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 Monsah asked: 'What is the most unprofessional thing a doctor has said to you?'
"I shall do by my patients as I would be done by; shall obtain consultation whenever I or they desire; shall include them to the extent they wish in all important decisions; and shall minimize suffering whenever a cure cannot be obtained, understanding that a dignified death is an important goal in everyone's life."
~ English translation of the modern abridged Hippocratic Oath
It is the hope of those seeking medical help that the medical professionals providing it will be just that—professional.
But no profession is immune to bad days, bad attitudes or bad apples.
Reddit user Monsah asked:
"What is the most unprofessional thing a doctor has said to you?"
"I was being treated on week 2 with medication for an ectopic pregnancy—fetus in the fallopian tube, 0% chance for baby, very small chance for myself to live if not taken care of. I was told to go to the ER if I developed severe pain."
"I developed severe pain and went to the ER."
"The doctor on call sat there and tried to casually discuss what kind of pain meds I might like WITH MY HUSBAND as I was writhing in pain on the bed. Husband insists doc should just make a decision and give me the meds now."
"Finally gave me a pain pill and told me no need for an ultrasound, just did some bloodwork for my file. I go home and wait it out with a script for pain meds."
"I told him the pain was severe and could be the tube bursting and he told me that miscarriages just hurt."
"I went into the gyno treating me 2 days later and he took one look at me and booked me for emergency surgery. The tube had burst and I had so much internal bleeding that they had to have a general surgeon assist in the cleanup in my abdomen."
"My bowels were adhering to the broken tube and had to be carefully separated. Later, my doc told me I was very lucky and the moron at the ER should have sent me in to an ultrasound based on the pain alone."
"The blood work was apparently alarming."
"Went back for an IV to the same sh*tty ER a few months after. That same sh*t ER doc checked my abdomen and saw the surgery scars."
"He commented I must have recently had an operation!"
"I told him 'yeah, you misdiagnosed my burst ectopic pregnancy and I had to get emergency surgery at a different hospital'. He didn't say sh*t after that."
"If I had the money, I would sue the a**hole."
"I also had an ectopic several years ago. I had missed my period and suspected being pregnant."
"A week later had severe pain where I couldn’t stand up and walk and wasn’t sure if it was my period coming on. Went to an urgent care and they confirmed I was pregnant but probably having a miscarriage."
"The pain was bad in my side, and I even suspected ectopic—but the male doctor there said miscarriages are painful and he knows what ectopic pain should look like, and that’s definitely not what I have."
"He told me to go home and just basically rest."
"So I believed him, and headed out—a nurse, female, stopped me in the front lobby and strongly insisted I go to the ER. My husband also wouldn’t let me just brush it off and took me in."
"At the ER they did an ultrasound and my entire abdomen was filled with fluid. I had emergency surgery and got really lucky with a rare ectopic that exploded backwards into my peritoneal cavity (called a tubal abortion) and got away without a ruptured ovary."
"The female surgeon said that in her 20 year career she had never seen a case like mine."
"Still sucked, and f'k that first doctor."
"Doctor said that either I cheated or my husband did because that kind of cervical pain was always chlamydia."
"It was an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and resulted in emergency life-saving surgery. But thanks for listening doctor!"
"My personal OB happened to be at the hospital that night and came to tell me the news herself, giving him the angriest look I’ve ever seen in a professional setting."
"I’d been sent by ambulance from our local urgent care to a hospital due to kidney pain and a funny shadow on my xray. Emergency room doctor was insistent 'it must be a STI' despite me having no genital symptoms, and he demanded to do a pelvic exam."
"This doctor aggressively tried to mimic my pain from the inside by jamming his hand up my vag. The nurse chaperone looked embarrassed when I said to the doctor, 'if you’re not careful, you’ll lose your watch up there'."
"He then discharged me from the hospital at 3 am saying he couldn’t find anything wrong with me."
"At 9 am the original urgent care doc called back since she saw I was discharged but my blood tests were back and I was septic."
"My older sister had unbearable GI issues for years growing up."
"Pediatrician told our parents that 'children get tummy aches' and to try peppermint Altoids.
"She ended up having emergency surgery where they had to remove her entire large intestine because it was necrotic and had tumors.
"Permanent colostomy by the time she was 14."
