Some people have wonderful, well-adjusted families—supportive mothers, considerate fathers, and caring brothers and sisters. Other people….do not. From wedding disasters to ridiculous dinner parties, these unfortunate souls had to deal with some of the worst family feuds we’ve ever seen, all headed by their extremely entitled parents.
1. All The Way To The Top
About a year ago, I was running a small video game tournament in the small company I owned. The waitlist had a full list of 16 people, and it was fine, until one entitled parent ruined it for everyone. So we were starting up the games when a dad ran into the store with his son. Dad: We’re here for the tournament. Me: Oh sorry, but the list is full. Dad: Well then, make some room. Me: I can’t do tha—
Dad: Listen, I can get you fired with the push of a button. Me: How? Dad: I have been friends with the CEO of this company for a long time. Me: Then call him. I watch him make a fake phone call then hang up. Because I know something he doesn’t know. Dad: He says you’re fired. Me: That’s funny, considering I am the CEO. His look of shock still makes me laugh to this day.
2. Everybody’s Got A Story
This encounter happened about seven months ago. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer of the nasal cavity (stage 2). The tumor was quite large, but thankfully hadn’t spread. To get it removed, I first had to undergo aggressive chemotherapy to make it smaller. Thanks to the chemo, I had severe alopecia (hair loss), which made most of my hair and even eyebrows and eyelashes fall out.
At some point, I had to go bald, but I wore a wig, because I didn’t want to look scary. I’m 6’4″ and pretty muscular, so I thought people would assume wrong things about me. So once, after a long chemo session in the hospital, I took the bus home. There’s only one bus that goes from the hospital to where I live, so I took that one, only to see it was absolutely packed.
I felt like garbage thanks to the chemo, so I asked a middle-aged dude to let me sit. He was very understanding and gave me his spot without complaining. Two stops later, enter entitled mom, a lovely whale with an “I demand a meeting with the CEO” haircut and a 12-year old kid. It took her roughly five seconds to see the bus was packed.
At this point, she started looking for a free seat, spotted me, and started marching to me. When I saw her, I knew I was screwed. She then stood next to me and decided to talk to me. This is the conversation that followed: Her Hey, could you let my kid sit down? Me: You mean me? Her: Who else? Me: Oh, I’m sorry, but I’m on my way from the hospital and—
Her: (cutting me off) So are we (nonsense, the stop was a few kilometers away from the hospital), my boy just broke his leg and we’re coming straight from the ER. Let it be noted, her kid was standing next to her, without any support, clearly embarrassed. Me: He’s standing next to you, completely fine Her: Look here, my kid DESERVES to sit down
Me: Look madam, I’m sorry, but I just got back from a chemo session in the hospital and I need to sit down and rest (I then moved my wig a bit to let her see my bald head). At this point, she then straight up started yelling in my face Her: STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GET OFF THE SEAT YOU PIECE OF GARBAGE. At this point, I was baffled. I didn’t know what to say. The kid was trying to make his mother stop and we had the attention of the whole bus. But she was nowhere near done.
She then grabbed me and tried to yank me from my seat. I held on tight and thankfully didn’t fall off. Now, enter my savior. The middle-aged man nearby stood up and started defending me. Him: WILL YOU SHUT UP YOU DUMB COW?!? Her: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO?!? Him: (with ice-cold voice) Stop assaulting other passengers or I will be forced to step in. Also, every dumb moron could see that the dude has cancer.
Her: NO, HE’S JUST A GANGSTER. Him: He’s got NO EYEBROWS, YOU MORON. Seems like that REALLY offended her, because she spun around on the spot and threw a falcon punch in the guy’s face. I was shocked and in disbelief. The whole bus was flabbergasted, and the kid probably wished he’d never been born. The man then said something unbelievable and a golden karmic moment followed.
Him: Ok, that does it. Harassing passengers on the bus, physical assault against a passenger, and now assaulting an officer. You’re in deep trouble lady. She then pulled out a badge and told her to stay where she was. Then he pulled out his phone, called someone, and told her she was being detained. I couldn’t believe it, he was a bloody police officer.
At this point, she was as white as a wall. The bus had just come to a stop, so she decided she’d make a run for it, but other passengers blocked her way. She then also got charged with resisting thanks to this. Three stops later, a patrol car was waiting for her. The kid told me he was sorry for his mother’s behavior and I felt really sorry for him.
He wasn’t a bad child, but his mother was a demon. The officer then talked to me and asked me if I wanted to press charges, to which I gladly said yes. He took a statement and thankfully was kind enough to let me solve everything on the phone, so I didn’t have to come to the station for questioning. In the end, she got some time behind bars, I think it was a few months and some community service.
I, in return, got a good story to tell and the sweet taste of instant karma. Right now, I’m riding the same bus home, as I just got back home from the hospital after a check-up, which reminded me of this. I should also note that the surgery went well, and I was declared cancer-free in November. My hair is slowly returning. Also, I don’t need to wear a wig anymore.
3. Sit Down, Lady
I saw this today and I can’t stop laughing. I was traveling in my city’s metro. It wasn’t too crowded at that time, but all the seats were occupied. Still, you could freely stand without being humped by a stranger. There was this kid sitting in the reserved seats—the ones for people with handicaps, pregnant women, and old people, definitely not for moms of two-year-olds.
He was probably 14 or 15 years old. He is the hero of the story here. At one, our entitled mother comes in. She has this cute little child who was trying to keep up with his mom’s pace. She instantly sees our hero sitting at the reserved seat and just stares at him. I guess this was her way to make people automatically give away their seats or something.
The kid didn’t move, though. This probably irked her a lot I guess, because she moved towards the kid with heavy steps. She comes near him, stops, and again does the stare. The kid doesn’t budge. Then she starts screaming. If she didn’t have the whole compartment’s attention earlier, she had it now. She starts berating the kid for sitting in a reserved seat and not giving it to someone more deserving like a mother.
I don’t know what her logic was. The seats aren’t reserved for them anyways. She just keeps shouting and screaming and tries to get others’ opinion on it, and for a while, people were on her side. Then the kid, out of nowhere, rolls the right side of his jeans up, detaches his artificial leg, and keeps it in front of her. The look on her face was priceless.
She just backed away silently and got off on the next stop. I don’t think that it was her stop.
4. Make Yourself At Home
I have two young adult children living at home, ages 18 and 19. They both work and go to college. I trust my kids, and I trust their decision-making skills. When they graduated high school and turned 18, new rules went into place. No curfew, just call me and let me know if you are going to be out all night so I don’t worry. You can call me at any time for a pick up, no questions asked, just don’t be stupid and drink and drive.
Yes, your significant others can sleep over or come over for the weekend, just let me know what’s going on. Pay a small rent during the summer when you are working full time and pay your part of the car insurance. You have your chores, I have mine. We all work together. I tell them if they aren’t being jerks and they listen, in turn, I listen to them.
There is very little fighting or arguing in my house. This is their time to spread their wings and learn how to be a responsible adult and have me as a safety net. Lately, one of my kid’s boyfriends has been spending a lot of time over at my house. He is here pretty much all the time. Two days ago, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize and when I answered it was my daughter’s boyfriend’s mother. And she…was a real piece of work.
Me: Hello? Her: You need to tell my kid he isn’t allowed over to your house anymore!!! Me: Who is this? Her: This is “Tommy’s” Mother!!!!! Me: (I already know where this is going) OH! Tommy’s mom! I have to say you have raised a great kid! He is always polite and respectful. In fact… Her: LOOK! I don’t care WHAT you think about my kid!! He is never at home!! He isn’t spending any time with meeee!
Me: Okay? There isn’t much I can do about that… Her: Yes there is! Tell him he can’t come over to your house anymore!!! I WaNt HiM hOMe!!! AND YOU!!!! YOU SET A BAD EXAMPLE FOR MY SON!!! YOUR DAUGHTER HAS NO CURFEW AND I AM SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING HOW nIcE IT IS AT YOUR HOUSE! I miiisssssss him and want him home!!! Me, speaking very low and basically growling into the phone: Are you done yelling at me?
Her:……… ( I think I stunned her into silence) Me: I will take that as a yes. Do you trust the way you raised your son? Her: What??? Me: It’s a simple question. Do you trust the way you raised your son??? Her: OF COURSE I DO!!! What does that have to do with anything??? Me: Do you trust him to make good decisions? Her: YES!!! Yes of course. (She is starting to calm down now)
Me: Mother to mother, I know things are not okay at your house right now (her husband drinks a lot). I am trying to give your child a safe place when things are not okay at your house. (She starts to cut me off at this point but I won’t let her) It’s not your fault. Her: ……. Me: He throws your son out for days at a time sometimes, doesn’t he?
Her: Yes (I can hear her choking back the tears) Me: Do you need someone to talk to? Would you want to go out to lunch? That way you can feel safer knowing whose house your son is at and that he is safe? Her: That would be ok. We were on the phone for about an hour after that. What started out as an entitled mother was just a scared woman feeling very, very alone.
Sorry there wasn’t any righteous retribution, but I think it turned out ok. I am going to try and get 19-year-old Tommy’s curfew changed from 10 pm to midnight and maybe he can stay over for a weekend.
5. The Good Father
I used to work in a small chain of bookstores/stationery shops. We’d sell books, pens, paper, and so on. It was a quirky little store, straight out of a romantic love novella. This happened a few years ago and I’m reconstructing it from my memory. This entitled mother walks into the store with her little girl. It’s rather early in the morning.
The mom looks around and asks me if I could watch her child. Me: “Oh no, I’m terrible with children, sorry.” She tells me that it’s not for that long and I shouldn’t be such a fuss about it. I still politely refuse. It’s not my job to watch children, and I’m afraid to do something wrong. What happens? She leaves the store, and who do I find hidden in the corner?
The little girl who seems to be rather shy and fearful. This happened back in a time before everyone had smartphones. The kid obviously didn’t have a mobile on her, and I suspected the mother also wouldn’t. Wasn’t too surprised that the girl didn’t know the number of their landline, either. I sigh. What are you gonna do? If something happens to that kid while being in the store and you being the only present employee, you’re gonna have a bad time.
I introduced myself, and asked her name. She told me it in full. Now this rang a bell. I had a good customer with the same surname. It turns out that it’s her dad. I didn’t get paid enough to babysit. In fact, I didn’t even get paid enough to do my normal work. I call her dad at his workplace since we saved that number in our system. The call went along those lines:
Me: “Hi, it’s bookstore XY.” Him: “Oh hi, how’s it going? I don’t remember having any open orders.” Me: “Yeah, erm, look, listen, do you have a daughter?” Him, confused: “Yes why do you ask?” When he finds out the story, he quickly apologizes for the woman’s behavior and tells me he’s gonna pick the kid up as soon as possible.
While waiting for him, I picked up one of our sale books, which was a picture book from Disney. The girl tries to read a little, I read a little. The dad arrives, and the girl runs to him and hugs him, crying that mommy was mean to her. The dad soothes her and thanks me for babysitting her. He gives me a bottle of red and buys something small from the store.
Him: “If the mom shows up again, could you not tell her that I picked up our daughter?” Me: “What. Why?” Him: “If you don’t feel like it you don’t need to. It’s rather complicated and you already did so much for us.” He leaves. In the evening, the mother shows up. Just to point out—she dropped the girl at about 09:00.
It was 5:45. A whole freaking day. Her: “Where’s my daughter?” This is where I get my revenge. Me: “Your WHAT?” Her: “My daughter. I dropped her in this store and you were here.” Me: “YOUR WHAT?” Now she was on the edge. Thus I did what I thought was the smartest thing to do. Me: “A guy came into the store and picked her up. He seemed nice. Gave me some gifts for her.”
At this point I expected her to attack me, but she just left the store. A few weeks pass and the dad and girl come to the store, both happy to see me. The dad asks me if I’ve got a few minutes. An excuse not to work? Obviously I took the time for…customer service. I gave the girl the same book we read the last time and had a talk with him.
The whole story was a doozy. The mom and dad were in the middle of a divorce when she dropped the girl at our store. One of the reasons he wanted a divorce was because the mom “wasn’t nice” to the girl. Now, in my country as a man it’s rather hard to get custody for your child. No matter what. So the mom dropping the girl in our store was a gift of the heavens.
The dad took the daughter to his sister’s overnight, and the mom pretended that she was sleeping at one of her friend’s. The dad wanted to call them just to ensure that she is fine. When he did and the friend didn’t know where the girl was (obviously), the dad faked panic and involved the police. Meanwhile, the mom starts insisting that the friend must have kidnapped the girl.
The dad had proof of it being otherwise since he already called the authorities when he dropped his daughter at his sister’s house. In court, the dad apparently said something like, “She can have all she wants, even my wine collection. I just want to be with my daughter.” The daughter ended up with him, with the mother paying alimony.
When the mother dropped the daughter off at my store, she was shy, seemed small, and now she has such a big smile on her face and is curious about everything. She seemed like a bird taking off to fly towards the sun. I absolutely hated my job, but situations like these make me a little bit nostalgic.
6. Queen Of The Karens
Long ago, I worked for one of those bulk warehouse club stores. My trade was simple: I was a wrangler of the silver buffalo, and dutifully retrieve the ol’ shopping carts I did. The job in and of itself wasn’t the worst I’d ever had; I got plenty of exercise, got to be outside, and generally didn’t have to interact with the “members” (calling them customers was taboo) for the most part.
For the most part. The thing about this job is that the company I worked for had a reputation for being cheap. Thusly, more often than not, I was on my own out in the parking lot. “Big whoop,” you might say. “You gathered carts? You should see how hard MY job is!” Yeah, well… Shut up. This is my story, jerk-o. I digress.
The reason that being alone sucked is that this store didn’t have just one kind of cart. Heck, they didn’t even just have TWO kinds of carts. You had your classic garden variety cart, the kiddie-cart with the plastic facade to make it resemble a car, the electric scooters (which weren’t supposed to leave the store, but did so with alarming frequency), and finally, the bulky, hard-to-control flatbeds.
On top of that, whenever someone needed help loading their haul into their minivans, I was the guy they called. You know, because the greeters, cashiers, and managers were all busy. As you might expect, one man cannot be in multiple places at once, and as a result, on some of our busier days, it became incredibly difficult to keep enough carts in the vestibule. Our story begins on one of these days…
So there I was, chugging along like a good worker drone, struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of people coming in to buy cheap bulk goods. Sure enough, I get a call on the radio: Manager – “[sktchh] We need you to help some members load their purchases. [sktchh]” Me – “Uh, I’d love to, but I’m barely able to keep up out here as is…”
Manager – “[sktchh] Just do it. You can afford to stop gathering carts for two minutes. [sktchh]” *Ron Howard voice* – “He couldn’t.” However, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I complied. After spending 20 minutes loading people’s purchases because when one person needs it, suddenly they ALL need it, I came back to find my vestibule a near-ghost town, save for a single line of carts that was half-gone, and…the Karen.
I won’t waste time describing this specimen. She was the prototype. You know what she looked like. There she stood, menacing, tapping her foot with such speed that it could make any metal drummer green with envy. You could collect the contempt in her gaze in a jar. Karen – “Where are the big flat ones?” I blanked for a moment. Me – “I’m sorry?”
Karen – “Ugh. Mexicans…” For the record, I’m very much white. Karen – “WHERE. ARE. THE. FLAT ONES.” Me – “Oh, you mean the flatbeds. I’m sorry, I was just helping some other members load their merchandise and haven’t had a chance to—” Karen – “OH MY GOD, I don’t care about your excuses, you have ONE JOB, and a TRAINED. MONKEY. Could do it!”
I just want this lady out of my face, so I don’t fight it. Me – “Sorry ma’am. I’ll grab one from the parking lot for you…” Karen – “You’d better…” So I go back out to the lot and find a whole line of flatbeds sticking out of a corral blocking several parking spaces. I push them all into the vestibule where she waits, huffing about how I’m wasting her valuable time.
I separate one from the rest and bring it to her. Me – “I’m terribly sorry about the wait, ma’am.” She leers at me with utter malice. Karen – “Hmmph. Unbelievable…” And with that, she dismisses herself into the store, where she will be someone else’s problem. I shake my head and return to doing what I’m paid to do. I wish I’d never seen her again…but I did.
About 15 minutes later, I’m returning a line of carts when I see her pushing her flatbed to her Miata and jawing about “stupid people” (most certainly referring to me) on her cell phone. You know what she had bought? What she had insisted on having a flatbed for? A cake. This wasn’t even like, a big cake. It was one of those little circular numbers.
Anyways, I witness as she continues to yammer on about how I nearly ruined—RUINED I TELL YOU—her precious baby’s birthday party, when the most glorious thing happened. Still clutching her phone with those jai-alai scoop claws of hers, she attempts to pick up the cake with one hand, the plastic topper pops off, and she spills the cake all over her undoubtedly expensive designer outfit.
Seething with white-hot rage, she locks eyes with me. Karen – “YOU! GET ME ANOTHER CAKE! NOW!” Me – “Terribly sorry ma’am. I’ve got one job, and these carts won’t gather themselves.” I walked away, grin plastered on my face as her shrieks faded into the distance behind me. I’ve had my share of nasty customer interactions before, but this one…Really took the cake.
7. A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I am a 28-year-old woman who just recently went fully blind. When I was a teenager, I volunteered with my local youth group to help rebuild Mississippi after hurricane Katrina, and while down there I picked up a fungal parasite called Histoplasmosis that, over a decade, migrated to my eyes and slowly caused blindness. I’ve been totally blind for about a year now, so I’m pretty new to it.
When I first went blind, I barely left the house and was afraid to go in public. I felt like everyone was staring at me and in all honesty, I barely knew what I was doing. The transition had been difficult and I didn’t have any support group to teach me. One day my husband asks if I can take an Uber down to the bank and deposit a rent check and I reluctantly agree.
While out, he messages again and reminds me that we’re out of a few crucial groceries. There was a Wal-Mart grocery literally across the street from the bank, so I figure everything in life is an experience and I’ll have to learn how to shop alone eventually, so why not. Everything was fine at first and I was only grabbing a few things so I didn’t need a cart.
I was using my cane and what little echolocation skills I had at the time to get around, but was still bumping into things as we blind tend to do sometimes. My cane suddenly hit something a bit softer and I figure maybe I had whacked someone’s leg and apologize. Cue Entitled Kid (EK) and Entitled Mother (EM). Me: Shoot, I’m sorry—
EM: Hey! You just hit my son!! Me: I’m so sorry, ma’am, I didn’t see him there. EM begins yelling: HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE HIM, HE’S CLEARLY RIGHT HERE!! Now, again, I’m fully blind, but I don’t wear sunglasses. Mostly because I can’t afford a good UV blocking pair, but also I’m not ever looking for pity or to ”play the part” of a generic blind person.
I just want to be treated like a normal person, but I do understand her confusion as blindness is a spectrum, so I try to calmly explain. Me: Ma’am, I’m blind, I can’t see anything, let alone your son. That’s why I have to use the cane, so I can get around without— She cuts me off: If you’re blind, why aren’t you wearing big sunglasses?
As a blind person, I get a lot of stupid questions, but I understand a lot of them are just people who don’t know better, so I try to happily answer as many as I can. Me: Those are really expensive (around $200 for a good pair), and I really don’t need any inside. Here is where my blood starts to boil. EM: You’re not blind, you’re faking it!
I can’t think of any reason someone would want to pretend to be blind, and nothing makes me angrier more than when someone calls me a liar when I’m not. Just as I’m about to respond, I feel a tug and before I blink, I realize this little demon spawn has snatched my $100 cane from my hands. For those of you who don’t understand, that’s like if you’re shopping and suddenly the power goes out and you can’t see a single light.
