My dad’s cousin and cousin’s son stayed over a long while ago (more than a month now) and I never blogged about it, so I figured I might as well now (still trying to get back into blogging).
My dad is a little too super nice to his side of the family, so when my first cousin once removed(???) and his son (my second cousin???) informed my dad that they were going to stay at our house for a while, my dad never thought to ask how long. He never ended up asking either, until it was brought up by them during conversation. They stayed for a really long two weeks. The son was very sweet and kind, but his dad was…meh.
[Side note: I never friggen got family trees!!! I swear, I got through a lot of material during college but my brain explodes into millions of pieces every time I think about family trees. I was going to say I’d be willing to take a class if it explained family trees and relationships…but then again no matter how clear the professor might be, my brain might explode before I could begin to understand. Lol. For the sake of simplicity (aka to keep my sanity before my head explodes) I’m just going going to call him my uncle and his son my cousin.]
I liked my cousin because he was pretty upbeat and amiable. I would make some baked goods and he would down them all before they had a chance to sit for too long. So I ended up making baked goods almost every day, and he was super happy eating them all every day, lol. My mom said he would miss the fresh baked goods every day when he left us
Sleeping was a pain: For me it was long because every night and morning, I would have trouble sleeping. Every night and morning my uncle would hack his lungs out in such a deathly manner. If my dad ever coughed like that, I would be seriously concerned and make him go to the doctor. But for my uncle, I knew it was the norm for him (though I can’t say whether he’s actually healthy or not…the man rarely eats and only drinks alcohol) because he’s stayed over in the past and it was the same deathly cough every time. I’m an extremely light sleeper, and our guest room is only separated from my room by a thin wall. I’d wake up with my heart jumping out of my chest every time my uncle coughed his lungs out or when he’d talk really loudly on the phone with his family back in Vietnam (at 8am here of course since it’s night over there). Even earplugs didn’t help me there.
Communication was awkward: I’m not very fluent in Vietnamese. I can carry a basic conversation but beyond that I’m in trouble. It’s embarrassing, but it’s what happened after all I cared about was English and school for the last decade. So you can imagine my discomfort when they are speaking to me in their native tongue and I have to either ask them what they mean or stare at them blankly while my brain is trying to figure it out. It’s never translated very kindly right away, either. It’s more like, “You don’t know what that means???” first. Hey man, I don’t berate you when your English is poor… Needless to say, I prayed my uncle would speak to me as little as possible. His jokes were funny but I’d rather not hear them at all if I had to feel a little more stupid with every conversation.
Kindness was pushed beyond boundaries: I felt very, very bad for my brother during my uncle’s two week stay. I understand they had no means of transportation, but as a guest staying for free for two weeks, you would think that they would at least make an effort to be as little of a burden as possible, right? It was the very opposite. My brother was at their every beck and call. It’s 8pm and my uncle decides he wants to buy an outlet adapter so they can use their Vietnamese chargers with our American outlets (different prongs) so he tells my brother to drive him. It’s dinner time and my uncle has a friend he wants to visit, so…yep, he tells my brother to take him. You can probably guess how the rest of the two weeks was like.
However, the worst situation that comes to mind was one day when my uncle had his friend come to our house to pick him up for lunch. Well, my guess is my uncle didn’t tell his friend he wanted his son to tag along…so his friend brought his two-seater convertible car. *facepalm* His friend offers to drive back home to get his other car so he can come back and seat both my uncle & cousin, but my uncle refuses the offer and instead tells him, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just tell my cousin’s son to drive us and follow behind your car to drop us off at your house.”
This was when my brother had literally just come home from an early morning of constant physical labor (he was moving large machines that my dad was selling) and barely had time to make himself some food in the kitchen. After my uncle told that to his friend, he went over to my brother and told him to follow behind his friend’s car to drop them off. My brother could have been smarter about it (Like: “Sorry, I’m really tired right now. Maybe if you give me an hour to rest I can gladly take you” – and hopefully that would discourage them from wanting to use my brother like that), but he wasn’t. He complied, and ended up driving for half an hour to drop them off back at the friend’s house and then half an hour to go back home. You’ll notice by my italics that my uncle never once asked my brother in a polite way…when he wanted something, he commanded him to do it. I couldn’t believe the trouble my uncle would put my brother through, driving him an unbelievable # of miles in those two weeks.
He wasn’t the most classy guy: My uncle kept calling my brother “the fat boy.” If you’re a close family friend and that kind of name-calling is a tolerated joke, then it’s cool. But he wasn’t close to my brother at all and my brother’s weight is something my family tries to get him to take responsibility for, but we never ridicule him with names.
And my favorite story was when uncle had gone out to a friend’s house. He got dropped back at our house around midnight. I promised my brother I’d keep an eye out for the doorbell since my brother had to sleep early that night. When the doorbell rang, I rushed downstairs to open the door…and found nobody. It was the strangest thing. I stared out the door in confusion for a while, walked away from the door…and then went back to the door again awkwardly…When I took a look again, I found my uncle taking a long and loud piss at the side of our house, at one of our trees. UHHH OK. I swear I took about less than 10 seconds to open the door, and he could have used the restroom right away if he needed to take a leak so badly. But, no. He was peeing at the front of our house for some odd reason. “Bac?” I called out to him (respectful way to address an elder in Viet). I turned away and waited awkwardly…when he finished up, he said, “Just watering the plants.” LOL WTF. Sorry, but you have proven to me that you have zero manners when you piss in our front yard after ringing the doorbell for me to open the door.
In all honesty, there are worse people you could have stay over as guests in your house. My uncle isn’t the worst but he’s certainly not the best and he definitely took down my family’s level of comfort in our own house by a LOT. Honestly, if you’re gonna get free lodging at someone’s house for two weeks, you should at least show some manners and respect. Please, don’t let this become a regular and annual visit (he’s come 3 times in less than 3 years now).