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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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The Game Of (Creating) Life

| Canada | Siblings

(When we were kids, my sister and I both claimed that the other one would be a mom and we’d just be an aunt. In our 20s, I’ve had a hysterectomy and I’m married to a woman who also doesn’t want kids, so I’m definitely not reproducing. At her wedding, my sister tells me she’s pregnant.)

Me: “Oh, my god, that’s great! Congratulations! Told you I’d win.”

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Me And My Roommouse

| Boston, MA, USA | Pets & Animals, Siblings

(My older brother moved out of his apartment a month early, but still had to pay last month’s rent to get his security deposit. I end up moving in for that last month until I can move into my own apartment the next month. One of the first nights, I see a mouse. I’m scared and hoping this happened to my brother and he has some trick to get rid of it.)

Me: *to Brother through text* “There’s a mouse in your apartment!”

(I sit there silently panicking for about ten minutes until he finally send a message.)

Brother: “Did you name it yet?”

(I did end up naming it Mr. Mousey.)

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That Same Old (Fashioned) Argument Again

| Norway | Grandparents, Parents & Guardians

(My name, though popular in some countries, is very unusual and old-fashioned here, and people have a tendency to pronounce and even spell it wrong. My mum is telling me the story of how I got my name. Note: I have two older brothers, who’ve both been born by this point.)

Grandma: *to my mum* “You know, all my daughters say I have such a pretty name, but none of you have had the decency to name your daughter after me!”

Mum: *just trying to calm her* “No need to make a fuss. I’ll name my daughter after you.”

Grandma: *in a huff* “Yeah, you can say that. You’re not having more kids!”

(My parents had settled on having two kids, but lo and behold, Mum got pregnant again. She really didn’t want to name me after Grandma, but being the stubborn woman she was, Grandma did not let it go.)

Mum: “I can’t name a little baby [Name]. It’s so old-fashioned and unusual. It wouldn’t be fair to a little girl.”

Grandma: “Well, you promised. And for your information, that little girl will actually be an adult for most of her life!”

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Having New Old Problems

| IA, USA | Parents & Guardians

(We’re driving and there’s a crowded crosswalk. Note: my mom is sixty-one years old.)

Mom: “OH, my god! What is with all these old people!?”

(Mom pauses, her eyes going wide.)

Mom: “I can’t say that any more…”

Me: “…”

Mom: “I AM an old people!”