Always Room For Politeness

, , , | Legal | September 15, 2018

(I’m British but I have been living in Germany for the last three years. My German language skills are pretty basic, and occasionally this causes me problems. I drive a German car. I’m at home when there is a hammering on the door. It’s a pair of policemen who inform me that I don’t have valid insurance on my car. I’m genuinely surprised, having believed that my insurance was up to date. One of the policemen speaks very good English, and I explain that if there was a mistake it was probably due to a language misunderstanding. He’s fine with that and tells me that I just need to purchase new insurance and then go and re-register the car at the relevant office. During this whole exchange, he is polite but very firm. At the end of the conversation, as they turn to leave:)

Me: “Okay, goodbye. Thanks!”

(He turns back, looking surprised.)

Policeman: “What are you thanking me for?”

Me: “Well… I’m British. I’m polite!”

Someone Should “Lightly” Explain How This Works

, , , , , , , | Related | September 15, 2018

(We are at my aunt’s house and there has been a blackout. My aunt turns on a battery-powered light in the kitchen, and my sister and cousin start making shadow puppets with it.)

Sister: *holds up two fingers in front of the light* “Look, a bunny!”

Cousin: *holds up her whole hand in front of the light* “Look, a turkey!”

Aunt: *picks up her coffee pot and holds it in the light* “Look, a coffee pot!”

Some Things Should Never Be Played With

, , , | Related | September 14, 2018

(I’m sitting on the floor with my eight-month-old daughter. Her favourite game at the moment is for me to make a tower out of stackable cups, which she then pushes over. I notice that her airplane-shaped baby spoon is on the floor, and once I’ve assembled the tower, I proceed to “fly” the spoon around before letting out this brainfart.)

Me: “Oh, no! Can [Daughter] topple the tower before the plane hits it?!”

Me: *silence*

Me: “I did not think that through.”

Roasting You Over The Roasting Tin

, , , , , | Related | September 13, 2018

(I’m a female in my late twenties living with my mother due to the fact neither of us can afford living alone. The rule is that one person cooks, the other does the dishes. Mum is locked in the mind-set that I am a child and thus cannot cook, so she always cooks, and I do the dishes. I have washed up all the pans and dishes from our dinner/tea/evening meal, bar the roasting tin, as Mum siphons off the fat — another thing I’m not allowed to do because she is locked in the mind-set that I am a child — and usually does it the morning after, so I empty the sink of the water. This has never been an issue before until this moment.)

Mum: *really angry* “Why did you let the water out?!”

Me: “Er, cause the washing up was done?”

Mum: “The roasting tin isn’t, though!”

Me: “Yeah, but you do the fat part first thing in the morning, so I let it out.”

Mum: “I’m going to do it now! And now I have to use more water!”

(We’re not on a meter, so it doesn’t affect our bills, and we’ve never ever been on a water meter.)

Me: “Sorry.”

Mum: “Next time, leave it in!”

(From then on, I leave the water in whenever we’re using the roasting tin. This goes on for months. Then, one evening, this happens:)

Mum: *really angry* “WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE WATER IN?!”

Me: “What? But you told me to!”

Mum: “Why would I say that?!”

Me: “For the roasting tin!”

(There is a pause.)

Mum: “Empty the sink of water in the future!”

Me: “…”

(I am looking for another place to live.)

Mom Burst Her Pipes

, , , | Related | September 12, 2018

(Growing up, my mom was a Tiger Mom: always demanding me to excel in schoolwork, and berating me if I got a low score. I am in elementary school, and we have to take a test. This test isn’t graded, but it shows which job will suit you best according to your personality. I am surprised by the results, and go home dreading what my mom will say. I know that I have to tell her; if I lie, my punishment will be greater.)

Mom: “And how was school? Did you take any tests?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mom: “What score did you get?”

Me: “It wasn’t scored; it just shows me which job I should get.”

Mom: “Oh, interesting. So, what did you get?”

Me: *mumbles* “A plumber.”

(Mom nearly fainted! After Dad caught her and she recovered, she said no child of hers would ever clean pipes for a living. She kept saying how disappointed she was in me, and how she didn’t suffer hardships to come to the USA to have her children work in dirty jobs. She then berated me for weeks after about my results. Dad talked to her, and she told me that her mom was also a Tiger Mom, and that she would always push her to do her best, and that’s why she did it, too. But that stops with me!)

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