Karens are ruthless. They will stop at nothing until they get their way.
And they do not care who they embarrass. Their children, themselves--anybody. They will rampage and rant and rave all the live-long day all while maintaining that they are right and that they are entitled to be right.
But children are watching. Children will listen.
Here were some of those answers.
It always ashamed the hell out of me. My mom would never leave a store happy and never ordered anything from a restaurant she didn't send back at least once. Going places with her was a nightmare, but in a way she taught me how to act by showing me what I didn't want to look like.
Forgive Me Father
My dad is a Karen, and I feel so awful (and embarrassed) for the poor people that had to suffer the wrath of his unjustified anger. I don't speak up to him because I'm freaking terrified myself, but I do apologize to the person later when I get the chance on his behalf and ask what I can do to make up for it. Pretty much everyone has said it's fine and they experience it every now and then :((.
Not Today Mom
My mom was a full Karen before we had a word for it. One time she picked me up from school and took me too McDonald's and said "look at all these "N-word people just standing around" and I'm like "dude you've met them.... Kevin is my math tutor....".
YOU'RE Fired Karen
My mum was a Karen. She actually used to pride herself in the ability to make customer service staff cry. it got to the point where i used to go back and give apologies to the staff after. She got people fired and used to joke "if they can't take the heat, don't do the job."
Last time we ate out, Mom was really demanding. I apologized to the waitress and tried to give her an extra tip while mom was in the bathroom. She refused and said Dad is a really generous tipper. I assume he's been covering for her all along.
No Excuse YOU!
My dad's a Karen. He literally almost made a waitress at chilis cry. I just mouthed sorry to her and wanted to sink in my chair and die.
I think my dad has finally stopped doing this, but when I was a kid, he would actually do the 'hey buddy' finger snap to get the waitress's attention. Occasionally accompanied by yelling across the room, 'EXCUSE ME, my glass is empty!"
My late ex husband was a Karen. I just looked away or stared at the floor when he would start in with the store clerk or the bank teller. There was nothing I could do and I didn't dare call him on his behavior because I didn't want him to escalate his abuse toward me. Occasionally if I thought he wouldn't see it I would mouth "sorry" at his victim.
I tell her she's embarrassing me, then she doubles down on it and starts arguing with me, I start arguing back, it becomes even more embarrassing, she makes sure to say something that will mess me up loud enough to be heard and then calls me insane and overly sensitive when I get up and leave or stop talking to her. But I don't apologize to other people on her behalf.
My personal hobby when I was younger and had less to lose was when I saw someone behaving like this (berating an employee, especially a teenager who is helpless), I 'accidentally' stumbled and fell into them. I'm 6'2". Then I yelled off into the distance at no one and told them to watch out. I apologized to the Karen and quickly walk away. My friends told me the Karen always stopped being a prick after that.
My mom is not a Karen however her name is Karen. She doesn't seem bothered by the name meme but my dad was very confused. He asked what a Karen was and got very defensive of her and does not support the term. It was sweet to see him get riled up to defend her. But honestly, Karens can be the worst.
I stopped speaking out, it is pointless. It's like talking to a wall. Usually I just turn or walk away, like i don't know her.
My mom isn't the most extreme Karen, but she has had a history of giving retail workers a hard time over a promotion or a sale price or what have you. She's not bad at restaurants, but she will sometimes insist on me sending something back even when I say it's fine.
I'm usually pretty embarrassed, and I've turned out opposite of that, maybe to the extreme? I will just quietly accept my fate if my steak isn't cooked how I want it, or a sale price isn't quite what it should have been.
My mother is a demi-Karen. It really depends on the person she talks to. Unusually many rage episodes with people of foreign backgrounds for small insignificant details, so yeah... Anywho, I grew up just not understanding her, thinking she was being unreasonable and cruel. Scolding people for not having your favorite cheese in the store? Get a hold on yourself.
Now, I confront her in the shop during a fit. I am dead @ss tired of seeing a woman of 53 acting like a toddler. It usually goes something like this, let's keep the cheese example:
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE! I HAVE SHOPPED HERE FOR YEARS etc etc"
"Mom, they are trying to help, they don't have your type of cheese, shut up and let's go to another store"
I am usually super tired and all of these... Fits and rages over nothing is just unbearable.
And no, we are not Americans, we are Norwegians where nearly anyone acts like this.
My dad is the Karen not my mom. He throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants. Usually at restaurants.
Food is too slow? Pissed.
He doesn't like his sandwich? Pissed.
The tv in the restaurant has the news when he wants football on? Pissed.
I don't do anything but it's so embarrassing watching him yell at the poor staff. Like for damn sale just stop it man.
I apologize after she storms out and get screamed at in the car ride home.
