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He Sent A Chill Down Their Spines

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 6, 2021

My boyfriend can be a bit… different. One day, the phone rings, and I just hear his side of the conversation.

Boyfriend: “Running? No… it’s just sitting there watching me. Plotting! Waiting for me to let my guard fall. I think it hates me. I know it’s coming for me. Oh, no… It heard me. It knows I know! It’s coming! NO! NO! AAARRRRRRRRRRGH! AAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHH!”

And then he hangs up.

Me: “What the actual f***?”

Boyfriend: “Some kids called and wanted to know if my fridge was running.”

Apparently, they were really young and sounded completely freaked out, so if your kids are afraid to go into the kitchen… sorry? I really love my boyfriend but we’re never having children.

She’s Your Wife, Not Your Servant

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 6, 2021

My wife and her girlfriends all liked getting together for various holidays after college life ended. She had known her girlfriends since first or second grade and they all grew up together. On holidays such as the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, they’d make plans for everyone to get together with their significant others and eventually kids as they came into the picture.

My wife and I were the first out of her girlfriends to get married and we were the first to have a kid out of the group.

One of her friends got married a year or two after us and had a kid about nine months after we did. I always liked her friend, but I never liked her boyfriend (now husband). He was just one of those people you meet and you can’t figure out why, but you don’t like them. He gave off a bad vibe that I can’t describe. Even the wife’s friend at one point was uncertain if she should stay with him because of how he acted and treated her. He wasn’t physically abusive and he wasn’t really verbally abusive, but he kind of treated her as a mother figure and not a wife. He was always expecting her to drop what she was doing at any given time to do things for him, and he couldn’t be bothered to help out when she needed help. She stuck with him and married him. This story takes place about two years after their first son was born.

I like speaking my mind; it’s the one thing my wife is incapable of until she’s really pissed. She knows I don’t like her friend’s husband and she constantly tells me to not say anything and to be nice when we get together as a group.

Well, this time, my wife isn’t in the room and an opportunity presents itself.

It is a July Fourth get-together. My daughter is about three and my wife’s friend’s son is about two. Inside, at the dining room table, my wife’s friend has my daughter sitting on one knee and her son sitting on the other and she’s entertaining them and helping them eat. My wife is outside chatting with other people and I’m inside helping with my daughter.

From outside, in walks [Friend]’s husband. He sees her sitting at the table with two kids in her lap and helping them eat. I know he sees her because when he walks in, he looks directly at her, and then his eyes shift to me as I sit next to her and my daughter on her knee. He walks through the kitchen area, fills his plate with food, walks past the drinks — beer, assorted alcohol, and pop — and then walks back to the patio door. As he’s about to step outside, he stops, turns, and says to his wife:

Friend’s Husband: “Wifey, go get me a beer and bring it out to me right now.”

Friend: “Sure, I can do that.”

Me: *To the wife’s friend* “No, you’re busy helping the kids. You don’t need to stop what you’re doing to get a beer for him. He should have grabbed his own as he walked by them.”

Friend: “That’s okay. I can get him one.”

She goes to move the kids off her lap, but I stop her and shake my head no.

Friend’s Husband: “Now.”

I shoot her husband a nasty glare and finally get to speak my mind because my wife isn’t in the room to stop me.

Me: “No. She’s busy. You clearly see she has two kids on her lap that she’s helping feed, and you walked right past the beer on your way through the kitchen. You can get your own f****** beer.”

It felt so good to finally say something to that jerk.

He looked at me like a deer in the headlights, his face turned bright red, and he sulked out the door with his food. He never did get a beer from his wife that day, and in the nearly ten years since this incident, he’s avoided me at any gatherings.

This Story Left Us Tired, Hungry, And Craving Cheese Pizza

, , , , , , | Related | December 5, 2021

We’re visiting family for a week. One day, my older aunt decides she wants to take her nieces on an outing. I’m an adult who still lives at home, my sister has just turned sixteen, and we’re both autistic. My sister also has severe medical needs which mean she must be with a fully trained adult at all times — meaning me or my dad — and the backpack containing her medical equipment weighs about 12 kilos.

We’re going to a museum, getting a bus at about 11:00. Since my aunt has said she is “treating” us, I assume that includes food. You know what they say about assumptions.

I haven’t had the best night of sleep due to my sister’s SATs machine alarming a few times. We don’t think to pack cash or water bottles, but we do remember to eat a quick breakfast.

