relationships

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen #AtoZChallenge

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen Vidya Sury #AtoZChallenge

Aunts. Who doesn’t have them? I did. Quite a few, including my Mom’s own sisters. Each one unique in her own way. While each one was reasonably loving, she did tend to be rather dominating. Probably because my Mom was the youngest in the family. In fact, she was just three days old when her oldest sister got married. Can you imagine? So it was only natural for everyone to see her more as a child than a sister.

Over the years, the authoritativeness only grew. Somehow, no matter what, they always knew best. I giggle when I recall those times when I would cajole them into seeing my point of view, much to my Mom’s amusement. After all, I was also well on my way to becoming an aunt! I have to admit though, they did love me and enjoyed telling me how unlike my Mom I was. Not really funny . . . Still!

To inaugurate this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’ve got A for Anju gracing this space today with An Account of A visit to an Aunt’s House.

You know A for Anju. She’s been here before.

Anju is the kind of precocious pre-teen who will shoot a video to tell me how “awesome” she thought my cake was.

She’s the kind of loving gal who’ll very very rarely let a day go by without coming over and spending some time with me.

She’ll make things for me–sweet little things I love to pin on my shelf, next to my desk where I can see them and smile.

She’s a talented artist and singer.

She’s smart and shares my love for Columbo – I am thrilled to be the one to introduce the series to her.

She loves fruits . . . and in fact, that assured her a permanent place in my heart.

What can I say? I love A for Anju and I am thrilled to have her begin the A to Z Challenge for me with A for an Account, of her visit to her A for An Aunt’s house.

Over to you, Anju.

A visit to an aunt’s house

by Anjali Panchanathan

I’ve often heard my friends complaining about having to visit their relatives on weekends. It is often a very dull and boring affair. You have to look your best and be ready to see someone you haven’t seen in years. The most amusing expression that greets you at the door is “How tall you have grown!”. This makes you wonder whether you are being praised or blamed.

Last Saturday, mom took me to visit an ailing cousin of hers. “Why me?” I asked myself, but with no reasonable reply.

It was a long drive before we reached. A rather plump and overexcited woman greeted us at the door. She hugged my mom and almost screamed when she saw me. Apparently, she’d seen me when I was a baby and behaved as if she didn’t expect me to grow up! When my mom enquired about her health, and how her treatment was progressing, I realized that she was the “ailing cousin.”

The moment we were seated she began her discourse about what happened to her, what medication she was taking, and didn’t finish till she had provided us with the minutest details. After about 45 minutes, she realized that we might be thirsty and asked us what we would like to have. I was about to ask for some juice when mom declined the offer and asked her cousin to take rest.

My aunt made no further effort to serve us anything during our stay.

She talked incessantly about her relatives, friends, and even neighbors. I was so stuffed with her gossip that my head started spinning. It was nearly lunch time now and I was almost famished. Mom understood the expression on my face and asked leave of her cousin. But her cousin said we couldn’t leave yet. She went to her room and returned with a pile of photo albums. We were then shown each picture with complete details of “who, when, and where”.

We were finally permitted to leave around 3.30 p.m. We were quite exhausted and very hungry, suddenly feeling unwell ourselves. Mom and I didn’t utter a word on the way back home. My aunt’s words were still ringing in my ears . . . “these days I can’t talk much as the doctor advised me to rest as much as I can!”

Aunts aren’t gentlemen, eh!

Did you enjoy this post?

Do you have a memory of a visit like this?

I’d love to hear it in the comments!

Enjoy the Shutterstock image at the top of the post

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59 Comments

  • Reply
    Shailaja
    April 1, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Oh the poor child! How utterly terrible of that lady to keep talking and keep a child hungry! Certainly not my idea of a favourite aunt! How well Anju writes. Please tell her.

  • Reply
    Anmol Rawat
    April 1, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Ha Ha 😀 Well, this is my first read of A to Z Challenge and it was an innocent narrative. I indeed felt that way when I was a child not necessarily with Aunts , but many other relatives as well. All the best for the challenge!
    Anmol Rawat recently posted…AtheistMy Profile

  • Reply
    Medha Nagur
    April 1, 2017 at 12:45 am

    I guess these aunty characters are in everybody’s lives. They are here to stay for sure whether we want them or not. And off course they are not gentlemen! Nice writeup, truly

  • Reply
    Swathi Shenoy
    April 1, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Haha 😀 I can imagine her condition. Been there and detest being there!! That is exactly why I try to avoid visiting Aunts 😛
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…Arts of Different FormMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Era
    April 1, 2017 at 7:32 am

    My father has been the youngest of 10 siblings with his eldest sister’s children being many years older to him, so I can well imagine the age confusion and the fun of meeting aunts who are generations apart. While I have had aunts who are as energetic in Anju’s tale, I am yet to meet one who’d leave me without force feeding every few minutes.
    Beautifully written!
    My Era recently posted…The last year in kindergartenMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Hehe, I’ve had both sorts! I always enjoyed coming back home and having fun conversations about our visits! We even had family phrases coming out of these experiences. Thank you! I will tell Anju.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My wake up call #GratitudeCircleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ramya Abhinand
    April 1, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Haha true. Aunts such as these are in every family. And they drag u into conversations that not only last a lifetime but are totally not in sync with u. An aunts of mine whose daughter had recently been wed and had shifted base to new York, made me sit and watch videos of her daughter and son in law holiday in america….. i was bored to the core.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 10:38 am

