I Think I Read A Fanfiction Like This Once

, , , , | Romantic | March 8, 2021

I’m an out-and-proud lesbian. I left the closet at age six and never looked back.

My best friend and I have been BFFs since we were toddlers, and my parents basically raised him and me as siblings — to the point that I call him “Bro” and he calls me “Sis.” I always introduce him as my big brother and he tells his friends I’m his little sister. It helps that he has a passing resemblance to my mom and me.

Singapore has this really dumb law that property can only be owned by people above thirty-five unless they are married. My best friend desperately wants to leave his toxic family and never return, so he needs to get hitched as soon as possible.

[Best Friend] found himself a girlfriend in similar straits, and they agreed to marry after he finished his mandatory military service and saved up enough to afford a flat. My mom also agreed to give him a loan and conveniently forgot to mention any interest or fixed repayment date.

Alas, his girlfriend found herself a better deal with someone else and summarily dumped him about a third of the way through his service, leaving him with a broken heart and even more desperate than before.

He had a backup plan, of course, but it was fairly unpalatable, as it involved renting an apartment with three other guys, and the only people he could find to agree with that were either horrendously immature or slobs.

My BFF is lamenting this conundrum while having dinner at my place, when I decide to “propose” to him right then and there, with the idea that we’ll divorce after he gets a flat. It takes a bit of convincing, but beggars can’t be choosers. My parents have to sweeten the deal by promising a really generous dowry, but he eventually says yes.

We begin preparing to get married. We tell all our friends about it, which is where things get silly.

EVERY SINGLE ONE of them reacts with shock and disgust. “Oh, my God, but he/she is your brother/sister! Isn’t that incest?!” Even some younger members of my family react that way.

It turns out we’ve thought of each other as siblings for so long that we’ve never told any of our friends that we aren’t actually blood-related. And my younger family members — including my actual younger brother — genuinely never realised he wasn’t actually my brother as, since as far back as they could remember, we always told them [Best Friend] was my brother.

After a whole motherload of explanations, the two of us are sitting on my bed and looking dumbstruck at each other.

Me: “I never realised just how many people we told that we were siblings.”

Best Friend: “Yeah, that was awkward. In all fairness, Sis, you’re literally one of the last people I saw myself marrying, so we never saw that as an issue.”

Me: “Huh. For me, you were literally the only guy I even remotely considered marrying. But I see your point, Bro. Never thought we actually would get hitched. You being my sperm donor was obvious, but actually marrying? Nope.”

Best Friend: “I know. It’s one thing to help you have kids. But to actually marry you?”

He shakes his head and lets out a long sigh.

Best Friend:  “Anyway, thanks again, Sis. I owe you big time.”

Me: “Eh, what are best-friends-slash-siblings for? Don’t mention it.”

We hug.

Best Friend:  “Love you, Sis.”

Me: “Love you, too, Bro.”

We stay like that for a while before we let go.

Best Friend: “But after we get married, we absolutely have to introduce ourselves as best friends or a couple. Calling ourselves siblings just causes way too much drama.”

Me: “Crap. That’s not gonna be easy. I’m so used to calling you my brother.”

Best Friend: “It’s not easy for me, either. I literally cannot see you as anything other than my little sister.”

Me: “Same. God, this is so awkward.”

Best Friend: “No kidding. Ah, well, just have to knuckle down and do it.”

I groan.

Despite everything, we get married a year later. We have a beautiful ceremony, swear our vows, and kiss. And every single person that attends says that it feels weird.

Me: “I always wanted to be a bride. I’m one now, but this doesn’t feel real.”

Best Friend: “If someone had told me that I’d be marrying you, I’d have laughed in their faces. I can’t believe we actually are doing it.”

Dad: “I seriously can’t see [Best Friend] as anything other than your brother.”

Mom: “It feels like two of my kids got married at the same time.”

Aunt: “This is so weird. The two of you look like cosplaying siblings.”

Cousin: “Someone please get me some brain bleach. The two of you kissing just looks beyond wrong to me.”

Uncle: “I cannot take this seriously. The two of you look nothing like a couple.”

Homophobic Grandma: “I’m happy you married a man, as is only proper, but even this feels wrong to me.”

Younger Brother: “I feel so much like Tyrion Lannister right now.”

Me: “Noted. I’ll name our son Joffrey, then.”

[Younger Brother] gives me the most horrified look.

Younger Brother: “I was joking!”

Lannister jokes aside, our marriage was perfect. It’s been a couple of years now, and my best friend now has his own flat and is far away from his toxic family. Meanwhile, the ex that dumped him underwent a really messy divorce and lost the flat, stranding her back at square one with nothing to show for it.

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Keep The Ring In The Family, Lose The Weird Prejudices

, , , , | Related | February 25, 2021

This conversation takes place when I’m at the age where jewellery starts becoming a part of my life. My mom promised me anything I wanted from her collection as a gift. She’s taken all her jewellery out and is showing me the pieces, one by one.

We’ve gone through a truly surprising number of pieces, including a ring engraved with my name that I am eyeing. But then she pulls out one last ring, and it stands out because of how old it looks.

Mom: “And this horridly outdated piece is our family engagement ring. It’s been passed down from mother to daughter since before World War Two. I got it off Grandma back when she thought she was going to die any day.”

Me: “Wait, what? But Grandma’s so healthy.”

Mom: “Turned out to be a false alarm, but she gave me all her jewels back then. She really regrets that now.”

Me: “Wait, it’s an engagement ring. How is it that mothers give it to daughters? I thought engagement rings were given by the guy?”

