Engaging With The Sister-In-Law

, , , , , | Related | August 15, 2017

(We are having a girls only weekend away with my sisters-in-law and the oldest nieces, including one nephew’s fiancée. The beach house we are staying at is next to a boy’s party house. All of the nieces end up partying on the beach with the boys.)

Niece: *coming into the bedroom we are all sharing* “What are you doing in bed, [Fiancée]? You should be out partying with us. You might meet a nice boy!”

Fiancée: “Meet a nice boy? No, thanks, I’ll stay here.”

Niece: “Oh, are you sure? The boys are great; you could have so much fun.”

Fiancée: “I. Am. Engaged. To. Your. Brother.”

Niece: *shrugs* “Oh, well, are you sure?”

Fiancée: “YOUR. BROTHER. ENGAGED.”

Niece: “Oh. Okay.”

Leaving The Landlord Feeling Exposed

, , , , , | Working | August 14, 2017

(Not long after I move in to a rental I have to change one of the light bulbs in my kid’s room. The light fitting falls out of the ceiling as I touch it, revealing that the wiring’s protective covering is brittle and it exposes bare wires. The real estate contacts the owners who come out with their “electrician” who quietly informs me that he is not an electrician and just a friend. It’s illegal to work on electrical matters unless you are qualified; a lot do to save money but most know what they are doing. Another time I get a small shock from a light switch. The real estate sends their qualified electrician out to repair that. Then another light fitting falls down when I barely touch it to change a light bulb leaving exposed wires. I turn off the power and call the real estate, who promises to call the owners immediately. They call back a little later.)

Real Estate: “We’ve tried contacting the owners but there’s been no answer. They don’t want us using our electrician but considering that this is an emergency situation we are sending one out right now.”

(The electrician arrives not long after, and after seeing how the metal light fitting is hanging from the ceiling.)

Electrician: “Did you pull down on it or what?”

Me: “No, I only just touched the light bulb and the whole thing fell.”

Electrician: “But you took all of the glass light shades off?”

Me: “No, all of the light shades of all the lights in the house were missing when we moved in.”

Electrician: “Okay. I’ll get started, then.”

(He checks that the power is off and climbs his ladder, so I go to do something else. A few moments later I hear him swear.)

Electrician: “Oh, s***!”

(I hear him go out the front door, and the power box open and close, before he comes back in. He then goes to all of the metal light fittings in the house touching them with an electrical tester.)

Electrician: “S***, s***, s***!”

(He enters the kitchen and tests the fitting there.)

Electrician: “F****** h***!”

Me: “Are you okay?”

Electrician: *looks very shaken* “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I’m amazed that no one has died in this place. All of these light fittings are wired up wrong. They have the live wire attached to the fitting instead of the grounding wire. Every fitting in this house is live. I’m replacing all of them.”

(He removes all of the fittings and replaces them with simple cheap single bulb fittings and asks me about throwing out the old ones because they are rusted and pitted. We decide to keep them because it’s rental and they prove they are wired wrong so he puts them into the roof space. About a month later I get a visit from the owners.)

Owner: “Who gave you permission to get an electrician out? I’ve just had a huge bill sent to me. I’m not paying it.”

Me: “I didn’t get the electrician. The real estate did when a light fitting fell from the ceiling and they couldn’t get in contact with you.”

Owner: “Why did they replace five lights, then?”

Me: “They were all wired wrong; the electrician said it’s a wonder that no one was killed in this place because they weren’t put in by an electrician.”

Owner: “All the lights in here were done by an electrician!””

Me: “The same sort of electrician you brought with you last time?”

Owner: “WELL, WHERE ARE ALL OF MY GOOD LIGHT FITTINGS?! THOSE WERE EXPENSIVE AND YOU’VE JUST THROWN THEM OUT!”

Me: “We kept them safe, especially for proof that they were wired wrong in the first place.”

Owner: “Oh… we won’t worry about that, then.” *quickly says their goodbyes and leaves*

(The same owner tried making me pay for damaged blinds after the real estate signed off that the blinds were in the same condition as when we moved in. They also weren’t happy that we hadn’t repainted the crappily painted walls that they did themselves, or finish the jobs they had left undone when they lived there.)

Stuck In A Key Ring

, , , , | Related | August 7, 2017

(After we all moved out of home, my parents started travelling, after each trip my mother would give me a souvenir key ring.)

Mother: “Here’s a key ring for your collection.”

Me: “Ah, thanks, but I don’t collect key rings.”

(The key ring would lay around until I would drop it into the box of donations for the local op shop. Mum was just about leave for another trip.)

Me: “Well, have a great time but please do me a favour? Don’t buy me any key rings.”

Mother: “But you collect key rings.”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

Mother: “Yes, you do.”

Me: “I don’t collect key rings.”

Mother: “Yes, you do. You have that big bunch that you carry around with you.”

Me: “Uh, Mum, that was when I was 12, and I only had a big bunch of key rings because I only had one key and the key rings made it easy to find my keys in my bag.”

Mother: “See? I told you that you have a collection of key rings. Where do you keep them?”

Me: “I threw them out 30 years ago because I don’t need key rings. I don’t want you wasting your money on them.”

(This year I take my first cruise and get back home to my adult aged kids.)

Son: “Mum, what did you buy a souvenir key ring for?”

Me: “Because… I’m turning into my mother and you have a key ring collection.”

Son: “I don’t collect key rings.”

Me: *handing him the key ring* “Well, now you do.”

Lick Your Wounds And Move On

, , , , , | Friendly | August 3, 2017

(My dad always teased my grandmother just as she put a spoonful of dessert into her mouth.)

Dad: “Haha, that’s the dog food spoon.”

(Every time it would freak my grandmother out until my mother would reassure her that they always kept the spoon they used for the dog separate from the rest of the cutlery and that the dog never went near the spoon. My grandmother had started going to the Senior Citizen’s club and was making friends until the Club’s president invites her home for dinner one evening. She came home swearing that she’ll never go there again or to the club.)

Mum: “What happened?”

Grandmother: “Well, it was a lovely dinner and afterwards I thought I’d help and asked if there was a bin to scrape the plates into. [Club President] told me not to worry as they give the scraps to their dog. She put the plates on the floor and let the dog lick all of them clean. Then she washed them in lukewarm water. I thought I was going to be sick. ”

(She never went back to the club as she could not face the president again.)

Don’t Know Which Story To Put Your Finger On

, , , , | Related | July 29, 2017

(My grandfather was missing a finger. As a child I had asked Dad if he knew how it happened.)

Dad: “Well, you know how Pop was in the war?”

Me: “Yes.”

Dad: “Well, someone told him it was raining one day so he put his finger outside their hideout and it got shot off.”

(He tells my sister a completely different story about Pop putting his finger in his mouth and someone hitting him in the back of the head so he bit it off. He tells her that he swallowed it. Later, as an adult, I ask Mum about it, telling her of the stories Dad had told. Seeing as it’s her father she should know the truth.)

Mum: “You should know not to believe anything your dad says. The real story is much more unusual and a bit funny. Well, one day he was working in his parents’ clothing factory. He was cutting out a thick layers of fabric with an electrical cutter that had spinning blade on it. The cutter got stuck so he pushed on it too hard and it took his finger off.”

Me: “What so funny about that?”

Mum: “He knew that he had to get the pattern cut out so he wrapped up the stump, put the finger into a box and finished the job, then worked for the rest of the day. When he got home from work that day, his mother was cooking dinner and he told her that he had cut his finger off. She didn’t believe him until he got the finger out of the box.”

(I’m still not sure which of the stories are true.)

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