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And She Wonders Why They Don’t Visit

, , , , , , , | Related | January 21, 2023

When I was twelve, my parents and I flew from Canada to London, England to visit my paternal grandparents. My grandmother, “Nana”, wasn’t an easy person to get along with. For one thing, even though I barely knew her due to living in a different country, she seemed offended that I wasn’t chattering with her all day long. (The fact that I was shy didn’t help.)

One morning, I was sitting in my grandparents’ living room, reading a book. I was completely engrossed in it and didn’t realize that Nana had entered the room until I heard a very cold voice.

Nana: “Good morning, [My Name].”

Me: *Startled* “Oh! Good morning, Nana.”

She stalked out of the room with her nose in the air, and I thought, “This isn’t good.”

Sure enough, Dad came up to me a few minutes later.

Dad: “Nana is really hurt and upset that you didn’t say, ‘Good morning,’ to her.”

Me: “I didn’t even know she was there, Dad. I didn’t mean to upset her.”

Dad: “Still, I think you should apologize.”

Me: “Apologize? For what?”

Dad: *Looking harassed* “Look. Just say you’re sorry, okay? Otherwise, she’ll make the entire household miserable.”

So, I did. To this day, I’m still angry about it, and it’s been over forty-five years.

What If Cats ARE Aliens?!

, , , , , , , | Healthy | January 21, 2023

In 2019, I wake up in immense pain and decide to see a doctor. When my mom is driving me to urgent care, we talk about the theory that aliens were the ones that built the pyramids.

After urgent care, I’m sent to the ER, put in a room, and given something for pain, a side effect being drowsiness. A family friend comes to bring my mom coffee and see me. She looks at the monitors beside me and remarks that my blood pressure is high.

My mom convinces me to get some rest and says she’ll stay by my side. Soon after, I wake up.

Me: “Hey, Mom?”

Mom: “Yeah, sweetie?” 

Me: *Turning my head to look at her* “Cats built the pyramids.”

Mom: *Pauses* “What?”

Me: “Cats built the pyramids. They started out with tiny blocks and used metal spoons to carve the shape of them, and then they used a ray gun to make them bigger.”

Mom: *Chuckling* “Uh, okay, honey. Go back to sleep.”

She lightly pushes my head so I’m looking back up, and I fall asleep again. Soon after, I wake up again, not knowing a nurse is in the room.

Me: “Mooooom.”

Mom: “Yeah?”

Me: “Did you know that if an animal has high blood pressure when it’s killed, it tastes better?”

I don’t remember this next part, but according to my mom, I yell, “MMM! DEER STEAK!” before conking back out again.

Nurse: *Slowly turning to look at my mom* “Whatever pain medicine they gave her, we’re giving her a different one.”

The medicine they gave me for pain gave me such weird dreams, and whatever happened during the day before influenced them. To this day, if I say that some meat tastes good, my family teases me about those odd dreams. For anyone wondering, I was in pain because of my gallbladder, and it was removed the next day.

From Bad-Mannered Burritos To Best Buddies

, , , , , , | Related | January 20, 2023

CONTENT WARNING: Child Abuse

 

I was born with cataracts and had surgery as an infant to remove the lenses in my eyes. Both because my eyes have no lenses and from complications from the surgeries I’ve had on my eyes, I have a visual impairment; with glasses, my vision is okay — 20/50 — but without glasses, my eyes are like a camera that can’t focus on anything. My prescription is huge and my glasses make my eyes look enormous.

In school, I have a 504 plan; I sit at the front of the class and always have the option of requesting materials in large font or using a tablet. As a toddler, I had a series of ear infections that left me with moderate hearing loss. I know ASL and I can usually hear well enough with my hearing aids.

My parents divorced when I was young. Even as a little kid, I remember that I preferred my time at my dad’s house to my mom’s.

