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Kids Really Do Say The Darndest Things

, , , , , , | Related | March 9, 2021

My family and some other relatives are visiting my grandparents. I’m a pretty sassy little kid, and my grandpa — who I adore — is not a slim man. He motions for me to climb up into his lap and I do so, noting how small the available space is.

Me: “Grandpa, if we wanna keep doing this, one of us is gonna have to stop growing.”

No one could stop laughing for a while, including my grandfather. He later lost the weight and is much healthier, though, unfortunately, it was several years after I was too big to sit in his lap anymore!

Grandma Knits Communities Together

, , , , , | Related | March 4, 2021

When I was in college, my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. My grandma has always knitted as a hobby, and after Grandpa’s diagnosis, she started knitting constantly to help relieve stress. After a year of near-constant knitting, she had mountains of scarves, hats, socks, mittens, small blankets, and other items piled around the house.

My mom and her siblings convinced Grandma to start selling items to help raise funds for Grandpa’s treatments. It was decided that everyone would take a pile of stuff and sell to coworkers, friends, and neighbors, and then pass the money back to Grandma. I took a pile of stuff to college and posted pictures and prices on social media, along with the story about my grandpa.

A few of my close friends shared the post, and within a week, I had people from all over campus messaging me looking to buy gifts for themselves or their significant others. I sold out of everything within a month and still had people messaging to ask when I would get more stuff from my grandma.

Everyone was super friendly and sympathetic about my grandpa, so even though it was a stressful time trying to balance family needs, the messages from buyers, and my school work, it was a huge morale boost that helped me get through the year.

My grandpa survived his treatments and is still with us today. My grandma has continued to knit, though at a slower pace than she used to, and two or three times a year, we all still get a pile of stuff to sell wherever we are.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for March 2021! This is the last story of this roundup, but we have plenty more feel-good stories for you! Just check out the February Feel-Good roundup here!

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An Unexpected Transition

, , , , , | Related | February 26, 2021

My grandpa is a very tall, straight-back, and straight-laced veteran with a no-nonsense attitude who diligently attends church every Sunday. He occasionally mentions his aunt and her friend; when Grandpa isn’t around, Granny clarifies that they’re lesbians in a long-term committed relationship and that Grandpa just isn’t comfortable talking about them like that.

Now, he is in his late eighties and has somehow gotten sterner. My mum, older sister, and I have gone over to see my grandparents. My older sister is dating a trans man. We are all having a chat in the living room and the subject of her boyfriend comes up. I can’t quite remember how it gets to this point, but it does.

Mum: “Oh, he’s a trans man.”

Grandpa: “A what? What’s that?”

There’s a bit of an awkward pause and my sister glares daggers at my mum.

Sister: “He’s a transgender man. It means he was born a female, realised he was born into the wrong body, and is transitioning into man. He’s on hormone therapy and will soon have one of his surgeries, and I’ll be there to help him through it.”

Granny: “Oh… She’s—”

Grandpa: *Sharply* “He.”

Granny: “No, [Grandpa], she was born—”

Grandpa: “I heard. But he is a he. He is [Sister]’s boyfriend. He is a trans man. He is having hormones to be a man. He is thus a man and the appropriate pronoun is he.” *To my sister* “Unless he prefers different pronouns?”

Sister: “N-no, his pronouns are he/him.”

Grandpa: “There we go. He. Not she.”

Granny: “She’s clearly confused!”

Grandpa:No! He is not. I imagine he was much less confused when he was growing up not feeling like he belonged in his own body! You’re confused; he’s not! I hate that word! They called my aunt ‘confused’ and they set fire to her home and threw bricks through her windows because they were ‘confused’ by who she loved! They were happy, consenting adults. That’s all that mattered! This man is happy as a man, and it’s nobody else’s place to tell him he’s wrong or confused! It doesn’t affect anyone else!”

My grandpa died of cancer a few years back, but his tirade is a very fond memory I have of him as it allowed me to see a side I hadn’t known was there. My granny did improve her knowledge and opinions on transgender issues, though.