I haven't spoken to her in a few years, but my mom is the variety who likes to quiz service employees about their jobs. Not that she knows anything about it, but she'd ask too many questions under the guise of being "just curious." It was like she was evaluating the expertise of this person and whether or not they deserved to serve her. I was always really embarrassed (I worked retail for most of my life), so I would generally slip in an apology under my breath. I didn't confront her because I was scared poopless of her.
Probably the one time my dad just about cursed out a server at 1am at a freaking Perkins . My dad acted like a complete butthole and i just put my head down. Second time my dad acted like an butthole I was 19 on a road trip . My dad insisted we walk after ordering a coke and the dude forgetting to ring in our order. On that occasion i wrote a paragraph review praising the server and apologizing for my father being a jackoff.
Low Contact Save
I'm pretty low contact with her, I would stop talking to her altogether if my sister didn't live with her. But she'll abuse my sister to get to me so I maintain a positive relationship with her. Which just means I have to do what she says.
Whenever she had a Karen moment, I would get really embarrassed and stare at the ground. Sometimes she would use me to get what she wanted. I don't know many times she made up a disability for me in order for her to act super entitled. Sometimes that stuff wouldn't fly and she would go nuts.
I wish I could say I never defended her but it's not true. If wasn't on her side it meant I got punished when we got home.
My sister is a Karen. I literally watched her yell at an ice cream man because he was late to their neighborhood. What's sad is everyone can see how proud she is of herself, but she can't see that all of the rest of us are so embarrassed for her.
She probably gets it from Grandma.
My mom has gotten a lot better at not going off on people these days, possibly due to my best friend working in food service (she hears a lot of tales of people complaining about things out of their control). While she still believes each individual employee represents the company as a whole a therefore should be able to make amends when she feels wronged, she backs off quicker now and I kind of know how to calm her down. Growing up I could never understand arguing with someone until you get what you want instead of going somewhere else that would just give it to anyway. She probably gets it from Grandma.
"look, I'm not like them"Giphy
I end up over-tipping most of the time to try and make some amends for my family's behavior (I have one Karen and two whatever male Karens are). And where I'd maybe normally be quiet and keep to myself if I was alone, and just be nice when I had to speak to people, like to pay the bill or whatever, I end up having to be proactively and overly nice to try and compensate. There's an element of "look, I'm not like them" to it too.
And yeah, I have had to apologize many times for their behavior as well as calling them out on it at the actual moment of Karen-Ness. I'm older though so have the courage to tell my family to shut up. When I was a kid I just used to be scared that we'd get our food spat in or that the folks on the receiving end would be as horrible back, and I'd end up wanting to disappear. QuokkaMocha
My Dad. He can be the "corporate executive that doesn't take no for an answer" kinda guy.
Sometimes it works out like a good cop bad cop situation.
He can be an butthole but I'll just come in at the end and just emphasize with the person and it usually works out.
I've seen my mum Karen twice but tbh they were both justified.
We were reenrolling in high school. The reception had one window open to process the papers. There was 200 kids in my year level. We also had time blocks we had to come in to reenroll in. So Mum drives me in and waits in the carpark. 1.5 hours later she comes in wondering where I was. All I had to do was get some paper stamped. Whelp the school's reception was on lunch break leaving no one to process the papers EVEN THOUGH IT WAS OUR ASSIGNED TIME. The line was 400 people long now. She absolutely cracks it at the receptionists and makes them open all 4 windows to process the paper work. The next year we had a week to drop off the paperwork. None of these assigned time crap.
Smoke it Out
My dad had a Karen phase for a while but it only came out when we were at restaurants, for some reason. He would berate the waitress (it was always a waitress, never a waiter) about his food not being the way he ordered, despite not having ordering it like that.
I tried to tell him he can't talk to people that way and to apologize to the waitresses on his behalf, but he didn't really listen to me since I was a teenager.
My solution was to offer to let him go have a smoke in the parking lot and leave me his card so I could pay the bill at the same time. He almost always accepted since he's a pretty heavy smoker.
I hopes those waitresses enjoyed their 30% tips.
To those who are just eating up these Karen stories, I recommend https://notalwaysright.com/. Stories of terrible customers, employees, bosses, etc.
My mom recently yelled at a pharmacist at a medicine pick up window and said everyone there was going to h*LL I did the same thing I always did in these situations. I got super ashamed of it's at a restaurant, gas station etc, I'll say sorry to the worker after my mom storms out it's honestly supper annoying and when we get home she complains for HOURS about it. I just get super ashamed my grandma and aunt are like this too. My grand Mac is worse she once demanded at a very fancy restaurant that she speak to the manager and get a full refund on the bill over $100 because they forgot ketchup on her burger. i hope I never act like them. Anyway I apologize to any worker who's had to deal with them or any Karens.
