It's a lurking question.
It's something that's coming up more and more in modern relationships. How does Polygamy affect kids? Does it, at all? In theory there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it unless there's a lack of consent or communication.
u/Jaizoo asked Reddit:
Children of polyamorous/polygamist parents, how was your childhood and when did you understand? Did it affect your idea of love?
Here were some of the answers.
My parents were in an open relationship until around the time I was 17. I didn't know what an "open" relationship was until I was 8, but people in my life would keep making jokes about it that I suddenly understood once I got it.
To be honest, it was really rough. Not only did my parents pursue people that I had already known (such as my classmates' parents), but from time to time they would get very serious with one of their other partners. My mom in particular was in a secondary relationship with another woman from the time I was 3 until I was 14 years old. She was basically like a second mother to me, and when it finally all "blew up", I never saw her again and began to feel like it was a problem with me and not my parents.
I also felt insanely jealous of the other partners when I was younger. I felt like my parents cared about them more than me and that they would leave me to go and start a new family with them.
I didn't mean to paint the whole experience as negative! There were a few positives, and I feel like because of how open my parents were about their situation dating was a lot easier for me than other people. Plus the extra Christmas presents were always a bonus.
My observations are that a lot of kids who grow up in what the adults considered to be poly households just thought of it as "dad is banging the babysitter" "mom has a special friend." Not everybody, obviously, but I think a lot of what goes on in sex positive circles, and has gone on since the 70s, is fundamentally about adults. Children are an afterthought. Not everyone, not always, but the Heinleinian fantasy of sexually liberated emotionally stable adults raising children together? I've never seen it and I have seen a LOT of poly.
I've also seen a lot of het poly situations break up over paternity concerns.
Generally, the kids I know who grew up with any kind of poly around them overwhelmingly decline to repeat the experiment themselves. There are very prominent exceptions, like Sugar Baranco, but generally speaking I observe children of any kind of poly situation, no matter how stable, grow up to seek monogamous partnering.
Moira Greyland's book is the really the only book I've read that gives a sense of what growing up around this all was like, although it's politically problematic for a lot of people and badly needed better editing.
A Whole Different Issue
I found out a few months ago that my parents apparently had an open relationship when I was a kid.
It didn't affect me at all. They had an adult life which I didn't know about. They were very open about sexuality, but they also recognized the line between healthy discussions of sex and oversharing.
My childhood was sh-t, but that had nothing to do with their polyamorous life choices.
A New Perspective
I grew up with lesbian parents who were not polyamorous, but my biological father (sperm donor) has always played a big role in my life and he's been happily in a three person relationship with two other guys for the past 25(?) years. I grew up in New Zealand and they lived on the other island to mine, so as a kid/teenager I regularly (once or twice a year) went up to stay with them as a mini holiday. Think of my dad and his partners as uncle-type figures in my life, which was super important for me as a growing boy given that I come from a family of mostly women.
I honestly respect their relationship so much more than anyone else I can think of. Its open, and entirely based on the love they have for each other (and others). In my dad's view, if you really love somebody then you want what's best for them, you don't want to put restrictions on their freedom to do things in their life. If someone does feel the need to put restrictions on the freedom of their partner, he thinks that it may be rooted in the insecurities they have about themselves, which is their own problem to be fixed within themselves. Mostly, he just believes in love; sexual, romantic, familial, or anything in between - which I totally respect and am open to.
There are so many other things about their relationship that I value, but that's the gist of it. One of my siblings doesn't get on that well with my dad due to personality clashes but I like to look for the best in people, and I think that he has a lot going on for him in his ability to live his life the way HE wants to. Growing up in a relatively conservative family I feel very proud of him to be at this point in his life where he's able to truly express himself.
I grew up with a dad who had 3 wives. My mum was the second wife before divorcing him. He replaced her about two years later. This may have contributed to how 'meh' I am about relationships, I have never felt the need to be in one because mainly, I never saw the benefit of being in one as a woman. Every woman was just... 'one of' as opposed to having her own identity.
Do swingers count? My parents do freaky things, that is their bag. It's still them the two of them at the end for nearly 40 years.
I had a lovely childhood with loving parents, who behind closed doors did big ol freaky.
Edit: my parents had a really open and liberal attitude to sex and relationships. They never minded about my clothes or boy friends. They were more concerned about underage drinking and unsupervised underage parties. (18 is the drinking age)
In early uni I was friends with some diverse people. One of them saw an ad in a swingers magazine that sounded like them, showed me, I asked them. Mum and Dad responded by doing their embarrassment lies. I mean I would do the clothes washing twice a week, I knew they had some odd night clothes.
