A Harmless Expelliarmus

| Perth, WA, Australia | Parents & Guardians

(Dad comes into my room to say goodnight, and he notices something on my vanity. I’ve been obsessed with Harry Potter since the year 2000.)

Dad: “Oh, what’s this Fantastic Beasts thing?”

Me: “It’s a wand! It came free with my Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD!”

Dad: *pulls out wand and points at me* “Expellius!”

Me: *laughing* “No, Dad.”

Dad: “Isn’t that what the spell is? Expellius something? Expellius Notre Damus?”

Me: “No… not exactly”

Dad: “Well, I know it’s some sort of spell! I’m not that great with Harry Potter!”

Opposite Standards For The Opposite Sex

| St. Louis, MO, USA | LGTBQ, Parents & Guardians

(My mother has always been super strict, especially when it comes to me and my siblings’ dating life. We were always told that were we absolutely never allowed to live with someone of the opposite sex before marriage, regardless of whether we were dating them or not. I’m 19 and currently attending university while living at home. While I want to move out, I cannot afford to rent a place of my own at my current income. I share my gripes with my best friend of over five years, who is male and gay. He informs me that he is planning on transferring to the same university I’m attending for the upcoming fall semester and asks if I would be interesting in getting an apartment together. I agree and we start discussing the details of becoming future roommates. That evening I share the news with my mother.)

Me: “[Best Friend] is planning on attending [Major University] in the fall, so he’ll be up here a couple times between now and when the semester starts. He really would rather live in an apartment than on campus, so he asked if I’d be interested in getting an apartment with him since we’ll be going to the same school together and we’ve known each other for so long so it wouldn’t be awkward or anything.”

Mom: “Well, of course you told him no.”

Me: “Actually, I told him yes.”

Mom: “I don’t know why you told him yes; you know I’d never allow it.”

Me: “But Mom, it’s [Best Friend]. You’ve known him since my freshman year of high school. He’s been over here numerous times, had dinner with us at least once a week all the way up to our graduation, he’s even spent the night in the guest room a number of times. Mom, you’ve seen the man in his pajamas and made him breakfast. And probably the most important fact: he is gay. As in he’d never be interested in me sexually as he prefers guys.”

Mom: “The answer is still no. I understand that he’s your best friend, but I won’t allow my daughter to live with a man who is not her husband. It’s that simple. If you want to move out of here so badly, find yourself a nice girl to move in with and it won’t be such an issue.”

(I drop it for the time being, mostly since I have months to convince her otherwise. Fast forward two weeks and my mother meets me and one of my friends from the university for lunch. This friend is female, a lesbian, and has only met my mother twice before. Lunch goes great and afterwards I go with my mother for some shopping.)

Mother: “I like [Female Friend]. She seems like a really nice girl. But was something bothering her? She kept checking her phone and had this worried look on her face.”

Me: “Yeah, she’s having some roommate issues with the girls in her dorm. So much so that she’s been searching for an affordable apartment in the area, but she’s realizing that she can’t afford something by herself.”

Mother: “So why doesn’t she get a roommate?”

Me: “She doesn’t know anyone out here and isn’t really the type to room with someone she doesn’t know. She’s asked me if I’d be interested in getting an apartment together.”

Mother: “Well, if that’s what you want, go ahead. I mean, she seems like a nice girl and everything.”

Me: “Well that’s a bit hypocritical of you, don’t you think?”

Mother: “Excuse me?”

Me: “You’re willing to let me move in with a girl whom I’ve only know for a couple of months, whom you’ve only met a couple of times, and is interested in having a relationship with other girls, simply on the basis that she is another girl like myself. Yet you’re not willing to let me move in with [Best Friend] whom we’ve both known for years, and is interested in having a relationship with other guys, simply on the basis that he is a guy.”

(Turned out I stumped my mother and in the end, after taking a hard look at the situation, she decided it was “safer” for me to move in with a gay man than a gay woman. To this day she doesn’t understand the point I was trying to get across, but in the end I got to move in with my best friend and out of the house.)

Literally Fowl Language

| UT, USA | Siblings

(I am away from home when my brother calls.)

Brother: “Hey, did I catch you at a good time? Do you have a minute to talk?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I can talk.”

Brother: “What are you up to?”

Me: “Literally waiting for the chickens to come home to roost.”

Brother: *confused* “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Me: “That I’m house-sitting for friends who have six chickens and it isn’t time for them to go into the coop yet?”

Brother: “Oh, you really did mean literally.”

Talking Freaky Without The Freakout

| Grand Rapids, MI, USA | Parents & Guardians

(I take an elective of psychology at college and some of the reading is from a book of collected essays on random subjects. One article is about the difficulty of polling college students on their parents’ sexual behavior. It seems college students will go into excruciating details about their own sexual activities, but balk at even considering their own parents as sexual. (Some were certain their parents never had sex at all… despite the clear ontological problem with that.) I am explaining the article to my mom. I’m male.)

Mom: “So how often do you think your father and I do it?”

Me: “Well, the article says typical is 3-4 times a week for your generation, so I’ll just guess that.” *pause for her to say something* “Well, am I right?”

Mom: *smiling* “I guess you’ll never know.”

(Well, at least she and I could talk about it without freaking out.)

Blame Canada!

| WA, Australia | Parents & Guardians

Me: “I was born in Canada, but I’ve always been an Australian citizen. How did that happen?”

Father: “Well, we could apply for Australian citizenship because I’m Australian. We sent out application forms to both governments. The Australians replied within weeks. The Canadians never did.”

(And they still haven’t.)