That Is Her Tragedy

, , , , | Related | May 8, 2021

My mother has always hated it when my grandmother complains about something that someone else does, but when it’s pointed out that she has done the same thing she always says, “It’s different for us.”

My sister has just moved into a new subdivision. All of the houses had one or two-car attached garages and very little in the way of landscaping. A few weeks after the move, we head to her place for a visit and we notice that one of the houses now has planted garden beds. One of the beds is across the front of their double garage doors.

Mum: *Angrily* “Look at that; they have planted bushes across the front of their garage doors. You know what they are going to do.”

I don’t see why she’s so angry.

Me: “Yeah, they’re going to turn the garage into rooms.”

Mum: “Well, it’s not right; they bought the house with a garage and it should stay as a garage, not be used as a room. It makes their house bigger than everyone else’s.”

Me: “But you turned your garage into a room.”

Mum: “It’s different for us. We built the garage in the first place; they bought the house with a garage.”

She didn’t mention that she and dad had extended their house until it was the biggest in the street, and she gets indignant when anyone points out how much she sounds like her mother.

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My Mother Would’ve Killed Me If I’d Acted Like This Kid

, , , , | Friendly | May 7, 2021

After we move away from our old town, one of my children makes a new friend.

Son: “Can I invite [Child] from school over for lunch?”

Me: *Gladly* “Yes, but don’t ask him yet. I want to talk to his parents first.”

I manage to meet the child’s mom during a parent-teacher conference. After the standard greetings, I decide to go for it.

Me: “[Son] wants to invite [Child] home for lunch one of these days. Is there anything I should know? Allergies, likes and dislikes?”

Mother: “Oh, that’s great! [Child] has really struggled in finding other children to talk and play with; I’m glad to hear they’re becoming friends! He isn’t allergic to anything, but he really likes pasta with tuna and tinned meat, so you might want to keep that in mind for when I send him to lunch with you.”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

When I get home, I pass this on to my son, who then actually invites him to our house. I make sure to pick up some good tuna and upper-label tinned meat, since it isn’t something we usually eat in my home, and while I am at it, I also set aside some time to make a chocolate cake.

The day comes and I pick up both [Son] and [Child] from school, ask the maid to add a seat to the usual setup, and then put everyone at their seats. I serve them both, I serve myself, and then I sit down to eat, too. As I start to eat, I notice that [Child] is staring at his pasta with a confused expression.

Me: “Is everything all right, [Child]? Don’t you like it?”

He looks up from his plate.

Child: “Hmm… Mrs. [My Name], this isn’t tuna pasta.”

Me: *Chuckling* “Don’t be silly. It’s tuna; just try it.”

Child: “But… it’s not tuna pâte; it doesn’t look like it at all. This is tuna from the can. I don’t eat canned tuna.”

Colour drains from my face. I’m feeling confused, ashamed, and annoyed all at the same time, but I mask it the best I can.

Me: “Ah, well, at least try it. If you really don’t like it, I’ll just give you the meat afterward.” 

He does try to eat a few tentative forkfuls, but his face scrunches up in weird ways and, in the end, he pushes his plate away and puts his fork down. My maid comes, picks up his still-full plate and my son’s empty one, and then comes back with two tins of meat each.

Child: “What’s this? This isn’t [Store Brand] canned meat; this is [High-End Brand]! How can I eat it?”

Son: “Wait, you like canned meat?”

Child: “Well, yes, but not this one.”

Me: *Sighing* “Have you ever tasted it?”

Child: “No, but I know I won’t like it because it’s not [Store Brand].”

Me: “Fine, do you like salad?”

Child: “Nope!” 

I’m torn between feeling bad that I couldn’t feed a guest properly and feeling angry that he is being so picky while his mother didn’t bother to tell me any details. Knowing it’s pointless to push it, I just let him stare at his unopened can while my son keeps on eating his meat and salad quietly. My maid brings out the freshly-squeezed orange juice, to which my son’s friend crosses his arms and pouts, so I don’t even bother asking. With a single gulp, my son finishes his juice and then looks at me pleadingly. Figuring I can’t go wrong with it…

Me: “All right, [Son], fine, I’ll bring out the cake. Do you want any, [Child]?”

Child: “Is it from [Supermarket Chain]?”

Me: “No, it’s not, but I swear—”

Child: “Then I don’t want it. Homemade cakes suck.” 

I would be very offended if I wasn’t just done, so I let it slide and let them both get up to go play. I relax a bit in the living room and then go to work. When I come back that evening, I do the obvious.

Me: “How did your time with [Child] go?”

Son: “It was super boring. He wanted to play ping-pong but didn’t want me to get too close to the edge, and all he could talk about was about how his dad was an exterminator or how much he liked ACE. I was almost happy that he got picked up by his mom.”

Couldn’t blame him. It wasn’t long before the two drifted apart due to major differences between them, and I’m still miffed that the mother didn’t think of warning me about her son’s narrow diet.

