Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5392488 times)

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26265 on: April 09, 2014, 07:26:47 PM »
I know I've mentioned this but I don't remember where:

A co-worker of mine told me that when she had her wisdom teeth pulled her husband woke her up and made her cook dinner for him, which she did.  She asked me if my husband did that; she and I had each gotten married at about the same time and we'd often compare notes as to what it was like being a newlywed in our respective decades, as I was about 20 years older than her.  I told her, "My husband would either make his own dinner or bring home takeout, and then he'd leave me some."  She couldn't believe that I wouldn't just hop out of bed when I was sick and cook for my husband.  I see her husband as the SS in this situation, because I felt that it was appalling that he made her get up when she was high on pain meds and cook dinner for him.  I asked her why he didn't just make himself a sandwich, and she told me, "He says that's my job."

I had a co-worker who had a major surgery scheduled.
She spent every evening for a week cooking and cleaning so that she would not have to do so during her recovery....because her husband was the same. No way would he have "lowered" himself to make a sandwich or pick up take-out.
Oh...their 10-year-old daughter was responsible for the heating, serving and cleaning up of the meals my co-worker prepared.

The worst (in my view) was the husband worked with us as well. He was proud of the fact he never lifted a finger for household chores.

My mother scornfully referred to people like this as chickens who'd starve beside a pile of corn.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26266 on: April 09, 2014, 07:41:20 PM »
I lived with a roommate who told us, when he was embarrassed at not being able to function on a normal adult level, that his extremely religious parents believed that he would only move out of their house to move in with a wife, and therefore they never taught him to do anything at all around the house.

My ex who lived with me the longest never learned to cook, and quite frankly, given how his grandmother (who raised him, his bio-parents weren't in the picture) cooked, I'm not surprised.  I tried to teach him, but the effort proved to be dangerous for my kitchen!

I dated a different guy and worked with a woman who were second-generation non-cookers - both of them decided to correct that when they were faced with living off only their own income.

Today's special snowflake was the big industrial truck that couldn't wait one second for the car in front of him to turn into the parking lot at the bank - he almost hit the guy, not just once, but riding his bumper for the minute or two it took them to make the right turn into the lot.  I thought I was about to witness a road rage incident!

I sense a story!

My ex was inattentive to detail, and sometimes to generalities.  Between the undercooked food, the overcooked food, the inedible food, the kitchen fires, and the ruined pots and pans and utensils, and the time he pepper-gassed a house full of guests, I was justifiably concerned for my health and my property and opted to take over all cooking duties.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26267 on: April 09, 2014, 08:05:52 PM »
I saw that with my own generation in my first year of college. People standing lost in the laundry room or the kitchen because they had never even watched their parents do things. And OK, they can order a pizza. But not store/reheat the leftovers, make coffee, wash a dirty cup, etc.
I tried to teach my daughters to cook.  :(  They didn't want to learn.  DD1, under the instruction of her husband, will make some things but he's still primary cook.  DD2 and her husband are now foodies, and make all sorts of oddball things.  But again, SIL2 is the primary cook, in large part because DD works weird shifts. 

They DID learn how to do laundry, because when they each got to be about 10, they didn't want to put away the washed, dried, and folded clothes that I left on their beds.  Instead, they threw them on the floor and then put them back in the laundry hamper covered in crumbs and cat hair, still folded. They were marched into the laundry room and each did a load while I watched and instructed.  After that they were on their own.  After he retired, so did DH.  (Although I didn't have the problem of the still-folded dirty laundry.)
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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26268 on: April 09, 2014, 10:06:44 PM »
As far as parenting goes, I always thought a successful parent becomes obsolete.   My daughter became diabetic at 22 months, and started doing all her own diabetes care at the age of 9 (encouraged by her physician and the summer camp she attended - I really can't take credit for that).  She was doing her own laundry in middle school, and started learning to cook pretty much on her own.  Except for a couple of hiccups (poor taste in men, forcing her to move back) she has pretty much been on her own for the past 10 years or so.  Her current SO is a keeper.

Money management - in my husband's family, the men handled the money and the women took care of the house.  When my FIL died, my MIL hadn't been in a grocery store for about 5 years.  FIL bought all the groceries and necessities, bought her clothes (that she picked out), and took care of any payments.  She moved in with us when he died and my husband took over her finances while I took care of ours.   I bought her clothes and did all of the cooking except when the mood hit her.   Her parents were the same way (outside was man's work, inside was women's) and unfortunately left her with the impression that women couldn't handle anything that took brains, so she truly believed that she was incapable of handling her bills. 

