Give A Little, Get a Lot: These Kind Acts Warmed Our Hearts
We could all use a little love and care, but sometimes kind gestures come from the most unexpected places. Whether it’s a friend showing up at our door to give us the present we didn’t know we needed, or a complete stranger helping us out in a time of need, these stories about the nicest thing someone has ever done will warm your heart.
Face the Musica young man sitting at a piano in the darkPhoto by Kiwihug on Unsplash
When I was about 13, the pastor of our family church heard me practicing Chopin on the piano. Knowing my parents couldn't afford much, he offered to pay for my music studies so that I'd be prepared to enter music conservatory right after high school. All he asked for in return was that I'd help out with the church's music program when needed.
This kind, generous man spent thousands of his own dollars to help me along the way to a rewarding career in music.
Sleep Away Camp
When my parents were awful, and my sister was passing away, my friend’s parents took me in for a while. But it was even better than that. You see, they did it in a way that seemed like a sleepover, even though it went on for months. I didn't even realize until I was an adult how much they stepped up for me and protected me, right when I needed them the most.
Lean on Me
I had a sore leg, and it was sore enough that I couldn't put much weight on it. During this time, my school did this fundraiser run, and I wanted to participate even though I could barely walk. My best friend, who I'm still friends with to this day, stayed by my side, limping the whole way. I still thank him for that, it meant a lot to me.
To Serve and Protect
When I was 16, I was at a store getting some comics. I was 15 cents shy, because they raised the price by 5 cents a comic, and I was trying to decide which one to put back when a guy I went to high school with, and barely knew, gave me a fifty cent piece. He went on to join the Marines right out of high school, and retired a couple of years ago.
He's still just as awesome now. He restores old Volkswagens and sells them for cost to his fellow veterans. He restores old furniture and donates the pieces to families in need. He volunteers with wildlife rescue programs. He refuses to let me pay him back, so I'm going to try and buy his drink at our 30-year high school reunion. Gotta thank him somehow!
Something for Nothing
I went to a local breakfast spot one day after a rough night. I totally forgot my wallet, so I left my phone as collateral and went back to my house. When I came back, some guy had already paid for me. I know it doesn't seem that big of a deal, but it was a pretty bleak week for me so it meant a lot just to have someone do something for nothing.
A Friend Foreverboy feeding a animal during daytimePhoto by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
My wife and I were driving our kids, who were three and five at the time, to the zoo. We narrowly missed being smushed by a semi truck, but also almost flipped our top-heavy minivan doing 75mph when dodging said vehicle. All in all, we were very blessed to have our lives, let alone no damage to our car. The same couldn't be said for other cars, but no one was hurt either.
The State Trooper who showed up was the most generous young man. He gave my daughter a little teddy bear that she still has to this day 5-6 years later. She even remembers getting it, which is pretty incredible for someone that age. I think that was the most meaningful thing anyone's done for me, and I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of good people in my life. This one stands out because it was directed towards my daughter.
I’ve Got You, Babe
My mother passed, and I was so stressed trying to find a way to give her the funeral she deserved. My boyfriend went down to the funeral home, made the arrangements, and paid the balance. By FAR the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.
A Helping Hand
My firstborn had a severe deformity, and spent a week in hospital before we took him off life support. I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and even though one of the rules was that you are your own maid when you leave, complete with doing laundry and remaking the beds, I was a complete wreck and couldn’t do a thing. Then I got the surprise of my life.
A kind stranger took care of my room for me even though they were going through their own stuff. Another blessing from that dark time is that the funeral home took care of everything for me, including all bills associated with the service and cremation. I will never not donate to the Ronald McDonald House and I know what funeral home I'll be using when I one day need one again.
It was a very long time ago and very dark sad time. It destroyed my family, a few years later I lost my husband to the depression that happened from this, and while both tragedies changed me, I'm very good now and know happiness. I want to say that I've thought about how very, very bad things can get in the world, but this stranger, and people like him, showed me daily that the world is full of amazing loving people.
A Little Tune-up
A few years ago, I was going down to visit my grandmother in South Carolina. I needed an inspection and oil change on my car, and I was the single mom of a 5-year-old. The total cost ended up being 40 dollars more than I thought. At the time, that was devastating, and I had to tell my daughter in the parking lot that we couldn't go see her grandmother anymore.
Someone heard me talking to her and came over to us and gave us 60 dollars. That was one of the nicest things someone I don’t know has ever done for me.
Can’t Put a Price on Education
On September 14, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn't even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note: “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.” I later found out that one of my friend's dad, a fairly well-off dentist, went fundraising among his golf buddies because he didn’t want to see me enter life at 18 under crushing debt.
The Tables Have Turnedpeople around tablePhoto by Zach Reiner on Unsplash
One of my high school tormentors invited me to his house to hang out for a day. I was really nervous it might just be to screw with me, but I was desperate for some sort of friendship at the time, so I went over. We're now best friends, and he and his family feels like family to me. Honestly, I have no idea how we ever disliked each other.
The New Normal
I was hugely pregnant and had very young children with me. We went to a free exhibit at an aquarium down town. I was unfamiliar with the area, but found free parking several blocks away. I was broke, so finding a free exhibit with free parking was really a special outing for us. After the exhibit, my young children and I started walking towards the car, but couldn't find it.
I figured I had gotten turned around, so we returned to the aquarium and started walking in the other direction, but still couldn't find the car. We went back and started out in a third direction, still unable to find our car. It had started to rain and we were just lost. All along, a homeless man had been watching us, as we had passed by him multiple times in our search.
His words were heartbreaking. He told me he remembered seeing us first go in to the aquarium hours ago and what direction he saw us come from. He offered to walk down that way and look for our car for us so we didn't have to be walking around aimlessly until the car was located. I thanked him, but turned his offer down, not wanting to send this homeless man out into the rain.
He told me he was impressed with how well-behaved my children were, and he offered a dollar to buy them a candy bar. I couldn't accept, I mean how horrible of a person would I be to take money from someone who clearly needed it more than me—but he insisted. He said the dollar wouldn't save him from being homeless, but buying my kids a candy bar for being so patient and well-behaved would make him feel normal and some days he just needed to feel normal.
