Ech. I hate family.
That’s what you’re thinking in your head at least as your great-grandmother launches into the same story for the fifteenth time. You can’t believe it’s actually Non-denominational Holiday Day again. I mean, didn’t we do this last year? Apparently, this is going to be a thing now, which fills your heart with dread. You don’t HATE your family no, maybe that first sentence was a bit of an overstep. You just prefer to love them from a distance, you know? Kind of like a tiger, but at least the jungle cat might be a little friendlier.
But alas, you have to do this day again. You perk up slightly when your mother bursts in and interrupts your great-grandmother, but you sink again when you see she’s bursting in with an old scrapbook. “Emotional non-denominational holiday day, everyone!” she says with a smile “Say, why don’t we look through this old scrapbook?”. You groan: “Ah Ma, I don’t want to look at lame old pictures of myself again!” Your mother scoffs in your face: “Oh yeah, it’s the PICTURES that are lame” everyone laughs at you, like usual. “No sweetie, these aren’t pictures of you, get over yourself. These are the 25 Hilarious Parents Who Got The Last Laugh!”. “Oh great, I’m in a Bestie article again,” you think to yourself. I know and on this unholiest of days! What an inconvenience!
1. Because I said so, that’s why! “Oh…” says your mother as she turns the first page “we use to do this to you ALL THE TIME”. She laughs lovingly to herself and then meets your appalled stare. “Are you KIDDING me? I had no friends in high school because I always had to cancel mid hangout! Everyone called me Bailer Bucket for years!” your mother makes a tsk noise. “Children can be so cruel!”
2. So, when are we going to be grandparents? Your mother shows you this and slaps your father on his chest like they’re frat bros. “Remember where they use to hide their beer!” she says, pointing to you as you sink into the couch. Alright, so hiding it under your pillow wasn’t such a hot idea, okay? Especially when the beer would explode all over your bed in the middle of the night. “We thought you were a bed wetter for YEARS!” she cackled.
3. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know! Your mother laughs again at the sight of this picture. An old, familiar taste rolls up into your mouth. “You know” she starts, speaking to your uncle. “We only fed our kid onions until they were 8. We use to call them bittersweets and they totally bought it!” As her and her brother laugh you throw up in your mouth a little bit.
4. It builds character! The neutral smell of the non-denominational holiday day paste wafts through the house. Your mother turns the page again, a crowd now forming around her, so they too can take pleasure in your torture. You curse the name of whoever invented non-denominational holiday day, raising a fist to the sky. “This one” she starts “we use to do on purpose. Our kid worse Halloween costumes for every picture until they were 18!”. As she takes one last longing look at the page, she flips it.
5. Is that chocolate… or something else? “Imagine” your mother starts “growing up in the social media age with parents like us?” she passes the book around so that everyone can see, including yourself. “We use to do this with EVERY SINGLE ONE of their posts. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, you name it! You ended up deleting those, didn’t you honey?” You sit quietly, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of a response. “UH oh” she sarcastically coos “SOMEONE’S a Grumpy Gary!”
6. If everyone jumped off a bridge… “Ah, the old Christmas fake out” your father is in on the fun now “Remember your eighth Christmas, kiddo?”. Like a torrent of water, the repressed memories come flooding back: bells are ringing, but you’re not listening, because you’re crying your heart out. All you wanted for Christmas was a PS2 and you’re parents decided it would be hilarious to put live hornets in an empty PS2 box! There goes years of therapy down the drain.
7. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footsteps! You remember this before your parents even bring it up. Your first year of high school your mom dressed as you and embarrassed you in front of many potential friends. It was a terrible impression too, you’re not certain but you’re pretty sure you’ve never outright said: “Ha ha ha look at me I’m a big dumb idiot”.
8. This too shall pass. “Oh god, the lake!” your father exclaims. “Remember that old place?” he says, his aging hand resting on your shoulder. Oh, you remember it alright. You remember this exact move, too. Except you were jumping on a big trampoline. From a diving rock. And it was a belly flop.
9. I’m counting to 3…. 1…. 2…. 2 and a half…. “What’s wrong with this picture?” your aunt asks “that’s just how he looks all the time!”. The family chuckles lightly at your father’s expense, not nearly as hard as they do for you. Your dad clears his throat: “Well, I actually showed up at their prom dressed like this. Pee pants and all. I was hugging all the attractive classmates they had too and making sure to point my kid out!” There’s that riotous laughter!
10. Eat your vegetables! Your mother nudges your slumped over, angry body. “Bet you thought you were going to get a break for us at that camp, huh?” she smiles slyly at you. You grunt in response. You were wondering why your parents were sending you to “Abraham’s Camp for Jewish kids”. That is until someone saw the quilt your parents made you.
11. There are starving kids in (impoverished part of the world)! Birthdays. Oh nondenominational god, birthdays! At least this kid got SOME cash, your parents use to make you use an ice pick to get through a block of ice for a QUARTER! Your wrists still hurt from the jabbing…
12. YOU ARE GROUNDED, BUTTERS! You look longingly at the place that used to be your childhood bedroom. Suddenly, the door swings open and your parent’s alligator, Kisses, comes waddling out. “I still can’t believe you gave my room to Kisses” you grumble. The prehistoric monster rests it’s head on your mother’s lap and hisses at you. “Kisses!” your mother says “I told you not to do that unless commanded!”