Without my cane, I can barely move at all without crashing into anything. My voice gets shaky as I begin to panic: Please give that back! I REALLY DO NEED IT!! EM: No you don’t, you liar. My son deserves to play with this more than you! I hear her shuffle away and my expensive cane cracking into metal displays and such as they leave.
I start crying and waving my arms in front of me to grab onto something, anything, and end up crashing and falling into a center aisle display, making a loud scene. I somewhat curl into a ball and cry. I’m alone in public, in the dark, and I had no idea what to do. Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder and a man’s voice. We’ll call him AG for awesome guy.
He asks if I’m okay and to stay right here. I do, but begin to at least sit up and listen. This man must have been tall and built like a tank because his footsteps sounded like a giant and I felt a suction of wind when he took off. Maybe about 30 or 40 feet away, I hear this loud bellowing like an angry lion and a loud crash, then before I know it the man is back and helping me to my feet.
He takes my hand and puts my cane into my palm and helps me pick up the items I dropped when I fell into the display. Me wiping tears from my cheeks: Thank you, thank you so much, I didn’t know how to handle that. AG: Don’t worry about it, some people are just monsters. This guy restored my faith in humanity and even helped me finish shopping and helped me out of the store.
As we’re leaving, I can hear the familiar screeching of EM, something about AG grabbing the cane and pulling hard, flinging her little devil child into a shopping cart. I don’t know if she was exaggerating or not but it would explain the crash I heard. It’s easy to feel alone in a world without sight, but even through the sheer terror of being stripped of my cane, at least I know now that there are people willing to stand up for me when I need it.
8. A Beautiful Thing
So, back in high school one of my closest friends got pregnant and gave birth to the sweetest baby boy. She stopped going to school for a while to take care of her kid, but still did online school so she could graduate with her class. One thing we would do is go to one of the local food places near the high school on Fridays. On this particular day, we decided to go to this nice Chinese place that I frequent regularly.
The little old Asian lady knows me by name. This Chinese place has a sticker on the front door that says something like “Breastfeeding will always be allowed,” which is great since that’s what my friend is more comfortable doing for her baby. After we ordered our food, we hung out in this little waiting area when the baby gets all fussy.
She takes out the little cover and covers her baby and her chest as she starts to feed him. We keep talking until this woman and her son, who had to be around 10, comes in. I recognize the kid as one of the kids I looked after when I use to volunteer at a youth center. He comes up to me and starts talking to me, and then asks my friend what she’s doing with the baby.
Before my friend could answer, the boy’s mother cuts in. “A disgusting thing is what she’s doing. Don’t you know better than to do that in public? And why are you even doing that if you’re only a kid?” My friend has an attitude sometimes, so I try to jump in before she would start to throw things. “It’s not disgusting, and the owner, Mrs. L is fine with it. She has a sticker on the door.”
Mrs. L was just ogling the baby a second ago. She smiles at us and continues to write some stuff down. The mother wasn’t happy about this and continues with her rant. “I’m sorry but I’m just not okay with a baby breastfeeding another baby. Can you please just stop,” she says in frustration. Mrs. L finally cuts in and in her broken English, she says, “Nursing baby is a beautiful thing. You have problem, you leave.”
She then taps the order on the window that leads to the kitchen and apologizes to my friend for the woman’s nasty behavior. She then looks at the boy who is still next to me and says jokingly, “Your mother, she dummy right?” This makes the boy laugh and the mother just grumble in her seat, trying to stay as far from us as she could.
When my friend finished and we grabbed our food, Mrs. L threw in an extra order of egg rolls, since they were my friend’s favorite.
9. (Don’t) Just Keep Swimming
So let me tell y’all about how this mother tried to have me be her free babysitter/lifeguard. We just got one of those above ground pools you set up yourself that is 4 feet deep and 14 feet round. We spent the majority of two days prepping and filling it and letting it warm. Finally yesterday it was ready, and my daughter asked if she could invite a little girl she is semi-friendly with from down the street to come swim with her.
Since they are eight and they are tall enough to stand with heads above water, I said ok. Well, her little friend brought her toddler sister, who is probably on the younger side of two. definitely too small to stand with her head above the water. I tell the friend that her little sister can’t get in the water unless her mom is here to watch her, and send her home with the message. They both come back and she says, “Mom said she’s fine in her float and I can watch her.”
And I said “No it’s not fine, I don’t think an eight-year-old is responsible enough to watch a toddler in a pool, and I am not going to be the one watching her either. You need to tell your mom either she comes to watch your little sister or she is not getting in the pool.” They both go home and then BOTH COME BACK!! At this point I am livid.
I walk back to their house with them and pound on the door. No answer. I keep knocking, and then the garage door starts to open with this woman backing her car out!! I quickly went and stood at the end of the driveway with all the kids in tow, both of hers and both of mine. She gets out of her car all angry and asks me what my problem is?!
I tell her my problem is that I’m not her babysitter, and that I am definitely not going to be responsible for keeping her baby from drowning in MY swimming pool on MY property! Her reaction was chilling. She then proceeds to start baby-talking her own kids, saying, “I’m so sorry babies the mean lady isn’t going to let you swim, I’m so sorry princesses” and on and on. Of course, the toddler bursts into tears, and then the mother screams at me.
“Look what you’ve done!! You’ve made her cry and ruined her day! Hope you are proud of yourself!! She then snatches up the little sister, who is screaming, tosses her in the car, and screams at the friend to get in too. The friend is red in the face, and you can tell she is so embarrassed. She just mumbles sorry while climbing in the car. The mother then proceeds to peel out of her own driveway and we walk back home. Witch.
For what it’s worth, I was NOT planning on leaving the kids wholly unattended. I was right beside the pool doing yard work and planned on continuing once all the kids were in the pool. I just did not want to watch a small toddler in the pool, as she would require extreme supervision. Like sitting and staring directly at her kind of supervision.
10. Eat My Dust
I recently had an emergency appendectomy, and recovery has been slow. I had to take time off from my own athletics, but worse, from coaching in the kid’s sports program I’m involved with. The experience made me step back and realize I really built my whole identity around being active and healthy, so the hit my physical abilities took as a result of being sick and the healing process has made me feel lost.
I’ve been working to regain the joy I used to experience from exercise, without going “Oh, you used to be so much faster with that,” or “Your technique used to be so much stronger,” or “You don’t fit in anymore,” or whatever else and just enjoy myself regardless of the level I’m at. But ironically, the anxiety about not being able to do what I used to has made regaining those abilities difficult.
It made me self-conscious about exercising in public spaces, but I was starting to finally get over it as friends convinced me the source of the concerns was all in my head. There’s no way to get back to it other than training, so despite the anxiety, I started running again, as soon as the doctors approved it. I went to the local track and just did a few slow laps each morning, building up speed every few days.
I’ve only just been authorized to add some sprints and bodyweight strength training to the mix. Occasionally there were other people at the track, but I didn’t really notice because I run with headphones on and try to zone out in these lighter sessions. But little did I know, my friends were wrong. It was not all in my head. I was being watched, and more than that, I was being judged.
This was my absolute catastrophe-level worst nightmare at this stage of building back my strength and speed. On Friday, I was setting up for practice at the kid’s program and the head coach asked me into his office because a parent had a complaint. A parent I didn’t know too well, Karen, was there and he said she had specific complaints about me.
I was a bit nervous, as anyone is being called to meet with their boss over a complaint, but I figured it was a classic case of “My kid should start more,” or “I know my kid tried out as a midfielder but I want him/her to switch to defense,” that kind of “rules don’t apply to me” thing. But instead, I sit down in the office, and Karen is playing my boss a video of me running on the track.
That she filmed from afar; it’s surrounded by stadium-style risers. I was horrified, both because no one is ever totally used to seeing themselves on video, and because I was just embarrassed about how slow I was. But most importantly because why was a virtual stranger (I’d met her personally maybe four times, ever) filming me while I ran on my own time at a private facility?
She then went on to explain that her eight-year-old son, one of the players on my squad, was lapping me in the video. She was insisting the coaches need to hold themselves to higher athletic standards than the young players if they want to prepare them for college teams. (Again, her son is eight.) Apparently, her son would sometimes be running on the track while her older child was practicing on a nearby field.
I never noticed, the kid is still relatively new, and again, I don’t pay much attention to the other people on the track. My boss patiently but firmly explained to Karen that my physical abilities are not the parents’ concern, and all personnel are closely managed by the head coaches who understand each unique situation and what’s appropriate, and that her son wouldn’t be impacted.
But she didn’t stop there. Karen then went on to say my being out of shape was probably connected to why I’d been taking so much time off lately. Uh… technically yes, it is, because I was in the hospital. She was complaining that the personnel changeover isn’t good for the kids. My boss again reiterated that the head coaches hadn’t changed or taken any time off and that I was still one of the most skilled in the area I instruct, so this was not her concern.
She asked if there was someone else she could speak to, but he explained that he was the owner and founder of this program, so, no there was not. I knew my boss was intentionally avoiding saying what had happened to me or even alluding to a health issue, to protect my privacy, but I figured maybe being transparent with her would show her how ridiculous she was being—and keep her tuition dollars in our program.
But when I explained, she just turned to the boss and said, “Well maybe you should furlough her until she’s healed and bring on a healthy coach in the meantime, because my son needs someone out there who can keep up with him.” My boss respected what I was trying to do, but made clear we weren’t going further with that strategy to avoid setting a precedent of sharing coaches’ personal circumstances.
Telling her why people take time off or what their health status may be is not her concern because the program manages that and makes appropriate decisions. She kept kicking up a fuss, but the coach finally told her he had to get back out on the field, back to her son and everyone else’s kids. She started physically leaving but continued fussing about how she was not satisfied and would not be recommending us to other parents.
Pro tip—this is not the way to conduct yourself with the people who make recommendations to scouts concerning family culture/team interaction. The coach wasn’t preparing to leave, instead, he stopped her in her tracks to tell her if she was found to be surveilling or otherwise harassing any staff members again, she would be perma-banned from the program.
No games or practices, no team social events, no presence in our buildings, and no clemency. So, that was pretty satisfying. Her son is a good, average, kid and I’m glad the consequences were focused on booting her out rather than limiting his opportunities to have fun playing. So then we went out and had a great, happy, safe practice.
This was still a pretty upsetting event for me personally though, and I’ll never unsee that discouraging video of me running, but it was ultimately reassuring to know the other staff has my back. Leaving Karen in the dust is just another step on my road to recovery!
11. An Unwelcome Visitor
Buckle up everyone for this bumpy ride. Okay, so I was chilling in my living room around 3 am playing some video games. My parents are out of town visiting some friends and I decided to stay home, house to myself and all. So here I am, in nothing but a bra and panties, when there’s a knock on the door. “What the heck?” I think to myself.
I scramble to get my clothes on and I answer the door. It was a family acquaintance with her already whiny little brat. She’s also visibly pregnant, and we’ll get to why that part is important later. Me: Hey, what’s going on? Her: My car broke down and the tow company can’t come to get it until tomorrow, think me and my kid can crash here tonight?
Me: Sure, you guys can sleep in the living room. Once I let them in, I asked if she wanted anything and went to get the coffee she asked for. As I go get it, I see the little brat picking up my controller. Me: Hey little guy, please put that down. Her: Oh, can’t he play a game? Me: Sorry, no. I’m in the middle of something, plus he wouldn’t know how to play the type of game.
Her: But he reeealllly wants to, don’t you? Him: I WANT TO PLAY!!!! Me: No, you can’t play. Him: I WANT TO PLAY I WANT TO PLAY I WANT TO PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. He then throws the controller at the TV, shattering the screen. Me: WHAT THE HECK? I rush over to the TV. Her: Hey! Don’t you yell at my child! Me: YOU JUST LET HIM DESTROY MY TV LIKE THIS. Her: You’re the one who didn’t let him play the video game.
Me: I said no, and you have to teach your brat that he isn’t owed ANYTHING. Her: How dare you! Just wait until I tell your mother about how you treated him, you’ll make a terrible mom. Me: I’m not having kids, but if I did I wouldn’t let them be spoiled little brats! Her: YOU are being the brat right now! Just get a new TV and quit whining.
Me: Yeah, I’ll get a new TV with the money you pay me for the broken one. Her: WHAT?! But YOU are the one who instigated it. Me: You know what? Just get out of my house. You and your brat are no longer welcome. Her: What is wrong with you? I’m preeeegnant and have a toddler and have nowhere to go, you can’t just kick out a stranded pregnant mother and her toddler at 3 am in the cold.
Me: OH YES I CAN, YOU INSUFFERABLE WITCH. Get OUT of my house before I call the authorities. Her, picking her brat up and heading towards the door: Just wait until I tell your mother about this! Me: Yeah, I’ll gladly tell her about what the little brat to the TV and that you refused to pay for it! Her: You’ll regret this! Thankfully, though, she left.
The next morning I called my parents and explained what happened. They were very understanding because I was never raised to be a spoiled little jerk and the mom got an earful from my mom that if she didn’t pay them back we would take her to small claims. She tried to play the “Woe is me” card but it didn’t work and she forked over the $500 for the new TV. Then we cut contact with her.
12. Misplaced Anger
Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my older brother and he told me that my mom had a miscarriage. This is hardly surprising, as she’s in her 40s. But I have a dark confession. I actually felt a huge wave of relief wash over me—because this way, my siblings’ lives would not be worsened by my parents’ insistence on adding another mouth to feed on an already tight budget.
My sister would not be asked to give up her inheritance so they could have money for their new baby. My brother told me my mom had been crying and while I did feel bad for her, I was still glad to hear about the miscarriage. I feel like we all dodged a huge bullet. My brother asked me to move back in for a while, to help comfort my mom.
I told him I wasn’t going to move in because first, my college would reopen in a few days, and two, I’m done with all the family drama. However, I did agree to come to visit my mom, if only out of courtesy. In the evening, I went over to my parents’ place. I took chocolate chip muffins for my mom, which I know she likes. My sister greeted me at the door and told me mom had been in bed all day.
After greeting my dad, I went into their bedroom. Mom was sitting up on the bed. I told her I was sorry about what happened and placed the muffins on the bedside table. Her reaction floored me. She looked at me angrily, then threw the muffins at me. She screamed at me that she had “lost her baby” because of me. She said I had caused her stress and it’s what caused her to miscarry.
She said I was probably glad her baby was gone (which is true, but of course I didn’t point that out). She called me a witch and said I had wished this upon her. She was screaming so loudly, all my siblings and my dad came rushing to the bedroom. She yelled at me to get out. I did. I hugged my older brother and sister. Before I left, my dad told me my mom was right, that my “cruelty” caused her to miscarry.
I told him that was a grossly unfair accusation and reminded him that at mom’s age, it was quite common to miscarry. Then I walked out. I’m so done with my parents and their stupidity. I can only hope they won’t try for another kid.
13. Child’s Play
My company sets up a booth at a carnival and we engaged several part-timers to assist at the carnival. The part-timers are required to go around the grounds to distribute flyers, share information, and direct visitors to our booth. On the day of the carnival, after setting up, I met up with the part-timers to prepare them for the day.
Out of all the part-timers, only this one woman was late. She mentioned she would be 15 minutes late, but it was closer to an hour. As we couldn’t wait, I briefed the others and deployed them for the day. When she arrived, she had her kid in tow, who was about five or six years old. Due to the nature of the job, we can’t have her lugging her kid while working. She knew this.
Her: My husband couldn’t handle the kid, so I had to bring her along. Me: I can’t have you working with your kid. Her: It’s not my problem. If you don’t like it, get someone to watch over him. My colleague who was watching this unfold offered to watch over her kid. He was only required to help out during the start and end of the carnival, so was entirely free during the event.
I thought alright, since he was free. Colleague: I can watch over her, get her some food, watch some shows, play some games. But you’ll need to pay me. Me: Whatever. But I’m not paying you for your time, only for the kid. Colleague (grinning): Sure. I was flabbergasted, but he told me not to worry—because he had an ingenious plan.
Once the woman started working, my colleague brought her kid systematically through every single booth throughout the entire carnival. It was the kid’s dream come true and, I believe, her best day ever. Whatever she wanted to eat, my colleague bought. She saw a lot of the shows and won many prizes. Since my colleague had a staff pass, he didn’t need to pay for the shows, only for the kid.
At the end of the carnival, when we were clocking the hours worked, the mother had the nerve to insist to be paid full even though she was late for almost an hour. She said that because of various reasons (mainly due to her kid), she would have been early. She was ranting and I didn’t really pay any attention, but it was about how I will never understand as I don’t have kids and how she deserves it because she was a mother.
My manager nearby winked at me and took over. He said he was very pleased with the day’s sales and how we are very supportive of her and we should give kids the best. He told her not to worry about the hours she worked and she will be paid in full. After hearing this, not even a single thanks from this woman, she declared in a loud voice: “At least someone understands.”
She had this condescending and victorious look on her face. Thankfully, It didn’t last long. The sucker punch for her was that her kid spent roughly $100, and with her pay at $15/hr for 8 hrs, she made a whopping $20 for the whole day. My colleague made it a point to keep track of the expenses (receipts, tickets, stubs, etc.) and took tons of photos.
Of course, she threw a fit, but with the amount of evidence and her daughter vouching for all the fun she had, it was tough to have a leg to stand on. She had no case except to yell “I’M NOT PAYING FOR THIS!!” and then she grabbed her daughter and stormed off. We look forward to payday when we issue her a cheque for $20 for her time.
14. Fun For The Whole Family
This took place a couple of years ago, when I was 17 and I used to spend part of my summers helping out in my grandpa’s restaurant. The restaurant was located on the bottom floor of our family house in a little village (30 inhabitants) and my maternal great-grandparents lived on the upper floor. In the restaurant, my great-grandmother and my grandma were in charge of cooking and my great-grandpa and granddad were in charge of attending the tables.
It was kind of small, as it had like eight tables of four on the inside, and we could set another two outside if the weather was good. As the restaurant also served as a bar, it was filled with locals. Since many of them were retired, they used to spend the whole day playing cards and drinking, so although it was a small location, in summer usually it was full of people.
Also, my great-grandparents founded this restaurant in the year 1941, therefore it was well-known and had a good reputation among the locals. I’m also proud to say that my great-grandparents were very loved in their community as they really were great people. Although it was a quite remote place, in summer we used to get like four or five groups of tourists per week.
The rule was that my brother and I were in charge of serving their tables as we were the only ones who knew any other language than Spanish, our native tongue. Our opening hours at the time were from 12:00 to 22:30 but the kitchen was only open from 13:00 to 15:00 and from 19:30 to 21:00. We only served one menu, composed of a starter, two main dishes, dessert, and cider or water.
So now the story. It was around 16:00, therefore most of the customers had finished eating and were chatting over a cup of coffee or some pints. My grandparents and great-grandparents were still eating as they waited until everyone was finished. Meanwhile, my brother and I were in charge of serving the tables just in case anyone wanted something else to drink.
Suddenly we hear a car outside, and I can hear a woman loudly speaking in English. As soon as they enter, this happens. Her: We would like to have a table, X from the Y Hotel told us this was a great place to eat. Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but the kitchen is already closed as it’s kind of late. Her: Yes, it’s late because we got lost in these stupid roads! Is it so difficult to put proper signals? Also, we have a little kid who is hungry.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, let me check If I can do something for you. I then went inside and explained the situation to my grandma, who told me to attend them as everything was already prepared and it would be just heating the food. Her: Well, are you going to give us a table or not? If the kitchen is closed, how is it that those people are eating.