It was an act of kindness I will never forget. I think of that gentleman often.
From Beyond the Grave
My grandmother made a ton of birthday cards in advance. After she passed, I still received birthday cards from her for the next few years. It was a little weird, but I cried happy tears whenever I got to read words from her after she passed.
Duty of Care
A paramedic helped me after I was in a car crash. He took his time to come back to the car and bring me back my front tooth, which was really tiny and he offered to go and look for in the wreck. At the same time, he found and brought back my partner's phone. I don't know his name, and I was in such a state of shock that I can't even remember what he looked like.
Still, he put my tooth in a special liquid and the hospital team managed to put it back, saving me a lot of money. There was also a woman officer who put a blanket on me and made sure I kept it. The hospital only managed to take it off me right before I left. It was a green standard first aid blanket, and I don't know why I refused to let go of it (again, shock) but it provided a lot of comfort. Thank you so much, guys.
Get Away From It All
The nicest thing someone I know has done was for someone else. My brother took a fellow band nerd on a high school graduation road trip for several weeks. Thing is, the friend was dying of leukemia, and they both knew that this was going to be his first and last road trip. No timetable, just one day at a time across the breadth of the US.
Found in Translationpeople walking on street during night timePhoto by Yu Kato on Unsplash
I worked in Korea for a bit. It was late at night, and I decided to surprise a girl I was talking to by heading to her apartment. It was around 10:30, and unbeknownst to me, the subway stopped running at 11:00. Unfortunately, I was halfway there, so I decided to message her. She told me to take a specific bus to get to her place. I get on the bus, and I don't have the slightest idea which stop I should be getting off on.
Well, about 10 minutes later, a load of people get off on this one stop. An older Korean businessman sees me and motions to me that there's an available seat next to him. He starts talking to me in English and he says that the stop where I'm getting off is one stop before he gets off, and that he'll let me know when. We start a conversation about where he works, how he learned English, what I'm doing in Korea.
By the time we knew it, his stop came up. He profusely apologized to me and said that it was the stop before. I said, "It's okay, I'll just walk the opposite direction." As we get off the bus, we're both walking in the same direction. As we come up to an intersection, he flags down a taxi, tells him the subway station to drop me off on, and he paid the fare. All this while still apologizing to me. That guy was just such a good person, you know?
Moms Just Know
I was involved in a hit and run on my bicycle in Chicago. I broke my collarbone, and a stranger drove me to the ER. I was going into shock and freaking out about finances—I’m a single mother. The stranger gave me her number for the report and such, but then she made a gesture I’ll never forget. She later sent me $5k because she knows what it’s like to be a single mother with nothing.
I sobbed. I hadn’t gotten my unemployment yet. I was overwhelmed by her kindness.
Friends With Benefits
I was having a panic attack for the first time. It swung between so euphoric I thought I was going to "ascend" and terrified that my life was going to end in pain. I called my loved ones to say goodbye, including my best friend. He came running from a block away. He was terrified too, but he held it together, sat me down, hugged me, told me that he didn't want me to go anywhere, and that he needed me right here.
I needed that. I needed to see what I felt wasn't based on reality, needed someone to say that I should not obey those feelings because I was needed and loved. On some level, he saved me. Years later, he voluntarily went into homelessness just to fly out to see me on another continent. Yes, we're together now romantically. No, I don't know how I got so lucky. We're planning the wedding. :)
The Art of Caring
When I was a freshman in high school, I took an art class that was a mix of 9th-12th graders. I was really bad with people back then, so I spent most of class sitting on the floor between the trash can and the drying racks and never speaking to anyone. Still, there was this one 11th-grade guy who would always make it a point to talk to me.
He didn't know me or anything; he just happened to sit near me. But he'd always ask about my day or compliment my art or offer to help me with my math homework. At one point, he even managed to get me to sit at the desk with the rest of the students. It's just one of those things I think about from time to time because he really had every right to ignore me like everyone else did, but he didn't. He really made art class into a second home for me. I miss that guy.
It’s the Little Things
I have an online friend in another country, and one time she made a cake for my birthday with my name on it because she knew no one else would do anything.
Know Your Worthwomen's blue dress shirtPhoto by Tra Nguyen on Unsplash
During my Physics graduate program, there was a terrible professor for two of my core classes. He was terrible at teaching, but also known for complaining at faculty meetings how the grades had been going down in his classes ever since more women started taking them. I put in a ton of work anyway, and despite all that he gave me two Ds for those two classes. I’ve honestly never heard of someone getting Ds in grad school and finishing, so I was convinced my life was over. Then, I learned that I was so, so wrong.
At that point, I told another professor who had been supportive what happened, and he got me a stiff drink to talk it over. In that meeting, he said that technically there was no requirement to take the guy’s classes. Instead, he told me to sign up for two independent study classes, which he would supervise, and all I would be doing is practice questions for the qualifying exam.
So we did exactly that—I studied, and we would meet up a few times a week to go over problems. By the end of the semester, I took my qualifiers, and passed with margins to spare. Today, I’m a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Harvard, which never would have happened if that professor hadn’t taken a chance on me and put in so many hours to help me.
It makes me so determined to help all the students in my path and mentor them as well, because people can be so much more than one bad professor thinks they are.
I had just had my father completely cut ties with me after years of estrangement and him being super distant. Obviously, I was a little emotionally uneasy about how “final” it felt, and the implications for the distant future. My live-in girlfriend knew, told her mom, and her mom sent me a bunch of snacks I’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to spend the money on.
Instant mood lifter, and it restated the fact in my mind that there are other people who care about me even if my dad doesn’t.
Pikachu, I Don’t Choose You
When I was like nine, I went to an arcade over in San Antonio, Texas because we were there for a vacation. There was this claw machine that had pokemon in it, and I was aiming for my favorite pokemon ever, but accidentally got a different one. The employee comes around to unlock the thing so I can get my prize. I whine to my mom, "Aw I wanted the Charizard though."
