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Old gender stereotypes pervade every facet of society. Under the umbrella of parenting alone, we could spend all day naming them.

But a recent Reddit thread zeroed in on one gender-based parenting stereotype in particular: the presumption that a father cannot be a equally present and hardworking parental figure as a mother.

Far from the absent, workaholics that populated 1950s movies, these guys love to take care of their children. They like to be vulnerable, teach good character, take care of necessary pieces of child-rearing, and simply enjoy fatherhood.

And yet they are questioned with subtle jokes and the proverbial elbow nudge.

The thread offered a safe haven for all the proudly present fathers out there. These modern patriarchs took turns slamming all the presumptuous onlookers they've ever faced.

myles5239 asked, "As a dad, how much does it annoy you when you take your kid(s) to the shops and someone says 'so you're on babysitting duties?'"

Generational Gaps

"Not a dad myself, but an uncle. My sister in law is a mostly stay at home mom, but teaches a yoga class once or twice a week. My brother obviously has to look over his kids during that time."

"My parents constantly refer to that as babysitting... and it drives me nuts. I constantly interject, and tell them that that's just parenting, but there's just something the older generation doesn't get about that."

-- P0ster_Nutbag

How to Silence a Room

"The line 'Yeah ever since their mum died' usually shuts them down pretty quick." -- Guerenica

"That's brutal. I love it." -- deadbass72

"'Actually, I kidnapped them... does that still qualify?'" -- Lemesplain

"I don't have any zingers like that, I usually just tell them that when they're your own kids, they call it 'parenting'" -- BigPZ

A Dad, Beard and All

"As a tall (6'4") and Large (300lb) quit hairy and bearded man with twin girls, when they were younger I got a lot of old ladies saying stuff like 'that man should NOT be with those little girls.'"

"Like yeah, f*** me for looking like sasquatch and having kids, right?"

"As they've gotten older, its got better. I don't get comments like that anymore. But if I take them to the park all of the moms avoid me."

-- MediocreFisherman

Punished for Being Present 

"I became a father at a young age (17) and when I would pick up my daughter and take her out for dinner just me and her--it's a weekly thing for us..."

"you wouldn't believe the dirty looks and rude comments I've received from people about being a creep especially when she was about 14 to age 20..."

"...she's 22 now, and now it has changed to other men giving me the thumbs up and basically saying nice job on getting a young lady, and they having absolutely no clue that I'm just hanging out with my daughter."

"People suck"

-- Tyco2018

Skewed Standards

"My husband had dinner with this family while I was out of town once. They kept praising him and calling him just such a great dad."

"All because he didn't order alcohol at the restaurant. Because he didn't drive drunk with our kids. That's how low they set the bar for him. Meanwhile they have never called me a good anything."

"He is a good dad and yes, he was annoyed by this."

-- flashmonkey26

An Unwanted Title

"I don't know if anyone else gets this line often, but I do. 'Oh, looks like you're Mr. mom today' There's a word for dad. It's dad." -- deadbass72

"I have gotten that a few times."

"After the first time it happened, any time it had happened since, I've looked the person in the eyes and said, 'Yeah, she's Mrs. Dad today, we like to role play like that, kinky isn't it?' and then just continue what I'm doing before I was interrupted." -- masheduppotato

Everybody Loses

"I think a lot of mothers are annoyed by this too.. it makes it sound as if taking care of the children as solely 'her duty'..."

"...and if the father is being a father, that means she's slacking on her duties and using a 'baby-sitter.'"

-- AlienAle

Even the Infrastructure is Presumptuous

"To pile on, the worst is when you can't find a baby changing station in the men's room and there is no 'family room.'"

"I've straight up overtaken a women's room, so that I could change a diaper."

-- RatherNerdy

Wildly Impressed

"I've never gotten that. However the amount of people that have seen me alone with my daughter and act as though I'm the only man they've seen spending time together with their little girl is literally insane to me."

"One woman insisted on buying our lunch because of it."

-- GreatScotch

Mic Drop

"I had this happen a few times when bringing my daughter places. She was 6 when we went I brought her to an auto race. This complete stranger who looks about the same age as me, with his younger girlfriend is leaning back on the seat a few rows down."

"He looks back and says, 'Let me guess. The ex wouldn't keep her this weekend?'"

"I was a bit surprised at the question. But I answered, 'Not at all. Just a father sharing his love of the sport like my father did with me.'"

"Then I held my left hand up and said, 'It's nice to know one of us hasn't failed at marriage or parenting for that matter.'"

"Didn't hear another word from him."

-- RabbitOfCaerbonnog

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Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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