A well-meant intention to help from a caring family member can often lead to more stress than anyone would care for! Here are some of the best stories from reddit about unfortunate attempts at helping.
1. ‘But you’d be so good at it!’
My Gran believes that because her father was a journalist, I would be given preference to a job with a newspaper and would be good at it.
I have no qualifications in journalism and have never worked in a field even slightly related.
I have asked her a few times to stop calling the papers (obviously it’s quite embarrassing) but she cannot understand why I wouldn’t want to work for a paper or indeed why she shouldn’t be the one calling on my behalf.
2. ‘I was just helping clean up a little’
My mother thinks she helps by “cleaning” she will chuck out bills, receipts everything that’s on my desk. She also chucks out earphones “i thought they were just wires” She has chucked out countless things and claims its cleaning :/
3. She’s my wing-mom.
Every time I’m out with Mom, she tries her damnedest to pick up girls for me. No matter the place. She’s left my number for cute waitresses, girls that helped me into fitting rooms, bartenders, etc. it’s never subtle either. Always “My son is single you know? And very handsome and has a job and car.”
4. ‘Are you eating well?’My mom sends me big packages of food all the time because she thinks that I’m starving. She doesn’t realize that people lose weight on purpose.
5. The jelly thief.
My grandmother used to steal entire trays of individual jelly packets for me to help me save all of the money I waste buying jelly. I think I’ve bought jelly twice in my life.
6. Just loved music.
My dad forced me to stop taking guitar lessons because “It is affecting your grades.” I maintained a 4.0 in high school, did all of my homework, and would then proceed to play guitar for about 8 hours a day. He actually threatened to burn my $800 Schecter, I have no idea why he thought I was ruining my life, I had a job, studied, and just loved music.
7. The Art of France ’98.
After leaving University with a Masters in Economics and Marketing, my dad inexplicably offered to put me through a year-long Graphic Design course because, “I done some drawings of footballers at France ’98 which were quite good.”
I was 12, traced them from some magazines and for the past 10 years haven’t done any form of art.
8. Such a lovely voice in high school.
I sang in chorus In high school….. and my parents won’t forget it. Ummmm, I’m 48 now. FORTY-EIGHT.
Every family event they have a few cocktails and try and get me to sing “that song I did that time”. Oh, you mean the solo I did when I was 16??? Yeahhhhh, no.
9. Babushka’s Wish
My wife’s grandmother is Russian, and wants me to learn the language (my wife is an English teacher, and she speaks better than I do, so communication between us is never an issue). So Babushka bought a huge carton of cassette tapes and hands them to me. They are tapes for Russians who want to learn English. She figures that I could listen to the Russian prompts, then hear the English parts, and reverse engineer the Russian language. Nyet. That’s not how it works.
10. Parental-endorsed cheating.
My parents tried to get my brother to go out with a girl my dad worked with because they liked her better then the GF of 4 years he had. btw, they wanted him to cheat on his GF just to give the other girl a “chance.”
11. Keeping it.
I had my first child at 18. My cousin had couples excited about adopting my child. I was sent home studies, and called by interested people.
I never.. ever said anything about adoption.
12. A mother’s dream.
My mother is a professional musician and had no greater desire than for me to be the same. Immediately after entering college, I completely minimized my time in music (as much as possible and maintain a scholarship for said music) and put all my energy into medical bio. Currently finishing two doctorates in the medical sciences, so it is not like I slacked off. She somehow found out almost a year after I did this (sometime during sophomore year) and then called the school and the music department (multiple people) demanding that they require me to spend more time with music and get me back to ‘acceptable’ levels of performance.
13. ‘This was grandfather’s favourite piece.’
At every family gathering, my Mama asks me to play the piano for everyone to enjoy. I had 2 months of lessons when I was 8…. sixteen years ago… I have not touched a piano since. I was asked to play at my grandfather and uncle’s funeral. I never really got past Chopsticks.
