Christmas and New Year’s Eve are around the corner and while it’s the most wonderful time of year, for some, it means visiting family members they’d rather avoid.
Just before the holidays hit, Vice compiled a few horror stories about those infuriating relatives—for example, the sexist father who only understands sexism as it pertains to his own daughter.
Start off with a story from Maria below then hit the flip for more.
I was at my family’s lake house for my annual vacation from stress. There’s no cell service there and no wifi, so unless you tune into local radio on an actual radio, there’s no way to know about what’s going on in the world. A few years before this trip I’d blissfully basked in a lounge chair in the sun and I didn’t even know that Amy Winehouse had died until several days later. It means escape.
It also means a lot of swimming, napping, reading, eating, drinking, and quality time with just the family. I was with my parents and my grandmother. She was a very cool person and I always loved getting to spend time with her. Funny, fun and up to talk about anything. It was a heatwave, fires were burning nearby and we were eating our late-afternoon meal of chips and cheese on the patio. We’d also been drinking for a few hours to stave off the heat and also because we like beer.
As a Vancouver resident we were talking about what everyone can never shut up about: real estate and housing. Because I’m not a rich person I don’t own a home, I rent. And to my grandmother, this seemed unfair.
“Why can’t you own a home?” she asked.
“Because they’re really expensive.”
“Well, we all know why.”
And then I took another sip of beer because I could only imagine what was coming next. At this point, my mom looks nervous, unsure if my calm side or angry side is going to emerge.
“All of these Orientals. They’re buying up everything and ruining the housing market,” she said.
I know nothing about the housing market. I’m no real estate genius, and I basically know nothing about how money works if it isn’t a transaction to purchase a new romper. But I do know that this was super racist. At first I go the reasonable route.
“I know you’re from a different generation, but you can’t say that… What about rich white people?” I ask.
“We’re not talking about them.” Without missing a beat she goes headlong into a diatribe about rich Asian people ruining the city with their money. I barely register what she’s saying. I gulp my beer down fast.
I finish my drink and toss the beer can over the railing and start flailing my arms wildly. I can’t help myself from screaming and I knock over my chair as I get up.
“YOU’RE BEING RACIST! YOU’RE A BIGOT!”
Shaking and buzzing I storm off down to the dock and dive through the smoky air into the cool lake. By the time we fire up the BBQ dinner later on everyone is pleasant, but I had to tread water for a long time to get there.