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Do You ‘Like’ Your Marriage?

| England, UK | Siblings, Spouses & Partners

(My wife and I are sitting down to watch a movie. As she is setting up the DVD player, I’m playing with my phone.)

Me: “Ugh.”

Wife: “What’s up?”

Me: “Oh, your sister and her Facebook posts.”

Wife: “I know! What is it now?”

Me: “Oh, another sloppy romantic husband and wife comment. They don’t even spend time with each other but online…”

Wife: “Online they are the perfect couple. Did you know last week he refused to pick her up in the rain?”

Me: “Really?”

Wife: “Because the football was on; it took her an hour to get home!”

Me: “Oh, hang on. This is perfect.” *I dart off and return*

Me: “They are over the road at the pub. I can just see them from the upstairs window. They are both staring at their phones not even talking to each other.”

(Of course, whenever the conversation turned to them, life was perfect despite the obvious issues. Years later after much more strife they eventually went to couples counselling, in secret of course.)

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An Opposable Opinion

| England, UK | Siblings

(My cat is notorious for escaping when he wants out at night time. If we forget to close all the windows, even the upper floors, before going to bed he’ll find his way out and will be howling to be let back in come morning. I’m discussing this with my sister.)

Me: “He’s like a little Houdini! I realised he’s been escaping through the bathroom window now so we have to watch out for that as well.”

Sister: “Yeah, okay, I’ll check that window, too. Man, imagine how bad he’d be if he had disposable thumbs!”

Me: “Disposable…?”

Sister: “Yeah! You know, like…” *wiggles her thumbs by way of explanation*

Me: *bursts out laughing* “[Sister], I think you mean opposable!”

Sister: “Wait, what’s that?”

Me: “Means you can move your thumbs around opposite your fingers.” *I return the thumb wiggle of explanation*

Sister: “OH!” *dissolves into laughter as well* “That makes so much more sense than what I thought!”

(It’s now a regular joke that my cat does indeed have disposable thumbs to use to open things and discard so we’d never suspect him.)

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Forever Never

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(Unhappy with the area we live, we look for a more family friendly area. As it happens there are plenty of houses in the same area my father-in-law and sister-in-law live. We end up buying a great house three doors away from my wife’s sister. The first six months are great. Being so close, we visit each other regularly and our children get to spend time with their (childless) auntie. One day she comes out with this:)

Sister-In-Law: “We are looking to move.”

Wife: “Oh, why?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, we are looking for our forever home. Our flat only has two bedrooms and no garden. We want something that will last us.”

(Months go on, they find a buyer and agree on a sale, and we catch up with them.)

Me: “I see you sold; have you found a place?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, there is a house in [Remote Place].”

Me: “Oh, okay. How will you get to work? I didn’t think you were going to learn to drive.”

Sister-In-Law: “It’s not that far. The same time, really.”

Me: “Okay, that sounds good. A forever home, what is it like?”

Sister-In-Law: “About the same size, but it does have a garden.”

Me: “There isn’t a school there… I know you’re not planning to have any kids, but parks and schools might be important one day.”

Sister-In-Law: *sounding unconvinced* “Well, we will see what happens when it happens.”

(They move, eventually, to their “forever home” that is no bigger than the flat they had, now miles away from family and friends, without any local amenities, schools, or even a decent shop. They had a child a year or so later then complained constantly that they had no money to move house.)

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In A Bad Place Right Now

| Finland | Parents & Guardians

(My aunt has just died after a half-year long battle with cancer. My mom, who was her little sister, is of course emotionally exhausted after having supported her through the disease. During the last week she stayed at my aunt’s place and went a few days without sleep to give my aunt her pain medication every two hours, so on top of her mental exhaustion, she’s also physically tired. My aunt had no SO and no children, so after her death my mom has to clean up the house. This means days of emptying various cupboards and storage spaces. I help when I can; so do her brother and sister-in-law. She has never liked the sister-in-law, but now Mom is just complaining constantly about her behaviour. I usually try to say that no offence was meant, probably, and that she shouldn’t make it even harder for herself by getting upset by things that were not meant to hurt her. But sometimes I understand her… My mom is home, trying to rest a bit, when her phone rings. I wander in in the middle of the conversation.)

Mom: “Oh, the spare key? You can just leave it in [place]. That’s where we always kept it…

Mom: *after a moment of silence* “Oh, we kept it there during her treatments and I’ll find it there. It’s a good…”

Mom: *after another moment* “Just please put it there so I’ll find it. Oh, he already put it… Okay. Well, I guess that’ll be fine. Yeah, bye.” *puts her phone down*

Me: “Was that [Sister-In-Law]?”

Mom: “Yeah.”

Me: “They were cleaning [Aunt]’s house?”

Mom: “Yeah. She called me to ask about the spare key.”

Me: “I gathered. So did they put it in [place]?”

Mom: “No, [Uncle] put it in [different place].”

Me: “So… They called you to ask where to put the spare key, you told them, and they put it somewhere else instead?”

Mom: “Yes. That is what they did.”

Me: “Seems reasonable.”

(I think that even then the S-I-L didn’t meant to be rude, but I still feel that her “helping” Mom is making her even more exhausted, rather than less.)

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When Netflix And Chill Really Means Chill

| VA, USA | Parents & Guardians

(A lot of my friends are dating, with a few even getting married. My mom hears about one of said friends that just started going out.)

Mom: “So [Friend #1] is getting married, and [Friend #2] and [Friend #3] are dating now.”

Me: “And here I am on a Thursday night, eating Cheetos and sitting in my pajamas.”

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