The trouble begins when we arrive at the bus stop with a couple of minutes to spare. I’m looking at the timetable to practise reading it, and it looks like the next bus to the place we’re going won’t arrive until 11:55.

Me: “[Aunt]? Is this the right one? It’s saying the bus isn’t for nearly an hour and we missed the one that came, like, five minutes ago.”

Aunt: “Oh, that’s wrong. My app said there’d be one at eleven.”

Me: “But it says the timetable was updated last month. Shouldn’t it be right?”

Aunt: “Well, it’s not what my app says. Don’t worry about it. Anyway, the bus should be here any minute now.”

I spend the next hour of waiting listening to her complain about how late the bus is and then trying to make sure she doesn’t wander off too far from the bus stop with my sister. At one point, I have to leave the bus stop to walk over to them.

Me: “Look, [Sister], I know you really want to look for the bus with [Aunt]. But my neck’s starting to cramp from twisting to watch you, so can you please come and wait at the bus stop with me?”

Sister: *Disappointed* “Okay.”

Aunt: “Oh, there’s no need for that. We’re just—”

Me: “Daddy said I’m in charge of [Sister] when it comes to her medical stuff, and part of that means she needs to be where I can easily see her.”

This shuts her up, and we head back to the bus stop without her. The bus arrives on time, but at this point, I’m getting really hungry and trying really hard not to snap at anyone.

When we get off, our aunt is trying to make us hurry up because we’re going to be late. It is really hard to walk fast when you have a heavy backpack on your back and it’s a hot day and you haven’t had a drink in a while. Even so, I’m going as fast as I can and my sister stops to wait for me frequently. I can barely talk because I need to focus on breathing and walking, and the one time I mention lunch, I’m brushed off due to our lateness. She says we can eat afterward.

We get in with basically no issues, but our aunt is trying to rush us through the outside section of the museum so we can walk around the “castle” that’s in the centre. The only reason we’re not literally running is because [Sister] keeps stopping to read all the signs. I’m perfectly okay with this; it’s why we came, after all, and her stopping means I can keep up even if I’m not able to stop to read the signs.

Eventually, we reach a bench surrounded by many, many signs, and we’re “allowed” to take a break. I put the medical bag on the bench and nearly collapse next to it. It’s at this point that my aunt takes out a water bottle and starts having a drink. Normally, I’m quite squicked out at the idea of sharing a water bottle, but at this point, I’m too exhausted to care.

Me: “Do you… water… please?”

Aunt: “Oh, of course! Here, let me pour some into the lid for you.”

The water is warm, but it’s liquid so it’s good. I then notice my sister, who hasn’t noticed that the water exists, and feel a little guilty that I didn’t think of her first.

Me: “[Sister]. Water?”

She nods and comes running over. We purposefully only drink a couple of lids of the water so that we have some for later. After we’ve finished, she goes to pick up her backpack.

Me: “Huh? Why are you—”

Sister: “We said we’d switch at the halfway point.”

Me: “Oh… yeah.”

It’s not the halfway point yet, but I’m too selfish to point that out, and I let her carry the bag as we walk around the gardens at a much slower pace.

Just before we reach the “castle” itself (it’s a glorified mansion), there’s a rest area set up under a gazebo.

Aunt: “How about we stop here and have a drink before we head in?”

We all agree, so we go wait in the queue. We order drinks first, and just before my aunt can claim that’s all we want, I speak up.

Me: “Can I have a packet of crisps?”

It was the first thing I spotted. My aunt and sister take their time to look at the food menu and order.

We sit down at a picnic bench and the food is brought out. At this point, I notice what they ordered was cake. I should’ve tried to insist we got proper food for lunch, but my aunt is paying so I’m trying not to complain. Mentally, I’m complaining a lot. My crisps are almost stale and my lemonade is American-style. But we’re hungry and thirsty enough to eat and drink everything anyway.

The museum itself is great and we do enjoy looking around. Then, we leave and [Aunt] suggests we go get something from the gift shop. Yet again, I assume she is offering to get us something, and I really should’ve known better by this point of the day.

As we approach the register, my aunt tells the employee that she isn’t getting anything and waits for us outside, leaving me there with my fudge and my sister with her little toy fox. I don’t want to have to tell my little sister that she has to put the fox back. Thankfully, I did bring along my credit card, but there’s a small fee for using it.

Sister: “How much?”

Me: “Huh? For the fox?”

Sister: “Yeah.”

Me: “Does it not say on the label?”

Sister: “Oh, it does. So I need to pay you [price].”

