Clever People Reveal How To Smoothly Exit Conversations With Crazy People
This thread is dedicated to the moments when out of nowhere, someone's crazy pops out. Ask yourself: could people tell a story about you being crazy?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
K is not fine...
My first job was at Target. I was in the food avenue section which is where you would buy popcorn, nachos or soft pretzels (most have been converted to Starbucks by now.)
Anyways, there was this lady K who would come in quite often. She had a little cart with 2 wheels that she pulled behind her, full of stuff. She would wear baggy dresses and hacked the hair up front in jagged pieces to the scalp like a mangy Benjamin Franklin. K would wander around for awhile and then come to food ave and buy a sandwich.
Whenever we exchanged money she would ask me if she swallowed or was choking on any change. I would calmly look at her and say "Nope K, you're just fine," sometimes repeating myself 4 or 5 times.
One day she looked at me and said " Thank you for being so kind and not treating me like I'm crazy. Everyone else does. When I was a little girl I saw my Grandmother choke to death."
Can you F_CKING IMAGINE? This was 15 years ago. I hope K has found peace and contentment wherever she is.
I'd just as soon stay home.
Back when my mom owned a bookstore there was a woman like this.
Serena was morbidly obese, smelled terrible, and always wore a dirty Santa hat. Normal enough woman just clearly had some maintenance issues. So for years she would come into the store and buy like 1000s of dollars on books. Customers complained every once in a while but the majority knew her pretty well.
One day my mother asks her about the hat. Apparently, when she was in 2nd or 3rd grade her class was being led to the auditorium by their teacher. It was around Christmas time so Santa hats abound. Her teacher wasn't so much in the spirit and was lacking a hat.
Her teacher tripped on the stairs, falling and just destroying her head on the way down. Apparently, an EMT was saying that she would have lived if she had just been wearing a little padding up top....like a Santa hat.
And so Serena refuses to remove her Santa hat, for fear she will trip and die for lack of padding.
Really sweet woman, wonder how she's doing.
When your farts are the special farts.
So I went into a McDonald's and this woman recognized me from some of the college classes we had together. I think. Well, at any rate, she seemed pretty certain, and she seemed like she might be familiar; two eyes, a nose, some hair, I might've seen her before.
She started telling me that her friend was psychic, could feel people's energy, and could read her mind. Now that's not the weirdest thing I've ever heard and I'd probably have been ok with that.
Then she started telling me about the radio DJ out of the next town over who was watching her in her house with video cameras hidden in her shower. She knew he was watching her because during his broadcasts he would play certain sound effects and tell jokes about her every time she farted.
I told her I had to get going, I was just there for a carry-out and there were some people waiting in the car.
Men who need to fully control women... why?
Went on two dates with a guy.
I saw some red flags but weren't sure they were red at first. We'd be texting and he'd say I was bad at little things. Basically negging, but sometimes the way it was said, I couldn't tell if he was serious or not.
It was all in my mind that it could be a red flag, but I decided on a second date.
He started saying how I needed to paint my nails, but only certain colors. He was serious. He also ordered a bunch of stuff for me that I told him I didn't like and then tried to get me to drink/eat it.
Basically, my wants were completely ignored and by the second date he had a list of little things he deemed me bad at - like he didn't like the way I hugged.
I decided to nope out. So I told him thanks, but I didn't see us working out.
He flipped shit. Said my insecurities and fear were showing, and he could see why I was single.
So I was like omgnohelpme.
I told him to stay away. I wasn't interested.
He told me I just needed some time to think it over. To calm down (????). Then the best part came: he said I was his girlfriend.
I told him I wasn't. He said no, I was.
He was attempting to force me to be his girlfriend.
So I got the out, blocked him on everything, and 8 months later he's still trying to contact me. Like wtf.
When you're in a manic state, but really good at making a show of it.
I was at a family wedding, and there was this guy I didn't know that was amazing on the dance floor. He had decent moves, but it was more than he was so dedicated to his dancing, so charismatic, that he really drew the eye. Anyway, my father in law got to talking to him and eventually drew me into the conversation. Dancer guy had been telling my father in law in great detail about a recent manic episode during which he'd emptied his bank account (shared with his wife) bought a boat and sailed it from the US to Denmark, and then stayed there in a drunken stupor for weeks before it finally occurred to him that he needed to tell his wife where he was, and also that they couldn't afford a boat. Partway through the conversation, it became obvious that he was currently in another manic state. But he was very engaging, so we didn't try to extricate ourselves from the conversation. Eventually, his wife dragged him away. We felt bad for her.
