These Clueless Family Members Were 'Just Trying To Help'
Having the support of family is a dream; they're always there when you need them, willing to lend a helping hand. However, sometimes family members are completely clueless, and their assistance has adverse effects. Here Redditors tell of what went down when their family thought they were helping when in reality, their good intentions were horribly misplaced.
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
One day, my little sister asked for my CV so she could base her own on it. A few days later, I got an email from Google Dublin telling me that my job application had been rejected. A conversation with my very embarrassed sister revealed that my mother had put her up to it. They sat down together and filled out the job application. When I saw what they wrote, I wanted to scream.
They included gems such as, “Q: Why do you want to work for Google? A: Because I LOVE technology'”. I imagine whoever viewed my application thought it quite ballsy for a music and Chinese language graduate to apply for the post of “Senior Technical Programmer”.
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
My girlfriend and I both have great full-time jobs starting in our careers. My family lives about 60 miles away in my hometown. My grandmother sends us clippings from the newspaper of random job postings in hopes I will move back home. They are all completely unconnected to our jobs. Every month when we visit, she also insists that we should set up an apartment in her basement and live there instead of having to pay rent somewhere. I love her dearly, but that would be just a little too weird.
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My mother is a professional musician and had no greater desire than for me to be the same. Immediately after entering college, I completely minimized my time in music as much as possible to maintain my scholarship and put all my energy into medical biology. I was doing two doctorates in the medical sciences, so it is not like I slacked off.
Almost a year after I did this, my mother somehow found out. She then called the school, and multiple people in the music department, demanding that they require me to spend more time with music and get me back to “acceptable” levels of performance.
A Publix Humiliation
My grandfather insisted I call some random teacher he met at the grocery store to "set up an internship" for my last semester of college when I would have to student teach. No amount of explaining could convince him that that was not how it was done. I would have to apply through my university and my county, and they would assign me a classroom and a teacher. It started to get painful.
He would call once a week and say I was ungrateful for not taking him up on his help when he had worked so hard, and why couldn't I just make one small effort to help my future and secure a classroom? I felt awkward because it's pretty weird to call up someone your grandfather met at Publix and explain that you don't need their help.
Eventually, I started feeling guilty and called this woman up. When she picked up, I said, "Hello, my grandfather gave me your number because he thinks that—" and she responded with, "Don't worry, sweetie. He pretty much old man guilted me to give him my number. I know you can't control where you're placed in your internship. Bye". It was really awkward.
The Taste Of EmbarrassmentFormer Quiznos Subs Sign Downtown Miami | Completely empty i… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
When I was 18, my friend who was a cook offered me a delivery job at Quiznos; I told my mom that I was thinking about it. She got mad, emailed Quiznos corporate office, and said how it was irresponsible to offer me a job and that the manager was terrible. But that wasn't the end of the embarrassment. The message went to the manager, who went to my friend, who read it—embarrassingly—in a car full of my friends.
Mom, The Pickup Artist
I'm 26 years old, and every time I'm out with my mom, she tries her hardest to pick up girls for me, no matter the place. She's left my number for cute waitresses, girls that helped me into fitting rooms, bartenders, etc. It's never subtle, either. It’s always, "My son is single, you know? And very handsome and has a job and car".
Stop The Music!
My dad forced me to stop taking guitar lessons because "It is affecting your grades". I maintained a 4.0 in high school, did all of my homework, and would then proceed to play guitar for about eight hours a day. He actually threatened to burn my $800 Schecter. I have no idea why he thought it was ruining my life; I had a job, studied, and just loved music.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
My mom once mowed the lawn while I was out to "help me get my chores done”. It was a disaster. She put the blade on as low as it went and it absolutely scalped the lawn. She had shorn it all the way down to bare dirt. There was even dirt blowing all over the yard, but she said she "didn't notice". It took months for the grass to grow back.
What Once Was Too Much Is No More
My mother did a thousand things that drove me insane. She would write my name on my underwear, on every book I owned, and engrave it onto things that wouldn't keep ink. She'd do the laundry, but seemingly had no idea how to do laundry. My entire life she had to straighten things up, which consisted of taking everything in the room and putting it in one pile—papers, cell phones, empty coke cans, you name it.
This even occurred when I was 40 years old and in my own house with a wife and kids. She'd constantly tell me and my wife that we needed more furniture, more things on the walls, more knick-knacks, basically to clutter our house up like she had done to hers. She was a pretty annoying person for the most part, but she did cool stuff too, like give me money like take my wife shopping or babysit our kids.
She volunteered to babysit our kids on her 43rd anniversary despite having a stomach ache. The next day she went to the doctor where she found out she had cancer. The day after that she had an emergency operation which determined it was inoperable. She never left the hospital and passed two weeks later. Now, suddenly all that stuff that drove me insane doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.
Meddlesome Mom Messed With My Mailpile of printing papersPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
My mom opens all my letters, especially my bank statements. She once came across an invoice for an adult subscription. You think that's embarrassing? It gets soooo much worse. She instantly assumed someone had gained access to my account. So, she decided to phone the bank and tell them that fraudulent activity was taking place, and had my account frozen. Not only that, but because I am self-employed, she thought she would ring HM&Revenue, and tell them about it.
As a result, I ended up getting investigated to make sure all of my accounts and business purchases were legit. Her response was, “I know my precious baby would not be buying [racy videos]”. I'm 21 years old!
Trying To Put The Hit On Me
My mom insisted I needed a boyfriend since the age of 12 or I was a lesbian. Typical ways for Mexicans to meet other fornicating Mexicans were at weddings and Quinceneras. I've always been a book nerd/tomboy and my mom kept insisting I had to wear fewer clothes and would force short skirts and dresses on me. I hated getting hit on because all the guys that would had already slept with at least three of my cousins.
Thankfully, I was one of the few in my family who ended up not pregnant by the age of 15. I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was 21—most of my cousins were married by then—and got married at the age of 24, and was able to prove once and for all that I liked men.
Duo Lingo Disaster
My wife's grandmother is Russian and wanted me to learn the language. So Babushka bought a huge carton of cassette tapes and handed them to me. When I saw what they said, it was so hard not to laugh. They were tapes...for Russians who wanted to learn English. She figured that I could listen to the Russian prompts, then hear the English parts, and reverse engineer the Russian language. Nyet. That's not how it works.
My mom is very religious and I'm not, so she hides religious icons all over my house. I'll find a crystal statue of the Virgin Mary in my toilet tank, little pictures of Jesus on my storage shelves in the basement, etc. It's always a little amusing when I find some random saint's picture stuffed into a book on my shelf. I probably have dozens of these things lying around that I haven't found yet.
My family is in the class under middle class. Through middle school and high school, going to the doctor was too expensive and our bills weren't ever paid on time. We had the financial credit of a squirrel. But my parents made it so much worse. It makes me sound shallow to say this to most people, but I was given well-intentioned, expensive, material things.