This dude puts the other one back in there, and hands me the one I wanted. I will forever remember you, bro.
Work to Live
My one co-worker got all my other co-workers to donate money for a gift to me from my hugely underpaid apprenticeship. I received $350, which was exactly how much I needed for an upcoming bill. It really saved me when I had literally $0.70 in my account. A few weeks earlier, actually, a different co-worker noticed me not eating and bought me lunch, then many of them brought me leftovers. That apprenticeship was the worst, but the people were the best.
The Good Neighbor
His name is Duong. When I was in university, he was my neighbor. I got into a motorbike accident and couldn’t go to class by myself, so he put me up on his back and brought me to the class like a hero. When my elevator was broken, he climbed all 13 floors to bring me dinner because he knew I couldn’t go out to get it. Whoever is with him for the rest of his life is a lucky person.
Child’s Playassorted color of wicker baskets on displayPhoto by zakariae daoui on Unsplash
I was walking through the streets of Marrakech after it had just rained, and I was wearing those flimsy flip-flops, so all the wet sand from the street was being catapulted onto the back of my legs. Out of nowhere, I feel a tap on my arm. It’s a young Moroccan girl, not older than 6 or 7 years old, offering me her water bottle to clean my legs.
I politely declined because I could never accept to take someone’s water in that scorching heat, but thanked her and her mother profusely. Children are so pure.
Do the Math
I went to a very small school with a bunch of really amazing math teachers, and one really bad math teacher. For example, she tried to sue a kid for "aggressively swinging his backpack" at her when she threw him out of the classroom for something trivial. He had only picked up his backpack in a completely normal manner.
I was slated to have pre-calc with the terrible teacher the following year and was complaining about it to my amazing math teacher, saying how much I was dreading her class. That’s when I got the offer of a lifetime. My amazing math teacher offered to teach me pre-calc over the summer so I could skip a year of math and go straight to calc with the amazing teacher.
So, once a week, each week over the summer, I met my amazing teacher in her back garden, where we had tea and cookies and she taught me pre-calc. A week before school started, I met with horrible teacher and took her pre-calc final, aced it, and got to stick with amazing teacher. I’ll always be grateful someone cared enough about that.
Growing up, I was severely neglected and had no friends due to my lack of hygiene and social skills. One of my teacher aids got wise to it, and brought me to her house to play with her daughter, took me on family trips with them, gave me clean clothes, and just showed me an insane amount of kindness I'll never be able to repay.
Through Thick and Thin
I was fired from my last job. It was the first and only time I had been fired, and it sucked. I really liked that job, and I got super depressed. My friend also lost his job later that week, which really sucked because I knew he loved that job, too. He would always tell me that it was his dream job. And right as soon as he found out, he called me.
He called me to tell me that even though he lost his job, he knew he was going to be alright. He wanted to tell me that to set a good example. I knew he was heartbroken, but he put on a strong face for me. And I'll never forget that. Never.
I’ve never been able to celebrate my birthday. Between my awful mom and horrible relationships, it’s just become a tradition to lie in bed and cry every year. Well this year, my best friend and boyfriend put their heads together and threw me a surprise “party.” They decorated our apartment, baked me a cake and decorated it to the best of their abilities, and got me some small, thoughtful presents. 24 years old, and finally I had my first good birthday. I cried like a baby.
You Shall Not Passman in black jacket driving car during daytimePhoto by Thibault Penin on Unsplash
I went out to a bar drank a bit too much with my girlfriends. Some guy saw and tried to push me into an Uber to take me to his hotel. Then, the bouncer wouldn't let me back in no matter how many times I asked because according to him, "I changed my mind and that's not the guy's fault." No one else passing by wanted to intervene. I was getting really scared—until a good Samaritan stepped up and changed everything.
The Uber driver popped out of the front of his car and wrestled the guy off me. He made sure I was okay, gave the bouncer and everyone else a piece of his mind, too. Hope that guy's doing well in life.
Let the Good Times Roll
I took my sister, who’s in a wheelchair, to the cinema for the first time on my own. At the end, I realized I couldn't undo the brakes because it was a new wheelchair. It was blocking everyone. I felt like crying because I thought everyone was angry at me, but some nice lady helped me, then took me and my sister out. She said she once had a son who needed a wheelchair. This was long ago, but I'll never forget her or the kindness she showed me that day.
I am from 1980's rural Texas, where education was laughed at and where the idea of living in a foreign country was ludicrous. When I was 17, I met a Rotarian (like, a guy from a non-profit) who allowed me to go on a year-long foreign exchange. I had never heard of that concept before and had no real idea of what it meant. At 18, I packed my bags and discovered a brand new world! It honestly changed my life FOREVER. Definitely for the better.
While I was gone, I met other foreign exchange students and learned that it was fairly difficult to get into this program. I'd heard ambassadors’ children were being turned down from it. I honestly think that I got to go because no one else from my area wanted to leave the safety of our small town, while I jumped at the chance. I think about that old Rotarian a lot. I owe him everything for changing my life.
How to Save a Life
Back in 2018, I had a drastic decline in my mental health, which led to a failed attempt to take my life. I had enough of feeling miserable, so I checked myself in to a program. Afterwards, the hospital gave me a number and location to follow up with my newly-appointed therapist. Upon getting to their building, though, they needed me to pay a co-pay.
I didn't have a darn penny on me and said I couldn't pay. They denied me my appointment, and I remember thinking that when I walked out of there I was really going to go through with harming myself this time. Then a miracle happened. Right before I was about to leave, this other patient stopped me, pulled out her credit card and paid my co-pay.
She had told me that this place and these people saved her life. She said she didn't want me to lose mine because I couldn't afford to be cared for. The intensity of that relief almost cured my debilitating depression, I never felt so grateful in my life. I sincerely hope that lady is flourishing and being the best self she can be. She saved my life; that is the greatest kindness someone has ever done for me.