Where is she getting her news?
I have a coworker who's a real chatterbox. It starts innocuously enough; what she had for dinner, how her husband is doing after his car wreck, what happened at church this past Sunday. She'll ramble on and on and on about this for as long as you'll stand there, only barely giving you a chance to say you've got to go do something else and politely end the conversation.
The best way we at work have found to get away is to signal someone over and turn her attention on to the new victim. The funny thing is that no one, not even me, has caught on to this, and we'll always happily trot over to see what the conversation is about only to get caught in the "death chatter".
However, if she ever starts talking about the news, run for your sanity. I don't know what news channel she watches, but every day it seems she finds a new story about someone is murdering an infant. And it's not something she mentions once and moves away from. She dwells on such things, rambling on about them for as much as half an hour at a go if you stand there and let her mouth run.
This family sounds like a good time.
For a long time, I complained about my best friend's parents to mine. They never believed me and chalked it up to "teens hate parents, when teens are punished they think parents are evil but it's good for kids". Well, then they met her mom. Her mom tried to convince my dad she had cancer and her medical bills were piling up. She and the family were suffering because of the bills and needed money. The rest of the conversation went something like this "Oh what type of cancer do you have?" -my dad asking a genuine question out of curiosity to hopefully help her "Lung cancer it's specific type of cancer that's modestly rare" "Oh that's horrible, what's your doctor's name" my dad happened to be very very close friends with the only people that treat this type of cancer in the state. She responded with a made-up doctor's name. He knew she was crazy for sure after that.
Pretty sure Hurricane Sandy happened.
The plumber we called was nice enough, but he started explaining to my wife that Hurricane Sandy didn't really happen, and the storms are due to the government "shooting electrons" into the sky.
At some point, the stories stopped adding up.
It took me an absurdly long time to find out my good friend was a pathological liar. I just didn't have any good reason not to believe him, and my other friends didn't catch on either. He wasn't malicious or anything. He just wanted people to think he knew interesting people. At some point, the good faith of friendship broke down in the face of the collective weight of his fake stories, and I just stopped talking to him. It did cost me some friends once when I repeated something he had said around a new group of people, and they thought I was the one making it up. What a goddamn mess that was.
It's crazy to think women were "created" to be inferior to men.
During our small talk since I was seated next to him at a dinner party everything seems cool, then the topic of marriage comes up, and he's flabbergasted I let my wife go to work, drive a car, and not be in my presence. He explains God created women to please and serve their men, and to be in the kitchen at all times, and to basically be a slave to their men. Literally went on for about 15 mins and I seriously thought he was just a chauvinist making a joke but he was dead serious. I excused myself and went to the restroom and thankfully someone took my spot at the table so I had to move to a different spot.
It's crazy to think that insurance is going to pay for a non-medical practitioner, especially without a license.
Everybody has met her: that loud, apprehensive person with a cracking voice possibly due to being in a constant state of self-inflicted crisis. She says more inappropriate things than appropriate things and her personal life somehow always finds itself leaking into her professional environment. The type of person who will leave mid-meeting with a client to go to Starbucks. Her.
Anyway, like two months after hiring her, she informs us she needs to see a person in Miami (we live in LA) due to some undisclosed arm pain issues. She didn't give us a time frame of return but said it may be months to recover. During this conversation, we found that this was not a doctor (or at least not a licensed medical practitioner) but somebody that her friend recommended. In Miami. For "months." Also, she threatened to sue our insurance company because it didn't cover whatever she was doing and she just assumed it would.
We never saw her again, but she seems to keep bouncing back on her feet in pretty solid positions based on Linkedin.
Who's the crazy one now? Jupiter is a real place!
I was on my first cruise, a three day trip to the Bahamas and back to Florida. I was talking to a dude at the bar, and ask where he's from. "Jupiter!" is his response. Luckily my buddy came around and I just walked away.
Found out years later that Jupiter, FL is a real place and remembered this guy from the cruise that I thought was nuts.
I was hoping he'd guess the PIN tbh...
I was in line at the grocery store and this guy was talking to me, mostly a normal conversation and then he started saying he knew what everyone in the store was thinking and how he was from another dimension and I said "uhh ok" and he proceeded to continue on his tirade about knowing everything there is to know, he then proceeded to tell me he knew what I knew, so I said, "if you know everything, then enter my PIN number" (I had already inserted my card into the machine and was getting ready to pay). He stared at me blankly and reality came crashing back down on him. Felt bad for him, but I wasn't going to feed his delusions.