It was a bit of a meh response from me. I can't really judge them. They never judge me.
Now I'm in my 30s I just give them light hearted shit about their retiree swinger parties and hip replacements whenever they ask me about grandkids.
Don't Be Selfish
I grew up in an "extended family"
It wasn't until I was about 15 that I learned what that meant.
I had several half-siblings, and several "aunts and uncles" that were just around and part of our life. (In a good way)
When my younger siblings and I learned the truth, it was all at the same time. I count myself lucky that I was 'old enough' to rationalize it; by my two younger siblings were not. (11 and 13 respectively when we learned)
My next youngest sibling has only just held down his first serious relationship and they're getting on 30 yrs old. Everything up to that was casual encounters and pushing away anyone who got too close.
My youngest sibling was 11 when they found out; and it wrecked them as well. They developed an "ultra cling, then ultra dump" cycle - fall madly in love for 4 weeks, then distance.
I think that as long as parents' choices on their personal life are kept away from the children, and that _most importantly _the primary parents / care givers of the children are able to role model a healthy and loving relationship; then it doesn't matter.
But the warning I'd give, is that if that blows up and become an issue while the children are still maturing and creating their own identities, it can have a big impact.
I grew up in a Mormon family that practiced polygamy. My father had three wives, my mom being the last and youngest. Things were pretty okay as a child - it was pretty neat having three moms. If I couldn't get something from one of them I'd ask another. Seriously. Having lots of brothers and sisters was pretty chill, too. Although, in retrospect I probably didn't get the individualized attention I may have needed as a child. My dad and I both agree on this point nowadays.
Anyway, my blissful existence changed around the time I was 14/15. We woke up to find that wife #2 had moved herself and her children out in the middle of the night. These were my sisters and brothers, we were devestated. My parents tried to protect us from a lot of the fallout, but it was pretty inevitable.
I'm 30 now, and don't really have any relationships with my half brothers and sisters from either wife. My mom and dad remain happily married in a mongoamus relationship, and I have my two full siblings to love on. As I've gotten older though, i've learned that the houshold was not as happy as I may have thought it was. There was a lot of resentment to go around but no one was forced into anything either. Everyone went into it as consenting adults.
I don't know if it's effected my view of love. Polygamy would never be for me, I'm far too selfish for that. So long as there is consent among ALL parties, and open communication if someone wants to do it I really don't care. A lot of my extended family is still FLDS and I love them.
Love Don't Cost A Thing
Well this is something I can actually answer. My childhood was mostly normal with the exception of more parental figures. It is hard to get away with childish hijinks when you have 8 or so parents, and I suppose you react to that situation in two ways. Like my sister, in which you get really good at hiding your really bad stuff behind a smoke screen of constant misbehavior, or like me in which is mostly don't do anything. I understood that my family was different pretty late in life. I didn't even really figure out that god parents were much closely involved with my actual parents, or that the "friends" that stayed over sometimes were actually their boyfriend/girlfriends until probably middle school. I didn't really care though, they were as much family to me after I figured it out as before.
As for if it affected my idea of love is hard to say because my ideas about love are non-standard, both to societies and my parents. I'm much more open to open relationships that most people and find monogamy stifling even though I don't date much. But unlike my parents I find the very concept of marriage to be abhorrent. The idea that people need a contract to show someone that they love that they love them is so ridiculous to me that I can't fathom why anyone would bother outside of tax benefits. But my parents were married, and my god parents were legally married, and they were all handfasted. I honestly thing all things being the same if my parents were monogamous, I think my ideas would still be similar to what they are now but it is impossible to test.
I'm a teenager but not living with my polyamorous dad but this is still happening.
My father impregnated a woman, and she gave birth to a girl. They weren't married and my half sister grew up relatively estranged with her mother. Then he met my mother, got her pregnant (with me) and married her right after. He then had three more kids with her, two girls and another son. Then they broke up (messily) and my dad ran away to be with his best friend who is a lesbian. I don't understand all of it since I mostly grew up with my mom but my dad now has three wives including the lesbian woman. He also has 7 children with those three women.
I hate my father. He's evil and manipulated all of us to believe everything he says. He's really good at making friends, and he has this reputation of being 'Jesus like.' He even plays into the image by having long hair and a really long beard. My dad calls himself a Christian but he's a cheat. He claimed to be a contractor (he's not) and cheated his church into paying for really bad construction work. He's the definition of a narcissist, he has claimed all of these crazy things. He said he broke his hand but his wives (by the way, he's in his late 30's, two of his wives are in their early 20's) healed it by praying. He said that he has synesthesia (a form of autism according to him) which allows him to detect personality types. He lies so much, he told all of us that he has a liver condition that is treatable by some expensive drug or some bacteria in hops. In normal people language, that means he's an alcoholic.
