Awkward Family Story: The Puzzle

July 2nd, 2009

When I was first getting to know my fiance, he had mentioned he didn’t know who his father was until he was 5. Because his mom had remarried while he was very young. As I thought about it, I asked him, “Did you ever question why you had a different last name?” He said, “Nope, because my grandfather had the same last name as me.” So I asked “Well, he’s your grandfather on your mother’s side right?” (meaning that he had his mothers madien name)
He said “Well, sorta” I asked for him to explain. He made me promise not to laugh. So I agreed. He then went on to tell me, “It’s my mother’s mom, see my mother’s father died 2 days after she was born, so she remarried.” I was confused now. How did he have his grandfathers last name if it wasn’t his mother’s father? Well, as he went on to explain, while his mother and birthfather were dating, his mother’s mom and his father’s dad fell in love. So after his mother and birthfather got divorced. His mother’s mom and father’s dad got married. Meaning, His parents are also Step brother and Sister. How awkward.

(submitted by Kathleen)

151 Responses to “Awkward Family Story: The Puzzle”

  1. Ann says:

    I had to read that three times before I understood it. Pictures would have helped greatly!

  2. Celeste says:

    Maybe we need to ask Marney from the “Thanksgiving Story” to organize this one!

  3. Dave says:

    Ooooohhhhh, I get it! The doctor said “I can’t operate on him, he’s my son”, and we just assumed that the doctor was his father, but it’s really his mother. Now it all makes sense.

  4. Krish says:

    that was SO CONFUSING! i had to read it THREE TIMES to get it! lol

    so basically his Grandma on Moms side and Grandpa on Dads side hooked up?

    am i right?

  5. Megan says:

    This was… very poorly written. I am embarrassed for the author, and not because of the so called “awkward” story contained within.

  6. Anne says:

    And “I’m my own grandpa …. I’m my own grandpa … it sounds funny I know, but it really is so..”
    (Ray Stevens, Willie Nelson, etc.)

  7. clocktower says:

    Yeah, I think the post is a little wrong. Based on the description, he wouldn’t be a sibling to his parents. THE PARENTS became step-brother/sister to each other (still awkward) after they divorced. Nothing changed with the main character.

  8. for those confused says:

    | |
    “Dad” — Mom ——– Biological Dad

    GF1 (Grandfather/Mom’s dad) died.
    GM1 (Grandmother/Mom’s mom) remarried to GF2 (Biological dad’s dad).
    Mom divorced, remarried.

    Point 1: Fiance has same last name as GF2 but not same last name as “Dad”.
    Point 2: Mom and Biological Dad are step-siblings.

  9. jules says:

    I can’t decide if it’s awkward or not because it’s so freakin’ confusing. Now excuse me while I take an Advil…

    There has to be a better way to explain this story. Maybe by using names? Two days after Dan’s mother, Diane, was born, her father died…

  10. Amy says:


  11. Shannon says:

    I have an awkward family story. My mom’s brother married my dad’s sister, and my mom’s sister was engaged to my dad’s brother. Thank god that didn’t work out.

  12. Cherriej says:

    I mean, Bob married Melba, his former mother in law…

  13. Cherriej says:

    Awkward and weird…. a similar situation happened in my ex-husband’s family. Here’s the situation: His Aunt “Melba”‘s daughter was married to “Bob”. Bob and Melba’s daughter got divorced and Bob married Melba’s Mother!!!! I can’t remember if Bob and Melba’s daughter had any kids, but I sure hope not!!!!

  14. Becca says:

    omg, i can’t follow this – i understand the last sentence, but getting to that point is rough!

  15. Hankcom says:

    Later that same day………..

  16. momo says:

    I dunno … any story in which two non-blood-relatives fall in love because they’ve gotten to know each other through the union of their respective relatives doesn’t seem especially awkward or scandalous to me, but rather a matter of course. Maybe, if you have to end a story with “how awkward” to prove your point, your story isn’t actually that awkward.
    Plus wow. what’s up with. the sentence fragmentation.

  17. charlotte says:

    so its kind of like dan and serena on gossip girl, they date, their parents date. parents have a kid, dan and serena break up. that whole relationship deserves an “its complicated” like on facebook.

  18. mjd says:

    I request a do-over, I just don’t get it.

  19. Justin says:

    Nice job with the story, Aesop.

  20. Tiggergirl0325 says:

    The guy’s mom’s mom fell in love with the guy’s dad’s dad. After the guy’s parents got divorced, the grandparents got married, making the divorced parents step-siblings. And I guess making his dad his uncle and his mom his aunt.

