What The Duke?!

, , , , , , | Related | April 29, 2021

I’m about five, and I’m in the car with my grandparents heading to a forest. A very well-known family frequents the area. Whilst it’s an area Grandpa lived in for a long period of time, he can’t remember how to get there. We’re surrounded by trees, though, so we’re likely to be close. There’s someone in a swept-up land rover behind us.

Grandpa: “I’ll ask that man behind for directions.”

Granny: *Alarmed* “I don’t think that’s a good idea!”

Grandpa: “It’s fine. I must know him; I recognise his face!”

He does just that and approaches the land rover. Then, men in suits just appear from the trees and the surrounding area. Loads of them. Grandpa freezes. I ask Granny who they are and she says they’re security.

Security: “Sir, please return to your vehicle.”

Grandpa: “But we’re lost. We want to get to [Forest].”

Security: *Pauses* “You’re in the forest. Stay on this road and you’ll get to the car park.”

Grandpa: “Oh. Right. Okay.”

He gets back to the car and heads off. There’s a long stretch of silence.

Granny: *Imitating Grandpa* “‘I must know him; I recognise his face!'” *Crossly* “That was Prince Edward, you idiot!”

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This Is Why We Call Her The Monster-In-Law

, , , , , | Related | April 20, 2021

CONTENT WARNING: Child Abuse

My husband and I have recently had our first child. I am struggling with major postpartum depression, and my mother-in-law offers to watch our daughter for a few hours so we can have a date night. I am at first reluctant, but she insists and everyone tells me it’ll probably be good for me.

When my daughter is about three months old, we accept my mother-in-law’s offer. When we drop my daughter off, we explain that since she is still so little and young, we don’t let her cry it out and ask them to not do so.

When we go to pick her up afterward, my daughter is near hyperventilating. After further questions, we find out that she had started getting fussy and my mother-in-law didn’t want to deal with it, so she let her cry it out until the point where she was inconsolable. The second my daughter sees me, she whimpers and reaches out for me. I am fuming. 

Me: “We asked you to not let her cry it out. Why didn’t you comfort her?”

Mother-In-Law: “You don’t get to complain about free babysitting. I can do whatever I want when I’m watching her.”  

She continued to make statements like, “Are you sure she’s not colicky?” and “It’s a good thing her crying doesn’t bother you; I would just shut her in a room with a vacuum on.” She never understood why we never took her up on her offers to watch our daughter again or why, for months after, whenever our daughter saw her, she would instantly burst into tears.

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This Dinosaur Needs To Get With The Times

, , , , , | Related | April 16, 2021

My husband and I have the only granddaughter and great-granddaughter on his side of the family. Because of this, his mom and grandma try to treat her like a princess with frilly and girly stuff. She loves pink but she also loves cars, dinosaurs, and playing rough with her male cousins. One summer, my husband’s grandma is visiting and watching our daughter playing with dinosaurs.

Grandma: “Brave of you to let her play with dinosaurs.”

Me: “Uh, why?”

Grandma: “I’m just surprised you allow her to play with things like cars and dinosaurs. She’s a girl. She should be playing with girl toys.”

Me: “What exactly are ‘girl’ toys? Dinosaurs are awesome. They’re for everyone. Not just boys.”

She said she’d be speaking with my husband about it later. He just laughed at her and told her the same response I had. She was not pleased.

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At Least You’re Not Your Own Grandpa

, , , , , | Related | April 9, 2021

You know how some people say that they’re related to pretty much everyone in some way? My mother is one of them, and she’s actually not exaggerating when she says that. Nearly everyone in her hometown is her cousin or extended family. According to her, and corroborated by her siblings, it’s easier to count the number of people she isn’t related to than the ones she is.

Back during World War I, all the men in town were called on to serve the nation and defend France against the Germans. They all fought, and died, in the trenches. I’m not sure the exact number, but of the thirty or forty men that left, less than half a dozen came home in something other than a coffin.

Including my great-grandfather.

With the death of nearly 80% of the young men in town, there was a whole motherlode of widows and young women facing spinsterhood, and many families without heirs, so the surviving men got busy rectifying that.

My great-grandfather, in particular, was the most virile of the lot. He was married to at least four women at the same time. Seven wives is the most commonly accepted number, with nine as the highest. More, if the one-night stands and mistresses are counted.

He then proceeded to have nearly fifty children with them, which made up basically half of their hometown’s next generation. And when those kids grew up, they married the other half of their generation. That meant that, by the time my mother was born, nearly every other kid in town was her cousin.

She half-seriously told me that when we were at her hometown, she could point at a random person on the street, and chances were he or she would be a blood relative. In fact, she actually did that, after a night of drinking, and indeed, that person was her half-cousin once removed — her mother’s half-sister’s grandson.

All in all, I’m told that my mother has nearly two hundred aunts, uncles, and cousins. And if that isn’t enough to be related to virtually everyone in a town, then I don’t know what is.

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The Well-Behaved Child Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

, , , , , | Related | CREDIT: LoneWolfWi13 | April 6, 2021

My grandmother (and my mother) are both extremely strict about not being interrupted while on the phone.

One year while visiting my grandmother, I decide to climb a large tree in her yard. I don’t know how high it is, but I am almost to the top. Now, being eleven, I naturally climb onto a dead branch, and it snaps.

I fall, plummeting to the ground. As soon as I realize I’m alive, I notice that I can’t quite move my left arm.

Me: *To my brother* “Go inside and tell Grandmother!”

My brother has Asperger’s and is a couple of years younger than me. He goes into the house, sits down, and waits. I’m sure it’s only a few minutes, but for me, it seems like an eternity.

Finally, my grandmother hangs up the phone.

Grandmother: “What’s the matter?”

Brother: “[My Name] fell out of a tree.”

At the hospital, a nurse asks me about the details. I tell them I lay there on the ground for a while after I fell.

Nurse: “Why?”

Brother: “I had to wait until Grandmother got off the phone to tell her about it.”

My grandmother had to explain to them what was going on. I do remember a social worker ushering them out of the room and asking some questions. After that, both Grandmother and Mother explained to us that if it’s an emergency, we need to tell them right away.

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