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Thank Goodness He’s A Then-Boyfriend And Not A Now-Boyfriend

, , , , | Romantic | May 6, 2021

I trip up some stairs and do damage to my foot, resulting in some pain in my toes which is particularly bad when the middle toe is touched. My then-boyfriend decides to start tickling me starting on my good foot. He then moves on to my bad foot that I’ve complained about pretty much daily since doing it.

Me: *Sitting up* “Ah, be careful with that foot. Especially my toes! Please don’t touch them.”

Boyfriend: “I won’t!”

I relax somewhat — as much as you can when being tickled — as he focuses on gently tickling the sole of my bad foot. Then, out of the blue, he outright squeezes my middle toe — the one that’s the worse when touched. I shriek in pain and immediately pull myself into a sort of foetal position, trembling, with tears forming from the pain. He then bursts into tears, sitting on the floor next to the bed. I’m concerned that I might have kicked him accidentally when I moved.

Me: “Are you okay?”

Boyfriend: “I hurt you! Oh, God. I feel so baaaad.”

This continues. I’m confused and still in a lot of pain.

Me: “You’re crying? Why?”

Boyfriend: “I hurt you! I’m the worst! I’m evil! I’m disgusting!”

Me: “It’s okay, I’m okay. I just wasn’t… I’m okay.”

I spend some time reassuring him that everything is okay, and it ends with me leaning over the bed so I can hug him, despite being in pain. It suddenly hits me.

Me: “Why am I consoling you when I’m the one in pain?”

Boyfriend: “Because I feel so baaaad about it!”

Me: *Straightening* “You… purposely squeezed my bad foot. Why did you do that?”

Boyfriend: “I feel bad!”

Me: “But why did you squeeze?”

Boyfriend: *Huffing* “Stop making this about you! I feel awful and you don’t care! You’re just making me feel worse! Can’t you see how bad you’re making me feel? How could you be like this? I’m going for a drive to calm down!”

He slammed out of the room and I heard him leave the house. He texted me “dark thoughts” he’s having throughout his drive, which had me apologising and backing down. However, the nagging feeling about him never actually apologising for it and knowing he did it intentionally stuck with me. A few months and repeated instances later, we broke up.

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One Day She’ll Get Her Just Desserts, And Then She’ll Understand

, , , | Related | May 6, 2021

I have five younger sisters. Two are in college, while three are still in late elementary school. My college sisters are at home, enjoying some dessert after dinner.

College Sister: “I don’t get dessert most nights. Dessert costs money at school.”

Eight-Year-Old Sister: “That brings the question: did you only come here for free dessert?”

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The Force Sure As Heck Ain’t With Him

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | May 4, 2021

In high school, a group of eight friends and I speak a lot of languages, and we have been translating a certain catchphrase about “being someone’s father” into every language we know together during a free period at school. We decide that we should make a group outing of it to go to see “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” in theaters, and we decide to go back to my parents’ house to hang out afterward. We are all fifteen, so my parents are driving us from the theater to our house.

My mom drives [Friend #1] who is sitting in the front seat and [Friend #2] who sits behind [Friend #1].

Friend #1: “I mean, I knew he was gonna make the transition to full-on bad guy, but I didn’t expect him to be so whiny about it. It was a fun movie, but he got on my nerves.”

Me: “Well, the emperor was messing with his head pretty hardcore, and he’s always been emotional. [Friend #2], what did you think?”

Friend #2: “I didn’t get it at all. Is there gonna be a sequel?”  

“Star Wars” was released as episodes four, five, and six in the 1970s and ‘80s, and then episodes one, two, and three in the 1990s and 2000s.

[Friend #1] unbuckles his seatbelt and gets on his knees to look directly into [Friend #2]’s face.

Friend #1: “What. Did you just say?”

Friend #2: “Is there gonna be a sequel?”

My mom is laughing so hard she pulls into a parking lot to let the laughter subside before she can drive further. Once we get to the house, [Friend #1] and I tell [Friend #2]’s twin sister what he said. She looks at her brother like he’s grown a second head.

Twin Sister: “[Friend #2’s Full Name], we watched all five movies last weekend just so we would know what is going on! Don’t you remember?!”

Friend #2: “Oh, was that what those were? I was trying to figure out how to beat [Friend #3] in the chess game we have going on. I wasn’t paying attention.”

A month or two later, we are all hanging out at [Friend #1]’s house. His younger brother puts on a Darth Vader mask and pops out from behind things to startle us. 

After the surprised yelps and laughter die down, [Friend #2] utters this.

Friend #2: “What was he supposed to be, some kind of robot?”

His twin sister smacks him on the back of the head. 

Twin Sister: “I’m sorry, everyone. I have tried so hard with him, but I’m giving it up as a lost cause. If it’s not chess, math, Torah studies, or a musical, he just won’t pay attention.”

[Friend #2] never did figure out what the “robot mask” was.

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