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High But Simple Standards

, , , , , , , | Related | October 3, 2021

My girlfriend is meeting my rather conservative parents for the first time. We’re both currently university students. She’s ethnically Chinese, has brightly dyed dreadlocks and a toned body, and speaks with a unique accent. My parents are quite a bit weirded out by her.

Mum: “So, where are you from?”

Girlfriend: “Short answer or long answer?”

Mum: “Short, please.”

Girlfriend: “If we’re being precise, an orphanage in rural China. If we’re not, Singapore. More or less.”

Mum: “Uh…”

Me: “The long answer is a list of places including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and London.”

Girlfriend: “Don’t forget Canada.”

Me: “And Canada.”

Mum: “That’s… interesting.”

Girlfriend: *Shrugs* “My parents travelled around a lot. Singapore is where they currently live.”

Dad: “But where do you feel you belong? Where do you feel you’re from?”

Girlfriend: “Wherever my parents are.”

Dad: “That’s not very precise. How about which passport you have?”

Girlfriend: “I’ve got three different citizenships and passports, but I’m not really attached to any of them.”

Dad: “Okay. Okay. So, are you a Christian?”

Girlfriend: “Nope. My one true god is the Force and the Sith code.”

Dad: “Uh… don’t you mean the Jedi code?”

Girlfriend: *Shakes her head* “Sith fashion is cooler.”

Mum: “Uh… your hobbies?”

Girlfriend: “Fencing, paintball, Dungeons And Dragons, video gaming… Basically anything, as long as it’s fun.”

Dad: “What are you taking in university?”

Girlfriend: “Computer engineering. I’m not a bad programmer.”

Our dog comes up and distracts her, which allows my parents to pull me aside.

Dad: “Uh, son, are you really sure you want to date someone so… foreign?”

Mum: “Yes, she’s rather… exotic.”

Me: “I only ask three things from a girlfriend: be someone I can geek out with, be someone with an actual personality, and be down for anything. She ticks all those boxes and then some.”

Mum: “But she’s a bit… weird.”

Girlfriend: *Popping into the conversation* “Weird is good. Life would be too boring, otherwise.”

Me: “Agreed.”

We fistbump, and my parents make themselves scarce with sceptical looks. My parents — and most of the older folks in the family — have never really approved of her, but at least they are polite enough not to make a fuss out of it.

On the bright side, pretty much everyone else in the younger generations of my family (including the pets) finds my girlfriend awesome.

Mom Loves To Trash Talk

, , , , , | Related | October 1, 2021

My mom has always been nosy. Very nosy. She is a certified Window Monitor and comments on everyone and everything, family member or not. She loves putting her nose in other people’s business. And she is always right — per her saying.

I bought a house and she came for a visit. She had to pick on something. She had to find something.

Mom: “You know, [My Name], you have this large dark green container in your workshop, full of stuff, all mangled up. It doesn’t look nice.”

I frowned, and then I realized she was actually referring to a trash container. My dad looked puzzled as he was trying to figure out what the heck she was talking about, obviously trying to locate, in his mind, a green container with mangled stuff.

Me: “Mom, that’s a trash can. Of course, it’s full of mangled things. It’s trash.”

Mom: “Well, you should tidy it up a little. It doesn’t look nice.”

My dad opened his mouth to say something, but he knew it was a lost cause and simply shrugged.

No Wonder The Backseat Was So Quiet

, , , | Right | September 30, 2021

I work at a gas station. At around 7:00 pm, a lady walks in and goes into the bathroom. About a minute later, a kid who’s around nine or ten years old also goes to the bathroom. A few minutes later, the lady comes out of the bathroom and walks out of the store, gets in her car, and drives away. A few minutes after that, the kid walks out of the bathroom, goes outside, and comes back in.

Kid: “I think my mom left without me.”

Me: “Do you know your mom’s phone number?”

The child says yes and tells me. I phone the number and it goes straight to voicemail. I’m not surprised; I live in a small village with bad service. I leave a message.

Me: “This is [My Name] and I’m calling from [Business, Gas Station]. I’m just letting you know your son is here and he is safe. When you get this message, please call us back at this number. We will be here until 9:00 pm.”

An hour later, the lady phones back.

Lady: “Hi! I’m an hour away! I’m coming right away!”

The kid was very well-behaved while waiting for his mom, sitting at one of the tables we have in the store. And around an hour later, the lady came into the store and got her son. She offered to give us money for our troubles, but I said no.

BYOB: Buy Your Own Booze

, , , , | Related | September 30, 2021

What I was asked to do in this story is technically legal. By UK law, anyone over the age of five is allowed to drink alcohol at home but not in public. My dad would let us drink a sip (rarely more) of whatever he was drinking all throughout our childhoods so we wouldn’t go behind his back to get any.

My middle sister’s seventeenth birthday is coming up, and she wants a bottle of vodka. Instead of buying it himself like a responsible adult, my dad sends me to the supermarket to buy it and other things for him, as per usual.

I’m about to leave the house, just double-checking that I have my bag and passport, when he tells me to bring along my fifteen-year-old sister. I’m pretty sure everyone can see where this is heading. When I try to explain that the shop people are not going to sell me any alcohol with my sister with me, I get told I’m being “silly” because it’s not for her.

We both get ID’d and, as expected, we are not allowed to buy the alcohol. I do try telling the shop lady that my sister is fifteen and has no ID, and that it isn’t for her, not expecting it to work, but if I don’t at least try then I’m at fault here.

I phone my dad.

Me: “As I expected, they wouldn’t let me buy the alcohol with [Sister] with me.”

Dad: “That’s ridiculous! I’ve bought alcohol while shopping with [Sister]! A parent with a child in a pram could buy alcohol! Laws are stupid. Go to the little shop on your way home and buy it there.”

I realise that if my sister and I go to the little shop on the way home, we’ll be denied again, and even if I go back later, they’ll recognise me and might still refuse to sell to me. So, I take my sister home first. My dad starts ranting again.

Dad: “You’re making more work for yourself going out twice! They should sell you the alcohol because you’re of age. Why does it matter that your sister isn’t?!”

Me: “The lady at the shop didn’t decide the rules, and I do not blame her for refusing to sell to us when her job could be on the line.”

I didn’t even get ID’d at the little shop. The alcohol was more expensive, but it’s my dad’s money and his fault for making me take my sister. I wish I’d sent him to go buy his own alcohol instead of all the arguing, but realistically, that would have just made things worse.

Be Leery Of The Beer Query

, , , , , , | Related | September 29, 2021

My cousin, age ten, and I, age seven, went to the local grocery store to get some stuff for my mom. She had (jokingly) added “a six-pack of cold beer” to the shopping list.

My cousin and I arrived at the checkout lane, and the nice lady told us:

Cashier: “I’m afraid you can’t buy beer because you’re under eighteen years of age.”

I did a bit of quick math.

Me: “But, we are seventeen together. You can overlook one year, can’t you?”

The checkout lady smiled and shook her head. The other people near the counter chuckled. We were embarrassed and returned the beer to the shelf.

Arriving home, we told the tale to my mom and cousin’s mom. They had big grins and told us they were joking and just wanted to see what would happen.

I grumpily replied, something like:

Me: “Well, the beer wasn’t cold, anyway.”