We all like to make fun of and criticize a Karen or Ken whenever they have a meltdown in public. But what if you're RELATED to the adult throwing the tantrum. That has got to be a new layer of humiliation, ESPECIALLY if they're your own parents. These people recall what it felt like when their own family lost their temper in public.
One Crazy Aunt
“A while ago, my mom, aunt, cousin, and I all went on a vacation to Disney World. We live pretty dang north of Florida, so, of course, we took a plane. My mom and I both already knew that my aunt was annoying, so we knew the next week or so was going to be at least a little headache-inducing.
We got off the plane, and AS SOON as we got to our hotel, my aunt started complaining. There wasn’t enough room, the beds didn’t feel good, we were too far from a walk from the entrance. Anything and everything was an annoyance to her. We wanted to get out of the room, so we got in a convertible we rented and my aunt was JUMPING to drive it. So, we let her.
At the theme park, we liked to just chill out in the shops. And because we were already IN shops, we would do some shopping. It started pretty tame. My mom and I broke off from my aunt and my cousin to just… get away from them for a while. But, we noticed something very specific every time we found something we liked. If we said anything along the lines of ‘oooo this looks cute!’ my aunt and cousin would be there in SECONDS, and buy it for themselves. No hesitation, no second thoughts, we’d say it, and they would buy it. They HAD to have it first.
We were kinda bummed about it at first, but it got pretty amusing over time. We tried doing it with things we didn’t even like. Stupid gimmicky t-shirts? They’d buy them. Crummy plastic toys? They’d buy them. Normal jeans? They’d buy them. It started getting a little difficult though. Some items we liked were just about to be sold out, so we had to be quiet about if we liked them or not so they wouldn’t swoop in and take them before we could.
The same thing happened with rides, too. All they did was cut us off to be on the rides first. There was a point where I was feeling SUPER nauseous and all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel to cool off for a bit, but my cousin wanted to ride more roller coasters. My mom was gone doing something else, so my aunt told my cousin that I would go on rides with her. I told her that I was feeling too sick to ride anything else, but my cousin started fake crying. My aunt started getting mad at me for not going on rides with her daughter and I was getting angry that they wouldn’t let me go back to the hotel. We argued about it for a bit, but I ended up getting on the ride with my cousin. We got off the ride– my cousin said that she didn’t even ENJOY the ride and I ended up throwing up. My aunt got MAD at me for throwing up, I told her that I didn’t even WANT to ride it in the first place. We ended up saying barely two words to each other for the rest of the day.
A day or two after, we went to a store selling Lilo & Stitch merch. My mom and I saw a MASSIVE stuffed animal of Stitch. It was the last one they had. We said something like ‘oh woah look at that Stitch, that’s cool.’ Guess who bought it? My aunt. We weren’t upset they got it though, we weren’t going to buy a massive stuffed animal, I don’t even know where we could put it in our house. The day continued like normal. They lugged that massive thing around all day, scuffed it up from dragging it on the ground, and almost lost it once.
We went back to the hotel room and my aunt drove again. As every day passed, the same thing would happen. There’s no point in going into the nitty-gritty about it, I think you guys get it.
It was the last day of our vacation, my mom and I didn’t get to drive the convertible ONCE because my aunt was always bouncing off the walls to get in it first. We packed up our stuff and went to the airport to leave Florida. But before we could actually GO home, my aunt realized that the some clothes and the massive Stitch stuffed animal she bought were too big to fit in her suitcase and too big to be a carry-on, so they had to leave them in Florida.
My cousin was pretty upset that she couldn’t bring it with her, she cried and cried and cried, but I felt nothing but the meanest happiness. They spent all that time trying to be first. It was always ‘me, me, me,’ but it backfired because they couldn’t even bring all the stuff they bought back home with them. That’s all I heard about for nearly the entire plane ride home.”
Right In Front Of Their Crush
“I worked at Best Buy. I stopped in with my mom one day because she wanted to buy me the Star Wars DVD box set for my birthday.
I had a huge, HUGE crush on the girl that was working the customer service counter. Well, the DVD set rang up $10 more than it was priced, and my mom deliberately didn’t say anything until after the transaction so she could claim the effing $5 Michigan Scan Law bounty.