Clothes, cars, jewelry, technology—everything beyond our means—was bought for me and it was forced into my hands. Despite their best attempts, I remained frugal and money conscious. I have handed back 300-dollar watches and said, “Please just pay the bills”, only to be threatened to have them thrown away. Then, there were expensive clothes and shoes that were out of style.
Most of the clothes I liked were thrift store-bought or on sale, but I have 200-dollar coats hanging untouched in my closet. I can't be thankful for being handed essentially junk when there isn't enough food in the fridge or the lights go out.
Meddling Middle School Misfortuneboy leaning on brown wooden railingsPhoto by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash
When I was finishing primary school, our school gave us the choice of two middle schools to move to. One was really nice and in a decent area; the other was a little run down, and in a bad area, but was slightly nearer to where I lived. Naturally, even before seeing each school, the choice for me was an easy one. I would rather go to a nice school and suffer an extra 20 minutes of travel than the alternative.
This choice appeared to be shared with nearly everybody else as well and, as a result, we were told that not everybody would get their first choice. They would determine who would get into which school based on several factors. I figured I would be almost guaranteed a spot in the nice school since I was doing well academically.
I was in advanced classes for math and English. I was shocked to later find out that I had been sent to the bad school. This was exacerbated by the fact that nearly all my friends were being sent to the good school. What followed was the worst four years of my life, and some issues that I have no doubt screwed me up as a person, even now. When I found out WHY it had happened, I almost started to cry.
I told my parents I had been assigned to the bad school, and my dad said he was relieved. The thing was, he thought that I would not be able to get to school on time if I went to the nicer school, due to the extra distance, and the travel costs would be higher since I would need to take an extra bus. So, he wrote a letter to the school board.
He mentioned that while I preferred the nicer school, he thought the bad school was more convenient. I love my parents, so I have never told him this, but to this day I have never forgiven him for doing this.
God Mom, Lay Off!
My mom would force me to go to church on Sundays, weekly church youth group, church summer camp, and daily morning scripture study classes before school while I was growing up. Despite all that, she seems to think that I didn't get the memo about the whole God thing. So, she still gives me the conversion pitch every time I see her. I am 36 years old. Thanks, mom, but no means no.
An Invitation For Disaster
My mother-in-law tried to take over my wedding guest list because she “knew exactly who we needed to invite”. We ended up with all of her relatives and very few of my friends or family. She also wanted to invite all of her co-workers, all of her friends, and their children. I finally put my foot down and told her that I had limited room, a limited budget, and it was my wedding. Luckily, my husband agreed with me. All her relatives got mad as well because I refused to have anyone below the age of 13 there.
Dragged On My Dad’s Dates
My dad dragged me around everywhere he went when I was a child. He would take me on his dates too. Although it sounds cute and funny, all he would do was make fun of me and tell them how I spend all my time on computers. I hated every second of it. He did this for a bit until he clued in that women don't like when you trash talk your son or ask him questions like, "Why don't you draw anymore"?
I would reply, "You threw out my artwork in my room, so I gave up". They also don’t like when I just couldn’t take the awkwardness of being an 11-year-old forced to accompany two mid-40-year-olds “trying” to date. I would get up and go to the bathroom or walk around, only to be tripped by my dad, for which he would turn back and laugh. He thought he was teaching me a lesson by taking me because I spent all my time on the computer.
Garage Sale Granny
My grandparents are garage sale junkies. This really helped me out when I was just getting started on my own, as they had so much unused furniture just lying around in the garage. However, it just kept coming. I would get phone calls from home saying, "Oh Hunny, we picked you up a new microwave! It was only $5"! I've been given three different microwaves over the last three years.
They also buy socks for my baby daughter all the time—like every time I come to visit. My daughter hates socks, and she rarely wears them. There are SOCKS EVERYWHERE. I have two giant shopping bags full of unused baby socks in the closet, and I can't donate them because, apparently some places—in my area at least—don't accept socks unless they are in their original packaging.
It Didn’t Make Any Centssilver and gold round coinsPhoto by Art Rachen on Unsplash
I was going to a coin show with my co-worker and his stepfather. They came by and picked me up, and we went to the show. After they dropped me off, the stepfather was stopped and questioned by the authorities near my house. It turned out my dad had called the authorities thinking that the stepfather was a predator, and I didn't know any better.
But here's the messed up part: I was 21 at the time. It was very embarrassing when I heard what happened the next day.
A Numbers Game
Before my wife and I ever met, her mother would often give her phone number to "nice Jewish boys" that she thought would be good dating material. It was weird but not bad or unusual. Except that, for a period of nearly a year after my wife and I had started dating, her mother was still doing this. There were times when we'd go back to her apartment after seeing a movie or something, and there would be a message on her answering machine.
It would be from a guy that she had never met, who got her phone number from her mother. This was happening MONTHS after we were involved with one another, even after I went to her mother's house and had dinner with her.
Single Straight Female
Years ago, my sister jokingly insinuated I was a lesbian. My parents gave me the whole "love you whatever you are" spiel later. I didn't tell them right away that I wasn’t because it made my conservative parents vote “No” on Prop 8, etc. I also didn't think it mattered, and I didn't want them to expect any grandkids. Later, I told my mom I was straight because the whole scenario got a bit aggravating. It only got more excruciating.
Despite telling her this, she kept insinuating certain things like the best places in China (I’m Asian) to find a wife, etc. I have absolutely no interest in having kids EVER, which I made abundantly clear. My mom, therefore, thinks I am a hermaphrodite or a female-to-male trans person. She's even asked me if I have a male organ or if I wanted to change my general doctor to a male one so I can talk about my "man problems". I'm a straight girl, so all of this was quite perplexing.
No Bed Of Roses
I had just moved back in with my mom after having some financial difficulties. I was 28 at the time and broke, sleeping on a twin bed. I was lamenting about how difficult that might make bringing ladies home. Her response was horrifying: "You can use my bed. Just call me first". Suffice it to say, during the two years I was back home with her, there were no romantic times back at my place.
Filling My Fridge For Nothing
Every time my grandparents visit my town, they stock my empty pantry with lots of canned goods and my empty freezer full of frozen entrees. I tell them that I appreciate their generosity, but that it is really unnecessary. They reply by saying they don't ever want to risk me going hungry because I am too proud to ask for food.
The reason my cabinets are consistently bare is that after they leave, I always make a point of donating what they've bought me to a local food bank. I own three restaurants, so there is no reason I would ever cook at home. In a bad year, I have an annual net income of around $2,000,000. They're stocking a $10,000 freezer.
Proper Phone Etiquettebrown rotary dial telephone in gray painted roomPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
My mom used to make me make phone calls under the guise of “teaching me how to talk on the phone”. But she was having me call adults as a young teen about business stuff like for example, the electric company. She would not give me the information I would need to complete the task, like the account number or whatever, so I’m absolutely sure I was just annoying people who were trying to do their jobs and my phone anxiety as an adult is almost crippling.