"God told me" is a big red flag...
My, very sweet, elderly next-door neighbor explained to me how God gave her my house.
She casually told me, "Oh, you should have seen how beautiful it was the day we moved in. I touched your door, and I knew then and there that God wanted me to own your house. You may live in it now, but its only temporary."
It gave me the creeps, but I didn't say anything because her husband mows my lawn for free.
Is this crazy? Or amazing? It's amazing.
I was sent to a client's office overseas to help them get our product set up. At first, I thought I had a problem with our translator because he told me that their database server was "in the monkey room". I asked for clarification several times. Always "it's in 'the monkey room'." Decided to just ignore it, asked IT for their credentials, and figured I'd check out their server at the end of my week.
On my last day of support there, I went to configure their server. The CEO had a f_cking pet monkey that lived in the room with their database server.
I had to ask the guy I was working with why on Earth this was the case. Apparently, it's the only room with AC strong enough for the monkey to be comfortable, and the CEO didn't have A/C at his house, so, obviously.... stick it with your business-critical server.
I mean, I don't see the animal doing any damage to the server, but it was the single weirdest thing I've encountered in my life.
Let's hope the daycare is only a delusion...
Started volunteering at a women's shelter, first night at the check-in desk for the clients. Talking with a very well-put-together lady who had traveled all over the world, we spoke of very specific site seeing we had both been to in Egypt, etc. She is obviously highly educated, wearing fine clothing so I finally ask how she came to be at a homeless shelter. She says "I left my CFO position at a huge company in Seattle to take care of my dad who had Alzheimer's. His care cost a lot, I got depressed after he passed away, and here I am. But don't worry, I have a daycare up the hill with 25 children who watch tv all Day in a storage shed. All I have to do is feed them one meal and one snack." My jaw hit the floor. Yeah, she had paranoid schizophrenia and she was delusional. Talk about a 180.
Hey, if calling Sarge helped and made her happy, what's the harm...
Got called to an old lady's condo about her hearing noises in her attic. I went up and looked and it was all good. Went back 3 more times. Finally, I told her that it might be an animal getting in from somewhere that I couldn't see, but that there was absolutely no one up there (It was a wide open, flat space.) Then she told me that she believed it was the government sending agents to spy on her because she had very valuable information inside her head. She was worried that they were planting mind-reading devices in her home. So after some amusement, I told her "Look, we're not really supposed to do this, but..." and then called my Sergeant. "Hey, Sarge, is Mrs. Larsen on the list? ...yes, yes, THE list.....Oh, really? That's a mistake, she's not supposed to be on it. Cancel the operation for her immediately please. Sure, I'll wait...oh really? That was fast. Great, I'll tell her, thanks!" and hung up. I told her "Ma'am, you WERE on the list, but it was obviously an accident. You've been removed, and I promise you nobody else will bother you. You're all good now. :) " Never heard from her again. The funny part, was that I called my Sergeant out of the blue, and while he knew I was on a call at this lady's place, he had NO idea what I was talking about because I was just talking over him. The whole time I'm spewing my script for this lady to hear, Sarge is on the other end of the phone "What the F_CK are you talking about? ...Are you having a stroke or something?.....I don't understand this at all...."
Toxic AND crazy, didn't Jesus have a female friend?
I met my friend's super Christian girlfriend for the first time. Out of the blue, she starts asking me questions like if I'm a virgin, who I dated before I started dating my SO, why I didn't have a crush on her boyfriend (he liked me in high school), who her boyfriend liked in high school, who her boyfriend liked in middle school.
It got even weirder after that. My friend and I used to game all the time. After meeting his girlfriend, she told me we can no longer game together. We can't Skype together (we were in different states at the time). We can no longer speak on the phone together. We can't be alone together. We can't even text.
She claims that he's a good, Christian guy, and he needs good, Christian guy friends. Since I'm a girl, she told me that Christian guys shouldn't have friends of the opposite gender.
Unfortunately, my friend is blindsided by his girlfriend, and he chose her over all his female friends. We don't talk anymore . . .
You identify as a crazy racist cat, sir...
I work in customer service. This dude said he identified as a cat more than a human. He also claimed the police were trying to kill his cats. Eventually, the conversation became about how he was going to starve to death because he didn't know how to cook. He also said he couldn't dine out anymore because there were no places to get real food (hamburgers) in his neighborhood because of "all of the gentrification going on" to his neighborhood.