Mom: “Normally, it’s given from mother to daughter-in-law. Well, more accurately, the son will ask his mother’s permission to marry, and his mother will give him the ring to propose with. But as things happen, Grandma doesn’t actually like [Aunt #1], [Aunt #3], and [Aunt #4].”

Me: “What? But they’re all so nice.”

Mom: “Well, Grandma was supposed to give it to [Uncle #1], but she didn’t like [Aunt #1]. She thought she was a gold digger, so my older brother didn’t get the ring. Not that it stopped him.”

Me: “Ridiculous. [Aunt #1] is my nicest aunt.”

Mom: “My mom had this silly belief that brides shouldn’t be older than their groom, and [Aunt #1] is older than [Uncle #1].”

I shake my head in disbelief.

Me: “Then what happened with [Aunt #3]?”

Mom: “Back then, Grandma didn’t actually think architects were a real job. So she was really annoyed that [Uncle #2] became an architect. So when my younger brother married [Aunt #3], who was another architect… Well, there’s a reason they live in another country.”

Me: “I get the point.”

Mom: “And I trust we don’t have to discuss [Aunt #4]?”

Me: “Nope. I already know what Grandma thinks of [Aunt #2] marrying [Aunt #4].”

My mother’s older sister had to go overseas to do it, as Singaporean law forbade — and still forbids — same-sex marriage. Grandma still insists that the marriage is invalid.

Me: “So, because she never gave it away, you got it when she gave you all her jewels.”

Mom: “That, and I’m her only child that had a ‘respectable’ marriage.”

I snort.

Mom: “Anyway. That’s the last piece in my collection. Want the engagement ring?”

Me: “No, thanks. Maybe in the future. For now, the ring I want literally has my name on it.”

That conversation was nearly a decade ago. Now, I have that ancient engagement ring in hand and am about to go out for dinner with my girlfriend. Wish me luck.


This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of February 2021 roundup story!

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You Must Shoes To Use Your Brain

, , , | Working | February 12, 2021

It’s day one of the mandatory military training that every male in Singapore has to go through. We’ve been issued our new kit, but clearly, they used the measurements from our pre-enlistment checkup. At least two years ago. Needless to say, a lot of stuff doesn’t fit.

Sergeant: “Boys, let’s save some time. Try to trade with each other first before we go down to return the gear that doesn’t fit.”

My shoes are too small, so I try to find someone with bigger shoes to trade with. Alas, the problem everyone has is that their stuff is too small, not too big, so the trading is failing.

Me: “Hey, [Sectionmate #1]. Your shoes are too small, right?”

Sectionmate #1: “Yeah. Wanna trade?”

Me: “Something like that. See, mine are too small for me, as well, but yours are about my size. So, how about you give me yours and trade mine in?”

Sectionmate #1: “Huh. Good idea. Deal.”

I take his shoes and he takes mine. Later, when the sergeant calls everyone to line up with the stuff they want to resend:

Sergeant: “Hey, [Sectionmate #1], how come you’re here? I saw you and [My Name] trade shoes just now.”

Sectionmate #1: “Both of us have shoes that are too small. But mine fit him just fine, so I gave him mine.”

Sergeant: “So, does that mean that his fit you?”

Sectionmate #1: “No. His feet are smaller than mine, so his shoes definitely don’t fit me. I’m taking his down to exchange.”

Sergeant: “Uh-huh. So then why did you swap if they don’t fit?”

Me: “His shoes are too small for him, but they’re pretty much my size, so I took them off his hands. He’s taking my shoes down because they definitely don’t fit him. We traded to save me the trouble of going down myself.”

Sergeant: “So do you need to go down or not?”

We went back and forth for quite a while until we finally managed to get the idea into his head. Meanwhile, the rest of the boys were muttering things like, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Is trading such a hard concept to wrap their heads around?

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I Dub-Yew An Idiot

, , , , | Working | January 6, 2021

As support desk staff, we often receive calls from employees requesting to reset their passwords to access the company claims system.

Employee: “Can you reset my password, please? My ID is [ID].”

Me: “All right, I’ve just reset your password to Bw*[numbers]. Capital B for ‘boy,’ small letter W.”

I say, “Double-U,” which most people say.

Employee: “Okay!”

Seconds later:

Employee: “It doesn’t work!”

Me: “Could you read out the password you put in?”

Employee: “I put in Buu*[numbers], but it doesn’t work?”

Me: “The password doesn’t have a U in it; the second character is W for ‘Washington.’”

Employee: “Oh, W?”

She says it like, “dubdiew.”

Employee: “Why didn’t you say that earlier?!”

This call kind of broke my brain for a bit. That was the first time in two years that anyone had difficulty comprehending me saying, “W,” on the phone.

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Wait, Is This A Meet-Cute?

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2021

I’m a manager at my job, and I’ve gotten a new member on the team. We don’t click. At all. I won’t go into the details, but he rubs me the wrong way.

It’s been a long week, and I’m complaining about him to my mom over dinner.

Me: “And he’s totally unprofessional. I know that we don’t really deal with customers — that’s someone else’s problem — but still, I expect a degree of politeness in the workplace.”

Before my mom can answer, the doorbell rings and we get up to open it.

Coworker: “Hello, neighbour. I’m [Coworker]; I just moved in across the roa—“ *sees me* “THE F*** ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”

Me: “I should be the one asking that, seeing as I’ve lived here since I was born.”

Coworker: “Well, s***.”

Still, we accepted his greeting and introduced our families to each other. The only wrinkle was that at one point I had to pull him aside and sternly warn him to never again flirt with my mom or my wife, but other than that, the evening was cordial.

Starting on Monday, we began carpooling to work.

By the next week, I could stand him.

By the end of the month, we were friends.

When he got transferred to a different branch three months later, I was sad to see him go.

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