No Coffee for You
I remember my mom having a Karen moment. She was ordering a coffee from McDonald's (think you already know where this is going) we waited till we we're next to pick up are food which took about 40 mins. My mom was starting to get impatient. Then when it was our turn at the window, the employee (who looked about 18) told my mom "I'm sorry ma'am but are coffee Machine is not working at the moment..." Then I saw my mom's face getting red. I already knew that I was about to witness a homicide.
My mom said "Well why didn't you tell me when I was first ordering? I got places to be you know! I waiting for almost an hour to get my food! Where's your Manager? Because this is unbelievable!" Mean while I was sitting in the passenger seat next to her covering my face. I felt really bad for the employee. I'll spare you the details. The argument lasted for about an hour.
She wasn't around when it happened. When I was maybe 21 or so I was staying for a bit in my parent's second house by myself during a snowy winter. I was trying to negotiate with a plow driver to plow the driveway when he told me he wouldn't do it because he had heard from other plow drivers that the lady who owned our house was a crazy witch who made unrealistic demands. I knew exactly what he meant and stopped calling plow companies. I already knew, despite the gaslighting of my childhood, that she had unchecked narcissism, but that was the first time I realized everyone else knew too. It was a weird acceptance.
My mom is named Carin and she fits it 80% of the time. She's gotten so many free things from complaints and comments. She can be so embarrassing.
A few weeks ago she had a Karen moment but in a great way. We were taking a walk with my husband and our kids and we heard screaming and a baby crying. A man was threatening a woman and was yelling "look what you're doing to the baby." My mother didn't hesitate. She walked up to the front porch and said "is there a problem?" My mother stood up to a 250lb man. She actually went into the house, pushed him out, held the baby, and calmed the situation down. My husband was there but said he was her back up.
I called the police. As she was talking to the police the man started yelling. She turned around and said "i am speaking. You need to sit down now" and waited for him to sit back down. Of course the police gave her the speech about how she shouldn't have gotten involved and called them but she went right back and said she isn't afraid of anyone and the child came first. She's a tough one.
My Mum is a mega Karen. While she doesn't yell at staff so much she's such a passive aggressive witch that it's just as humiliating for people. I spent my childhood embarrassed by her. She would have no problem in humiliating us kids in public either, like screaming and screeching. Now I just tell her to shut the hell up and I embarrass her as much as she had embarrassed me over the years. It only took a few times and now she doesn't do it when I'm in public with her. She watches what she says. That's what relatives of Karen's need to do. Call them on their bullshit and humiliate them in public. That's the only thing that will stop them. That's their kryptonite.
Usually, I'm not on her side. Especially when she's rude to waiters or workers. It's pretty embarrassing and even though I love her, my brother and I are always so humiliated. My mom doesn't like all the bad rep "Karen's" get, so whenever she gets Starbucks or something like that she always says a random name when they ask for it. She then proceeds to post about it on Facebook without realizing that is the most "Karen" thing she could possibly do.
My biological Karen demands bi-weekly to monthly food and entertainment tribute to maintain the fragile family ceasefire, but she insist on taking turns paying the bill so she can choose to pay at the cheap places and stick me at a fancy restaurant. Regardless she always tips %3-%5 average.
At all restaurants I excuse myself to use the "restroom" intercept the server and hand them a fair tip based on what I think our meal might be. I apologize in advance and warn them my mother is a "difficult" customer. They all get it, and seem to appreciate the heads up instead of the unexpected angry customer blowing up in their faces like a grenade.
Before the lockdown I used to regularly take my mother to one sentimental cheap diner specifically because the waitress loves me and spits in my moms food.
My mom would ignore people in stores who greeted her. She would wave her hand high over her head to get the attention of a server. Complains about everyone and everything. It's embarrassing. I've grown up overcompensating for her rudeness.
Not My Kid.
I just walk away and don't say anything until she's done doing her Karen thing. Then I walk out of wherever we are before she does so if I'm seen with her it's kinda easy to do buy. Also sometimes she sees me walking away from her and then when we get home she yells at my dad for me being his child when I'm both of theirs. I just like to avoid every situation I can. So in all I do nothing and try not to let people know she's my mom.
Queen of HeartsGiphy
My mom is a Karen. As a kid I referred to her as the Queen of Hearts because she was always like, "off with their heads!!" I stopped talking to her the second I was financially able to leave her (around age 19). I've been in hospitality and customer service my whole life because I am so used to dealing with Karens. I handle it well since my mom was one 24/7. When she had her moments in public growing up, it was incredibly embarrassing. I'd usually roll my eyes and make faces that portrayed that this is something she did a lot and we were sick of it as well.
Sometimes I'd apologize. Sometimes, people would apologize to me, like "sorry your mom is a witch" kinda thing which meant a lot- that they knew they only had to deal with her for a few minutes and I had to deal with her my whole life.