"Both my parents are doctors, a Pediatrician and a Pulmonologist/ICU doc."
"Since 4TH GRADE I’d had very frequent upset stomachs and pain. I was always told 'it can just happen' or 'it’s too hard to figure out'."
"It got to the point where when I had BLEEDING from my intestines I didn’t want to say anything cause I thought I’d be brushed off. This was until I was going into my senior year of high school."
"It flared to the point I couldn’t move and lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks."
"Lo and behold, I had Ulcerative Colitis that was diagnosed within a day of tests it was so bad."
"I had been bleeding for 8 months when my GP told me I 'didn't meet the criteria' for a colonoscopy."
"Finally did get diagnosed with mild ulcerative colitis later on, but that conversation with the GP was the most frustrating part of the whole saga."
"'It can't be colon cancer because you're too young'."
"My brother got cancer at that exact age, as she knew."
"The really f'ked up thing about this one is that it's standard procedure to monitor for colon cancer based on family history."
"Generally guidelines recommend if a first degree family member (mom, dad, brother, sister) had colon cancer before they were elderly, they should start getting screened at an age 10 years younger than when they were diagnosed."
"So that doctor straight up ignored national treatment guidelines."
"My younger sister was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer at 26 (not a typo, that's twenty six.) And it took her a couple of years to convince her doc to order any tests, despite passing blood in her stool."
"I get that she was especially young to have such an advanced case, but I will never not be angry when I read a comment about docs telling folks that they are too young to be checked for colon cancer."
"I took my then 4-year-old daughter to a pediatric gastroenterologist. First he said 'she's just being dramatic'."
"Then he said, 'well, she'll get married some day and be someone else's problem'."
"That was 25 years ago, and it still shocks me!"
"Turned out she had a partial bowel obstruction."
"When I took my then 4-year-old to a pediatric gastroenterologist because she still couldn't control her bowels and clearly had no feeling down there, the specialist told me she was doing it for attention and just didn't 'want to' use the toilet."
"She went on and on about how she'd been in the business for 20 years. When my daughter told her she really wanted to fix the problem so she could go to day camp, the doctor told her she was lying."
"That human turd was in the room when I finally got my daughter tested for bowel insensitivity (I don't remember the official name) and they found out that she did not, in fact, have any feeling in her bowels."
"I looked that b*tch in the face and said, 'Now do you believe us?' She just looked away."
"'You're 27. I don't know what you have to be anxious about'."
"This was in the 1990s."
"When I described my anxiety and depression the doctor said, 'but you aren’t overweight and over thirty!'."
"I was told the same just a few months ago at age 25."
"I replied 'well my mom just died' to which he said 'that’s too bad' and continued on with the exam."
"'That's normal in your line of work. Just ignore it, the pain will go away'."
"I went in for shoulder pain, as my left shoulder would be killing me after a day loading trucks all day. This was an ongoing thing for weeks before I went to get it checked."
"Didn't examine my shoulder. Didn't have any x-rays done, catscans done, MRIs done, nothing. Hell, didn't even have me take my shirt off."
"Turns out that I had a torn rotator cuff."
"Had another doc tell me that the stomach pain that had me pissing myself, throwing up, and passing out was from 'gas'."
"Again, without any type of examination, just listening to the symptoms. Two days later I was dying on the OR table from a necrotic appendix."
A common theme in all these stories are doctors not listening to their patients or their parents.
While a doctor may be a medical expert, they should remember the patient is the expert for their own body.
When it comes to making a point, the stronger language you use, the better.
Sometimes, this is true of insults too. If you use strong language, the insult may hurt more. This language may include curse words. A lot of times, cursing while insulting someone is a surefire way to make sure the insult lands the way it was intended.
However, this is not always true.
Redditors know it's completely possible to deliver savage insults without using curse words, and are eager to share their favorites.
It all started when Redditor ILikeExistingLol asked:
"What's an absolutely devastating insult without any cuss words?"
""First of all, brush your teeth...""
"I literally just brushed my teeth because of this comment. I was gonna put it off for a little later, but I couldn't after reading that."
"A coworker who never showers, washes his clothes, or brushes his teeth was trying to intimidate me once and I told him the scariest thing about him was his breath. He hasn’t spoken to me since."
"“Well, at least you have more teeth than IQ points.”"
"About the same in his case, really."
