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Helicopter Parents: Ultra Mode

, , , , , | Related | October 20, 2021

I am nineteen and have moved out of my parent’s house.

Me: “It was super late and we wanted to go home anyway.”

Dad: “Super late, huh?”

Me: “It was almost 2:00 am.”

Dad: *Suddenly irate* “WHAT?! You have no business being out that late! What were you even doing?”

Me: “We went to see the midnight release of a movie after work—”

Dad: *To Mom* “What are we going to do about this?”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Mom: “Well, obviously you broke curfew, so—”

Me: “Wait, hold up. Aren’t you two forgetting something? I don’t live here anymore.”

Dad: “You’re our daughter! You have no business being out and about at 2:00 am!”

Me: “I’m an adult that doesn’t live here or even rely on you financially. I have a job, I have a place on my own, and I pay my own bills. What I do with my time is literally none of your business.”

Mom: “You’re just a teenager! You need to listen to us!”

Dad: “As long as you live under our roof—”

Me: “I don’t, though. I have my own roof where I make my own rules. So you’re going to… do what, exactly?”

Dad: “Give me your keys.”

Me: “My car keys? The keys to the car I bought myself, that’s in my name? I don’t think so.”

Mom: “You broke the rules!”

Me: “Those rules stopped applying to me the minute I moved out. I’m leaving now.”

Dad: “You disrespectful little— Don’t you walk away from me!”

They still insisted I “broke curfew” as an adult and tried to demand that I either hand over my car keys or accept the grounding. I went home, instead. Somehow, they were shocked when I moved hundreds of miles away six months later.

Working Is Hard. Get Over It.

, , , , , | Working | October 19, 2021

[Acquaintance] works at a school part-time; it’s not an easy job and not for everyone. But the problem is that [Acquaintance] has been told for so long by so many people how hard her job must be. Not only does she believe it, but she thinks no one has a harder job than she does. Half of her day is spent stood in a classroom not teaching but there just in case.

I’m at a gathering with several friends and acquaintances. The subject of jobs has come up, and we have all listened to her preach about what she does and how hard it is for some time.

One of [Acquaintance]’s friends tries to steer the conversation away.

Friend: *To me* “Didn’t you start a new job recently?”

Me: “Yes, actually, thanks for asking. It’s pretty cool. I’m working for a military contractor. Big budget, really small deadline. It’s stressful but I’m really enjoying it.”

Acquaintance: “Ha, stress. If you want stress, try teaching.”

Again [Acquaintance] isn’t a teacher.

Friend: “Well, I think a lot of jobs are stressful for different reasons. Wouldn’t you say, [My Name]?”

Me: “Sure, I mean my job can be stressful just by what’s at stake.”

Acquaintance: “Yeah, well, okay, but we are talking about the next generation, shaping future minds.”

Friend: “Look. I love you, but seriously, it’s not all about you. And besides, you help out, not teach, and by what you’ve been saying for the last half-hour, it’s mostly playing games.”

Acquaintance: “I can’t believe this.”

She looks around for validation but finds none.

Acquaintance: “Fine! I can’t believe you lot. No respect for us hard-working, underpaid teachers.”

She storms off. A guy I’ve not met before chimes in.

Guy: “We are underpaid and undervalued, but she is completely nuts.”

Turned out the guy was a teacher, working with children with additional needs. Super guy, really humble and down to earth. We stayed in touch for years after.

But Did He Use His Blinkers?

, , , , | Romantic | October 19, 2021

I was getting ingredients out of the fridge and my husband wanted something from the cabinet next to it. He started going, “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” like a reversing truck as he approached behind me, letting me know he was there. He stopped beeping and I had what I needed from the fridge, so I pivoted to get out of the way and close the door. I slammed right into him.

After I finally stopped laughing:

Me: “I thought you were gone! You stopped beeping!”

Husband: “I stopped beeping because I shifted into park!”

When A Crappy Solution Isn’t

, , , , , , , | Friendly | October 19, 2021

One of the reasons we bought our home was the uninterrupted views of the lake it sat on. In spring, we watched the ducklings grow and flowers spring up; in winter, it was a beautiful white backdrop that we would walk in the snow.

Unfortunately, this was largely disrupted by someone parking their rusty old van on the grass, directly blocking our view. We tried asking — there were plenty of other actual spaces. We also tried getting help from the council, but they didn’t care. Nothing worked.

Then, I came up with a plan. I left one last note on the van, asking them to be neighbourly; if they moved just a few meters along, they wouldn’t block anyone. But I found the note on the ground screwed up, so that was that.

Every day, I would go to the van and scatter birdseed, and in the tree nearby I hung bird feeders. I had different types of food for all the local birds, and I applied it liberally.

For weeks, I did this and the van sat there. Eventually, it was covered in bird poo. The driver stopped parking there afterward.