When I deal with Karens at work now, sometimes their kids will do that to me. Full circle. That kinda eye lowered whisper, "sorry about them" thing and I always give them back that knowing head shake, like "it's all good- I'm sorry you have to deal with that!" If you know, you know.
It was terrible. Once I was old enough to understand what she was doing, I would get so embarrassed. As a teenager, I began apologizing for her. The worst one was when she took me to the doctor and argued over the payment. We didn't have insurance at that time, so the doctor was giving us a discount. Well, one visit they notified her that the price had gone up and she had A MELTDOWN.
She yelled at the poor girl at the desk for like five minutes before she stormed out. I was crying, because not only was I incredibly ashamed to be related to her, but as a depressed teen I felt like I had just learned exactly how much I was worth to my mom ($25... this was in the 90s). In tears, I apologized to the girl at the desk and slunk out. That one has always stuck in my head.
My mom had a Karen moment once. I don't even remember what it was about, I just know that she had a crap ton of problems at that moment, and something the cashier said had pissed her off, and she snapped at her and said something rude. I quickly said "sorry" to the cashier and went after my mom. I still feel bad for that poor cashier.
Oh God, yeah. This is definitely something that applies to me.
I used to just make myself as small as possible and ignore it because she scared the hell outta me (she wasn't abusive, I was just a really timid kid). Now that I'm an adult I've started calling her on it. Usually it doesn't help but at least she knows I'm not just gonna stand by and let her scream at everyone that looks at her.
A recent incident was actually the first time I apologized to them afterwards. We were going to a doctor's appointment and went to the wrong building so she started yelling at the poor lady at the check in desk thing. In a crowded waiting room. It was awful. I stayed behind for a minute after she left and apologized to the lady, she looked like she was gonna cry and I felt SO bad.
My mom is half a Karen and I'm ashamed when she's having a Karen moment. I go as far as walking away from her and looking at my phone.
God Help You
My mom isn't usually a Karen, but I was reading through some old blog posts I made 5 years ago and came across one where I wrote that she yelled at a McDonald's manager because the soda he gave her spilled in her Prius. It was a 2-year-old new car at the time and God help your soul if it gets dirty on the inside in any way.
I had just come out of surgery at the time and was on my way home, still drugged up. But I have a faint memory of it.
She's nicer now for the most part.
We're no longer in contact, but for one of my birthdays we went out for breakfast (after TONS of begging from me; I let her choose the place and everything). Waitress forgot something for my food and my mom went OFF on her.
I snuck the waitress my birthday money (all $20 of it) as a tip. The food was great, and all she forgot was a few strawberries. The pancakes were wonderful with or without them. My mom figured I 'wasted' my birthday money somewhere else.
I used to hide under the counter as a child. I was so embarrassed and afraid. As a teenager I would hang back and leave the store after her, and apologize to anyone she was rude to. Now I call her on it, and tell her that I'll take care of whatever the issue is. Most of the time it's just a misunderstanding and can be sorted out without screaming.
Paying It Forward
My mom isn't exactly a "Karen", but she does tend to complain when something is expensive. Like vocally, to the person who's working. Poor employees are just doing their jobs, they don't control the price of a bowl of pasta. I usually just keep quiet and say something afterwards, but I make sure to tip the worker if I can or at least offer an apologetic look
Other People Shouldn't Have To Apologize For You, Karen
My mother-in-law learned to be a Karen from her (now late) mother, who was a mega-Karen. They bragged about being able to get any meal for free, and it never failed when I went out with them- the waitstaff was put through the wringer. The food was cold, the salad dressing wasn't on the side, "this isn't what I ordered" even though it was- and they would berate the poor server for what was a perfectly good meal and service.
She once canceled my husband's dentist appointment behind his back and didn't tell him, causing a whole mess of confusion and difficulty at the office. She ended up screaming at the young lady working at the front desk (who is a family friend!) and making her cry right then and there. It was awful.
My husband has always gone behind her to apologize, even since childhood. The people are understanding that it isn't his fault, but that doesn't make the treatment they get okay :/
Queen Supreme KarenGiphy
My mother has borderline personality disorder and a pain pill addiction. She is a miserable, toxic person. And I almost let her ruin my life once upon a time. She's the Queen of the Karens.
She really messed me up mentally and emotionally, and it bred this sense of entitlement in myself, well into my early twenties before I even realized that I was being a complete tool. I always thought of myself as a generally nice person. And I was, until I didn't get my way. Just like her. I'm very, horribly ashamed to admit all this.
So the answer to these questions are a mixed bag. I used to defend her and even join her side. She taught me that I shouldn't be ashamed if there are looks over how we acted, because the looks and judgment were directed at the people/workers/managers etc that denied us <insert trivial demand here>. She was and is delusional af. And she deluded me from a very young age. I am now 30 years old, and I'm still recouping from the toxicity she instilled in the roots of who I am. It's even contributed to other issues, and it's ruined relationships. I have such deep anger issues and I'm still working to resolve them in therapy to this day.