I know that turned into a rant about hating my dad but there's little to like about him. And it's sad knowing that almost 10 of my other siblings have been conditioned into seeing him as some great man other than the crazy hack he really is. My eldest half sister and my full siblings are the only ones who are old enough to understand this. And we have the advantage of growing up somewhat detached from him. Although I admit I used to be underneath his spell, he used to tell us to report our mother to the police for being abusive and stuff like that.
I've anonymously tipped off CPS a few times about my young half siblings' living situation to no avail. They live in a really cramped house with no heating, a barely functional kitchen and not enough hot water to clean everyone. My dad doesn't use protection, if the 12 kids wasn't evidence of it enough already.
Oh also, I really like how I'm named after him, and the other 11 of us have names that start with the same initial as him. I'm changing my name as soon as I turn 18.
My mother's family has always been against my dad's living situation. But my dad always said that it's because they were ignorant and didn't understand love. My dad and his three wives are God's will according to him. I always ignored my family. I had cancer when I was a kid and I didn't have a lot of time to develop mentally. So I think that's why it took a long time for me to understand how messed up things were. I always felt a connection to my dad since we share the same name and he made me feel special by saying stuff like it's God's will for me to have cancer. And how it inspired him to start a charity to help kids like me who have cancer. The charity hasn't done anything in several years by the way, but someone who said they worked for him messaged me saying he uses his charity to write off things as tax free.
So I'm seeing quite a few negative experiences on here. I feel bad for the people who did because as a child you don't have control over your upbringing or how you feel/process what's going on. As for me it was a very neutral/positive upbringing.
For starters, I grew up with a dad and two mom's. Myself and my friends growing up all thought it was different but cool. There's always someone home when I got home from school. Always someone to talk when I had problems. It was nice.
First time I realized my parents were swingers was when we'd visit other families for major holidays like Halloween parties and things like that. It was a yearly tradition and it was great to see all the other kids around my brother and I age. Wed hang out and do kid stuff while the adults talked and sh-t.
As we got a bit older we started noticing little things. Like why is "Mr. Smith giving Mrs. Johnson a foot massage? Mr. Johnson might get mad..oh wait he doesn't care?? They're just chatting it up like its all good. Whelp okay then."
But to be fair to my family and their friends they were always great to us kids. Never felt neglected or like we were weird or anything. My family was always very sex positive but also taught me that sex is a private thing. So we were never exposed to anything other seeing adult humans being a bit more affectionate to each other then you'd expect. But I always thought that was kind of sweet, even as a kid. Like why aren't more people like that? I was always told growing up that whatever your preferences are, however you swing, as long as it's safe and consensual it's okay. Nobody needs to know your business though and it's nobody's fucking business either. Be yourself and be happy.
Though reading through these posts again I feel like I mightve gotten a lucky draw being born into a swinger "community" of sorts (I guess?) and living in a very liberal area.
Mormon Or Polygamy Is The Issue?
Obligatory not me, but my wife. Her dad was a polygamist and it gets weird. He was with a woman, J, and had about 5 kids with her. While with J he got with L, and L convinced her sister S to get with him. He had 5 kids with S of which my wife is one of them. The entire relationship ended because he legally married L which was a deal breaker for J & S. My wife and her siblings are pretty open about their dad being an idiot, and I dont think it effected her idea of love nearly as much as being Mormon did.
My childhood was okay as far as a loving family is concerned. All of the bad things didn't have to do with my parent's choice of relationship style, just life happening to people.
Anyway, I was thoroughly loved and raised around many people that cared about me. I had many "babysitters" that were more likely my parent's girlfriends. I was always around an open attitude towards sex, relationships, and towards the "outsiders" of society. My parents spoke about minorities (racial, sex, gender, class, etc) as if there was nothing different from them, so in my eyes, there never has been any differences.
I didn't really understand that my parents lived "differently" until I was an adult, maybe 23-25yo. Everything just kind of made sense all of a sudden.
I've become that which I never understood. I'm happily married and I've been with my wife for 14.5 years now. We have dated women together for about 7 years. We have a girlfriend right now and she's very lovely. I hope that she's in my life for a very long time and my wife feels the same towards her. I'm a very lucky man. They're both so amazing.
