You Never Understand Parenting Until You Become One

, , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2018

(Not long after having my first baby, I am visiting with my cousin, who has two children of his own. My husband and I ask about local motels in the area to stay overnight in, and my cousin invites us to stay with his family. We are unloading so much luggage out of the car.)

Me: “I’m sorry there’s so much; we had to bring a lot more than normal because of [Baby].”

Cousin: *laughing* “You don’t need to apologise to me; I’m a parent, too.” *more serious* “I was an absolute a**hole to my friends when they had babies; I kept telling them that they shouldn’t let the babies run their lives. I would let them have it whenever they told me they couldn’t go out with me or go partying because the baby was sick or too tired. After we had [First Daughter], I went around to each of them and apologised for being such a d**k to them.”

Nightmare Vacation: The Next Generation

, , , | Related | October 17, 2018

(When I’m eight, my family takes a vacation to the Jersey Shore. We rent a four-bedroom vacation home because there are quite a few people coming: my grandparents, my parents, me, my brother, [Uncle #1], and [Aunt #1], who is pregnant at the time. It’s a little cramped when it comes to bathrooms, but everyone at least has a bed. On the day we arrive, [Aunt #2] calls and asks if she and [Uncle #2] can also come. They’re having problems with their marriage and think a vacation might help. My grandma tells her yes and informs me and my brother that we’ll have to sleep on the couch. Still, it shouldn’t be too crowded. Then [Aunt #2] and [Uncle #2] arrive, but not alone. They also bring along their three children AND one friend per child. This doubles the number of people. Added to this, it starts raining incessantly, meaning we’re all stuck in the house together. In all, it’s sixteen people, four beds, two toilets, and one shower. [Aunt #2] and [Uncle #2] argue constantly, the whole time. Each of their kids finds out that they don’t really like the friend they brought and start fighting with them, as well. At one point, [Cousin #2] tries to pull a mean prank on her friend, but it goes horribly wrong. It ends up with me having some nasty burns on my hands. My grandma is also picking fights with pretty much everyone just because she lives for drama. So, this nightmare vacation has the cranky grandma, the feuding couple, two thirteen-year-old girls in an extended cat fight, an eight-year-old with burnt hands who needs help eating and using the toilet, four boys who are constantly screaming and punching each other, a pregnant woman who needs the bathroom a lot and always finds it occupied, and five other people just trying to survive. We’re there for a week, and it rains the whole time. In the aftermath of the whole debacle, [Aunt #2] and [Uncle #2] get divorced, and there are several family feuds spawned that last for years. Some of them remain unresolved to this day. Now, nearly twenty years later, my mom calls me.)

Mom: “[Cousin #1] is getting married!”

Me: “Oh, that’s great! When’s the wedding?”

Mom: “It’s in four months, and they’re having a beach wedding in New Jersey.”

Me: *remembering last time* “Oh. That’s… nice.”

Mom: “So, your grandma is renting a beach house, and we’ll be staying there with [everyone who was there last time, except [Uncle #2], plus [Aunt #1] and [Uncle #1]’s kids, [Cousin #2]’s husband, and [Cousin #3]’s wife]. Should I tell her you’ll be staying with us?”

(Pause.)

Me: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hahaha! Ha! No.”

Mom: “What? I’m sure it won’t be like before.”

Me: “Really? So, how many bedrooms are there?”

Mom: *pause* “Four.”

Me: “And bathrooms?”

Mom: “Two.”

Me: “And isn’t [Cousin #2] pregnant?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Me: “And [Cousin #3] is having marital problems?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Me: “Sounds like a sequel to last time: Jersey Shore Nightmare Vacation: The Next Generation. Tell them I’ll pass.”

(The wedding hasn’t happened yet, so I’m waiting to see how it all goes. My brother has also declined the invitation in a similar manner, but everyone else has apparently forgotten how awful it was.)

Euro No No

, , , , , | Right | October 1, 2018

(I am on vacation in Santorini, Greece with a few friends, exploring the town. There is a vendor selling noise-makers and other cute children’s toys on a mat in the square outside a church. An American woman is with her small child, who is playing with the toys, and the following exchange occurs.)

Customer: “I guess we’ll take one of these bouncy balls. How much?”

Vendor: “Three.”

Customer: *hands the man an American $10 bill* “Here you go.”

Vendor: “I can’t take this.”

Customer: “Why not? You said it was three dollars.”

Vendor: “No, euros.”

Customer: “What?! Why didn’t you say so? I don’t have any euros. Just take this. You can even keep the change.”

Vendor: “This is not America; I don’t take American money.”

Customer: “Okay, here’s a card.”

Vendor: “No, euros only.”

(This goes on for a bit, the woman getting angrier. The vendor eventually shakes his head in a final “no,” and she storms off towards us.)

Customer: “Could you believe him?! I can’t believe he wouldn’t take my money.”

Me: “Well, we are… you know… in Greece…”

It’s A Flint Trap

, , , , | Friendly | August 8, 2018

(As part of a family vacation, I get my dad a ticket to a program where he gets to fire a flintlock musket. He arrives at the site, fills out the paperwork, and chats with the other two gentlemen who are there for the program. Soon the instructor arrives.)

Instructor: “So, three today? Great. Before we go over safety, I just want to remind you that flintlock muskets are not very accurate. You’ll be aiming for a paper target, but even hitting the cardboard around the target is pretty good with these guns! So, let’s review range safety…”

(Safety reviewed, guns loaded, and all three shooters take their shots… and hit their targets. Again, and again, and again. The instructor is astounded. The final count, out of 12 shots, is 10 hits on the paper target for one man, 12 for the other, and 11 for my dad.)

Instructor: “Wow. Just wow. This never happens.”

Man #2: “Did I mention I was a Marine?”

Man #1: “I went to Vietnam.”

Dad: “I haven’t served, and I thank you both for it, but I do shoot at my local range twice a month.”

Instructor: “Oh, that explains everything! You’re all ringers!”

(They had a laugh and parted on good terms, and Dad has been showing off his perforated target to all his friends ever since!)

Has A Hand In The Formation Of The Alliance

, , , , | Romantic | July 25, 2018

(My boyfriend and I are walking back to our hotel room rather late at night after a couple of very busy days. He falls asleep on my shoulder on the bus ride back to the hotel. I am not convinced that he’s entirely awake when we get off of the bus and begin walking.)

Boyfriend: “Babeeeee.”

Me: “What?”

Boyfriend: “Hold my hannnnnnd.”

Me: “Okay.” *takes his hand*

Boyfriend: *whispers* “The alliance will be greatly pleased.”

(He didn’t remember this in the morning.)

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