When I was five, my mother took me to a park. I was having a lot of fun on the playground. My mom wanted to go on a walk and get some food at a food truck that was usually parked on the other side of the park. It’s a small park and walking to the food truck from the playground would take five minutes, but the food truck sounded boring compared to all the fun I was having on the playground.

My mom told me I was being naughty, took off my glasses and hearing aids, put them in her purse, and told me to stay there by myself. I started crying.

A woman and a little boy came up to us and asked if I was okay. There was a communication barrier because I had a hard time hearing them and couldn’t see them, but I was eventually able to tell the woman my dad’s phone number, and he came to pick me up.

My dad came to get me just as my mom showed up with her burrito, which was more important to her than her daughter.

This incident launched another set of custody battles in which my dad won primary custody of me. My mom has visitation rights, but I haven’t seen her in years.

The little boy from the park went to my elementary school, and we ended up being best friends. I was teased a bit because my best friend was a guy, but I didn’t really care. He knew ASL, too. We tended to be in the same classes in elementary school, and when the class got too loud so I couldn’t hear, we would communicate using ASL without anyone knowing.

I’ve been going through a rough time at school recently, and also, my cat died. My dad and best friend have been the best support for me as I go through all of this.

Basically, my best friend gave my dad sole custody of me.

Can’t Think Of A Cooler Way To Spend Your Money 

, , , , , , | Related | January 19, 2023

At the end of my first year of college, my mother and grandfather pitch in to help me move home. When my grandfather asks if he needs to bring anything, like boxes, I request that he bring a small cooler.

However, when he gets there on move-out day, he finds that my minifridge is completely empty and has been propped open to defrost since the previous evening in preparation for moving.

Grandpa: “I’m sorry, I’m confused. Do you still need the cooler?”

Me: “Yeah, just not for the fridge stuff. I’ll fill up the cooler just before we leave.”

Grandpa: *Pauses* “All right, then.”

After we’d loaded most of my stuff, I grabbed the cooler and headed to the little campus food store across the way. A few minutes later, I emerged with the cooler, which was now filled with… eleven pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

My university has a sort of debit card system for food items, and I hadn’t spent too much over the course of the year, so I had about $76 of nonrefundable money that was about to expire. The ice cream pints were one of the most expensive things in the store, so it was a great way to get rid of that extra money.

My family was very happy to have a freezer drawer full of high-quality ice cream, and my grandfather still talks about the cooler with eleven pints of ice cream.

This Family Takes “Sink Or Swim” Very Seriously

, , , , , , , , , | Related | January 18, 2023

My brother has been stubborn as a mule since the day he was born, often to his own detriment. My mother has learned that sometimes the only way to steer him away from something is to let him suffer the consequences.

My brother is quite young when a neighbor invites our family to spend the afternoon at their backyard pool. My brother can’t swim yet, so my mom has him on her hip as she stands in the shallow end.

Brother: “Mom? I wanna swim.”

Mom: “You don’t know how to swim yet.”

Brother: “Yes, I do!”

Mom: “You’ve had one lesson.”

Brother: “I can swim! I’ll show you!”

They continue to argue until my mom agrees to let him try to swim. He sinks like a rock. The second he hits the bottom, my mom bends down and picks him up.

Mom: “You can’t swim, honey.”

Brother: “Yes, I can!”

Once again, they argue until she agrees. This time, she lets him go and watches closely. Once again, he sinks like a rock. She waits a few seconds, watching his eyes get wider and wider under the water as he sits on the bottom.

Then, she bends back down and picks him up again. He takes a deep breath and blinks the pool water from his eyes.

Brother: “I can swim.”

Mom: “No, you can’t.”

Brother: “Let me try one more time!”

She does. He sinks. She watches his eyes get wider and wider. She scoops him up again.

Mom: “You can’t swim.”

Brother: “I can’t swim.”

My mother still tells this story whenever we go swimming with family friends — while my brother goes off and swims with the rest of us, without sinking to the bottom.