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 Menezeris3029 asked: 'People who have stayed in a relationship after their partner cheated. How was it like after?'
There are a lot of sayings about human nature that address bad behavior in a relationship.
One such idiom is "a leopard can't change its spots." Another is "once a cheater, always a cheater."
But is that really accurate?
Can a significant other cheat just once and never again? And even if they can, is the relationship ever truly healed?
Reddit user Menezeris3029 asked:
"People who have stayed in a relationship after their partner cheated. How was it like after?"
Projecting And Gaslighting
"It was super short-lived because of the hardcore projecting."
"Because she cheated, she assumed that I was going to cheat with all my women friends. She became super controlling and didn't want me to have any women friends."
"I ended up leaving because my friendships were more important than a broken relationship."
"It's in fact so common that people who baselessly accuse others of cheating are almost always cheating and projecting it on their partner."
"Every time I had been cheated on, this is the trigger that made me realize it was going on in the first place and was easily able to find proof."
"They out themselves."
"My ex husband tried to get me to go to therapy. And don’t get me wrong, I needed it and should have gone, to get the self-worth to leave his a**."
"But my point was, if you won’t stop cheating on me why waste money on therapy lmao‽‽ It’s like sitting in the ER while someone is stabbing you in the back."
"He swore on everything we had he wasn’t cheating on me again."
"Yeah…..he was the whole time."
Regrets, I Have A Few
"I really truly believed I would rise from it and forgive him, get over it, and come out of it stronger."
"It was never the same. I lost that trust and I couldn’t get it back. And eventually, I stopped caring to want it back."
"It was a 7 year relationship & although I don’t regret it, I sometimes wish I knew to walk out sooner."
"But it made me realize what I really deserve and it led me to the forever man in my life who treats me so well and loves me and honours our commitment."
"This got me in my soul!"
"My soon to be ex is not violent, he's grown into a lovely man, just not the one for me after what happened."
"I've just cracked my early 30s so I'm calling this my quarter life crisis and moving on...a lot of those things you have said resonated so much!"
"Reasons for not leaving—Fear, isolation, guilt, not wanting to hurt the person you love most in the world, even though they hurt you. Not wanting to lose them."
"It’s hard to let them go, because you have to let go of a part of yourself too and the life you thought you were building together. It is so hard to accept that it was all just an illusion."
"After some time passes, you try to put what happened at the back of your mind as a survival mechanism, and then your partner assumes that you have forgiven them because you no longer appear to be preoccupied with it."
"Sex also complicates things because some cheaters think that resuming sex equals their partner has moved on and are not upset any longer."
"You keep quiet and bottle up emotions to keep the peace, but at a severe detriment to your mental health and well being."
"This is where I am currently with my relationship. I am just trying to get through one day at a time until I gather enough strength to move forward."
"I too hope to wake up one day and say, 'FUK THIS!' I have known about the infidelity since 2021."
Never The Same
"Happened in 2010, part of a mental breakdown on their side. Stood by and watched my world fall apart with a young child to look after."
"I believe in the vows I took when I got married, especially in sickness & in health. 13 years later, still married, perhaps stronger than ever but it still hurts."
"The pain numbs down over time from a glowing ball the size of the sun to a little pin prick of light but it still burns."
"I’m glad we stayed together, child is now a happy and rounded young lady—enjoying the world and her life ahead of her."
"We are now 26 years together so if any of you are reading this, good can come from bad, life does go on, listen to your heart but don’t ever get mugged off."
"Caught her in an 'emotional' affair early on in our relationship."
"Both her and him told me it was a mistake and he apologized and told me it was over."
"I believed it all."
"However I will admit that it bubbled up during arguments over other issues because of how betrayed I felt."
"It weighed on me to the point where she told me I needed to see a therapist to get over it. I went to 3 of them over a period of the next 4 years."
"We went as a couple maybe a year after that."
"Flash forward another 2 years…I found the texts and pics."
"It never ended and it only grew. The entire time she told me to get counseling. The entire time we were in counseling together."
"The entire time I worked 2 jobs and 7 days a week because she lost her job and took a year off and I picked up the slack."
"You do not recover."
Tick, Tick, Tick...
"A ticking time bomb."
"Yep. We spent a year trying to recover, then had 2 good years..."
