(Our father has just recently died of cancer. We hold a wake at our house for everyone to say goodbye. One little-known relative hears of it and requests to come. When she arrives she requests a tour before being escorted to the lounge where the open coffin sits. Instead of going to the coffin she makes a bee-line for a small stand we have in the farthest corner. She inspects the small box on it before picking it up and grieving over it. I am in the kitchen when told what she is doing. I go into the lounge.)
Me: “Umm, Viv? What are you doing?”
Viv: *crying* “WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING? I’M GRIEVING!”
Me: “Yes… Maybe you would prefer to grieve over my father and not the family dog?”
Viv: “What?” *glaring at the box* “This isn’t your dad?”
Me: “No, he’s over there, in the coffin…”
Viv: “Coffin?” *stares around until she sees it* “I thought that was just decoration!”
Me: *shaking my head in disbelief* “We aren’t the Addams Family, Viv!”
(She blushed and handed me the ashes, then went and stood over the coffin. Not one tear fell during, and while some guests tried to engage her in chitchat, she didn’t reciprocate. After maybe another ten minutes, she left without another word. We later found several items had been stolen throughout the house. Viv was the only person given access at that time so we can only assume it was her. We’ve tried getting in touch, but to no avail. I part of me wonders if she was trying to steal my dog’s ashes when I interrupted her. Otherwise I can’t imagine how she confused a small box of ashes for the remains of a 150kg man.)
(My husband and I have noticed we stopped getting invitations to his family’s functions. One Friday evening he takes a phone call.)
Husband: “No, I can’t because I’m working tomorrow.” *pause* “No, [My Name] can’t because she’s working, too.” *pause* “When was this arranged? Because this is the first time I’ve heard of it.” *pause* “Why weren’t we told then? We both could have arranged to have the day off.” *pause* “No, we can’t do that now; it’s too late. It’s the day before and we both have to give two weeks notice.”
(After he hangs up:)
Me: “What was that about?”
Husband: “Apparently there’s a family thing on tomorrow. I’ve come to the conclusion that they only ever remember to tell us when they want us to drive them.”
Me: “Does that mean I won’t get a phone call tomorrow evening from your sister demanding to know why we haven’t turned up to yet another family function?”
(I’m sitting in work, minding my own business when the phone rings.)
Me: “Good afternoon, [Company].”
Caller: “Afternoon. Can I please speak to [Coworker]?”
Me: “Can I ask who’s calling?”
Caller: “[Caller].” *he doesn’t give a company, unlike most of our callers*
Me: “One moment, please.”
(I call Coworker, who picks up.)
Me: “I’ve got [Caller] for you?”
Coworker: “No idea. Put him through anyway.”
(I transfer the call and forget about it. Half an hour later, [Coworker] walks through reception to go to lunch.)
Coworker: “Guess who that guy was in the end? He’s a relative that I’ve never met, but he’s doing our family tree. He’s only got my work number from emails.”
Me: “And you didn’t know who it was. Shame on you.”
Coworker: “I was in work mode!”
(I still tease her about how she doesn’t recognize her own family.)
My girlfriend has frequent seizures. We’ve been dating for six months now so I’ve become fairly experienced with dealing with them.
One time, I come with her to her family’s picnic at her grandparents’ house. They have a pool there, and she wants to go swimming. While we are in the pool — the shallow end, fortunately — she has a seizure and falls into the water. She isn’t convulsing and she has fallen face-up, so all I really have to do is support her upper body to make sure that she stays afloat. I know I should get her out of the water, but I’ll have a hard time of it if I have to do it all by myself.
Nearby a bunch of her relatives were talking, so I try to get their attention. This one guy – I think he is her uncle – notices us, but I guess he just thought we were doing some sort of cute couple pose, with her floating on her back and me holding onto her shoulders like that, so instead of coming to help he just takes a picture.
Her mother quickly realizes what has actually happened and heroically jumps into the pool, fully-clothed and everything, to help me get her onto dry land, and she comes to a few seconds after that, unharmed.
After her uncle realized what had actually happened, he was really embarrassed and apologized for not being more helpful. I told him it was fine, but I was going to want a copy of that photo!
(My husband was a teenager when his father was hospitalized at a Catholic hospital. On the wall there is a typical Catholic cross depicting Jesus being crucified. Note: The whole family is Orthodox Jews. Some even more religious relatives drive in to visit from NYC. They notice the cross.)
Relative: *to my husband* “Climb up on a chair and take that off the wall.”
Husband: *after struggling for a moment* “I can’t. It’s nailed up there.”
(He had no idea why everyone stared at him in stunned silence.)