Social Safety Net
I'm a little late to this but my parents are polygamous. My dad has 3 wives. I'd say my childhood was pretty good. I especially loved growing up with lots of siblings. They've always been like a social safety net. To this day my siblings are my best friends. We all grew up together in one house as a family so I always knew the other two wives as my mom's. It wasn't until I started school that I realized it wasn't normal. As far as my idea of love? I think it gave me a more liberal view. I grew up seeing people attack or judge my parents for loving each other and their kids while hurting nobody. It made me think everybody should just mind their own business about who somebody loves as long as all parties are consenting adults. And on a more personal level, seeing my parents interact with each other and overcome their jealousies taught me that love is more than just an emotion. It's a commitment. That being said, I don't think I could ever commit to more than one person. I'm not that selfless????.
Reading this post over my wife's shoulder encouraged me to finally join reddit. So you could say this is an important topic to me.
My parents were monogamous until I was about 13 and my older siblings had moved out. They were pretty much done with parenting and decided to develop their relationship "to its next stage". The process wasn't always mutual, and there were a lot of power plays. That meant an open marriage for a few years, a second wife for about a year, and then a marriage with another couple. It was all happening as I was a young teenager, and it was pretty F'ing intense. Try to imagine the emotional brinkmanship that goes into changing a relationship that drastically in just a few years. The second husband couldn't handle it, tried to take his insecurities out on me and then left. They were very honest and open, we had emotional processing discussions all together in the living room, and no one wore clothes in the jacuzzi, but I sure as hell didn't share any of this with my friends. I lied my way through high school.
Many of you have said not to bring kids up in this environment. I'm not certain that's a hard and fast rule IF the relationship is polygamous BEFORE they're born, because some people here have been fine with that when that's how life started. But I definitely agree that you should not turn a kid's world upside down while they're in the house. If my parents would have listened, I would have told them to wait until after I moved out.
Also, side effect, it pisses me off that when occasionally I have gone to a counselor ('cause mental health is a thing, you know) like when my parents got sick, then passed away, combined with career change or parenting stress, the counselors always want to talk about this for like 3 sessions. It's just too titillating for them to ignore. Moths to the flame. I'm like, "I came to you with a problem about grief. Don't get off on how my parents hopped from bed to bed while you're billing me." I'm serious, but it's also funny.
How has it affected my relationships? I went on exactly one date during all of high school, and was invited to one party that wasn't a friend's birthday party. As soon as I moved out and went away to college, I found a girl within a week and dated her happily for a few years. Never had a problem finding a good woman to be with, and never wanted to be with more than one. It has probably also made me much more aware of emotional communication and how important it is to avoid playing games with other people's feelings. I've been married for 20 years now and have no intention of opening my marriage.
Reading about some of the kids currently in this situation, especially where there is dishonesty or games being played, is very upsetting to me. I wish them all strength, and the clarity to know that their parents' crap belongs to their parents and not them. Don't let anyone else judge you based on what your parents do.
Need A Functioning Unit
My story is essentially biology becoming destiny. My dad was profoundly catholic, he later became a theologian. I was raised in mostly traditional values with the exception of birth-control, they were all for it. I went on to become fairly traditionally minded myself, peaking at around 21 years old. Just a catholic boy from catholic parents.
Then I had a terrible crisis of faith and started questioning everything. I came to realize that I didn't relate to monogamy and exclusivity at all, and that the only reason I was "faithful" even to my f-ckbuddies, was because I wanted to protect their feelings even if it was a pain. I wasn't jealous at all myself, so I started to pursue a serious open relationship because I honestly thought it was the perfect match for my temperament and my emotional style.
The time came when I disclosed to my mother that I wasn't monogamous, and she replied "You are just like your father". I thought she joked for a second. Apparently he had persuaded her to try swinging in the early years of their relationship, but she was never really into it. Most of the tension in their relationship came from that. It completely shattered the image I had of my parents.
I had been watching some lectures about sexual behaviour in humans and other animal species, and how the tendency towards promiscuity it was highly inheritable. It also came associated with a lot of other psychological and physical traits, and my father happened to tick most of the boxes. Surprise, surprise, so did I.
So I was raised to be exclusively monogamous, rebelled against it, embraced polyamory, realized I had been following in my father's footsteps the whole time. It's like he had built this traditional framework around me to guide me away from his own slutty lifestyle, but couldn't fight the slut within me.
That said, most of the poly people I've met are quite weird in some way, and I wonder if I really want to date people like them. I'm really starving for a healthy, functional, well-adjusted example of an open couple in my social circle.