Those Who Can Do, Teach
My English teacher when I was very, very young. She was the sweetest I've ever had. She knew I loved the Harry Potter books, even though they were not super popular in France back then. So one day, she brought me HP-themed coloring books from her trip to England. It made me so happy that she thought about me even though she was away from school.
I Recommend This Manwhite mug on brown surfacePhoto by Pablo Varela on Unsplash
My boss and mentor wrote me a glowing reference and pulled some strings to get me into a graduate program, even though I was severely depressed and my work performance was nothing to be proud of. I couldn't comprehend or remember anything due to an undiagnosed disease, and I also acted extremely awkward socially. I really don't know why he went so far out of his way to change the trajectory of my life, but I’ll always be grateful.
I've had many people do nice things for me, but one stands out. I was very young, maybe 16 or 17. I'd had a terrible car accident and needed to get to a specialist downtown during my recovery. I wasn't a confident driver to begin with, and I had never driven downtown and got hopelessly lost. This was before everyone had cell phones.
I stopped at a pay phone in a grocery store. I was sobbing and scared. I couldn't describe where I was, since I was so lost, and I didn't know how to get turned in the right direction. A little old lady stopped to ask me if I was OK, so I told her where I was going and that I didn't know how to get there. She was shocked that I was SO LOST.
I was so far removed from where I was supposed to be. I wasn't even close to downtown. So she literally drove there in her car while I followed her. She just pointed out her window when we got to the address and I turned in. I never got to properly thank her. But it was far from over. To make it so much worse, once I finally got there, I was told they'd had to cancel my appointment.
I broke down, and an elderly couple came to comfort me and gave me some money and said to please take some time to calm down at the cafe next door, have some lunch or something. Twice in one day, I was approached by kind people who just wanted to help a teenager. That was over 25 years ago. I still don't like to drive downtown, but I do. I think of those people every time I have to go there.
Saving the Day
My dad cancelled my weekend with him a day before we were supposed to go to Six Flags and do other stuff together. My best friend's parents found out and duplicated all the activities. It meant so much to me.
Hit the Road
I was given a car by a former co-worker. At the time, I was walking or riding my bike eight miles one way just to get to work, and then another eight miles to get back home. When working with her, she asked if I wanted a car. I thought she was joking, but said yes anyway. About two weeks later, she said her husband had this old car that he fixed up and it’s ready for me.
From there, she had me meet up at a notary, and all I paid was for a title transfer and tax, which only came around $150. It wasn't the nicest car, but it worked. The car lasted a year, but still to this day I am forever grateful someone would gift me something that truly helped out tremendously. Then, she said there was a catch. I started to get nervous, but it was actually so heart-warming.
The catch was that, whenever I'm able to, I have to pass along a good deed. I've tried to pass this whenever I can. I sincerely appreciated all the help, Debby, and I wish only the best for you and your family. I'm still working on passing along good deeds as we have agreed. Thank you so much for your kindness, especially during a time in my life where I thought there was little hope. There is always hope.
Color Me Surprised
A woman I worked with a few years ago knew my 30th birthday was coming up and asked me what I was doing. I just said I’m visiting family, but she also found out that I’d never had a “surprise” before. I might get a present and maybe a bit of money and I was happy with that. I had no idea the gift she was about to give me.
At my parents’ house, they’d forgotten to buy a cake, so I just picked up a Victoria sponge cake and stuck a couple of tea light candles on it. It was fine, I don’t complain. But when I got back to work a week later, my lovely colleague had organised this beautiful two-tier birthday cake surrounded by gifts! And then she really surprised me.
She produced tickets for us two to get a drink at this ice bar place and tickets to go to the theatre. She did this because she remembered me saying I hadn’t been since I was a kid and no one I knew was interested in going. I was so shocked, I was nearly in tears. This was the very first birthday surprise I ever had. I will never forget my 30th birthday because of my colleague.
A Purr-Fect Presentperson walking inside building near glassPhoto by Heidi Fin on Unsplash
I worked as a retail cashier at a drug store. It was the Christmas season and CRAZY busy. We had tins of chocolates on sale for under $10, and they had designs of kittens and puppies on them. I mentioned to a lady who was buying a bunch that one tin in particular looked identical to my cat. She bought the tin and gave it to me!
I actually cried. To have a stranger spend their own money on someone else in that capacity. I’ve never had it happen before. It was years ago, and although the chocolates inside are long gone, I still display that chocolate tin every year at Christmas.
I was in a boarding school, so I couldn't go home or anything like that, and I was also really out of touch with my emotions. Very “keep calm and carry on.” One day in class, I was having REALLY REALLY bad period pains, and since I'm not the kind of person to share much, I was trying to hide it even though I was pretty much in agony.
My friend sitting next to me could clearly see something was wrong, and eventually I told her. So she sneaked into the dorm where you're not supposed to go during class hours for me to fetch some medication. She also offered to bring me dinner so I didn't have to move once I got home from class. She even told me jokes and stuff to cheer me up. I’ll always be grateful.
I couldn’t be there for the passing of my grandmother because I was at university, so my uncle had a bracelet made for me. It was engraved with her handwriting.
One Happy Ending
I had a really bad home life growing up. My friend—and at the time she was only loosely my friend—had two incredible moms who heard what was going on with me, and pretty much immediately got involved. At the time, I was emaciated, constantly terrified, and never let anyone get close, especially adults. When it got really bad, I used to dumpster dive and collect scraps from the school cafeteria for food for myself and for my brother.
I was chronically sick, mentally ill, rarely slept, and skipped class all the time. My friend's parents started dropping off bags of food at school for me and my younger brother. One night, they invited me over and I just...never left. They moved my brother into the house. They had absolutely no money. Not a freaking dime.
The money that used to be split between four people (two kids, two moms) was suddenly split between six. The house we shared was a half-finished re-modeling project and a total hazard. We didn't even have doors installed inside! Just curtains. To me, though, it was magic. I thought the fact that we didn't have sinks—that we had to crouch over the tub to wash our hands—was mythical.
