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But Does She Sparkle?

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 31, 2021

I’m thirteen and we’re having a Halloween party. I’m sitting in my room with three friends when my older sister knocks and enters.

Sister: “Mum’s going to make garlic bread. How many want some?”

Me, Friend #1, & Friend #2: “Yes, please.”

Sister: “[Friend #3]?”

Friend #3: “Oh, no, I’m allergic.”

We all look at [Friend #3] in confusion, as she’s known for scarfing all the garlic bread. Having gained the attention of the room, she gestures to her costume.

Friend #3: “Obviously.”

She was dressed as a vampire.


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No Such Thing As Too Much Good Cake!

, , , , , | Friendly | October 3, 2021

My husband and I were friends with four other couples, all in our senior years, and would get together a couple of times a year at one of the houses to have a barbecue and catch up with each others’ news.

We would take our own barbecue food, and each would supply a box of homemade cakes to share around. Each of us had our specialty cakes, so we had a good selection to choose from.

One year, my specialty went down particularly well, especially with the husbands, so the wives all asked me for the recipe, which I happily gave them.

The next time we all met, guess what cakes the other four wives brought? Yes, they all made and brought my specialty!

I couldn’t decide whether to be flattered or annoyed.

Every Party Has A Pooper; That’s Why We Invited You

, , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2021

Last year’s work Christmas party was a mess. There were complaints from nearly everyone about the food, restaurant, and dates, and complaints from people who said they didn’t get asked. But worse was that so many people didn’t turn up, meaning those that did had to stump up an extra bill.

I’ve been asked to organise it this year, as I am super organised and tend to enjoy these sorts of things, so I get to work.

Months in advance, I send out a poll with a choice of restaurant and a selection of dates. I get the menu as soon as it is released and stick it on the board and email it out. I make sure I get a response from everyone regarding their attendance and any allergies.

I chase everyone down who didn’t respond, especially when it comes to collecting a deposit. It’s strictly a “Don’t pay, don’t come!” scenario.

I track down one of the non-responders.

Me: “Last chance to come to the Christmas party.”

Coworker: “Oh, no! I want to come. Where is it?”

Me: “It’s at [Restaurant] on [date].”

Coworker: “Oh, I don’t really like that place. Can’t we go somewhere else?”

Me: “I sent out the options months ago. Sorry, it’s all decided. Do you want to come?”

Coworker: “Err… Sure. Okay.”

Me: “Okay, I need your deposit by the end of the day. Cash is fine, or you can transfer the money.”

Coworker: “Well, I didn’t know about—”

Me: *Interrupting* “I emailed everyone three times about this and it has been on the canteen and office notice board.”

Coworker: “Fine!”

Me: “Great. Everyone who has paid the deposit will get invited to the group chat for any updates.”

I send her an email, and then another the next day. She doesn’t pay. I collect everyone’s deposits, set up the group chat, and think we are pretty much done.

A few weeks later…

Coworker: “Oh, I realised that I never gave you that deposit. Here.”

Me: “Yeah, I already paid the restaurant. If you don’t pay them you can’t have a space.”

Coworker: “Well, you could have just paid it for me.”

Me: “You and the other fifteen people who didn’t pay me?”

Coworker: “Look, just sort it out or I will go to Human Resources.”

Me: “No.”

Coworker: “What do you mean, no? You’re excluding me; this is bullying.”

Me: “No and no. Firstly, you had plenty of notice and I don’t owe you anything, and secondly, we moved the meal to last weekend. Everyone who did pay the deposit had a great time.”

She swore at me and ran off. I think she might have made a complaint, but it never reached me. The next year, she made a big bid to organise the meal, presumably to spite me or “forget to invite me,” but she ended up going on holiday and half-a**ed the meal planning, and I had to step in again.

We had a good time without her again.

No One Messes With My Sister But Me

, , , , , , , | Related | May 25, 2021

It’s my bridal shower, and my mom, my aunts, my best friend, my younger sister, and I have spent all morning getting it ready, snacking and taste-testing as we go. By the time guests have arrived and we’re ready to serve lunch, I’m already pretty full, and since I’m trying not to gain weight before the wedding, I opt for a mimosa and a plate of fruit. I spend the time chatting with my friends, several of whom I haven’t seen for years. I’m on the point of pouring myself a mimosa when I hear my fiancé’s aunt, in a just-slightly-too-loud voice, comment.

Fiancé’s Aunt: “Oh, I see the bride is drinking her lunch. Typical.”

Needless to say, I’m hurt, but I go hang out with my friends and try to pretend that nothing’s bothering me. I am not expecting that five minutes later, my sister would march the aunt, looking sullen, over to my table.

Fiancé’s Aunt: “…”

Sister: “You say it or you leave.”

Fiancé’s Aunt: “I’m sorry I was rude.”

Sister:And?

Fiancé’s Aunt: “That was uncalled for. I know you spent all morning getting ready. I’m sorry for being rude when you wanted a break. I’ll be polite.”

Sister: Good. You’ll be polite or you won’t come to the wedding.”

I was deeply touched. My sister is almost a decade younger than me, and between sharing a room and having very different views, we fought far more often than we got along. When I left for college, we didn’t talk for almost two years, and I was not at all expecting her to come to my aid in this. I made it a point to sincerely thank her later, and we wound up talking sincerely for the first time in years. Five years into the marriage, we’re closer than we ever were growing up. I’m not sure what prompted her to be my knight in shining armor that day, but I’m now glad to call her my friend as well as my sister!


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The Only Thing Worse Than A Party Crasher

, , , | Related | March 17, 2021

My youngest sister-in-law moved closer to us a couple of years ago and we have included her and her boyfriend in our friend circle which we have known for approximately ten years. Everybody is in their mid- to late twenties; [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend are the youngest.

Our Dutch friends have a summer party every year, and this year, for the first time, they invite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend. The Dutch friends start an email chain as it is a potluck party. 

Sister-In-Law: “We are bringing our friend, [Guest], as well.”

The party hostess is obviously a bit surprised to be told and not asked.

Hostess: “I guess that is okay.”

After a couple of emails about food:

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *To [Hostess]* “So, do you have a large table where [Guest] can set up?”

Another friend in the group email replies.

Friend: “It’s okay. We are only supposed to bring one or two dishes each. She won’t need a large table.”

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *As if stating the obvious* “For the health products she is going to sell us, of course. It is amazing what they can do! It has changed our lives!”

My dear husband and I see this email before our Dutch friends and have a discussion on how to politely stop [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend from embarrassing themselves further, but while my husband is composing an email to his sister, the hostess responds.

Hostess: “This is our summer party, not a sales party! You can tell [Guest] she is no longer welcome!”

Sister-In-Law: “But everybody will love the products and I promised her I would arrange this.”

Hostess: “NO!”

Host: “Do not bring her!”

Our Dutch friends are graceful and do not uninvite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend, but at the party, both [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend still can’t understand that they have done anything wrong or weird.

Sister-In-Law: “Too bad they didn’t want to hear about all the nice products. This would have been such a perfect setting for a sales party.”

I have a distinct feeling [Sister-In-Law] either would have kept the hostess gift herself or would have gotten a discount on her next purchase for “arranging the party.”

In all fairness, I had complained to [Hostess] about [Sister-In-Law]’s immaturity and bad manners a couple of times, so I did not feel too bad for her. Anyway, she was better at shutting [Sister-In-Law]’s antics down than we were.

[Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend — who became her husband — “saw the light” many more times in the following years, but after a couple of failed tries to “convert” us to whatever nonsense product or fad they were fans of, they realized we were out of pedagogic reach and stopped trying.