Yes, I am very ashamed. Ashamed of my mother. Ashamed of who I used to be. Ashamed that those impulses and instincts are even still there, as it worries me that they may never go away completely. But I'm committed to working hard to always fight those feelings when they come up. But most of all, I'm ashamed of the journey my life has taken, but therapy and support give me hope. And there's a certain self forgiveness in that, which I hope to achieve one day.
In short, I can't say all Karens have the same issues that my mother, Queen Supreme Karen, has; I can say that I don't wish the life of being the child of any kind of Karen minion on even my worst enemy. It's psychologically destructive, and can destroy your morals in the process. It's a miserable life, and it's easy to allow it to consume you if you don't get it under control.
Don't Feed The Karens
Friend is a child of a Karen
She was apologizing to everyone in a grocery store when her mom was checking out with a box of soda cans, and the bagger punched out the handles on it so she could carry it, and she said "mm no you ruined it go get me another." And everyone was waiting for them and he actually had to lol
It gave her a philosophy on Karens- don't give them what they want when they throw a fit that makes them BOLDER.
Learning How Not To Act
My aunt is the one who is a Karen, and I spent most of my times with her. Everytime she had her Karen moment, I always said sorry to the people right after she left, gave extra tips and all that without her knowing. I'm not even embarrassed or anything more like annoyed bc I know it's hard for her to change her personality and everything, I'm lucky that at least she's willing to listen to me when I told her that her behaviors are wrong and rude, she always told me "I'm teaching them something didn't I?
I'm helping them in a way" and well it's hard when she only listen and never actually changed.
I speak out once, and she gave me the look, and lecture me after it happened, of course I listened to her and just nod, to calm her off. But later I tried to talk to her about how bad her behavior earlier is, sometimes she realized it sometimes she doesn't. I'm so sorry for those people who get yelled at by my aunt. Thank god I'm not like her.
What Are Male Karens? Dougs?
My dad's the Karen in the family, and it's kind of horrifying. The last time we went on vacation together he freaked out at the clerk at this one hotel, I can't even remember what it was about, but I think she ended up giving in to him just to get him way from her. The rest of us were all switching between taking our turn asking him to stop and looking at the ground in shame. But the kicker is that after I got to my room I realized I had to go back down to get laundry detergent from her. She was still visibly upset, I just tried to finish the interaction as fast as possible.
Discounts For Karens
My mom's obsessed with getting discounts. She's called over managers and argued with staff when they wouldn't accept her coupon. I've told her to just forget about the discount, but she always just tells me to wait. This happens a lot at Chilis because of the automated kiosk and all the different types of discounts. I can tell that the staff are annoyed, but they have to pretend to be happy.
Last year, I was in my mother's car as she was pulling up to her house in a cul-de-sac when she noticed an Apple Maps van driving by. She quickly jumped out (far more quickly than she is usually capable of) and began berating the driver with expletives, calling him a wanker and shouting at him to f**k off. I asked her to calm down and let her know that her behaviour was utterly disgraceful and that I was embarrassed by it. She didn't show any signs of remorse, she believes that them taking photos of the street is an unacceptable invasion of privacy.
It's not the first or last time she'll do something like that, but I never let her get away with it if she is treating others unfairly.
She also voted for Brexit, that's pretty Karen-y in its own way (especially given her reasons for doing so - my favourite one was that she can't seem to find a similar variety of apples that she could when she was a child, and blames the EU).
Karen Moments, Karen LifeGiphy
My mom used to be someone amazing, but some years ago she met her now husband who really fit in the role of Karen's husband. Since then she changed a lot, she isn't a fully evolved Karen but she's getting there.
She doesn't have TV anymore and live far from the city. Her only source of news is the 24/7 news channel my stepfather watch on his computer. This channel is widely known in my country for being the type that only show terrible thing or normal things but presented in a terrible way in order to gain audience. So her view on the world is... well, its wrong.
When she has Karen moments i often offer to deal with the people myself or most of the time just tell her she's wrong factually and morally.
She isn't a really smart person, and believe i am that type of person, so she usually trust me (after some arguing most of the time). She has faith in me and like me a lot so it's pretty easy for me to make her understand, sadly i went to live far away and she doesn't have the same feelings for my sister, so most of the time nobody can do anything about it.
There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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If you live on this earth and you're fortunate enough to form long-lasting relationships with different people, chances are you'll know the pain of heartbreak. It's an unavoidable fact of life.
We are not guaranteed to stay with one person forever, as we were reminded once Redditor disturbance of mirrors asked the online community,
"People whose long-term relationship faded, what was the final straw that made you realize it was time to call it a day?"