My moms hugged me every morning and told me how special I was and how proud they were of me. For the first time in my life, I was stupidly, ridiculously happy. Every morning I woke up, my heart would race until I thought it might burst. I was literally that happy to be alive. The second I woke up—I mean the second—I bolted to the kitchen to say good morning to my moms and get a hug.
My friend (now my sister) and her family did everything for us. No rhyme, no reason. I stopped skipping school. My grades improved. I started earning scholarships. I got into a fantastic university. I now have a degree, a fantastic job, friends, and a family that I love.
Kindness Is in Short Supply
On the last day of school, I was helping my art teacher clean up for the summer. She knew I was rather poor growing up, so she gave me all the leftover paper, some really high quality bristol board and watercolor paper, all of the leftover prismacolor pencils, tons of paint brushes, and other various art supplies. It was her last year teaching, and she didn’t care to save the stuff for the next year. I still miss her. She was the best teacher I've ever had.
Long Time, No Seephoto of pub set in room during daytimePhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash
I was at a restaurant in Boston by myself on a Friday night. It was 7 pm, so I was just enjoying a nice dinner by myself before heading back to my hotel. There was a man with a wedding ring on who asked me if the seats next to me were taken. I told him no, and he and his friends sat down. He eventually started chatting with me and it was friendly, but then he started hitting on me.
I brushed him off, and he slightly backed off…but then started eating French fries off of my plate. I pushed the plate away and asked the bartender for my check. I was in the last seat at the bar, so I had nowhere to go other than to wait, and the bar was packed. The guy then tells me I’m beautiful and asks if I want to go back to my hotel with him.
I told him again no. He asked again, I told him I was married and he said “So? So am I.” I’m so grateful for what happened next. All of the sudden, this voice says to me “Oh my god! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in so long!” And a woman hugged me. This woman and I chatted and pretended we were old friends while I paid. She then walked with me to my Uber to make sure I got into it safely and that he didn’t follow me. I don’t know where this woman is now, but she made me feel safe.
I went on a homecoming date and ordered a bunch of food. While we were there, this old couple ended up buying our dinner because we reminded them of what they used to look like when they were young. I’m very grateful, because I didn’t actually have enough money to pay for dinner. I was maybe $30 short. I’m still with the girl three years later.
A Grave Secret
I have many family members interred in a small cemetery with a few unattended graves that I occasionally clean and place artificial flowers on. Sometimes I do the ones around them. I feel morally obligated to honor their memory. One day, I found a letter. Its contents were heartbreaking. Obscured behind my father's flowers, in an inconspicuous brown envelope, was an effusive message of gratitude from an old woman whose arthritis incapacitated her.
She had seen my maintenance of her husband's grave from her house across the road and wanted to thank me for my compassion. I was confounded because I never anticipated any recognition. She said she asked her daughter what she could do to compensate me, and she purchased an iTunes voucher for her mother to give me in the envelope.
It was one of those letters and gestures that the gratitude and appreciation emanated from the very paper. The handwriting was so elegant and fastidious; I know she took an inordinate amount of time composing her words. She loved her husband beyond articulation. We have tea together twice a month now.
A Class of His Own
When I was in school, I had a classmate who was terminally ill. He wanted to do all the things he wouldn’t grow up to do, and pretty much our whole school got involved. One girl’s parents owned a nightclub, and they decked out the VIP lounge and served mocktails to roughly 100 students. The kid wanted to be a police officer, and one boy’s dad arranged for him to go on shift with him for the day.
He wanted to go on a beach holiday, and the teachers put little kiddie pools around the long jump pit with water in. We all did something off his list. He got 62 valentines cards in October! He was always such a kind and thoughtful guy that everyone was happy to join in. His mom messaged me a few weeks ago just to catch up and she said she can’t believe that this year it’s 20 years since he passed, and she's so grateful that everyone made his brief time on earth so wonderful.
A Little Something Extra
My dad is a retired junior/senior high school art teacher. Every single morning for well over a decade, he packed an extra lunch and put it in a place in his classroom where a student whose family was struggling could take it without making a big deal of it. Eventually, when the older student graduated, one of his younger siblings started taking his class.
The kid would already know he could take the extra lunch bag without having to face talking to my dad about it, or being embarrassed in front of the class. I used to ask why Dad packed two lunches while I was growing up, and he would just say, “I sometimes get extra hungry.” My mom later told me the truth. He is such a quiet, humble, and extremely generous man.
Reddit user Veetojek asked: 'What was the worst attempt at flirting you have ever seen?'
Not everyone excels in the art of flirting, and who can blame them?
Getting the attention of someone you admire can be nerve-wracking, and your lack of confidence in the heat of the moment can be amplified and make you appear less attractive to the object of your affection.
Curious to hear examples of what to avoid in the pursuit of passion, Redditor Veetojek asked:
"What was the worst attempt at flirting you have ever seen?"
These advances are just genuinely bizarre.
"My friend in college started hanging out with 'pick up artists' and decided to demonstrate his prowess to us on the quad. His strat was to approach a girl and ask what she thought he should make for dinner that night (I guess it was supposed to lead to an invitation?) He then very-much-not-confidently approached a girl who was clearly in a hurry and, staring at the ground, delivered the line. The girl glared at him and, with great annoyance, said 'I have no idea! Spaghetti, or something?' And my buddy, still staring at the ground, said 'Oh-oh-ok. Uh, thanks' and shuffled away."
He also “learned” from this group that you’re supposed to touch a girl’s arm every time she laughs to condition her to associate your touch with a release of dopamine or endorphins or something. So I witnessed this several times as well, never done with any subtlety or charisma. He did finally get laid after about eight months of trying but the whole thing seemed creepy to me."
"It was me. In sixth grade I wrote a girl’s name on a rock and threw it at her during recess. Apparently they don’t like that 🤷🏻♂️"
"Did your approach change much from those days with the introduction of pokeballs?"
"On a walk with my dog, hot sweaty and not in the best clothes. This man drove behind me following me for a few minutes and I looked and said can I help you? He said let’s go on a date! Hop in!"
