Taking A Shortcut Is A Jerk Reaction

, , , , , , | Related | December 17, 2017

(There is a lighted crossroads that my mum and I go through daily. On the corner of that junction is a pub with a carpark that opens up either side of the crossroads. If you wanted to avoid the lights, arguably you could drive through the car-park to the other side, as it would cut them out. However, the children’s playground of the pub is literally just off the car-park so children are often in it, as well, and there are signs everywhere threatening fines if you do that. Plus, it’s a jerk move. Mum and I have lined up at the crossroads in the lane turning left, and are in a small queue of traffic with a Ford at the front with a number of cars queuing behind us. The car in front of us — who earlier cut us off — decides to turn into the car-park.)

Me: “He’s going through the car-park, I bet.”

(He goes fairly slowly through the car-park, but he definitely is heading towards the other exit. Our light turns green, and we all start slowly filing around the corner.)

Mum: *under her breath* “Speed up, Ford.”

(I look at her and see she’s keeping half an eye on the driver who is trying to use the car-park as a shortcut.)

Mum: “Go on, just a little faster.”

(The Ford seems to hear us, and does speed up. He blocks the pub exit, meaning the driver has to wait for all of us to go past before he can go out.)

Mum: “Stare him down, [My Name].”

(I did so whilst cackling. He was not impressed.)

The Lightbulb Moment That Never Came

, , , , , , , | Related | December 16, 2017

My mother-in-law-to-be is very sweet, but is hopelessly clueless about some things. For example, she thinks that a thief can access your bank account if they find your receipt for something you bought, and she thinks she finds “shortcuts” when driving that actually make the trip twice as long.

Recently, my fiancé and I went on a weekend vacation and asked her to house sit and feed our cats. I realized that I’d left a light on that I didn’t mean to, and told my fiancé to ask her to turn if off next time she visited. Big mistake.

He texted her with this request, she said she would turn the light off when she stopped by our house next, and we went about our vacation. Later, my fiancé noticed several missed calls from his mother and finally a text:

“I’ve been here for over an hour, and I can’t figure out how to turn the light off!”

We were baffled, as it was a small, simple box lamp with a switch on the back and a cord going into the wall. Nothing more, nothing less. He called her, but she said she’d already left our house. “She was there for… an hour?” I asked, incredulous at the thought that something as simple as locating a switch on a small object was so daunting. He rolled his eyes and tried to explain to her how to turn it off when she next returned.

On her next trip, she still couldn’t figure it out. So, the lamp remained on all weekend, and when I next saw her, she complained about how it was just impossible to turn off. I still have yet to understand how a box with a switch was so perplexing… and why she didn’t just unplug it.

Backed Herself Into A Back Problem

, , , , , , , , , | Related | December 15, 2017

My mother told me this story recently. My grandmother — an intractable, stubborn, and often vicious family matriarch if ever there was one — died not long ago and we were telling stories about her. This one made me laugh long and loud.

My grandmother was forever causing arguments with women in the family. She was determined to make sure that all the females in the family knew she was boss, end of story. The men, however, could do no wrong, especially my father, who was truly the apple of her eye.

My mother got into an argument with her. I had just been born — Mum and Dad’s first — and Mum was still getting used to me, and getting me into a routine of feeding and sleeping. Of course, my grandmother knew all there was to know about new babies and was forever butting in and driving Mum mad. One of her favourite tricks was to arrive at the house, with almost clairvoyant timing, just as Mum had got me to sleep, and insist on waking me up so she could spend time with me. Mum said that, had we lived far away from her so she only saw us occasionally, she wouldn’t have minded, but [Grandmother] lived just down the road and saw us every day. One day after it had taken Mum forever to get me to sleep, she absolutely forbade [Grandmother] from waking me, and the usual fight ensued.

Usually, Dad did what he and all the other male members of the family did when their wives, sisters, or daughters clashed with [Grandmother]; they did their ostrich trick and buried their heads in the sand. This time however, Dad came down on Mum’s side. He didn’t go to visit her, though he usually had morning tea with her every day, so she took to her bed with “back problems.”

When he still didn’t go to visit her, she let it be known that she was now paralysed. Still Dad stuck to his guns and stayed away. Finally, she was at death’s door and Dad didn’t give in. This went on for three days, and on the fourth day when [Grandmother] saw, from her bedroom window, Dad strolling down the road, this pain-wracked, paralysed, nearly dead woman leapt from her bed, ran down the driveway and screamed, “[Dad]! How dare you?! I am in agonising pain, I cannot move, and you ignore me! Ignore my suffering! What kind of son are you? Well, I’ll be dead in a day or so, and you and [Mum] will live with the knowledge that you caused it!”

My dad pointed out that she was standing on her own two feet, in her nightie, in the middle of the road. If she wanted this act of hers to really work, she would have to get back in bed and actually die. Then, he would feel sorry for her

It sounds harsh, I know, but it had the desired effect. Once [Grandmother] realised that her interfering in our family wouldn’t be tolerated and that she would, in fact, be excluded, she stopped being quite so hard on Mum. The only shame is that the other men in the family didn’t take a leaf out of Dad’s book and stand up to her when their wives, sisters, and daughters were being bullied. She carried on being as tough on them as she always had been.

Feminine Products Of A Curious Mind

, , , , , | Related | December 15, 2017

(I’m browsing through the hygiene aisle when a father and his young daughter stop near me.)

Daughter: “Dad! Do you need feminine hygiene things?”

Dad: “No, sweetheart. I’m a male. I don’t need them.”

Daughter: “Oh. Do I need them?”

Dad: *pauses* “We can worry about that when you’re older.”

You Made A Gross(ery) Error

, , , , | Working | December 15, 2017

(I am standing in line at the checkout behind a mother with a daughter of about three and an infant in a sling. The older child is “helping” to put groceries on the belt, but due to her small stature, a lot of them land on the floor. I pick them up for her because it is obviously difficult for her to bend over, and she thanks me pleasantly each time. After about the fifth item to hit the floor, the cashier at the next register starts to scold the child, calling her a brat. That’s when momma bear mode kicks in.)

Mom: *to Cashier* “Stop talking and walk away.”

Cashier: “But—”

Mom: “No. Listen to me. I just got out of the hospital after a very difficult labor. I’m restocking my groceries and my daughter is trying to be helpful.”

Cashier: *stammers*

Mom: “NO! I SAID STOP TALKING AND WALK AWAY. If you open your mouth one more time, I will take that as a verbal agreement that you are granting me permission to punch you in the face as hard as I possibly can.”

Cashier: *stammers*

Mom: “I SAID SHUT IT, AND WALK AWAY! I just had a person come out of my body. My tolerance for pain is through the roof! Do. Not. F***. With. Me or my kids!”

Me: “Would you like me to hold your baby for you before you start swinging?”

(The cashier turned bright red and walked away without another word. The mother burst out half laughing and half crying. I helped her out to her car and loaded up her groceries. She thanked me profusely the whole time. Her daughter and my daughter have a play date scheduled for next week.)

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