"Then he cheated again... I think in the back of my mind I was just waiting the whole time for it to happen again."
"This! Every single day, this is what's in the back of my mind and yup, waiting for it to happen again and hoping, at the same time, that it won't."
"Ex wife was the same. We tried again, but she just had to get back in contact with him… lasted ten months, but only eight before she’d started seeing him again."
"It was a 12 year relationship for us, with most of that married. I don’t think she actually stopped seeing him really, looking back."
"When I started seeing a new girl, my ex wife tried to seduce me! Erm, no."
"Shoot, mine never even stopped seeing the other guy. She swore up and down she wanted to stay together and it was all a mistake—so I laid out some very simple rules for moving forward, starting with no more contact with the guy."
"She never stopped."
"To this day I dont know what she was thinking. She just kept on trying to see us both. This was a 10 year marriage with kids, too."
"About a year into the divorce, she straight up moved 500 miles away (by herself), became a drug addict, and her entire life fell apart. Got arrested for felony drug possession etc..."
"Most bizarre complete self destruction I've ever seen in real life."
If They'll Cheat With You...
"One of my buddies dated a girl once that cheated to be with him. Then after awhile she cheated on him too."
"He was so shocked."
"But I was like, bro, she cheated on someone to get with you. Her cheating on you to get with someone else shouldn’t be a surprise."
The Other Side
"That's not always true. I cheated once. It destroyed the person I love, and it sent me into a 2 year spiral of depression and anxiety that I had to be hospitalized for twice."
"I'll NEVER, EVER make that mistake again. People can learn from their past mistakes."
"That being said, 'once a cheater, always a cheater' is true more often than it isn't - and that's quite sad."
"I just won't be one ever again. Absolutely not worth ANY of it."
The decision to stay with someone who has broken your trust is an individual one.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there are many happy endings for couples after one partner cheats.
When I was in college, my friends and I went to Starbucks one December night. We had just taken the hardest of our finals and knew we did a terrible job and decided to go to Starbucks to cheer ourselves up.
One of my friends ordered a latte while my other friend and I ordered frappuccinos. The barista got super offended that we would have the audacity to order cold drinks on a cold night. She told us we should be ashamed of ourselves for making her make cold drinks on a cold night. Seriously!
I almost changed my order, but luckily, another barista came over to take care of us. As she put in our orders, she said the original barista we dealt with always judged people's orders and we should just ignore her.
This wasn't the last time we were judged by this barista, but we learned to ignore her opinions.
She is not the only person to get offended by something ridiculous or completely inoffensive. Redditors know this all to well and are eager to share their stories.
It all started when Redditor AdRealistic878 asked:
"What is the most ridiculous thing you've seen someone get offended by?"
A Greeting Is A Greeting...Or Not
"I had a boss get mad at me because when she said "Good morning" I responded with "Hello.""
"She got in my face and said "No.... I said 'Good morning'. Say it back.'"
"I didn't stay there long lol"
"This reminds me of a time I was riding my bike early one morning. I was going up a steep hill, breathing hard, and a jogger running past me down the hill called out "good morning". I just nodded in their direction and continued my slog."
"The jogger stopped and yelled "hey, I said good morning!" I still can't understand the sense of entitlement, that somehow I owe them a verbal return of their greeting despite the obvious circumstances."
"This reminds me of the first time I went backpacking. I was going up a steep subalpine mountain side on a trail that was basically a ladder made of rocks. I was breathing hard. Two men were coming down and gave a cheery “hello”. I said “hi” all redfaced and out of breath. One of them looked so offended."
Not My Fault!
"When I worked at McDonald’s they discontinued the smartie McFlurry for a short time. When explaining to anyone who ordered one, you’d have thought I threatened their family or something with how offended people were."
Speak My Language
"I've seen people get very offended by a South Welsh accent. Accusing people of being racist and faking Indian accents when they're just speaking in their native accent."
"The internet is wild."
Freedom Of Speech?
"I was out for lunch with a colleague at a local pub and we were discussing a news story from the morning about a bus crash."
"A woman on a nearby table took great offence to this and stormed over to us and demanded we stop talking about it in public."
"We both just stared at her, not entirely sure if she was serious."
"We carried on discussing it and she flounced out."
