Parents, Man

, , , , , , | Related | May 11, 2020

I’m a transman. Before realising I wanted to transition when I was twenty, I struggled with my sexuality, believing myself to be a lesbian, which my parents — of course — passed off as a phase, before I realized I was “sort of bisexual.” (My actual sexuality is more complex than that, as I understood some years later.)

After I’ve been living as male for a while, I have a long-distance relationship with a lovely woman for a couple of years. It fizzles out, and a while later, I start talking to a sweet guy online.

Here is how my mother and my stepfather take that.

Mother: “Oh, did I tell you that [Older Cousin] is getting married?”

Me: “No? I didn’t even know she’d been seeing anyone since she broke up with her last boyfriend.”

Mother: “Yeah, he works in the medical industry. Quite well off. He’s called John.”

Me: “Huh. I’ve been talking to a guy called John who’s interested in me.”

Mother: “Wait. Really?”

Me: “Yes?”

Mother: “I thought you were straight now.”

Me: “What?!”

Mother: “I mean, after [Ex-Girlfriend]—”

Me: “I’ve always been into both men and women! That hasn’t changed because I finally had a longer-than-brief relationship with a woman!”

Mother: “Oh. Well, how do you know he’s really into you?”

Me: “…”

Mother: “I mean… what if he just wants—” 

She gestures towards my crotch.

Me: “Because. He’s. Gay.”

Also, I don’t think most straight men want to sleep with someone who is a man, and both looks and sounds like it, simply because he has a vagina. Come on, now.

After I get with this guy, this happens.

Mother: “I told your dad—” *meaning my stepfather* “—about you and John.”

Me: “Oh?”

Mother: “Yeah, he didn’t get it.”

Me: “What’s not to get?”

Mother: “Well, he doesn’t understand what the point of being a man is if you’re just going to have a relationship with a man anyway.”

Me: *Pause* “Oh, my God.”

Anyway, “John” and I eventually got married, once we were legally able to. He’s pretty fantastic. My parents behaved terribly on our wedding day, and that was the final straw on top of a whole bale of being awful. I’ve cut ties with them, and that’s also been pretty excellent!

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Further Evidence That Moms Shouldn’t Be Involved In Your Wedding Night

, , , , , , , | Related | May 2, 2020

My mother and I have always had a troubled relationship, but after my mother had a period of ill health, on the run up to our wedding, my now-husband and I — also male — tried to patch things up.

My mother doesn’t know what it is to be poor; her parents had a decent amount of money — not rich, but definitely comfortable — and while she’s a complete penny pincher I never had the impression as a child that she was struggling or tightening her belt.

My husband and I, however, were poor. Dirt poor. We barely scraped by on benefits for several years due to my being disabled and my husband being my carer. So, our wedding was as cheap and DIY as we could make it while still feeling like an “occasion.”

My mother offered to buy flowers — actually, insisted, despite us not wanting them due to my husband’s hay fever — but much more appreciated was her offer to pay for a hotel room for the wedding night. Our best couple of friends were taking us for a single-day honeymoon, so that was nice! We still had to get home to drop off our wedding stuff and pick up our stuff for the next day before going to the hotel, but as we lived in a shared house, it helped the whole thing feel like one event.

My mother asked us which hotel we wanted; there was one literally two minutes walk from us, and one in the town centre, which involved our best friends picking us up and taking us there as we didn’t drive. We knew nothing about either and were going frantic with getting everything done, so I asked her to look into them and give us some information. She came back and said she went for the one in the town centre “because it was ten pounds cheaper.”

As it turned out, the one near us was much quieter, had a four-star rating, and had breakfast included. It would have allowed us to drop back home that much easier. Instead, we had to pay out of pocket for breakfast, listen to loud drunks passing through the town or drinking at bars, and had a far smaller room, and of course, we couldn’t get home easily.

It feels petty to complain about it; she still paid for the room for us. But I’m still a little bitter that she just looked at the price tag and, despite being very comfortable, financially, and never helping us out in that regard, took the worse option for ten freakin’ pounds less, leaving us to spend money we hadn’t accounted for in order to have breakfast in the morning.

By the way, we’re doing much better now. I’m self-employed and my husband and I have a great relationship. And as this story is really the tiny tip of the iceberg, I’m no longer in contact with my mother.

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I Don’t Drink, But After This, I Wanna

, , , , , | Healthy | May 29, 2019

(I am 19, and I go in for my annual checkup at the doctor. I am given a standard medical questionnaire to fill in. One of the questions is, “On average, how many units of alcohol do you drink a week?” I have never been a big drinker, not even as a teen. Not for any particular reason; it just isn’t my thing. At most, I have a few drinks on New Years and a few on my birthday. I write on the form that I have a couple of units a week, which would average out to the few drinks on my birthday and New Years with plenty of wiggle room to spare, just in case. I hand the form in, and it is sent to the doctor. Eventually, he calls me in. We do my height and weight and blood pressure. All good. Then he comes to my alcohol intake and narrows his eyes at me.)

Doctor: “You can be truthful, you know. I’m a medical professional.”

Me: “I know. I am being honest. I’m not a big drinker.”

(He stares at me for a while.)

Doctor: “I was young once. And I have teenage kids. I’m not going to judge you. Be honest.”

Me: “I am being honest. I’m not a drinker.”

Doctor: *condescendingly* “What do you do when you go clubbing? Drink water?”

(Taken aback, I shake my head. I don’t go clubbing; nightclubs are my idea of Hell. I have a full-time job, often working fifty or more hours, and I have no interest in going to loud clubs or bars on my days off.)

