People Debate Their All-Time Favorite Pasta Shapes
We all have strong opinions about something, but when we think of opinions, we often think of hot button topics like political subjects.
But as it turns out, sometimes we can have just as strong of opinions of our preferred types of pasta.
Redditor PeeB4uGoToBed asked:
"What's the best pasta shape and why?"
The Right Answer
"I prefer my pasta, like my nuggets, to be dinosaur-shaped."
"This is my true answer, but if I have to pretend to be an adult, I always say Cavatappi."
"Radiatori. Thick and perfect for pasta sauces."
"They're so fun. They're my favorite, ahead of rotini. I just like ridges, I guess."
"Best for mac and cheese."
"My first time having cavatappi mac and cheese changed my life."
"Cavatappi gang, RISE UP."
"I see your cavatappi and raise you cavatelli."
"Cavatelli is the bee's knees, man."
"The shell shape stores cheese and sauces, so with each bite, you get tons of flavor."
"Yes! Mac n cheese always tastes amazing with Conchiglie, I don't make the rules."
"Rigatoni. My favorite dish is baked rigatoni with bolognese. I love the texture of the ridges and the larger hollow part scoops up the sauce very well as compared to ziti or penne."
"Cascatelli. Some crazy f**k got obsessed with answering the OP's question and invented this."
"Cascatelli is great, but his second round of shapes, specifically vesuvio, might be better."
"Agreed. Vesuvio is peak."
"I prefer quattrotini. I find it has better forkability and toothsinkability."
"Fusilli because it's silly."
"Bucatini is the best of all worlds. You have everything that's great about the long noodles and it's hollow! It absorbs sauce and oil on the inside."
"I hate bucatini! You can't suck a protruding part into your mouth because of the hole in the middle. You can't pick it up with a fork, because it's too slippery with sauce."
"Penne... because the sauce is in AND on it, lol (laughing out loud)."
"The pasta that would literally drive me insane if I tried to make it from scratch."
"I came to say this. Just something about it. Amazing mouth feel. Great texture. Good with light and heavy, meaty sauces."
"This one. There’s something so nostalgic about it for me. And I feel like it does well with most sauces. A very versatile shape for a variety of pasta dishes."
"Linguine: the spaghetti that went to private school."
"I am totally on board with linguine. Flat to catch the sauce and thin enough to cook evenly for the perfect consistency! Pairs with many sauces too!"
"Flat pasta is better than round pasta (like spaghetti) for sauces and flavors being absorbed. It's long enough to give the lady and the tramp vibes and not feel like you're a kid eating some superhero shapes out of a bowl like Fusilli and Farfalle can give off."
"It's thicker than tagliatelle to give it enough girth to feel like more of a main event than just being the bed your sauce and toppings sit on."
"Overall, it's just the best all-rounder in my book."
This conversation just goes to show how many pasta options there actually are in the world, some that we may have not even heard of yet, because of them being invented in 2020!
But it also goes to show that we all have our favorites, and we can have very strong opinions about them.
Reddit user whitneywestmoreland asked: 'What’s something that happened on a first date that made you decide against a second date?'
Dating is complicated, because it can be really awkward, but if we want to find a partner, it's an activity we just kind of have to do.
The most frustrating thing about it, though, is that everything can seem to be going fine... until it isn't. The date is going well, the person we're with is charming, we're having a nice time together, but then a dealbreaker makes an unfortunate appearance.
Redditor whitneywestmoreland asked:
"What's something that happened on a first date that made you decide against a second date?"
Not Wowing Enough
"The date felt more like a job interview to fill a position, rather than an actual date. He gave off a vibe of someone who wasn't into getting to know me as a person, but just listed his wants and needs."
"So at the end of the date, he asked how I thought it went, and I said I didn't feel a click or a match."
"And he said yeah and that he was missing that 'wow factor.'"
"So I laughed my a** off (slightly offended) on the car ride home. Gosh, I had no idea I was auditioning for a contest."
"I was happy we only went for drinks, but even that felt a bit too long."
Not As Attractive As One Might Think
"He threw a temper tantrum because the restaurant he wanted to go to was closed due to the tropical storm that was going on."
"It's sad because I was having a great time walking around Manhattan while the storm raged. I had every intention of going home with him until he had that tantrum."
Let the Past Go
"I took her to dinner and then took her to a late-night car meet. Upon arriving at the meet, she started s**t with several other girls she had beef with in high school... and hasn’t talked to since high school."
"We were well into our 20s. She was even older than me."
"I don’t get how some people make high school beef their entire personality for years."
Different Senses of Humor
"We went to her place to watch movies and we chose 'Kung Fu Panda 2.' From the moment it began, she proceeded to cackle at every single joke. Anything that could even be perceived as mildly funny set her off like the Wicked Witch of the West."
