Category: Distant Relatives

Relatively Confusing

| UK | Distant Relatives

(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: “Who?”

Me: “[Caller].”

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.)

Seize A Photo Opportunity

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Distant Relatives

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!

Found Jesus But Can’t Get Rid Of Him

| CT, USA | Distant Relatives

(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.)

Hopefully Something Will Happen That Serves Her Right

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Distant Relatives, Popular

(My husband’s grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday. My mother-in-law decides to hold an afternoon tea for her in the local community club. I am drafted to pour coffee and tea for the guests. All of the guests are either friends or family whom I’ve met before. One woman, whom I’ll call Olga, is a distant cousin whom I’d spoken to briefly at a couple of other family gatherings.)

Me: *standing next to Olga’s table with a fresh pot of coffee* “Hi there! Would you like—”

Olga: *ignores me, keeps talking to her friends*

Me: “Um… can I pour you—”

Olga: *ignores me, keeps talking*

Friend: *takes pity on me and nudges Olga to get her to stop talking for a minute*

Olga: *glaring at me* “WHAT? WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

Me: “…Would you like some more coffee?”

Olga: “NO!” *goes back to her conversation*

(I’ve never been a server, and after that experience, I never plan to be. I feel sorry for any real server who encounters Olga, if that’s the way she treats family members.)

Elephant Stew

| USA | Distant Relatives, Popular

(I’m at a large family gathering with many relatives and friends of the family. Earlier I needed to take a break, so I went somewhere quiet and watched a movie. Now it’s much later, and there’s a lull in the party so I’m reading.)

Relative: “Are you still watching your movie?”

Me: “No, that’s finished.”

Relative: “What movie was it?”

Me: “The Gumby movie.”

Relative: “Oh, I’ve been thinking about Gumby a lot lately. I’m not sure why.”

Me: “He’s gotten a recent surge in popularity. The Kabillion network was recently licensed to show the old episodes, and they’re being released on DVD for the first time, remastered with their original soundtrack.”

Relative: *confused* “Who are we talking about?”

Me: “Gumby?”

(Relative still looks lost.)

Me: “The little green clay boy? From the 50s?”

Relative: “Oh. Who’s the elephant, then?”

Me: “Babar?”

Relative: “The one with the big ears?”

Me: “Oh! That’s Dumbo.”

Relative: “Right! Gumbo! That’s who I was thinking of.”

Me: “…Gumbo’s great, too.”

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