Me: “I don’t go out much. I’d rather go out for coffee than go clubbing.”

(The doctor raises his eyebrows.)

Doctor: “Okay, well, I’m going to put you down for ten units a week.”

(He picks up his pen and actually crosses out what I wrote.)

Me: “No! What I wrote was true. I don’t drink. Even a few units a week is generous. I don’t want you to change what I wrote.”

Doctor: “Look, just be honest. If you’re not, we can’t treat you.”

Me: “I am being honest. I don’t give you permission to change it.”

Doctor: “Well, I’m the doctor, and I have reason to believe you are being dishonest. You need to stop lying on medical forms. That’s a big deal. If you keep lying on them, you could die because we don’t have the right information.”

(I keep trying to argue with him but he writes over what I wrote and puts down ten units a week. Dumbfounded and unsure of what to do, I carry on with the rest of the exam, just wanting it to be over. As soon as I am out, I go straight to reception and tell them I want to make a complaint. At first, the receptionist is alarmed and asks what the problem is. When I tell her, she pauses and then rolls her eyes.)

Receptionist: “Look, sweetie, we won’t tell your parents. Everything you tell us is confidential.”

Me: “I live by myself. That’s not my issue. The doctor falsified my medical records without my permission.”

Receptionist: “Your medical records need to be accurate, sweetie. Otherwise, we can’t treat you.”

(The receptionist refuses to log my complaint. When I continue to insist, she looks down her nose at me.)

Receptionist: “For somebody who doesn’t drink, you sure are protesting a lot.”

(I wanted to scream at her that I was angry because they were DELIBERATELY FALSIFYING my medical records, but instead, I left and transferred to another practice.)

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They Pulled The Rabbit Out Of The Hat

, , , , , , , | Related | May 20, 2019

When my now-husband and I got together, I had one house rabbit who was very much a daddy’s boy; that is, I was his daddy and nobody else! A couple of months into our relationship, we decided to go to the pet shop to look at and pet the other rabbits under the pretense of wanting to get him a playmate. The babies were all adorable of course, and then the staff member asked if we wanted to meet the adoptions.

The last one she brought out was a large doe who was still in isolation and not ready to be adopted. She had been brought in because she was “aggressive” and she had nicks and still-healing bites along her ears. When I picked her up and stroked her, she just melted into my arms.

We returned the day she was available for adoption and took her home.

We were able to guess from her behaviour some of what happened to her. She had serious food and attention issues, and would pester us constantly for attention, as well as my other rabbit once we got them living together. Most heartbreaking was the nightmares; when she slept she would squeak and twitch and jolt out of her sleep, clearly distressed.

About a year and a half ago, we lost the older rabbit, and when she fell into a depression we knew we had to get her a new playmate, no matter how we felt about it.

She’s been with us for approaching six years now, and while some of her issues remain — primarily with food; to this day she’s terrified of not getting enough — the difference warms my heart every time I remember it. She still loves attention but now it feels less like being attention starved and more like her simply being an affectionate rabbit. She and our newer rabbit absolutely adore each other. Best of all, now, when she sleeps, we can still tell when she’s dreaming, but now they’re clearly pleasant dreams; her eyes and ears twitch, and she does the gentle intermittent tooth grind that is the rabbit equivalent of purring. She wakes up slowly, sleepy and happy. She has gone from an animal constantly afraid of losing what she had to one who is simply… happy.

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Data Protection Protects You From Callers Like Her

, , , , , | Legal | May 16, 2019

(I am working in the collections department for an energy supplier when I get a call from a woman regarding a letter she says she received. She says she has a question about it. She gives me a reference number and I pull up the account.)

Me: “I’ve got the account up. May I ask your name?

(The customer gives me her name and it is the same as on the account. I then ask her to confirm address and DOB, both of which match what is on the account.)

Me: “Thank you for confirming those details. What was your query?”

Customer: “Yes, what is this letter all about?”

Me: “There is a balance on the account. It needs to be paid. You owe [amount].”

Customer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “I’m not seeing any payments since [date].”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This isn’t my account.”

Me: “Your name is on the account and you confirmed the address.”

Customer: “No, no. This letter isn’t for me. This is my friend’s account. My name is [Different Name].”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I can no longer discuss the account with you without the customer’s permission. Is the customer there?”

Customer: “You just broke the data protection law. You disclosed my friend’s details.”

Me: “Actually, madam, you committed fraud.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t. I never said I was the customer. You broke the law; now you’re going to lose your job. I’m going to report you.”

Me: “Actually, madam, when I asked what your name was, you told me it was [Customer’s Name], when I asked what your address was, you said it was [Customer’s address], and when I asked you to confirm your date of birth, you told me it was [Customer’s DOB]. You pretended to be your friend, which is fraud.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t. If you heard that, that’s your fault. I’m going to report you!”

Me: “You are welcome to report this to the data commissioner. I’ll get you the details if you like. We are obligated to report this incident, as well, and will send the recording of this call to prove what was said.”

Customer: “How dare you say that to me?! Get me your manager!”

(I got my manager, who took over the call. My manager promised to listen to the call and arranged to call the woman back once she had done so. Later that day, my manager came and spoke to me. She listened to the call and confirmed that the customer definitely committed fraud – she clearly said her name, address, and DOB were the customer’s. My manager gave me an anti-fraud form to fill in so it could be passed on to the police. During the call, the woman gave me her full name, and she gave my manager several phone numbers when they arranged the callback, one of which was a work number. My manager also got the woman’s address because she wanted me to write her a formal apology for accusing her of committing fraud. All these details went on the form we sent to the police.)

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