My crush didn’t know how to process it and the manager was busy, so my mom tore into her about how it was her job and how she should understand how to do things.
At my job.
To a girl I liked.
My life was misery for a while afterward.”
“That’s How You Get Things Sorted”
“One time my Grandad got a sausage roll at a football match during half time, when he got back to his seat he found it was overdone, the pastry was quite burned. The man was irate. He didn’t take it back straight away as the second half was about to start, but he spent much of the second half angrily lamenting his savory snack letdown. So he takes it home, calls the customer service number on the back (I assume he had a few choice words for the poor soul on the other end but I wasn’t present for this), and keeps the remainder of the sausage roll in the freezer for the next couple of weeks.
Skip ahead to the next match day, my Grandad tells me we’re heading out early so he can have his sausage roll replaced. The customer service line told him to go to Kiosk 3 at the front of the ground next to the ticket office. When we arrive, however, the shutters are down at the food place. The old man looks around growling and turning red in the face, stamps right over to window number 3 of the ticket office and slams his frozen burned sausage roll down like a freaking flaky gauntlet. At this point I’m trying to convince him the ticket office was a completely different department to the catering concession but my Grandad was having none of it. The lady working the ticket window continually attempted in vein to convince him the same, they sell match tickets not hot snacks, but this just got him angrier and angrier. Across comes a colleague behind the glass, now there’s just two people to rage at. Then a head steward comes to attempt to diffuse the situation and my Grandad begins to wave the burnt sausage roll in this man’s face, I was actually surprised he didn’t whack him with it. At this point I’m mortified by the whole affair, wishing I’d have stayed back at the house until nearer kick off.
Eventually, after an hour or so, the shutters come up on the food concession. Fella at the counter goes ‘You must be Mr. Alaginge’ and calmly resolves the situation, dispatching a freshly baked sausage roll with the steady hands of a surgeon. My Grandad is completely satisfied with the result of his hour of insolent rage. As we’re walking away he turns to me and says ‘that’s how you get these things sorted.'”
“I was around ten years old. We were playing Candy Land. I figured out how to throw the dice so they’d land on the number I wanted. My parents, informed me that that wasn’t fair and was cheating. Okay. So I started rolling the dice the normal way. A half a dozen turns later I win the game. My father knocks the board off the table and pitches a fit because I won.
Another incident happened when I was in cub scouts. My mother was the den mother and ran our den by herself. This is 1st to 3rd grade. There was the time at the Cub Scout pack meeting where all the various dens got together with their families. We held it in the cafeteria of the local high school. Afterwards, we had refreshments that the families had brought. There was a line. The kids went first and then the adults. Kids being kids, we’d sneak through the line multiple times. So my father decides it’s a good idea to have a loud screaming fit at me for doing this, even though every other kid is doing so. In front of everyone in the pack. I really enjoyed Cub Scouts. But wasn’t allowed to participate in next year’s program by my mother. That’s because fathers handled running it in my area. And obviously my father shouldn’t be allowed to participate.
The third and worst incident. We’re on a family trip. I think it was somewhere in New England. We’re driving along, and someone says something to set my dad off. Probably me. I was really proficient at doing that and took great delight in it. So he’s screaming and yelling about something. He announces he’s going to crash the car and kill us all. He speeds up to about 80 or 90 mph. My little sister is screaming. My mother is yelling at him to slow down and stop being his childish idiot self. I’m just sitting there, unperturbed, because this is expected and normal. Because we can’t go more than a few days without something happening.
Then there was that Christmas he threw a tantrum about us not having a real tree. A couple of years before, he and my mom had bought an artificial one, which we set up every year. So on Christmas Eve he throws a tantrum about it. Then he goes out and buys a real tree and sets it up in our basement playroom. No decorations. Just a tree. He gets vicious because my sister and I rag on him about being a tree killer.
My dad got remarried in 1992. He had two tween step daughters who adored him. None of this behavior with them that I ever heard about. Which made me so upset.
My sister and I now have a private joke about me not being the oldest child. But actually being the middle child. My dad was the oldest. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s around the mid 2000s, about eight years before he passed away. He had to go into a nursing home the last two and half years of his life because of it. It made me think that the disease might well have been there decades ago before it manifested, and Parkinson’s was the cause of his behavior.”