"The last time..."
"When she 'broke up' with me for the 12th time.
We had a long-distance relationship and whenever we had an issue or a disagreement, instead of engaging in a conversation with me about it, she would say we were done and shut me out for two or three days before coming back and manipulating me into groveling for her forgiveness. The last time, I just said no to going back and stuck to it. She freaked out and tried to drive 6 hours to my place at 2:00 a.m... I got a call from her mom saying she had left in the middle of the night as a head's up and, upon finally getting ahold of her when she was just a couple of hours away, I was able to convince her to turn back.
That relationship f***** me up for a while but, once I began dating my now fiancee, it was unbelievable to me how wonderful a real, loving relationship with healthy communication can be."
"Her brother was living with us..."
"Mine was not a slow burn like most seem to be, but a very definitive moment.
Her brother was living with us and this was right when WiFi was becoming available to the general public. We couldn't afford it cuz we were broke kids, so her brother would take my GF's MacBook (it was a gift) and sit on a nearby bus bench and leech off someone's unsecured WiFi.
Well, one day we get a call from her sister and she says we need to get home immediately. Turns out some guys came up and asked him for change for a $20 and when he told them he didn't have it they tried to snatch the Mac and jump in their car.
He knew it wasn't his so he held onto it and tried to get it back but they were too much. He had gotten dragged by the car, kicked in the head, and then had his leg run over. He was in pretty bad shape.
As we turn the corner (didn't know what had happened yet) GF sees cop cars and an ambulance and says "This better not have anything to do with my Mac. We walk in and he's visibly in bad shape and she is just immediately "Did you lose my Mac?" I'll never forget his face. He was so ashamed and felt terrible and just started crying. She however started screaming my computer! My computer! And hitting him. To the point where the cops considered arresting her. It was an instant eye-opener."
"I'd sit in my car..."
"I'd sit in my car after work playing on my phone for like an hour because I just needed a break before going inside and dealing with him."
That would do it.
"I would find any excuse..."
"I would find any excuse to work late or sometimes go sit at a bar by myself just to avoid the misery at home. We divorced."
"He was a workaholic..."
"He was a workaholic to the point that I saw him about 6 days per month."
"Somewhere between giving up on small talk and not looking forward to the weekends anymore."
That's no way to live.
"It really forced us..."
"Honestly it was the pandemic. It really forced us to actually spend time together and I realized we kind of just didn't do much together at all. I had spent years thinking it was cool that we kept our own friends and space but once those distractions were taken away it was just really clear to me that we were more roommates than a couple."
"When I realized..."
"When I realized I was needed and not wanted. Constantly trying to make someone happy who didn't want to be happy."
This one hurts. I've been there myself. (And I have also been that person––I thankfully got help.)
"We lived together..."
"We lived together but lived completely separate lives. Basically a housemate I shared a bed with. Happened twice to me so far."
"I would have moved mountains for him..."
"I knew it was over when I cared more about his wellbeing than he cared about his own wellbeing. I would have moved mountains for him if it made his life easier and he just continuously put himself in shi!ty situations. I eventually just gave up. I can't be with someone who doesn't care about themselves. Thank God that's over."
If you think you might be stuck in a pointless or unhealthy relationship, it's worth evaluating your options. And it's never worth sticking around and risking your emotional and mental health.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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There is always that "one." There is always going to be that person.
That person who you will always remember. And when they are the one who you regret losing most... they are the ghost that will haunt you forever.
I have a few escapees. I'll never know how it would've turned out. But that is part of why I'm haunted. I need to discuss....
Redditor u/AssistantNo1733 wanted to discuss all the times we've lost in love by asking:
Who's the one who got away?
Do we even have a clue that they're the "one" that got away? How long until it sinks in? And how do we not know there isn't another "one" coming behind them? I have no answers. Just asking...
The DraftEpisode 1 Omg GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"The girl who summoned up the nerve to ask me out towards the beginning of high school. I was so humiliated by the life my family was living that I stalled until she gave up."
"Betsy, if by some stroke of dumb luck you're reading this... I'm so sorry. It was 25-27 years ago, but I still hate myself for that. You were beautiful, intelligent, a good person, and if I had anything resembling a stable, presentable home I would've said yes in a heartbeat... I had a crush on you since 7th-grade 'intro to drafting.'
I Love Her
"Weird, I was just confiding in my mom about this last night. I'm late but for catharsis's sake I'm going to post. My first girlfriend is a classic case of you don't know what you have until it's gone. She's the complete package. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and so kind. We started dating when I was 17 and broke up when I was 21."
"For reference I'm 30 now. I was an idiot. I wanted to play the field. I wanted to party and hook up with college girls. It was fun at first but after a while I felt this gnawing hole in my heart. The feeling of doubt crept up slowly and still, a decade later my chest feels tight thinking about it."