      That’s the most boring part! Having to watch someone else’s wedding videos or millions of holiday photos! 🙂 If you sat through that, I admire you Ramya! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My wake up call #GratitudeCircleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Modern Gypsy
    April 1, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Oh dear, I am laughing out loud as I read this! I’m sure we have all suffered aunts who are not gentlemen! 😉
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Abstract art: the what and how with a timelapse videoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Not just aunts…a variety of people we’ve visited! I laughed when Anju showed me what she’d written, too! 🙂 Thank you Shinjini!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My wake up call #GratitudeCircleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kaddu
    April 1, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Sighhh. Been there, experienced that. One of my aunts invited us over at 8pm. We went. At about 10:15pm, she starts serving dinner to her family members, and tells us she made it in the morning, so there’s no dinner for us! I was like – “Why did you call us over at dinner time then?” We returned home, I made dinner then, and we had it at like 11:30pm!
    Kaddu recently posted…A to Z of Happiness: A – Acceptance #atozchallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Tell me about it! Super annoying! One of my aunts used to do that. We became savvy after the first two visits and made sure we ate before we went over! 🙂 Love your AtoZ theme, Chicky!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My wake up call #GratitudeCircleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Angel Stew & Devil's Brew
    April 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Hahaha! This post made me laugh out loud. I suspect I am this aunt to my nieces and nephews. They’ve already deemed me the funny aunt and I wear that crown with pride. 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Now that I am an aunt too, I never tire of hearing the “you’re so cool”. But mine were a mixed bag! Hugs Karen! So glad to see you here, and doing the AtoZ! Watching my mailbox like a hawk!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My wake up call #GratitudeCircleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    April 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I can relate to her boredom! When we lived in Germany, my grandmother was forever shepherding us to one sister or another. Not exactly fun for teenagers. Oh well, all part of life and these aunts certainly had good hearts.
    Debbie D. recently posted…AZZURRO | #AtoZCHALLENGE (A) #MusicalMemoriesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Suzy
    April 1, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Poor Anju having to endure that. On the other hand all my aunts were awesome and I loved them dearly
    Suzy recently posted…All Roads Lead to …. #atozchallenge letter AMy Profile

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    My family is very small and I had only one aunt. My lasting memories are of her cooking… it was atrocious. I recall a great deal of , ” No thank you”-ing took place on visits to her house. And she smoked. Ugh… stinky

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Hahaha! Poor little Anjali!! Aah! We all have such aunts somewhere in our family tree and have been bored to death with their non-stop chatter and questions! And after reading this post, I am not going to ask my nieces and nephews, ““How tall you have grown!” LOL 😀

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      I empathize with the aunt sometimes, Shilpa, when she remarks how tall..understandable if we haven’t met her for a while. But for the other stuff: not offering refreshments and boring others to death, ewww. Hugs. Loved your 55!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…5 tips to avoid and survive baggage loss when you travelMy Profile

  • Reply
    Beat About the Book
    April 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Oh I know of those formal boring visits. We were dragged to so many of them and never given a right to complain. My kids now have much less patience and I have to keep making big eyes at them to sit quiet if ever I make them tag along. Enjoyed this piece Vidya and Anju.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…A plain Jane #Teaser Tuesday 6My Profile

  • Reply
    Deepthi P Jugali
    April 1, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    A truth revealed with wit and humour enjoyed it!!

  • Reply
    Bhavya
    April 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Hahaha… I love how Anju has written this 😀 I could almost imagine the poor girl wanting juice but having to keep mum since her aunt was ailing.
    I hope I can be a good aunt to my nieces and nephews.

  • Reply
    Soumya
    April 1, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Hahaha! You know I still have an aunt like this. She’s so stingy she doesn’t even serve her own son when he’s hungry!

    Oh man, I hate a lot of relatives but she’s always first on the list!

  • Reply
    shubhangi srikanth
    April 1, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    hahaha…You narrated it so well…We all have such parallels in our houses! Enjoyed reading thinking of the ‘non-gentlemenly’ aunts of our family.

  • Reply
    Ramya Rao
    April 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Lol. Anju’s aunt sounds like one of mine. I have so many, each one antique piece. **I hope they never read this. **
    Nevertheless they are a pain and a source of pleasure at the same time. 😜

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    April 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    hahaha that ending!! 😛 Poor Anju, she had to endure so much 😛 I too remember being thrust with heaps of photo albums while visiting relatives 😛

  • Reply
    Jemima Pett
    April 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    So many memories like that, Vidya. Thank you Anju for the first-hand account.
    These days my phone calls with my brother are accounts of his meds and doctors’ appointments, with never a word in edgeways! But I’m lucky I have him, he’s always been a wonderful big brother 🙂
    Happy April!