"I know some people have interesting laughs and that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't constant from beginning to end."
"After that, she put on 'Iron Man,' and the same thing happened, witch cackling the entire movie."
"There's a point in the movie where a character's phone goes off, and the ringtone is an old 'Iron Man' theme, which made me chuckle."
"She turned to me and said, 'You laugh at all the weirdest parts!'"
"The second the movie was over, I got out of there and did not see her again."
Quite the Conversationalist
"He said nothing. I get he was nervous but I was engaging. I asked questions that should have led to at least a few sentences of conversation, but no, one-word answers only."
"It was dinner and a movie so our only opportunity to talk was dinner. It was like pulling teeth. No thanks, no second date."
Ready to Settle Down
"She kept talking about the 'emergency d**k' she had stashed around the city."
"She was like, 'I've been really busy with [grad] school, but I don't go without. I have plenty of emergency d**k around town.'"
"And when I say she kept going on, I mean she KEPT GOING ON. She was telling me about the two guys downtown, three in the suburbs, one near campus, and two in her apartment complex."
"It honestly sounded like I was new to town and she was giving me a rundown of all the best places to visit."
"It was just weird."
"She also said she was looking to settle down into a relationship (whereas she had only been in situationships before). She also said she had a 'virgin heart.'"
"I really want to know what she hoped to accomplish by sharing all that with him."
"Clearly, she expected him to be impressed in some way."
"It sounds like she wanted him to be her everyday d**k and take her heart virginity!"
In It For the Food
"I went on a date with a woman from the office. I thought we had good chemistry and got along well."
"Later in the date, she couldn't find her phone, so I tried calling it, and someone from the restaurant where we'd had dinner answered."
"I went back in for her to get it, and the waiter showed me I was saved in her contacts as 'Free Food.'"
A Terrible Tipper
"He insisted on paying for our dinner instead of going Dutch, and then he totally stiffed the server."
"I tried to leave a tip and he got p**sed at me because he was paying and it was his decision to tip or not."
Yeah, That... That Would Do It
"He just kept making a weird amount of jokes about tapeworms?"
"Also, this happened while we were eating sushi, just in case anyone was wondering."
Too Close to Home
"This happened to my sister, but she found out the guy had the same uncommon last name as her."
"Then when she asked where he was from, it was the same small town that our great grandparents are from."
"They awkwardly laughed and just immediately ended the date."
A Lot to Take In At Once
"She told me that aliens cause jet lag and that I have the ghost of a fisherman following me around named Samuel (on top of the 20 other bats**t things she said at dinner)."
"This was last night, and I'm still processing."
Disrespectful From the Very Beginning
"Very recently, a woman asked me when I would get a real career."
"I love what I do. I'm a union stagehand in a major entertainment city. I have been in my industry for over 20 years, toured the country, toured the world, and make a comfortable living."
"Yeah, no. That's pretty demeaning and I'm out."
Sixth Grade Gossip Vibes
"She kept writing to her friends on WhatsApp a play-by-play of the date instead of listening to me, so I stood up, paid my dinner, and left because I found it disrespectful as f**k."
An Accidental Affair
"I went to dinner with a girl who I'd been crushing on for quite some time. It seemed to be going well, and we ended up back at her place, watching a movie or something."
"Out of nowhere, her boyfriend (of whom I was not aware) came back from out of town and stopped in unexpectedly."
"He and I had a super awkward conversation for a few minutes, and then the two of them disappeared into another room for a minute or two."
"She came back and said something to the effect of, 'I don't have a place for you. I'm sorry.'"
"I just kind of got in my car and drove home, with one of the strangest feelings that I'd ever felt."
"At some point, a few minutes into the journey, I couldn't contain myself and busted out laughing."
We can absolutely understand why these would be causes for no second date. From awkward to straight-up creepy, these don't feel like scenarios that we'd willingly sign up for twice.
These Redditors went on the worst first dates imaginable, and they lived to tell the tales. Read on, if you dare.
It Was Just Like In The Moviescouple dining outPhoto by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash
A guy I’d been friends with for a couple of years asked me out. We knew each other, so we should have been able to have a fairly normal night out—but no. We met at a restaurant and sat at the bar. He ordered all meat appetizers despite me being a vegetarian and said, "You can eat this or go hungry". I ordered my own food.
Die Hard was just starting to play on the TV and he asked me if I liked it. I admitted that I had never seen Die Hard and he proceeded to describe the entire movie in real time. I am not exaggerating. I was not allowed to speak while he explained every single detail of the movie while the movie was playing silently on the bar TV.
