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This is a question Family Feuds

Pooster tells us that a relative was once sent to the shops to buy an onion, while the rest of the family went on a daytrip while he was gone. Meanwhile, whole sections of our extended kin still haven't got over a wedding brawl fifteen years ago – tell us about families at war.

(, Thu 12 Nov 2009, 12:24)
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I have a fun family
Apologies in advance, this probably won't be funny but instead is rather cathartic for me.

Due to my family's fucked-up-ness emotionally speaking, (my mum has depression and anger issues, and my step-dad has physical problems and is losing the will to live due to my mum), plus the fact that all of my elder siblings (I have 3 elder brothers and one elder sister), are in fact step-siblings which my mum hates, we tend to have a lot of arguments which lead into massive feuds. Some arguments are mental, such as the ice cream one below, and some just make me want to cut off contact completely. So, without further ado, here we go.

- The Ice Cream Incident.

I was about 11 or 12 when this happened. One of my elder brothers, T, has a son, D, who is about 7 years younger than me. One family gathering (back when we had such things), I had just gone to get one of those boxes of Mars ice-creams for the family because it was a hot summers day, and was just opening the freezer when D popped up beside me and asked if he could have an ice-cream. Being the well-mannered, polite young man that I was back then, I told him to wait his turn, and proceeded to hand out ice-creams to the rest of the family like the well-trained monkey I was. D, having gotten bored of waiting in the space of two minutes, decides to bugger off, as little kids are wont to do, so I leave him an ice-cream on the side and then bugger off outside to join everyone out in the garden.

Five minutes later, D comes racing and shrieking, as only a five year old can, demanding to know where his ice-cream is. At which point, T starts in on me for not giving him an ice-cream, despite my protests that there was an ice-cream on the side and that if either of them would go look, they would find it there. My mum, being some sort of mental vengeful angel, leaps in and starts shouting and swearing at my brother T and slapping him. I would like to point out at this time that none of my family are Italian, or have any Italian blood in them, so we normally don't do public outrage/arguments.

I honestly cannot remember any more, apart from the aftermath. The aftermath being, T and D were banned from family gatherings for five years. Banned by my mum, no less. I would like to say that this was forgiven and forgotten eventually, but my mum is still clinging onto this grudge/feud/thing to this day.

- The Wedding incident

About 3 years back now, my sister got married. It was a lavish do, and as this was when I drank still, I spent the weekend off my tits on Guinness and Leffe, as young men who recently turned 18 are wont to do when those two magical words "Free bar" are in place. As per some sort of unwritten rule, I was dancing like John Travolta crossed with a mong on speed, quite possibly complete with crazy gurning face, with one of the bridesmaids. As were the rest of my brothers apart from my youngest one, who was 15 and being an awkward teenager.

As the night progresses, I am steadily getting even more pissed, to the point where my feet only tangentially connect to the ground whilst dancing and I am now smoking brazenly in front of my parents, much to the delight of my dance partner. We both end up not copping off, as she's sharing a room with her friends, and I'm sharing a room with my 15 year old brother, so we kiss and call it a night eventually.

However, unbeknownst to me, my eldest brother R has decided to cop off with the head bridesmaid. Whilst his girlfriend was there. This upsets her, and upsets my sister when she finds out, thus causing the pair of them to not speak for a year.

On a side note, my mum complained that the wedding photographer that was hired by my sister, for my sisters wedding, said photographer was not taking pictures of her. This also caused a family ruck and caused my mum to stop speaking to my sister for a few months.

- The Hospital incident

Not so long ago, my dad was hospitalised. He'd been complaining of a pain in his leg, and the doctors prescribed painkillers for him, which barely worked, and then a few days later, managed to fall over. This led to some incredible pain, in his words "Like I'd broken my leg and was trying to walk on it", so he was put in hospital. This was around midday, and this will be important soon.

I was unaware of all of this, given that I was at the other end of the country in Chester, when my parents live in Swindon, and rarely rang home because of my mother going mental down the phone at me, so it was easier for me not to ring home. So, the day my dad gets hospitalised, when I ring my dad up on his mobile at half six in the evening, no-one answers. Strange, he always answers his phone around this time thinks I, so I try the house phone. No answer on that either, so I panic a little because my parents never go out, and if they do go out, they usually ring me beforehand to tell me that they're going out for a meal or something.

Eventually, my mum rings back, and the conversation goes like this. "Hi, sorry about not answering earlier, dad's in hospital, I've had an awful day today what with all the housework and walking the dogs and sorting the chickens out blah blah blah" for about ten minutes. She goes on about the awful day she's had, without bothering to explain why dad is in hospital. Eventually, I snap and ask her what's up with dad, and she says "I don't know", and then carries on with her day of woe and how she has to do so much to keep the house tidy etc. I would like to point out that she hasn't had a job in 22 years, so she doesn't have the stress of working on top of the stress of the housework.

I make my excuses and hang up, in shock. I go out for a walk, and then ring my sister about an hour later, who tells me that my brother T, yes, he of the ice-cream incident, has apparently gone off on one at my mum. I'm not entirely surprised by this, as T is volatile at the best of times. So I ring my mum up again and ask what's going on, and she launches into how T launched into an unprovoked attack on her and that I should support her in this argument and that I should join in blah blah blah.

I decide to do something radical. I say that I'm going to support her in her fight against T, but I'm not getting involved because I don't want the hassle of getting involved in a family argument when I have my dissertation to do. She goes absolutely berserk at me, shouting down the phone that I am an unloving son and that if I cared at all for her I should support her no matter what (almost her exact words). I stick to my stance of supporting her but not getting involved, and hang up ASAP.

A few days later, I get a phonecall from my dad explaining the situation. Apparently he had a cyst in his leg which burst when he fell over. He also spoke to T, asking what was going on with him, and apparently my mum had done the exact same thing she had done with me, i.e. saying dad was in hospital and then launching into her tale of woe about how she struggles so much with the house and the animals. T got understandably frustrated, and started shouting over her to try and find out what was up with dad, and my mum decided to start a fight. My dad also adds that I'm apparently really unpopular back home now and my mum has stopped talking to me because of the whole not getting involved thing.

Unfortunately, there's no happy ending to that because my family will tear itself apart when my dad dies. And unfortunately, that could be at any day because my dad has various diseases, including diabetes and Addisons disease amongst other things. So yeah. Happy days.

Apologies for length, that was longer than expected.
(, Sat 14 Nov 2009, 14:32, Reply)

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