My parents were swingers. I didn't know until I was older. I got to hangout with some of my friends more than others because their parents would swing with mine, lol. It made for a lot of sleepovers which I thought was rad at the time.
Ultimately, I found out that my mom did not want to swing so she closed the relationship back up. My dad just kept cheating. They got divorced when I was 12.
Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.
What could possibly go wrong?
It turns out there are so many variables that can contribute to making the bride and groom's celebration a major matrimonial miss.
Curious to hear examples of weddings gone wrong, Redditor lolf**kno asked:
"Those who have been to a ruined wedding, what happened?"
Dramatic brawls and speeches plagued these weddings.
Catty Attendees And Booze
"Very beautiful wedding in a huge barn at this apple orchard. They must have spent a ton of money on the decorations and catering because it looked like something out of a magazine. The ceremony was great, the flower girl did her thing, the vows got everyone choked up. Everything seemed to be going well. Not even 15 minutes into the reception the mothers of the bride and groom getting into a full out brawl, hair pulling, red wine being thrown. Their sons jump in to defend their honor, chairs start being throw, tables are flipped, parents are grabbing children and running for their lives."
"The bride and groom are horrified and leave immediately and head back their honeymoon suite. My fiancé and I left after this as well but we heard from some other friends that most people ended up staying and getting wasted at the open bar on the bride and groom's dime. Apparently, the fight started because one of the groom's sister complimented the bride's grandmother's dress. The bride's mom thought she was being sarcastic and called her a b*tch, then the drama ensued. Mind you they had all been pregaming the wedding pretty hard."
Playing For The Drunk Uncle
"I played a wedding where as we started playing the set, everyone ran outside and nobody was to be seen for the rest of the night."
"I originally assumed it was because nobody liked us but the bride came in afterwards and said there was a huge fight involving multiple members of both families and everyone basically went home upset, injured or in a police van."
"We couldn't stop playing since we were payed and it was our job, and the only person watching was the drunk uncle dancing on his own asking for requests we didn't know."
Maid Of Honor Speech Goes Off The Rails
"Was a guest of friend of the bride, did not know anyone attending. Very expensive over the top place, several hundred guests of this very Italian wedding. Maid of honor grabs mic at the cocktail hour begins her speech, rambling, drunk. Quickly devolves to stating the recently deceased mother of the bride was against this wedding and that's basically what killed her. Plus Vinny will never give up sex workers. She is tackled by several people and dragged away."
"The happy couple is separated and divorced within a year."
This is what happens when bad luck crashes weddings.
Tumbling Into The Sunset
"I work at a golf course with a lot of history behind it. We do wedding venues inside the clubhouse and the actual ceremony is held outside by the historic water fountain and large pond."
"First problem was the weather. I live in the high desert and it was very warm. A solid 90 degrees that day and it was also pretty windy. So everyone's outside, no umbrellas, no ezups."
"The next problem, and probably the worst, was the golf cart incident. The bride and groom wanted to 'ride into the sunset' on one of our golf carts. Drive around a little bit on the golf course. To be fair, it is beautiful on the course during sunset. However the cart had somehow gotten a nail in the tire, tire went flat, battery on the cart went crazy and the cart ended up freaking out. It came to an complete stop from 15mph to zero. The wheels and mechanisms locked up, almost seizing. Both the bride and groom (fairly overweight mind you) both fell out and rolled over a few times. They were totally okay, just a few bruises and perhaps a bruised ego or two. So retrieving that cart was fun."
"And last but not least, the power inside the clubhouse went out to do the high winds. There was no after party available. Only the cake was cut, hardly any food was given out. Yeah, not a great day to cover for someone on your day off."
"I was not born yet, but my parents rented the observation deck on the Hancock building in Boston for their reception. Tallest building in the city, beautiful view. My dad pored over historic weather charts to figure out what day was statistically most likely to be nice out. Day of the wedding comes and of course, thick fog unlike anything they'd ever seen before. Couldn't see a thing out the windows of the room they had picked specifically for the view."
"Worked out well though, they were happily married for nearly 30 years before cancer took my dad's life a few years ago."
"There's one other funny anecdote from that wedding: The wedding was held in Kings Chapel, which is an incredibly historic church here in downtown Boston that's somewhat of a major tourist attraction. To close that on a weekend afternoon for a wedding, it turns out, was not very expensive. The tourists waiting outside to see the church didn't know that, though, and someone started the rumor that my parents were incredibly wealthy, maybe even Kennedys. As a result, there were tons of people taking photos of them when they left the ceremony. Not sure if any of them ever figured out that my parents were most certainly not rich or famous."