I’d had too much to drink to leave early and drive home, so I just sat there and endured his two hour monologue while I slowly sobered up. When the movie finally, mercifully, finished, he asked the bartender for his check and said, "I’m not paying for her, though". The bartender brought his check and then told me I didn’t owe anything.
After my date left, the bartender said it was one of the most painful things he’d ever witnessed and apparently he and some of the servers had been placing bets about how long this guy would actually talk about Die Hard. I’m just glad I had a witness because it was so ridiculous. There was no second date and he literally never talked to me again.
She Couldn’t Hide
This red flag came up before we even went on our first date. So, I met this guy on a dating site and he asked me on a date and I agreed. Later, I got a call from work saying a package had been delivered. It was a huge bouquet of flowers. I was so confused. I asked him if he had sent them and he said, "I did! You said you had a bad day last Friday, so I wanted to make this Friday a good one for you".
Normally, I would absolutely love this gesture and be over the moon with this. But there was one glaring problem: I never told him where I worked, and I had told him I lived in a large city an hour away to be on the safe side. So, not only did he find my true town, but also found out where I had worked. This was an instant red flag and made me terrified.
She Wasn’t Exactly Daddy’s Little Girl
This woman and I sat down to dinner and within ten minutes she brought up how her father felt sorry for any guy that dated her. She continued for the next hour telling me about all the ways her father criticized her for playing games, and treating men poorly. I really didn’t get much of a word in.
After we left the restaurant, I drove her straight back home, while she continued talking the entire time. When she realized I’d stopped in her driveway, she asked me if she had said something wrong. I had to be totally honest with her. I said: "Yes, about two hours of wrong for me. Have a good night". And drove straight home.
They Met By Accidentwoman prayingPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash
This is what I knew about him before our first date: he had tragically lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. I also knew that he usually wore a prosthetic but at this time he was using a wheelchair. He said this was because he had recently had surgery in his leg. All that was fine, and I offered to pick him up in my car.
We went out for breakfast and everything seemed fine, there were no major issues with him. When it came time to pay, his card was declined. He called his dad—who was also his boss—to figure out why his paycheck hadn’t been deposited. This conversation went back and forth, and I ended up paying and he promised to pay me back. It totally wasn’t a big deal, it happens, I get it.
So, we got back to my car, which is a RAV4. He said that the last time he was around a RAV4, it was when his motorcycle accident happened. He’d hit into one that was pulling out of a restaurant and that’s when he lost his leg. For some reason, that triggered a memory of a conversation I had with my mom a while back about my aunt who had the same car which was totaled during an accident.
Later, I was texting him and asked him a few more questions about the accident, where it happened, and such. Long story short, it was my aunt who was driving the car that pulled out of the restaurant, which he crashed into. He was currently in the process of suing her because of it. This was despite the fact that he was going almost double the speed limit at the time and didn’t even have his license.
Needless to say, there was no second date. He never did pay me back for breakfast.
Mother Knows Best
I went on a date with a Korean-American guy in college, and it was really lovely. Lovely until his mother called during our coffee date. She asked him what my name was and he told her my first and last name. He suddenly got a sad look on his face and stood up, apologizing profusely for wasting my time. His reasonblew me away.
He said: "I am so sorry, I should have had her look you up before the date". I was super confused. And asked him what he was talking about. Apparently he didn't realize my name was Japanese-American. The thing is, I am half-Japanese and don’t really look it. His mother had taken my name and found me on Facebook. There was a pic of me and my family at the Obon Festival hosted by the Buddhist temple and Japanese-American society in my city.
So, he left the date because his mommy told him he couldn't date a Japanese girl.
He Knew What She Wanted
I was at a restaurant on a first date and the guy had been to the restaurant before and made some recommendations about what to order. I wasn’t really feeling what he was suggesting, so I ordered something else. The guy then grabbed the waitress as she tried to walk away, and told her what I would have and, believe me, it wasn’t what I wanted.
It didn't even occur to him that she wouldn't listen or that I'd be angry. I got up and walked right out of the restaurant.
She Washed Her Hands Of Himperson holding clear plastic bottlePhoto by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash
So, when I was in college, I met this guy at a work function. We also had mutual friends. The guy took me to a restaurant and before eating I pulled out a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use. He asked me why I used sanitizer. I thought the answer was obvious: to clean my hands. But when I told him that, he started explaining why hand cleaning was unnecessary.
He actually said that, in addition to not using hand sanitizer, he didn’t believe in washing his hands after going to the bathroom. He said it was fine as long as toilet paper was used effectively. He said all of this while licking his fingers and digging into a shared basket of appetizers. I was disgusted and stopped eating at that point. Not another bite!
