The Mother Of All Points Of View

, , , | Related | July 15, 2019

(When my boyfriend and I start dating, he warns me that his mother is notorious for twisting things to suit her point of view. I have no idea how serious he is until I start hanging out at their house regularly. When I offer to cook dinner one night, she asks if I think she is incapable of feeding her own children. When she mentions hiring a babysitter, I offer to do it for free; she asks if I think she is looking for handouts. Finally, I just stop offering to do anything. One day, I am visiting my boyfriend and his family and they decide to go on a hike. I have asthma so I am a little worried, but I have my inhaler and everyone assures me it is an easy hike. This is a lie. It is six miles up a mountain and the humidity is so high, I have to stop to catch my breath several times. The last time I stop, my boyfriend goes ahead with his siblings and his mother stays behind with me. I am not happy about that arrangement to begin with, but when she starts talking, it gets worse.)

Mother: “Why do you do that?”

Me: “Do what?”

Mother: “Do whatever you think other people want you to do.”

Me: “Um… I just try to be helpful.”

Mother: “By undermining my parenting? How is that helpful?”

Me: “Undermining?”

Mother: “Offering to cook, doing the dishes, brushing [Youngest Girl]’s hair after her shower. You’re a suck-up and I don’t like it.”

Me: *still confused* “Oh… okay. I wasn’t trying to suck up, just… be helpful.”

Mother: “Well, you weren’t. And I don’t like your attitude, either.”

Me: “My attitude?”

Mother: “Yes. When you disagree with me. You’re welcome to have your own opinion, but you should keep it to yourself.”

Me: “I don’t… What did I say?”

Mother: “You openly disagree with me in front of my children, and then they think it’s okay to disagree with me, too!”

Me: “But I don’t understand. When did I disagree with you?”

Mother: “It doesn’t matter what it was about!”

Me: “I didn’t mean to undermine you or disagree with you. Can you give me an example so I can work on it?”

Mother: “I shouldn’t have to! It’s so simple! Don’t disagree with me! Do you know what [My Boyfriend] said the other day?”

Me: “Um… no?”

Mother: “He told me you two went out for sushi and miso soup.”

Me: “Yeah…?”

Mother: “Miso soup has soy! Soy makes boys gay! I told him he couldn’t eat soy products because it makes boys gay and he told me that you said it wasn’t true.”

Me: “Well, he’s not gay so… maybe it’s not.”

Mother: “That’s not the point!”

Me: “Wait. You use soy sauce all the time.”

Mother: “See?! Again, you’re just arguing with me!”

Me: *annoyed and sarcastic* “Okay. So, don’t be helpful, and don’t think for myself. Anything else?”

Mother: “Don’t be such a b****.”

Me: *stunned* “Wow. I can’t even… Really? Did you just call me a b****?”

Mother: *shrugs* “If it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”

Me: “Okay. I’m going to go back to the bottom now.”

Mother: “I knew you couldn’t do this hike. Pity, too, because the view from the top is beautiful.”

Me: “Nope. Can’t do it. I might have my own thoughts and decide to shove someone off a cliff.”

(I went back down and, as we all drove together, waited for them to return. While I was gone, the mother told my boyfriend about our conversation and how rude I was the whole time. I told him my side of the story and he rolled his eyes. He told me to just ignore her antics. We were together for a few more months, but we eventually broke up because I just couldn’t stand his mother anymore. Her tirades kept getting worse and she soon started attacking my family — even though she had never met them — for raising me the way they did. He hates me now, of course, because I didn’t break up with him for something he did. I felt awful for doing it but I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life listening to her talk to me like that.)

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Parking And Wreck-reations

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 12, 2019

It’s Saturday and I’m headed to a one-time class in a city I rarely visit. I notice the on-street coin-operated parking meters have all been removed and instead there is a large computer kiosk halfway down the block with “METER” posted above it.

I park my car and head over to the kiosk to figure out how to pay, but there are lots of different options, including screens for if you have an app, if you’re a resident of the city, if you’re an on-the-clock public servant for the city, etc. The screen keeps timing out as I try to find the correct options. 

A woman walking down the street gets closer to me and I say good morning and ask if she knows how to work the machine.

She walks me through the process of selecting that I’m a visitor, paying by credit card, what my license plate number is, and that I’ll be paying for two hours of parking.

As the machine spits out my receipt, I thank the woman for helping and she starts to continue on her way. When she’s about half a street away from me she turns and calls out to me, “Hey!” I look up. “By the way, street parking is free on the weekends.” She then smiles broadly, turns on her heel, and continues on her way.

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Directions As Wrong As Their Attitude

, , , , | Right | July 5, 2019

(We have a lot of cruise ships visit our town during summer. Today, there are two large ones in town. Consequently, there are a lot of tourists wandering around. I’m walking my dog around the wharf area, dressed in an old pair of jeans, T-shirt, and shoes to match. A couple of tourists approach me.)

Tourist: “Excuse me, sir, could you tell me where the Tourist Information Office is?”

Me: “Sure, it’s just over there.“ *points* “You can see the sign.”

Tourist: “Thank you.” *walks off*

(Another couple of tourists see this.)

Tourist #2: “Hi. I wonder if you could point us in the direction of the art gallery?

Me: “No problems. It’s just over the road there; the entrance is at that end of the building.”

(Another woman is hovering, and as soon as [Tourist #2] walks off she comes up.)

Tourist #3: *rudely* “Where’s [Tourist Attraction]?”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Tourist #3: “You heard me. Where’s [Tourist Attraction]? You’re the tourist guide; you should know where everything is.”

Me: *looking down at my clothes and my dog* “Um…”

Tourist #3: “Hurry up; I haven’t got all day!”

Me: “Okay, go up that road two blocks, turn right, go down a block, and you can’t miss it.”

Tourist #3: “Humph.”

(I continued to walk my dog, secure in the knowledge that she was heading in the opposite direction to the one she asked me for.)

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“D***, Jackie, I Can’t Control The Weather!”

, , , , , | Romantic | June 15, 2019

(When my parents are dating, my dad is very shy about trying to “make a move,” so my mom tries to hurry things along. She convinces him to go outside and look at the full moon on a cold night.)

Mom: “My hands are cold.” *moves closer to my dad*

Dad: “Why don’t you put your hands in your pocket?”

(They eventually got it together and have been married for 46 years. So, when I started dating a guy I really liked, one of our early dates was to a football game that was really cold. He had also been shy about “making a move,” so I tried moving closer and saying that I was cold. He got up and went to the concession stand for hot chocolate. We’ve been married for three years.)

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Want Presents, More Or Less

, , , | Friendly | June 11, 2019

(Whilst meeting up with some university friends, I take the opportunity to give their three-year-old daughter her birthday present from a few weeks ago.)

Friend: “Now, what do we say when we get presents from people?”

Friend’s Daughter: *without missing a beat* “More presents…”

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