for an excuse to break it off? Did he just get cold feet, or want to date around some more, or…?”

Friend: “Nope. He really is just that stupid. His mom called me on the sly and very gently suggested that I just break it off with [Idiot], because no matter how much she and his dad talk to him, he’s adamant about it. He’s even saying that he will never date a woman with kids from here on out unless they agree to change their DNA to become his if the relationship becomes serious.”

So, [Friend] is single again, having dodged a tactical nuke.

For the record, the father of [Friend]’s kids is still fully in the kids’ lives, has full parental rights, and has 50/50 custody, so adoption wasn’t even on the table. It just didn’t come up in the conversation due to the stupidity of the DNA topic taking over [Friend]’s brain space.

When You Make The Wait Staff Actually Wait

, , , , , , , | Right | June 25, 2023

It’s an incredibly busy Friday night. We are on a waitlist, so tables are seated within a minute of people getting up. I get a table of six, including a baby who I’m guessing is about eighteen months old.

I get their drink orders, but they’re not ready to order. I check on them a few times over about twenty minutes, answering questions, but they keep telling me they are not ready to order, but no big deal.

Just as I have one table that’s ready to be sat and another that is just finishing dessert but has their check, they flag me down and say they are ready to order. I take the first person’s order as my next table is being sat, and the mother of the baby orders for herself.

Me: “And anything for the little one?”

Mother: “Yes, just a moment.” *Turns to the baby* “[Child], would you like a hamburger or chicken?”

The child looks at the mother like they don’t know what’s going on, and the mother repeats the question a few times. After about a minute of waiting, I glance at the next person, who started ordering. We both seem to think that I can get the rest of the order while the mother figures it out. The mother gives dirty looks to me and the person who began ordering.

Mother: *To the person ordering* “You’re being rude. It’s [Child]’s turn to order.”

She then goes through the process of trying to get a choice out of her baby, who obviously doesn’t understand the question. After a minute, I see my next table looking around. I wave at them and gesture that I’ll be with them in a minute. They smile and nod as I get another table. After another minute or so, I interrupt the mother’s repetitive question.

Me: “So, you seem to need a bit more time to decide. I have to go check on a couple of tables while you think it over.”

Mother: “No, you’re being rude to [Child]. She needs you to be patient, so she can learn. Besides, we have already been here forever, we are hungry, and we’re ready to order. No one wants to wait while the food for everyone who came in after us gets made.”

The person who tried to order before takes the opportunity to jump in and start ordering as I signal to another server to take the second table. The mother gives him a dirty look but seems to realize stopping him again would contradict herself, so she allows the rest of the table to order.

She keeps talking over everyone as they order, trying to get the baby to decide. The baby begins making indecipherable baby talk at the mother. I glance back at my other tables and see that the other servers have gotten the first table’s order in already. The second has their drinks and is placing their order with another server. After everyone else orders, I wait a few seconds before interrupting the mother.

Me: “Have you made a decision for the little one?”

Mother: “No. She is still thinking!”

Me: “Would it be all right if I went to ring in the rest of the food? Everyone else’s meals will take a lot longer than the kid’s, so she should still get her food with everyone else.”

Mother: “No, she just needs another minute. [Child], would you like a hamburger or chicken?”

The rest of the table begins claiming that they heard the baby order one item or another, but the mother won’t accept the baby’s mumbles as an answer. I start handing off checks to other servers to drop for me. Between the rest of the party’s frustration and the mother seeming to realize that I’m still running my section as I wait, she finally relents.

Mother: “Everyone, be quiet! [Child] is talking.”

The table quiets down, and the baby continues to make random babbling noises.

Mother: “See, everyone? She can order for herself. She said she wanted a hamburger, and since you said the kid’s meals are faster, will you ring in her first? It’s taken everyone way too long to order, and she is too hungry to wait for everyone else’s food.”

Me: “Sure, that’s no problem. I’ll be out with it as soon as I can.”

The rest of the table rolled their eyes and shook their heads, and I left as quickly as I could. I had rung up an order a few seconds before I began taking theirs, so I checked the time. It took eighteen minutes to get the order when it could have taken less than three if the mother had not insisted that the baby order herself. In that time, I had to give up two tables, and had a third leave a terrible tip and note about being waited on by other servers while I just talked to one table.

When It Rains, It Pours… Right Out Of Your Pelvic Floor

, , , , , | Healthy | June 6, 2023

In Australia, it’s common for doctors to offer women birth control after having their babies. We’ve seen a lot of studies showing that being pregnant and having children close together can often — not always, but often! — cause issues for the person giving birth, and that’s something we’d like to avoid.