Me: *Angrier than I should be* “No.”

Sister: *Upset* “Huh? Why?”

Me: “Um… I’m paying for it.”

Sister: “Yeah, I’ll pay you back later?”

Me: “Nope. It’s like a present. You don’t gotta pay me back.”

Sister: *Happily* “Okay!”

Needless to say, I’m more than a little annoyed at my aunt, but I don’t actually have any right to be. She never said she’d buy us anything, after all, and she’s already bought the museum tickets, the bus tickets, and the food, so how dare I complain about her not paying for souvenirs?

We meet back up with our aunt, and my sister asks about lunch. It’s about 16:00 (4:00 pm) now. She has texted my dad and her sister about dinner, but they haven’t gotten back to her. She’s complaining a lot.

Aunt: “How am I supposed to know when you two need to be back? Where are we even going for dinner tonight?”

Me: “I think they said something yesterday about [Restaurant] at 19:00-ish (7:00 pm)?”

Aunt: “Well, they really need to plan this better. I can’t get you lunch now or you won’t eat dinner.”

Me: “I’m actually kinda hungry. You hungry, too, [Sister]?”

She nods, but our aunt is still going off on a rant.

Me: “Hey, [Aunt]. How about we stop for just a snack? We’ve been eating quite late while here anyway, so we should still have room for dinner.”

She agrees, and we stop at a cafe that’s actually ridiculously expensive, and my sister orders cake again. I ask if she’s sure she doesn’t want a sandwich, but they do have weird fillings, so I leave it when she says she is.

When we get back to our younger aunt’s house, no one is home. My sister and I go inside, grab drinks, and kind of collapse on the sofa while our aunt tries to contact people. 

My sister also texts our dad asking about what is happening with food, and he texts back telling her to ask me. This confuses me, so I text him.

Me: “Am I expected to sort food for me and [Sister]?”

Then, Dad calls me.

Dad: “So, you haven’t had dinner yet?”

He’s talking really quietly, so I put him on speaker but forget to tell him.

Me: “No, [Aunt] said you two had planned somewhere for tonight?”

Dad: “[Younger Aunt] and I have actually just finished eating. We’re in [Town] right now and didn’t have signal.”

Me: “Oh, so [Aunt] was supposed to feed us.”

Dad: “Please tell me she didn’t hear you say that.”

Me: “Ah, well, she’s in the other room, but probably. Should I not have put you on speaker?”

Dad: “Great. Well, you’re an adult aren’t you?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Dad: “Then you’re going to need to take responsibility and make sure your sister is fed. [Younger Aunt] and I aren’t going to be back for at least an hour, and your grandad and [His Wife] have plans this evening.”

Me: *Panicked* “Okay.”

Dad: “[Younger Aunt] says there’s a pizza menu on the fridge.”

Me: “Great, thanks.”

I go through the doorway to the kitchen where [Aunt] is now complaining about how she didn’t know she was expected to sort dinner for the three of us. I bring the menu to my sister in the living room so she can choose what she wants. My aunt follows.

Sister: “The cheese one, please.”

Me: “Okay, do you want a nine-inch to yourself? Hmm, you’ll struggle to eat all of it, won’t you?”

Sister: “I don’t know.”

Aunt: “You could share with me, [Sister].”

Me: “I can get a twelve-inch and you can have half each?”

Sister: “Okay.”

Me: “Great. Then I’ll have—”

Aunt: “Oh, and I’ll have a twelve-inch meat feast, too.”

Me: “I’m sorry what?”

Aunt: “A meat feast, twelve inches.”

Me: “I thought we just decided you and [Sister] were going to share a cheese one?”

Aunt: “Yes.”

Me: “[Aunt]. I am not getting you a separate pizza as well as half of [Sister]’s.”

Aunt: “Oh… I could give you the money for it?”

Me: “Um, well… I guess, if you’re paying for your own pizza. Um, but I want you to get the money ready now before I phone it, okay?”

Aunt: “Oh, well, sure.”

She goes to get the exact amount.

Me: “Okay then, should I just get you the nine-inch, [Sister]?”

Sister: “I’ll have the twelve.”

Me: “Great. Okay, then. This is fine. Okay. So, it’s going to be your pizza, and you’re not allowed to share with [Aunt] until you’re full, okay?”

Sister: “Okay.”

I made the phone call, and I had to go find a random letter to get the address. [Aunt] paid for her pizza, and we waited. [Aunt] spent the entire time complaining about how unfair it was that no one communicated to her that she had to sort her own dinner that night and how she’d be having words with my dad later.