14. Out of the field.
My girlfriend and I both have great full-time jobs starting in our career. My family lives about 60 miles away in my home town. My grandmother sends us clippings from the newspaper of random job postings in hopes I’ll move to back home. All completely unconnected to our jobs.
15. A friend in the night.
When I lived at home the toilet was right next to my dads bedroom. Whenever I would be in there late at night, wanting my privacy, he would wake up all startled and yell out to check I was ok and not sick.
16. ‘That isn’t how it works Grandpa…’
My grandfather insisted I call some random teacher he met at the grocery store to “set up an internship” for my last semester of college when I would have to student teach. No amount of explaining could convince him that that’s not how it’s done, I have to apply through my university and my county and they would assign me a classroom and a teacher. He would call once a week and say I was ungrateful for not taking him up on his help when he had worked so hard, and why couldn’t I just make one small effort to help my future and secure a classroom. I felt awkward because, well, it’s pretty awkward to call up someone your grandfather met at Publix and explain that you don’t need their help.
Anyway, eventually I start feeling guilty and called this woman up. When she picks up I say, “Hello, my grandfather gave me your number because he thinks that-” And she responds with “Don’t worry, sweetie. He pretty much old man guilted me to give him my number. I know you can’t control when you’re placed in your internship. Bye”
17. ‘Love you whatever you are’
Years ago my sister jokingly insinuated I was a lesbian. My parents gave me the whole “love you whatever you are” spiel later. I didn’t tell them about my heterosexuality right away because it made my conservative parents vote No on Prop 8 etc, I didn’t think it mattered, and because I didn’t want them to expect any grandkids. Later I told her I was straight because the whole scenario got a bit aggravating. Despite telling her this, she keeps insinuating certain things like the best places in China to find a wife, etc. (I’m Asian). I have absolutely no interest in having kids EVER, which I made abundantly clear. My mom therefore thinks I am a hermaphrodite or a FTM transsexual, she’s even asked me if I have a penis (WTF!?!) or if I want to change my general doctor to a male one so I can talk about my “man problems.” Just to make it clear, I’m a straight girl so all of this is quite perplexing.
18. ‘I just thought you should know!’
When I was working for a big company, my mom would send me any and all news articles about them, filling up my inbox. Yes, mom, I know, I am working for them.
19. ‘You’re tall. D’you play basketball?’
Up until a week before I was graduating high school my grandma keep telling me to go out for the basketball team in hopes that I would get a scholarship. She only thought I had a chance because I’m tall. Never played basketball before.
20. The words of the wise.
My dad always tries to give me life advice, even though he made pretty bad choices in life and still does. His advice usually involves me spending money on stuff I don’t need.
21. The Aunt’s Neighbours Kid.
My parents stopped me from attending a private school that I got a scholarship too by saying “Your aunts neighbours kid goes there and he doesn’t like it so you wont like it.”
22. You’ll never know if you don’t apply!
One day my little sister asked for my CV so she could base her own off it. A few days later I get an email from Google Dublin telling me my job application had been rejected. A conversation with my (very embarrassed) sister revealed my mother had put her up to it. They sat down together and filled out the job application with gems such as, ‘Q: Why do you want to work for Google? A: because i LOVE technology’. I’d imagine whoever viewed my application thought it quite ballsy for a Music and Chinese Language graduate to apply for the post of ‘Senior Technical Programmer’ too.
23. No distractions.
My friend who was a cook offered me a delivery job at 18 at Quiznos. I told my mom that I was thinking about it. She got mad, emailed quiznos corporate and about how it was irresponsible to offer me a job and that the manager was terrible. (all written in poor English btw) The message went to the manager, who went to my friend who read it embarrassingly in a car full of my friends. She thought she was helping me because delivery is dangerous and maybe to focus on studying? But really she was just being a strict mom.
