Category: Aunts & Uncles


Twixie Is Tricksy

| AZ, USA | Aunts & Uncles, Pets & Animals

(We have a family cat, and my little sister has a pet gerbil, which is kept in her bedroom. We go on a three-week vacation one summer, with our aunt and cousins taking care of the animals for us. It’s a 12-hour drive home, and we didn’t make many stops. My sister runs straight to the bathroom as soon as we get home. A minute later we hear her:)

Sister: “Why is Twixie in the bathroom?”

(Twixie, the gerbil, was running around the bathroom baseboards. Confused, we all follow her to her room, where she finds a card in the gerbil’s cage.)

Card: “Dear [Sister], the gerbil got away when we were playing with her, and the cat ate her. We’re SO SORRY! Here’s a [Popular Pet Store] gift card to replace her. Signed, [Aunt].”

Me: “So they lost the gerbil and just assumed that the cat ate her? How hard did they look?”

Dad: “And when did this happen? How long has your gerbil been hiding in the bathroom? How long has [Aunt] been guiltily waiting for us to find her card?”

Sister: *angry* “They’re lucky I found her before I found the card! That would have been awful! I’m totally keeping this gift card.”

Me: “Can you imagine finding her AFTER, though? That would have been a happy surprise!”

(And it was a happy surprise for my aunt and cousins when we called them, as you can imagine!)


Pokémon Go Around

| UK | Aunts & Uncles, Children, Pokemon

(My aunt told me about teaching my 11-year-old cousin about walking outside alone at night. There are several narrow lanes near their home.)

Aunt: “Don’t go in the lanes if someone standing in there. Wait until they walk through or just take the streets with big lights instead.”

Uncle: “Yep. Not even if it’s an old lady.”

Aunt: “Even better if you avoid those lanes completely.”

Cousin: “But what if they look nice?”

Aunt: “Doesn’t matter. No one should be loitering in those lanes at night.”

Uncle: “So let anyone who is there walk through first.”

Cousin: “But what if someone is just there playing Pokémon Go?”

Aunt: *rolls eyes* “Still avoid. Okay?”

Cousin: “Okay.”


I Consent To Your Explanation

| Antwerp, Belgium | Aunts & Uncles, Nephews & Nieces

(I’m visiting the museum with my five- and six-year-old nieces. There is a special exhibition with prints from Rubens with one not so chaste one from the chaste Susanna.)

Niece: “Auntie, what is happening here?”

(The warden just got up to make her round but upon hearing the question and noticing where I stood, returned to her stool and clearly sat down to enjoy the scene.)

Me: *sweating and aware I needed words that were not in nor belonged to their vocabulary* “Well, honey, the bad men want to touch her but you should never let anyone touch you if you don’t feel comfortable.”

(Luckily they accepted it. The warden was smiling approvingly, too.)


Pokémon Go And Study!

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Aunts & Uncles, Pokemon

(My mum’s side of the family is Vietnamese and my childhood life has followed nearly every Asian stereotype to the letter — think 24/7 studying, expectations of A+ for every subject, etc. I am now 22, and my uncle is visiting from Vietnam. I decide to visit my parents’ house to greet him. I have also just won $500 from playing Pokémon Go, being the first to catch 15 different Pokémon in an event.)

Me: “Guess what, everyone? I won $500 playing Pokémon Go last week!”

Family: “Wow! Congratulations!”

Uncle: “That’s very good, [My Name]. But you know, you couldn’t have won that competition, or any competition for that matter, if you weren’t smart.”

Me: *confused* “I… guess?”

Uncle: “And the only way to be smart is to study.”

Me: “…”

Uncle: “So, you see, this is why it’s important to study. You’ve got your family to thank for that, always encouraging you to study hard when you were younger. Now if only your brother would study more.”

(I know people are going to call BS, but I swear this happened and yes, my uncle was 100% serious. For the record, I love my uncle; my ears were just bogging out of my skull.)


A Related Issue

| Okanagan Falls, BC, Canada | Aunts & Uncles, Boyfriends & Girlfriends, Cousins

(We’re at a massive family reunion and taking a huge picture of everyone. My cousin has brought her boyfriend of a year or so.)

Cousin: “Can [Boyfriend] be in the picture?”

Aunt: “No. Family only.”

(My cousin lets this go. The next major family event is about three years later, and there’s another big family picture.)

Cousin: “C’mon, [Boyfriend], picture time!”

Aunt: “NO! It’s a FAMILY picture!”

Cousin: “But [My Brother’s Fiancée] is allowed in.”

Aunt: “They’re getting married; that makes her related. What if you and [Boyfriend] break up? I don’t want to look at pictures years later of someone you dumped!”

(Four years after that, at yet another family gathering, Cousin is pregnant, and Aunt is preparing for yet another family picture:)

Aunt: “[Boyfriend], you can take this one.”

Cousin: “Mom…”

Aunt: “The picture is only for people who are related to us.”

Cousin: “[My Brother] got divorced last year; you’ve already got pictures with people you’re not related to! [Boyfriend] and I have been together EIGHT YEARS. I am pregnant with his child! Your grandchild! How much more do you want?”

Aunt: “He’s NOT FAMILY!”

Cousin: “He is MY family! And if he’s not in it, I’m not in it!”

(Later, after the picture is taken — with the boyfriend:)

Me: “Wow, [Cousin], that took some serious chutzpah.”

Cousin: “It’s the hormones. I’m cranky, pregnant, and unstoppable.”

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