"I said no thanks and he revved his engine, asked if I was sure then sped off. I was legit scared."
These attempts at flirting are straight from a sitcom.
Down The Rabbit Hole
"A man asked a woman sitting next to me, 'I think your name is Alice since I'm lost in Wonderland.'"
"Oof. That made me cringe, imagining it."
"Guy on a trip saw a new girl in our group that he found cute. Decided to take the insult-as-a-form-of-flirting path and told her she had really hairy arms for a girl. Mind you, she had incredibly fair skin, so her hairs stood out more than usual. She, having too nice of a personality to say anything, laughed it off, covered her arm in a real smooth manner, and went on with whatever conversation was happening. My guy thought it worked because it 'made her laugh;' and you know you've got the green light when she laughs at your jokes. The next day he goes up to her during breakfast thinking he locked it up and exclaims, 'Oh my god your arms are so hairy that it's gonna make me sick!!' She doesn't laugh this time, runs back to her room, and changes into a long-sleeve shirt. She proceeded to wear long-sleeve shirts or sweaters for the remainder of the trip...in the middle of July. They didn't have a single interaction for the remaining 4 days."
Fumbling For Words
"My own. Drunk at a party talking to a cute girl she takes her glasses off. I thought this would be a good time for a genuine compliment. What my mouth said 'I like your face better with your glasses on' she just laughed. Pretty sure what I was trying to say is I like your glasses, and you have a pretty face. I just combined them."
"When I was in 3rd grade I had a crush on my babysitter."
"I decided to impress her by demonstrating my acrobatic prowess. I sprung from the side of a spiral slide and grabbed the monkey bars without touching the ground. Unfortunately, my hands slipped, I flipped through the air, and shattered my wrist in two places upon landing."
"My first thought was, 'Don't cry; be tough.' then I saw my wrist, it looked like a sine wave. I immediately started crying."
Some guys come on way too strong
"I saw two girls talking at a bar, and this guy walks up and interrupts them with a 'Heheheyyy, what are you ladies drinkin tonight eh? (Slaps the bar) Hey Barkeep, lemme get a couple rounds for these two!' They of course took the drinks, but promptly relocated away from that obnoxious dude."
"When I was younger I worked in a bar with a guy nicknamed 'Scooter.'"
"He'd say to any girl that was alone at the bar, 'Hi! My name is Scooter. I like to f'k. How do you like me so far?'"
"Some would glare and walk away, and a couple of times he got slapped across the face...but eventually he'd get a giggle."
"And he never went home alone."
Scene From A Gas Station
"When I was working at a gas station I had a dude just walk up to the register and just go ‘hey you have a boyfriend’"
"Of course he didn’t take ‘I’m not interested’ for an answer after. My assistant manager had to all put shove him out the door to get him to leave."
"I worked in retail for a long time."
"I’ll never forget the time when this late 50s looking guy blatantly cat called an older woman who was wearing black boots. He said, 'Damn baby you gonna wear those boots all day for daddy?'. Then she goes, 'Not a chance.' He went quiet and she walked away. I had to hold in my laughter cause it was just so cringey to see."
Either one's advances can come off as presumptuous and cocky or vulnerable and meek.
In most cases, people looking for love are overthinking it.
Here's a tip: Just relax and be yourself when approaching someone you like.
Being natural will not make you look desperate.
While there are no guarantees in scoring a date with this approach, chances are that with practice, you'll gain more confidence without overdoing it.
As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Nonetheless, several brands and businesses will sometimes make noticeable changes, be it to reach a wider audience, or simply to shake things up a bit.
In some cases, the effort pays off, like Dunkin' Donuts, who decided to stretch beyond simply selling doughnuts and coffee, eventually even dropping the "Donuts" from their name, but losing none of their popularity.
Other times, things don't go as smoothly, such as when IHOP (an acronym for the International House of Pancakes) temporarily changed its name to IHOB (International House of Burgers), which turned out to be nothing but a weeklong publicity stunt, but was met with anger and vitriol from it's fanbase during that controversial week.
Redditor Fflewddur_Fflam_ was curious to hear what other brands the Reddit community thought betrayed their core audience to disastrous results, leading them to ask:
"Who abandoned their core audience and paid the price for it?"
Humans Are Technically Animals...
"Their tagline became 'surprisingly human.'"
"Nobody wants to watch ANIMAL Planet for people."
"They have other channels."- rainbirdmelody
You Could Say Their Mission Slipped Through The "Cracks"...
"There were a couple years there where they transformed from a second rate Mad knockoff to some of the smartest, funniest stuff on the internet."
"Then the people who held the purse strings decided listicles and photoshop contests were more profitable than a writing staff."- MichaelMyersResple
"It was a small website giving you randomized internet pages which I used to browse for hours as they were so fun."
"Now it turned into Mix and I have no clue what it is."
"Pretty sure no one uses it and it makes me sad."- MightyDaisyWorking On It GIF by KAT BALLGiphy
Less Handcrafted, More Hand-Me-Down
'Used to be a fairly cool place to buy and sell mostly handcrafted stuff and items to make handcrafted stuff."
"Now it's basically shady Amazon with worse shipping."
"Everyone seems to be drop shippers and a lot of the more niche crafter/artisan things are pushed out and overwhelmed by cheaper, mass produced goods."- THIS_IS_MY_JOYSTICK
The Dreaded Paywall...
"Back when forums were still a thing, Photobucket would host your images for free."
"Then one day they decided EVERYONE would have to pay monthly, no free tier, nothing."
"We all collectively agreed we would not be paying, and that was that."
"I feel like it may have contributed to the death of forums."
"Ruined a few of my car build threads, that's for sure."
"To this day they still send me emails a couple times a year threatening to delete all my photos if I don't come back."-pr0b0ner
Arguably, All For The Best?...
"It was a way to have conversations with people in the area anonymously (really popular on college campuses)."
