Peer Pressure Can Break You

, , , , | Learning | May 28, 2020

In seventh grade, I fall and break my shoulder and thumb at a school dance. Because this happens at the very beginning of the year, I’m not moved out of my PE class because I should be out of the sling and mostly able to participate in the latter half of the semester.

The first sport I’m able to participate in is volleyball. The doctor warns me not to overexert myself because the bone is still delicate. This is fine for the first week. We only practice underhand moves.

Then, one day, we’re learning to serve overhand. This is a sharp, snapping motion that I can tell will hurt my shoulder. The teams rotate positions, so I start as far away from serving as possible and hope class will end before it’s my turn. It doesn’t.

Me: “I can’t serve. That’ll hurt my arm.”

Classmate #1: “Come on, [My Name]. it’s what we’re doing today. You have to do it.”

Me: “Let me ask [Teacher].”

Classmate #2: “She’ll just tell you the same thing. Hurry up.”

I try and fail to get my teacher’s attention because she’s on the other side of the room. After a few minutes of my classmates insisting I have to try, I succumb to peer pressure and give it a shot.

As soon as I do, I hear a crack, and I fall to the floor in pain. The other students play for a minute before they realize I’m actually hurt. The teacher comes running over.

Teacher: “You didn’t need to serve if it was going to hurt your arm! Go to the nurse.”

The nurse sent me home, and I returned to the doctor with instructions to go back in the sling for a little longer. I did rebreak my shoulder, but it healed relatively quickly. At least I learned not to listen to peer pressure.

We Can’t Come Up With A Better Joke Than He Did

, , , , | Romantic | May 27, 2020

I don’t know how it is for most women, but my monthly cycle gives me noticeable changes in my hormones almost every week, so it’s pretty easy to tell where in my cycle I am.

This particular night, I am talking with my husband when I realize that the reason I’ve been having one particular stress all evening is that I’m getting my “one week to chaos” warning. I mention this to him.

Husband: “What, so this is the ‘week before’ meeting, to finalize plans leading up to the event?”

I roll my eyes a little.

Me: “I guess so.”

Husband: *In a dramatic commercial tone* “Hormone Event Planners; the best planners in the body. Period.”

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She Can’t See How Much Of A Jerk She’s Being, Either

, , , , , , | Related | May 26, 2020

My mother has been one of the primary points of support for my elderly grandparents for the past several years, driving across town to their home and doing their laundry, buying their groceries, and cooking them dinner once or twice a week. It is tiring and time-consuming for her, and personally, I think they take her for granted more often than not.

My grandmother has had macular degeneration for some time now, and while she has had many genuine health issues, she’s also unfortunately quite a drama queen about them if it gets her attention. These days, it means that every third sentence from her contains some variation of “I can’t see anything.” I thought that was an exaggeration until I visited last Christmas. It really is constant!

It drives my mother up the wall sometimes, especially when this affliction seems to conveniently come and go whenever my grandmother does or doesn’t want to do something. Usually, Mom just grits her teeth and never calls her on it.

Last year, my mom was asked to visit them to help with putting up their Christmas decorations. My uncle had apparently been by already and had put up their fake tree, but my mom needed to come over because “it didn’t look right.” My grandmother complained about how awful it looked until mom came to help. 

It turns out that my uncle had half-a**ed the job and never opened up the branches properly, so of course, the tree looked awful! Mom spent a few hours redoing this chore and then decorating the tree for my grandmother, who sat and supervised (and complained). Apparently, from across the room, my grandmother was able to see which ornaments Mom was hanging and direct her where to put them or go off down memory lane about where they came from.

Finally, Mom was finished with the tree and asked my grandmother, “How does that look?”

Of course, Mom knew as soon as she’d said it…

“Oh, I don’t know, honey. You know I can’t see anything anymore.”

“Well, you could see well enough to know it looked bad before!”

Suddenly, it seemed my grandmother couldn’t hear, either. Not when someone was calling her on her BS! Mom decided to leave before she lost her cool.

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Pick Up A Book: An OSHA Handbook

, , , , , | Working | May 25, 2020

I work at a big chain bookstore. One morning, we come in to discover a large chunk of concrete has fallen through the ceiling in the business section. We cordon off the area, warning all customers — cue customers, “But I know what I need! Couldn’t you just run in there real quick?” — and at around midday a contractor comes in to take a look at it.

We’re told the area was stabilized and we shouldn’t have any other rocks falling, but word also gets around that he found up there an old form of insulation known to contain asbestos.

We’re all expecting an immediate store shut-down, but the general manager hems and haws and stalls, saying that he needs to be in touch with higher management to decide what to do. 

The next day, we’re back in as usual — now worried about getting cancer, rather than being knocked out by falling concrete. After a few hours, a call comes in over the walkies we all use to communicate:

“[General Manager], there’s a representative from OSHA on line two. OSHA, line two.”

The store is closed for several days.

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Putting Words In The Pastor’s Mouth

, , , , , , , | Related | May 25, 2020

My cousin told this story at my uncle’s funeral. I thought it was hilarious.

My cousin, his wife, and his parents all go to church together. My cousin’s wife is heavily pregnant at the time. A new associate pastor is joining the church that day, and after the service, he stands at the back so everyone can greet him and introduce themselves. His wife stands next to him, and she is also heavily pregnant.

When my cousin and his wife reach the new pastor, he says, “I see your wife has the same ailment that mine has!” Everyone gives a polite chuckle, except my uncle, who glares at the new pastor and doesn’t say a word as he shakes his hand next.

My uncle still looks annoyed when they get in the car. My cousin asks him what is up.

Uncle: “That wasn’t right. A pastor shouldn’t say things like that.”

Cousin: “What do you mean?”

Uncle: “That was just rude. To say that his wife and [Cousin’s Wife] have the same mailman!”

And my cousin said that was the earliest indication that my uncle’s hearing had started to go.

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