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.
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We've all heard how parenting is a full-time job. So it's not surprising to learn that parents have discovered plenty of quirks and methods to make things just a little bit more efficient during that eternal slog.
Sure, taking care of one's kids is an absolutely heartwarming, unparalleled joy at times. But parents are humans too, and they cut corners to make things move along or to generate an outcome they prefer.
Unfortunately, some of those shortcuts can have long-term side effects.
A group of Redditors gathered to share the examples they knew all too well.
Capable-Parsley2368 asked, "What 'parenting trick' can actually f*** up a child?"
Many people described the ways parents, to make their kids behave in a desired way, do things that are a bit emotionally manipulative.
It's a kind of "at all costs" approach that can be damaging.
The Adult in the Room
"Giving kids the Silent Treatment when they're in trouble, honestly teaches them to shut down when things get difficult rather than talk things through."
"I am personally unlearning that behavior to this day because of how often my mom did that."
"Pretending to ring the police when you've done something bad." -- Scoobyginger25
"Scare tactics. My mom was always telling me horrible stories to scare me not to do things. Like yes I get it, I won't play by the train tracks or the canal but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had a scary story to go with it."
"Even when I was going to college and trying to decide on a career. Oh you don't want to do that because so and so did that and are now homeless, divorced, depressed, etc." -- zeldessa
Dropping a Bomb
"My mom would always tell me right as i was heading out the door for school that i was in trouble and we needed to talk when i got home. She would never give any clue to what it was but would let me know i was in some sh**. I'd spend the entire day wondering what i did wrong and thinking i was a bad kid.
"9 out of 10 times it had to do with my grades, school was a huge struggle for me."
Beware of Bullfrogs
"My dad would take us camping a lot. He didn't want us getting lost in the woods so he would tell us the sound we heard (bullfrogs) was actually a water monster that will drag you underwater or deep in woods to eat you."
"I think most old school parenting was terrifying your kids to keep them out of danger."
Other people discussed the times their parents were blatantly dishonest. These Redditors didn't always notice the truth at the time, but 20/20 hindsight sure clarified some issues.
Just Say No
" 'Next time' promises to make the child not complain, but are never fulfilled. It only leads to trust issues." -- macncheese_z
"They also lose their power quickly when the kid knows there will be no 'next time.' Which makes them fight harder for 'this time,' causing the entire goal of promising 'next time' to go unfulfilled along with the trust issues."
"Which is what I like to call an 'epic gamer move' " -- KalebMW99
The Hot Gossip
"Reading diaries or journals, (text messages, emails). It's a huge violation of trust and will cause kids to bottle emotions up instead of expression through creativity. If you think something is wrong or that they are in a bad situation choose to sit and talk with them in earnest."
"Extreme euphemisms that are almost lies to make bad news less harsh." -- kaida_notadude
"Seriously. Just tell the kids whats going on. If you want to soften the blow, take them out somewhere nice to put them at ease, but give them the truth."
"Kids can handle a lot more than we give them credit for, and telling them the truth without blurring it all up with euphemisms helps them process information more clearly." -- CaptainHindsight212
Last, some people realized that their parents had good intentions, but totally missed the mark about implementing them. These parents wanted what they felt was best for the child, but getting there, they did the worst.
In Your Ear Forever
"Putting down your child to 'motivate' them. My parents never gave me positive reinforcement, they'd be quick to jump all over my mistakes and they even told me that I was faking my grades when I got the straight A's they wanted."
"It didn't do anything except sow the seeds of self-doubt that I still have to this day."
" 'You see that child Timmy? Be more like him.' Made me insecure and feel beneath everyone." -- Madam-Vixen
"My moms logic is that it pushes me to do what the others do as well. What really happened was i felt they would rather have the other one as their child not me" -- mizukata
Doesn't Have to Be a Transaction
"Cleaning your room as a punishment or something to hold over your kid if they want to do something fun."
"This will give your kid the impression cleaning their room is a bad thing. Treat it as something you both can do together, encourage them to do it because they want to. I've decided that I will always help my kid Clean his room solely to achieve the goal of a clean room, that's it."
Hopefully, a thread like this will shine a light on the intuitive, but problematic, approaches to parenting. Maybe you're thinking about kids or have some of your own.
Take it from these folks that even the minor things can add up.