The Shinto God That Broke The Camel’s Back

, , , , | Related | October 18, 2021

My girlfriend’s mother is the worst bigot I have ever had the misfortune to meet. She is a Japanese Christian, straight, cisgender female; she looks down on homosexuality, refuses to believe that bisexuality is a thing, scorns transgender people, denounces any non-Christian belief as sinful, believes in sexual abstinence before marriage, thinks any relationship that is not exclusive is not a relationship, and insists on traditional gender roles. Pretty much the only nice thing I can say about her is that she doesn’t seem to be racist; I’m a black male, and I’ve never heard her scorn me for that. The family moved here to Canada while the kids were in middle school, and I met my girlfriend in high school.

Chris Rock once said, “Whoever you hate will end up in your family.” Well, my girlfriend’s family is the embodiment of that quote, and thanks to those prejudices, her mother is no longer a welcome part of the family. Her father, bless the man, divorced her and got custody of the kids after it turned out their own children weren’t exempt from her bigotry.

My girlfriend is the fourth of five children; twin sisters, a brother, her, and her younger sister. One of the twins is a lesbian, the other is trans, the brother is very effeminate, and the youngest sister is bisexual and is currently in a polyamorous relationship with her boyfriend and girlfriend. All of them have been sexually active since they came of age; currently, only the brother is married.

As for my girlfriend… Well, she’s not comfortable with the fact that she basically conforms to her mother’s beliefs. She and I have a largely non-sexual relationship, and I’m built like a brute, which means I tend to do a lot of the heavy lifting — both figuratively and literally. We currently live together but do not have plans to get married, and I’m ashamed to say that I’m not as good a cook as she is. I’m trying to learn, I swear!

Her mother goes out of her way to drop in on us every so often, acting civil while making not-so-subtle insults toward her other children under the pretext of “visiting her daughter like a good mother should”. Having been raised to show respect when you receive respect, I’m unfortunately too cowardly to try and push back against her, given that she doesn’t insult us.

Then, one fateful day, she happens to stop by while we’re watching an anime together. We watch with Japanese audio and English subtitles, and we happen to pause the episode while a certain name is on the screen; during a lull in the conversation, I notice the name and ask my girlfriend about it.

Me: “Kagutsuchi? What does that name mean?”

Girlfriend: “It’s the Shinto god of fire.”

Me: “Huh. I’ve always been curious about Shinto gods.”

Mother: “Why on earth would you be interested in that sort of heresy?”

Me: “Because they come up a lot in games I play. I’m always looking up what a name means, but when it turns up something like ‘sun goddess,’ I go, ‘Oh, that’s an entire creation myth,’ and I go back to my game.”

Mother: “Good.”

Me: “No, not good. I shouldn’t be so ignorant of other peoples’ beliefs. I just know that if I start reading about it, I’m gonna keep reading about it until my battery is dead and I lose all my progress. One of these days, I need to sit down and actually read some of that stuff.”

Girlfriend: “Maybe not on your own. I could help teach you. I know a lot about the traditional Shinto stories.”

Mother: *Suddenly outraged* “I can’t f****** believe this!”

Me: “What? You can’t believe that people actually want to know about different cultures and beliefs?”

Mother: “You’re just freaks like all the rest!” *Points at [Girlfriend]* “I was so glad you were sane, and it turns out you’ve been learning all that bulls***!”

Girlfriend: “You want to talk about bulls***?! You’ve been treating [Brother] and all my sisters like monsters! What’s wrong with accepting them for who they are?!”

Mother: “I didn’t have children so I could be surrounded by a bunch of [homophobic slur]s and heretics!”

Me: “Then, clearly, you didn’t want a family!”

Mother: “What did you just say?!”

Me: “Your children aren’t items! You don’t get to decide how they live their lives, what they believe in, or who they love! If you want to dictate what sort of people they are and who they associate with, you don’t want a family. You want an inventory!

Mother: “You dare?!”

Me: “You’re d*** right, I dare! I’ve had to listen to you b**** about your children every time you’ve come in here, and you already make me sick! I can’t even imagine what sort of h***ish suffering you’ve inflicted on your children in whatever time you spent in the same household with them! If you’re going to scorn your daughter for even knowing about a belief other than your own, I’m done putting up with your bigotry!”

Mother: “I won’t let you—”

Girlfriend: “You don’t get to ‘let’ us do anything! I made myself put up with you when you would act nice toward us, but now I realize how stupid I was to even entertain your bigotry! We’re human beings, living our own lives, and you have no right to decide what we believe in or what kind of life we live! Now GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!

That last statement had a force to it like I’d never heard out of her before, and [Mother] was left sputtering for a moment before she fled from the building. As the door closed, the adrenaline wore off, and we sat back down and hugged one another, recovering a bit from the aftershocks.

The make-light mood of the episode we were watching was not something we wanted to partake in after that encounter, so we turned the TV off, and my girlfriend spent the rest of the day teaching me about some of the Shinto gods. That was the last time her mother ever came by our place.