Yikes! That Face!
""I never forget a face. But in your case, I'll be glad to make an exception.""
"– Groucho Marx"
""You have the face for a career in radio.""
""...and a voice for print.""
If Only We Never Met
"I miss the feeling of not knowing you."
"I think Shakespeare once said something along the lines of "I wish we were better strangers.""
Crime Against Humanity
"Have you ever considered that perhaps your low self-esteem is just good common sense?"
"I'd say shots fired but damn that's a nuclear warhead."
"“He’s a humble man with much to be humble about.”"
"Another Winston favorite: “Madam, I may be drunk, but you are ugly. Tomorrow, I will be sober.”"
"Some lady: “If you were my husband, I’d poison your drink.”"
"Churchill: “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”"
"May be slightly different wording."
"Lady Astor! She was an interesting person."
""I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.""
""You're entitled to your opinion. It's wrong, but you're entitled to it.""
"A teacher called my son success-avoidant 3 years ago and he still thinks about that every day. But it did motivate him to get an A in that class, and all his other classes too!"
"Damn, a harsh truth can be very motivating."
What I Like About You
"“Do you know what I like about you?”"
"When they say “what?”, you reply, “See? You can’t think of anything either.”"
"These are always the most devastating ones, when you set them up to expect a compliment."
"It's risky though. If they actually give an answer, like some cocky "that i'm hot?" or whatever, then you'll have to think fast."
""No, that's definitely not it. I'll keep thinking, I'm sure something will come to me.""
Rumor Has It
""I had to see for myself, but people are absolutely right about you.""
"No cussing, no meanness, but they'll get paranoid about who's talking about them and their reputation."
Intelligence Called Out
"Your grades say marry rich, but your face says study harder."
"Please donate your brain to science, at least that way someone will actually use it."
"You are impossible to underestimate."
"You never fail to meet my expectations."
"You couldn't guess which way an elevator is going if you had three guesses."
"I love this insult because you have a moment of silence afterward as the insultee pieces it together."
I love that one; it's brilliant. I'm using this as soon as I get an opportunity!
I once worked in a cubicle farm doing finance and accounting. A new employee disappeared just a few hours after the day started.
Eventually they were found.
On the floor.
Under their desk.
They were promptly fired once they woke up. I wonder how their version of the story goes.
While that was a ridiculous way to be fired, for these folks, the employers were the ones with questionable judgment.
Reddit user strykazoid asked:
"What's the dumbest reason a job ever fired you?"
"I was 17. My Grandpa died unexpectedly from a heart attack. My Mother called my work’s office to let me know."
"I was called to the office to talk on the office phone to my mother, and staff (who were told what was going on) left the area so my mother could privately break the news to me."
"I was obliterated of course, and walked outside for about 15 minutes to clear my head. I then went back to work."
"The woman who was in charge of the entire operation fired me for leaving the building."
"Human Resources stepped in and stopped the situation before I could be notified that I had been fired."
"I only found out that this had happened after my grandpa's funeral days later."
"I quit immediately."
"I had an alcoholic handy man who was promoted to manager. This was a family owned restaurant and this guy had known the father of the current generation."
"He 'fired' me several times a week for not bumming him a cigarette or not wanting to work the second dining room when we had 5 reservations or taking my approved unpaid time off."
"But he was a drunk who started with scotch and moved into amaretto so never remembered."
"I'd just come back the next day."
"For surfing the internet."
"Punchline: part of my job was to surf the internet and find content for their social media platforms."
"I wish I was making that up. I am not."
Throwing Their Voice
"Fast food manager said a customer complained that he could hear me cussin' in the back."
"It was a couple days later when they fired me, but they said the incident happened on a day I happened to be off."
"I had a feeling the manager didn't like me much and planned poorly on when they'd claim the so called 'incident' happened."
"'I heard you cussin' when you weren't here. Don't ask me how that's possible'."
Not an Escort Service
"I was 16 and refused to date the owner’s niece."
"Do people think other people are property???"
"Yes. Many, many people who own or manage businesses think exactly this."
Last In, First Out
"In the days after 9/11 my employer (multinational bank) instantly fired the last 2 people hired in every department where there was redundancy, hedging against a financial collapse whenever the markets reopened."
"I just happened to be the last guy hired in my department."