No Thanks For The “Expert” Advice
My mother-in-law sent me a text message with advice for editing the language on my personal portfolio website. She told me to change all of the pronouns I use when referring to myself to "my company name". When I told her most illustrators I know don't do this, she simply responded that she was an "expert editor". I am not being ungrateful; she is constantly doing this. Providing "expert advice" to people whose jobs she knows nothing about. When I told her what I did for a living, she responded with, "Well, gee, I could do that".
Coast To Coast Annoyance
My aunt constantly tries to introduce me to women who live 3,000 miles away from me. I have explained many times that I live on the East Coast, so her attempts to find me a girlfriend on the West Coast are not going to help. Not only that, but my girlfriend doesn't appreciate the efforts either. The funniest part is that she isn't even old or senile. She's just a bit nuts.
Grammy Was Out Of Step
When I was really young, my Midwestern, Protestant, fundie grandparents believed that black or gray clothing was exclusively worn by bad people, and they refused to see it on their grandson. They took particular issue with black shoes. As a six-year-old, I was given the chance to pick my own shoes out at the local Sports Authority.
I spent the whole day evaluating my options and settled on a gorgeous pair of black New Balance with orange mesh and white logos. Understandably, I couldn't wait to show them off to Grammy when I went to visit for the summer. I carefully explained the features of the shoes, and how they made me run faster, jump higher, and look older.
When she saw them, she said, "Oh my goodness! Those might be the coolest shoes I've ever seen"! Then, when I woke up the next morning, they had been thrown out and replaced by a pair of entirely white Nike sneakers with no explanation.
I grew up with a dad who had been a high school and college sports legend. I hated sports. I was overweight and liked D&D and drawing. My dad was friends with the high school football coach, so I felt like I had to try out for the team. I hated every second of it. I hated the training and I was terrible. My teammates knew I wasn't into it and wanted me out.
One day, I jumped off the bleachers and tried to land on my leg to break it. I sprained my ankle badly and missed our first scrimmage. Finally, I had to confess to my dad that I hated it and wanted off the team. I was so scared because I thought he'd be so disappointed. However, he told me, "Son, you're you and I'm me. Just because I played football doesn't mean you have to. I want you to do what makes you happy".
So, my dad watched football alone, while I drew and read and later skateboarded. Over the years, we found a lot of common ground, such as music, and cooking together. I lost him almost five years ago, and strangely, now I'm a huge football fan. I sit and watch football alone and I can imagine him with me. I appreciate it now and I understand what it meant to my dad.
Drowning In Questionsman doing swimmingPhoto by Richard R. Schünemann on Unsplash
I used to swim a lot in college, which was many years ago. I got tired of getting in the water, so now I mostly do weights and machines at the gym, like the rowing machine and the elliptical. But every time my mother sees me, she asks, “So, have you been swimming”? We have had MANY conversations about how I don't like swimming anymore and I have no desire to swim, yet I still exercise. But EVERY time I see her, it’s, "Have you been swimming? How's your swimming”?
Years ago, my wife and I went on vacation for two weeks, and we had her parents watch our house and cat for us. Never again. We left the house at a comfortable temperature as it was the middle of summer in Atlanta, and we didn't want our cat to bake. We also wanted the house to be comfortable for them and my brother for the couple of days he stayed.
When we returned, the house was about 90 degrees on the inside, and our cat was chilling in our basement—somewhere she never went—where the temp was a good ten degrees cooler. They also decided to wipe down our kitchen counters, even though the kitchen was 100% clean. They are marble and she used a cleaner on them that left these little spots all over them that never came off.
My brother came over for a couple of days and said that he actually turned the A/C back on and noticed that when he came back a couple of days later, it was back off again. So he turned it on again and when we returned, it was off again. Our cat was not amused and decided that she would hang out in the basement for weeks at a time, and we rarely saw her.
Our power bill was enormous that next month and the constant heating and cooling of the house caused the wallpaper in two of our bathrooms to peel. When we asked them about it, they explained, "We were just trying to save you guys some money on your power bill. You know you shouldn't keep your house so cool all the time! And we wiped the dust off your counters too with the cleaner you had”, which was hardwood floor cleaner as it turned out.
She took all of my pants and cut them into shorts and gave them to my brother because they were "too small for me" when, in reality, they fit perfectly. After she realized that what she did might have irked me a bit, she came back with a few pairs of light blue wrangler jeans that were a 40" waist because they would "fit me better". I wore a 36, so needless to say, they didn't.
She also told my little brother, who was chubby and pretty self-conscious, that he had a gut and that he needed to swim with a shirt on. I wouldn't be critical if she were old enough not to know better regarding what she says, but she just turned 65.
Dressed To Impress
My mother was in love with the idea that I would go to work in an office with a suit and a tie. She had some ideal image from television that this was a great lifestyle. Meanwhile, we came from a farm, and I was an artist. For a year or so after finishing a degree, I worked in tech support and this required a dress code. My mother got me so many collared shirts and ties, it was crazy. I've worked mostly in offices since but rarely need a tie. I know she's always been disappointed.
Temptation Almost Took Over
When I was in my 20s and a dateless wonder, my stepmother tried to talk me into marrying an attractive young woman who was a friend of the family, and was in the US on a green card. It would be for citizenship, but my stepmother also said that whatever other “private arrangements” we worked out were up to us. I was tempted for about five minutes, but then my father caught wind of my stepmom's scheme and put a stop to it.
Harrowing Hook UpGiant Dipper queue entrance | Santa Cruz Boardwalk @ Santa C… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
One day, I was at the wonderful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my family. My dad had been drinking and suddenly asked me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend"? I was around 11 or 12 years old at the time. I told him I just never found one, and that's when he decided to become Cupid. He called over this group of overweight, goth chicks to "hook his son up".
Naturally, I was embarrassed beyond belief. I walked away to go find my mom, who was furious with my dad’s conduct. She even went so far as to ask, "Why did you choose some goth chicks"? His response was terrible and inappropriate. To this day I have never forgotten that.
When I was 11 or so, I was riding my bicycle home from school and the wind started blowing like crazy, hard enough that I had to push my bike the last couple of blocks home. The tornado sirens went off while I was half a block away. I ran straight to the back door that led to the basement, went downstairs, and over to the “safe” corner my parents taught me about.
I sat and worried about the house collapsing on me. Then, the phone started ringing upstairs. I ignored it for as long as I could, probably around two minutes. I finally ran upstairs and answered the phone. It was my mom, and all she said was, "Get your butt downstairs"!
Bound And Gagged
My mom and sister came to visit me for a few days the weekend after I moved into a new apartment by myself. I had to work on the first day they were there and gave them suggestions on a whole bunch of fun activities they could do while I was gone. I asked them to please not unpack any of my stuff so that I would know where I had placed everything.