That is why I am still doing our finances and do the taxes myself, and maybe why our daughter started becoming independent at a relatively early age - MIL was a very good bad example of not knowing how to take care of oneself.
"The Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it's the right place and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26269 on: April 09, 2014, 11:51:23 PM »
My great grandma was at a loss when my great grandpa passed away in the late 1990s.  He always took care of all the bills, she had accounts at all the stores they used or used cash. She had no clue how to write a check, what a utility bill was or even what bank they used.

MIL was the same, although she knew which banks they used. She had no idea of how to use an ATM card. She called one day a month or so after FIL passed on asking 'So, how do I use an ATM card? I need money right now.' I was an hour away, I couldn't explain all the different screens that come up on the ATM over the phone although that's what she wanted me to do, so I told her to go to the bank and ask one of the personnel on duty (Japanese banks always have someone standing near the machines during regular business hours). She went to the bank and called me and stayed on the phone planning for me to talk her through the transaction, but she got into the machine area and found someone. 'They said they'd help me!' **Click** About 30 seconds later she called me again, 'What's my PIN number?' I told her it was secret and I had no idea,and she started to get upset and agitated, so I took a wild guess based on FILs personality and how he usually remembered things. Out loud to the bank guy, in a loud voice, 'She thinks it might be ****!' 'I don't need to know that, please press the buttons' he says. 20 more seconds and she yells 'That was it!' like she won the lottery  :D Thank goodness, or we would have had to go through a process that could have taken up to 6 weeks to get another card and PIN.

Same thing for the gas station. 'How do I get gas? What do I say?' FIL did a lot out of the goodness of his heart, but he left her rather helpless.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26270 on: April 10, 2014, 02:26:29 AM »

First day at Army boot camp, our platoon sergeant commented that one of the things he liked about having a female platoon was not having to do "the hygiene lecture". Apparently the male platoons had to be taught quite a lot of things, including how to wash properly and how to clean their clothes. It was so much they were incompetent, more that a lot of them didn't know the fundamentals. 
Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26271 on: April 10, 2014, 04:43:44 AM »
The above tallies with what I was told about National Servicemen in the 50s. Some didn't know how to wash (had never had a shower and were used to cat lick baths), hadn't regularly worn shoes, had a bed with a blanket, eaten food regularly...... It was the job of their hut mates and the NCOs to teach them the basics.  Not so much SS but definitely a reflection of their socio-economic position.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26272 on: April 10, 2014, 05:11:37 AM »
One thing I noticed about Mr "I won't lower myself to make a sandwich"- his wife is working as well. So she's expected to have a job and keep house too?
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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26273 on: April 10, 2014, 07:03:35 AM »
One thing I noticed about Mr "I won't lower myself to make a sandwich"- his wife is working as well. So she's expected to have a job and keep house too?

I have a co-worker who has this kind of attitude. He was grumpy for weeks when he realised on moving offices that (shock! Horror!) we are all responsible for washing up our own mugs. i'm not sure how he had managed to get away without until then. He boasts of not knowing how to cook / iron etc. 

I always find it a little odd to find men who can't cook, as my parents always shared the cooking, so while I grew up associating certain tasks with one gender (my dad always mowed the lawn, my mum always did the ironing), cooking wasn't one of them. (and I knew, even then, that my dad *could* iron, and my mum *could* mow lawns, they just chose to split the jobs that way)

My parents have told me that when they married, my dad was actually far better and more experienced at cooking than my mum. His father died when he was 10, and his mother was ill a great deal, so he and his brother both learned to cook and do  other household tasks as she was not well enough to.

My mum, on the other hand, went to a boarding school as she lived in a very rural area, and as a girls grammar school it was determined to train girls for careers, not to be housewives, so they didn't teach home economics or cookery,then when she was at university she lived in catered lodgings to start with, and then shared a flat with two other young women both of whom were engaged and wanted to 'practice' their housewifely skills, so she did very little in the way of cooking. As she said, she could could a Sunday roast for 6, as that was what she normally did /helped with when she was home, but was not so hot at economical meals for 2!

It was one of the things which my parents were determined we should all be able to do, so we all learned to cook when we were children, we were also all expected to help you with other household jobs such as laundry and cleaning, and from the age of about 11 or 12 we were all my brother included) expected to do our own ironing. We were required to iron our school uniforms, the rest of our clothes it was optional - we didn't have to iron them, but no-one else would.

I'm sure we all grumbled at times at being expected to help out, but I'm very glad I was taught to look after myself - I met one or two Special Snowflakes when I was sharing accommodation, inlcuding one girls in my hall of residence in my first year at university who was outraged that I (and the other people sharing the kitchen) would not only not do her washing up for her but were even mean enough to start locking our crockery away out of her reach so she was forced to either wash her own, or reuse it dirty..