Poor Pandemic Planning
"Covid-19 forced everyone to work from home on hastily setup computers and infrastructure."
"Then they fired the IT staff because we were deemed ‘nonessential’."
"Bit them in the a** hard enough to remove chunks."
Not a "Team Player"
"Not 'fired' but let go with severance. CFO told me to make up historical reports because they weren't done in the past, but now required, and wanted to show how so much better metrics are now than in the past."
"What they were asking for was literally not possible to do since the data was not tracked to what they were asking and wanted to tweak the past numbers into a full-on made-up breakdown."
"I told the controller I wasn't comfortable doing this. The next week I got paid out."
"A month later I found out the CFO was canned."
On Your Own Time
"Performance was bad. one of the reasons given was."
"'Reading newspapers in the lunch room'."
"Which was during my scheduled break."
"I wrote a video game script for a small developer. They 'forgot' to tell me when they started voice work—part of my job required me to help with voice acting sessions."
"I finally was invited to a session with a big name actor, especially known in video games. The director asked me why I hadn’t been present for the past two weeks’ worth of recording."
"Apparently, telling the truth, that no one had told me recording had begun, was the wrong move."
"The developers fired me the next day despite my work already being done, which essentially meant I’d have no part in DLC or sequel(s)."
Should Have Dropped Out
"I worked at Walmart while I was in high school and one of the managers kept scheduling me to open or for me to be there at 2."
"I told them, many times, that I was in high school and those shifts wouldn't work."
"I guess they didn't get that memo; the store manager fired me for missing work and being late."
What Do You Mean You Were Gone?
"Walmart fired me because they put out the schedule while I was on vacation and put me on the schedule during my approved days off."
"When I brought this up they just told me approved days off are just a suggestion but not guaranteed days off."
Good Customer Service
"I gave highway directions to a customer."
"They fired me for talking to my friends at work."
"I was a barista."
"Took a day off for my Grandpa's funeral which was out of town."
"Fired me when I came back the next day."
"My wife was fired for not coming to work after she found her father’s 2-day-old corpse in his apartment."
"She had to talk me down from some violent intentions towards her former employer."
Has an employer ever done you dirty for an absurd reason?
Sound off in the comments.
Anyone who has gone on a few dates knows a few things that they like and don't like to see in a relationship, and they definitely know what some of their dealbreakers are.
But there are some dealbreakers that, when looked at from the outside, are totally petty in nature.
Redditor bigdawgcat asked:
"What is the pettiest reason why you wouldn't date somebody?"
"I have a friend who stopped dating someone because he found out they were lactose intolerant."
"His example of why was, what if I taste a really great dessert, and I want to share the experience with her, and she can’t even taste it."
"I know someone who is allergic to alliums (garlic, onions, etc.). I could never date this person as there is no meal I could make which doesn't include them in some amount."
"Same with peanut allergies. I love peanut butter too much to start a relationship with someone who couldn't be in the same room with it, not when there are plenty of other wonderful people who can. If the allergy suddenly developed long into the relationship, that would be a different case."
The Ups and Downs of Physical Fitness
"A college friend of mine was dating a girl who was amazing, smart, and funny, and she had put on a few extra pounds recently, which bothered him (don’t shoot the messenger)."
"We were driving at night down a big hill on a hot summer night and saw a young woman running up the hill toward us, really sweating, face purple, and looking pretty haggard, huffing and puffing."
"He made a comment like, 'Holy s**t, this girl is struggling.' We got closer and realized it was her."
"Long awkward pause. 'Well, I’m going to have to break up with her,' he said."
"Fast forward six months, and we ran into her at a pub, and she was in absolutely perfect shape."
"When he tried to make a move, she told him aloud, in front of a table full of her friends, 'That she wasn’t interested in him, and that he had dumped her for getting fat.' Top five funniest takedowns I’ve ever seen."
"Fast forward 10 years, he’s been divorced twice and has had a long list of s**tty relationships. The end."
Conspiracy Theory Investment
"If they’re into conspiracy theories. I dated a guy who was and it consumed his life. It’s all he talked about."
"I couldn’t even watch a movie with him because he would talk through the whole thing about how it relates to certain conspiracy theories…"
"I also could never enjoy my food. We would make a big dinner on Friday nights to start the weekend, we both had a long day at work... we’d sit down to finally eat and he’d pull out his phone and put on conspiracy videos, and he’d make me watch them sooo loudly while I ate. And he’d talk through all of them too."