"I didn't realize until my later serious relationships that getting along with your SO's family is so important. Her mom and step dad genuinely treated me like a part of their family. It's not a stretch to say I literally grew up with these people. I spent some of my most formative years with them. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, you name it. They celebrated me and my accomplishments. They genuinely cared about me. Just amazing, salt of the earth, lovely people."
"Her birthday was in March and I sent her a text and we ended up talking for a bit. She's happily married and stable with a daughter and a second on the way. I'm genuinely so happy for her. She deserves happiness. I just wish I was a part of that. Sitting at work 10 years later I'm tearing up. I numbed myself out to it for years, it's so strange to me that I've been so stuck on her lately. Is this normal?"
15 Years Later
"My very first real love. I was a teenager and I didn't really know how to be comfortable in myself or with myself. I played silly teen girl games and lost him even as a friend. Now 15 years later I still think about R from time to time. I genuinely hope he's happy in his life."
"Edit: Wow this blew up while I was sleeping. Thanks for all the sweet words and to everyone with their "one" congratulations! I suppose I hadn't looked him up on social media because I'm scared, scared he won't respond, scared he will respond, scared he'll think I'm a stalker. I'm in a happy relationship now, but what if... Etc etc etc. But I'll give it a Google."
Missed You Muchrhythm nation dance GIF by Janet JacksonGiphy
A girl I dated in high school. Went on a date one time she took me out parking and I was too stupid to realize it.
"She always talked about moving away as soon as she got finished with high school. I always thought I would stay in a little town the rest of my life. Turns out I was the one who left and move to another state. Later I heard that she had told someone that I knew that she thought that we would be married at some point. Missed it by that much."
Ok... I've been a bit blind to the light. People can be cruel, but also highly creative. Why not just lead with the truth? It'll always hurt more after lies.
Chuck E.Chuck E Cheese Wink GIFGiphy
"Ah the rare AskReddit question I can answer."
"I met a wonderful woman circa 2013-2015. We worked at what I can best describe as an upscaled Chuck E Cheese. Or ghetto Six Flags. Your choice."
"We hit it off instantly, though at the time I was rather romantically inept. Eventually, she says she's leaving to join the Air Force. I tell her I'll miss her, and wished her well. The thought of asking for her number so we could stay in contact didn't even cross my mind."
"Cue the next day, I stop for lunch on my way to work, and as I'm walking to my car I hear my name being called. I turn around, and it's her, running toward me. Universe giving me a second chance, right? Wrong. My dumb butt still didn't ask for her number. She looked a little upset, and I still think about her often. Desiree, I hope you're doing well."
"He was my first and last love. I was 16 and he was 18 when we met. We bounced around like idiots, on again off again, finally got together mid 20s. We both fell into bad habits - drugs and alcohol, more booze for me, more drugs for him. We had some bad things happen that were pretty detrimental to staying sober. We would split, reconcile, get sober, fall off the wagon, split, etc... repeat as necessary. We realized we were very bad for each other unless we could BOTH just get sober for ourselves, and split."
"Ten years later, I was sober for 7 years (still am, going on 18 years end of this month, actually! Woo, go me!) and he was beginning to come back, sober about a year. He contacted me, we met, talked about trying again. He said that once he had been totally clean for a year, we'd do it. That whole "Don't make any changes for a year" thing. I would visit him, tho, things were good."
"He woke up one morning feeling bad, thought he had the flu. (This was pre-now) I stayed around because he was sick, but neither of us thought he was drastically bad, just the flu, right? He got worse and worse, finally we called an ambulance because he got up from a nap and couldn't breathe. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Aortic dissection."
"He got away, but someday I'll see him again. I never stopped loving him, and him me. We just weren't good for each other."
Ce la vie...
"My most serious Ex."
"Don't think I truly understood love until I met her. Loved her more than I ever thought I could love anything. It eventually ended when she told me that, through no fault of my own, she had fallen out of love with me. That was 2 years ago, still hurts to think/talk about."
"Ce la vie..."
"I'm in the middle of trying to avoid that right now actually."
"It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost a lot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time."
Sweet...Kim Tate Eye Roll GIF by EmmerdaleGiphy
Damn man why bring this up.
"My ex and I broke up over 3 years ago. Mutual breakup through a lack of communication on both ends I feel."
"Thought I was over that hill until this week she messaged just to say hey and ask an innocent question. We text for the best part of the day and it's brought up a lot of old feeling. Feeling pretty bitter sweet right now."
Love is a mess. Why even bother trying if you can't be true? It's not hard to just spell out the situation. And if you're the one needing to put together the words... look closer. The dialogue shouldn't be difficult.
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What are the odds you'd click on this link today?