He Hoped The Party Was Over
So, I show up for my first date with this guy and the first thing that I notice is that he’s brought his two year old along on our date. He then informed me he would be okay with me going out and partying for maybe one more year to "get it out of my system", but after that he expected me to settle down. He then went on a strange rant for my benefit.
He talked about how important it is for women to "have their fun" before becoming moms, so they are ready to be homemakers. I was 19 and also was not aware he even had a kid beforehand. Obviously, there was no second date. I recently looked the guy up on Facebook. He’s now on his third marriage. Hopefully, this wife got all of her "partying" out of her system.
Something Fishy About This Guy
It was our first date and he and I were sharing a plate of raw fish. We both ate more of the salmon and it was running low. He then ordered me—in a rude way—to eat only white fish now. I did and was laughing, because I wasn't sure if it was a joke. After five pieces of white fish, I went back to the salmon, and he got annoyed and asked me why I’d done that.
He repeated that I should stick to eating the other type of fish with no explanation. He also ordered me to eat certain side dishes throughout the meal and I politely declined. After that, I made no effort to keep the conversation that—to be honest—had already been a bit awkward before this whole fish thing.
He seemed unsure how to fix the situation, and I kept my bad mood until I left. Just…why? Why did he do that?
He Was Honestly Quite Scarytwo bullet surveillance cameras attached on wallPhoto by Scott Webb on Unsplash
It was our first date and we met up at his place because he was making dinner for me. We were chatting on the couch when he stood up to excuse himself to the restroom. As he was walking away, he turned and mentioned that there were cameras all over his home, so "don’t take anything". I guessed this was a joke, but what he did next sent chills down my spine.
He pointed to a stack of papers on an end table. "I believe in honesty. That’s my arrest record. Everything is right there". He went on his way. I considered leaving right then, but didn’t. I did pick up that stack of papers. It was a shocker. His arrest record was several pages long and spanned three states. Most of the arrests were for domestic assault. There were also some minor drug charges.
He returned and, thank God, my phone rang. I answered it even though I didn’t recognize the number. I actually had no idea who it was. I made it sound like it was one of my daughters and she needed to be picked up from somewhere immediately. I’ll never know who was actually on the other end of that call, but I left this guy’s home and never looked back.
He Made A Pit Stop
I was probably about 19 or 20 years old and incredibly naive at the time. I had known him for a few weeks, and we decided to go out on a dinner date. We were on our way to dinner—I was driving—and he wanted to stop to make a return at GameStop. I thought, "Yeah okay, no problem. I’m in no rush". But then he was in there for a long time, and I was getting kind of nervous. I should have paid attention to those nerves because trouble was headed my way.
When he finally comes back to my car, an officer comes out of nowhere and taps on my passenger window. The officer asked him for his driver’s license and went to run it. I asked my date what he thought was going on. This guy explains to me that he has some unpaid parking tickets. But the situation gets worse than that when another car pulls up and another officer gets out. He comes to my side of the car and pulls me out of the car and starts interrogating me.
The officer asking me questions assumes I’m in on whatever my date has done. Then I turn around to see—to my horror—my date getting pulled out of the car and cuffed. I was so shocked and now I was worried about myself. Would the officers believe that I wasn’t involved? I guess I looked legit surprised, so they started acting really nice to me. I was basically being honest and cooperative, and they could tell I had absolutely no clue what was going on. So, they let me go home.
I had no idea why all this had happened until much later. I looked at our local prison intake website and it turns out while I was waiting in the car, he’d shoplifted $500 worth of stuff from GameStop. He also had like three outstanding warrants for assault charges. Wow, I often imagine what could have happened if all this hadn’t gone down.
He Didn’t Get It
I went on a date once and the guy was talking about his ex-girlfriend the entire time. Then, it got worse. He actually took a call from her when we were waiting for our food to arrive. And when he was done, as a joke, I asked if he wanted to call her back and invite her to join us. He said no because she'd have to bring her kid! That joke went whoosh right over his dense head.
Nothing Compares To Youwoman carrying babyPhoto by Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash
I went on a date with a guy who called himself a mama’s boy. I didn’t take that very seriously at the time, but I did later on in the date. He actually said that no woman would ever compare to his mother. Obviously, there was no second date, and despite how many times I turned him down and said I wasn’t interested, he kept calling and texting me for two years until I changed my number.
He Was Looking For A Replacement
I once met up with a guy from Tinder and I thought the date was going pretty well. After talking for a bit and having a coffee, he asked me if I wanted to meet his kid. I felt totally put on the spot and although I was clearly uncomfortable. I panicked and said I would. We went back to his place and I met the kid, she was actually pretty cool.