My sister ate all of her pizza. [Aunt] did not get a slice of that. I guess it goes to show how hungry she was when she normally can’t finish a nine-inch.

[Friend #3]’s Timing Is A Real Gas

, , , , | Friendly | December 5, 2021

Two things to know about [Friend #1]: he loves his [soft drink] in large quantities, and he is a vehement teetotaler. He has recently moved from a rural farmhouse (owned by his grandfather) to a small town, which means he is relatively new to the experience of having actual, walking-distance neighbors. This conversation happens while we’re visiting some mutual friends.

Friend #1: “Turns out my neighbors are smokers. Having to work around those fumes really makes me understand how bad an addiction really is.”

Friend #2: “What do you mean?”

Friend #1: “Well, I like [soft drink], right?”

Friend #2: “I’d call that a little more than ‘like’.”

Friend #1: “So would I. Thing is, though, if me having a can of [soft drink] meant I had to sit outside in the blazing sun and force the senses of everyone around me to suffer the byproducts of my indulgence, I wouldn’t drink [soft drink] at home.”

Me: “How exactly would you ‘force someone’s senses to suffer’ from you having a [soft drink]?”

At this moment, [Friend #3], who has been enjoying her own carbonated beverage, unleashes the LOUDEST, LONGEST belch that I have ever heard in person. She immediately covers her mouth in embarrassment as silence falls on the table.

Me: “Fair point.”

[Friend #3] started laughing as she realized her unintentional timing, and the rest of us joined in.

This Is Why Mental Health Awareness Is A Thing Now

, , , , , | Related | December 3, 2021

This was during the 1980s when “mental health” was generally reserved for people proclaiming to be Jesus Christ or walking around mumbling to themselves and neglecting their hygiene.

My mom was known for being paranoid in the sense that she constantly thought everyone around her was up to no good. She once seriously accused my dad of raping a woman when an irate customer scratched him in the face after being refused a refund, and she once accused my nine-year-old sister of being involved in a bank robbery and hiding the money somewhere in the woods after a petite teenaged girl robbed a local bank down the street from us.

This one, I just couldn’t pass up sharing. One day, my mom bursts into my room.

Mom: “Give it to me.”

Me: “What?”

Mom: “MY PURSE!”

Me: “Mom, I have a job at [Fast Food Restaurant] and I deliver papers on the weekends. I don’t need your little $30 or however much Dad gave you to pick up some cigarettes.”

We get to arguing, and she insists I stole her purse. I tell my Dad about it, and he simply says:

Dad: “You gotta learn to ignore her. That woman has drunk enough booze over her lifetime to float a ship, and she won’t seek help because she thinks she’s just fine. As soon as you both are old enough to move out, I’m filing for divorce.”

The next day, I’m at school, and the principal’s voice booms over the intercom.

Principal: “[My Name], please report to the office.”

I go over there to find my mom standing outside the office. She takes me outside.

Mom: “GIVE ME MY PURSE!”

Me: “I didn’t take your purse! Why would I steal money from you if I have my own job and have cash practically coming out of my ears?!”

Mom: “That’s not why you took it.”

Me: “Huh?

Mom: “You know exactly what I’m talking about. GIVE IT TO ME!”

She goes on with this charade for two more days before finally coming to me with said purse.

Mom: “I owe you an apology. I left it in [Friend]’s van.”

Me: “Okay, I accept your apology, but Mom, why would you think I’d steal money from you when I have my own job and a weekend paper route?”

Mom: *Pulling out her driver’s license* “See in the photo how I had my hair cropped really low? I remember how you kept saying how you couldn’t wait to move out and go to California. I thought you were going to take my license, put on makeup and a dress, buy a plane ticket to California, and rent an apartment under my name.”

I am silent for a moment.

Me: “You thought I was going to dress in drag… and try to buy a plane ticket as a seventeen-year-old who is a six-foot-two, 180-pound male using the license of someone that says the bearer should be a thirty-nine-year-old woman standing at five-foot-three and weighing 130 pounds?”

Mom: “Well… I’m just glad to know you wouldn’t do something like that. It says a lot about you.”

Me: “JESUS CHRIST, MOM!”

To this day, she hasn’t set foot in a psychiatrist’s office (or an AA meeting) because she genuinely is convinced she’s perfectly fine. And yes, my dad divorced her as soon as my sister moved out — on her eighteenth birthday, unsurprisingly.