Obviously, there were also things my mom didn’t need to see. I arrived home after work and everything was unpacked. Then, my mom handed me one bag which she had not emptied. The content had bed straps, and she asked me if I had wanted her to set those up too. It was mortifying.
College Control Freak
My mom took over my entire college experience. She became really controlling about my course schedule and degree options. Somehow, it got worse the older I got. She would contact my academic counselor and bug him about why I couldn’t get into ENGL 3044 or why HIST 4513 didn’t give me the same general ed credit as ENGL 4513 for the multi-disciplinary degree that she pushed on me.
I wanted to major in sociology, but Mom thought that was stupid and it was a hippy-liberal communist degree. It made me hate college, and avoid any professors she had contacted. She would also get really mad if I changed my university password to try and lock her out. Basically, she threatened not to pay for my college if she couldn't control me and she threatened to cancel my car insurance too. All because she was afraid I would leave for greener pastures.
Drop The Dating Advice
My brother, my sister, my sister-in-law, and every aunt and uncle whom I've seen in the past four years all take the opportunity to give me dating advice, ask me about what kind of girls I like, ask me to pick the most attractive girl in the restaurant/building, etc. One of my uncles, in particular, was telling me in none-too-uncertain terms to just find girls to bed, not for relationships.
His reasoning was that, obviously, no 23-year-old guy wants to have a girlfriend metaphorically tying him down, holding him back from things, etc. Of course, every college dude just wants to just go sleep around indiscriminately. This was a dinner conversation with my parents at the table. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Every time it happens, I'm tempted to tell them that I'm gay—which I'm not—so they'll get off my back. But then I know they'll just do the same for dudes.
Something Was Fishy With My Juicebrown and yellow medication tabletsPhoto by Leohoho on Unsplash
I'm a vegetarian and have been for seven years. One summer, my mom was going through a phase of making me these orange juices every day; they were nice. I always thought to myself that the oranges must be coming from a different place this year because they were so sweet. One day, I was scrambling through the fridge and found this jar that looked like some weird medicine.
I opened that baby up and took a whiff. It smelled like oranges—sweet, sweet oranges. When I read the label of the “medicine”, that's when I realized that my mom was spiking my drinks with fish oil. A “vegetarian” who eats fish is called a “vegequarian pescatarian”, not a vegetarian like I was. Needless to say, I was mad and didn't talk to her for a week.
My mother tries to set me up with Jewish men. Our family is Jewish, and I have told them explicitly, many times, that I don't want to marry anyone overtly religious and that I find most Jewish men not to be my type, to put it lightly. So lately, my mother has been trying to hook me up with cute girls. She believes that since I'm a 26-year-old pretty, single girl, I MUST be gay to not be married with kids.
The Devil’s Devices
My grandmother throws out appliances that have the number 666 in the serial number or barcode. She thinks these appliances will eventually turn on us because they’re the devil's appliances. This includes a brand new lawnmower she received as a gift from her children. Of course, she didn't give the lawnmower to anyone because she didn’t want to be responsible for the impending doom the appliance would bring; she just threw it out. She's done this at our house before as well. She's a nut, but I love her!
My Family Was Full Of Gay Abandon
When my mother and father found out I was gay, my mother said it would be best for me to come out to everyone who lived with us. At the time, it was my sister, brother, grandmother, and great-aunt. She said if I didn’t do it, she would do it for me because it would help me have a better relationship with all of them. When I went to talk to my grandmother, she had just had some really intense surgery and she was on some serious pain meds.
So, I sat her down and told her I was gay and she just went on this half-hour rant about how she knew a teacher that was a queer when she was in high school. It turned out she then emailed several relatives about my coming out. An aunt of mine then sent me a letter saying that she wished the best for me and told me that I could "still live my life as a gypsy", I just needed to be careful because "AIDS is really dangerous" and that I shouldn’t sleep with anyone until I was married.
Time To Cut The Cord
My parents can't accept that I am a married adult and don't need them to do everything for me. They did all they could to make me as dependent as possible, and they don't understand that not needing them to do things doesn’t mean I don't love them. For example, I am pregnant and at high risk. My mother calls all the time wanting to take me to my appointments.
I get that she is nervous, but this little girl is very healthy, and I don't want her there. She doesn't help, she only makes me nervous. My husband wants to go with me, after all, it's our baby, and she doesn't get it. She called my last daughter "her" baby, and she is starting again. It infuriates me beyond belief. My parents also hate that I live about two hours away in a different state.
They want us to visit every weekend and get mad that we only visit every few months. I talk to my mom every day, mind you, yet sometimes she calls me several times a day and doesn't get that I have things to do. She also constantly says she and my dad are moving to Las Vegas and she thinks it would be great if we moved there too.
She has all these people call my husband about jobs that are not anything he would be interested in. Plus, my parents don't have any good business contacts. My mom has not had a real job in fifteen years and my father has been looking for a better job for years. They are not even in the same field as my husband. Even if the job sounded perfect, we would never trust it.
We don't want to be associated with anyone they do business with. My parents have some serious separation issues.
Two Sides Of A Shielda person holding a babyPhoto by Polina Kuzovkova on Unsplash
I had cancer twice before I was five years old and so my parents really shielded my life. If I was invited to a kid’s birthday party, my mom would be there too. I wasn’t allowed to play outside until late, and even when I was older, there was no going to nightclubs. I had to be in by 10 PM and had to argue my way to let my boyfriend (now husband) stay the night.
As a result, I'm terrible at socializing, struggle to make my own decisions since someone was always there with an answer for me, and don’t know anything about running a house as it was all done for me and not by choice. When I moved in with my boyfriend, they were all, “Do you not like us anymore? What have we done to deserve this?”
My guy had to show me everything from using the washing machine and paying bills, to cooking. Everything I know is because of him! They continued to message, email, and phone several times a day until I asked for space and to be allowed to live my life. We have a better relationship now, and I have my own little girl, so I do understand to some extent.
However, I know I'd want her to be supported and loved but allowed to scrape her knees and be included in everything. My job as a parent is to make her feel confident about herself and teach her everything I know to help her become a well-rounded and independent individual.
The Only Bad Influence Was Her
My mom tried to protect me from my dad. My dad was a lazy guy when they were together in Vietnam. Even when they had my sister and me, my dad didn't do much for us. My mom had to take care of him and us, so we moved to the US without him. This is when my sister and I were pretty young. He missed us and he would write to us, but for 12 years I never saw his letters.
Then, through the magic of technology, we got into contact again. My mom warned me about him because she thought that he would have a bad influence on me. My dad and I exchanged emails and I told my mom about it. Then, she finally confessed the dark truth. She had kept all of his letters away from us so that we wouldn't think of him and just forget about him.
When I read the letters that he sent us, they were filled with nothing but loving and encouraging words like, "I know I'm not there for you two, but you both are in my hearts". There were no bad words or any negative influences in any of his letters. Then, my mom demanded that I let her read my emails. My email exchanges with my dad were us talking about my life and what I was doing in school.
