I’ve spent the last two schoolyears several hours away from home at college. One of my roommates has family near mine, so every once in a while over the course of the year we’d drive down to visit them.
I’m rather quiet around strangers and often my friends as well, so it’s reasonable for them to expect me to be the same around my immediate family.
Oh, if only that were the case.
Mom: *as I’m getting ready to leave* “Don’t you want to take the bok choy?”
Me: “I don’t know what to make with it.”
Mom: “Stir fry!”
Me: “I don’t know how to make stir fry!”
Mom: “Yes, you do!”
Me: “No, I don’t.”
Mom: “Well, why’d you have me buy it, then?”
Me: “YOU BOUGHT IT YOURSELF!”
Then mom threw up her hands in exasperation, we said goodbye, and my friend and I left.
Me: “Sorry about that.”
Him: “No problem. I thought about saying something, but I didn’t want to prolong the fight.”
Me: “Fight? Oh, no, we were just talking.”
Him: “Okay, then.”
A few months later, I was back home for vacation.
Mom: *chiding Ian* “Don’t eat right before dinner.”
Ian: “I’m hungry!”
Mom: “Wait until dinner!”
Ian: “I can’t wait that long!”
Mom: “IT’S FIFTEEN MINUTES!”
Me: “Oh, my God. He was totally right about us.”
Mom: “Excuse me?”
Me: “You know how one of my roommates came by a couple months ago? He was like, yeah, y’all were arguing and I was a little concerned. And I was really confused at the time, ‘cause we were just having a conversation, but now I’m realizing we shout all the time. Like our base volume is one notch below a shout. We’re so loud.”
Mom: “…Oh my God. You’re right.”
Long story short, everyone outside of my family always thinks we’re fighting when we’re just talking, and I think we confuse my friends.
I have no idea what I'm doing.