Holiday Cheer And Endless Shrieking
“For the past 4 years, my wife and I had been inviting my oldest sister to join us for every Christmas breakfast. As the Christmas season rolls around, she’ll lament about being single and not having a family of her own to share Christmas with. Each year, we invite her to come over to eat breakfast at 8am and to watch our kids open their Christmas presents. Each year she waffles about coming. She doesn’t give us an answer until the morning of, and usually it’s at about 8:30–9:30, when everyone is at our house and we’ve already begun eating. She says something might come up and you need to be flexible because things happen. She never comes.
Until this past year. She shows up at 10:30 am. All of our other family members have eaten and left to go about their other families’ Christmas celebrations. The kids presents are already open. She shows up with food she’s brought from home.
I say thank you for coming, we appreciate the food. I tell her she’s kind of missed the show. She goes into a tirade about how it’s too early to expect anyone to come for Christmas and why can’t we meet later. I tell her the kids are itching to open their presents, and that they won’t eat their breakfast if we open the presents first, and that we want everyone to be able to watch them open their presents after being fed.
I’m told that I’m being very selfish, inconsiderate and rude, to which I reply we just want to share the magic of Christmas with her and our kids. I continue explaining to her that our environment growing up was without tradition and that I wanted to change that for my kids.
She begins raising her voice over mine, telling me that I can’t expect her to make it due to the early time every year, and that it’s unrealistic and very selfish of me that we expect people to come. I remind her that we have many other people come over and even from out of town. At this point, my wife brings the kids upstairs and closes the door.
I ask if it would be nice where once a year we get together as a family and share one meal with each other, perhaps we could improve upon with what we grew up with. Would it be too much to ask for? Start our own tradition? She agrees, yes, that would be nice and not too much to ask for. I then remind her how that day, for many families, is Christmas. And that we’ve been inviting her for years. And that she doesn’t RSVP until the morning of.
She shrieks and screams at me about how I’m so inconsiderate and just of thinking about myself without thinking of others. I tell her please don’t scream and shout in my house because I don’t want to repeat how our parents screamed and shouted at each other on a daily basis. I tell her in a calm voice that I’m begging her to stay calm, so we can just speak with each other as adults. If she continues with this behavior, I’m going to ask her to leave.
She doesn’t. She screams and screams. I tell her to leave and lead her to the front door. I open it and guide her out with a gentle push with the back of my hand. I look outside towards my next door neighbor and see their family members entering their front door. I close my door and lock it. Looking through the peephole, I see and hear my sister through the door.
Her fists are clenched by her side and as she hops up and down she screams, ‘Well, eff you!! eff you!!!’
Six months later, when my sister comes over bearing gifts from overseas, my daughter says, ‘The last time aunt was here, she and daddy were fighting.’
I don’t expect her to apologize. Ever. My sister, is 49, a pharmacist, unmarried. While growing up, our family has a history of tons of abuse with loads of screaming and yelling. She’s a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, who goes on and off her meds (but mostly stays off meds), and doesn’t go to therapy. We’re not sure if we’re going to invite her again.”
“My sister throwing an absolutely horrific fit at the funeral home while we were making arrangements for my mother’s funeral. My mother passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm in March. At the time, I was 49, my sister was 53, and my brother was 56. It was an awful time, totally unexpected, and we were all devastated.
My sister has been known all of my life for her tendency to blow up in public or private over the tiniest thing. She had already made a scene at the hospital when she found out that my mother had placed me in charge of medical decisions for her, and not my sister. The nurses in the ICU had actually asked me not to leave, so that they didn’t have to deal with my sister.
So anyway, the three of us, and my eldest daughter (who was extremely close to my mom) were making decisions at the funeral home as to music, photos, and the casket, when the subject of her obituary came up.
My daughter’s best friend since elementary school had practically been raised by my mother and we considered her a part of the family. My daughter requested that her best friend, Lori, be listed as a grandchild in the obituary, because that was the only way she could take off from work to attend. (In order to get time off for a death, it had to be a family member).