When he sent her off to bed, he proceeded to tell me that the mother of his child had randomly passed in their kitchen one day, and now his kid didn’t have a mom. I looked around his place and there were pictures of the deceased mom everywhere. I felt uncomfortable and I told him it was getting late, and I was going to get going.
Before I left, he asked if he could stroke my stomach and pinch my backside. It was a very specific and super odd request. I said no. The next day he sent me a text asking me if I would babysit his kid. Not even asking me on a second date…just asking for child care.
Not Even On Pizza?
I went out with a guy who was in his mid-20s. He told me a lot about himself that night, but one thing really sticks out to me. He told me he had never tried cheese. Not in his whole life. Not once. He wasn’t a vegan or anything like that. I had such a hard time believing him and realized I could never trust him. It’s been 10 years and it still bothers me.
He Was A Serial Datersurprised womanPhoto by June O on Unsplash
I met a guy on an app and, after we chatted for a while, we met up for drinks. Just to make small talk, I asked him about his Dexter tattoo. He actually had Michael C. Hall’s face on his shoulder. He said that what he liked most about Dexter was that he hid his true identity. There was an eerie silence after he said that.
Needless to say, I never saw him again.
He Was Literally Awful
So, I live in San Francisco and I went on a date with a guy years ago. We went to an art show together, which I thought was a nice change from going to a bar or restaurant. After the art show, we were walking in a park and talking and he did something that really shocked me: he littered. I said something like, "Oh there’s a trash can right over there". He just chuckled and said, "So what?"
I never saw that guy again.
He Expected Her To Pay
This guy I knew through a mutual friend kept asking if he could take me for dinner. I always politely turned him down because I'd just come out of a relationship and wasn't looking to jump into another. My friend convinced me that I should "try and get back out there and enjoy myself". The next time I ran into him, he asked if he could take me out again, so I relented and agreed.
The date went fine for the most part. There were a few awkward moments here and there but nothing that made me want to call it a night. Then, we got to the bill. He paid on his card and then told me, "Don't worry, I've got you covered. You can pay me back for your half when we get back to my place". He then made a winking gesture at me.
Needless to say, he made the journey back to his place alone and there was no second date.
Red Flag, Red Flag, Red Flagwomen's yellow overallPhoto by Joseph Frank on Unsplash
This all happened during our first—and, thankfully, only—date. It literally kept getting worse, one thing after the other. When they brought the food, he immediately asked them to remake it, as it wasn’t cooked exactly how he wanted. When he got his second meal, he sent that one back as well and just ordered something else. This was the first red flag.
While we were eating, his phone suddenly lit up. I saw on the screen a picture of two young girls. So, I asked him if they were his nieces. Nope. He said they were his two daughters. One was two and the other was four years old. Funny, he’d never mentioned before that he was a father—even when I’d asked him directly. Red flag number two.
He then told me he still lives with his baby mama—who was his ex—and has no near plan of them living apart. Oh, and worse still, they live in his parents basement. He then randomly started talking about how much he hates the left wing because it doesn't favor white men like himself. These were red flags three and four. And the worst was yet to come.
He then proceeded to talk about how immigrants are ruining this country. If that wasn't bad enough, I'm middle Eastern and my parents are immigrants. This was definitely a huge red flag. We talked about traveling and he very nonchalantly said, "you probably have to leave so much earlier to the airport because of security eh?" This was a backhanded lowkey prejudiced type of red flag.
At that point the red flags turned into checkered flags telling me to end it and leave. So without any further responses from me, I grabbed my coat, thanked him for the free meal, and walked out.
Not An Animal Lover
I was on a date with this seemingly nice woman. We were just getting to know each other, and I mentioned that I had a dog. She showed some interest and asked me what kind of dog I had. I told her it was a Siberian Husky and that I loved her very much. Her response was this: "Oh! A big dog! At least she’ll die young, so you can get a puppy again soon!"
She Was A Real Doll
I was 24 years old and he came to the door to pick me up. I immediately noticed that he was carrying something and it wasn’t the expected flowers. It was a Bratz doll. An actual Bratz doll in the box, brand new. He actually went to the store and made a conscious decision to buy it for 24-year-old me. He told me he thought I’d like it. Did he want me to act younger? I don’t know, but he creeped me out.
The day after, he kept calling while I was at the grocery store, and I don’t like to talk on the phone while I’m shopping. I called him back, which may have been stupid. He asked why I was ignoring his calls. I told him the truth: that I had been shopping and I preferred to be able to interact with the people I needed to speak to—like the deli person or whoever—without being on the phone.
He immediately got upset and was mad and sad about how it wasn’t fair that the grocery store workers got that much of my time and attention, but he didn’t. That was the end of that.