I’m an obstetrician, and we have an adorable couple in their twenties come through us for their prenatal care. They have a three-year-old, as well, who came once to an appointment and was cute as a button and insanely well-behaved for a toddler. The parents said that everyone in their life was joking that their easy oldest child had lulled them into a false sense of security and their next child was sure to be a tornado who didn’t sleep and committed arson. They laughed about it and said they were prepared for anything, though they both did look a little stunned when the ultrasound showed two healthy little babies swimming around in there. They took it in stride and were very excited for their children’s arrival. 

They came to us at showtime, and they delivered two beautifully healthy baby girls. It was a DREAM birth, no complications whatsoever, a miracle in itself with multiples. The twins needed no interventions besides some UV therapy for a bit of jaundice — a couple of quick bakes in the little fish tank and they were good to go.

On the final day in the unit, we offered the mother the same options we offer everyone for birth control. She was a bit overwhelmed — understandably, her hormones were going haywire and she was exhausted — and asked if maybe she could revisit it with her primary care doctor in a couple of weeks when she’d done some research. That was a pretty normal response. We stressed to her that she was very fertile currently and we wouldn’t recommend any activity until she was on some form of birth control. She said it was the last thing on her mind, laughing, and we all said the same thing: “We’ve heard that before!” 

About ten months later, my coworker comes to grab me and points at the appointment list for the day. I grin and walk into the room to find my patient looking rather sheepish.

Me: “Last thing on your mind’, eh?” 

Patient: “It was for a while! Then, I just kept putting off going to the doctor, the next thing I knew, six months had passed, and I still kept putting it off, and now…”

Me: “Honestly, it happens all the time. Maybe this time we can do some research together beforehand so we’re good to go after birth? I’m not judging you at all; I’m only concerned that your pelvic floor might quit and move to Cancun…”

Patient: “Unnecessary. [Husband] isn’t here today because he’s off getting the snip.”

Me: “Oh, that’ll work! You guys decided four is the magic number for you?”

She grins and hands me an ultrasound from our imaging department.

Patient: “Actually, five might be the magic number. It’s twins again.”

Please, birthing humans, think of your bodies! We love babies, and we love to help you have as many as you want, but your body needs the rest to heal.

Now THAT’S Making A Clean Getaway

, , , , , , , | Right | May 22, 2023

I’ve been a housekeeper at various hotels for many years. I don’t have children, but anyone who has ever been a child, met a child, or had to clean up after a child knows that their messes can get pretty destructive. I can instantly tell when a child has been in any hotel room I’ve had to clean — fruit gummies, cracker pieces, snack crumbs, and questionable sticky smears all over the floors and usually every other surface, etc.

One day, I’m at work and I have a lot of rooms to do, and they are pretty bad today. A hockey team has just come through and booked most of the hotel, and the hockey crowd is usually pretty messy. 

I’m in one of the rooms cleaning up the ungodly mess when I see a little boy, maybe eight years old, exit the room across the hall from the room I’m in. He just stands there all bundled up for the winter, presumably waiting for his parents to follow him out of the room. Pretty soon, the room door opens, and out follow his parents along with two younger siblings:  another boy about six years old and a little girl who is around three or four.

They leave with their luggage — which housekeepers always keep an eye on because when waiting for rooms to free up for cleaning, there’s not a moment to lose — so I pop my head out and check the room number they’ve left from. I reference my list of rooms to see if it’s assigned to me or a different housekeeper. It’s my room. 

I groan internally, anticipating the enormous mess I’ll have to deal with from three young children once I get into that room. I finish the room I’m currently working on, close the door, and take a deep breath before letting myself into the next room — the one I know will be trashed by the three young children.

I open the door, bracing myself for a bloodbath of piles of trash, scattered food, sticky messes, and other forms of chaos children on vacation leave in their wake. To my absolute shock, the room is one of the tidiest and cleanest I have ever stepped foot in, in all my years of housekeeping.

There is zero trash anywhere other than a few discarded items in the provided trash bins, surfaces are crystal clean, there are zero floor crumbs, and there is not one gummy candy, fish cracker, or juice box to be found. They even tidied both beds to where they almost looked freshly made. They used only a couple of towels and stacked them neatly next to the bathroom door. (Most families use every single provided towel and washcloth and leave them in a giant sopping wet pile inside the bathtub, which is a nightmare to pick up, because it’s extremely heavy, not to mention kind of gross.)

I’m flabbergasted, to say the least. It takes me record time to thoroughly clean and sanitize the room for the next guest(s), and I’m very grateful to the family for being so conscientious and for the immaculate state they left their room. If I hadn’t seen the family with three young children in tow physically leaving the room with my own eyes, no amount of convincing would have gotten me to believe that there had been anyone in that room other than one single neat-freak adult.

Thank you, random family, for making my otherwise rough day that much easier. You rock.