At this point, she pointed at my grandpas. At the moment, I thought she was behaving like that because she was kind of hungry. I wasn’t really used to dealing with rude people, as the majority of tourists used to be really respectful. Me: Well those are the owners, so they can eat whenever they want. (I said this while laughing a bit). Anyway, I have just asked them and you will be able to eat too, so please follow me to your table.
They follow me to the table and I explain to them that there is only one menu. They give me a strange look but they seem OK with that. I serve them the bread and I put a bottle of water on the table. They start devouring the bread so my “They were a bit rude cause they were hungry” theory seemed to be confirmed. I was so, so wrong.
As soon as I bring the starter, the dad demands to have the Wi-Fi password. Him: Hey, we see that there is a Wi-Fi network, what’s is the password? Me: Yes, there is one. However, the Wi-Fi is for the staff’s personal use. (We had a measured and reeeeally slow connection that my grandpa used for checking some newspapers and my brother and I used for sending Whatsapps to our friends). Him: That’s ridiculous! We are paying customers and we deserve to have access to your Wi-Fi!
Mom: Yes, our little angel wants to watch some videos. We don’t have any kind of internet access here! Me: Sorry, but as I have said it’s for personal use. Mom: That’s not right, this would be unacceptable in America. Me: Well, I’m sorry to inform you that we are not in America. The mom tells something to the kid and he starts running around the restaurant, stomping his feet and shouting
My great-grandpa comes to me and asks me what is happening, I explain the whole situation to him and he asks me to please translate what he is going to say. Him: Please lady control your child, or I will have to ask you three to leave. Her: DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME HOW TO RAISE MY CHILD YOU DINOSAUR! Father: DON’T GET CLOSE TO MY CHILD YOU OLD CREEP! By this point, everyone is of course looking with disbelief to these morons.
I hesitate for a second, but translate all of this to my great-grandpa, expecting a not really nice reaction. Instead of saying anything, he slowly turns around and asks two men who are sitting at a table to take the whole family out of his restaurant. I proceed to explain to the family that if they don’t get out, those two men, who also happened to be police officers, would be taking them out.
They don’t seem to believe that those two men were officers and they refused to leave until we served them. Finally, both men stood up, showed their plaques, and asked them (in their best English) to leave. They finally stand up and leave. However, as they were leaving the officers realized that they had parked in front of our garage, blocking it.
At that point, they decided to ask for their rental car papers while taking a couple of photos and giving them a fine for blocking a private property garage.
15. Something’s Fishy
I’m allergic to fish/seafood. It’s not the anaphylactic type of allergy, thank goodness, so I’m not going to die if I eat some, but I do throw up, have a stomach ache, and a massive headache for a few hours. Enough fish/seafood and I break out in small red hives over my arms. My mother didn’t believe it and as a child, I couldn’t stand up to her properly.
She’d force me to eat stuff with seafood or fish in it to “prove” I wasn’t allergic, then ignore me as I was sick. One day, she held a dinner party. I was dressed up beautifully and trotted out to parade before the guests. At the time, I was about nine, precocious for my age, and absolutely fed up with my mother making me sick from food.
When she held out a fish cutlet (fish cooked with vegetables, rolled into a ball, covered in batter and fried) for me to eat, I saw my chance. Me, loudly: “I can’t eat that, I’m allergic to fish.” Mother: “No, you’re not. Eat it.” Me: “I am allergic! I’ll throw up!” No Asian mother will back down in front of guests for fear of looking like she can’t discipline her child.
So my mother grabbed the fish cutlet, shoved it to my mouth, and said in her most firm voice of command, “EAT.” So I ate it. Cut to about ten minutes later. I go up to my mother and tug on her sari to get attention. Me: “I don’t feel well—” BARF. I vomited on her, on the expensive carpet, and in full view of all the guests. My mother has a reputation for being a kind, generous, charitable, and very religious woman, so in front of all the guests, she couldn’t do anything except act sympathetic and send me off to bed to recover.
She never made me eat fish or seafood again.
16. Adults Only
I attended an adult-only wedding for a co-worker a few days ago. The actual ceremony was in a very small church, so it was mostly family and close friends but the reception was for roughly 250 people. The reception was at a very elegant hotel ballroom. Not child-friendly in any way. Crystal stemware, expensive linens on the table, etc.
About 1/2 hour into the reception, a commotion started that made everyone stare. This entitled mother is arguing with the wedding planner loudly. Me being the nosy broad that I am, I inched closer to hear. It turns out this woman brought her four young children to the reception even though the invitations clearly stated Adults Only.
The entitled mother insisted that her kids—the oldest one looked eight and the youngest was under a year old—were super well-behaved so it was fine. Now keep in mind this was around 7:30 pm. The planner was having none of it. She insisted that children were not allowed and she had to leave. In a last ditch effort to get admitted, the mother shouted at the bride.
The bride went over and listened to her for a moment, and then said in a syrupy sweet voice, “Of course you can come in, but your children cannot.” Then she turned on her heel and went back to her new husband. The mother flipped a nut, yelling about how she was invited, couldn’t find a babysitter, etc. Three of the groomsmen took her and her kids to the door.
17. What’s Mine Isn’t Yours
This happened about five years ago. My fiancée and I have been together for seven years this month. We were reminiscing about some old stories yesterday when this one came up, and she suggested I share it. She was my girlfriend at the time, and at the time I was fully aware that her mom was a few fries short of a happy meal, but this was the pinnacle of her behavior.
My girlfriend Ellie and I weren’t living together at the time, she just stayed over from time to time when she could. I took her home after she had been staying with me a couple of days and was heading to work. But shortly after, just before getting to work, I get a phone call from her and I can tell she is in tears. Apparently, when she got inside her house, her mother immediately blew up on her about being gone for SOOO long.
It was only two days and she TOLD her mom she was going to be gone and kept in contact with her while she was gone. But Ellie just sort of brushed it off and went to her room. The house was pretty much your stereotypical crazy cat lady house. Badly decaying, cats all over the place, going to the bathroom in random places and whatnot.
When Ellie gets to her room, she realizes that while she was gone, the cats peed and pooped over a pile of her clean clothes. But whatever, Ellie decided to just bag them up and she would wash them next time she came to my place. Her mom didn’t have a functioning washer at the time. Apparently, that REALLY set her mom off.
Her mom apparently thought Ellie was bagging her clothes because she was planning to go BACK to my place that night to stay another few days. So she stomped into her room, grabbed the bag, ripped it open, and flung the clothes all over the room along with the cat refuse while screaming at Ellie that she’s not going anywhere. That’s when Ellie ran outside and called me.
She was so upset and didn’t know what to do. Her mom had been doing crazy stuff to Ellie since I’d been with her, but up until then I just helped her however I could while not getting involved and not saying a word to her mom. I told her to go ahead and get the things she needs, and I’ll take her to my place. She said she would love that.
I told my work I was gonna be late due to an emergency, and turned around to go pick her up. When I pulled back up to the house, Ellie was in the driveway crying. I went and hugged her, told her it was gonna be ok and that she could stay with me as a long as she wanted. So she went back inside to get her things. As I was standing outside waiting, I heard the door open again and went to help Ellie with her things…uh-oh…it’s her mom.
She comes stomping out with her hair crazy and frizzled, wearing an old nightgown. She beelines for me and gets right in my face. Her (with an extremely thick high pitched southern accent): My daughter said I need to come out here and ask what you think of me! (I knew that was a blatant lie as Ellie would NEVER instigate this.)
Her: You got something to say?? Huh?? You think I’m trash don’t you huh?? That’s what you think, isn’t it?? Again, up until now, I’d COMPLETELY kept my mouth shut, and was trying to maintain that. But this woman was up in my face, freaking out, and was tormenting the woman I loved, so I finally looked at her and broke my silence.
Me: Why do you treat her like this? Her: *GASP* WHAT DO YOU MEAN?? THAT’S MY DAUGHTER AND I WORSHIP THE GROUND SHE WALKS ON!!! Me: Oh really? So calling her names is worship? Her: *GASP* I WOULD NEVER SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT! Me: (getting rather irate) Lies! I’ve HEARD you say things. Her: *EXPLOSION* YOU GET OFF MY PROPERTY!!!!!!!!
Ok, I almost never find myself in situations like this, so I’m not used to it. I say that because after she said this, I pretty much saw red. I’m not proud of it, but I just started shouting every curse word in the book I could possibly think of at the top of my lungs while she went back into the house. But thankfully, that only lasted a few seconds and I immediately calmed down.
So finally Ellie comes back out with her stuff. We put it in the car and I assume it’s over…but Ellie turns to me and says, “I’m sorry but we can’t leave yet.” Me: Why not?
Ellie: *Sigh* Mom called the authorities. I sort of had a feeling that would happen, no big deal. So we just sat and waited for the officer to arrive. After about 10 minutes or so, a patrol car pulls up.
Right when he does, her mom comes out of the house, and…Oh my god. Yes, she was doing EXACTLY what you think. She INSTANTLY puts on the fragile brittle old lady act. Hunched over, walking slowly, the whole gig. And of course, when the officer asks her what happened, she has to pitch her entire medical chart to the guy. Ellie will tell you this woman has been “terminally” ill for 12 years, ha.
So when she finally gets done trying to milk this poor guy for sympathy, she tells her version of what happened. Her: Sir, he came onto my property and verbally attacked me! He’s awful to me sir and I’ve never even done anything to him! He’s turned my daughter against me and is trying to convince her to leave!! At first, he seemed somewhat sympathetic to her…until he turns to Ellie.
Officer: Ma’am, this is your boyfriend? Ellie: Yes sir. Him: Ok, and how old are you? Ellie: Sir…I’m 23. This was my favorite part because the officer looked up from his notepad with a look of “Wait, what?” Obviously, he was thinking Ellie was a minor or something based on how her mother was acting, but quickly realized just what he was dealing with.
Eventually, he turns to me. Officer: Ok sir, please give me your version of what happened. I did so. Funny side note, at one point the officer looks up at me and says, Officer: You look really familiar…do I know you? It actually turned out the officer and I had gone to high school together. Once we recognized each other, we laughed and shook hands very briefly.
This was hilarious because out of the corner of my eye, I see the mom has a big scowl on her face as she sees me getting friendly with him. Anyway, the officer puts his notepad away and turns to me. He says the following with this heavy tone of “I know that you are fully aware of this and I don’t believe you are in the wrong at all, but I have to say this as a formality.”
Officer: Well, she doesn’t want you on the property, so be aware that if you come back here you technically can be charged with trespassing. Do you understand this as I’ve explained it? Me: Absolutely sir. Mother: But sir, I want to press charges! Officer: He didn’t do anything wrong, ma’am. Mother: But he verbally attacked me!
Officer: I understand that, and while that was ill-advised (he slightly turns to me and gives me a small gesture with his hand, and I nod in agreement), it’s not something I could detain him for. He agrees he will not come back on your property without your direct permission. Mother: Ugh! Ok fine, whatever! Ellie, come back inside!
Ellie: What? No! Mother: You heard the officer, he is leaving and you’re staying here! Officer: Whoa, ma’am, I didn’t say that at all. Mother: BUT…BU— Officer: Your daughter is not a child ma’am, she is a full-grown adult, and she has every right to go wherever she wants. Mother: I’m her mother! She lives under my roof! I told her she needs to stay here, so she needs to stay!!
Officer No ma’am, that’s not how it works. If she wants to go stay with her boyfriend, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop her. She now starts the fake crocodile tears and stomps into the house in defeat. Ellie and I thanked the officer, got in the car, and left. We’ve been living together ever since. The best part of all is that this has a happy ending.
Believe it or not, the entitled mom isn’t really much of an entitled mom anymore. Over the years since that day, she has actually decided to make an effort to try and improve herself. I guess she realized that if she didn’t make changes, she would lose her relationship with Ellie. So she started taking advantage of her medical coverage and went to see her psychiatrist and got medicine for the mental illness she actually had, as opposed to the ones she would make up.
Since then…well, she has actually gotten WAY better. She takes her medicine regularly and has a boyfriend who is an EXTREMELY kind man and treats Ellie as though she were his own daughter. We actually get along very well and we see them frequently, and we help each other out whenever we can. We actually look back on the early years when she WAS in fact entitled, and laugh.
So not only is everybody getting along well, we can actually share the cringe stories and happily laugh about them.
18. Grand Theft Grandma
I am currently pregnant with my first child, and both my mom and stepdad have been terrible to me and my partner the entire time. They told us we would be unfit parents because we aren’t married yet, and legitimately screamed at my partner for “knocking up their little girl” even though we planned the pregnancy. They would call him every day and harass him, and even show up to his work.
They try to convince him to leave me so I would have no choice but to move back in with them. It got worse as time went on, and I finally decided to cut contact with them. Having a child can already be a stressful time, and having them around to make it worse was not something I was okay with. My partner and I have gone through a lot with family drama the past couple of years and having this baby has been one of the most exciting things for us.
If my parents can’t be nice to my partner, then they don’t get to see our baby. One day I sent my mom a very detailed email of why she is not allowed to be a part of my life anymore and will not be seeing her grandchild. To make things even better, I also noted that we will be moving across the country shortly after she is born to be closer to other family members.
So not only is she cut off, but we are literally moving far away and never coming back. Her reply chilled me to the bone. She responds by showing up at our house at 11 pm, screaming outside our door about how it is her baby and she deserves to be there for it. I tell her to screw off and eventually, she leaves. Months go by and she will text me randomly asking about technical problems with her Wi-Fi router or something.
Little things like that don’t mean much to me, so I sent her the info she needed. My cousin also had a virtual baby shower and sent my invitation to my mom’s house accidentally, so my mom came by to give it to me. Things slowly came to a point that we were fairly amicable with each other, but I still stood my ground about our boundaries and nothing else had changed.
She knew this. Then she sends me a video today that blew my mind. She redecorated her entire guest room to be a nursery. Crib, changing table, $400-worth of newborn clothes, toy chest, stroller, a car seat for her car, and the list goes on. In the video, she is in tears saying “I can’t believe my baby is going to be here soon, this is where she will sleep, where I will change her little diapers, these will be her toys.”
Is she psychotic!? HER baby?? Sleeping and living at HER house?? What!? So I call her up immediately and I reiterate that we are still moving across the country soon and that she will have no contact with the baby before that. Her response? “Oh okay, we will see about that!” Genuinely confused. What part of “you will have no contact with this baby” does she not understand or thinks will change in the next few weeks when she is born?
Is she planning on taking her from us? I am at a loss for words.
19. If You Know, You Know
I’m home from college, and my parents require me to have a summer job. I’m blessed enough that I get to keep all the money I earn, my parents just like me to work to gain experience. This will be relevant later, but I’m not a skinny girl. I wouldn’t consider myself large either, I’m 5’6” tall and weigh about 140-145 lbs. right now and carry most of it in my hips and thighs.
The freshman 15 did hit me hard though, as I used to be 120ish. So today after finishing my last online final, my dad called me. He told me that one of his friends who runs a company texted him that they were looking for girls to work in the office, answering phones and stuff. I got excited because that’s exactly what I wanted, so I put on a dress, printed a copy of my résumé, and drove down.
The ladies inside were super nice and asked me to fill out an application, so I sat down to do so. We’re in the South which might be relevant, because typically for jobs like this they’re looking for a “pretty face” to sit behind the counter and talk to customers. This is unspoken, though. Yes, it’s awful but hey, I needed a job. So, as I’m filling out an application, this entitled mom enters with her teenage daughter.
She announces that she’s here about the opening and her daughter would like to apply. The one receptionist explains that she’ll need to fill out an application and hands her one and a pen. They come to sit in the lobby, right beside me, which I thought was weird but I didn’t say anything. Mom (to me): “Are you here for the job as well?” Me: “Yes ma’am.” Mom: “Hmph.” You know, that little cocky sound people make? I ignored her and went up to ask the receptionist a question about the application.
When I returned and sat back down, the mother walked up to the desk. Mom: “Does my daughter even really need to fill this out?” Receptionist: “It’s protocol. The boss will look at all the applications and decide who to call for an interview.” Mom: “Is he here? I’m sure if he could see my daughter, he’d know who he wanted to call, ha!”
Receptionist: “He is, but he isn’t seeing visitors right now.” Mom: “How will he know who to hire if he doesn’t know what the girls look like?” Receptionist: “Well, he will need to see their references and will make a few calls before he—” Mom: “No. My daughter is an aspiring model. She won [insert local pageant] in 2019. He needs to see her to know she’s the face he wants to see behind the counter interacting with customers.”
Receptionist: “I’m not sure what you mean? This isn’t a modeling job, looks don’t really matter…” Mom: “Oh I know, but they do. And let’s face it, your boss isn’t going to want” —at this point, she leans in closer— “a chubby girl up here, is he?” This whole time, the daughter is smirking at me in glances as she fills out her application.
This caught the attention of the second receptionist as well as me, and we both looked up at this point. Other receptionist: “Ma’am, I’m not sure I know what you mean.” Mom: “Oh, no disrespect, I just know the boss personally and know he’d prefer a new pretty face around the office. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think there’s no question between my daughter and, well, this young lady for example. No offense honey, just trying to save you some time.”
At this point, I’m in tears. I don’t know if it was rage or the sting of her insult, but either way, I was NOT going to let her see me cry, so I quickly got up and handed my application to the first receptionist before trying to leave. Second receptionist (who is a plus-sized woman): “Sweetie, wait.” (talking to me) (turning to the mom) “You say you know the boss personally, right?”
Mom: “Oh, yes, we went to high school together.” Second receptionist: “And you know him so well that you know he’d prefer a skinny woman behind this desk?” Mom: “Well, I didn’t say that, but I’d assume so.” This is when the hammer dropped down. Second receptionist: “Great. Well, I’m his wife and I’ve worked behind this desk for almost 15 years now, and as you can see I could probably drop a few, and I take personal offense to what you’re saying about my husband and this young lady, so I’d like you to wait in the car while your daughter fills out her application.”
Both the mom and the daughter stormed out at that point, with the daughter taking her application, so I don’t know if she’ll apply or not. But, both women behind the counter told me that the mom was a witch and they’d vouch for me with the boss, so I’m hopeful that I got the job!
20. In The Dog House
So I’m a 20-year-old woman and I work as a dog groomer. I’ve been one for four, almost five years. The big thing in dog grooming is reputation, quality, and time management. Yesterday, we were expecting a girl to come in at 10:00 to try out as a dog groomer. She was promising, 23 or 25 years old, and had worked as a dog groomer at other places.
She didn’t show till 4:30. No call. No nothing. She apparently had a hair appointment and friends from out of town came in so they got their nails done. She asked if she could groom now. I said no, I don’t think so. When she pressed, I said (and I might be a jerk for saying this): “We don’t want or need you. There’s no need to reschedule your try-out.”
I went back to get my last two dogs done. Apparently, she cried and I was starting to feel bad. Then came the entitled mother. Her mom came in this morning demanding we give her a second chance. I told her, “Your daughter was six and a half hours late. That’s not something that works in dog grooming.” The mom replied, “She was with friends. I’d think someone your age would understand that.”
Me: “Not when there’s a job interview. She didn’t call or anything.” At this point, I was ticked and over it. I have five dogs to get done. She said, “Well, there was no reason to make her cry!” I said I disagree and got back to work. Apparently, she stayed up there and demanded we give her another shot. As head dog groomer I said, not gonna happen. She left eventually, saying her daughter was too good for us.