She thought that he was going to be a bad influence on me by making me quit school and move back to Vietnam. He was doing none of that. He encouraged me to stay in school and told me that I should be grateful for living in America. Then, one time, I left my email open to go and do a quick errand. My mom went into my email, sent my dad a letter pretending to be me, and cursed him out.
I found out about it and asked her why. She said she was trying to protect me. This all happened when I was 21. My grandmother also told my mom to not let my sister and I talk to my dad because she, too, thought that he would have a bad influence on us.
The Cost Of High Tuition
My mom is paying off her student debt 20 years later from a college she didn't even graduate from. She's convinced that if I go to an in-state college, I will save money and never have to do what she was doing. Then, I moved to NYC last year, and now I'm getting in-state tuition at one of the cheapest state school systems in the US.
Even so, my mother keeps suggesting and is trying to guilt-trip me to go to private colleges back home, a couple of which are religious, and most of them don't offer what I need, while at the same time costing four times as much a year compared to where I'm at now. She also went as far as to tell my siblings that I didn't love them and that's why I was moving so far away, in a "one final effort" to try and keep me in the state. That really, really sucked.
Living The High Life
My grandmother was a nasty blue-blood rich woman until she blew all her millions on furniture and stupid material possessions with no resale value. Yet, she still acts like she is rich and demands the country-club lifestyle she is accustomed to from my mom and aunt. She really is insufferable. She has set me up with rich potential husbands, one of whom was a third cousin.
She set up an appointment with the Dean of my school to discuss my merits; she lives nearly four hours away from me. She invited me out to dinner for my 21st birthday at a $90-steak-type place so that she could "culture me" and introduce me to her friends. She then told me to pay for her. The total bill was $459 and I was in college. This list goes on forever and every time, she does things so that she can "help me get ahead in life", but it’s really just for herself.
Out Of Service
This happened to me right before I graduated from high school. The men on my mom’s side of the family were all associated with some form of service like the Navy, Army, etc. My aunt decided that, since I had no job or any college courses, she would go ahead and forge my application to the Marine Corps and the Navy.
I got a call two weeks after my birthday saying to come in for an evaluation test. She went to all my uncles and told them how excited I was to serve, and how I couldn't wait to "be a part of something bigger than me". When I found out, I lost it. I called her and explained to her how that was totally not cool and how much respect I had towards people who serve, but that it wasn't my calling.
I told her that I was very disappointed that she faked an application just because she thought I'd have a better life! I cut all ties with her and had to explain to my uncles how this was all her idea, and to my surprise, two of them were going along with her. So I moved up North to get away from pretty much all my family.
TMI!woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her facePhoto by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash
My parents were way too open about the birds and the bees. Sex positivity should make you feel comfortable and safe; it shouldn't make you uncomfortable or be pushed on you when you aren't ready. I got a comprehensive talk when I was seven. My mom gave me an entire book and told me to tell her if I "had any questions", all because I asked what a word meant.
My mom asked me if I wanted any toys and gave my sister her USED ones. It was definitely unsanitary. My mom also smacked my booty a lot and told me I had a good body. It took a few years of asking her to stop in order for her actually to stop. She would interrupt my sister's dates when she was 14–16 years old to ask her if she needed protection.
That just made my sister feel pressured to use them, even if the date wasn't going in that direction. My dad was just plain gross about the subject too, but he never had talks exactly in the same detailed and crass way my mom did with me.
Reddit user Capital_Brain2676 asked: 'Vegans that started eating meat again, what happened?'
Most restaurant menus have caught up with the times to offer plenty of options to patrons with various dietary restrictions.
Vegan dishes tend to be a top priority, with gluten-free options being a close second.
Thanks to these options, groups of family and friends can dine together and not be limited by restaurant choices.
But when there's a sudden break in routine on the next outing, it can be jarring when the vegan in your group suddenly orders prime rib or a juicy burger that is not a plant-based patty.
What the whaaat?
Curious to hear from those who did a dietary 180 after routinely nourishing themselves with food grown from the earth's soil, Capital_Brain2676 asked:
"Vegans that started eating meat again, what happened?"
Some people were told what's good for them.
"I know someone who was a vegetarian for 13 years simply because someone told them they couldn't do it. I guess he figured 13 years was enough to prove a point and went back to eating meat after."
"I feel like 2-3 years would be enough though??"
On A Dare
"I knew a girl in college who did that. She was dared in middle school to become a vegetarian and... she just stuck with it. More power to them."
Some people were left with no choice but to ditch veganism.
Thanks, Mickey Ds
"Got cancer. Ate whatever my body would take without throwing up and that just happened to be chicken nuggets."
When Choices Are Limited
"Homeless and pregnant = eat what I was given."
"I’ve always wondered this actually. If a homeless vegan eats what they’re given. I’ve given homeless people subs in the past because of veggies, protein, and carbs (all necessary things) and wondered if they would eat it if they’re vegan. I’m sorry you’ve been on that road. I hope things are better for you now."
The Saying Goes
"There is a reason for the saying 'beggars can’t be choosers,' you give what you can/have and you can’t always accommodate the person you are giving it to, don’t think too hard about it. Also, hope OP is doing better."
Certain medical conditions prevented these Redditors from sticking to their restrictive diets.
Cooking For Two
"I still eat mostly vegetarian food and have done all my life. However my husband was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and coeliac which means that a high fibre/lower iron diet is not an option and a lot of the substitutes aren’t gluten free. More often than not when he has meat I’ll leave it or have the veggie equivalent but there are just not enough hours in the day to make 2 separate lasagnes and sauce etc."
"As someone who has UC, that's very cool of you to cook a more UC friendly diet. I dated a woman for 6 months who was a pescatarian. Every time I cooked, it was something we both liked and could eat. Every time she cooked, she focused on what she wanted and it didn't seem to matter whether I could eat it or not. She was nuero divergent and had it in her head that veggies = good regardless of what it did to my insides. For anyone who doesn't know, UC is inflammation due to my immune system attacking the lining of my colon. So it's inflamed (unless you're in remission, which a fair amount of people aren't). Large amounts of fiber makes the food sit there longer and get more packed, which hurts like all hell being tight up against inflamed tissue. And certain ones create gas of an unimaginable magnitude and strength."
"Anyway, a fair amount of the time, I had to order delivery or takeout because otherwise, I would have been farting or sh*tting my brains out overnight. So I appreciate what you've done like you wouldn't believe."
Bye Bye Veggies
"My gastroparesis diet led me off my vegan diet as well. I can’t handle legumes, leafy greens, and most vegetables. Hard to be a healthy vegan without any of those."
When Vegan Ingredients Turn On You
"Yup. Crohn’s Disease ended my 17 year vegetarian stretch. I’m in remission now and don’t eat red meat but I am sensitive to several vegan friendly ingredients like garlic, onions, cauliflower family and now I can avoid them without starving."