What was the biggest coincidence that made you question the fabric of reality?
There's small coincidences, occurrences so minute that you wouldn't even notice them if you weren't paying attention. However, once someone makes a big deal out of them then there's no other choice but to acknowledge that what just happened was spectacular.
Each Having A Buddy Coming To Town
"My friend and I were on a road trip a few years ago and needed a place to stay. We both told each other we had a friend in the city we were going through, so we figured we'd be able to crash with one of them. Turns out our two friends were roommates and had both been telling each other that they had a friend coming to town soon."
What's That Got To Be? A 1 in 1000 Chance?
"Several years ago I was at a coffee shop with some friends and one of them had an ipad, another friend went to unlock it and asked him what his 4 digit unlock code was, so I just blurted out 4 random digits pretending like I knew it, and it actually worked. I had never unlocked it before or knew of the same numbers being used for anything else, or his phone number, etc."
Both Probably Assumed What The Best Time Was
"I passed out after receiving a flu shot when I was 28. The nurse who helped me up kept asking if I wanted my mom. It seemed like a really weird thing to offer an adult woman - the option to have her mother phoned and brought in - so I was really confused and getting progressively more annoyed at her repeatedly asking...
...until my mom walked up to me. She had the appointment after mine to get vaccinated. The nurses assumed we had come together, but neither of us knew about the other's appointment, and we lived an hour away from each other in different cities."
Living in such a big world can lead you to the conclusion that math is silly and odds are never in your favor. With over seven billion people roaming around, chances of meeting someone of significance?
Less than you think.
A Simultaneous Love Of Traveling
"This guy I went to grade school and high school with, an acquaintance at best. I've seen him in 5 different locations in different countries throughout the last 15 years.
Disney World when I was a kid.
Some beach bar in Thailand.
The Bean in Chicago.
A pub in Budapest.
A library in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We've become friends due our love of traveling, but neither of us post on social media and neither of us communicated with each other our plans to travel. We never talked outside of the random meetings. Now if I see him, its like the world wants us to have a beer together. haha"
"I Mean, The Crash, Yeah, But How Have You Been?"
"My dad lives in a national park here in Australia. It's farmland that's grandfathered in. It's the remnants of a volcano that blew itself up very violently, so it's very hilly terrain.
One day we were sitting out on the deck, when we see a hang-glider come down halfway down the valley, and it didn't look like a nice landing. "Sh-t, we better see if he's alright, they don't land anywhere near here"
So we get in the car, drive for about 10 minutes to reach the spot. We head over to the guy who is standing by a very damaged glider. The pilot is staring at us incredulously, he stammers "F-ck, Jack, is that you?".
My dad, who hasn't seen his childhood friend for 35 years shouts "F-ck, Tim, is that you?".
They both grew up in Greymouth, NZ. Found each other randomly after a glider crash in NSW, Australia."
Takes A Wedding To Bring People Together
"My wife and I were looking to hire a caterer for our wedding and when we met, my wife and her started talking about their lives a bit.
Turns out they had both literally grown up on the same street, in a city of 10 million people, on the other side of the world. Both had left the city around a decade before immigrating to our current country.
They knew the same people, had hung out at the same coffee place, attended the same church. They even used to grab mangoes off the same large tree that hung over the wall of one of the large houses in the neighbourhood.
But they had never met one another until meeting on almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in a small town of about 50,000 people."kor_hookmaster
What we can gain from these experiences is a coincidence will occur more than you think, you just have to have the eyes sharp enough to spot them.
But how would you explain these?
Position Is Key
"I dialed my mum on my mobile when I was on public transport and accidentally swapped two numbers around.
The person I called was on the same carriage."
"Go on, tell us what happened then!"
"So I was listening to my phone and at the exact moment it started the ringing sound I heard a phone start ringing and I thought it was a coincidence but then the phone answered and it wasn't mum.
All I said was "Oh, are you on the Upfield train?" and they said "Yes, who's this?" but I got shy and I hung up.
Poor guy must have been so confused."
Universal Echoes Bringing You Closer Together
"One time, me and my dad were discussing his friend while out driving at night without many other cars on the road. As we were talking, we pulled up to a red light, and the car waiting in front was my dad's friend. He didn't even live close to there."
Extremely Unlucky Odds. Go Buy A Lottery Ticket.
"A couple of years ago I was visiting my hometown and decided to sit on a bench at my favorite park. As I was sitting, I felt something land on my head. Bird poop. After heading home and washing my hair, I went back into town. While I walked around, I watched as a guy got hit with a drop of sky sh-t. As I was laughing about the apparent irritable bowel syndrome of the birds in my town, a bird flying right over me drops a fat sh-t on my head."
There's no magic at play. All of these happenstances can be explained away with simple math and rudimentary probability.
Still, it's fun to live when you're in the moment.