Creepy And Shallowwoman on top of the building photoPhoto by Spencer Backman on Unsplash
I was on a date with a guy, and he immediately started making multiple comments about my appearance. To be fair, they were positive. The thing was that he delivered the comments in a very creepy and shallow way. He said things like: "I bet you look at the mirror and just think, 'wow, I’m hot'". And, "If I were you, I’d check myself out all the time".
He then told me about how he was taken in by officers in front of his old apartment and then evicted. After I told him I did not wish to go on a second date, his response was: "Okay, but first, I really want to take you to bed". This was a first date and I was 19 years old!
She Booked It
Someone I met through social media asked me out. We had a ton of friends in common, so I wasn’t too worried that he’d be a creep. We decided to meet at Barnes & Noble so we could get coffee and pick out books. We are both avid readers, so it sounded like a good place for a first date. He was crazy attractive and smart, and he seemed really into me. I was super excited.
So, we get there and within the first three minutes, he asks to kiss me. I agreed and it was….Wow. Instant fireworks. All the tingly feelings. We keep talking and things are going great, but then he proceeded to keep getting continuously more handsy. He was grabbing my backside, brushing the side of my chest while his arm was around me, pulling me by my hips into him.
All those things are great once you’re a little comfortable with someone, but not at the beginning of a first date. He kept only wanting to make out, and wasn’t accepting my brush-offs. So, 10 to 20 minutes in, I was starting to feel a little icky and kept saying: "Let’s just keep getting to know each other". He said something like, "I want to get to know you, but in the bathroom".
Honestly, that remark can be taken so many ways, but none of them are good. A pickup line involving the word bathroom makes me want to vomit. Eventually, I said I had to get going to work. He tried to convince me to quit my job and stay with him for the day. He told me we could go back to his place. When he said something along the line of "once we get married, you won’t need to work anymore anyway", I was out.
Nope, no, thank you. I told him it wasn’t going to work. He got super angry at me for "wasting his time" and bolted. By the time I got to my car, he had already deleted me from all social media. I’m still not really sure if he was angry that I didn’t want to do it with him in the Barnes & Noble bathroom, didn’t want to marry him, or if it was because I had a job. Maybe all three. Or maybe just because he was a moron.
Nothing To Think About
This first date was with a cell phone tower tech. He showed up for our date in an old, worn out—and sweaty—T-shirt. The guy immediately decided he could psychoanalyze me. He told me that I was afraid of men, despite me meeting him in a state park. He also told me he's tired of having steak dinners and ice cream and still not getting a relationship out of it.
He actually said that from now on, he was going to take his dates to the bedroom first—not an expensive restaurant. He told me that I had a lot to think about, and he would give me time. Nope, dude, I didn't have to think it over at all. Then, he told me his wife passed six weeks before our date—just six weeks! How did this guy get so jaded about dating in just a month and a half?
He asked if he could call me. I said "yes", but really I was thinking: "You can call, but I'm not going to answer".
He Didn’t Exactly Bowl Her Overperson in black pants and brown shoes sitting on glass ballPhoto by David Iannace on Unsplash
I was planning a first date with this guy a few years ago, and he suggested bowling. I said it was fine, but that I'd done it once a few years prior, and I was legitimately terrible at it. He offered to teach me, but I said another time. I just wanted to get to know him in a relaxed environment. He suggested we still bowl—minus the lessons—and he could also share in the hilarity of my lack of skill. I was down for it.
I arrived at the alley, and things went downhill fast. The lessons started almost immediately. He told me how to stand, where to stand, and pointed out everything I was doing wrong. He told me I wasn’t taking it seriously, and added this zinger: "I’m trying to teach you for your own good". While he taught me, he never smiled—except when he saw me at the start. I told him this was not the fun, chill night I said I was looking for, and he told me it would be if I took the game more seriously. He was actually angry about the whole night.
It’s Been A Slice
The setting of this first date was a pizza restaurant. I knew I was in for a bad date when the guy had the audacity to order for both of us. The pizza arrived, and he served me a single tiny slice of wood fired pizza that did not come close to filling me up. He then—before I could ask for a second slice—packed up the pizza and put it in the back of his car.
I excused myself to call a friend to come pick me up, because I absolutely would not let this man know where I lived. It's been almost two years, and I'm still angry about not having more of that pizza.
She Over Shared
On our first date, the woman opens her laptop and shows me a video of her giving "natural childbirth" in a pool with her ex-partner. She was full spread eagle, and it’s a closeup shot. I could see the crowning head pushing through and everything. Then, the now seven-year-old kid comes out to watch and is like, "Oh, I love this video!"
In other words, I’m not the first guy she’s made watch this. No second date.