Just Trying To Help
"I politely and quietly told a woman on line at the pharmacy that the price tag was still hanging on her jacket sleeve. She went on a long loud rant about my bad behavior."
"This is why mom taught me Don't talk to strangers."
"I got yelled at for ‘spoiling’ the Tudors. Like my god."
"Imagine being that uneducated that you think someone is "spoiling" the Tudors."
"Making a joke about Ann Boleyn. Apparently, it was too soon."
"I wish I were joking."
"Woah, people are still losing their head over it?"
This Is Nuts!
"Not me, but the Korean Nut Rage incident. The Vice President of Korean Air (daughter of the CEO) was in first class and got furious that she was served nuts (like the peanuts you get on a flight) in a packaged bag rather than a wooden bowl. She made the captain kneel and beg for forgiveness and hit him, then forced the plane to return to the gate since she'd just fired the captain. Crazy stuff."
"Me growing a beard. According to my brother's mother-in-law, only junkies grow beards, and that's so they can hide their drugs in it. I kid you not!"
"I was standing with my trolley waiting & had a lady freak out “You’re going to hit my son!”. I wasn’t even moving so it was a huge overreaction, but I understood that her small son may be hidden from my view behind the trolley & she was making sure he doesn’t get hit when I do move whilst not realising he’s there."
"I looked for him but couldn’t see anything. She continued to freak out at me “Don’t hit my son!” & physically restraining my trolley which is not moving."
"It turned out she meant the adult male next to her scanning things at the self scan till. I wasn’t going to hit him anymore than any fully grown adult in the supermarket."
Don't Lose Your Hair!
"My kid has very curly hair. When said kid was about three years old, a random woman started berating me in public because my kid’s hair was curly. She was convinced I’d had it permed, and how horrible to do that to an innocent 3 year old. I was the worst parent ever. Apparently she’d never seen someone with naturally curly hair before?!"
"Being offered a seat on a crowded subway. I offered a woman who was 30 years older than i was my seat . She flew into a tirade yelling nonsense."
Talk About An Overreaction!
"I’m a Vet Tech, and people will LOSE THEIR SHIT if you misgender their pets. Jesus Christ. 🤦🏻 The folks who get the most offended are:"
"1. The ones who have chosen to name their male dogs a classically effeminate name."
"2. The ones who have chosen to name their female dogs a classically masculine name."
"Had a guy walk into our animal hospital with his Briard a few weeks ago. Wasn’t a known client/patient, so we asked what the dog’s name was. He responded with “Joy.” Kept talking to the guy about our services when Joy put their paws up on the counter to look at us. I said, “do you have a question, sweet girl?” Dude recoiled like I’d just uppercut his dog through the ceiling and roars, “HE’S a BOY” before dragging the dog out the door in a huff."
Taylor Swift was right: You need to calm down!
Trust is key to any relationship, whether it's romantic, platonic or even just professional.
But does establishing and maintaining trust require full disclosure at all times?
In professional and platonic relationships, some mystery is understandable. Your friends and especially your coworkers don't need to be all up in your personal life.
But what about a significant other? Is there ever a reason to keep secrets from your sig-o?
Reddit user _Brunonono_ asked:
"What's something you can't tell your partner for fear of upsetting them?'
No Malice Intended
"The first piece of jewelery I bought my wife was a necklace. We went on holiday and she lost it."
"I said I would replace it but it wasn’t the same, she was upset that she’d lost it for sentimental reasons."
"I emailed the hotel and of course they hadn’t found it. So I bought a replacement and told my wife they found it."
"My wife has a beautiful heart."
"I jokingly call her a Disney princess because any animal that she comes across she has to talk to, and greet. She has cried by seeing a dead raccoon on the side of the road before."
"At the time, I was working day shift and she was working a swing shift."
"I had a busy day, but I saw she sent me some pictures of a young doe that was eating in our front yard. She seemed thrilled."
"I came home and saw the same deer!"Giphy
"On my god damned porch."
"I felt like I started to hear 'the first 48' theme playing as I realized I have six hours to get rid of this thing before my wife gets home and her world is shattered.
"I call my local city authorities thinking they wouldn’t want a dead animal in the middle of town. Turns out, they couldn’t care less."