She tried to convince me to wash up for her on the basis that I knew how to o it and she didn't. I told her she was welcome to watch and learn, and that as someone who was bright enough to get into university she was undoubtably bright enough to learn how to wash up. I was not her favourite person for a while.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26274 on: April 10, 2014, 07:49:53 AM »
I wonder what will happen if my father outlives my mother.  My mother handles the money matters & bills even though they are in his name but he knows how to gather the tax documents & make the year appointment to the tax place. 

Back to snowflakes:

My mother wanted to watch a certain program on tv Sunday evening.  I live in 1 town, she in another - the same cable company but some of my channel listings are different than hers.  I told her to simply turn to channel y at 7pm.  She spent more time ringing my phone to say I cannot find the program and missed half of it because she did not wait long enough.  Apparently, I should have driven over (but I did not), then turned on the channel and made her wait a minute as the tv guide on the tv did not describe the program to the point that she knew that it was the right thing!


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26275 on: April 10, 2014, 08:03:37 AM »
DB is spoiled rotten.  Lived at home all thru college - never lifted a finger to do anything.

After graduating, moved 8 hours away and rented an apartment.

First night there, called Mom.  She spent 1/2 hour long distance teaching him how to boil pasta, and use jarred sauce.  DB has a really high IQ but is a duck.

To this day over 30 years later, he doesn't do any "housework".

That's why DS started learning at a very young age to take care of himself.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26276 on: April 10, 2014, 08:15:43 AM »
I wonder what will happen if my father outlives my mother.  My mother handles the money matters & bills even though they are in his name but he knows how to gather the tax documents & make the year appointment to the tax place. 

You might be surprised.

My mom usually handled all the money stuff, but after her death, my dad is doing fine. He's even made some decisions in direct opposition to my mom's (signing up for paycheck-deduction savings, stock purchase, and company matching, even though he's in his 80s) that have him w/ extra money.
   She also spent them into bankruptcy,and 1.5 years after her death, he paid cash for a used car. So...

It's really all in the attitude, which makes this relevant on Special Snowflakes.

"Can I learn this? Should I have to learn this?" When the answer is yes, it doesn't matter what the previous experience has been. None of these things are terribly difficult, nor to they require tons of experience or insider knowledge. You just have to -want- to do it, and you have to pay attention.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26277 on: April 10, 2014, 08:44:30 AM »
Years ago I saw a bit of a tv reality program with the pinnacle of the SS kid (think young adult who acts like a bratty 3 y/old) who never had to lift a finger and thought everything was owned to her.
I myself was still a teenager, it made me shudder.
I think the only time a kid is too young to help out is before they can crawl. Of course the 2 y/old won't put away all his toys and vacuum the mess he made, but (at least I hope so) he can gather the blocs and playfully wave a sponge at the smeared jelly he dropped. A few years down the line and he'll think it's natural to tidy up and can clean after himself.
The parent would have to re-do everything and it might take more time at first, but better than a clueless or downward SS at the end of the line.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26278 on: April 10, 2014, 08:48:45 AM »
My dad, when he retired, volunteered for AARP doing tax prep for seniors. He did it in an area where there was a large concentration of people from a certain country, one which  was very man-centric. Where the norm was the man worked, handled the finances and everything else, and the woman took care of the house and kids. He said he had a lot of little old ladies coming in, after their husbands were gone, who had no clue about ANY of their financial stuff. They'd come wiht bags and boxes of "stuff" for their tax returns.

My parents were pretty equal; my mom lived on her own, had a job and company car in the late 1950s, and then drove from NJ to CA with two friends, and lived there, where she met my dad. So she's pretty independent. And now that he's gone, she does just fine. you'll never hear about her getting swindled like many seniors sadly do.


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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #26279 on: April 10, 2014, 08:55:10 AM »

What did these men do for food prior to being married? Did they just go hungry? Call up mom for dinner delivery?

Or ate a lot of cereal or sandwiches.   Or pizza.

This was a classic problem with men of my parents' generation. 

These were men who lived at home until they were drafted during WW II and married soon after the
 war. At home, their mother saw to all their needs.  In the Army, the army took care of all their needs.  Once they got married, new wives were schooled by the man's family to take care of all their needs.  It was pathetic. 

My father and many of his friends weren't exactly sure how much money they were bringing home
because the pay envelope went directly into the hands of the women and the men were given a weekly allowance.

When the wives of these men died, they were at a complete loss.  Many of them didn't know what size clothes they wore or how many spoons of sugar they liked in their tea because there was always a woman to do it for them.  Heck, my mother had to teach some of them how to balance a
checkbook and write a check to pay a bill.     

My grandmother was a formidable woman. Divorced my grandfather in the 1950's because they weren't compatible and raised my mom and aunt. She remarried and was widowed, then remarried again. She took care of all the business of her cattle ranches, the paperwork and taxes for her land and oil royalty ownership, paid all the bills.

She passed away and my step GF had no idea how to do any of these things because he was illiterate. He couldn't read or write.