21. Holy Roller
I’m in a DnD group with a couple of friends from nearby, and one of the members of the group was a kid who was about 15 years old. He’s a really sweet kid, likes helping other people out, and he’s a BIG fan of Dungeons and Dragons. He also has cancer in both of his lungs. He’s from a religious family that basically forces him to act pure while he’s in their sight.
The mom is practically rabid, while the dad is just a sensible person who just tries to get him to be a good kid. When he’s out of sight of his parents, he just does normal teen stuff. Because of his mom, the only books he was allowed to own were Christian books and bibles. He joined our group mainly as a way to escape his home life and his mom.
A couple of weeks ago, the cancer in his lungs started to get to him, so he was taken to a hospital by his parents. He contacted me about this a day after he was taken to the hospital, stating that he wanted a Monster Manual as his last wish, and saying that he was tired of reading the same things. I bought him the book from Barnes and Noble, but considering that he’s a dying teen, I got him Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes stacked on top of that.
The next day, which was his birthday, he was still in the hospital, so I brought him the books as a gift. After he blew out the candles, we had cake and he started opening gifts. Mine was the first to be opened. Seeing what they were, he immediately got this humongous grin on his face and hugged me. Meanwhile, his mom stared down at the books with a look of pure disgust, with her husband staring at her with this wary look in his eyes.
She picks up one of the books, relights one of the candles, and HOLDS THE BOOK over it to try and set it on fire. I manage to stop her and demand “What are you doing?! He asked me to get those books and I’m not going to let you take them away!” His mom simply stared me down and said something along the lines of the books being “sinful,” “satanic,” and full of evil and that her son had no business with them.
I retort and say that her son can read what he wants and that she shouldn’t have to force him to be Christian. She starts getting red in the face and yelling at me about essentially forcing children to believe in God from a young age. I state that I’m a Baptist (which I actually am) and say that faith in God is a matter between God and the individual.
She turns red all over and actively starts to try and destroy the books again, with me, my friend, and her husband trying to stop her. At one point, I shouted “WOULD GOD WANT YOU TO DO THIS? TO RESTRICT YOUR DYING SON’S FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION?!” right in her face. This just sets her ablaze. She tosses the books aside and starts trying to STRANGLE her son.
Her husband calls security immediately when she does this. Security gets there within about a minute of the two of us trying to pry her off of her son and drag her away, with her shouting that we’re all “catamites to the devil.” Both her husband and my friend charge her with assault and attempted murder. The trial’s still going.
22. Meet Ugly
So for some context. I’m a 17-year-old male and I work at a Segway tour company. It’s actually really fun, I get to ride Segways around the city and talk to people, and get paid to do it. So anyway, there was a tour booked a couple of days ago and I came in about 20 minutes early to answer emails and get everything ready. The group shows up, mother and daughter, and that’s when things get interesting.
I check them in. ME: Alright I have some waivers for you to sign. Daughter, how old are you? D: Uh, 16. ME: Ok, then you don’t need to sign a waiver. I ask this because if kids are younger than 18, their parents sign the waivers for them, but the mom only heard me say the first part, not when I said the girl didn’t need to sign a waiver, so she thought I was just asking her daughter how old she was.
This was probably what started it all. We go on the tour, and while I’m giving my spiel, the mom keeps interrupting me to tell me stuff about the daughter and find out if we are compatible. ME: …and so this non-profit organization opened in— MOM: Are you in college? ME: No, I’m a junior in high school. I’m usually pretty free with information about myself on tours because it helps keep people relaxed and initiates conversations during lulls in the tour.
Plus it helps with tipping. MOM: Oh, my daughter is also a junior, she is an artist. Stuff like this keeps happening throughout the tour, and every time, the daughter gets redder and redder. My mom does this too where she just tells random mall attendants about me, so I know what the girl is going through and I feel her pain. At the end of the tour, I tell the two of them that they have 15 minutes to go around the town, and then they can meet me back at the Segway place.
I get back and start getting things set up for their return. They roll in (pardon the pun) and I take their Segways to start charging them. MOM: So what do you think of my daughter? ME: Pardon me, what? MOM: I saw you checking her out during the tour, are you gonna ask her out? D: Mom, stop! ME: Um, ma’am I just recently got out of a relationship and I’m really not looking for anything right now.
MOM: What!?!? ME: Huh? MOM: Is my daughter not good enough for you!? ME: No, that’s not it, I just said that I just got out of a relationship. Then it all took a very wild turn. MOM: You are going to date my daughter and that’s final! ME: You can’t tell me what to do. I’m not your kid, and if I don’t want to date your daughter, I don’t have to! Besides, you haven’t even asked her if she wants to date me.
D: Yeah, I don’t want to date him. ME: SEE?!? MOM: I’m going to call your boss and tell him about your terrible customer service! You’re never going to work here again! ME: (pulling out my phone) Alright, you want to call him and explain this situation? How you’re trying to force me to date your daughter and get me fired for saying no?
Then I guess the absurdity of the situation finally sunk in, and her face transitioned from pure rage to slight confusion. MOM: Wait, maybe I don’t want to— ME: No, let’s call him. (Start to go through my contacts, and press my boss’s name). Let’s have this conversation. MOM: I don’t think that’s a good idea— (Phone starts ringing)
MOM: Daughter, let’s go! She runs out the door, and the daughter turns to me and says “I’m sorry,” and then follows her mom. I hang up the phone before my boss answers and start cleaning the Segways.
23. Surf’s Up
I’m a surf instructor at a surf school on the beach. It was the end of the day, and I had just finished my final class. I’d done five hour-long classes in a row and I was covered in water and wet sand. Basically, I just wanted to get the thing off me and maybe go for a swim before I left the beach. I was in the surf shack we’re based in with three co-workers, who I’ll call Sam, Joe, and Mick.
Names changed but Sam in real life has an equally gender-neutral name. I texted my boyfriend, who confirmed he was five minutes away. I’d already finished my part of the closing up process, so while Sam put the closed sign on the door and locked up the filing cabinet and Joe and Mick sorted out the wetsuits and put the boards back in their holders, I left the boys to finish up and went to the changing area to strip off my wetsuit.
I’d gotten down to my tankini when I heard a loud, nasally, American-accented voice. EXCUSE ME? HELLO? SERVICE PLEASE? Seeing the boys were occupied, I pulled on my skirt and went to the door. This woman did not look like a stereotypical Karen. Long hair, tan, wearing a bikini with a big floppy beach hat and a sarong around her waist.
Her daughter was with her, looked around 10-12 years old, and like her mom’s Mini-Me, but she didn’t speak once during this encounter so I don’t know if she’s entitled or not. Me: Hi can I help you? Woman: You could start by putting some clothes on. My tankini is covering about the same amount of skin as a one-piece would, aside from a strip of exposed skin by my waist.
I’ll admit that the neckline is kind of low, but this woman is literally wearing a bikini, with way more exposed skin than me. And we’re in a surf shack. Me (customer service mode activated): I am very sorry, miss. Sam? Can you grab me my shirt, please? (he throws my tank top at me and I pull it on) Better? Woman: Not really. Is there anyone else who can take care of us?
Me: Sorry, my co-workers are a little busy right now, we’re closing up. Woman: Fine, I want to sign my daughter up for classes tomorrow. I start to talk her through the availability slots, when we can fit her kid in, prices and requirements. While I do this, I’m gesturing with my hands and leaning over the counter to point out some stuff on the sign-up sheet.
Woman (interrupting me): I’m sorry, don’t you have a sweatshirt or something? Keep in mind, it’s the middle of summer, in a heatwave, on a beach. Me (clinging to my customer service smile because I’m still technically on the clock): I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Would you like me to carry on? Woman: Is there no one else I could speak to? You’re making my daughter feel self-conscious.
Me (giving up on being polite): You’re making me feel self-conscious. It’s summer, it’s a beach, and it’s a heatwave. I do not have another shirt. Everything that needs to be covered is covered, and with all due respect, you’re wearing less than I am. Sam, wearing a t-shirt and denim shorts, hears all this and recognizes my tone as my “I’m about to snap” tone, so he looks at me, I nod at him, and he jumps in.
Sam: I’d be happy to help you, miss. My name is Sam. Why don’t you go— Woman: Sam is a guy? Sam: Last I checked. Woman: I thought you were a girl. Sam: Sorry to disappoint. Woman (to me): Do you think it’s appropriate to wander around like that when there’s a young man nearby? (to Sam) You should report her to HR. Sam: It’s a beach. People walk round in less all the time.
Woman (repeating): It’s inappropriate. Sam: You’re wearing a bikini. Woman: I’m not working, she is. Me: You do know this is a surf school? Meanwhile, Mick and Joe hear the noise. She hasn’t raised her voice or yelled or anything, but they can hear the tone of the conversation and decide they should step in just in case. Mick and Joe are both wearing board shorts and flip flops, and no shirts.
Mick (coming up behind me): Is there a problem here? Joe (at Mick’s side): Anything we can help with? Her eyes go wide. She looks between me and the three boys in shock and horror. Woman (recovering herself): I was just saying tha— Me: She was just telling me to put some clothes on. Mick: You know this is a beach, right? If anything, she’s overdressed.
The woman can see she’s not going to persuade me to magically summon more clothing to wear, and you can tell from her eyes she knows the boys won’t agree with her. Then a thought hits her like a brick to her hollow head. Woman: Just WHAT were you four doing back there? Joe: Closing up. Woman: I’m not stupid (I beg to differ).
Woman: You’re telling me she answered the door practically undressed and y’all are wearing barely anything, but nothing’s going on here. Mick (jokingly to me): Now, we’ve told you not to answer the door without clothes. I laugh. Woman: Don’t you laugh at me, you little chit! I know what’s going on here you…perverts! Sam, who is gay, is in all-out, doubled over, peals of laughter.
The woman’s daughter looks really embarrassed and is now bright red with her face in her hands. Sam: You—You think that (trails off mid-sentence in favor of more laughing) Woman: Oh, sure, everyone protects the office skank! (Joe literally falls to the floor clutching his stomach laughing) Mick: Yeah, now if you don’t mind we’re in the middle of it, so get in or get out.
It’s just then that my boyfriend shows up. Boyfriend (sees me, Joe, Sam, and Mick beside ourselves laughing, the woman looking homicidal and the daughter bright red with her face in her hands): Everything okay here? My boyfriend comes over and gives me a hug, and I get the frankly genius idea to pull him in for a kiss in full view of the woman.
She screeches, some demonic noise that only dogs can hear, and stomps off, her poor daughter in tow, and that’s the last we ever heard from her.
24. A Blessing And A Curse
I’m a 19-year-old girl, and I’m my parents’ second child. I have three brothers who are 21, 13, and 7, plus a sister, who is 16. We grew up poor and our parents were often dependent on financial help from relatives, friends, etc. for raising us. This is because even though my dad has a mediocre job and my mom doesn’t work, they just kept on popping out one kid after another.
My parents are very religious and believe that children are a gift from God. Personally, I think that’s total garbage. My parents’ reproductive choices wouldn’t bother me…if it hadn’t caused mine and my siblings’ lives to turn into a nightmare. While growing up, we never had new clothes or toys, we had to accept handouts from family members who were better off.
We never went out or did anything fun. To top it off, we were well aware that the rest of the family looked down on us for constantly asking for handouts. Now, my older brother and I have managed to get into good colleges and are looking forward to a future that would be better than our parents’ lives. He and I were staying at our parents’ place for a while.
One morning, my parents called all five of us into the living room. Mom said she had great news. The smile that was forming on my face instantly fell when she said, “We’re pregnant!” I lost my temper. I asked them how they could be so stupid and irresponsible. Do they not have enough financial troubles already that they have to bring in another mouth to feed?
My older brother tried to calm me down, but I was livid. After a lifetime of scarcity because of my parents’ stupidity, they still hadn’t learned their lesson. I asked them how they planned to provide for the kid. My dad told me I would have to give up the money our great uncle had left me. He had left all five of us some money which only we could access when we turned 18.
I said “Heck no!” That money would help pay for my college expenses. He called me selfish for not being there for my family. I told them if they couldn’t provide for the kid, they should get an abortion. My mom started crying and called me a heartless monster. Dad told me he was disgusted with me. I told them there was no way I was going to pay for their stupidity and the ONLY thing I would be willing to pay for is a termination.
What I was really worried about was my siblings’ lives getting even worse. My older brother and I have escaped our parents’ clutches but the others, especially my younger sister, WILL be expected to help take care of this baby. No teenager deserves to have their adolescence ruined by diapers and a screaming baby. I know what it’s like, as I had to go through that.
It was expected of me to be an unpaid nanny to my younger brothers and sister. My older brother could go out with his friends and have fun, but I had to stay home and help give baths and feed the toddlers. I decided to get some family members involved so they could talk some sense into my parents. I called my mom’s maternal cousin, who’s one of my favorite people and who is basically my aunt.
When I told her that mom and dad were having another kid, she reacted with “WHAT? AGAIN??” I told her everything and how they expected me to hand over my inheritance, and she said she was going to speak to my parents and told me not to sign over anything. I promised her I wouldn’t (of course I won’t). I also called two of my first cousins, one of whom is an accountant, so she could explain to my parents how much of a financial liability this baby is going to be and try to convince them to either abort or give it up for adoption.
I moved out of my parents’ home a few days ago. I just can’t bear to listen to my mom’s nagging about how “this baby is a blessing” and that I “want to kill it.” I’ve moved into a friend’s house for minimal rent. My mom’s cousin paid them a visit about a week ago and tried to tell them they weren’t doing this child any favors by bringing it into a life of poverty.
My mom was very rude to my aunt and told her that “a woman who chose to remain barren will never understand a mother’s love.” My aunt never wanted kids nor had any, which is one of the reasons she’s my favorite. My dad told her to get out. My aunt told me there was nothing she could do, but she did try. I didn’t blame her.
The cousin tried to explain the economic impact this kid would have and my mom cried about how “everyone was trying to take away her baby.” The “intervention” didn’t do anything. So now I’ve decided to cut contact with my parents, since I just can’t watch my family slide further and further into a hole. I’ll be maintaining contact with my sister (16) just to make sure my parents can’t brainwash her.
My older brother is going to stay in touch with all of them, which is a good thing as he can act as a link between me and the other siblings if my parents ever forbid them from talking to me. Otherwise, I’m done with these people.
25. Taking Me For A Ride
I’m a single parent, and I have a beautiful girl who is turning five in August. The past year I have been fighting with the ex that tried to keep my kid away from me. Lawyers aren’t cheap, and being single doesn’t exactly help with my finances. A couple of months ago, I won the lawsuit and I finally got to have my kid at my home again.
For the past few weeks she was saying she wanted a bicycle, but as I was still recovering from the lawsuit bills, I wasn’t able to afford it. This past week, I got my summer bonus which finally gave me the financial boost I needed. So yesterday I finally was able to buy my little girl her bike she wanted so badly. I enjoyed my time with her riding our bikes, but then it was getting time for dinner, which I still had to make.
So we head back home and park the bikes in the backyard. We go inside and I start making dinner. After about 10 minutes, I spot movement in the corner of my eye through the kitchen window—and my heart dropped. I see this kid just casually strolling by with the brand new bike I just got today. I ran to the front door, hoping I’d catch him before he rides away.
I was lucky I did. I yanked the bike out of his hands, and freaked out to him, saying it was mine and he had no right to just walk into other people’s back yards to take things. I was so mad. I forced him to get off my property, and set the bike inside my front hallway, thinking it’s over. Boy, was I wrong. After comforting my little girl, I return to the kitchen to continue making dinner.
15 minutes later, the doorbell rings. It’s the kid and his Evil Mother. EM: You give my boy this bike back! He found it! It’s his! Me: He “found” it in MY backyard! I got it for my MY kid today! You should try teaching your kid some manners, he shouldn’t trespass on other people’s property to take their things. EM: Don’t tell me how to raise my kid! Give me the bike back or I’m calling the authorities!
Me: (laughs) Call them! And I slam the door in her face. By this point, my kid is crying her eyes out, and I get to comfort her again, as she’s thinking she’s losing her brand new bike. Her sobbing finally over, I try continuing to make dinner, yet again. Preparation’s done, I’m about to put it all on the stove, doorbell. I flip out, storm to the door, violently open it, and get ready to just explode into her face.
Guess what, she actually called the authorities. I instantly calm down when I see it’s them and invite one of the two officers inside while the other stays with the evil woman. I explain the situation and show him the box the bike came in, along with the receipt that has my name on it. He shrugs and apologized for the inconvenience, and assured me I won’t be bothered again.
I let him out and close the door with a smug smile on my face. I check the front window to see what’s happening, and I see her go into a full tantrum. It ends with her in handcuffs and in the backseat of the patrol car. Bye Felicia! Don’t know what happened to her, and I don’t care. I finally finished dinner, and my kid still has her bike. That’s all that matters to me.
26. No Means No
This all happened around 10 years ago and takes place over the course of the absolute worst months of my life. I had just turned 18 at the time, and thanks to my mom’s gambling addiction we lost the house that I had lived in my entire life. Almost right after we lost the house, a family friend offered to let us stay at her house with her family, since she and her husband had a few extra rooms.
We move into their very large house, and at first, things were great. The family consisted of the parents and their kid, who was the same age as me. All of them were understanding and nice at first, offering to let me and my mom stay for as long as it would take for us to get back on our feet. The mom even got me my first job working as a volunteer at a bingo hall.
It was all under the table kind of money, but I didn’t care since it was money in my pocket that my mom couldn’t/wouldn’t provide me. The parents had been family friends for a very long time and were absolutely enamored with the idea of me and their son getting together, and have been ever since we were little. They constantly made comments like “look at the beautiful couple,” “you two look so great together,” or “we’ll give you lovebirds some privacy” whenever we were in the same place together.
Despite me stating several times that I didn’t like him in that way, they were determined to try to get us to work, like some kind of arranged marriage. I think that really fed into the boy’s ego, because about a month into my stay there is when the first incident happened. We were walking down the hall when he smacks my butt from out of nowhere.
I really freaked out and went off on him, yelling, cursing, and giving him a few shoves. Our parents came upstairs to see what all the yelling was about and we end up getting separated. I tell my mom what happened, and she responds by telling me “it wasn’t a big deal” and to “not rock the boat” while we were living there. The boy eventually gives some half-baked apology to me at dinner.
His dad made some joke about how he’s relieved that he’s finally taking an interest in girls since they were starting to think he was gay. Things escalate from there. Any chance he got, he would make lewd comments or find some way to grope me. Every time I went to his parents it was always hand-waved away as “boys will be boys” or “he probably didn’t mean it that way.”
They said that he was a really sweet guy deep down and I should get to know him better. On one occasion, the dad told me that I “should be flattered.” My mom was content to not do anything, enjoying the freeloading that got to feed her addiction too much, and telling me to “stop playing hard to get.” One day, he puts a hand down my shirt as I’m sitting on the couch.
I started yelling at him about how I’m sick of him doing stuff like this and to never do it again. His reaction was chilling. He gave me the most terrifying glare and told me “Shut up! You live in MY house.” After that, I was so terrified of being alone with him that I would stay after school for as long as I could until l was asked to leave, and if I ever had to go back to the house for any reason, I would just hide in my room with the door locked and wouldn’t come out until I knew other people were around.
I just didn’t know if one day he was just going to force himself on me. Fast forward a few months and I’m told, not asked, that I’m going with him as his date to his senior prom, which is in a week. The parents are super excited and tell me that we’ll have the whole house to ourselves that night after we come back from the dance. I very quickly shut that down.
