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    Disgracefully Put In Her Place

    | The Netherlands | Grandparents

    (We’re having a family gathering for my grandma’s birthday at a party location. My parents take me and my grandma there. My older sister drives there by herself with her husband and her kid. Before we leave to pick up grandma, my mother fumes about my cousin.)

    Mother: “[My Name], just remember not to talk about [Cousin] with grandma. It’s a disgrace.”

    Me: “Eh, what, exactly?”

    Mother: “She’s having a child while not being married! It’s a disgrace. Luckily, [Older Sister] did it better. Grandma is so disappointed about [Cousin]. Don’t mention it to her today; we don’t want her to get upset.”

    (We pick up grandma and she comes to sit next to me in the back seat. After a few blocks, she starts chatting with me. My mom listens in from the front seat.)

    Grandma: “You know, I am SO happy for [Cousin] that she got pregnant.”

    Me: “Um, yes… yes.”

    Grandma: “You know, in my time, it was a disgrace to have kids before you were wed. But times have changed! These days, it’s so much better. People first start living together, get to know each other, get kids. Being wed isn’t so important anymore as it used to be.”

    (My mother’s look I spotted in the rear-view mirror? Priceless!)

    Losing Your Religion Over It

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Children, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters, Theme Of The Month

    (I am in my local Pakistani owned corner shop, shortly before Christmas. The owner’s two young children are playing around the shelves in the shop.)

    Owner: *to his kids* “Hey, you two. If you don’t start behaving, I’ll phone Santa and remind him we are Muslim.”

    Hooked On Gingerbread

    | WA, USA | Cousins, Theme Of The Month

    (My little cousin that’s about four is decorating his tiny Christmas tree with ornaments when he finds his favorite gingerbread man ornament doesn’t have the metal hook to hang it on the tree.)

    Cousin: “Oh, no! This gingerbread man lost his hooker!”

    Me: “What?!”

    Cousin: “You know, the metal thingy to hang him on the tree!”

    (I tried explaining that he should not use that word, but he was too young to understand that “hooker” was a naughty word and incorrect for what he was talking about. A few days later, we went to take pictures with Santa.)

    Santa: “Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas, young man! Is there anything you would like for Christmas?”

    Cousin: *yells loudly* “A GINGERBREAD MAN WITH A HOOKER!”

    Rules Rumming Wild

    | Kent, England, UK | Parents & Guardians, Theme Of The Month

    (My grandparents are visiting for Christmas and we spend the afternoon playing board games. One of them is Rummikub, a game with numbered tiles that requires some strategy and quick thinking. There is a heated dispute over the rules as our version is newer than my grandparents’ game, and has updated rules.)

    Mum: *reading from the box lid* “Rummikub: Brings people together!”

    Setting Up The Christmas Tree Is Hellish

    | VA, USA | Parents & Guardians, Siblings, Theme Of The Month

    (This happened the year we moved to a new house. It’s December, and we’ve started setting up the tree. Naturally everything is a bit disorganized.)

    Mother: “Everything was in this box! I know it was!”

    Brother: “Where are the icicles?”

    Mother: “THE ICICLES WENT TO HELL!”

    (We all stop what we’re doing and just stare at her.)

    Mother: “…did I say that out loud?”

    Me: “Yes. Yes, you did.”

    (Every year we still talk about ‘going to get the icicles out of Hell.’)


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