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This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Keep The Ring In The Family, Lose The Weird Prejudices

, , , , | Related | February 25, 2021

This conversation takes place when I’m at the age where jewellery starts becoming a part of my life. My mom promised me anything I wanted from her collection as a gift. She’s taken all her jewellery out and is showing me the pieces, one by one.

We’ve gone through a truly surprising number of pieces, including a ring engraved with my name that I am eyeing. But then she pulls out one last ring, and it stands out because of how old it looks.

Mom: “And this horridly outdated piece is our family engagement ring. It’s been passed down from mother to daughter since before World War Two. I got it off Grandma back when she thought she was going to die any day.”

Me: “Wait, what? But Grandma’s so healthy.”

Mom: “Turned out to be a false alarm, but she gave me all her jewels back then. She really regrets that now.”

Me: “Wait, it’s an engagement ring. How is it that mothers give it to daughters? I thought engagement rings were given by the guy?”

Mom: “Normally, it’s given from mother to daughter-in-law. Well, more accurately, the son will ask his mother’s permission to marry, and his mother will give him the ring to propose with. But as things happen, Grandma doesn’t actually like [Aunt #1], [Aunt #3], and [Aunt #4].”

Me: “What? But they’re all so nice.”

Mom: “Well, Grandma was supposed to give it to [Uncle #1], but she didn’t like [Aunt #1]. She thought she was a gold digger, so my older brother didn’t get the ring. Not that it stopped him.”

Me: “Ridiculous. [Aunt #1] is my nicest aunt.”

Mom: “My mom had this silly belief that brides shouldn’t be older than their groom, and [Aunt #1] is older than [Uncle #1].”

I shake my head in disbelief.

Me: “Then what happened with [Aunt #3]?”

Mom: “Back then, Grandma didn’t actually think architects were a real job. So she was really annoyed that [Uncle #2] became an architect. So when my younger brother married [Aunt #3], who was another architect… Well, there’s a reason they live in another country.”

Me: “I get the point.”

Mom: “And I trust we don’t have to discuss [Aunt #4]?”

Me: “Nope. I already know what Grandma thinks of [Aunt #2] marrying [Aunt #4].”

My mother’s older sister had to go overseas to do it, as Singaporean law forbade — and still forbids — same-sex marriage. Grandma still insists that the marriage is invalid.

Me: “So, because she never gave it away, you got it when she gave you all her jewels.”

Mom: “That, and I’m her only child that had a ‘respectable’ marriage.”

I snort.

Mom: “Anyway. That’s the last piece in my collection. Want the engagement ring?”

Me: “No, thanks. Maybe in the future. For now, the ring I want literally has my name on it.”

That conversation was nearly a decade ago. Now, I have that ancient engagement ring in hand and am about to go out for dinner with my girlfriend. Wish me luck.


This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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Who Doesn’t Love Unsolicited Advice?

, , , , | Related | February 18, 2021

Our daughter is less than a year old. We have gotten through some difficult spots but feel pretty in control; the baby is in routine, sleeping and feeding well.

I’m at a family house party with most of my wife’s family. My wife’s grandmother is there; she’s a lovely woman but has an opinion on everything and goes out of her way to share it. Before even a hello, [Grandmother] starts in:

Grandmother: “Are you feeding that baby enough?”

Me: “Yes, we’ve been feeding her as we should. Thank you.”

Grandmother: “You need to support the head more; let me show you.”

Me: “No, thank you. She has just fallen asleep. Hello, by the way.”

Grandmother: “She looks cold.”

Wife: “Grandmother, please! The baby is fine; we are fine. Leave [My Name] alone.”

Grandmother: “I’m just saying.”

She quietens down but keeps sniping at me throughout the night. I ignore most of it, but it is getting tiring. To my surprise, my wife’s father — [Grandmother]’s son — pulls me to one side.

Father-In-Law: “Hey, you’re doing a great job. I don’t like to say this, but [Grandmother] — bless her — didn’t know what she was doing half the time she was raising us. It’s a wonder we survived.” *Laughs* “Some people just can’t help themselves but open their mouths when they think they know better.”

The grandmother never did stop giving us “advice,” but after that, it was easier to ignore.