Some People Just Care You To Death

, , , | Friendly | May 26, 2020

I am a fairly petite woman. My boyfriend is a larger guy, but he is very much a “gentle giant” who would never intentionally hurt anyone. I play rugby: a sport that is not known for being “gentle” or “cuddly”. I get a black eye in a rugby match one weekend, and when I go to class the following Monday, another woman I know from a few classes approaches me.

Woman: “Oh, my gosh, [My Name]. What happened to your face?”

Me: “I got hit by an elbow on Saturday.”

Woman: “[My Name], you can tell me. Did [Boyfriend] hit you?”

Me: “No, I had a rugby match on Saturday. I went into a tackle and ended up taking an elbow to the face. It happens sometimes.”

Woman: “[My Name]… Please be honest with me. I don’t want anyone to get in trouble, but if [Boyfriend] is hurting you, you need to tell someone.”

Me: “It wasn’t [Boyfriend] at all. He would never hurt anyone, especially me.”

Woman: “Well, I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt you, but if he gets mad, it wouldn’t take much because he’s so much bigger than you.”

Me: “For the last time, [Boyfriend] didn’t hurt me. I play rugby. Getting hurt sometimes is part of the sport.”

Woman: “Don’t worry, [My Name]. I won’t tell anybody about you and [Boyfriend], but at least take this.”

She hands me a business card for the local battered women’s shelter.

Woman: “I volunteer there for part of my volunteer practicum. We have a lot of people who have learned to lie about their relationship, but just remember that you’re not alone next time [Boyfriend] does something like this, okay?”

I tore up the business card, threw the pieces in the trash, and walked away from her. She tried a few more times, whenever I had scrapes or bruises from rugby, to convince me that I needed to get away from my boyfriend, but she finally gave up after he proposed to me and I said yes.

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Passing The Dog’s Kiss Test

, , , , | Friendly | May 21, 2020

My great-grandparents lived in a rural area and my great-grandfather worked mostly night shifts in the port, so they had a large guard dog to protect home and family. When the dog heard a disturbance at night, he would lay his massive head on the bed to alert my great-grandmother. She would listen and if it was her husband, she would indicate that all was okay.

During the day, however, the dog would put his paws on the shoulders of whoever tried to enter the home, and people were only allowed in if my great-grandmother kissed them.

My great-grandmother helped start up the local chapter of the equivalent to the WI or farmers’ wives or something similar. That meant she had to deal a whole lot with the local pastor… who also had to get his kiss each time he visited.

The story doesn’t tell whether he liked it.

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, , , , , | Learning | May 18, 2020

My freshman year in college, there is a foreign exchange student from Kenya also attending the school. After a while, the two of us strike up a little friendship and hang out from time to time. She tells me about Kenya, and I answer questions about the US.

One day, I notice she is looking a bit annoyed.

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Friend: “I have been trying to get people to stop calling me African-American. I am not American! I am Kenyan! I’d like it if people would just call me Kenyan. Or call me black. But not American!”

Me: “I can see how that would be annoying.”

Friend: “And today, someone called me African-American-African!”

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Rules Are Important When Playing With Dogs That Are Smarter Than You

, , , , | Friendly | May 15, 2020

My mom has a border collie. She’s had her since she was three weeks old. Since [Border Collie] was young, she has loved to play fetch. However, she has a tendency to jump on you to try to get the ball. My mother and I have come up with a way to combat this. We make [Border Collie] sit and stay until she hears the word “go.” If she moves at all before hearing go, we won’t throw the ball.

Whenever we have guests over, I explain the rules. 

Me: “Now, remember, don’t throw the ball if she moves before you say, ‘Go.’ She will try to test boundaries, but if you are firm the first couple of times, she’ll stop.”

Without fail, people start complaining that she is jumping on them when they are trying to play.

Me: “Did you let her move before you said, ‘go’?”

Them: “Yeah, it seemed like too much of a hassle.”

Me: “That’s why she’s jumping on you. You taught her that you will let her break the rules.”

Them: “I don’t think that’s it.”

And yet, anyone who followed the rules never had a problem with her jumping. Imagine that.

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But Did You Win?

, , , , | Friendly | May 14, 2020

I’m an American working as an English teacher in China. I’m a somewhat small man of only 5’5″ and 155 pounds… Wow, that’s a lot of fives. Anyway, I am a tiny, tiny man and one of my coworkers is a very large Romanian man who is a big fitness buff. He is strong enough to lift me up with one arm without any difficulty.

I decide to joke around with him in the office one day. I put my left elbow down on the desk.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], let’s arm wrestle.”

He looks at my poised left arm.

Coworker: “I’m not left-handed.”

Me: “Oh, good! Then I have the advantage!”

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