Leave The Parenting To Your Coworkers

, , , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2018

(I am in my mid-twenties, working at a bookstore with another woman who is a few years older and has five kids. We become friends. She invites me and a few other coworkers to her son’s third birthday party. I don’t have any children of my own, but I have a lot of little cousins, and I love buying them presents, so I buy some fun toys and get extra batteries. I wrap everything up and go to the party and have a nice time. When it’s time for the gifts, all the kids help their little brother tear into them, and they’re all books, except for mine. The kids all go nuts, ripping apart the boxes, putting in the batteries and pushing all the buttons that make the toys move, beep, light up, etc. I’m really glad they’re having such a good time with the things I picked out, but when I go to leave, my coworker takes me aside, frowning a bit.)

Coworker: “I guess I forgot to tell you; we only wanted [Son] to get books this year for his birthday.”

Me: “Oh, no, you didn’t tell me that.”

Coworker: “Well, it’s not that I don’t appreciate your gifts, but I really didn’t want them to have toys like that. They’ll fight over them.”

Me: *at a loss* “Oh, well, I’m sorry? I’m sure they’ll get tired of them in a few days; you know how kids are.”

Coworker: “Yes, but I wanted him to just get books.”

Me: *a little irritated now* “I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. You didn’t tell me not to buy toys, so I assumed that toys would be an acceptable gift for a three-year-old.”

Coworker: “You need to tell them they can’t have them and take them away.”

Me: “Excuse me? You want me to take away the toys I gave a three-year-old boy for his birthday?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Me: “Forget it. No way.”

Coworker: “They’re going to fight over them!”

Me: “And if I take them away, they’re going to cry! I’m not making a bunch of little kids cry because you failed to tell me you didn’t want me to buy toys!”

Coworker: “You work at a bookstore! I just assumed you knew.”

Me: “Well, I didn’t. Since you also work in a bookstore, I figured your kids probably had plenty of books. If you’d told me, I would have bought books. If you don’t want them to have the toys, you can take them away.”

(I left, furious and feeling bad for those poor little kids. The next time she needed a ride home from work — she lived over forty minutes away from where I did, but I used to give her rides all the time to help her out, since I knew all about her financial difficulties — I told her I couldn’t, and we barely spoke again until I quit a few months later.)

When The Generation Gap Becomes A Meme

, , , | Related | September 19, 2018

(Years ago, before my mom became a little more Internet-savvy, this would happen often.)

Me: *shows a funny Youtube video*

Mom: “Who is that?”

Me: “Huh? What?”

Mom: “Who is that? Is it a friend of yours?”

Me: “No, it’s just a video from the Internet. I just wanted to show you because it’s funny.”

Mom: “But how did you get the video if you don’t know the person?”

Me: “It’s just on the Internet. People post stuff online.”

Mom: “Why would they do that?”

Me: “Because they can!”

Mom: “Eh, I don’t think it was very funny.”

Me: “…”

(This also used to happen with pictures of random people on the Internet, much with the same result.)

Padding Out This Story

, , , , , | Friendly | September 18, 2018

(I’m a man, and my female friend from California is visiting me in Maryland for the weekend before her next semester of college starts. We’re going to tour DC with my girlfriend. Her first morning after her flight, we’ve woken up, and I come out of the shower to find her still sitting on my futon.)

Friend: “Um… Hey. Can I ask you a stupid question?”

Me: “Sure.”

Friend: “…”

Me: “Go on.”

Friend: *chuckles* “Do you have any pads?”

Me: “No, I’m afraid I don’t have much of a need to stock feminine hygiene products. Did you forget to pack some?”

Friend: *sheepishly* “Yes.”

Me: “There is a supermarket nearby; I’d be happy to walk down and buy some.”

Friend: “No, no, I don’t want to have to make you do that.”

Me: “Well… [Girlfriend] should be here in about an hour; I can ask her to bring some.”

(She agrees, and I text my girlfriend about the problem. She finds the situation amusing and agrees to bring some pads for my friend. Unfortunately, my girlfriend is delayed, but my friend insists that she doesn’t want to burden me with a five-minute walk to the store, so she sits on my bed watching a movie in her PJs for two hours until my girlfriend arrives. I introduce them to each other.)

Girlfriend: *fishes a selection of pads out of her purse* “Um… Here?”

