All Washed Up On Washing Machines

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 21, 2020

Eleven or twelve years ago, I lived in a small basement apartment. On the same floor, near my apartment, there was a washer and dryer for the residents to use.

My new neighbor, living in the apartment above mine, was a young student, about eighteen years old. When he used the washing machine the first time, I kept hearing weird noises I had never heard coming from the machine. I went to check on it because if something went wrong with one of the machines I relied on for my clothes, it could end up being my problem.

As soon as I opened my door, I noticed a strange smell coming from the washer like something was starting to burn. I opened the lid and saw that the machine was crammed with clothes and towels. It was so full, it could not even spin, and there was not much water in it. I unplugged the machine to try and stop the damage and called my landlord who lived nearby.

When she saw how crammed the machine was, she got mad at me. I reminded her that I was not the one who did this; I only called her to inform her of the problem since my neighbor who caused the problem was gone. I helped her empty the machine and we filled two garbage bags with clothes and towels, leaving about a normal load.

Just before she could plug the machine back in, she saw my upstairs neighbor entering the building. She called him over and asked him if the clothes in the machine were his. He said yes and he asked why she took them out of the machine, as if the smell coming from it was not a clue enough!

I don’t remember exactly what she told him, but she was practically screaming at him. It turns out he had never used a washing machine before moving out of his parents’ home, but he could have at least looked at the instructions printed on the inside of the lid that clearly explained the point to which you could fill the machine with clothes.

Many weeks after this, he was still mad at me for calling the landlord, even though he did not have to pay for any repairs because the machine worked fine after that. He even told me that it would not have been the end of the world to go to his parents’ house to get his clothes washed while the machine was broken. It clearly did not even cross his mind that it could inconvenience other people besides him.

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It’s Not Your Cake But You Can Have It And Eat It, Too

, , , , , , | Related | July 10, 2020

When I am five years old, my grandmother decides to buy me a personalized cake. It’s not for a special event like my birthday or anything, so I am even more excited. She arranges a meeting with the cake maker.

Cake Maker: “First, which flavor do you want?”

Me: “Chocolate!”

Grandma: “No, do a white cake. Chocolate is for boys; little girls have white cake.”

She pulls that one on me each year; my brother gets chocolate and I get white. I have learned that it’s not worth the fight; she never gets me a chocolate cake anyway.

Cake Maker: “Okay. We can do anything. So, what design do you want?”

Me: “I want a cake with three layers! With a lot of flowers, like a princess!”

The cake maker turns her gaze to my grandmother so she can confirm that it’s all right.

Grandma: “No, you can’t have that; it’s too big. And such flowers will cost too much.”

They then proceed to discuss ornaments, price, and the size in between themselves. It turns out that the size they agree on only comes in round cakes, so I don’t even get to choose the cake shape.

Already, to have adults tune me out of a conversation and to speak about me or stuff directly concerning me as if I’m not even there really irritates me as a child. Like, “Hello! I’m here! I can hear you!”

I’m not excited about this anymore.

They finally get back to me. 

Cake Maker: “So, what design do you want?”

My dream princess flower cake idea got scratched off from the start; I did not think I would need a backup idea, so…

Me: “I don’t know.”

Cake Maker: “Halloween’s coming; why not do a Halloween cake?”

Me: “Sure?”

It’s late August, so that doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever; if it’s what they’ll let me have, it’s fine. 

Cake Maker: “What makes you think about Halloween?”

Me: *Suddenly getting inspired* “Cats! A black cat!”

Grandma is a dog person and hates cats.

Grandma: “No, I’m not getting you a d*** cat cake.”

Cake Maker: “How about a witch with a little cat in front of the moon or something?”

I’m thinking, “Anything to get my cat here!”

Me: “Okay. I love the night sky and stars! Can we have stars and the moon in the background?”

Cake Maker: “Yes. Do you want to see the witch fully from feet to hat top or just the face?”

Me: “Full!”

I’m thinking, “A pretty dress and hat outfit, yay!”

Cake Maker: “Okay, maybe we can do her on a broomstick or with a bubbling cauldron. Which color do you want her dress?”

Me: “Black.”

Cake Maker: *To my grandma* “We can’t do black. We have to mix a bunch of coloring together and it tastes terrible.”

They are — again! — ignoring me and picking the color between themself. 

They get back to me.

Cake Maker: “Which color do you want the cat? It can’t be black.”

I default to my favorite color.

Me: “Pink?”

Cake Maker: *Almost concerned* “Oh, pink cats are not real, darling.”

Grandma: *Laughing at me* “Yes, cats are not pink.”

Now, I’m angry. I’m thinking, “It’s a cake! I can color a cat pink in my coloring books, so why not on a cake? Witches are not real either, but we are having one! And why are you laughing at me?!”

Knowing this kind of talk won’t pass with Grandma, I resort to just answering with the color that seems to agree with her.

Me: “Okay, then white.”

I didn’t care about this cake anymore. I was done. They blamed my crankiness on a child’s short attention span. I just threw random colors at their last questions: “Which color do you want her skin?” “Green.” “Which color do you want her hair?” “Orange.” And they tuned me out — again! — to pick whatever was left themselves. 

Months passed and I forgot about the cake. It was November when I got a call from Grandma telling me it was ready. Grandma, Mom, and I went to pick it up, and they made a big show of the “reveal” for me, expecting a huge explosion of happiness and my mind being blown. They opened the box… and… my face, in one word: DECEPTION. 

It was nothing I wanted.