Cooking For A Full House
"Back when COVID had everyone in lockedown, myself and my roommate's family would take turns cooking dinner and it was fine. Then my roommate went on the NOOM diet, her daughter was diagnosed with GERD and couldn't have anything acidic, and her husband was diagnosed with celiac. Oh, and another family member disliked potatoes. I finally had to bow out. It was way too much of a pain in the @ss to cook a meal that met all of those restrictions."
Sometimes, you just gotta have meat.
"Not my story, but a good friend of mine was vegetarian, very nearly vegan for over 10 years. One day she was in Costco and walked past the rotisserie chickens. Without thinking she put it in her cart. When she got home she stood over the sink and ate it with her bare hands. She had no idea what came over her. Her telling me this story is still one of the funniest things I've ever heard. She is still very plant forward in her eating, but she won't hesitate to order a burger or a steak when she wants it now."
"I went on a weekend backpacking trip with a girl who had been religiously vegan for a few years. It was a pretty physically intense trip, and the last day heading back was in pouring rain the whole way, so by the time we got back to our car, we were absolutely exhausted, filthy, and starving."
"There was only one restaurant anywhere nearby, one of those highway diners. We get there and I notice she's got this kind of crazy look in her eyes. I ask if she's okay, and she just says 'I need a steak.' I laugh, but she goes 'I'm serious. I can't help it. I need a big greasy piece of meat right now or I'm going to die.""
"Sure enough, she orders the biggest steak on the menu, and wolfs it down in minutes, and the crazed look goes away. After that, she went right back to being vegan like nothing had happened. The look in her eyes was a little scary to be honest."
Unless it's a matter of life or death, there's no way I can survive being a vegan.
I don't have a strong enough will power to avoid eating meat.
So if that day ever comes when I'm forced to make a major change in my diet that won't include red meat and you're around me all the time, apologies in advance for my perpetual state of being hangry.
When getting together for dinner with friends, there isn't a more convenient, economical, or (hopefully) fun way to do it than having a potluck.
That way, one person isn't responsible for cooking everything, not to mention cleaning all the dishes afterward.
And everyone can contribute something they love, be it handmade or store-bought.
Of course, the ongoing risk with potluck meals is that one dish proves to be much less popular than others, possibly even going completely untouched all night. Perhaps the only thing worse than a dish going completely untouched is only one person touching it and then warning others to avoid it.
Redditor aquamarinetangerines was eager to hear about the most disgusting dishes people have ever seen or tasted at a potluck, leading them to ask:
"What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever seen someone bring to a potluck?"
Disgusting AND Lazy...
"Has a guy bring in his 'specialty corn'.”
"It was legit canned corn in a crockpot with spices."
"Thing is, he tells us 'ya, my wife took it to her pot luck on Tuesday, they didn’t eat it so I saved it on low in the crockpot and brought it here'.”
"It was Friday."
"Corn was brown."
"Nobody ate it."
"He kept eating it saying it was so good."
"The following Monday his new name at work was Corn Cob Rob."- ComparisonHonest
"She opened a can of tiny shrimp and poured it out, liquid and all, on top of a block of cream cheese."
"That was it. I guess we were supposed to eat it with crackers."- cherrybounceHappy Fun GIF by Chopt Creative Salad Co.Giphy
Check The Dates...
"Everything she brings."
"The first time was stale cake in a bowl of syrup(?)."
"It was both cake and soup, while also being neither."
"She has meat in her deep freezer older than some of her grandchildren."
"She’s a depression-era cook, so expiration dates don’t apply to medicine, cupboards, or freezers."
"Once she tried to give my daughter (2yo at the time), cough medicine that expire 9 years before she was even born."- dirtandstarsinmyeyes
"We had a potluck today and someone brought some Doritos."
"People started eating them and complaining that they tasted like dirt."
"We looked at the bag and it had a promo for 'Mockingjay part 1'."
"The chips expired in 2014!"
"This was a mixed department pot luck and we haven’t found the person that brought the 9 year old chips."- Chicken_Scented_Fart
Beef In Place Of Walnuts? Makes Perfect Sense...
"Someone made brownies with ground meat in them to a church potluck."
"My vegetarian friend discovered this when she bit into one."
"She was more confused and horrified about their existence than she was upset about eating meat-."
"It was the concept of this abomination itself that was disturbing and baffling."
"I thought she had to be wrong."
"'You haven't had ground beef in years, you don't know what it tastes like anymore, it's probably something else'."
"I tried them."
"It was beef."
"I was disgusted and really, really, really confused."
"Years later, I found out that apparently this was a thing."
"Someone came up with this-- putting beef in brownies-- as a substitute for walnuts for people with nut allergies."
"While this explains it a little, in theory, I'm still confused about why someone would assume that people who can't eat walnuts would prefer to eat ground beef brownies over just regular nut-free brownies."
"My sister reminded me that she was also there for this and she had tried the brownies first, and that they were actually the reason she stopped wanting to come to church."
"'I started doubting the entire establishment', she says."- UnfeyHungry Pizza GIF by Papa JohnsGiphy
Honest Mistake? Or Adventurous Experiment?
"Someone brought Deviled eggs and instead of sprinkling paprika on them they used cinnamon."- TinyWifeKiki
Veering From The Recipe Doesn't Always Pay Off...
“'Homemade fried chicken'.”
"Which translated to ‘chicken that I covered in pancake batter and breadcrumbs and dropped into a frypan until the outside looked cooked'."
"It wasn’t even seasoned."- Tying_pyrope
Not Everyone Likes Things Spicy...
"An apple pie, but they didn't have apple pie spices, like clove, cinnamon, or nutmeg, and said they used taco seasoning by accident and expected people to eat it."
"I, a dumb b*tch who likes to torture themselves tried it, and promptly tossed it into the trash when they looked away."- jirohenHot GIF by GIPHY Studios 2018Giphy
At A Restaurant No Less!
"A Korean-American coworker brought homemade kimchi, but she admittedly didn't know how to make it and just 'winged it'."
"It was fermented wrong and was covered in mold, which she didn't seem to understand was bad."
"The vegetables were basically half liquified and it smelled like dumpster juice."
"The thing is...half of the chefs at work had learned to make kimchi correctly and safely since various different kimchis used to be on the menu before she was hired."
"So we all instantly knew it was wrong and unsafe, but no one wanted to tell her."- No_Pear_2326
"At my previous job, I had a coworker that would frequently cook food because it was his 'passion' and he would bring it in to share with everyone."
"On a few occasions, someone would get ill after, but infrequently enough that people wrote it off as a coincidence."
"This coworker goes out on PTO and asks another coworker to feed his 12 cats while he is gone/scoop the litter boxes."
"Unfortunately, it was discovered the coworker was cooking/serving us food in the same pans he was also sometimes using as litter boxes for his bushel of cats."
"When confronted, he stated he thought this was fine because he washed them after."
"We never ate his food again."- Kitten_spawn
Surprise Ingredients Rarely Pay Off...