Friend: *hugs her* “Yes! You’re a lifesaver!”

Me: “No, she’s a pantysaver.”

They Didn’t Have THAT Scene In The Babysitter’s Club

, , , , , , , | Right | September 18, 2018

(I am babysitting for two boys, ages two and seven. The two-year-old is still in diapers, and is very wriggly when I try to change his diaper. He even kicks me in the face sometimes. On this particular occasion, he has diarrhea, and it’s a mess. I’m attempting to change his diaper, but he keeps moving and making more of a mess. The seven-year-old comes over.)

Seven-Year-Old: “I can hold his legs for you while you change him.”

Me: “Are you sure? It’s going to smell pretty bad when I fully open the diaper.”

Seven-Year-Old: “I’m sure.” *grabs his brother’s legs* “Whenever you’re ready.”

(I open the younger boy’s diaper. A smell like death fills the room. I try to clean him up and change him quickly, but the older boy and I both are gagging and having to turn away repeatedly. I finally finish changing the boy’s diaper, and he runs off. The older boy and I quickly dispose of the diaper and run into the kitchen to wash our hands and get a breath of air that doesn’t smell deadly. I get an idea.)

Me: “Are you hungry at all?”

Seven-Year-Old: “Yeah, a bit.”

Me: “How about some cookies? I think we deserve them.”

Seven-Year-Old: “Yeah! Thanks!”

(We begin eating cookies when the younger boy comes over and looks at me expectantly.)

Two-Year-Old: “Cookie?”

Seven-Year-Old: “NO! NAUGHTY AND STINKY BOYS DON’T GET COOKIES!”

(I didn’t stop laughing for an hour.)

The Mother Of All Crazy Mothers

, , , , , , | Related | September 17, 2018

(My mother has OCD and is a narcissist. Growing up in a house run by that joyous combination motivated me out the door and into my own apartment very quickly. However, I’m still very close with my dad, so I do invite him over when the mood strikes. And though I only invited him, I obviously meant to invite my mother, as well, so she happily waltzes in before him without bothering to check first. And given that I’m her son, obviously my apartment is hers to do with as she pleases. So, by the time she’s gone, everything has been moved around. I don’t notice this right away because my head doesn’t recover from the earfuls of, “How dare you try to keep this a secret from me!” that preceded all of this. Eventually, my girlfriend and I get serious enough to live together, and not too long after, my dad swings by to celebrate my birthday, complete with my mother to show him the way. Despite my numerous explanations meant to avert this, among my birthday gifts is a shouting match between that two women on the concept of “boundaries” and “respect” that I thought would have answered why my dad and I try to hide these meetings from her. But then my mother insists that I’m an idiot since my apartment is never organized. The morning after, I get the bonus of explaining how my mother’s mind works to my girlfriend as we try to figure out what my mother did. It starts in the kitchen.)

Girlfriend: *groans* “Your mom was in the fridge.”

Me: “Look for the ketchup and mustard. She might have thrown them out.”

Girlfriend: “Why?”

Me: “She doesn’t like them, so obviously they belong in the garbage.”

(Thankfully, she didn’t throw them out this time.)

Girlfriend: “Does she not like turkey breast, either?”

Me: “Right side of the deli bin.”

Girlfriend: “But that’s where she put the cheeses. Shouldn’t it be on the left with the meats?”

Me: “She doesn’t read the labels; she just looks at the contents through the bags. Turkey breast is white, so it’s a cheese.”

(She finds the turkey breast was right where I said it was.)

Girlfriend: “Why are the Golden Grahams mixed in with all the different Cheerios?”

Me: “The box is yellow; therefore, it’s regular Cheerios. The actual Cheerios go bad sooner, so they’re on the left.”

(And later on, while she’s in the bathroom doing her hair…)

Girlfriend: “Why is my birth control in the trash?”

Me: “Probably down the toilet.”

Girlfriend: “What?! Why?!”

Me: “She wants to be a grandmother.”

Girlfriend: “Did she throw away your condoms before?”

Me: “No, she just poked holes in them.”

(Thankfully, I caught that one before any damage was done.)

Girlfriend: “She’s never allowed over again!”

Me: “She wasn’t allowed over last night. If you can keep her out, I’m on board.”

(Years later, we’re still not having any luck getting rid of my mother non-violently. And despite that, for some reason, this has girl still decided to marry me.)


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