Neither my brother nor I had a problem with that. But for some reason (and I still haven’t figured out why), my sister totally flipped out about it. She was literally pushing me backwards, while screaming about 3 inches from my face, that Lori wasn’t a grandchild, and there was no way on earth that she would be listed as one. My brother and I both tried to tell her that Lori had practically grown up in my mother’s house and was like a sister to my daughter. They had been best friends since about the third grade. We tried to tell my sister that she knew that is what my mother would have wanted. Of course, my sister knew all of this, but it made not one whit of a difference. She ranted and raved and screamed.
We tried to just leave to let her calm down, because the funeral director was about ready to call the police. My sister followed us to the parking lot, and when we got in the car to try to leave, she was actually pounding on the car windows, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs.
We did manage to leave, but we were dreading the funeral itself. My sister did manage to contain herself through the funeral, mainly because my nephews were there to help control her. She did have one moment when she tried to tell my daughter that it was her fault that my mom had died, because my mother was dog sitting my daughter’s little terrier at the time (which of course, made no sense at all).
We managed to get through the funeral with no more outbursts. But unfortunately, it has been over seven years, and my sister hasn’t spoken to my brother or me since. Although, I have to admit, I do not miss all the drama that always surrounded her. By the way, my daughter’s friend, Lori, was listed as a grandchild in the obituary.”
“I was 13 when this happened. My mom had made a reservation at a hotel for a trip, but when she got there the lady said there was some error with the reservation and that my mom’s payment didn’t go through, so the lady offered us a double bedroom for a discount.
Rather than just taking the room, thanking the lady, and leaving, my mom decided the best course of action would be to scream, in the middle of a hotel lobby, ‘NOBODY IS GOING ANYWHERE TIL I GET MY FREAKING ROOM!’ She then proceeded to pester the lady, who clearly couldn’t do anything about it, until eventually she called the police on my mom for public disturbance. Mortifying.”
“Not my parent but grandparent. When I was around 10 years old my grandmother went out and got us (her, my brother, and me) McDonald’s. We got home and we didn’t have napkins in the bags. No big deal, right? We have paper towels and napkins in the house, also me and my brother are pretty good with not making any messes while we eat.
Nope. Grandmother got us in the car, drove back to McDonald’s, demanded a manager, and screeched about how upset she was that we didn’t get any napkins. I wanted to just melt into the floor and disappear. It’s just napkins, Nanny….”
“I Will Turn This Plane Around!”
“When I was a young child on a long distance flight, my mother let me and my brother sleep on the floor. For safety reasons, the flight attendants told my mother that we were not allowed to sleep on the floor. She started to argue with the flight attendants, who then turned to the pilots. The pilots threatened to turn the plane around unless we get up from the floor, but she continued to argue. The pilots announced they were about to turn around because of my mother, so all the passengers got mad. Eventually she caved in when she had all passengers and flight crew on a Boeing 747 against her”
“I was with my parents on vacation and the hotel put charges on the bill by accident. My mom marched to the front desk and demanded to see the manager. There was a long line, but she cut right in front of it. The manager wasn’t very helpful, probably because she was rude.
So my mom, went to all the other customers in line and told them that the hotel was a scam and they were ripping us off with fake charges. She made a scene. The hotel called the police and we were kicked off the premises by actual cops. I died inside.”
Banned For Life
“Ugh, my dad. He can be such a prick if you get his order wrong, it could be fast food or a nice sit down restaurant. He often yells at wait staff if they ‘undercook’ his steak. It has to be well done or he claims to have lost his appetite.
One time we went to Burger King when I was younger and we sat down to eat. He took one bite of his burger, spit it out and immediately started complaining about it being under cooked. He cut in front of everyone in line to yell at the cashier, then he asked who was the cook. when the cook appeared, he launched his burger hitting the poor kid directly in the face with a lidless burger. He’s now banned for life from Burger King.”
They Were In Tears
“My mom asked me to call her a taxi via an app.
She ended up calling me multiple times complaining about how the driver didn’t use the route she thought was best (she never owned a car and doesn’t know how to drive), even though the guy just used the best possible route the navigator suggested.
She ended up getting out halfway and using subway. The driver proceeded to call me in tears, completely shocked, unsure of what he did so wrong, and apologizing. I felt terrible for them.
I never called her a cab again.”