A Real Mess In Aisle Threea woman holding her head in her handsPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash
I met a stranger at the grocery store, and he asked me out for dinner. Dinner didn't go very well, mostly because he spent most of the date insulting me for being a vegetarian. At the end of the night, when we were walking back to our cars and saying bye, he asked if he could have a kiss. I said no. He asked again. I said no again.
He then said, "How about a peck on the cheek?" Just to get rid of him, I go to do that. The guy fully turns his head and kisses me right on the mouth. This was the one thing I had told him I didn’t want. I definitely knew there would be no second date after that. I ignored all future texts. His last one said: "Why does this always happen to me?"
He Came To Save The Day
There was one date that stands out as the worst of all, but in retrospect it's kind of funny. I met this guy online and we had a few conversations before deciding to meet up. He seemed nice and normal, but when he showed up to the date he was wearing a full-on costume. He had dressed up as a superhero, complete with a mask and a cape. I was completely caught off guard and didn't know how to react. I tried to go along with it and make the best of it, but it was just too weird. I never saw him again, and I don't think I ever will.
She Never Asked
I remember I went out on two dates with a girl when I was in my late 30s. She didn't ask me anything during both dates. She's very expressive and loves to talk. Even during texts she'd send hilarious memes and emojis that matched our conversation. But during dates, she wouldn't ask me a thing about me. That was a red flag that I should have acted on.
She loved talking about herself. There was never a "How are you", or "How was your day", or even "How was work?" Sure enough, when I said I didn't want to pursue her, and that we should just keep it as friends, she blew up at me and called me all sorts of names. One of which was "loser". She also said, "You jerk, I deserve better than you".
I remember just looking at her stunned and thinking this girl had some serious internal issues. I told her that she deserves someone better than me, because I for sure would not be able to handle what just happened. I told her she was overreacting because she's not losing anything, but that she would have an opportunity to meet someone else.
She then started blaming me for things I've never done. Like, "You're selfish, you only think about yourself! You never think about me! It's always about what you want to do!"
I told her, "You're talking to me like we were dating each other for two years! We only knew each other for two weeks!" I felt sorry for her, considering that she seemed like she had some emotional hurt that wasn't resolved from her previous relationship.
She Was A Little Crazyman jumping in front of woman standing on fieldPhoto by Randy Rooibaatjie on Unsplash
I was meeting up with a woman I’d met online. Of course you always wonder if they’ll match their picture. Well, imagine my surprise when a woman who’s eight months pregnant shows up. A fact that all pictures and conversations had somehow managed to omit. We still went out because I wasn't about to dump a single, pregnant woman, but I really should have.
It turned out she was an off-her-meds, extremely depressed pregnant woman with suicidal ideation who proclaimed her undying and eternal love for me by hour one. And just a fun little side note: she was kind of short and so was her dad, who I did get to meet. Their house was on a farm and the whole thing was built to their height. I'm pretty tall and I felt like Gandalf visiting Bilbo.
Three Strikes He’s Out
I was on a first date and I told the guy I was working in the field of statistics. He quickly started talking about how that’s all pointless and meaningless. Um, that’s my profession we’re talking about. Later on, he asked how old my cats were, and I answered that they were 10 and 11. His reply? He said, statistically speaking, "they're going to die soon".
At some point during the date, I think it was while we were walking to the car, he blew out a nose full of snot. The guy didn't even ask if I had a tissue, he just turned around, blew it out, and kept talking as if nothing happened. He actually sounded surprised when I told him I didn't feel a good connection with him.
This Little Fiesta Went Siesta
This was a summer date and it was super muggy out. We got tea and he wanted to sit outside in the sun. He kept going on about engineering and couldn’t take the cue that I wasn’t that interested. The next thing I knew, I had dozed off. I have no idea how long I’d slept for, but I was sweaty and warm and bored. The weird thing is that he kept talking while I napped.
He Wanted The Full Packageman wearing black crew-neck shirtPhoto by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
I had met this guy on a dating app and agreed to meet him in a public park. The guy was an unemployed ex-serviceman and clearly had some mental issues, which weren’t super apparent when texting. As soon as we sat down to chat, he told me about his current terrible living situation and asked if he could move in with me and my kids. He offered to watch them for me while I worked.
I said this wasn’t a great idea and that's when he showed his true colors. He got so mad. I tried to explain and said that I didn’t really know him and we had just met. I was so annoyed that he even thought that it was okay to ask as I’m a very protective mom. The whole time he was very pushy and upset when I wasn’t just going along with whatever plans he already had in his head for us.