I tell them that I’m not going because of how he treats me, and they spend the rest of the day doing everything they can to compel me. First, they try telling me money isn’t an issue, how they’ll pay for my dress and ticket. When that doesn’t work, they try to guilt-trip me, telling me how they ask me for so little, and how this is the least I can do, and how much he would love it.
Finally, my mom eventually hears about it after she comes home from the casino, and she’s angry. She tells me how I need to go, how it’s such a big opportunity for the both of us, and how I need to tell them that I changed my mind. I refuse, and the day after the prom is over, the parents sit me and my mom down for a talk. They start implementing new rules.
They are all about how they now expect us to pitch in for all the amenities, how we’re expected to buy our own food, and how they’re going to start charging us for rent. Before all this, they were very adamant about us not paying for anything, wanting us to save money to get back on our feet. Even without my mom spending half or all of her checks at the casino, there was no way for us to afford what they were asking. It all went downhill from there.
They subsequently gave us a month to find our own place and move out. We ended up moving out to live in a sketchy neighborhood with some guy my mom was dating, who she’d met at the casino. My mom blamed me for the entire thing, saying I “blew a golden opportunity for both of us.” How I basically threw away a great future that was all laid out for me because I “wouldn’t dance and put out.”
That cut me pretty deeply, and I still get angry thinking about it to this day. A few months later I graduated, but my mom didn’t show up to the ceremony. I come back to the house and I make a horrifying discovery. All my stuff is sitting on the curb next to the trash and had been thoroughly picked through. I found out my key doesn’t work anymore, and nobody is picking up their phone.
I end up waiting till about 3 in the morning for them to come back from the casino, and my mom tells me in so many words that I’m on my own now. Nothing I say changes her mind, and I eventually pack what little of my stuff is left into my car. I spent the next month or two couch-surfing or sleeping in my car, while trying to pick up as many days as I could at work.
Eventually, I managed to save up enough to move into my first apartment with a roommate. I haven’t spoken to my mom or those parents since then, but recently my mom left me a voicemail asking if we could talk, since she didn’t like the way we left things. Since then, she’s been blowing up my phone every day. I don’t plan on ever taking her call.
27. Here’s To You
Now, for a bit of context, last weekend was liberation day in Holland, and many cities were having festivals to celebrate. Most of these festivals have free entrance, so they tend to crack down on people bringing their own food and drinks, to increase profits from beverage sales. A friend of mine lives within the area where the festival is taking place though, so usually we drop our booze at his place and retrieve it during the festival.
Since it didn’t seem like a terrific idea to walk around with a bottle of JD, I mixed it into a 1L Coca Cola Vanilla bottle with just enough coke that it looked like coke, and went onto the festival grounds. While walking around with the bottle of “coke,” I feel a tap on my shoulder. Festival etiquette is to move over to the side to let somebody pass, after which I move along.
I suddenly feel a hand grabbing my shoulder and trying to pull me back, so I turn around, and I’m faced with a typical Karen. Her: Where’d you get that? pointing at the bottle Me: Brought it from home. Her: Can my kid have some? Me, not wanting everybody to know I had booze on me: They sell coke over there, you can buy your kid a fresh, cold one. Her: They don’t sell vanilla coke there, and he doesn’t like the regular one. He wants yours. holds out hand
Me: If he doesn’t like the regular one, I’m pretty sure he won’t like this any better… Meanwhile, the kid has started squealing about how he’s thirsty and “wants THAT one,” and the mother starts giving me a demanding stare. Me: …Okay lady, I’m going to be honest with you. Half of this bottle is Jack Daniels, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to give it to the kid. Her response made me want to scream.
Her: You’re lying! You just made that up so you wouldn’t have to share with my baby! Now give it to me! While I turn away in an attempt to disappear into the crowd, the kid grabs the bottle with both hands, wrenches it from my hand, and makes a run for it, his mom in tow. I follow them, and I find them just in time to see the kid take a few massive swigs from the bottle.
After, this he starts violently throwing up almost immediately. Figuring the best move for me would be to not further pursue the now vomit-covered bottle of Jack and coke, I decided to head over to my friend’s and mix a new one. In passing, I throw the mom a “Told you” and make my way into the crowds. Within seconds, she charges me and starts attempting to take a swing at me.
“YOU POISONED MY BABY!!! SECURITY!!!” We’re separated by bystanders, and a stallholder gets security, who questions both me and the woman. Her: He gave my baby this bottle of poison and told him it was coke! I want him detained. Guard: Sir, what’s in this bottle? Me: A premixed JD and coke, somewhat on the generous side with the JD.
Guard: And why did you give that to a kid? Me: I didn’t, sir. I was mostly planning on getting smashed myself, to be fair. They thought it was coke, wouldn’t believe me when I told them it was booze and snatched the bottle from me. What you’re seeing here is just the result of the kid taking a drink before I was able to stop him.
At this point, a bystander chimed in, confirming that he saw the kid snatch the bottle from my hand, although he hadn’t heard the conversation. Security tells the mom to not pull that ridiculous stuff again and to take her still crying kid to the first-aid post. He then instructs me to be more careful with the next batch I’m “inevitably about to make.”
28. Falling On Deaf Ears
This is about my adoptive mother. My adoptive parents are British citizens who moved to my country in the EU. They adopted me actually expecting mental disabilities, but I was just profoundly deaf. You would think that would be easier. So I grow up, and I get enrolled in deaf schools where I learn sign language. But my mother decides it’s too hard for her to learn sign language…and actually bans me from using it in the house.
I had to mime or point at things until I could start writing, upon which time I carried around a notebook everywhere. If I did try to sign, I was called disrespectful for not including her in the conversation. In a strange way, this made my written language skills very good, as well as my lip-reading skills, which many deaf people have challenges with.
It was very difficult and upsetting living with her. My adoptive father was nice but he just listened to whatever she wanted, so he became a bad parent too. I went to university and limited contacting them. The one time I tried to visit them for the holidays, I got a terrible surprise. When I rang the doorbell, a strange family answered. See, my adoptive parents had moved back to Britain without telling me. Who does that?
29. Adulting 101
Last week, I was traveling for work. It had been a long two days of meetings, and I was exhausted. I had just arrived at the airport for my evening cross-country flight home when I got the dreaded text from the airline saying my flight was delayed two hours due to mechanical problems. I decided to pass the time by getting something to eat.
I found one of those airport restaurants and sat down to order at it. I ordered my food and pulled my phone out of my bag to catch up on e-mails and browse the web while waiting for my food to arrive. While I was waiting, a family with a mom, dad, little girl about five years old, and a middle-school-aged boy sat at a table near me.
I didn’t pay them much attention as I was looking at e-mail on my phone, but then I hear the little girl exclaim in a rather loud voice, “Look mom, that lady is on her phone at the table!” I then hear the mother reply, “Yes, she shouldn’t be doing that. It is rude to have a phone at the table.” I glance over and the mother says to me, “We have a rule that no phones are allowed at the table.”
My first reaction was to say something snarky, as exhaustion was definitely getting the better of me, but then I thought again and decided to be polite. I looked at the little girl and said, “We have the same rule in my family, but since I’m here alone I’m not being rude to anyone by looking at my phone now.” At this point, the son looks like he wants to crawl under the table from embarrassment and the dad is trying to hand the mom a menu.
He says, “It’s okay, let’s just order.” I think that will be the end of it, but no. The mom says, “Obviously you have a family, so you know how important it is to follow rules. I would appreciate it if you would put away your phone.” This is in a tone that a parent would use on a petulant teen. The little girl chimes in and says, “Yeah, you have to put your phone away. My brother can’t have his phone at the table, so you can’t either.”
I look at the little girl and say in as sweet a tone as I can muster, “Well, the great thing about being a grown-up is that I can do whatever I want, so now I’m going to keep looking at my phone” and turn back to my e-mail. The mother sighs loudly, the teen looks even more embarrassed, and the dad again tries to get the mom to just order and leave me alone.
The mom calls the waiter over and asks to be re-seated. He grudgingly moves them to a different table. My food arrives, and I eat in peace, enjoying browsing the Internet.
30. The Writing’s On The Wall
When I was a preteen, my mom gifted me a diary with a tiny lock and keys. I hid the keys (taped them in hidden places) and began using it almost immediately. I was a bookworm and loved reading and writing. I was also quite neglected as a child, so my diary was the only place I could express myself and feel heard. I’d read my last entries and that allowed me to reflect on my own thoughts and actions, and learn from past situations.
It was honestly really great for my mental health. For a time, my mood and mental health improved. Time passed. I couldn’t tell you how long. Probably a few months. Shortly after I wrote an entry talking about my first wet dream, my mom got furious at me and confronted me, full-on screaming. She sat me in the living room, as she towered over me, screaming at my face.
She started asking me if I thought this was normal, that I was having depraved thoughts no child my age should have (for a preteen??? Really??? It was actually perfectly normal!), that I had promised no intimacy before marriage when I was five years old and that this was clearly going against my word. I tried to defend myself at first and protest, not understanding how she even knew about it.
Then she took out the unlocked diary as “proof” of my depravity, and my attempts at defending myself (it was just a dream) just fueled her anger more. I sat there silently crying, answering quietly whatever she wanted me to say to whatever she asked because nothing else would stop her escalation of screaming. I felt betrayed. My locked diary was my only safe place in that home.
I was careful with what I wrote in my diary after that incident and set a few tests to check if I was still having my locked diary read without my knowledge or consent. I did this by writing about innocuous incidents in a way that could’ve sounded like it was more than it was, knowing it would prompt questions out of curiosity. Every time.
It didn’t take more than two days for the questions to come. Turns out, she’d hunt for my diary’s keys and read it regularly. Needless to say, I stopped using my diary. My only breathing space had been turned against me. I significantly closed myself off from everyone. I felt if even my diary could “betray” me, then people could even more.
It was hard not writing. I no longer had an outlet for emotional or psychological relief, but I really couldn’t trust anything anymore. After a week or two without any new entries, Mom asked why I had stopped using my diary. If I had dared, I’d have rolled my eyes and asked, “Why do you think???” But I knew better than to attract attention to myself and simply said I had lost interest in such a thing.
I really should mention that this was like 20 years ago, and I’m in a really good place now.
31. A Dressing Down
I’ve been student teaching this spring in a sixth-grade class. It’s been a stressful semester, but a good one. Since day one, I have been treated 100% like a colleague and equal by my teacher and her grade level partners. I’m very baby-faced and don’t always look like I’m in my 20s, but I know these kids very well, as I subbed for them a lot last year and in this past fall.
So they already have respect for me and we have a decent relationship. This week we’re on a camping trip with four total classes. I finished student teaching, but my teacher invited me on as a teacher to get the experience. We mostly hang in the medical lodge and make sure kids take their meds each day. Easy gig after months of teaching.
The kids are happy to see me, too. Anyways. We arrived at camp. I rode on the bus with my teacher. Two of the other teachers drove their cars with student luggage, and so did some parents. I got off the bus and started to head down to the lodge with the other teachers for our meeting with the camp director and the counselors. I stopped off to fill my water bottle before heading down.
As I finished up, a mom came up to me. I smiled and was about to greet her— “You can’t wear that.” “Excuse me?” “Young lady, that is so inappropriate for a school setting. You’re going to distract my son and all the other boys. I’m going to have to ask you to change as soon as we get to our cabins.” For reference: I was wearing jeans, a black undershirt, and a tank top with thick straps that covered my bra.
You literally only saw my black undershirt that kept my bra from being seen through my shirt. Oh, and it was 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). I let out a small chuckle. I thought it was a silly mix up we could laugh about later. Nope, that set her off. “Don’t you dare laugh! I’m serious. Who is your teacher? You are so disrespectful. No wonder you’re dressed like that, trying to get the boys’ attention I bet.”
I put on my best “polite teacher dealing with parents” smile. “Whose parent are you?” She told me. Her kid was a troublemaker from another class. “Well,” I said, “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m not a student. I’m a teacher. And the camp’s dress code allows my students to wear tank tops, so do not ask them to change.”
“Now you’re lying to me?! Where is your teacher? I’m getting you sent home!” One of my teacher’s partners, Mrs. A, overheard the yelling and came over—also in a tank top. “Is there something you need, Ms.?” She asked me. I shook my head. “No, I was just introducing myself to this mother. She didn’t know Mrs. T had a student teacher this year.”
Mrs. A nodded earnestly. “Yes, she has been such an asset to all of us this semester. Your son actually got a few science lessons from her this year! She’s going to be a great teacher.” The mother was absolutely red in the face. Later that afternoon, we brought all the parents down to our air-conditioned lodge to talk them through the week ahead.
Mrs. T, who is kind of our grade’s team captain, introduced me to the parents. Everyone except the one woman was happy to meet me, and a few even said their kids loved having me as one of their teachers. The best part of the week so far was when her son ran up to me at dinner and asked in front of his mom, “Miss, can you teach seventh grade next year so you can be one of my teachers? I’m gonna miss you!”
32. Not MY Baby
In healthcare, one of the most difficult things to deal with are the family members of patients. They are understandably angry, upset, grieving, devastated, and often feel helpless. Most of the time I try to understand this and not get too annoyed when family cause problems. But these parents were on another level. One of my patients was an 18-year-old woman who had a pelvic infection.
She got very sick and required a moderate stay in hospital. She was a dream patient—open, honest, and generally a lovely person. Her parents were…none of these things. Every day they would come in and start demanding this that or the other thing from the nurses on the wards. They wanted an extra bed in the room so the mother could stay overnight.
They were rude to the student nurse who was doing their daughter’s check-ups, to the point that the charge nurse moved the student nurse to a different set of patients to get her away from them. But when the doctors were around, they were the sweetest people you ever met, right up until we were out of sight or we said no to one of their “requests.”
They were disruptive, loud, and just generally obnoxious people. Thankfully, their daughter was aware of their behavior and had informed us that she didn’t want them to be told anything about her condition unless she approved it. She was an adult, so she was entitled to her privacy. This wasn’t a huge issue to begin with, as she shared most of the details with them.
But then her mother googled pelvic infections and discovered that *gasp* sometimes they can be caused by TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS *dramatic music intensifies.* As far as she was then concerned, we had screwed up and gotten the diagnosis wrong because there was no way there was any possibility that her angel had even thought of getting it on with a boy. They demanded to see their daughter’s medical records so they could prove that we were lying about the infection.
Politely telling them to screw off was the highlight of my week. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. They came in the next day with legal papers trying to demand we hand over the medical records. Turns out, they’d lied to the lawyer because the papers were for a minor still under the guardianship of the parents, not a grown woman.
They then threatened to sue each of us individually. This isn’t America, you can’t just sue doctors randomly. They then tried to get some crackpot alternative doctor in to check her hymen. Thankfully, the daughter screamed bloody murder when the guy tried to examine her, which resulted in me getting to watch security escort and trespass the lot of them off the premises.
I honestly hope she presses charges for that.
33. Bounce On Out Of Here
I’m at a city park with my kids, and we’ve been to this park a bunch. There is this one spot where there is a rocky hill, all tree-covered. Nice and shady on a hot day. There is a playground and a pavilion at the top of the hill. We get up there and I immediately notice loud noises and I’m having to step over cables and extension cords.
You see, someone rented the pavilion and set up not one, but three, bounce houses around it. Great. So I have to give the disappointing news to my kids that even though they are surrounded by bounce houses, they cannot play in them since this is a private party, but they are free to go hit the playground. Everyone is cool. I sit on a bench as my kids go to town on the fake pirate ship when I hear “Hey!”
That’s when this father, doing his best to imitate The Situation from Jersey Shore, walks up to me and informs me that the entire playground is closed for a “private party.” I look at him and inform him that the public park does not close for “private parties” and it sounds like he rented the pavilion nearby which is fine, but doesn’t give him exclusive use of the neighboring playground.
He storms off and returns with a rental agreement and shoves it in my face. telling me to get my kids and leave. Right, so the rental agreement is very clearly for the pavilion. All for the grand sum of $35 for four hours. How could any sensible adult think that $35 granted you exclusive use of a public playground? Moreover, why is it so important for you to HAVE exclusive use of a public playground?
I, again, point out to him that he rented the pavilion, not the park, and my kids won’t go on his bounce houses and we won’t go into his pavilion, but the playground is fair game for everyone. He begins hurling threats and I’m weighing just taking my kids and leaving to avoid this jerk. Then I decide I need to take a stand on principle. So I tell him to screw off and proceed to use my phone to find the phone number for the park office.
Our county staffs our parks. During the summer months, they employ park rangers who have peace officer authority. I call the park ranger and tell him that there is trouble up at this shady playground and they need to come right away. Sure enough, as I’m getting off of the phone, Dolph returns with two of his meathead friends to tell me that they are ejecting me from the park.
No, you’re not. And if you touch me, I’m calling the authorities and pressing charges. No anger, no rage. With this promise of action, however, one of them kind of widens his eyes and steps back, saying to his friend, “Just leave them alone, man.” This guy, for some reason, does NOT want the authorities coming down on him and it is very obvious.
The ringleader won’t back down, however, and tries his best to get in my face, scream and yell. He grabs my arm, I remove his hand. All of this happens just as I see the ranger pull up, and he yells for everyone to step back from one another and come over. This smug dingus shoves the rental contract into the chest of the ranger.
He starts telling him that I’m “trespassing” and he rented this space for the day for his kid’s party. Now, normally I don’t like posturing by law enforcement, but here it was pretty amusing. Ranger: “Touch me again and I’m detaining you.” -reads contract- “This is for renting the pavilion, you have use of the pavilion but the playground is open for public use.” -hands it back- “Also, your permit doesn’t allow you to set up bounce houses. Where did you plug these in?”
Ranger follows the extension cords and sees that they ran them to the nearby public bathrooms. There was an outdoor outlet. It was locked. This dude cut the lock off so he could plug in his stuff. Ranger comes back with the broken lock. “Did you cut this lock?” “Uhhh…it was like that when I found it.” “Really? Because it was intact this morning. So some random person cut this lock and you just happened upon it within the last two hours?”
“Uhhh….I guess…” Long story short, he let them stay and let them keep the bounce castles because he didn’t want to ruin a kid’s party. He wrote the guy a citation for the broken lock and the unauthorized power use and banned him from the park for the remainder of the season (after the party). Amazingly, this entire event was lost on my children who barely noticed anything was going on, likely because of the compressor noise.
34. The Forgiveness Gift
This story is more about the kid than the parent, but the parent was supporting the behavior sooo…One summer day last year, when I had just turned 14, I was playing some basketball with these two kids from my neighborhood in their driveway. Their family is pretty rich, so they have a fully paved driveway big enough to be a sizable court.
It’s just them and me for about half an hour, until Satan’s son himself came over from down the street. This kid is the really stereotypical little jerk who made the select soccer team three years ago and still thinks that he runs the place. So we let him join the game and everything is fine for a bit. I’m a little bit on the ahem “bigger side” but I’m really strong.
So I play really well as a center, posting up and that. And the kid is guarding me and he’s getting worked. He’s shorter and not as strong so he’s getting dominated. Here’s the major incident. I’ve just grabbed a loose ball and I’m running back towards the basket. The other kid gets back before me and stops my drive, so I start to back him down again.
He must have just been really frustrated by him not getting a chance on defense, so he thinks up a plan. At this point, I was wearing a hoodie and the jerk grabs my hood from behind and pulls as hard as he can. I, not expecting my airflow to be cut off, especially while I’m breathing hard, start to panic. I can’t shake him off of my back.
