En-Trenched In Stereotypes

, , , | Related | February 6, 2019

(For the record, my dad and I have a great relationship. He raised me on his own and was pretty strict when I was growing up, but became more lenient over the years. If I didn’t understand why he had a rule for something, I was free to question it and he would consider what I had to say. Sometimes he wouldn’t change his mind, but other times he would. This happens when I am fourteen and have recently started developing a new fashion style.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, can I get a trench coat for Christmas? [Friend] wore hers today. It was awesome!”

Dad: *distracted while on the computer* “No.”

Me: “Why not?”

Dad: “Trench coats aren’t for women.”

Me: *rolling eyes* “Then why do they make them for women?”

Dad: *still distracted* “Only lesbians wear trench coats.”

Me: “Dad… that’s not a good enough reason to tell me ‘no.’ Trench coats aren’t revealing like spaghetti straps or tube tops. I don’t think I shouldn’t be able to wear something just because you believe it was meant for lesbians.”

Dad: *stops for a moment* “I’ll think about it.”

(Sixteen years later, I still have the trench coat. Also, before anyone gets hyped up about my dad being homophobic or anything, he is very much NOT. Half his friends growing up were gay or bisexual, and he’s often told me he didn’t care if I became a lesbian. He just wanted grandchildren, is all.)

 

The Thirteenth Lobster

, , , , | Romantic | February 5, 2019

(My mother is reading in bed while my father sleeps, when he abruptly sits up.)

Dad: “How many are there?”

Mom: “…how many what?”

Dad: “Lobsters.”

Mom: *realizing he’s asleep and knowing how much he loves lobster* “Thirteen.”

Dad: “Well, get them off!”

Mom: “What?”

Dad: “Get. Them off. The BED!”

(He then lay down and went back to sleep. This was one of my mother’s favorite stories for years.)

Born Again Hypocrite

, , , , , , | Related | February 5, 2019

(A few years ago, my wife’s father became a born-again Christian. At first, everyone was happy he had found something that made him happy and that he was passionate about. However, over time his personality drastically altered and he became far more outspoken and critical towards his family. Over time he changed from being a laid-back guy to an almost fanatical Christian. Before our wedding, he was a nightmare to deal with. He blew a fuse when he discovered we weren’t getting married in a church and briefly threatened not to come before his wife made him see sense. My wife was badly affected by this as they used to be close and now she was scared to visit him. He became particularly unwelcoming towards me over time, as well, but thankfully, our wedding day was wonderful and incident-free. Six months later we are visiting her parents for the first time as a married couple. From the moment we get there, we can tell it will be a difficult visit since her father gives us a frosty reception. At dinner, he says a grace which is ten minutes long and contains a lot of ranting about sin; he shoots me several nasty looks in the process. After eating, we look to move our luggage upstairs.)

Wife: “Okay, we’re just going to take our stuff upstairs.”

Father-In-Law: “[Wife], you’re in your childhood room; [My Name] will have the room at the end of the hall.”

(Both of us pause for a second to see if he’s kidding, but soon it dawns on us he’s serious.)

Wife: “Uh, Dad, we’re married now!”

Father-In-Law: “I repeat: [My Name] is at the end of the hall!”

Wife: “Are you serious? Dad, we’ve been married six months. He will sleep in the same bed I do, end of discussion.”

Father-In-Law: “This is my house and I will not be disrespected! He sleeps in the room I tell him!”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, for goodness sake, [Father-In-Law], they’re not dating anymore! They’re husband and wife. Lighten up!”

(Suddenly, he bangs the table with his fist and sends a couple of glasses off the table.)

Father-In-Law: “NO! UNTIL THEY’RE MARRIED IN A CHURCH UNDER THE EYES OF GOD, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, THIS IS NO MARRIAGE AND MY DAUGHTER IS NOTHING BUT A W*****!”

(The mood in the room turns very unpleasant. My wife is barely holding it together while her mother has an angry look that could melt ice.)

Mother-In-Law: “Well, looks like I’d better go check into a hotel, then!”

Father-In-Law:What? What are you talking about?”

Mother-In-Law: “WE GOT MARRIED IN VEGAS WHILE YOU WERE ON LEAVE FROM THE ARMY, YOU IDIOT! THERE WAS NO GOD OR CHURCH INVOLVED!”

(Her father goes quiet.)

Mother-In-Law: “Funny how you’ve spent the last 35 years happily overlooking the fact that you’re apparently married to a w****, and yet your own daughter is apparently a human being who disgusts you! On second thought, maybe you should go somewhere else if you can’t stand to be around all these sinners! The choice is yours: be nice or go away!”

(Her father went an angry shade of crimson and then stormed out. He spent the rest of the evening hiding in his office. For the rest of the visit, he was sulky and withdrawn and wouldn’t even say goodbye to us. Sadly, her parents divorced less than a year later due to several other traumatic events, one of which resulted in him assaulting one of his openly gay cousins. As a result, most of the family has cut ties with him and my daughter refuses to speak to him. It saddens me how much his persona changed and how unapologetic he has become.)

Netflix Releases The Ted Bundy Tapes, And Then…

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2019

My university is close to my childhood home, so to save money I live at home with my parents rather than at dorms or on campus. My major has mostly final projects instead of tests, and on this particular Saturday night, I am focusing on editing a video due on Monday. My parents decide to go out with some of our neighbors, so I’m home alone. It’s winter, but other than being cold, the weather is pretty nice and clear.