"I could never tell him that I wasn’t interested or I just wanted to eat because he’d get mad. It ruined my whole meal... I think most people like to eat in peace.. also he’d spend hundreds of items he needed in case we ever got attacked by 'skin walkers'... Never again."
"They slurp when they drink or smack when they eat."
"Soup should be seen and not heard."
Same Names, Same Problems
"I will never date or f**k another Anthony ever again. I’ve dated or had a relationship with three different Anthonys at three different ages and they all turned out badly."
"I had a friend years back that had three bad boyfriends, one after the other, each more of a D-bag than the last. Each one was named Rob."
"When talking to her one night, having a few beers, she complained that she always attracts d**kheads and then she asked what she should do. So having had a drink or six, I just blurted out, 'Maybe don't date anymore Robs.'"
"Anyway, the next guy she dated was Steve... they got married."
Love for Animals
"My cat said hello to her and she didn't say hi back."
"I had a one-night stand kick my cat off of the bed. First, never ever have I kicked a cat. But I did kick that guy out of my house and my life. Instantly. GET THE F**K OUT. NOW."
"Not petty. If someone ignored my dog greeting them, I would be put off, too."
Unexpected Sleeping Arrangements
"He slept in those tiny no-show socks. Let me be clear, he didn't wear them any other time than when he went to bed."
"There were some other, more real, red flags, but when I saw him whip them out and put them on the second time we slept together, I legitimately thought to myself: 'Actually, I don't think I can fix this one.'"
"He wore the same shirt on both of our dates.
Get this, years later, I get into the elevator at work and he's there. IN THE SAME SHIRT."
"I wanted so badly to demand to know if he has multiples or just one! Or find out which department he was in and stalk him. Unfortunately, I had given in my two weeks and didn't work in that building often."
"If a woman has a horse in her dating profile, you will never be more important than that horse."
"(It may be petty, but it's backed up by personal experience)."
"Horse girls do really love their horses, so I believe you. And I can't blame you."
"Worst of all, if you break up with the girl you won't be able to see the horse again! Imagine how heartbreaking that would be."
Social Media Schemes
If they have emojis like their signs, or money signs, or airplanes, or some s**t like that in their bio. Just seems like some scammer or Ponzi scheme s**t."
"Wasn't me, but a female friend broke up with a guy because 'his allergies were a sign of weakness.'"
"Yeah, I responded the same way you did."
"My brother believes this about my allergies. He thinks I 'shoulda grown out of it by now.' Infuriating."
Finals Week Troubles
"Because her eye was twitching while we were talking to each other. I was a dumb freshman in college. This girl was super attractive and smart, and we got along great."
"For some unfathomable reason, this made me want to not talk to her again."
"Later it dawned on me that it was during finals and she was heavily caffeinated and that can be a side effect. She dodged a bullet because I was a complete dingleberry, lol (laughing out loud)."
"I briefly dated a young woman who was insanely out of my league. People stared when we went out."
"Anyway, her voice was like Minnie Mouse, and I just couldn't take it. I still feel bad about that one."
"Not me, but I had a friend who wouldn’t date this guy because he had one crooked tooth. He was the nicest guy truly a wonderful person. Like if I hadn’t been in a serious relationship I would’ve dated this guy."
"Fast forward, he meets a wonderful woman, and they get married, and my friend was all weird about it."
"I asked why and she said, 'Well, I thought he liked me enough to get his twisted tooth fixed.'"
"It was the silliest thing I’ve ever heard."
Preferred Facial Features
"I knew and almost dated a girl who talked out the side of her mouth. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to describe it, but that’s all I thought about when she spoke."
"Like, the front of her lips barely moved, and it was like a weird little smirk kinda thing when she spoke. I couldn’t get past it."
"Weird ick: people with big/wide mouths. Why can I see all of your teeth and the back of your throat while you’re talking? You don’t need to open it that much just because you can."
When one Redditor wanted to hear others' "petty" reasons for not wanting to date someone, their fellow Redditors really delivered. While some of these could simply be a matter of taste, like finding some facial features attractive where others do not, some of these, like allergies, are pretty, pretty petty.