"They made an update to create user profiles and pretty much everyone just stopped using it because anonymity was the whole point."- Fakjbfepisode 16 moe GIFGiphy
Chocolate Lovers Revolt!
"This is incredibly niche, but in Norway there used to be two providers of chocolate powder, the kind you mix with hot or cold milk to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk."
"They were O'Boy brand and Nesquik, equally loved and enjoyed a healthy fanbase 'rivalry'."
"O'Boy is a Swedish product sold in Scandinavia and the Baltics since the 50s, Nesquik is of course Nestlé brand and sold all over the world."
"Sometime in the 2010s Nesquik decided to change the formula of the choco powder."
"I imagine to save money."
"And for making hot chocolate the new recipe was fine."
"What Nestlé underestimated, however, is that most Scandinavians drink their choco powder cold to make chocolate milk."
"The new recipe had a different type of sugar in it that wouldn't dissolve in cold milk, leaving a crunchy powder in the milk."
"Norwegians outraged, Nesquik was deemed useless, nearly everyone in the Nesquik camp migrated to O'Boy, and Nestlé lost almost all its market share overnight."
"A few months later, Nesquik is gone from the shelves nearly everywhere, never to recover from the blunder."- -Yngin-
Tornados Filled With Sharks Are Not For Everyone...
"At some point there was no sci-fi on it."- AlienBeingMeTara Reid Storm GIF by SYFYGiphy
Not Everyone Can Keep Up With The Times...
"They went from selling electronic components, little gadgets, and interesting tech bobbles to nerds to trying to sell expensive cell phone plans and sh*tty batteries to a different audience."
"We saw that the customers who came to RadioShack shifted from middle/upper-income engineers and tech geeks to lower income people in a six year period."
"Then we saw the geeks stop coming in at all because they would come in for some capacitor or breadboard, and the person there wouldn't know what that was."
"If it wasn't a phone, they didn't know."
"Even if it was a phone, they probably couldn't tell you anything about it."
"Old RadioShack employees were knowledgeable and well paid."
"New RadioShack employees didn't give a sh*t about technology."- 001235
Seems FittingThat Their Old Audience Is "History"...
"Anyone else remember when The History Channel was about history and not about aliens?"- rienjaburaFound Footage Video GIF by Eternal FamilyGiphy
There's A Reason They're Not So Well Known For Their Food...
"Every restaurant that opens in the UK goes through the cycle:"
"New and interesting food."
"Very different from most British food."
"Becomes very popular."
"Owners sell to a large company."
"Large company decides that being popular isn't enough, they want everybody to eat there."
"Make the food more British."
"Looming failure is hidden for a while because they attract new customers at exactly the rate they lose old customers."
"New customers have tried it, realize they can get that food anywhere, stop going."
"Chain closes and is replaced by a Greggs or Nandos, depending on the size of the location (not dependent on how far away the nearest Greggs or Nandos is."- skztr
Money Doesn't Solve Everything
"There were excellent groups with intelligent discussions."
"Then it became monetized and people submitted 100s of questions a day."
"'What time does the Walmart close in Boise?'" "
"'My 16 yr old came home with an A- so I took away their phone for 6 months'."- JanuarySoColdBored Sales GIF by EGiphy
Success can be a very dangerous thing.
As it can make you think about nothing but getting bigger, often resulting in your leaving people behind along the way.
A cautionary tale for young entrepreneurs.
What makes someone a 10?
It ain't all about looks, baby.
Looks are fine.
But charisma is everything.
There are a ton of ingredients that make up attractive, though.
That's why it's good to know your strengths.
Redditor Overall_Wish_912 wanted to hear about how hot everybody thinks they are and why, so they asked:
"What is the most attractive thing about you?"
I think my eyes sell the whole package.
Light blue with a slight dusting of gold.
ConnectionsYoga Anatomy GIF by YOGABODYGiphy
"More than a few radiologists over the years have told me I have nice connective tissues, ligaments in particular. Makes a fella kinda proud."
"I have exceptionally long and beautiful eyelashes. I’m working on my flutter. I’m also a guy."
"I get complimented on my eyelashes too as a guy! Women often tell me they’re jealous. I never had a clue that was something women noticed until I reached college/university."
"I started getting compliments in high school. I remember freshman year, I was sitting at a round table and this really cute girl at the table just randomly asked me to close my eyes. I thought it was weird, but I did. Then she told her equally cute friend to look at my eyelashes, that they were so long and pretty like a girl's. At the time I wasn't sure if they were being nice or making fun of me (since they compared them to girl's lashes). I now get the compliment, though, and appreciate it."
"I'm not totally hideous, but easily the most attractive thing about me is my kindness. I hear all the time that people are just magically drawn to me/feel comfortable with me/like being around me. I'm charming, I guess."
"That’s such a good quality."
"I'm 6'2 and the internet tells me that's like the most incredible and attractive thing ever apparently."
"I’m 6’6 and wish I was shorter. My long-term girlfriend tells me I get checked out all the time but I literally never notice, I’d give up all the attention if it meant I’d never hit my head on a doorframe again."
"I'm only 6', but a woman and I have a 36' inseam. I love having long legs, they walk so fast and are my favorite physical feature!"
Light as a Featherthe office therapy GIFGiphy
"My therapist said I’m a good egg, so there’s that."
"Mine told me she never feels heavy when I leave her office. We’ve talked about some heavy sh*t so I took it as a compliment."
Not being the scariest and worst patient is definitely a gold star moment for the mind.
PerfectRegular Season Sport GIF by MLBGiphy
"I’ve been told I have the most perfectly shaped head for a bald man."
"My dermatologist recently told me I had a great shaped head if I were to ever shave my hair off. It really got me thinking."
For the Boys
"The only attractive thing about me is my hair. Even that is debatable since most women don't like men with long hair."
"Haha for me it’s my bald head! I look a million times better without hair than with it even when my hairline wasn’t balding that bad. I think the pics of me at 28-30 I look better than my 18-25 pics."
"Some men just have the cranial and facial structures that make them look better with bald head. I shave my head every 3 years, so I know how I look with every single hair length there is. It only starts looking decent after at least 9 months of growth."