"I was best man at my sister in laws wedding (stepped in for the brother of the groom, that's another story entirely)."
"For a whole year of planning all the bride (SIL) wanted was a dove release while they said handwritten vows to each other. Very small, non denominational (most of the family are atheist anyway) wedding."
"Day arrives (early summer) and something is off with the bird handlers. They show up a bit late and are sourcing help from the wedding party to get everything in line. When the time comes to say their vows I help the handler carry the chest with the doves in it over to what is to be the altar where the bride and groom are standing."
"Vows are just about wrapping up and the handler gives ME the signal to open the chest. I open it and see 20-30 DEAD DOVES IN THE CRATE!!!! I immediately close it to try and limit who knows what happened. Too late. The look of horror on the bride's was all that was needed. We spent the next few hours trying to cheer everyone up but by the end of the reception the entire wedding party had organized and filed animal cruelty complaints on the handler. It was all anyone could focus on."
Tragic losses unfortunately befell leading up to or at a couple's nuptials.
The Wedding Guest Who Left Too Soon
"When I was 6 or 7 I went to a cousin's wedding. Everything was fabulous for little me, so much sugar everywhere, basically heaven. The reception was in a big community center that was reserved for the occasion. Went to the girls' bathroom, passing by the men's room to see my uncle on the floor. Went back to the main room to tell my dad my uncle was looking weird. Well, uncle had a stroke and had died."
"The bride spent the rest of the afternoon crying, and everyone except close family left."
"Bright side is the mariage is still going strong 20 years later, despite what happened that day."
A Terminal Diagnosis
"Leading up to my friends wedding his father had been battling cancer after a terminal diagnosis. And it was touch and go whether he would be well enough to attend the wedding, in the end he was too unwell to attend despite wishing that he could."
"Just as we got to the wedding reception my friend was informed that his father had just passed away. It was devastating."
"Happened to my classmate. He is successful middle level manager, divorced, about 35yo or so. Found a girl of his dreams but from a provincial poor town. The girl insisted to have the wedding in her town to show off her 'success.' The wedding is crashed by her old friends including male friends who are not that sophisticated and have some tense feelings towards the successful groom from the city. Somebody starts a fight in the middle of wedding, groom is trying to stop it and got stabbed in the back. Died right there. And he was my classmate."
An Unfortunate Trespassing
"The wedding was at a state park that's famous for its giant gorge/waterfall. I don't know whose idea this was, but someone suggested a photo overlooking this gorge and everybody was game. The wedding party went around a stone security barrier and the maid of honor literally fell off the cliff to her death. It was like 500+ feet."
With a lot riding on a wedding to go off without a hitch, the mounting pressure is one where something is surely to buckle.
And because wedding guests are usually inebriated and high on the buzz of celebration, they throw caution to the wind and make some choices they wouldn't make under normal circumstances.
People's ill-advised actions can have regretful consequences, but no one expects death to be an outcome.
Fortunately, the weddings I've attended or heard about from friends were not as catastrophic as the anecdotes mentioned above.
While the Redditors' stories are sorrowful, it gives me a sense of relief these devastating examples are rare occurrences.
Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.
But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.
People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,
"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
"We delight in the deaths of others as long as we feel it was justified. But when the reverse happens we act all high and mighty like we wouldn't engage in the same behavior."
"Slaughtering each other..."
"Slaughtering each other via warfare to solve political differences. It's standard policy worldwide."
Indeed it is. And it seems impossible to stop.
"Littering. Especially dropping cigarette butts on the ground/flicking them out the window.
The world is not your personal ashtray/garbage bin."
Every now and then I find new trash in my yard and I am constantly amazed by how nasty people can be.
"Mobbing someone because of their opinion or for a comment they made a long time ago, even if that time was yesterday."
"Xenophobia. The fact that racism and racial violence still exist is an indicator that we're still tribal primates in fancy clothes."
And it makes no sense! It's not based in reality. We are truly a tribal species.
"Shouting while arguing, refusing to listen to the opinions of others, basically the inability to debate and maintain proper communication."
"Letting people die..."
"Letting people die of curable conditions simply because they can't afford healthcare."
Probably the biggest reason why much of the Western world looks at the United States with shame in their eyes.
"Parents forcing their kids to hug family/friends despite the kid being uncomfortable doing it. They feel uncomfortable for a reason."
"During the holiday season..."
"During the holiday season, customers take products off of our online fulfillment carts. Y'all have legs. Get your own."
"Using phone speakers..."
"Using phone speakers in public. I don't care what you and your friend think about that restaurant, or how much that Spotify jam speaks to you. Nobody else wants to hear it."