There was no cat, no night sky, no stars, no dress, no hat, no broomstick, no cauldron… all the little details I chose and was hoping for were not there!

It was just an ugly witch face on a huge yellow circle with a blue rim. To me, it looked the same as the cheap, ready-made grocery store cake. It had nothing special or personalized! I forced myself to say, “Thank you,” to the maker and Grandma, because it’s what you should say. The only fun element was a gum used to make a 3D tooth sticking out of the witch’s mouth, and quick enough, my mom mindlessly picked it for herself. 

I got chewed out by Grandma and the cake maker for not being grateful or happy about “my” cake, as they spent a lot of money and time to get me this, etc. 

I don’t know how they proposed me a Halloween theme when I originally wanted a flowery princess theme. I don’t know what they expected when they overruled all my choices. I can only guess they were under the impression that I would be delighted with their choices or that a child would be happy with anything presented to them.

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In The Doghouse Before You Even Get Together

, , , , , , , , | Romantic | July 9, 2020

This happens when I am in high school. There is this guy flirting with me. He makes his intention clear, but honestly, I am just trying to get to know him at this point. 

One day, after school, we walk together on our way to our respective homes. 

Guy: “Hey, let’s go by there; I’ve got to show you something.”

Me: “Okay.”

It gets me closer to my place, so why not?

Guy: “See, this house over here—” 

He points at the house on the other side of the street.

Guy: “—they have f****** huge dogs!”

We cross the street, and I wait on the sidewalk as he goes near the wood fence — about six feet tall — where I can see that there are, indeed, larger breed dogs. 

Guy: “There are three of these beasts in there!”

He’s getting closer to the fence, trying to boast and show off how courageous he is. He is about to touch the fence but can’t find a way to stick his hand in. He’s frozen there acting all, “Whoa, scary!” He’s being dramatic, I guess.

I join him, stick my hand inside the fence, and… get licked. There’s lots of licking and tails wagging, and one even does this little “happy dance,” tapping its front paws up and down.

Me: “Hi, [Dog #1]! Hi, [Dog #2]! Hi, [Dog #3]!”

Guy: *Completely white and deflated* “Uh… you know them?”

Me: “Yes, this is my home. These are our family dogs. They are big but not evil, violent, or whatnot. I don’t recommend coming in uninvited, but you can stick your hand in and pet them; the worst you’ll get is licked, maybe some fur fluffing off and sticking to you.”

Guy: *Eyes bugging out* “Uh…”

Me: “Yeah, so, next time, maybe you should make sure to not come to a girl’s house and imply that her pets are some scary monsters.”

I was less than impressed with him. My giant forever puppies got extra cuddles that day. 

I won’t tell the exact breeds — all different anyway — because it does not matter; breeds are not a behavior. Be cautious with dogs you don’t know, but don’t tag them as good or bad from their size, color, breed, etc.


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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On The Chatterbus To Shut-The-H***-Up-Ville

, , , , , , , | Friendly | June 19, 2020

I’m on a long bus trip from Montreal, Québec, to Ottawa and then Toronto, Ontario. It’s something like seven hours, not counting the connecting time in Ottawa. It’s a “night trip” starting at 21:00 in Montreal and ending at 05:00 in Toronto.

There are two women sitting just in front of me for the two-hour trip from Montreal to Ottawa. They chat non-stop for the whole trip. It’s relatively early, so it’s not that bad. They speak some Arabic language, which makes it like “noise” to me, and I’m able to take a nap, not being tempted, voluntarily or not, to eavesdrop.

Then, there’s the leg from Ottawa to Toronto, which is four hours. They are sitting a few rows behind the driver, but are just chatting again non-stop. I am seriously amazed that their vocal cords haven’t called it quits by this time. All we hear is them. No one else is talking.

Then, about an hour into this trip, the bus driver speaks up.

“To whoever is talking non-stop behind me, it’s 3:00 am. Some people might want to sleep. Could you please be considerate and shut the h*** up?”

That might not have been the most courteous way to ask for it, but it did the trick.

I’m sure many travelers, in their heads, clap their hands for the driver. I know I did.

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When They’re Putting You Down, Make Them Look Up

, , , , , | Right | June 9, 2020

This happens while I am a clerk in the CD/DVD department at a bookstore. I get this distraught call from a cashier.

Cashier: “I’ve got a customer here saying we called her and told her that we received the CD she ordered, but I looked everywhere and can’t find it.”

Me: “Hmm, well, you wouldn’t. We hold orders here at the department desk. Send her my way.”

I see the fuming customer stomping towards my desk.

Customer: “You guys need to get your s*** together! You call me and tell me you’ve received my stuff but then you can’t find it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we usually hold orders at the department’s desk; maybe my colleague wasn’t aware of that. May I have your name?”

The customer gives her name while impatiently tapping her fingers on the counter.

Me: “All right, let me see.”

I then proceed to look in the box where we keep order receipts. I can’t find her name. I look at the items we’re keeping. Still can’t find it. I go to the back store. Still nothing. I am confused and apologetic.

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, but there must have been a mix-up. I can’t seem to find any trace of your order…”

Customer: *Hysterical* “I can’t believe it! [Competing Store across the street] called me yesterday and told me you had received my order, and now you can’t find it? What kind of s***ty service is that?”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Wait, did you say [Competing Store]? Because this is [My Store].”

Customer: “Oh…” *Uneasy laugh* “Right.”

She left without apologizing. For the record, the name of the store was written in big, bold, five-foot-high letters over the entrance, and you couldn’t possibly mistake it for its competitor as they both had unique logos, colors, and store layouts.

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