"I called some local raptor shelters to see if they could take a stat donation but it turns out the dead deer business is booming and they didn’t have a need for donations at this time, especially in the next 6 hours."
"Frustrated, I call my dad to vent and get advice on what to do."
"His response is only a 'Hold on bud, I’ll be there in 15 minutes'.”
"I go back inside to take care of the dogs and within the next 15 minutes I see me dad back his huge truck into my back yard, has the tail gait down and is knocking on my door with a pair of nitrile gloves on and another pair in hand for me."
"It was starting to get dark out, but we had that thing loaded up and found a special place to, uh... dispose' of it. We made it back with 20 minutes to spare before my wife got home."
"I haven’t told my wife because I think it would either break her heart, or creep her out at how efficiently my dad can dump a body."
"Anyway, wifey thinks her deer friend is alive and well, and totally not at the bottom of a ravine."
"The remote didn't disappear."
"I accidentally put it through the washing machine and destoreyed it and threw it out in a panic."
"It was me who cooked with oil and didn’t clean the spatters off the stovetop… not the cat."
"I'm impressed your cat can cook."
"Well, nothing fancy, not what you'd call a feast."
"Just a meowdest meal then."
Better Left Unsaid
"That she is wayyy more like her mom and sisters than she likes to think."
"Could be worse ... my partner is becoming more and more like MY mother than she would like to think!"
"That’s definitely one to keep to yourself."
"I hate your mom and I'm a little afraid you're going to turn into her, both physically and personality wise."
"Especially since your dad keeps talking about how you have your mom's whole face and personality from back when they first got together."
"I would like to go somewhere and be alone for a few weeks."
"I love them so much but I have never been on my own in my life and I would like to try it for a minute."
"I daydream/wonder what it would be like to live completely alone."
"How I wouldn’t have to compromise."
"Lord. I always thought when I met the right one I wouldn’t mind sharing my space."
"I’m a loner by nature."
"I only put spiders outside when she sees them."
"If they're only noticed by me I let them continue hunting bugs, sometimes with a few soft words of encouragement."
"You're doing a great job, little guy."
"She is using words incorrectly."
"She has a half dozen she routinely misuses and does not want to hear it. Example: The middle of the road is the median, not the medium."
"Drives me insane."
"Married 20+ years. Some things you let go."
"I even tried repeating it back to her in the conversation properly to avoid the conflict. Still doesn't work."
"What is surprising is she easily reads a couple of books per month and is super bright. She just has words that somehow got stuck in her vocabulary along the way."
Is Manipulation So Bad?
"I wanted my husband to quit wearing denim shorts because they made him look old. He had gained a bit of weight, so I kept buying his jorts in his old size 34 and I bought khaki shorts in a 38."
"He will never read a label for any reason. He would put on the jorts and then lay on the bed and lift and spread his legs to stretch out the shorts a bit."
"He blew out the back seam of two pairs in the same day, then ended up putting on the khaki shorts."
"Since then, almost 20 years, he has insisted that khaki shorts are made better and fit more comfortably than denim shorts of the same size."
Hiding In Plain Sight
"Not me but my parents. If my mom wants to hide literally anything from my dad, no matter what it is, she just puts it somewhere where he would have to bend over to see it."
"Doesn't matter if it's something like a package of oreos, if my dad has to bend over to find it he's never going to find it. I've tested it with my own snacks when I was still living with them to confirm it works.
"He'd be mad if he knew how many snacks we'd hidden from him simply because he doesn't bend over low enough to see it in the cabinet."
"This is rather hilarious. Not quite what I was thinking of, but hilarious."
~ OP _Brunonono_
"Headline: Man Starves To Death In Home: Couldn't Find Food at Knee Height"
Might Be Time To Speak Up
"I am tired in my soul."
"I carry the mental load, do 99% of the domestic chores, do the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. I’m the breadwinner and also the one responsible for our finances."
"I’m tired in my heart and soul. You agree when we talk about our future but there’s no execution on your end."
"You see my frustrations and you think it’s postpartum depression but it’s you, not the kiddos. I’ve been doing the therapy and the Zoloft. Why aren’t you?"
In almost every case, Redditors' biggest concern was their partner's feelings.
Except for those snacks.
Hopefully they put a few snacks in dad's line of sight.