We truly need to stop all of these, don't you think?
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.
This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"
Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:
What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Have we met? That is an actual question I asked a gift giver once. (Who shall rename nameless) Football tickets. FOOTBALL TICKETS?! Who? What? I can't.
Looks FamiliarBroad City Wow GIF by Comedy CentralGiphy
"My own scarf. Yes, that's right, my mother went into my room took my only scarf, wrapped it and gave it to me like it was a new scarf."
"Thought I was getting a bike for my 15th birthday but my foster parents announced that they were sending me to a group home after living with them for 11 years. Devastation! That place was a wake up call. More independence then at my foster home but those kids had it really really bad, 12 year old heroine addicts, abuse... what the entire hell! I hurried up, graduated from high school at 16 and got the hell out of that place. I turned out ok, work in the legal field, live in Las Vegas. I did forgive my foster parents before they died."
The Forgotten One
"My brother and I worked for a farmer one summer, and he paid us with a used car. At the end of the next year, my brother graduated high school, so my parents paid me out for my half of the car, and that was his graduation gift. I gave them all a big discount compared to what it was worth. So like $500 for my share of a $2500 car."
"2 years later, and I needed $50 for some graduation fees, so I borrowed it from my mom until I could get to the bank. (Before mobile banking and ATMs everywhere.) Later, when my mom is telling me they invited all their friends over for a 'graduation' party, I asked if they had gotten a gift for me. "Well I gave you fifty bucks."
"I paid it back the next day, and she didn't blink. The 'graduation party' was just my parents friends, who said congratulations to me, but it wasn't really for me. A few years later, my little sister graduated, she got a car. They bought a used car for her, and our other little sister got the same when she graduated. My parents are mostly nice, and I never felt like they singled me out at birthdays or anything. Just my graduation seemed like I turned invisible."
Office Party Fail
"HR complaint from two subordinates fighting over how to throw me a surprise birthday party."
"I've never worked in an office environment, but the stories I've heard of people being required to buy a cake for the whole office and to celebrate their birthday with their coworkers would be enough to keep me in blue collar work for life, were it not for the fact that I love being active and working with my hands and could never sit at a desk all day anyway."
Basicslaw school finals GIFGiphy
"My Asian mom's gift was "no extra Kumon homework after school homework" so my birthday gift was that I didn't get extra homework from her."
Regifting is trash behavior. Do better. I'd rather you just say I forgot. Or... I just don't care for that much. But regifting? No.
"Stomach flu and my first ever period, at the same time. I think it was my 13th birthday."
"Omg, exact same story for me. It was my 13th birthday and my family took us kids to visit our relatives in Subsaharan Africa for the first time. I was sick, jetlagged, overheated and riding down a bumpy road in a Jeep driven by my dad in the complete darkness. We had just eaten at a restaurant where I found a giant scarab beetle in the bottom of my soup bowl. I have flashbacks to this day."
"My grandparents have been gifting me (and my brother) the same set of three vice grips for almost 10 years. Collectively we have 60 vice grips. I don't know if they bought a pallet of them, or where they are coming from. GET A GRIP GRANDMA!"
"I had a friend who's father was famous for doing Christmas shopping at the last minute. One year she complained that she went downstairs on Christmas morning and found, sticking out of her stocking, a spatula. Her birthday was a few days after telling that story, so myself and her friends all decided to get together and get her spatulas for her birthday, as a gag gift."
"Well, when it was our birthdays she retaliated. Which lead to a counter-offensive. And soon a new tradition was formed. And guys, I have so many spatulas now. Everything from dollar store cheap plastic, to hand-carved spatulas, a golden spatula, and even a replica of the famous Malaysian fighting spatula."
"I've got seasonal spatulas. As in, today it's time to pack away the Christmas spatulas and bring out the heart-shaped Valentine's day ones, followed by the bunny-shaped Easter ones. We've also been passing around this clip from the Weird Al Yankovic movie UHF. "Spatula City, we sell spatulas, and that's all!"
Their ultimate whack-a-doo move...
"A pair of homemade custom pajamas. Only problem was that they weren't made yet. It was just the fabric and a promise to make them for me. I had to give the fabric back and I never got the pajamas."
"Nothing legal just at our wedding they gave us a card that basically said 'have some land.' When the dust settled I asked what they thought we would do with it, they said build a home. I said ok, gonna need legal ownership for like building a house. They said sure we will get right on that. Then they decide to sell out and retire and never mentioned our wedding 'gift' again."