  • Reply
    Shalini
    April 1, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    ROFL! Thank God that I don’t have an aunt like this. Of course, I have those nosy ones! The last line was epic 😛

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    April 1, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    hahhaha…. this was hilarious. I have plenty of aunts and my mom is the youngest too. But thankfully I haven’t been in a situation as ‘gentle’ as this. This aunt was a torture! Great start to Ato Z
    Tina Basu recently posted…A for Apple Hand Pie – Baked Golden GoodnessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 1, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Haha, that last line made me laugh. There are aunts like these, and there are aunts that pamper us to no end.
    Great start to the challenge, sweetheart 🙂
    Sreesha recently posted…Arriving Somewhere, But Not HereMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sheethal
    April 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    “these days I can’t talk much as the doctor advised me to rest as much as I can!” …. haha… I wonder how much she could talk if the doc haven’t advised as such. Lovely post. 🙂

  • Reply
    Bushra
    April 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Yes this kind of creature of aunts do exist but not have met yet. Btw enjoyed a lot , it’s fun thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes
    April 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    She is a well-behaved child…I used to always carry a book with me while visiting any relatives and would bury my nose in one. Yes, I was probably considered rude but after the initial formalities, I was usually left alone.
    Sanch recently posted…#Acrostic – Creativity #atozchallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita
    April 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Luckily my aunts want to serve us food first & then talk 🙂
    Need to follow their footsteps.
    Anita recently posted…Angry?My Profile

  • Reply
    Bala
    April 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    This never fails to crack me up.

  • Reply
    manisha lakhe
    April 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    what an experience for anjali! my aunts overdo the food thing with anyone who visits them! happy to share them with her…

  • Reply
    Kalpanaa
    April 1, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Hahahaha – enjoyed it thoroughly. Who hasn’t been in that situation? Or the opposite? Being plied with too much food most of it sugary. Lovely.

  • Reply
    upasna
    April 1, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    A fun post… These Aunts and their remarks and statements..Ahhh!

  • Reply
    Shalini
    April 2, 2017 at 1:26 am

    This reminds me of a tale I read in school – The Luncheon by Somerset Maugham where his protagonist keeps repeating during the entire meal that she is on a diet while ordering one dish after another. 😊
    Love your taken on aunts!!
    Cheers to a great april
    <a href="a-april-fools-atozchallenge-2017/">April Fools</a>

  • Reply
    Arpita Sharma
    April 2, 2017 at 2:31 am

    First things first Vidya, this post made me smile! Like really after a full non smiling day! So this one was for you!
    Whislt reading the post, I could not help but think about V (my 8 year old) who is a pre teen. like Anju. Similar tales run at mine everyday 🙂 Give my love and good wishes to Anju, Hope she relished some good mom ke haath ka khana after a long day!

  • Reply
    Dipanwita
    April 2, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Laughing my heart out. My aunts thought they could imbibe good character in us by just scolding and comparing with other children.

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    April 2, 2017 at 7:01 am

    The title should have been “Parents Aren’t Gentlemen!”
    Like in this incident, parents often expose their children to relatives who are known to be boring and/or toxic.

  • Reply
    Shaivi Sharma
    April 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Haha! Had a good laugh reading this one! I have been stuck many a times in such situations but thankfully, the host made up for the nonsense conversation with lip smacking food, helping us endure the ordeal!

  • Reply
    Nibha Gupta
    April 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Oh God!! I can totally relate to the trips like these when all you have to sit up straight with an interested face and bear with the stories of people you know nothing about!

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 2, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Did this Aunt pass away shortly after?? Maybe she was just so excited to have someone visit since so many don’t like to visit a person who is ill. She seemed so excited to leave a stamp on her memory so she could carry it forward and showed the photo album because she didn’t want those memories to fade. Ahhh, Aunts…I had one Aunt I loved and her home always smelled of baked bread. I had another aunt that could laugh and make everyone else laugh…she was also a great cook. My third aunt has some issues but loves me and I love her. The other aunt I knew left string negative memories and is truly not worth talking about.

  • Reply
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710
    April 2, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    This post got me in splits! Loved reading Anju’s thoughts about the ungentlemanly aunt 😁

    I can pretty much sit quietly and listen to people, thanks to my introverted nature. But I draw the line at being hungry and still listening to someone! Specially when that someone is sick and is supposed to take rest!

  • Reply
    Vinay Leo R.
    April 3, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Oh yes. I have my fair share of dominating aunts who are quite ungentlemanly too. 😉 LOL!

    Been in her place, with my mom declining the offer of a drink. 😛 Retrospectively, she did think that that was a wrong decision too. Hehe. That woman just kept on blabbing. At one point, I didn’t even know what we had initially come to her to talk about. 😀
    Vinay Leo R. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge 2017 – A for AllianceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Deepa
    April 3, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Haha.. guess we all have such aunts and we all have many stories to tell. Anjali must have been very tired and hungry. Poor girl! I enjoyed reading it Vidya 🙂

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