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We’ll Be Stewing About What That Ingredient Could Be For AGES

, , , | Related | January 21, 2022

Among my family, there’s one food everyone knows I will not eat. I can’t stand the taste, I can’t stand the texture, I can’t stand the smell, I can’t stand anything about it. My parents and brother have known this for decades. 

One weekend, my mom offers to host a family dinner at her house and I offer to do all the cooking for her. I decide to make a stew, since it’s the middle of winter. I buy all the ingredients and drop by early. Then, I prep everything for the stew and start it simmering, using a substitute for the ingredient I don’t like. 

This stew takes a full five hours to cook, so my parents and I head outside to shovel their driveway while we wait.

When I come back inside to check on the meal, I can very clearly see that my brother added that one ingredient I cannot stomach while we were out. He chopped it so finely that it would be impossible to remove, as if it hadn’t already soaked its flavors into the entire dish.

I’m livid. I confront him on that, and he flatly does not care.

Brother: “I made it taste better; you should be thanking me.”

Me: “All I want is an apology! You could have easily split the stew in half by ladling some into a second pot. Then, you could have added whatever you wanted to your portion and left a portion for me alone. I paid for that food with my own money, to share with the family, and now I can’t even eat it. It had a substitution in it and didn’t need tampering with.”

He remained fully adamant that he did a good thing and would not apologize at all.

Since I very badly did want to eat stew, I wound up having to go all the way back to the store, spend more money on the same ingredients, and start the whole process from scratch. I didn’t even get to eat alongside my family; dinner for me was after 10:00 pm that day. I had a hunger migraine by the time I was finally able to eat.

And to this day, my brother refuses to apologize. “I am not apologizing for making food taste good!” he always insists. He acts as if I’m in the wrong for not eating one particular food and for wanting a very basic apology.

BRB, Googling How IVF Works

, , , , , | Related | January 18, 2022

My older sister and I were conceived via IVF after years of our parents trying without success. Now that we’re adults, we’ve both moved, so she now lives several states north of me.

She called me to invite me to fly up and stay for a few days so I could be part of her New Year’s Eve party.

Me: “Thanks for the invite, but I’m going to pass. It’s just too cold up there in December for me.”

Sister: “This coming from the woman who spent the first two years of her life living in a freezer?”

Wisdom Beyond Her Years

, , , , | Related | January 9, 2022

When my sister was in kindergarten, she had a very… fun teacher. She came home one day with this.

Sister: “[Teacher] told us she’s 164 years old!”

Mom: “Oh, that’s not true. People can’t live that long. She’s just joking with you. “

Sister: “She’s a teacher. She knows a lot more than you.”

My mom really couldn’t argue with that one!

All Milk-Shook Up

, , , , , , | Related | January 7, 2022

My family isn’t exactly well-off, so we usually only go out to a restaurant on someone’s birthday. Today is a lucky day, because there is no special occasion.

This new restaurant offers free refills on fizzy drinks, which is unusual in the UK at the time. We’re all thinking this is a great idea, except for my youngest sister, who wants a milkshake.

Dad: “The milkshake is more expensive, and there’re no refills, so you’re only getting the one.”

Sister: “Okay.”

Dad: “The rest of us are going to be refilling our drinks; you won’t be able to refill your milkshake.”

Sister: “I know.”

Dad: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You’re not getting another. Are you sure you don’t want Fanta?”

Sister: “I’m sure.”

We order food and drinks, and after a short wait, the waiter brings a tray full of drinks. As he approaches the table and goes to put the tray down, it catches on the condiments holder. The tray tips over, the adults both reflexively grab the two drinks closest to them, and the milkshake goes spilling all over the table. Miraculously, most of it is on the table and the little one is only slightly splashed.

My sister immediately slams both elbows on the table, drops her face into her hands, and starts to tear up. The waiter is extremely apologetic and almost falls over himself trying to cheer her up. At the same time, my other sister is laughing her head off at the little one’s face and I’m attempting to help use napkins to stop any of the milkshake from falling off the table.

Every time the waiter mentions something about getting a new one right out, the little one shakes her head and cries a little harder. She’s tough as nails and doesn’t usually cry, so we’re all a little in shock still.

Waiter: “I— I’m so sorry! I’ll go get my manager!”

Before he comes back, our dad gets her to explain what’s wrong.

Sister: “But you said I’m not allowed another one!”

Dad: “Oh, [Sister]. Don’t be silly. Of course you can have another milkshake; it wasn’t you who spilled it.”

The waiter returns with his manager.

Dad: “It’s okay. She just thought I wouldn’t let her have a replacement.”

Manager: “It’s okay, sweetie. Of course we’ll replace your milkshake. I know, how about we upgrade you to the Oreo milkshake?” *To Dad* “Is that okay?”

My sister is nodding.

Dad: “That’s—”

Manager: “No extra cost, of course.”

Dad: “Do you even like Oreos, [Sister]?”

Sister: “I got to try them at school when [Friend] bringed them.”

Dad: *To the manager* “That’d be great, thanks.”

The mess is quickly cleaned up and a waitress brings over a tray with the new fancy milkshake on it. As she goes to put it down, it catches on the condiments holder. My sister looks at her milkshake in horror.

Whether due to quicker reflexes or a lighter plate, the waitress doesn’t tip the tray. We notice the condiments holder was the problem last time, and I reach over to move it to my side of the table to prevent this from happening again.

Me: “Do you think—”

Dad: “Yeah, it probably was.” *To the waitress* “Can you let the other guy know it wasn’t his fault?”

Waitress: “Huh? Oh, sure.”

My sister got to enjoy her fancy milkshake and the food was good, too. We had a good time and went back to that restaurant again a few times.

Everyone Is Someone’s Hero

, , , , , | Related | January 2, 2022

I’ve been having a really bad day, though not for any particular reason. I’m just in a grump. I’m still in a grump when my little sister comes home from primary school. She wants to tell me something, and even though I’m not in the mood, I do my best to not get frustrated while trying to understand her. 

Talking is difficult for her due to a multitude of health issues, so I’m leaving out the back and forth of figuring out what she is saying and just typing what she wanted to say.

Sister: “We had to write about our heroes in class today.”

Me: “Oh, dear, I hated doing that. Could you think of anyone to write about? I could never think of anyone.”

Sister: “No, I thought of a person.”

Me: “Good for you.”

Sister: “Will you read it?”

Me: “Now?”

She starts getting something out of her bag.

Me: “Ah, uh, well… I’m not really—”

Cue disappointed puppy-dog eyes.

Me: “Erm, maybe after dinner? My eyes are a little, uh, tired right now is all.”

Sister: “Okay!”

I muddle my way through cooking and eating dinner, not looking forward to the effort reading her handwriting is going to be — not that mine is any better. I’m just being a complete butthole about it.

After we’ve eaten, she brings me her exercise book.

Me: “You want me to read this out loud, or am I okay to just read it in my head?”

Sister: “That’s fine.”

I begin to read.

Book: “My hero is [My Name].”

I pause. That can’t be right. I reread the first sentence. She can’t possibly mean me. Who is this other person who has my extremely rare name that she has met and thinks is her hero?

Book: “[My Name] is my sister.”

I look up at her.

Me: “Me?”

My sister nods vigorously, and I return my attention to her book. I read compliment after compliment about how she thinks I’m smart, about how I make her laugh, and about how grateful she is for me looking after her. And as I read these words that don’t feel true to me, I’m crying with a hand clamped over my mouth to stop the noise.

When I finish, I look up at her. She looks concerned, probably because I’m really not supposed to be crying over this.

Me: “Cuddle?”

It was a good cuddle.