I don’t know how long he’s hanging on, but it felt like a whole 45 seconds. That may not seem like that long, but I’m freaking the heck out, so it feels like forever. An eternity later, his grip loosens and I finally get him off. I’m fired up at this point, so I punch him right in the nose. Definitely not as hard as I could, but it certainly would have hurt a lot.
This guy, however, drops like he’s out cold. Meanwhile, I’m on my knees trying to get my breath back. He’s bawling his eyes out, he’s rolling and screaming and all that, being the melodramatic jerk that he is. Suddenly his mom is running over, and it was that moment where I knew I was screwed. Sometime between when he started and when I socked him, his mother came out.
She’s the typical “I want to speak to the manager” white, upper-middle class mom who volunteers to be the head of the PTA every year and goes to Starbucks 20 times a day, and the kid is very much his mother’s son. Mom: OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK? WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM Me: He just nearly choked me out, so I punched him. Mom: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE SO MUCH BIGGER THAN HIM!!!!
Me: But he was choking me out! This whole thing goes on for a while until the neighbors step in to try to protect me, but to no avail. This just goes around for another five minutes before the kid finally gets up and LIMPS, yes, LIMPS back to his house I go home because I’m sick of this and I’m tired. The next day, I try go back over, but the kid is there already.
Neither of his parents’ cars is there so I assume that he’s staying at the neighbor kids’ house until they come back. I decide to go back inside because I don’t want to interact with him. A couple of hours later, the kid shows up at our door with his mom standing at the gate of our fence. Kid: Um, hi, I was just coming over to say sorry for choking you yesterday, I won’t ever do it again.
Me: Uhhh, ok. Thanks, I’m sorry that I punched you. At this point, my mom comes to see who I’m talking to and she asks what’s going on. The mother pipes up and says the most ridiculous thing. Her: We are here for your forgiveness gift. Me: My what? Her: Your forgiveness gift, it’s a tradition in our family that the person who apologizes last has to give the other person something to make up for it.
My mom: Excuse me? What’s going on? I explain what happened and as I explain what happened, and she seems to get more and more disgusted by the situation By the way, the kid had tried to “correct” my story while I was explaining it to my mom, saying things like, “He punched me twice in the face, and then kicked me in the nuts while I was crying on the ground.” I can see from my mom’s face that she knows it’s all lies.
I finish explaining and turn back to the kid. My mom: I’m sorry but we don’t do forgiveness gifts in this family. Woman: We do in this one. Kid, pick something out. He looked around and saw my PS4, and he points at it. Kid: Mommy, I want that. Keep in mind that this kid is just about a year younger than I am, too old for mommy, too old for this whole situation in my opinion.
The mom walks up to our door and sees it’s my PS4: Great, We’ll take that as our gift, My mom, with steam billowing out of her ears, slams the door in their faces and quickly locks it. They start pounding on the door so hard that it sounds like they are trying to break it down. We leave the door, but they stay there pounding on it for at least another five minutes before finally leaving.
I still leave my neighbor’s house any time I see him walking down the block.
35. Just A Tip
After never dealing with an entitled parent in my life, I’ve now had two in the span of a few months. So I am a delivery driver for a major food delivery company in a major college town in Texas where everyone loves maroon. Normally, it’s not bad, pays pretty well, and customers are generally fine, though you’ll always have idiots in every service job.
This, however, surpassed anything I’d ever experienced before. I get an order alert on my phone, a relatively simple but expensive order (we drivers love expensive orders) from a restaurant nearby. In the portion for delivery instructions, the customer explains that I need to call her once I arrive, as ringing the doorbell (as I normally do) would disturb her autistic son.
Okay, no problem at all. I received therapy for sensory issues when I was a kid, so I’m going to be even more sympathetic to that than the average person. I receive the order, and drive over to the house (nice part of town), and give the customer a call. Younger woman answers and tells me to come up to the door. I do so. Enter the entitled mother.
Strangely, she was fairly attractive and did not have the typical Karen haircut. Me: Here’s your order ma’am, is there anything else I can help you with today? Her: Yes. My son is autistic, and people like you don’t understand how difficult it is to raise him. I shouldn’t have to pay this much for food. Can you give me a discount? Me, baffled: I’m sorry ma’am, but the app calculates your order total, not me. It’s already been paid for.
She did not like that answer. Her face changed from a smug smirk into a snarl. I suppose I didn’t realize how ridiculous the idea that people pay for their own food is. Her: Well, why don’t you pay for it then? I’m not sure if you heard, but my son is autistic, and it’s your fault that he’s still hungry! Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but that goes against our policy. If I paid for your order, I’d probably be fired.
Her: Good! You’re a useless driver anyway, you’re disgusting! My son is starving! Since I’ve had to go through so much trouble with you, you should tip ME! So, my app has a setting that while you’re in the process of taking an order to a customer, they’ll assign you another one at the same time if there’s activity. Thankfully, this saved me here.
Me: Can’t do that ma’am. Here’s your order. I dropped the food gently on the ground between us and jogged back to my car. She was shouting something unintelligible (so much for not disturbing her autistic son), but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Unsurprisingly, she gave me a one-star review (you tip online, so I got a small tip). I contacted support about it the next day.
Me: Yeah, I had a crazy lady yesterday, started demanding that I pay for her order, and even that I tip her. Really rude, not sure what the deal was. Them: Hmm, which order was it? Me: It was (order number) at (address). Them: Yikes, you’re the third person to complain about her. One or two, we take with a grain of salt, but three, you’re probably out. I’ll try to get her deactivated. If so, her review will be off your record.
Me: Thanks! Appreciate it! I feel like the entire world is better off now that she won’t get deliveries from us anymore, but was the cost worth it? That remains to be seen…
36. Girls Will Be Girls
This happened when I was 15. A boy in my neighborhood would often cat-call me and try to grab me. He was around my age. I had told him to leave me alone, I had complained to his parents, but to no avail. When I told my parents about it, they just told me to ignore him. One day when I was walking home from school, he caught up with me.
As usual, he made some filthy comments about my body, things he would do to me, etc. I walked faster in an attempt to lose him. I just wanted to get home, but he grabbed my arm and lifted up my skirt, exposing my underwear. I freaking lost it. I began punching and kicking with all my strength and with all the rage that had been building up inside me.
I didn’t stop until someone pulled me off of him. It was his mother. She screamed at me for hurting her “little boy” and told me she would be speaking to my parents. I said “fine” and walked home. I knew it would get ugly that evening, but his blood on my knuckles made me feel a little better. That evening when my parents got home, Karen was already waiting beside our front door.
Apparently, she had been messaging my parents all day, telling them about the beating. She berated them again in person. The “boys will be boys” defense was used. Here’s the fun part. My parents actually apologized to her and promised her they would discipline me. When she left, I told them my side of the story but my dad just repeated what he had said earlier: that I should have ignored him.
And, the icing on the cake, he told me if I didn’t want to draw the attention of boys, I should lengthen my skirts. Never mind the fact that I had pretty much been attacked. My mom told me to grow up and be more “ladylike” instead of getting into fights with boys. My two brothers who are younger than me were much more sympathetic.
My 13-year-old brother said he’d get his friends to gang up on him if he ever came near me. Thankfully, it never came to that. The coward never harassed me again. I guess getting beaten up by a girl can really hurt a misogynist’s confidence.
37. Mom’s The Word
I’m nonverbal due to an injury and communicate exclusively via writing and sign language, unless I want to feel like I’m pouring half-molten nails down my throat. Also, I love eating at restaurants. Denny’s, Applebee’s, little family-owned Mexican and Chinese places, etc. My husband typically orders for me to avoid me playing a game of charades with the waiter/waitress.
We were eating out one day, and apparently, this was wrong. So we were getting our food and this little kid near us, maybe eight or nine, was watching us since the restaurant was fairly empty. Right after the server leaves, the kid can audibly be heard speaking with his mother, a woman probably in her mid to late 40s. Kid: Mommy! What about her?
Mom: (She wasn’t paying attention, I’d assume) Hmm? What was that? Kid: He ordered for both of them! Mom: He what? Kid: The girl didn’t talk to him. Mom: That’s not right, let’s go see if there’s a reason. At this point, she takes a few steps over towards us, her kid in tow. Mom: Hi you two. Husband: Hello? Mom: Who is this? (She motions towards me) Your girlfriend?
Husband: Close enough, do you need something? Mom: Do you do that often? Husband: Do what often? Mom: Order for her? Husband: All the time. Mom: Could you please stop that? Husband: I’d rather not. Mom: I’m asking nicely. Kid: Can she not talk? Husband: Basica— Mother cuts him off: Just don’t do it again, I don’t want my kid to grow up to be some barbarian.
Husband: No. Feel free to leave us alone. She leaves with a huff and that seemed to be it for the night at first, as we got our food we started talking (signing), both clearly a little confused about what this strange woman’s issue was. Now, when I’m saying crazy in sign language I use the ever-known finger-pointing-to-head crazy, which I happened to start using right as she re approached us.
Mom: What are you two doing? Husband: Please go away, ma’am. Mom: I’m not going to let you teach my kid gang signs. So stop it. Husband: We’re not teaching anything, it’s si— Mom: I don’t care what it is, stop it. Just “talk” like normal people. She physically put air quotes on the word “talk,” classy. She soon walked away, and we continued our conversation with her angrily staring at us and trying to “shield” her kid from the terrible gang signs up until they left.
38. Just Desserts
I always thought these crazy people who don’t mind their own business must be a rare breed and that I would never encounter one of them, but somehow I did. So a little bit of background before I start. I was born in Pakistan but came to Canada when I was three. By that time, I could already speak in Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi (the languages are fairly similar in many regards), and then I came to Canada and English was my fourth language.
As I grew up, I also learned Arabic, French, and Japanese to varying competencies, but all within the realm of conversational. Having grown up in Canada, I have no “accent” when I speak in English, so you wouldn’t be able to tell me apart from a Caucasian person if you spoke with me over the phone. But also having learned so many languages, I’m able to pronounce a lot of sounds fairly accurately, so I sound authentic in all languages that I speak in, to all but native speakers.
Most of the languages that I know sound different enough from each other that someone that doesn’t know them can still tell that the language is different. I’ve traveled back home to Pakistan a few times, and I would always encounter those beggars who come with elaborate stories. Like, my wife is sick and she needs surgery, and I managed to get money for that, but I need money for the flight to reach her, etc.
I came up with a fun counter to that, which was that I would act like I didn’t understand them at all and would start speaking in a different language that they wouldn’t know. Japanese was my go-to language while in Pakistan. The reaction those people would have was quite hilarious. So my wife and I were at an Indian restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, enjoying our dinner and having a conversation.
We speak in a mix of Urdu and English, just mixing with whatever feels easy. To someone listening in, they would be able to understand enough to figure out what we are talking about in most cases. We were sitting in a booth table so it was only open from one side. Karen and her family—a husband, Jimmy, and two daughters—were sitting at an open table with an empty table between us.
My wife is Pakistani like me, and what some Pakistanis like to do is eat rice with their hands. I prefer a spoon myself, but at this time my wife was eating with her hands. Apparently, this Karen got offended at seeing my wife eat with her hands. When she came over, I started speaking in different languages, acting like I didn’t understand what she was saying in English.
I’ll translate what I said and put in parentheses which language I said it in. Here’s how it went: Karen walks over to our table with a sour expression on her face. Jimmy calls to her, telling her to sit back down and leave us alone, but she ignored him. She addresses my wife directly. Karen: What’s wrong with you? Can’t you eat your food in a civilized manner like the rest of us?
Me: (Urdu) Huh? What do you want? Can’t you see we’re eating? Karen looks at me with surprise. Karen: What did you just say? Me: (Urdu) [To wife] Don’t talk to her in English, just do what I’m doing. Me: (Urdu) [To Karen] You’re just a crazy woman, go sit back down. Karen: Why aren’t you speaking in English? My wife starts smiling and I try hard to keep a straight face.
Wife: (Urdu) We are just enjoying our meal, why don’t you go and sit down? Karen: I just heard you speaking in English, I KNOW you can talk in English! Me: (Urdu) Yeah, I can but I choose to not do so. Wife: (Urdu) [To me] I think she’s getting upset. Me (Urdu) [To Wife] I know, that’s what makes this so much fun. Karen: Stop it! Talk in English like I heard you before!
Me: (Japanese) So you were listening in on our conversation? Don’t you have any manners? Karen: Wait, that’s some other language now. What the heck is this?? Jimmy: Leave them alone Karen, they don’t speak English. Karen: I KNOW THEY DO! They’re just pretending not to. Jimmy: It doesn’t matter, just sit down. I start waving toward her table.
Me: (Japanese) That’s right, go back to your table, you loud cow. Jimmy: Karen, they aren’t doing anything wrong. Leave them alone. Karen: She’s eating with her hands! I can’t let the girls learn her uncivilized ways! Me: (Hindi) [To Wife] Start licking your fingers. My wife starts licking the rice on her right hand off the top parts of her fingers and that makes Karen rage even more.
Karen: OH MY GOD! Look at how gross she is being! Jimmy: Stop looking at her if you don’t like it then! Me: (Arabic) Hey you dumb witch, do you behave this way everywhere you go? Karen: He changed languages again! I know he did! His accent changed! Me: (Japanese) Yep, and I can keep changing. Karen: SPEAK IN ENGLISH! Jimmy: You must have heard them wrong. They don’t know English. Leave them alone. I couldn’t believe how much more horrible she got after that.
Karen: Then why are they living here? They don’t deserve to live here if they don’t know English. At this point, I was having a hard time keeping a straight face, so I disguised it by raising my voice and appearing angry. I gestured towards her and then pointed at her table. Me: (Arabic) Are you so dumb you can’t even listen to your husband? Go sit down and stop embarrassing yourself!
Karen: YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE HERE! GET OUT! At this point, the restaurant’s manager Singh shows up to see what all the commotion was about. He’s an Indian guy with a pretty heavy accent when he spoke in English, so I knew he’d speak either Hindi or Punjabi. Singh: Excuse me, can you please keep your voice down? What is going on here?
Karen: This woman is eating with her hands and it’s disgusting! She’s corrupting my children with her barbaric ways. Singh: Ma’am, there are no rules that forbid her from eating with her hands. Please leave them alone or I’ll have to ask you to leave. Now Jimmy gets up and comes over to where Karen is. Jimmy: Sit down Karen, you’ve embarrassed yourself enough! THIS is why I can’t take you anywhere!
Me: (Punjabi) Ignore this dumb cow, her brain is smaller than a “ladoo” (an Indian sweet). The manager starts laughing at my comment and Karen gets even redder in the face, since she probably thinks we’re making fun of her. Which, to be fair, we are. Karen: ALL OF YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY! Jimmy just takes her arm and leads her back to their table and sits her down, telling her to shut up.
Her daughters look like they want to sink into the floor from embarrassment. I ramble a few more sentences in varying languages as a kind of venting before my wife tells me to just leave it alone. We finish our dinner about 10 minutes later, with Karen glaring at us the whole time. I go pay the bill and as we are walking out of the restaurant, we pass near Karen’s table. I knew exactly what to do.
I call out to Jimmy in perfect English (with no accent) while smiling and I give him a wave. Me: Hey buddy, I hope you enjoy your dinner! Have a good night! Karen’s eyes bulge as she screams. Karen: I KNEW IT! SEE! THEY KNOW ENGLISH! She tried to stand up suddenly, but instead ended up falling over backward in her seat. My wife and I left the restaurant laughing before she could do anything else.
39. Bread And Circus
This happened almost 40 years ago. My immediate family was, for the most part, perfectly normal and boring. We were not prone to outbursts and tantrums. It was very calm and quiet. Everyone got along and we were pretty happy with our boredom. I tell you that so you understand that I had absolutely no experience at all with people prone to screaming fits.
You should also know that I suffer from a case of terminal morbid curiosity. I also don’t care about pleasing other people. Never did. Never saw the fun in it. This happened when we were visiting for my great auntie’s funeral. I was 12. My one aunt insisted that we all go out to dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. It was just the best, she said so and she was never wrong.
The gimmick here was a little flag of Italy on the table. When you wanted more dinner rolls, you raised the flag. This is important. Flag up, you get rolls. Flag down, no rolls. Remember that. The six of us are seated, they take our drink order and bring the breadbasket. With us is my poor long-suffering uncle who will one day be made a saint for being married to this woman for over 20 years.
It started with the drink order. Aunt: We will have five sweet teas. Dad: I’ll have a Coke. Mom: I’ll have a Coke. Me: Tea, no sugar (This is a mortal sin in the south). Aunt: Don’t be silly, you can’t have sweet tea without sugar! Me: I don’t like sugar. Aunt: That’s stupid. Bring her sweet tea. Waitress (who winked at me): Yes, Ma’am. Uncle: I think I’d like a Coke as well.
Emily, their daughter: I’d like a Coke. Aunt: We drink Pepsi, not Coke. We are having sweet tea. The waitress brought us our requested drinks. My aunt was growing agitated. See, likes to control everything and everyone. So she told us what to order for dinner. I’m not going to get into an ethical debate here, but I refuse to eat veal.
She demanded we all have the veal. I refused. I knew this would set her off but, oh well. I’m not eating veal. My parents, after I had explained to them years earlier why I would not eat veal, refused to eat it as well. Did I mention I get my “I don’t care about pleasing you” quality from my parents? Well, they didn’t care either. They were perfectly capable of ordering whatever they wanted.
So they did. I had lasagna. It was good. My mother’s was better. Once we ordered what we wanted, it emboldened my uncle and he stepped out of line and ordered something else as well. My aunt was NOT. HAVING. IT. Aunt: You are getting the veal. Uncle: No, I feel like something else tonight. Aunt: The veal is the best. Uncle: I still want something else.
Aunt: You won’t like it. Uncle: I’m sure I will. Aunt: You don’t know what you are talking about. Uncle: I know what I like. Aunt: Well you can’t have it. Uncle: Yes, I can! Aunt: I said no! Uncle: Well, I’m ordering it! Aunt: You always get the veal! Uncle: Because it’s your favorite and you make me. I don’t even like Italian food!
Aunt: Yes you do, it’s your favorite. Uncle: I want the lasagna. Aunt: Order what I tell you to order. Uncle: No. Lasagna. Emily: I’ll have the lasagna, too. Aunt: You can’t have that, you are allergic. Emily: No, I’m not. Aunt: I’m your mother, I know what you can and can’t eat. Aunt: (to the waitress): Bring her the veal, right now!
The whole time this is going on, I am looking from one to the other like watching a tennis match. Back and forth, with the pitch of her voice getting more and more shrill with each sentence. I was fairly certain that when we left bats would have been summoned. I’m just watching them and eating a dinner roll…The food arrives and everyone got what they wanted, even Emily, much to the fury of my aunt. Then it happens.
My uncle raises the flag. My aunt puts it down. He puts it back up. She takes it back down. Up and down, up and down. I see the bread guy hovering at the edge of the table…..waiting. The flag goes up and he rushes in to drop off the new basket before it can go back down. My aunt grabs the basket and throws it at the kid that delivered it.
To save time and typing, every time my aunt speaks, the flag goes down. The rest of the time it goes up. Aunt: You don’t need any more bread! Uncle: But I want more. Aunt: I said no. Uncle: I’m an adult, I can have more bread if I want. Aunt: No you can’t. Uncle: Why, just tell me why I can’t have more bread. Aunt: Because I said so. You aren’t listening to me.
Uncle: I’m hungry and want more bread. Aunt: You wouldn’t be if you had ordered the veal! Aunt: Yes I would. I always am but you never let me have more bread. Tonight I get more! Me: I want some more bread, too. Aunt: No, you have had enough. Me: No, I really think I want more. Aunt: Well, you are wrong. Me: You seem upset.
