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Driving Your Sisters Away

| USA | Siblings

(My older sister has always been more of an introvert, and usually depended on my other sisters and me for social interaction growing up. By the time we go to college, my parents decide that it would be more economical if three of us sisters live in the same apartment in the city we are studying. We comply, but the second sister and I both regret the decision almost immediately. On a Friday night at five pm:)

Older Sister: “Ah, it’s been a long week. I rented a movie and we can all watch it together!”

Me: “Sorry, but I made plans with my friends. Maybe another time?”

(A few Fridays later at five pm:)

Older Sister: “I was thinking we could get into our pajamas early and bake cookies!”

Second Sister: “Sorry, but I have to do some readings for my Saturday class.”

Me: “Sorry, but I have to work on this paper and I don’t really have time to do it the rest of the weekend.”

(This continues for several weeks. On top of having a part-time job and my classes, I belong to a few clubs associated with my fields of study and attend those regularly. I catch up with my friends on the weekends, and I save my free time for catching up on work. The main reason I keep on rejecting my older sister’s ideas is simply because she always chooses five pm on Friday to declare what “we” are going to do for the evening. I almost always have my weekends set up long before Friday rolls around, so I always have to say no. Finally, in the middle of winter, a huge snowstorm hits the city. Since the city has a public works system that is equipped to deal with sudden snow, we know that the main streets have been cleared and are safe for driving. It is Friday night, and I am about to go to a party with my boyfriend.)

Older Sister: “I was thinking because of the snow we could all make popcorn and watch a movie!”

Me: “Hey, Sis, I would love to, but I am going to that party, remember? You all said I could have the car.”

Older Sister: *suddenly angry* “What? No! The streets are all covered!”

Me: “Well, our street is covered, but if I can get the car two blocks down to [Main City Street], I should be fine. Plus, [Boyfriend] lives on a main street, so I can pick him up just fine.”

Older Sister: “No, you are NOT using the car that Mom and Dad paid for in this weather! Do you not have any respect for our parents?”

Me: “Okay, I see your point. I wanted to drive my boyfriend since he does not know where my friends who are having the party live, but I will call him up and see if he would be willing to drive since he actually owns his car.”

(I call my boyfriend and he agrees to drive. The moment I get off the phone, my sister comes swooping next to me.)

Older Sister: “Are you stupid? Why are you going? It is a mess out there! Are you so selfish that you would get yourself killed on the way to a party?”

Me: “Really? You do realize that you can’t live in this part of the country without dealing with the roads when it snows. Plus, [Boyfriend] tells me that his main street is already plowed and looks good. We will be careful.”

Older Sister: “No! You march out there right now and show me the street is not slippery. If you slip even ONCE, then you can’t go to the party!”

(I humor my sister and put on my boots and walk up and down the sidewalk while she angrily stares me down. She accuses me of walking too gingerly, and then we both go back inside. I do end up going to the party, but the moment I arrive, I find my phone buzzing incessantly. I see that the number is my parents’ home number.)

Me: “Hello?”

Dad: “What is this about [Older Sister] telling us that you went out in a treacherous snow storm?”

Me: “Dad, yes, there is snow on the ground, but the main streets are plowed and salted. We did not even slide once getting here. [Older Sister] is mad because I have plans and she doesn’t. It’s not my fault she doesn’t have friends!”

Dad: “She told us you were doing drugs. She says you are out all of the time and look like you are high every time you come home.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

(Yes, my sister told my parents I was on drugs (which was not true), all because she never had any plans herself on the weekends. After that, I never spent quality time with my sister while we were still living in that apartment, just out of principle.)

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This Ain’t No Puff Piece

| Winston-Salem, NC, USA | Children, Cousins, Pets & Animals

(My youngest cousin, age nine, is visiting from out of state. A few months previously, I adopted a stray kitten who is growing into a shy but lovely little cat; her tail, notably, is much fluffier than the rest of her fur, and I call it “the puff”. I’ve shown my cousin how to play with the cat toys, and my cat’s gotten comfortable enough to get within arm’s reach.)

Cousin: “Ooh, her tail is so fluffy! Can I?”

Me: *demonstrating* “If you start with her head and run your hand along her like this, she may let you admire the puff.”

Cousin: *whispers reverently* “The Puff…”

(The two got along surprisingly well!)

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Trying Not To Put Your Foot In Your Mouth

| Seattle, WA, USA | Sons & Daughters

(My dad has started dating a Vietnamese woman. We are out to eat, and I am meeting the woman’s daughter and son-in-law for the first time. I am the only person there who is neither Asian nor has lived in Asia.)

Son: “Try these sweet and sour chicken feet.”

(I’m completely uninterested but don’t want to be rude, so I try them.)

Son: “What do you think?”

Me: “Thank you for offering them, but I don’t think I’ll have more.”

Son: “Don’t worry, I don’t like them either. I just wanted to see how adventurous you are.”

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