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Stupid is as stupid does. And it’s pretty obvious when some poor, misinformed, potentially ignorant soul needs to be put in their place. Luckily, there are a lot of witty ways to do just that. We love a good euphemism.
Wanna know the best way to call out stupidity when you see it? Stay tuned.
Get a load of these sick burns. I swear, the people of Reddit are harsh.
Call outs are a universal language.
In Russian we have "intelligent thoughts have always followed him, but he was faster".
We have something similar in German: "Intelligence is chasing you, but you are faster."
Be your own Easter Bunny.Looney Tunes Cartoon GIF Giphy
You could hide your own Easter eggs.
The great Harvey Korman had some Alzheimer's @ 2005, and he still went on a talk show. They asked him how he was doing and he said he was OK. "Now I can hide my own Easter eggs." RIP.
“At this point, you can only impress me."
This reminds me of something I saw in a show recently. One character said "Would you think less of me if ____." The other character said "I could never think less of you."
I think I saw this one here previously "You aren't the biggest idiot in the world but you better hope they don't die".
It takes a very intelligent person to properly call out a dumb person. Weird how that works, huh?
When the bears are smarter than the tourists.GIF by Smokey Bear Giphy
Now I know what Douglas Adams was talking about.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
That’s a gross mental image.
In Greece we say "when it was raining brains, you had an umbrella".
Edit: In German it's "Gott, lass Hirn regnen".
It’s probably a bad sign when your lawyer calls you dumb.
Lawyer to client who shared detailed attorney-client privileged strategy memorandum with a whole bunch of people, including an adverse party:
Client: "Is there anything you can do to fix this?"
Attorney: "No, you've pretty much waived the privilege and now they know everything."
Client: "Is there anyway to put a positive spin on this?"
Attorney: "Well, I suppose the judge might buy that this proves that you lack the mental capacity to form specific intent."
These next ones are just plain cold, but probably very much deserved.
Meanness from a Canadian is probably well-earned.eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
On a Canadian jobsite
Ahh Terry, having you around is like losing three good men.
Oof, that’s harsh.
He's so far behind he thinks he's first.
I had a keychain as a kid that said, "She who laughs last thinks slowest.”
Those are some gross socks.
Once heard someone say "Well he's about as sharp as a sock full of soup".
"Sharp as a marshmallow" was one that went around my friend circle.
In the words of the great prophets Smash Mouth, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. That self-burn is perhaps one of the most classic euphemisms. And I just almost misspelled “euphemism”. So I can definitely relate to that lyric.
A good way to exercise your brain? Keep thinking of creative ways to insult people. Trust me, it works like a charm
It's a plague many of us would rather not admit occurs on a daily basis.
Reddit user, u/Jamally1980, wanted to hear about:
When It Happens To Others...
You might be out, with a friend or a co-worker, minding your own business, never once considering what degree of person you'll meet. Then, BOOM. They're there, ready to make the person who you're with and their life a living nightmare.
Suddenly Changing Their Minds
I (WM) played in a band with an African American guitarist. We wrote songs together and became great friends. One day we went to a convenience market and there was a help-wanted sign on the door.
"Watch this," he said and went in the store to inquire about the job. 2 minutes later, he walked out and said with a sly grin, "The owner said they are no longer hiring. Now YOU go in."
I went in the store, and five minutes later, came out with an application.
"You see," he said. "You have no idea what it's like to be black."
30 years later, I still think about that day.
"Not even the correct kind of racist here."
My landlord thought one of my closest friends was some sort of hardcore latino gangbanger who was selling me crack. He's an asian IT professional who doesn't even drink. He was even coming over in his work clothes 99% of the time. We have a lot of jokes about that one. "Not even the correct kind of racist here."
Maybe They Shouldn't Be Around Kids
6th grade. This was mid/late 90s. Our teacher was telling us a story.
She said "this black woman without shoes came up my driveway and approached me. At first I was nervous because we don't have any black people in our neighborhood and I could tell she was homeless because she had a foul odor and she was black" and the black girl in class interrupted her and said "why does she have to be black for you to be nervous?"
The teacher responded, "because she was and we don't have black people in our neighborhood, and skin color matters Kelly."
It shook me up. It is a big commuter area close to some major cities and military bases so we had a diverse student body.
The next week our principal came in to explain the teacher was let go because of her racist remarks, and we had a week where we learned about diversity and how discrimination plays a part in so many lives, how it can affect populations, and how you can be aware of it.