Aunt: That’s because you people aren’t listening to me. Me: Yes we are. We just don’t care. We want more bread. Dad (to me while trying not to laugh at how absurd this is): You aren’t helping. Me: I think you want more bread too. At this point the whole darn place is watching our table and the battle over the flag. I’m fairly sure there were people taking bets to see who would win.
In the middle of the confusion, a nice lady sitting at another table nearest Emily tapped her and slipped their fresh bread basket to her. Emily took a roll and slipped it to me. I took one and slipped it to my father, then it went to my mother who, after taking a roll for herself, slipped one onto my uncle’s plate. If you can believe it, it got even more ridiculous from there. My aunt saw it and grabbed for it.
My uncle was faster. He shoved the whole thing into his mouth at once. It was a big roll. The waitress approached the table to check to see if we needed anything (Xanax was unfortunately not on the menu) and my aunt demanded she bring the check. Me: I want dessert. Chocolate cake. Uncle: Sounds great! I’ll have some. Emily: Me too. Dad: I’ll have apple pie.
Mom: I’ll have cheesecake. Bring cheesecake for [aunt]. She loves cheesecake. Aunt: NO! We are not having dessert. We are getting the check and leaving. NOW! Dad: No, we aren’t. Aunt: Well, I’m leaving. You can all walk home. Dad: I drove. It’s our car. Aunt: I know, give me the keys. Dad. Nope. Aunt: You have to give me the keys. I live here. You are just visiting.
Dad: Yes, I’m just visiting. With my family. In our car. Aunt: It’s MY state! Dad: I don’t care. It’s my car and you can’t have it. You’re a terrible driver anyway. Aunt: No I’m not! Dad: You drive the wrong way on the freeway. Aunt: No I don’t. It’s the other cars going the wrong way! Dad: You get lost in your own neighborhood. Aunt: Not always.
Dad: You are not driving my car. Aunt: Yes I am! Dad: No you aren’t. That ladies and gentlemen, continued while we ate dessert and paid the check (my father was buying). As we walked to the car, and for the entire trip back to their house, my father drove. We dropped them off and went back to our hotel room. Dad to my mom: Has your sister always been this crazy?
Mom: No, it started when she was about three. Dad: What happened? Mom: She started speaking in complete sentences. Dad: Ah……
40. From Quirky To Concerning
A little over a year ago when my neighbor moved into the townhouse next to us, things seemed great! Their kids were nice, and overall seemed like they were part of a loving, normal home. They were quirky, but nice people who were always willing to help, from installing a screen door, to enjoying a drink and a decent conversation about home improvement.
One day, red flags started popping up. Halloween came up a few months after they moved in and we could hear all kinds of banging and pounding coming from the side of the house they are attached to. We thought it was just the kids playing and having fun until the father called me crying on the phone about how he was so angry they didn’t get invited to a big party at the next house over.
The owner of that house has a policy with all the neighbors: “If my garage door is open, feel free to stop in and join us, you are always invited.” It was weird for them to get offended over that, but I brushed it off. A few weeks later, their kids got the idea that our dog should have sleepovers with them and they started asking to walk him sometimes. Which at first we thought was cute, and it was! Until one day, it went too far.
The kids were asking about having a doggy sleepover once in a while, and their mother pulled me away from my wife. She said that it was really unfair that we get to have our dog all week long and that they have to build their schedule to see him around our lives and when we were home. I really had no clue what to say, but then she doubled down, insisting that their family should have him on weekends because I work shift work and get to see him all week long as much as I want.
Our relationship with them ended entirely after we caught one of their kids scratching our cars accidentally and they told us to call the authorities when we tried letting them know what happened. We didn’t want money or for it to be fixed, we just wanted their kids to be more careful…
41. Every Dog Gets Her Day
Many years ago, I was living in a beautiful sunny southern state. I had a cute little house that was completely fenced in: 5’ fence in front, 8’ fence on the sides, and a 10’ chain link fence in the back. I’m fortunate enough to work from home. My “office” was my patio unless it was raining. My dog, Sarie, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, kept me company.
At a year old, she was a big girl at 120lbs. She was generally very sweet and kind but protective. She was well trained but also had a knack for disappearing to play with her animal friends, so I kept her on a chain too if we were outside. High school kids in the area had the tendency to use the alleyway behind my house to get to and from school.
Most would stop and say hi to Sarie and give her attention. She loved it. I honestly didn’t mind. One day, I noticed that any time Sarie was alone outside, some kids would rattle the back fence, throw things at it, then scream and yell at Sarie. The kids would run off before I could see who they were. In case things got worse, I bought some security cameras and brought Sarie with me anytime I went inside when the kids would be around.
One day, I had to grab some work in the house and left Sarie outside, just for a moment. From inside, I heard the fence rattle, and then Sarie yelp in pain. I rushed outside just in time to see a kid try to throw a rock at Sarie, along with some other kids. I was furious—but I knew just what to do. As I rushed over to Sarie, I calmly asked them: “Did it ever occur to you to wonder why I keep my dog chained in a fenced yard?”
Then I unhooked her. Sarie ran at my back fence and climbed over it. The kids started running down the alley with Sarie right behind them, barking away. I let her go about half a block, then whistled for her. She came trotting back all happy as can be. I checked her over and gave her a treat, and she was fine. A couple of hours later, one of the kids came back with his mother…an entitled mother.
Her (screaming) “You witch! You had your dog attack my son! He was only having a fun time! He’s just a boy! [this kid was at least 16] You scared him! It was just a joke! You had no right to do that! I’m calling the authorities and having that dog shot!” Blah, blah, blah. I literally couldn’t get a word in. Then she starts threatening me.
So, I called the authorities. The operator could hear her plain as day even though she was at least 40 feet from me. Officers showed up in about five minutes. two cars. I guess they were in the area. Four officers, all very nice guys. Two officers come to talk to me, the other two talk to the woman and her son. She never stopped screaming and cussing.
I explained what happened and showed the video I had taken to the officers. I also show all of Sarie’s vet and training paperwork. I filed a report and asked to press charges. The officers are petting Sarie all the while because she’s demanding attention from her new friends. She has her happy face on. Yes, Sarie actually smiles when she likes people.
The three of us and Sarie (on a leash) go outside towards the other group. We’re about 10 feet from them when Sarie suddenly cuts in front of me to stop me and starts growling. The skin around her face went tight; making it look like a hair-covered skull. The hair on her back raises up. Sarie is very scary when she’s like that. But I knew something was very, very wrong.
Mother (screaming): “See! That witch raised that dog to attack people. That dog needs to be put down!” I called back one of the officers that I had been talking to. He didn’t want to come too close as Sarie is showing large teeth at this point, so I moved back toward my house. As quietly as I could, I told the officer that either the mom or the kid was carrying a gun.
That’s why Sarie started getting protective. It had happened several times before. I guess to err on the side of caution, or else to shut me up, he decided to search the mom and kid. Yep, the mom had an unregistered piece, while the kid had an illegal switchblade. So, in addition to a charge of animal cruelty, they got nailed for carrying a concealed weapon, being in possession of a firearm while on probation, resisting arrest, and a couple of other charges.
This woman never stopped screaming the entire time this happened and while being driven away. I don’t think that’s how she or the kid expected to end the day, but I enjoyed it. Even better, I never saw her or her kid again and the kids stopped harassing Sarie.
42. Does Not Compute
Dear Entitled Mother, Thank you so, SO very much for your complete and utter lack of patience when getting on the bus, which resulted in breaking part of my $55,000 wheelchair and me needing to call the authorities for help…So I was on the bus tonight heading to a workshop that I was fairly excited about. Things were great until slightly before my stop when two adults got on.
One was with a toddler and the other was wheeling a stroller. It is strict corporate policy that all strollers must be folded before being brought onto the bus, but not enough drivers actually enforce it, and this was one of those MONSTER Cadillac strollers to boot. The entitled mom brought her unfolded stroller on the bus and, seeing the front entirely occupied by disabled people (including myself) decided to push past toward the back.
Only…her behemoth of a stroller wouldn’t fit in the space available, and she started ramming it along my wheelchair to plow it through. Me: Hey! Watch it! Mom: *keeps trying to squeeze through* Me: Careful! I can feel you tugging at stuff! Her: *doesn’t stop* Finally, she managed to push through and moved back. I fumed for the next few blocks, pushed the button for my stop, and turned on my wheelchair…
Then I got a “left brake disconnected” error. I tried again. Repeated errors. Me: Ffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuu… The next several minutes were spent with the bus pulled over, passengers getting mad at ME for “causing” a delay, while I panic trying to figure out how to get off the bus. Finally, a guy flipped my electric/freewheel release switch on and off several times and that managed to convince my chair to work enough for me to get off my bus and get about 15 feet away before it suddenly turned itself off.
I turned it back on. It started throwing up a “charger inhibit” error, which basically is the error you get when you try to start moving when you’re still plugged into the wall outlet. The next hour was a progression of events that saw me sitting on the ground with the back of my chair opened up as I went through everything, trying to figure out what the ever-loving heck was going on. I even called the authorities because I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get home, since my wheelchair repair company doesn’t have after-hours service.
In the end, I discovered that two different things had gotten disconnected, and when I fixed them my chair started up just fine. The lovely officer helped me get the cover back on my chair and, more importantly, helped me get safely back into my chair. I said screw it, skipped the workshop, went home, showered the icky sidewalk off of me, and had a couple of drinks.
None of this would have happened if that Entitled Mother had just taken one second to fold her stroller up. Or, I dunno, STOPPED when I repeatedly asked her to…But no, she was far Too Important to do such basic stuff like that. And yes, my wheelchair is actually $55,000. I know that sounds like a lot, but given that according to the order form I just looked at, the joystick cover alone is $85, it doesn’t surprise me at all.
It has three different tilt/adjustment settings that drives the cost up enormously. I love shouting at people who drive too close to me that my wheelchair costs more than their car.
43. Back Of The Line
I dearly wish I could claim this was me, or even a relative, so I could claim this degree of clever was in my genes. But it was not. It was a bouncer at a small-town club, and when he made the comment there weren’t even the expected, cinematic ‘OOOOOHHH!” Or ‘WHAAAAT!” reactions one would expect. Just an echoing silence from about 40 onlookers.
So, this mother and daughter pair was trying to get into the club late in the evening. The daughter was clearly young, and actually reasonably attractive in quite a nice, fashionable outfit. The mother was not obese, but certainly overweight, and had shoehorned her corpulence into hot pants and a tank top that would have been trashy on a supermodel, and friends…she was no supermodel.
Badly dyed stringy hair, cheap bulky jewelry, spray-on orange skin, all the trailer-trimmings. I didn’t hear how the exchange started, but clearly these two were trying to cut ahead of the line. The bouncer, this massive, action figure of a Black man with an oddly babyish face and the patience of Job, had denied this effort. Hilarity ensued.
The daughter threw a few verbal jabs but seemed to be just mildly irritated. The sideshow of a mother lost her bloody mind. Shrieking prejudiced epithets that would curl the ear-hair of a bystander, and every horrific name you care (or do not care) to imagine. Interspersed with the expected “Do you know who I am,” and “Get me the owner,” etc.
The bouncer just stood there and didn’t react with anything but polite direction. Downright heroic. After a few minutes of this vile screeching, the daughter is now embarrassed as heck and trying to pull the mother away. People are gathering to watch and the whole thing has become a spectator sport. The bouncer just kept politely saying “You will need to go to the back of the line like anyone else ma’am” or variations on that theme.
By now the woman wasn’t even trying to argue the point, just squealing the revolting, and at this point quite repetitive, insults. Then she screamed that he was an awful bouncer and would get fired that night. Then she tried to slap the bouncer. She missed, quite badly, at which point the bouncer took a single step forward as she fell back with a shriek.
He then said quite loudly: “Ma’am, at any point tonight have I ever told you how to get off flabby obese old men in an alley? Clearly baffled, she said nothing but sputtered… he continued: “No, Ma’am, I have never said anything like that. Not once. I don’t tell you how to do your job, so don’t tell me how to do MINE.” Silence. Like, 40 people in the street, not a sound.
She yelled a couple more things, then scuttled away with her daughter dragging her by the arm. It’s been over a decade, but I still want to go find that bouncer and buy him a drink.
44. Time’s A-Wasting
I was outed as gender-fluid, aromantic l by my brother about four months ago. My parents didn’t take it well, and they liked to pretend that nothing happened. Well, yesterday, my parents came to me and said, “It’s time to cure your sin.” I started to panic inside, but only replied, “Okay, which sin are you talking about?” They said, “Your homosexuality.”
Yes, being aro/ace isn’t technically that, but they don’t care to learn the difference. They led me to the computer and sat me down, then they pulled up an online preacher and said “You’ll listen until you no longer feel gay.” So I sat there. I listened to this guy’s talk; it was about 25 minutes long. At the end, my parents came up to me and asked if I “still felt gay.”
I responded that I can’t really change how I feel. They put on another one. This went on for four hours until they finally gave up. I hope they never try again.
45. I Know Something You Don’t Know
I took my seven-year-old daughter to an animal sanctuary, and they announced that they would be feeding a baby sloth at a certain time, so my kiddo and I head over to wait. My kid was right at the front, close enough to look the sloth in the eye. Karen was standing to the right of my daughter. Suddenly Karen’s son, who looked to be about 11 years old, comes shooting through the crowd and stands right in front of my kid.
Now, my kid has a list of neurological disorders and can’t yet navigate the finer points of social interaction, so she freezes and starts to tear up. The following exchange occurs: Me: Excuse me, you’re standing in front of my daughter. Kid: [dumbfounded look but doesn’t move]. Me: Hey bud, could you please move to your right? You’re blocking my daughter.
Kid: [decided to give his balls a tug and replied] So? Me: So…don’t be rude. Move PLEASE. Mother [in Hindi to her child]: Ignore this stupid witch, son. This was her biggest mistake. Me: [pushes my kid forward in front of the jerk kid, then says quietly to the mother in Hindi] Auntie, this white witch knows Hindi [huge grin] The mother grabs the kid and hot-foots it out of the crowd.
Today’s lesson, kids: Don’t assume someone doesn’t speak a language because they are a different ethnicity.
46. Nowhere Safe
I am currently in custody of my two little sisters. Amy is 17 years old and Liza is eight, while I am a 29-year-old male and we live in Australia. This is the story of how my family felt they were entitled to both of my sisters’ bodies and I wouldn’t stand for that. The main part of the story takes place about a year ago. I’d moved out six years ago at the time and moved to another state for work and study.
I was honestly really slack with keeping in contact with my family, which is probably why this went on so long. When I do think back to the time before I moved out, I didn’t treat Amy the best and if I hadn’t moved out and had so little contact with my family, I may have turned out just as entitled as the rest of my family and just as much of a horrible person.
I came back to visit for a grandparent’s birthday. After spending so long away I spent the morning catching up with aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents of course, and Liza. Now, this was actually the first time I’d really realized the oddities of my family. Perhaps it was the change in environment, but it was the first time I’d noticed how quiet the little girls of my family were.
I guess I’d always just thought of Amy as shy and quiet, but my little cousins were so much the same—polite, shy, quiet, and obedient, though at the time I brushed this off. After a few hours, I realized that Amy was nowhere to be seen all day. The party was at my parents’ house so this confused me, and I slipped inside to see if she was cooped up in her room like a lot of 16-year-olds would be, talking to friends or doing homework. What I found is a memory that will haunt me forever.
My oldest uncle on my father’s side, laying over my sister who was quite clearly in a lot of pain and struggling not to cry as he pinned her beneath him. I completely lost it as any brother would, shouting at him to get off her and out of her room. I scared the heck out of both of them but in that moment, I was honestly ready to completely ruin my uncle.
Amy was pretty messed up in the head when I tried consoling her. She was covered in scars, had a rash that I later found out was an allergic reaction, she didn’t speak and looked at me as if she expected me to hurt her too. Her room was dimly lit, the blinds taped closed to her wall, all the things she’d had when I left were gone, leaving her bedroom feeling cold and empty.
To add insult to injury, she was a month pregnant. When I demanded an explanation from my parents, I wanted to vomit when I heard their answer. They said that it was my uncle’s right. I stormed off back to Amy’s room, quietly packed her a bag of necessities, and managed to sneak her out of the house and into my car before doing the same with Liza.
Part of me wanted to get all my cousins out too, but my main focus was on Amy right now, who sat trembling in the back of my car. I drove them both to the closest police station to report what was happening. I’ll skip most the details of the court battle that ensued, but my family did not take kindly to being outed for what they were doing.
Apparently, it was a tradition that spanned generations, and “there shouldn’t be anything wrong with tradition.” Amy and Liza were put into temporary foster care, and Amy was wreck. To her, everyone could and would hurt her, and I got reports every few hours that she was having a panic attack. Three of my uncles went behind bars for a very long time.
I got a fair bit of money out of a range of family members, full custody of both Amy and Liza (no enforced visitation to their parents), and my parents had to pay for any therapy costs, medication, and medical needs for both of them. My family was torn in two by this, with many of my aunts leaving their husbands with their children after finally having the courage to follow me.
Uncles who had married into the family took their wives and cut off ties. I still keep in contact with these members of my family and I’m grateful for their support and glad that my cousins are safer now. Even some of the older guys who had been brought up thinking it was okay to treat women that way took themselves into counseling once they realized just how messed up it was.
Now I do believe some part of the ruling protected the younger men of the family provided they seek some form of mental health help, as they grew up thinking that this was all normal. No one is sure who fathered Amy’s child, but she had her pregnancy terminated as we were told her physical and mental health would not cope with carrying a baby she ultimately would unlikely care for.
She did consent at the time and it was brought up by her psychologist once she was doing better and she confirmed that it was what she wanted. Liza, for the most part, was okay, but Amy had completely shut down. It took two months before I could even get her to speak. She trusts me now and we often sit down, and I let her talk and open up about whatever she feels comfortable about.
I did get Amy a service dog a few months ago, tailored towards the emotional support she needs on a regular basis. Lickity Split honestly is the goodest of good doggos. She knows exactly when she’s needed and is a massive help when it comes to calming Amy’s anxiety, especially in public. We’ve had more than one encounter with unrelated entitled parents thinking they or their kid deserves her dog more than her.
But anyone who does think that can honestly fight me, no one deserves her dog more than her. On one occasion, one of my aunts tried taking Lickity Split because “their money paid for her.” I told her if she ever comes near my property again, I would call the authorities as there was a restraining order against her towards both my sisters.
Later she came back and tried to poison Lickity Split with tainted meat, but one of my lovely neighbors caught her and chased her off. Officers were called, and she is now behind bars too after having to pay a fine and some money to me because at this point, I’m pretty well acquainted in the court system and sued her. My family still tried to get my sisters out of my care, too.
They would report me for everything from animal mistreatment to trafficking. I’ve actually become pretty chummy with the local officers who have to inspect their claims, but they know I’d never do anything to endanger my custody over the girls, they mean the world to me. But recently, everything came to a terrible head once more.
A few weeks ago, my mother contacted me saying she wanted to talk. I was hesitant, but agreed and we met up in the next town over. My mother explained how she was in the process of divorcing my father and she wanted to have a relationship with me and my sisters, with emphasis on mending her bond with Amy who had not called her mom in years.
She explained how she was pressured into the marriage after she had gotten pregnant with me and never wanted that life for her daughters. I flat out told her no, as she could have done literally anything to support Amy emotionally while it was happening—done anything to make her feel better or more secure, but instead she was shunned and isolated except for when she was needed to cook, clean, or provide some sort of service to the family.