We've all heard some things that sound too good to be true, but we've also certainly heard some things that were too weird to be true.
But as strange as they might sound, from weird scientific facts to things that people have done to animals that actually exist outside of a distant, mystical realm, there are some things that are simply, stranger than fiction.
Curious about others' takes, Redditor Former_Ladder9969 asked:
"What is a weird fact you know for some reason?"
The Draw of the Deck
"The King of Hearts is the only king without a mustache."
"He's also sticking a sword in his head."
"He was shaving and missed."
Random Facts About Strangers
"Diddy, the music artist, doesn’t like the way towels feel on his skin. So instead of drying off like a normal person after a shower, he walks around his house to air dry instead."
"Why do I know this?"
"Because for some reason, this was a fact given during an old show on VH1 called 'Pop Up Videos,' where they would play a music video with random facts being shown throughout. I have zero idea why of all the vital things I should have stored in my memory, this was one that stuck after all these years."
"Australia is wider than the moon."
"I can't decide if I'm more amazed that the moon is actually way smaller than I imagined, or that Australia is way bigger than I imagined."
"This is my confusion, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Crabs have a muscle that enables them to release their claw if they have to."
"It took me an incredibly long time to realize this means like… fully release it, like remove it from their body. I thought it just meant release the grip they have."
"The national animal of Scotland is a Unicorn."
"Yes, that’s true. Mainly because we have so many of them roaming wild in the glens. Chasing the Haggi and avoiding Nessie."
Education through Music
"Because of a song that used to constantly play on the radio I have it pretty well memorized that there are 86,400 seconds in the average day."
"Because of a song on the radio, I learned that the minimum expectation for displays of love can be measured in 500 miles."
Where the Grass is Greener... and Newer
"There were no grasses on the earth when dinosaurs were here."
"During the Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous, the higher flora was dominated by cycads, ginkgoes, conifers, and ferns. Other groups of plants included extinct seed plants with fern-like foliage. The exact origins of flowering plants are uncertain, although evidence suggests that they are not closely related to any group of modern non-flowering plants."
"Flowering plants underwent rapid radiation beginning around the middle of the Cretaceous period, and makeup around 90% of living plant species today. With the spread of these plants came the decline of previously dominant groups such as conifers. During the Cretaceous, ferns would also begin to diversify."
"The oldest known fossils of grasses are from the Early Cretaceous, with the family having diversified into modern groups by the end of the Cretaceous. The oldest large flowering trees are known from the Late Cretaceous, with the trunk having a preserved diameter of one-point-eight meters and an estimated height of 50 meters."
Weird Way to Say Hello
"Manatees control their buoyancy by farting. Toot toot, floaty sea cow."
"Wait, so those bubbles you see on the water surface that signify their presence are...?"
Goals for Building the Longest Train...
"There's no maximum length to a train, you just add another engine."
The Smallest Philosopher
"That dead ants produce a pheromone that alerts the other ants that they need to move them to the ant graveyard."
"If a drop of this pheromone is placed on a live ant, it will take itself to the graveyard and stay there until the pheromone dissipates."
"The ant: Am I dead?"
"That ant would make a great philosopher."
"Some military helicopters on aircraft carriers are made of magnesium and should they catch fire, it's literally impossible to put them out as the magnesium will take the oxygen from the water and use that to keep burning."
"So the only thing that can be done is to push them overboard and even as they sink they will continue to burn until the magnesium is completely burned up."
The First Scapegoat
"Some tribes of ancient people used to tie up a goat, whisper their sins to it, then allow it to 'accidentally' escape so it would carry their sins away and thus resolve them of guilt."
"It was, literally, their 'escape goat,' and that's where the term 'scapegoat' comes from."
The Power of Percentages
"Percentages can be reversed."
"For example, five percent of ten is ten percent of five."
"43 years and I'm only learning this now."
"The fear of long words is called 'hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.'
"Also, the fear of palindromes is called 'aibohphobia,' which just goes to show that the people who name phobias are a**holes."
"The question is, who even has a fear of palindromes?"
"Eve, Bob, and Hannah."
Not only are these facts unexpected, but it's wild to think that some of them are true.
But the simple, plain truth is that the truth is always all that simple. It can be weird and hard to believe, and yet, there it is.