"Casserole with a side of roaches."
"Not even kidding."
"They crawled out of the bag she brought her dish in."
"I stopped participating in potlucks after that."- CanUFeelItMrKrabsnew york cockroach GIFGiphy
Yesterday's Delicacies/Today's Atrocities...
"Grandma's Jello salad, made with cottage cheese and celery."- GoatEatingTroll
No two people share the same taste in food, hence why we shouldn't always be hurt or offended if our contribution to a potluck doesn't prove popular.
There's also nothing wrong with choosing to pop by a supermarket instead of preparing something yourself.
As a store-bought lasagna will always go over better than homemade kimchi covered with mold or ground beef brownies...
The way people spend money has always fascinated me.
For many years I waited tables.
I worked in high-end, low-end, and all of the in-betweens.
And what would shock me most (besides all of y'all's BAD behavior) was the waste.
The waste of food, but more importantly the waste of money.
How does someone order a $50 steak, only eat half and toss out the rest?
No doggie bag. No leftover.
It must be nice to have that much coin to toss away.
Redditor StalkSmash wanted to discuss everyone's shopping habits, so they asked:
"What is one thing that you flat out just don’t know how people afford?"
Premium liquor choices always stun me.
When a certain friend can just casually order a $30 martini because of the vodka choice, without blinking, I'm stunned.
Jealous first, then stunned.
Stay HomeHungry Night Court GIF by LaffGiphy
"People who eat exclusively by ordering takeaways or delivery from restaurants. It's mind-bogglingly expensive."
"Secret hidden families. I can barely afford 1."
"At my last job, a woman told me her (ex)husband had a secret family. She found out when I guess the mortgage company called to ask about some documents for the new house. No idea what he did for work. Wife, two kids, a house, and whatever the bonus family consisted of."
"My dad did this. He had started a company in another city within the state, as that was where the industry prospects were better. Aaaaaaaand time rolled on past and I guess he missed having family around, just not ours."
"Eyelash extensions and the upkeep of them."
"I got them. They took 2 hours to put on initially and then you have to go back every two weeks to get them filled or you look like you have mange."
"You also have to brush them every single morning or they will point in every direction, and God help you if you have a cold or allergies where your eyes get even slight build-up. You can't just pick any crusty s**t from your eyelashes because the fake ones are glued on and this acts as a stopper so you can't just slide it off your lash."
"I spent so many mornings standing in front of the mirror cleaning and arranging one f**king eyelash at a time. I couldn't deal."
"I still don't know how we afforded daycare. At one point had two kids in daycare for a year before oldest went to kindergarten."
"We have two kids in full-time daycare, the daycare that we go to is slightly below market rate for the area, we're going to pay around 25k this year. Thank God my oldest goes to kindergarten next fall."
"We overpay on our mortgage because we're trying to pay it off quicker, but if we paid the actual loan amount daycare would cost more than our house."
"And let me be clear, my wife and I are the lucky ones. We waited to have a kid until our late 30s, and I was 40 when kid 2 was born. We both have good careers and make good incomes and it's a serious, serious financial stretch for us to be able to afford it, I honestly don't know how other people do it and there's no way I would have been able to afford two kids even 7 or 8 years ago."
For FunShark Week Ocean GIF by Pudgy PenguinsGiphy
"A boat or RV (or both)?! I can barely afford to exist much less spend all this money on recreation."
Boats have always been an issue.
Just remember the Titanic.
UpkeepFace Botox GIF by Montreux ComedyGiphy
"Women who keep up with nails, lash extensions, Botox etc. That crap is expensive as f**k!"
Up in the AirFlying Music Video GIFGiphy
"First-class airfare... it’s just so overwhelmingly expensive in comparison to regular seats I can’t imagine anyone ever having that amount to spare unless you’re incredibly wealthy."
"International First Class tickets. I'm going to Japan in a month and was thinking of going in style. I got a nice raise and a bit of vacation time saved and wanted to treat myself. Forget it all. $17k was the cheapest I found. Absolutely insane!"
"Buy economy than wait. They will send emails out to bid on the business and first-class seats that are not sold. Or you can check on the airline's app for seat upgrades closer to the departure date and upgrade cheaper."
"Multiple-family foreign holidays per year. To be clear, I'm not criticizing anyone on this, and I appreciate that if you leave in mainland Europe, it's easier than here (Scotland)."
"I am just genuinely amused/bemused when I see people on their 2/3/4 foreign holiday of the year on social media."
"We went to Portugal last year (Fantastic country, btw). 2 adults 2 kids (the eldest boy was playing in a football tournament), and it was probably £3.5k and that was done cheaply. We don't go into debt for a holiday ever, though."
Getting on in Years
"Eldercare. $300 a day is about typical for most states, and it goes up if they need special care (dementia, etc)."
"3/4 of Americans who live to 21 live to 65, of which 2/3 will need long-term care for an average of 3 years. Maybe not all long-term care is nursing level, but some of it is even more expensive -- memory care, etc. Comes out to roughly $150k per person-- and almost double that if you limit it to those who need any at all. Somewhere between a generous down payment and a new house. Who can afford that -- especially after decades not working?"
First-class has always been an intriguing aspect of mine.
But that extra coin can get crazy.
I'll stick to coach.
I have no aesthetic or emotional issues with getting older as it certainly beats the alternative, so I freely admit I have reached a certain age.
It's the age of sound effects when I get up from a chair and asking younger people to pick things up off the floor for me.
It's the age of having to use Urban Dictionary daily to understand messages I get from younger friends and relatives.
But as much as I don’t understand their language, music or hobbies, there's a lot they'll never understand about my childhood and adolescence.
I was reading an article by writer Eric Chilton who pointed out Gen X—the generation born between 1965 and 1980 of which I'm a part—was the last to live in a world without the internet, cellular phones and social media.
And those are only a few examples of the paradigm shifting innovations in our lifetimes.
Reddit user WeirdJawn asked:
"Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?"
As a young person, I was fascinated with the idea my maternal Grandmother lived through the transition from horses to combustion engine vehicles, the inception of commercial air travel, the creation of the motion picture industry and the invention of television.
But I've lived through vinyl LPs and 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and digital music players.
If I wanted to see a movie as a kid, I went to a theater—or drive-in—or waited for an often heavily edited version to air on TV. Then cable movie channels were introduced, followed by LP size video disc players, then Betamax and VHS, DVDs, HD and Blu-ray and now?
Digital downloads and streaming services—I haven't been to a theater in years.Giphy
"Up until video rental stores in the early 80's, at school the next day every kid was talking about what was on TV the night before, as every single family was watching tv together every single night."
"With some exceptions, most people watched the same thing as their schoolmates or co-workers, just to be a part of the conversation."
"There's something very isolating about modern media.
"You can be into a TV show, or YouTube series, and nobody else you know has heard of it."