Share With Me
"I'm very nonjudgemental; it's amazing the things people will share with me!"
"Same. I've had people share some pretty personal things with me soon after meeting them."
"Yup, same. I have 'tell me all your secrets' stamped on my forehead. I do like it, though. Nice to get to know who people actually are and what they’ve been through, as opposed to the robotic small talk. Makes me happy that people see me as a 'safe' person."
"I have bright blue eyes that get me plenty of compliments. The only other thing that gets close is my beard, and now especially the silver streaks lacing it."
"The Silver helps. I was accused of dying it to look more dignified by a coworker, which was puzzling. Not quite a compliment, but compliment adjacent I guess."
"My long nose, it’s perfect for nuzzling the bean while dining out 🤤."
"I had an out-of-the-blue compliment about my nose. A woman approached me and said I had an envied Roman nose. Noticing my confusion, she explained she was an art historian, and my nose was in the mold of Roman marble statutes. I've never heard another compliment about my nose, so who knows."
The BodyThe Simpsons Dance GIFGiphy
"I’m short but I have a very nice figure. I get complimented for my butt a lot. I’m 5’2." I like attention so I don’t mind the compliments for the most part. I don’t get bothered by that as easily as some people do. But I have no respect for men that complement my body when they’re in relationships."
Well, there are a lot of definitions for attractive.
When you're in a relationship, the things your significant other—or sig-O—does hit different.
Teasing remarks you'd laugh off from friends can feel like a knife in the heart when your romantic partner says it.
Minor slights can easily become major issues in your relationship if you feel vulnerable.
Reddit user _Halboro_ asked:
"What was something fairly small that made you feel betrayed by your [significant other]?"
"When he was doing a work contract overseas I sent him love letters every two weeks to feel connected."
"When he got home and unpacked I found many of them unopened."
"My high school girlfriend lent my hoodie to someone else."
"Gah! I had a University BF lend My hoodie to a girl (who was a smoker, too. 🤮)."
"There were at least 15 other single guys there that could have stepped up and lent her their sweaters, but mine was up for grabs!"
"And when I got it back it reeked. So, annoyed with him on multiple levels."
"My sister was in the hospital and he didn't do the dishes while I was gone for 3 days."
"When he got Covid, he was quarantined downstairs. I waited on him hand and foot."
"Three days later, I got Covid but while he was feeling better and still quarantining himself, I had to be sick and care for our son."
"I was stooped over the counter trying to make him dinner and he just went back downstairs. I’ll always remember that."
"My sister, nephew, and mom went on a vacay for about 9 days including travel days."
"When she and my nephew got home, the sink was full of dirty dishes and so was the island in their kitchen. Their island is HUGE, bigger than what I would consider average for a home."
"There were also trash bags just sitting around the house and it was just absolutely disgusting."
"It's small, but one year we were both working 15-18 hour days but had Thanksgiving off. I planned the menu, he didn't give input."
"I ordered the ingredients online during my lunch break to pick up after work because I didn't have time to shop."
"I woke up early, made everything. Cleaned the dishes and the kitchen after."
"All he did was complain."
"I made too much. I had too much wine (3 glasses over 7 hours)."
"After all that work and not even a compliment or a thank you?
"Yeah—we divorced. That was our last Thanksgiving together."
"After complaining for months that I never got to sleep in, despite being the only one to get up to the kids in the night, he finally let me sleep in one morning."
"I woke up hearing him quietly saying to the kids 'Mummy’s had long enough; go wake her up'."
"I only had maybe an hour extra. He always had several."
"I'm almost always up first. I tend the pets, get the kids going and make coffee. 20 min routine."
"Every morning I'd bring him a cup of coffee and open the curtains to let some sunlight in and then leave and he would play on his phone and sip coffee for half hour while I tended the kids and got to work."
"Then he complained that just because I was up didn't mean he had to be up."
"Guess who doesn't get hot coffee in bed anymore."
"My ex would skip the songs I liked that came on the radio."
"Was on my way back from Turkey with a nice stash of dried fruit from Afghanistan (imported to Turkey)."
"Declared it on my customs form."
"Got detained for agricultural reasons, said they would let me go but had to take the dried fruit."
"I looked and looked but could not find it. Was detained for hours."
"Turns out my girlfriend ate it all while I was asleep on the flight."
"We were going through airport security together."
"She went first and when she was being screened, pointed at me and said 'make sure you check my boyfriend, he always has knives' as a joke and then I got detained for a search and questioning and almost missed the flight.
"And no, I didn't have any knives other other contraband on me. Then she got mad at me for almost missing our flight."
"LIKE WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN HERE EMILY‽‽"
"When we were signing our first lease she joked with the landlord about how rowdy I am, to 0 chuckles or even a smile.
"I wanted to bang my head into a wall."
"I had a friend who dumped his girlfriend when he overheard her making fun of his (admittedly, rather nerdy) sister to her friends."
"He said it wasn’t just about loyalty to his sis, it was about not wanting to be with someone who has to put others down to feel better about herself."
"Always thought it was admirable."
"The most extreme case I know of is my dad and the girlfriend he had before my mom came along."
"He and the gf were high school sweethearts and had been together for three years. They were both dying to see Back to the Future 2, a movie that had been highly anticipated for years."
"He had a family emergency the day it came out so they agreed to see it the following Monday. He found out from friends she went to see it with a douchey guy friend my dad never really liked."
"He was so hurt and she was so unapologetic—her attitude was 'I’ll go see it with you too! Why did I have to wait?' even though they’d agreed to see it together. He told her they needed to take a break."
He fully meant for it to be temporary, just until he cooled off, but then he met my mom when he went to see the movie by himself…and he never looked back.
"He does feel a bit guilty though because his ex was pretty devastated when she found out he’d met someone else and wanted to end things for good."
People felt these were minor slights, but many seem pretty major from the outside looking in.
Most ended the relationship being described.
I guess it's proof positive that little things—good or bad—mean a lot.