Amy was well past her breaking point when I took her. People I’ve talked to have convinced me that when Amy is in a better place mentally and Liza is older, I bring it up with them about their mom, and leave the decision in their hands. This story doesn’t have a slam dunk ending. I have my sisters and they’re in a safe environment where they’ll get to grow up as kids. Amy is getting the help she needs and is slowly making her way out of the tower she built to protect herself in the only way she could, but she knows there isn’t a rush to come out.
I’ll work with her at the pace she sets. She’s still discovering her own interests but quite likes just reading a book with a form of fruity tea. She also has a small collection of stuffed animals (mostly build-a-bear) that she adores and takes one with her everywhere—she’s sensitive to texture so the feeling is a comfort for her—and once a week we sit down to try to find older bears she likes.
Honestly, I’ve loved helping Amy discover herself. Watching her find her favorite book genre or her favorite types of music is a great feeling, knowing how far she’s come.
47. A Hairy Situation
My parents had a strict clean-shave policy when I was growing up, but now I am an adult and live on my own. I had grown a kind of long beard and was visiting my family. My parents are intense Islamophobes and they were horrified seeing my “Muslim” beard. They asked me to shave it because people might think I have converted to Islam and it’s going to tarnish my family’s reputation.
I basically told them to screw off and mind about their own hair rather than my beard. I thought it was over—I was so wrong. Today I was sleeping on the couch and my mom cut my beard off. Now it’s an ugly mess and I have no option but to shave it off.
48. Same Difference
This happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. She passed in a hospital, and I was outside talking to the owner of the funeral home. This dude was also my godfather, and I had a very good relationship with him. It might sound weird that my godfather is the owner of a funeral home, but to me, it’s not.
He’s known me since I was a baby and he treated me like I was his son. Also, to me, his job is just like any other job, and it even has its benefits. Anyway, we were just outside the hospital, talking to each other. Parked in front of us were all the company vehicles, including the one you are all thinking about: The hearse. All of a sudden, this Entitled Mother approached us.
EM: Hello. Me: Uh….hello. She had her kid just next to her and he was holding a drink. EM: I was wondering if my son could take a ride on the limousine. She then pointed her finger to the hearse. It took me a while to respond for two reasons. The first one was because that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head, and a stranger coming to me out of nowhere caught me by surprise.
I am a very introverted person, and I find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know. The second reason was because I was holding in my laugh. She legitimately thought that the hearse was a limousine. Me: I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not— EM: Are you going to say no to a little child? At this point, I don’t know what to say. Me: Miss, believe me. You don’t want your son to go in that thing.
EM: Ugh…Why are you so stingy? Even if he spills his drink in the limousine, it won’t be a problem. You have enough money to buy a limousine, so you’ll surely have enough to clean it. This is when my godfather comes in. GF: Excuse me, miss. What do you want to do? EM: I want my son to ride the limousine! My godfather then said the most epic thing I have ever heard.
GF: thinks for a bit Well, sure he can ride the limousine. But only if he has a coffin to be in. The mom is a bit confused about this response. Then she takes a good second look at the “limousine,” and realized her mistake. I have no idea how she confused a hearse for a limousine, perhaps the company logo was out of her view or something.
However, when it dawned on her, her skin got pale and she just walked away as fast as she could with her kid. My godfather and me just look at each other and start laughing.
49. Playing Favorites
My fiancé and I have been together for eight years and engaged for three. I was doing my PhD program and was juggling planning the wedding. My fiancé took much of that work, but it was perfect because our dream venue was booked until after my graduation, so what we did is book our dream venue three years in advance.
It is really a beautiful venue, and the only slot we got was September of this year. My sister got engaged a few months ago to her fiancé. They were planning on having a spring wedding next year. They had no venue lined up, but had a few vendors lined up as well as a set date. Yesterday, our parents invited us and our significant others to a family BBQ, where my sister announced to our extended family that she is expecting.
Everyone was so happy for her and my brother-in-law, who is a great guy. My Nan asked my sister if the wedding was still on the set date or if they were going to wait. because of the baby. She said no, that she hoped to move it to September. No big deal for us. We don’t have many out-of-town guests, so they could attend both weddings no problem.
Nan was happy and asked my sister if she needed help planning such a short notice wedding. This is where the horror started dawning on me. My sister then turns around and says, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I was really, really hoping we could kinda, like, take your venue? I really cannot stress myself too much with planning a wedding while going to maternity classes. And I think it is so beautiful! It would really mean a lot to me.”
It went silent, but everyone was looking at me expecting me to say, “Yes of course everything for my little sister!” My brother-in-law looked very uncomfortable and told her that they had talked about this and that it was not okay to put me on the spot. But my sister just said, “Don’t be like that! My sister wants to do what’s best for me, so it’s no big deal right?”
I just said “Well, it kind of is. I don’t know. I have my heart really set on the venue.” Cue the crying. She stormed off. My family’s reaction infuriated me even more. Nan told me that I was being selfish because she needed the venue more than I did. I tried to defend myself and my mother said, “You waited three years already. Would it have hurt you to wait a few more months? When has your sister ever asked you for something?” A few comments later, my fiancé got really mad and we left.
Later, my sister called me crying and said that it was unfair that I always get what I want and that I could have done this one thing for her. Dad said it is just a venue and what matters is the person who you are marrying. He is kind of right…but we have been planning for so long. My fiancé is furious with my family and doesn’t even want my sister to come. Now my family is threatening not to come because I am being selfish and my sister needs it more than me because having a baby is too stressful.
My brother-in-law called me and apologized for the inconvenience. He told me he had discussed it with my sister and she had told him she would not ask. He is properly mad with her now and warned me that my sister is blaming me for “potentially ruining her marriage.” My father has sent me about five texts along the lines of, “I hope you are happy. Your sister hasn’t stopped crying since yesterday” and so on and so on.
My fiancé and I have decided to boot my sister from the bridal party and replace her with my aunt, who is the only family member that took my side. We have not decided whether or not we will invite my family as a whole. Furthermore, my mom took it upon her to tell on us. She called my fiancé’s parents and told them that it would be best if my sister gets it because she is pregnant.
My future father-in-law told them to screw off and basically ripped my mom a new one for expecting something so ridiculous. He said they were going to lose me if they kept playing favorites. So my mom is now crying too and saying that my father-in-law is a jerk. This is just getting so pathetic. It seems straight out of a bad soap opera. And then it practically became a soap opera.
Sometime after this, and after hearing I was upset about her selfishness and posted this story on the Internet, my sister started contacting me again and saying I was being unfair. That she is family and that she asked it nicely because she loves me. She also underlined the fact that the opinion of internet strangers doesn’t count because family is more important and I should focus on making my family happy.
The only text I sent back was this. I am sorry that you perceived it that way. I did not in any matter distort what happened. As you might notice I didn’t describe your tone nor exaggerated anything. Perhaps you have that night different in your mind than I do, but I digress. I am sick and tired of bending to your will. My whole life I have been your servant and your doormat.
Remember all the birthdays I had to share with you because you would throw a tantrum because you didn’t get presents? Or when you cried so that I would fill out job applications for you? But the thing that has hurt me most till now is when you ruined my graduation. I am done. I admit that I also spoiled you but I will not any longer.
If you want to marry so bad before your baby is born, then you could look at [hotel x] that offers last-minute weddings. I have spent too much time planning MY wedding to gift it to you. And if you want to ruin our relationship over this, then go ahead. I will sleep sound and safe knowing that it wasn’t my fault. She only sent me a “Wow…You must love me so very much.”
And blocked me. She unblocked me this morning to send me a supposed message from MY wedding planner talking about rebooking the venue. Throughout this, my parents haven’t actually written me since the thing with my father-in-law. My older brother contacted me and wanted to know what happened because he got a weird story from mom and dad.
Mom had told him that previous to the BBQ, I had offered to give up the venue to my sister and that I humiliated her on the day—my brother wasn’t at the BBQ. I told him what really happened and he had no problem believing me. We talked a lot about our parents’ behavior and he confessed that his moving far away was partly due to our parents being jerks to us.
He told me that mom was mad at me for betraying my family. I haven’t written my parents because I have to come to terms with the fact that they love my sister more than me, if they love me at all. Anyway, we continued with OUR wedding. We put passwords with the majority of our vendors and also with the venue directly. We didn’t talk to our planner yet, which is why my sister’s text worries me so much.
Also, we canceled the catering that my parents paid for. So short-term, we won’t be able to get full catering like we wanted to. But all our friends and my fiancé’s family will help us prepare a buffet, and everyone is going to chip in. That will be our bachelor party. As we will have to spend more on our food now, we canceled our bachelor parties and will have a family and friends cooking session.
We called my planner and she was actually really horrified. She told me she never had as much as talked to my mother or sister since the day we went to book the venue. She assured me that even if they were to call and say that I wanted to give it to my sister, I had to be present to make any changes. So we informed everyone that will work for us on our wedding and they offered to hire security for that day at a reduced price.
I am finally realizing just how toxic my family is. I will try to sort it out. If they apologize from the bottom of their hearts, they will be allowed into my wedding, but if not…Then well…I still have my brother, who will be walking me down the aisle, and my aunt.
50. Giving New Meaning To “Food Fight”
I can finally air my uncensored frustration about the night my engagement was single-handedly corrupted by my entitled mother-in-law. Let’s call her “Ellen.” Ok, so my girlfriend and I were really engaged to be engaged. We’d both agreed we wanted to get married, but I hadn’t done the formal proposal yet because we wanted to meet each other’s families first, since neither lived nearby.
I always thought the old trope about meeting the in-laws being a big fiasco was a myth, both because I was younger and more naive then, and because I’m lucky to have easy parents. My girlfriend met my parents for a few hours. Once we were alone just me and them, I told them my intentions and my mom asked, “Does she have any kids already?”
My dad asked, “Does she have a good solid job?” And they both asked, “You really love her?” And that was that, I had their full support for the marriage. I thought meeting her parents would be the same. Some grilling was to be expected, but as long as I was honest and respectful, it would all be fine. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
Relevant fact, my girlfriend’s parents had her when they were teenagers, by surprise, so they later had a “do-over daughter” (their words, not mine!!) who was just six years old. My girlfriend and I made the trip up to their city and I met them for the first time over dinner at a steak house. It was pretty upscale, and we’d scheduled the dinner for 8:00 pm, so I was surprised to see they’d brought the kid along with them.
I met everyone at once and the initial awkwardness settled once we’d sat down. We were making great small talk when the six-year-old said she was thirsty. No big deal right? Well, all of a sudden, my girlfriend’s mother Ellen starts screaming. “Water? Water! WATER?!” A waiter came rushing over to see what the commotion was and, without even making eye contact with the poor guy, Ellen went, “We’ve been here forever and no one’s even gotten us any water. My daughter’s been asking.”
We had been sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes without service, it was true, but they were visibly behind, and there were no circumstances that would’ve warranted that shouting. I should’ve realized from how unfazed everyone else at the table was that I should be bracing myself for a long night, but I couldn’t imagine what was to come at that point.
The waiter rushed over with water and apologized for the delay, explaining a few very large parties had arrived all at once. The guy was seemed sincere, and quite affable, so I thought the water would just be an anomaly in an otherwise pleasant night. Then Ellen kicked into full gear. “We’ll need a kid’s menu.” She informed the waiter.
He said that they didn’t have a kid’s menu, but that the chef could simplify most dishes. “What do you mean you don’t have a kid’s menu?” Ellen replied in total disbelief, as though he’d said they didn’t have a fire exit. He explained they didn’t get too many child visitors and that there were enough plain foods on the menu that no separate menu had ever been necessary.
Ellen sighed dramatically and waved him away. Literally, without saying a word, waved him off from the table. I tried to give him an apologetic glance but, understandably, he didn’t look back our way. I was so glad the poor guy left and didn’t have to be subjected to her anymore. Meanwhile, she turned her attention on me, and I almost wished he’d come back.
At least he was getting paid to be here. She was like, “So you’re a screenwriter?” And I explained, “Well, yes and no. I want to be, but it’s hard to get a job in that field that you can support yourself on, so I’m working at a non-profit right now. There’s a screenwriting component to the job though, so I’m really happy there.”
Ellen turned to her six-year-old and went “Hear that? You want to be sure to snag a man who works for profit. Learn from this. It’s not too late for you.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be funny or not. So, I just let it pass, looking over to my girlfriend to see if she was even considering speaking up on my behalf. Nope. The waiter came back, visibly nervous.
That hurt, because he was so relaxed and personable at the start of the meal. He asked if we’d like to hear the specials before we ordered and Ellen said sure. Here’s how that went. Waiter: First we have a lightly seared strip stea— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Oh… uh, ok. Then we have a broiled leg of grass fed— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Uh, we, uh, we have a pasta primavera mixed with—
Ellen: NEEEEXXXXTTTTTTUHHH And on and on until he’d gone through all seven or 10 specials, even though she ultimately ordered off the menu, a plain rib eye, well done. She tried to order her daughter the same, but the kid said she just wanted plain mashed potatoes, so Ellen let her get mashed potatoes alone for dinner. Then…she sent the waiter away! The rest of us hadn’t even ordered yet!
And everyone else just sat there like it was entirely normal! I waited for someone to say something, thinking it was more her older daughter (my girlfriend’s) place or her husband’s, but when no one did I couldn’t help myself. “I, uh, was the one steak and potatoes going to be for all of us, or?” My girlfriend explained, in the tone you’d use for a tourist violating a sacred local taboo, “My mom always has the waiter put the kid’s food in first, so it can get started right away. We’ll order once the kitchen has hers.”
I thought she was joking, since Ellen didn’t just order her kid’s food, she also ordered her own dinner, too. So I laughed. “Something funny?” Ellen asked. Then I realized she was serious, and I shut up. Thankfully, her dad at least recognized that what was normal for them might not be as regular to me, and tried to lighten the mood with a change of topic.
But not even 10 minutes after she and her daughter had ordered, Ellen started in again. Another table, that had been there long before we were, got a side order of mashed potatoes with their meal. Ellen threw a total conniption. She was sputtering so inaudibly that none of us could figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, she managed to flag down some busboy who barely spoke English and began laying into him like he’d just side-swiped her on the freeway.
He kept trying to explain he wasn’t a server and he could go get one, but she wouldn’t stop to breathe long enough for him to find someone who could actually help. All the while, I kept looking at my girlfriend for signs of embarrassment, or at the very least irritation, but you wouldn’t have known if she was even hearing any of this.
Our waiter came over, somehow still feigning a smile despite knowing what he was walking into, and Ellen actually goes, “Why did that table get mashed potatoes and ours haven’t come yet?” The waiter kindly but concisely explained, “Well Ma’am, those people ordered potatoes before your party had placed their order.” Ellen looks this man in the eye (finally) and says, “Well it doesn’t matter when they ordered it. My daughter is the youngest one here! Her food should come out first.”
You could tell the waiter was working hard to restrain himself at this point. He explained it was a first come, first served, policy and age didn’t help one way or the other. He offered to go check on the potatoes, Ellen agreed, or more specifically she said, “Yah, you better!” but I was clocking him and he went right back to his server station…because we had only just ordered a few minutes ago.
Three or five more minutes passed, during which we could have no other discussion at the table except how awful this restaurant was, how hungry the poor baby was (who hadn’t said a word about being hungry this whole time and was contently playing her loud iPad game, without headphones, disturbing all the other diners around us), and how America has lost all respect for motherhood because it’s just a “me, me, me” culture now.
I chimed in, “I’m with you on that last part.” And to my utter shock, instead of laughing at my joke, my girlfriend seemed annoyed with me! So after a few minutes, the waiter comes back and says the potatoes will be out very soon. Ellen then goes and does something that, again, I thought was just a myth. She took three singles and a five out of her wallet and put them on the table in full view of the waiter.
Then she took one single away and said “Every table I see getting potatoes before us is a bill gone.” I was absolutely mortified. The waiter, to his unending credit, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t have control over the order in which the kitchen fires tickets, but what I can tell you is it should be out any minute.” And he left without saying anything disparaging.
I had been holding my tongue all night as well, in the name of my relationship, but once the tip hit the table (the $8 tip for a $100+ bill, on top of everything else) I figured if my girlfriend was half the woman I thought she was, then she wouldn’t mind my speaking up at this point. If anything, she’d be supportive, right? So I scooted my chair back a bit.
Then I said, “Listen I know what you’re doing with the cash on the table, but that kind of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and it’s just not called for. Please put the money away or we can just continue this some other time.” My girlfriend’s dad spits back, “What? How cheap do you have to be to not believe in tipping service workers?”
Before I could process whether he was serious or yanking my chain, Ellen shocked me with, “No, you know what, you’re right, this isn’t necessary.” I should’ve known better than to be relieved. I still can’t believe what she did next. She folded the bills back into her wallet, patiently waited for the next plate of mashed potatoes to be carried out, and when it wasn’t delivered to us, (it was a very common side dish at this place, a steak house) she went right up to a stranger’s table and picked it up off their table.
She half explained something about her daughter “starving” as she was walking away with the stranger’s food, but unsurprisingly, that wasn’t convincing enough for them. The old lady she took it from followed her right over to our table and tried to take it back. I was already searching for my coat tag in preparation to go, but a shoving match was beginning to unfold between Ellen and an elderly woman with a tennis ball walker, and far be it from me to sit through all that had happened only to leave just as the night was getting interesting.
The elderly woman was like, “Give me back my potatoes!! Who are you??” And the poor little girl was like, “Mommy, it’s ok, don’t take someone else’s potatoes…” But it all fell on deaf ears. Ellen yelled at the old lady, “How could you sit there and eat these when my daughter hasn’t even been served yet? She’s sitting here hungry, just a little girl, and you’re over there stuffing your face? Come on, other potatoes will be out any minute.”
And the old lady, got to love her, was like, “Great, if they’ll be out any minute, then what’s the [bleeping] problem?!” To which Ellen still found holier than thou ground, gasping, “Language, please!” Finally the waiter, and this time someone higher up as well, I think the manager, thank God, came over to separate them, as they had begun to raise their voices and cause a disturbance.
Now, staff had already asked Ellen to turn down her daughter’s iPad multiple times without heed, and I’m guessing the waiter informed management about the “tip on the table,” stunt she pulled, because this was their final straw. They told us we were going to have to leave the restaurant. “But we don’t even have our food yet!” Ellen complained at the guy.
This was clearly not the manager’s first rodeo. “You can take the food that’s already been served free of charge, everything else will be canceled. Please leave immediately.” The old lady didn’t miss her chance to knock the potatoes right onto the floor so we couldn’t try to take them with us. Nothing else had been served yet, so we had to leave without any food. But the worst was yet to come.
When my girlfriend and I were finally alone in our car she said, “Can you believe that?” And I said, “Not at all. And I really can’t believe you didn’t warn me!” And she went, “How could I have known about any of that?” Confused, I asked, “Is she not usually like that?” Even more confused than me, my girlfriend asked, “Who?” “Your mom!” “What’s my mom got to do with the terrible service at that place?”
That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. The fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her mom’s behavior, and that I’d be marrying into that situation, shook me too deep. We both dodged a bullet in more ways than one. In hindsight, we weren’t right for each other, regardless of who her family was. Her mom saved us both a lot of time and heartache, helping me realize in one night what would’ve probably taken us years otherwise.
Within a month we’d moved into separate apartments and gone on a “break” that ended up lasting forever. I’m not sorry I won’t see you again, Ellen. I am sorry any wait staff ever will, though.