13. SOMEBODY is spoiled rotten! As you stare at the purring beast on your mother’s lap, you swear it looks up at you and winks. “Cocky little pr-” you start to think, but your mother points to a picture and your heart sinks. “Man, you were a dumb kid” says your mom, stroking her scaly pet “remember your ‘brother’”. You look down to the ground, trying not to think about the mushroom your parents said was your brother for eight years. Ooh! Too late!
14. You’ll obey MY rules under MY roof! “THIS one wasn’t funny!” you cry out, prompting your mother to scoff. “Are you kidding? This was our greatest masterpiece yet, you should’ve seen the look on your face when you found out!” The aunts and uncles start to chuckle, they too remember this bit. “Really mom? What part of faking your own murders for YEARS is funny?” Your mom turns her head to you, confused. “Which part ISN’T?”
15. When I was your age… “Man, these just get better and better. How did you turn out so messed up, we were great parents!” Yeah, right. So was Charlie Manson. Did he have kids? I mean he had a “family” but… never mind, your mom is showing another picture. “This bit was okay to start, but we finished with a bang!”. In a way, she was right. It did end with police banging on the door after they found your little baby body hidden amongst the produce.
16. Don’t make me turn this car around! The creature from the age of dinosaurs is slowly creeping towards you, not that you notice. You’re too busy arguing with your mother: “You guys were TERRIBLE parents!” she shakes her head in absolute shock. “Pardon me? What about the CAR we bought you for graduation!”. You throw your hands to the side: “THAT WAS A- OW!”
17. If you don’t stop making that face, it’ll stay that way! You hate this. You hate your family. You hate stupid non-denominational holiday day, where you have to see your stupid family and stupid stuff like THIS happens. You cringe when your mother presses a rag with alcohol on it against your alligator-inflicted wound. “I haven’t seen you throw a tantrum like THAT since your father denied your request for $20” she says, making reference to this entry. You keep quiet, the moment your alligator bite is patched up you are OUTTA HERE.
18. What part of “no” do you not understand? As your mother wraps the last piece of gauze around your arm, you shoot up. “Where are you going, honey?” your mom asks in a sweet tone. “Home” you reply coldly. “What? Is it cause we embarrassed you? Sweetie, your father and I have been doing that for years, remember how he used to bring that selfie stick everywhere?” You open your mouth to fire back, but DING! You are your mom both jump as the oven goes off. Looks like the non-denominational holiday day paste is done. “Darn” you think to yourself “I love non-denominational holiday day paste. Okay, but once dinner is over, I am OUTTA HERE!”
19. Close that door! What, were you raised in a barn? The dinner table is dead quiet. Your little outburst before supper has made everyone feel awkward. Smooth move! “Well, this has been a long time coming” you reassure yourself “these people were absolute terrors to me!”. Suddenly, you feel a frail hand on your shoulder. “You know, kid” says your great-grandmother, finally saying something different “my parents were no cakewalk either. They use to switch my apple juice for whiskey! I was the drunkest four year old at the mill!” You chuckle a little. That IS objectively funny.
20. You just wait until your father/mother gets home! “Oh please” chimes in your grandfather. “You think you were some cakewalk? Listen kid” your grandfather points at you “be thankful you only got these goons! My mother would attack me on an emotional level! She’d bring me home pictures of empty rooms and say: ‘look at all the people who want to date you!’ When I finally moved out, she’d send me letters! Thank god she’s too old to use a darn computer!” More people at the table chuckle, including yourself.
21. I hope someday you have children just like you. Your father looks aghast at your grandfather. After a while, your grandfather squints at him and goes: “what?”. You father snorts and says: “where do you think I got the old Christmas fake out from?” Suddenly, your grandfather looks nervous. “No idea what you’re talking about” he says, looking down at his paste. “Oh really?” says your dad “Cause I seem to recall having to go through 30 boxes every Christmas. And at least YOU got something, even after the 30 boxes I still got squat! And remember the ‘apple watch’ you got me for my birthday?” You laugh even harder heck, you almost spat out your paste at “squat”.
22. Do as I say, not as I do. “Good lord!” says your mom’s mother, your Nana “that’s morbid!”. Your mom, who WAS drinking a glass of wine, does a spit take. “Morbid? Well, Ms. Kettle, I’m happy you’ve met Mrs. Pot! Just so you know, you’re both black!” your mother takes another long swig of wine “and I mean no hyperbole when I say ‘black’ either. I swear from the things she was writing on my snacks I was raised by David Lynch!” Now it’s your turn to do a spit take.
23. Someday, when you’re older, you’ll understand. “Yeah!” chimes in your mom’s brother “I seem to recall having ‘dork’ painted under my window!” you snort and laugh really hard, but your uncle continues: “Oh yeah, then she made me repaint the house! And after I spent all day doing it, they put dork up again!” You always wondered why your uncle never mentioned his time in high school
24. I’ll give you something to cry about! You start to notice the table getting really heated as your family starts to blame each other for the terrible people they’ve turned into. “OH YEAH!” screams your dad at his dad through tears as he storms up the stairs. “WHAT ABOUT THE FRICKIN’ SPONGE CAKE, DAD! I HATE YOU! I HATE THIS FAMILY! I WISH I WAS NEVER BORN!” SLAM! Goes his bedroom door. Shortly after, you swear you can hear Twisted Sister coming from upstairs.
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