While I’m working on editing the video, the power suddenly goes out.

My first thought: “Serial killer.” I quickly dismiss the thought as paranoid and silly and close my laptop to conserve power since its battery life is too atrocious to use the editing program without it being plugged in. Frustrated I can’t work on it right now, I get up to look out the front window. I can’t see any of the houses on our side of the street from the windows, only the houses across the street.

First thing I notice: all the neighbors across the street have their lights on.

Once again, I think, “Serial killer.” Now convinced someone cut the power to my house specifically, I quickly grab my hoodie and pull on my boots while calling for my dog. When we get outside I see someone jogging up to me along the sidewalk, and I realize it’s the high school son of the neighbors my parents are out with. I also realize none of the houses on our side of the street have power. Turns out he’d looked out his window, saw the only other houses he could see still had lights, and had the exact same “serial killer” thought process I did.

We seek shelter with the couple across the street and call our parents to alert them the situation. They happen to be heading back, and tell us they passed a car crashed into a power pole near our neighborhood. It just happened to take out only our side of the street. Since I still have to work on my final project and my laptop needs to be plugged in to work on it, our neighbors graciously let me work on it at their house, even after they go to bed. The power comes back on around eleven, and I return home soon afterward.

When I mention the “serial killer” thought process to my parents, my dad teases me about watching too many murder shows, but I still say it’s a logical conclusion when the only other houses you can see still have power.

Don’t Freak About The Leak

, , , , , , | Working | February 4, 2019

My dad was a police officer back when local “bobbies”’ were given houses with outpost offices attached to them so they could technically work 24/7 and serve the community. This meant that the house was rent-free — just bills to pay — but if anything needed work it had to go through the police and their repair request system. When we discovered a leak in the upstairs toilet, it was reported, and they sent two plumbers over the course of a month to fix it.

Just before we were due to go away on a family holiday, we discovered a leak in the upstairs toilet that we thought had been fixed a week previously. Another plumber was sent, and as I was at home from college for the summer holiday, and I’m nosy, I got chatting with the plumber whilst he was working. I mentioned how many times this leak had happened and he replied that he was “the guy who gets sent out when everyone else has failed.” He sorted the issue, showed me there was no leak, and left. We were happy, no more leaks happened, and a week or so later we headed out for our holiday.

Two weeks later, we arrived home around ten or eleven pm. My parents were tired as they had been driving for almost twelve hours at that point — we had driven back from a very rural part of France — and my sister and I were tired as we hadn’t been able to sleep properly in the car, which is why none of us could believe that we were hearing a weird noise coming from the house. My dad opened the door and water spilled out!

The entire ground floor was flooded, our post was bobbing around the place like ducks on a pond, there were tide marks on the wall over one foot high, there was a massive hole in the kitchen ceiling — below our bathroom, in case you hadn’t guessed where this was going — and a half-decent waterfall was pouring through it.

After much swearing and freaking out, my mum found a way to shut the water off and Dad phoned the police residential management people on their emergency number and after clarifying that no, this was not a joke, they sent someone out. That someone was some guy that suggested seeing if we could find a way to turn the power on so we could “at least have a cup of tea”!

Eventually, it was agreed that we couldn’t stay there, so we had to find a hotel, and by this time it is almost midnight on a Thursday. My dad later explained that before we found our holy grail of a hotel, the four others we went to first claimed there was no room at the inn and they had conferences. There weren’t conferences, just to clarify; I think they just didn’t want to deal with my tired, upset, and irked dad that late at night.

The next day a plumber came out to sort the toilet. My dad is a chatty guy, and so naturally got talking to the plumber, expressing his amazement that this had happened. Before he even looked at the toilet he tried to blame us by saying it was because we had used one of those bleach blocks you could clip onto the toilet bowl. My dad had to show him that we didn’t have any of those before he’d let it go.

The plumber then got to work and explained that, in a nutshell, whoever was there last dropped a part down the toilet — he eventually fished it out and showed my dad — and that they either didn’t realise or didn’t tell anyone. This caused a blockage, which in turn caused the pipe to burst.

At that point, I came out of my room, stopped by to see what they’re talking about, saw the guy, and grabbed my dad. I recognised him as the plumber who had come out in the first place! I quietly told my dad who the man was, and what he had said to me previously. Dad let the guy fix the issue and leave before calling the company up to check that he was the same person who had been sent out last — he was — and then went to town on them. I’m pretty sure the guy got sacked.

In the end, it took three months to make the house liveable again. In that time, my sister and I had to live with our nan some seventy miles away for the remainder of the school holidays, with our parents visiting us on the weekend. The hotel my parents had been paid to stay in was too far away from any travel links and our friends, and my parents didn’t think it was fair to make us stay in a hotel all day on our own whilst they worked. I ended up losing my part-time job because they didn’t understand why I couldn’t take a train to work — even when I explained it would have cost about £60 when I made minimum wage.

When school started back up, my dad had to argue and fight to get somewhere that was close to my college and my sister’s school because the area was quite expensive and the police didn’t want to pay for it.

Despite how stressful the whole situation ended up being — I could write a book on what happened! — my parents never let it show, which amazes me to this day.

I’ll never get over how we had to go through it at all just because one plumber got butterfingers.

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