Gross...Disgusted Steve Carell GIFGiphy
"My grandma got me a hairbrush with a plastic horse head handle. The horse head was all chipped up and there was hair in the brush."
"My Godfather sent me a Birthday card each year which said, he paid 100 bucks to a bank account which I was supposed to get, when 16yo. He then got into alcohol, used all the money and died."
Oh for God sake, why even bother giving anything at all? Lint rollers, used brushes, homemade pjs... y'all ever hear of a gift card? Just put five bucks on it and call it a day. You can't hide cheap, so stop trying.
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I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.
I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.
But let's compare thoughts...
Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:
What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
I definitely wouldn't turn down an excursion to AREA 51. I'd like to poke around and get a sense of the place. I've never personally been up close and face to face with a "non-Earther." Not sure I'd like to be...
TV Truthx files monkey pee GIF by The X-FilesGiphy
"UFOs/Aliens are a cover for all of the secret projects that the government is working on. Actually stole that from the X files."
"How human birth parallels alien abductions:
- Babies are taken from their home (womb)
- They still developing sight, so they see bright lights and grey figures.
- They hear an "alien" language they don't understand.
- They suddenly feel cold after leaving their womb.
- They are in a surgery room being poked with tons of instruments.
Long story short: some people suggest that abductions are just people who had memories of their birth."
In the Mind
"I just don't think anyone will ever see this. But I think that UFO's are the projection of our unconscious collective mind. Everything that exists in reality, also exists, in our immaterial mind. Is it possible that the insides of our mind are also just one drop in the ocean of consciousness... and together we create the material reality were in, simply by experiencing it in a real way, inside-out through our senses."
"My father was an aircraft mechanic and fabricator for test and spy aircraft for the USAF. He spent 75-85 working with test aircraft. He said that when they were going to do a test, that could possibly be seen by the public, they would make a betting pool on how many UFO reports local authorities and flight towers received."
Under the Seasci-fi ufo GIFGiphy
"I like the idea that some UFOs aren't machines. Instead they are some sort of Upper-Atmosphere Jellyfish. I found the issue of Fortean Times that had this article. Here's the cover: http://ft.gjovaag.com/q/images/a/ae/FT291.jpg"
Interesting. There are some ideas we can look into. None of it proof, but possibilities. There are certainly plenty of future film ideas.
"We are like that un contacted tribe and everyone agrees not to bother us."
"I've heard it explained from a channel (idk if you know what channeling is) kinda like this. First of all, we as a species tend to freak out, shoot first and ask questions later. Most humans would have a literal psychotic break. You have to believe in vibrational energy as it relates to our consciousness."
"The aliens (certain ones) are at such a higher level that it would be jarring for us to come in close contact with. We are slowly getting there but it's a process. Like 2012, end of the Mayan calendar, wasn't the end of the world it was the end of an energy cycle that we as the human race had never made it past before."
"Previous civilizations have been destroyed or destroyed themselves before they got this far. We passed a point where we are very unlike to destroy ourselves anymore. This doesn't mean we won't see some real bad hardships yet but we will keep progressing."
"train your eyes"Dancing GIFGiphy
"I was a firm believer in t em when I was in high school and kept googling theories and info in my spare time and during my study halls. They said their bodies were so lightweight or something that the reason why you can't see the evidence is that they disintegrate before hitting the ground."
"And then LOL it was so funny, some people would swear you could "train your eyes" to see rods... HhhahAHAHAHA. Like there were these experts. Video showed him walking around with a serious face, then pointing. And he's like, "that was one just there." "You can't see them, you have to be used to them... like me."
"I've spent many years immersed into hunting them finding them. That's why I can see them." And then one day China, who loves occult stuff, had like a lab that set up a nighttime camera to capture footage of rods at night... then realized they were normal bugs at overexposure. lol"
"The Dark Forest theory. Basically the theory that the reason we haven't made contact is because all the other civilized life in the universe/galaxy knows not to broadcast their location. They've learned that there's something awful or predatory lurking in the dark forest of our galaxy, and that it's better if they keep to themselves."
"That the universe is so vast that we haven't been discovered yet."
"This makes sense to me because traversing the distance to or from even our our stellar neighbors would require technology that is not known to us now or likely to be known by us anytime soon if it's even possible at all. To assume without evidence that aliens could possess this technology and have visited us does not meet my skeptical standards."
Back and Forthback to the future great scott GIFGiphy
"Time travel exists, and UFO sightings are actually future humans coming back to our time. That is why they are so discreet, and never openly make contact."
I hope time travel exists. Now that I'm onboard for. If aliens do exist... just come on out guys. We could probably use your help.
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