Silly Reasons, Real Fears
I remember the first time I experienced racism. I'm Canadian but lived in England for a year when I was 8. I had a buddy from India. One time we wanted to play soccer at school over lunch with a group of guys. A boy said "you can play because you're from Canada. He can't play because he has brown skin". I was so confused and didn't know why skin colour made a difference. My friend was way better than me so I thought they didn't want to play with someone so good. I asked him if all people with brown skin are really good at soccer. He just said no, let's go play somewhere else. It wasn't until later that I realized why they didn't want to play.
Or When It Happens To You...
It's not always someone else, is it?
Most of the time you'll see racist interactions first-hand because they happen to you. You didn't do anything wrong, you might even have been out walking, but you feel it deep down in your gut when they direct all their hate and fury at you.
We Should Have You And The Missus Over Some Time
I was driving out of my gated community and a lady stepped off the curb and in front of my car yelling at the top of her lungs. She comes to the driver side and is like, "I see you driving through here, do you live here?". Her husband, not far behind, grabs her and proceeds to explain to her that I live literally around the corner from them. She then proceeds to ask me for my drivers license. As I laugh, I invite them over for drinks later. The husband thanks me as his wife continues to yell.
6 hours later, I walk to their house with a bottle of red wine and white wine (not knowing which they like). The husband answers the door, shocked, he invited me in, only to have his wife say, no. Embarrassed, he says he'll stop by later. Fast forward, he's one of my closest friends and she's still a raging [b-tch.]
At Least Get The Geography Of Your Insults Right
Old guy in his 70's walked up to me while at McDonalds and asked me "Is that your camel parked out front?" Took a moment to register that he was being racist. I told him that there wasn't a camel in the parking lot and that he should see a doctor about his senile dementia. I'm not even Arab or Persian. I'm Puerto Rican. If you're going to be racist, at least make the effort to get the race right. The only thing worse than a racist is a lazy racist.
We're Working, Here!
When I, Hispanic, was a landscaper, my boss and I were hired to do lawn work in a really nice neighborhood. I was approached by an angry elderly white man and he asked me what I was doing and told me I don't belong here. My boss, who was also white, had to come and basically f-ck off and told him we were hired and allowed on the property we were on.
...It's All Truly Terrible.
No matter how you slice it, discovering anyone's racists intentions isn't pleasant. You may not know what to say or what to do in that situation, but you'll know how you feel.
Finding Out Who The Racists In Your Life Are
Maybe it's a combination of being white with a shaved head, or maybe it's just being white, but sometimes folk feel very comfortable spouting off racist sh-t with me in the room. A common one is whining about "immigrants". On several occasions I've let people go on about their various stupid issues with The Immigrants, until I point out I am one.
Most of the time the whiner will awkwardly change the subject. One time a guy said "Yeah but you speak English!". Somehow I don't think language was his problem.
The most common trait I've seen among racist people is the assumption that most other people are as racist as them.
Seeing Their Biases Laid Bare
There was this convenience store near my elementary school that kids used to go to sometimes to get candy, snacks etc. A friend of mine (also black), told me I shouldn't go there because the store owner was racist, so I never went. Well one day I went in, and before I could even grab something, the guy yells at me to get out. I try to ask why, but he just kept yelling how he didn't want "us" in his store, even though I was alone. At this point, I was old enough to understand, and unfortunately has already experienced sh-t like this before.
Fast forward maybe a few weeks or so, I'm with a white friend of mine and we're walking on the same street as this store. He says we should stop in and get some sodas. I tell him I can't go in because the owner is racist and won't let me buy anything. My friend thinks that's ridiculous because the guy is always nice to him. So I tell my friend to go in first. He goes in, grabs a soda, buys it, comes back to me saying how nice the dude was and I had nothing to worry about. I say okay, now lets both walk in. We both walk in and the dude has smile on his face until he spots me and his demeanor completely changes. He says something like, "Oh no, YOU (my friend) can stay, but HE (me) has to leave." My friend is like wtf why? The guy says, "I don't want "them" in this store! You're (my friend) fine though." I stand there just looking at my friend with the I-told-you face. My friend actually gets upset, starts yelling back calling the guy racist and so on, but I grab him and I'm like lets go before he calls the police. My poor friend was blown away because he thought the guy was so nice and friendly then boom! All of that erased in minutes.
If you ever find yourself in a spot like this, there's a few things to do: Talk to someone, anyone, whom you can trust. Make sure you're safe. Above all, don't engage or react unless you absolutely have to.
There's real love in this world. Go out and find that, instead.
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