24. No lawn, no chores?
My mom once mowed the lawn while I was out to “help me get my chores done” but she put the blade on as low as it went and absolutely scalped the lawn. It was scalped down to bare dirt, and there was dirt blowing all over the yard… She said she “didn’t notice.” It took months for the grass to grow back.
25. A Mother’s dream #2.
Not me, but a friend. She was setting up interviews for her 18 year old son in hospitals and doctors’ offices. When I asked ‘oh, is he interested in going into medicine?’ “No. But I always wish I had.” Her son didn’t keep a single appointment she made for him. Good for him.
27. ‘Just let me break them in a little…”
My mom always takes my brand new sneakers and twist and crease and bend the structure out of them saying they will feel better when I wear them
28. A girlfriend who believes.
My girlfriend sends my resume for job positions that are completely out of my league, like computer engineering, programmer, etc.
Had some very awkward interviews.
Ok I’m good with computers but just because I can fix it, mostly by googling the solution or I can write a 50 lines php plugin for wordpress doesn’t mean I can manage a nix server or write programs in C.
29. Sweet, sweet oranges.
I’m a vegetarian. Have been for 7 years. One summer my mum was going through a phase of making me these orange juices every day.
They were nice! I always thought to myself that the oranges must be coming from a different place this year because they were so sweet.
One day I was scrambling through the fridge and found this jar that looked like some weird medicine. I opened that baby up and took a whiff, because thats just what humans do. It smelled like… Oranges. Sweet, sweet oranges.
When I read the label of the ‘medicine’, that’s when I realized that my mum was spiking my drinks with fish oil. Needless to say, I was pissed and didn’t talk to her for a week. I can laugh about it now though – I mean, after all, she was only trying to be the best mum she could.
30. Blessed be the toilet tank.My mom is very religious and I’m not, so she hides religious icons all over my house. I’ll find a crystal statue of the virgin Mary in my toilet tank, little pictures of Jesus on my storage shelves in the basement… It’s always a little amusing when I find some random saint’s picture stuffed into a book on my shelf – I probably have dozens of these around that I haven’t found yet.
31. How to annoy people.
My mom always buys me self help books.
I don’t need them or want them. I have a small library of things to be happy about…
32. Toys = Junk
My mom threw away my wallet one time, i was mad as hell because I lost 200 bucks. She thought just because there was a batman sign on the wallet, it was a toy.
33. A truly outrageous wedding planner.
My mother-in-law tried to take over my wedding guest list because she knew exactly who we needed to invite. /s. We ended up with all of her relatives, very few of my friends or family. She also wanted to invite all of her co-workers, all of her friends and their children. I finally put my foot down and told her that I had limited room, limited budget, and it was my wedding! Mind you, my husband agreed with me. Pissed off all of her relatives, too, because I refused to have anyone below the age of 13 there.
34. A mother’s greatest betrayal.
My mom sets my default browser back from google chrome to Internet explorer whenever she borrows my computer.
35. The evils of dark grey and black clothing.When I was really young, my Midwestern, protestant, fundie grandparents believed that black/grey clothing was exclusively worn by bad people, and they refused to see it on their grandson. They took particular issue with black shoes. As a six year old I was given the chance to pick my own shoes out at the local Sports Authority. I spent the whole day evaluating my options and settled on a gorgeous pair of black new balance with orange mesh and white logos. Understandably I couldn’t wait to show them off to Grammy when I went to visit for the summer. I carefully explained the features of the shoes, how they made me run faster, jump higher, and look older. “Oh my goodness Kaneonthemshoes! Those might be the coolest shoes I’ve ever seen!”. When I woke up the next morning they had been thrown out and replaced by a pair of entirely white Nike sneakers with no explanation.
36. The Mother’s Pride.
My mom tried to “help” me once. When I was a freshmen in college, I went home for the weekend and brought my girlfriend with me. My mother decided then was the time to reveal that she kept my preserved foreskin in her jewelry box and proudly displayed it to her.