"I'm a fan of aYouTube series—RedLetterMedia—that's pretty popular and very well regarded amongst its fans, and only one of my friends has heard about it.
"Probably just how often you had to accept that you couldn't find out the answer to something."
"If you had a question you could ask your family, maybe your friends, maybe your teachers, and your last chance was the check the library."
"But if the library didn't have the answer, then you just had to accept that you weren't going to get an answer (or you'd have to hope to come across that answer someday in the future)."
"Now you just ask Google and get 10 answers in just seconds."
One & Done
"How on-time you had to be for your favorite shows because there was little to no chance you’d see that same episode again until they (hopefully) did re-runs during summer."
"I remember waiting anxiously for the nightly news to be over so I could watch my favorite TV shows."
"Commercial breaks were just mad rushes for the bathroom, or to the kitchen to get something quick to drink."
"Once it was done, it was gone."
"The happy tears I cried when they finally released The Stand miniseries on DVD about a decade after airing."
"I feel I was in the last generation of this, even though channels were much more prevalent and reruns of everything was the norm."
"I remember rushing off the bus with all my friends because we were absolutely SURE Goku was gonna defeat Frieza this episode. And it was a crap shoot whether or not the driver would be fast enough for us to make it."
"Years later when DVDs started becoming more prevalent, they STILL didn't put shows on collectable media regularly. You couldn't just get an entire season of a show and binge it."
"At most you could find a 'best-of' compilation of five or six of the most popular episodes, and that was only if the show was incredibly popular."
"And what I am describing here was considered 'having it good' compared to older people."
"That it was incredibly common to just not have pictures of events or other things we see as important now."
"Not only did we have entire vacations where no pictures were taken, we could go months without a single picture being taken of any member of our family unless it was particularly notable."
"A trip to St Louis? No pictures. A trip to Disneyland? Maybe a picture at the entry gate or one of the souvenir pictures of us with a character."
"A trip to zoo? No pictures. An average day? Forget about it!"
"Frequently, the only pictures taken were at major holidays like Christmas or on someone's birthday."
"I explained that to my kids the other day."
"What if every picture you took cost a dollar?
"And you don’t know if it’s even good until probably weeks later, as long as the photo lab doesn’t f*ck up processing."
"Or your film or pictures don't get lost in the mail going to or from the developer or they don't send you someone else's photos by mistake."
"You had to plan ahead to take a photo."
"'Did you remember the camera? Did you remember to buy film or flashbulbs?”
So Few Options
"It's an exceptional AMOUNT of media to consume now. In the 90s, you had 3-4 super popular channels, and 4-5 low rated channels. They all showed one show at a time."
"Now we have a dozen streaming services with infinite media options."
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to engage in office conversation because so much content is available, people do not have to stray as far from their interest to consume content they want to consume."
Smoking Or Non?
"They understand restaurants had 'smoking sections' and that bars & clubs were filled with cigarette smoke. But I don't think many understood how pervasive smoking was."
"Non-smoking areas or sections didn’t exist before the 1980s. There were ashtrays and people smoking literally EVERYWHERE."
"Jury boxes had ashtrays in front of every juror. Judge smoked, lawyers smoked, the gallery smoked."
"You smoked on planes, trains, busses, taxicabs, and in all transportation centers."
"You smoked at the library, the PTO meetings at schools, the town hall and all city offices. Hell, you could smoke at the courtyard at my High School as a student."
"You smoked in the elevator and on the escalator. The mall. The grocery store. Sports venues. Doctor's offices. Hospitals. Sitting at your desk at work even if you were in a cubicle or open area."
"The movies. The plays, opera, concerts and every other public performance, people smoked."
"A non-smoker would come home often smelling like smoke. One was constantly surrounded by smoke. It was insane."
"You literally made ash trays as a grade school art project, that’s how common it was."
"Probably under estimating how few choices there were."
"Today, it seems like everything imaginable is available in a variety of sizes, delivered to your door over night."
"Catalogs and mail order had 4-6 week delivery."
"Malls were the best thing ever—all the stores in one place, a wide variety of products and sizes and not downtown."
"And also just how little people knew they were missing out. If it wasn't on network evening television (Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11), or on a store shelf in your town, or in the Sunday newspaper... it simply didn't exist for you."
"If you had an inkling something existed—say, tin foil that comes in sheets instead of one giant roll—you could go around asking people, if you wanted. But you were more than likely to just get a shrug and, 'Why would you want such a thing?'."
"Let's say you were particularly enterprising, so you dial '0' and ask the operator for the number for corporate headquarters of Reynolds Aluminum Foil, if you knew the city it was in. Because there was no internet, and the only way to find a number was by dialing '0' and speaking to a telephone operator."
"But even if you spoke to someone at Reynolds, they had no way to exchange money for goods at that level, and they probably would just tell you they sell it in the Ohio area, and that would be that."
"You went to the market. They have one brand of pancake mix, and no one had ever heard of anything different, and why would you want a different brand, anyway?"
"Then you go to the hardware store, and they carry one brand of paint, and no one had ever heard of any other brand of paint."
"And it was that way for a long, long time."
One For the Road
"How common drinking & driving was."
"Until MADD came along, people did this routinely."
"It's where 'one for the road' originated."
"Yes! When my friends and I had our 18th birthdays in late 1979, the thing to do was to celebrate by driving through Beer Barn, where you could literally drive-through to get beer, wine, wine coolers, whatever."
"Then open them up and drive while drinking. At 18. This was in Texas."
"It also was not uncommon for my dad to drive while drinking when he was taking us wherever at night."
"Zero education on why you should not do that."
Good & Bad
"I am definitely older (born in 1949 so Baby Boomer)."
"What today's young people don't appreciate is how, growing up, we had to invent our own sources of fun."
"There were no video games (which I enjoy playing), just 3 channels on a black-and-white tv (we didn't get color until 1967), and no real entertainment aimed at kids."
"All we could do is interact with each other and play established games like marbles or maybe an organized sport like Little League baseball."
"There was a baseball diamond, overgrown with weeds, across the street from us, but mostly we played in the woods that surrounded us, climbing trees pretending to be pirates or some such.
"I loved the bookmobiles that would visit my street, and I must have read every biography (all bound in blue covers) in my elementary school library."
"It was a different era with many fewer distractions and much more time for sustained imagination."
"Being a different place and time, we developed different skills for interacting with the world and each other than young people do today."
"Was it better? That's hard to say. We tended to have an insular view of our own little world, while today it is hard to escape what it happening everywhere on Earth."
"We had to wait days for a letter to arrive, and we shared a party phone line with our neighbor's phone. That is a far slower pace than today's instantaneous texting culture. (Yes, I do text.)"
"Some things have been lost while others have been gained. That's the way it always will be. Just wait."
In Chilton's article—referenced at the beginning—he stated:
"We [Gen X] will be the last generation to know the world without...
- Cable TV
- Cell Phones
- The internet
- Seat belt laws
- Remote controls for the TV"
What would you add to the list?