    Okay, don’t know if that’s any clearer. LMAO!

  21. Dr Mandragora says:

    Oh what a tangled web………

  22. Joan says:

    Well, even more confusing than awkward.

  23. Jordan says:

    Does that mean he’s his own grandpa?

  24. Kate says:

    The awkward fragmented sentences certainly add to the confusion of this awkward confusing story.

  25. terry says:

    I still don’t quite get it.
    And I really have to say this is supposed to be awkward family PHOTOS I do not like the stories.

  26. Nick Papageorgio says:

    Dang, I’ve read that 5 times and I still don’t understand it! Talk about complicated!

  27. Ashley says:

    How sad is it I had to read this out loud for it to make sense. Very awkward.

  28. Andrea says:

    wow, family reunions must be fun.

  29. Kristi says:

    That is SOOO hard to follow.

  30. Marit says:

    I’ve heard about something similar. A girl age 13 was with a 17 years old guy, and her mother and his father also got together.. when they still were 13 and 17 the girl got pregnant, at the same time as her mother got pregnant with her stepdad (“father-in-law”)…

  31. Peg says:

    Huh? Ya lost me! More Coffee Please!

  32. Nate says:

    Maybe I’m getting the relationships convoluted, but wouldn’t his parents be his step aunt/uncle, and not his step brother/sister?

    • Hmm.... says:

      His parents are the ones who are step brother and sister – I had to read it a few times to get it.
      confusing – yes
      awkward – ehhhh

  33. HF Buick says:

    ok, the only “awkward” about this story is the story teller…i am sure this is an awkward situation, if only anyone can decipher what the heck Kathleen is sayin! *confused*

    PS: you know, the terms GRANDMA and GRANDPA exist.

    • KatieMB says:

      OMG I THOUGHT THE SAME THING! I think the family situation is less confusing than how the story was told! HAHA!

      • Kitten says:

        Yes, but then the story would be “my grandmother on my mother’s side married
        my grandfather on my fathers side…” would that REALLY help this to be any less

  34. Lynda says:

    How awkward? More like, how confusing!

  35. Jazmyn says:

    That was insanely confusing.

  36. Bernardo says:

    Could you please post a picture of the genealogical tree?

  37. Jenany says:

    I’m still confused … can somebody draw a diagram?

  38. gareth says:


  39. Spacini says:

    It’s unfortunate that this trend of awkward family stories continues, especially on a site called Awkward Family Photos.

    • gareth says:

      why does it bother people like you to have slight deviations from a concept? it’s one thing if
      the site is publishing any old random story for laughs, but all of these e-mails involve
      awkward family tales. do you really think that the person(s) that publish this site should set up another site called “awkward family stories” or “awkward family e-mails”? Relax and try to
      enjoy the humor.

    • boatingirl says:

      And yet again I say – if you don’t like reading the stories, simply skip over them and move on. Some of us love the stories as well as the photos!

  40. sookie says:

    I’m confused!

  41. Señor_Citizen says:

    What the who the where the…huh?
    My head’s still spinning.
    I’ve read this five times and still need a flowchart (thanks Melba) to figure this one out.

  42. David says:

    I had to draw a chart to figure that one out! Conceptually awkward, and socially awkward. A two-fer.

  43. Kathy says:

    I think I know this guy. I remember a guy in my college French course who had a story like this. My family is complicated, too, though not as awkward, as my parents are divorced and both remarried. I just remember that the professor was asking us in turn to discuss our family tree in French. As she got to each of the two of us, she just looked at us and said, “Forget it.” and moved on to the next student.

  44. kaybeetee says:

    I think quantum physics must be simpler than this

  45. I knew my friend’s family had a funny background story, but I didn’t know how funny until I met her uncle.

    I asked her whose brother he is (mom or dad) and she said, both. Okay…so she tells me her mom’s mom married her dad’s dad. But wait, I say, his last name is your mom’s maiden name, not your dad’s last name. Her mom’s mom was still married to her mom’s dad so the baby got his name. Then they divorced and she married the dad’s dad. The uncle is older than my friend, so I am pretty sure some of this happened before her parent’s got married.

    The other part of the story is that there were 3 couples. H1 married W2, H2 married W3 and H3 and W1 married other people.

  46. Nicole says:

    That’s nuts. And definitely awkward.

  47. Snowrider says:

    Nothing in my engineering background gives me the tools to follow this…..I’m getting a headache.

  48. Swede says:

    Like time through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives…

  49. Snaggletooth says:


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