Hopefully, In Ten Years, Your Brother Will Have Caught Up With The Last Thirty

, , , | Related | February 16, 2019

(My nephew is almost two years old, so my husband asks his brother what kinds of gifts we should get him. We get a standard response, like cars and tools. Since his father is a mechanic, we assume he’s a chip off the old block. However, things turn out to be different when we get there. The boy gets crayons, at which his father scoffs. The boy loves the colors and the crayons and he starts coloring. He picks a pink crayon.)

Brother-In-Law: “No, we don’t use that one.”

(He hands the boy a blue one. It strikes me as odd, but since I’m a guest, I mention nothing. The talk then changes to my pregnant sister-in-law, who recently found out she’ll be having a girl.)

Me: “I wonder if she’ll love cars just as much as her brother or father!”

Brother-In-Law: “Of course not. Why would she even love cars?”

Me: “Well, why wouldn’t she?”

Brother-In-Law: “Because she is a girl! No girl of mine is playing with cars! And no boy of mine is playing with dolls!”

Me: “Oh… okay…”

Brother-In-Law: “Did you know that [Nephew] picked out [Dutch pink cakes] for dessert?! I’m not raising a [homosexual slur]! H*** no. I’d punch that out of him!”

(I see my husband’s eyes grow, but we both remain silent. It’s a kid’s birthday and we don’t know how to act. In the car:)

Me: “My gosh, did you hear what [Brother-In-Law] said?! I’m so worried that if [Nephew] turns out to be gay, he might get kicked out!”

Husband: “Well, if that is the case… then we have to make sure he knows he can stay with his aunt and uncle! Because my brother is just… just… GAH!”

(I’m glad my husband thought the same, and we still don’t know how to deal with this. Luckily the kid is only two years old now.)

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.)

Can I Get A Coupon For A New Family

, , , , , | Related | February 1, 2019

(I am not an “extreme couponer,” but I do shop the bargains and do what I can to get the most for my money. My husband works full time, but I am disabled so I’m not working. I don’t receive government assistance because my husband makes “too much,” so, between my specialist medical bills and our regular living expenses, we have to stretch every dollar as far as we can. One evening, my husband’s brother and his wife — “Brother” and “Wife” for simplicity — are over for dinner with their seven-month-old son. I just went shopping, so our cupboards are pleasantly full.)

Wife: “How do you afford all this food? [Brother] and I both work full time and we could never afford all this!”

Me: “Well, [Store] had a double coupon day, plus some sales and—“

Wife: “You coupon? Like, serious couponing?”

Me: “Well, I use them.”

Brother: *scoffs* “That’s embarrassing.”

Me: “Why?”

Brother: “I don’t know. I guess it could be worse. It’s not like you’re on food stamps, right?”

Me: “We’re not, but that’s not shameful, either.”

Brother: “I couldn’t show my face at the grocery store if [Wife] used coupons like that. Could you imagine handing over a ton of coupons like, ‘Here, give me money!’?” *laughs*

Me: “You’d hide if your wife saved you money?”

Brother: “Coupons are for poor people.”

Husband: “Okay, then we’re poor. But our poor a**es can afford all this food.”

Wife: “Don’t swear in front of [Son]!”

Me: “How can you be so closed-minded? At my birthday at [Restaurant], you screamed at the waiter because he charged you for a second plate of nachos.”

Wife: “It should have been free!”

Me: “You ordered two! Why would the second be free?”

Wife: “Because there weren’t enough chips in the first one!” *pauses* “Besides, you don’t have kids to provide for! Kids are expensive!”

Me: “Did you know they make coupons for condoms, too?”

(At this point, my in-laws suddenly remembered they had somewhere else to be and left. It’s worth noting that neither of them work low-paying jobs; one is a doctor, and the other is a CEO of a large company. I was surprised that a couple who would complain about a $7 plate of nachos would act that way about saving money. I could have shown them some great deals on baby supplies if they’d stayed!)

A Hurricane Of Bad Relationships

, , , , , , , | Related Romantic | January 30, 2019

(My sister-in-law went through a string of abusive relationships before meeting my brother, but my brother is very good to her. They are on vacation when we get word that a massive hurricane is headed for their home. I’m already planning to evacuate, but they call me and ask me to go to their home and get some of their most important possessions — legal docs, computers, etc. — and I agree. I’m on the phone with them while I’m packing up their stuff.)

Sister-In-Law: “By the way, there’s something important I need you to get, but you’ll have to search for it.”

Me: “Okay. What am I looking for?”

Sister-In-Law: “In our walk-in closet, in my sock drawer, there is a pair of purple socks. Can you go find them?”

Me: *wondering why she is having me grab socks, of all things* “Sure… Okay, I got ’em.”

Sister-In-Law: “Great. You should feel something inside. Can you open up the sock and get it out?”

(I do so. I find hundreds of dollars wrapped in a tight bundle.)

Me: “Jesus. Must be a thousand dollars here.”

Sister-In-Law: “Yeah, that’s my ‘running away’ money, in case things with [Brother] don’t work out.”

My Brother: *who has been married to her for seven years and has heard this entire conversation* “Oh, that’s a good idea. Too bad you’ll need a new hiding place when we get back.”

Sister-In-Law: *dejected sigh* “Yeah…”

(The rest of the packing was uneventful.)

Old Enough To Laugh At Yourself

, , , , | Related | January 29, 2019

(My mother-in-law and I go grocery shopping on the fourth Wednesday of the month because that’s when we get our social security checks. After shopping, we go out to lunch. We’re at the restaurant, finishing up lunch, and our waitress has just brought us the check.)

Me: “She’s really nice. We’ve had her before.”

Mother-In-Law: “Yes, she is.”

Me: “I wonder how old she is? Maybe my age?” *pauses* “Nah, I don’t think she’s that old.”

Mother-In-Law: *looks at me with a funny smile on her face*

Me: “Did I really just say that?”

Mother-In-Law: “Yep, you did.”

(At least I was able to laugh at myself over it. For the record, I’m 46. I don’t really consider that old.)

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