Near the end of the meeting, he could tell things weren’t going in his favor and asked if I had intentions of even dating him. I told him outright, "no". He again got mad and just left. Not long after that, I got a message from him saying he’d spent expensive gas coming to meet me, and I could have at least done it with him. Charming. Apparently, I owed him something since I wouldn’t provide him with shelter and financial support.
She Walked Away With It
This woman and I were having a great first date and ended up getting a little tipsy together and singing karaoke. She tricked me into showing her a ring I had inherited from my family. Somehow, being inebriated and merry, I completely messed up and did not realize she had kept the ring. She then made a fast excuse—like she needed to go get something or something—and left with the ring.
It turns out she lied about everything, even that she was from my city. I’ve never seen her—or my ring—since.
The Spy Who Loved Her
On our first date, he told me he was in med school, at the university in the town we lived in. This was a red flag as I knew there was no med school at the local university. I thought perhaps he was taking his pre-med classes or something, so I agreed to go on a second date. On this date, he spent an hour telling me how, when he’d finished with his army service, he had worked as a contractor for the army doing "spy" work in Iraq. He added ominously,"If only you knew the things I’d done!"
During the second date, we had to stop by his apartment to pick something up. While we were there, I noticed all his mail was in a different name than the one that he had given me. This made me super nervous, so I "magically" got a text from my work. I told him there was an emergency and I had to go immediately into work and handle it.
After I told him there wouldn’t be a third date, he got spooky angry. I hoped I would never see him again, but then the worst thing happened: I caught him in the bushes outside my apartment. This happened several times, so I eventually had to get a restraining order in the name he gave me. After that, I never saw him again! Thank God!
It Wasn’t A Good Fitperson walking while carrying a camera and paper bagsPhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
She wanted to have our first date at a shipping mall—which I thought was weird. When we met at the mall, she had her toddler with her. I have kids too, so I got it, but a heads up would have been nice. She told me that she wanted to shop for an outfit for her kid because she was doing a Christmas card family portrait later that week.
It was a bit uncomfortable, but hanging out shopping? Sure, why not. Then, she started holding up clothes to me and I stood back and asked her why. She said it was because I was "about the same size" as her ex and he was going to be in the portrait too. She then asked if I would try things on so she'd know how they would look on her ex. I took the clothes and walked off to "find the fitting room". Instead of finding the fitting room, I found my car instead.
I was very glad we drove separately, and I wasn't leaving her stranded.
He Had A Killer Sense Of Humor
I went on a Tinder date a few years ago. He made multiple creepy comments along the lines of "you know, you really shouldn’t just meet guys off Tinder. What if I was planning to kill you?" and kept trying to play it off as a joke. After the fourth time making that "joke", I started to feel really uneasy. It didn’t help that he was also just an unpleasant person to be around in general.
So, I texted my friend to call me with a made up emergency, so that I had an excuse to leave. He dropped me off at her house, and I thought it was all good. But that's when things took a frightening turn. He got out of the car and walked right into the house. At this point my friend told him he needed to leave. He said, "Alright, fine, I’ll leave", and then just continued to stand there staring at us.
We then asked him again to leave. He said he’d leave but he wanted me to walk him to his car. Obviously, this dude was acting super bizarre, and I was scared if I didn't just go along with what he said that he might lash out. So, stupidly, I said I’d walk him to his car. So, we went outside and got to the car and then he just stood and stared at me again.
I said bye and then quickly started to walk towards the house. All of a sudden, he very angrily demanded that I hug him. At that point I literally just turned around and ran into the house and locked the door. The guy sat in the car outside for like 10 minutes texting me super angry stuff about how he won’t leave until I give him a hug and a kiss.
After getting no response from me whatsoever he finally left. So, yeah I guess you could say that was a bit of a red flag.
It Was Bad From Five Minutes In
I was married for nine years and then got a divorce. I wasn't really ready to start dating, but some friends convinced me to. My first date after nine years was a complete disaster. We met at a restaurant and five minutes, in she told me she ate a sandwich in the car because she wasn't sure I would be able to pay for both drinks and food.
Seven minutes into the date, she advised me that food service was a good field because they rarely look at people's records—even after what that lying boss of hers at Little Caesars said about her. Fifteen minutes into the date, she told me that I didn't need to worry about her around my kids because she’d never be inebriated around them. She felt compelled to add that she might be buzzed around them but never full-on inebriated.
Twenty minutes into the date, she said she liked me because I looked clean. With the last guy she was with, she had hurt her ankle by slipping on some pizza he had on his bedroom floor when they went to get it on together. The pizza on the floor, however, didn’t dissuade her from doing the deed. Despite the urging—nay, pleading—of all my friends, we did not go out again.
She Only Got A Hugwoman holding starbucks disposable cup and smartphonePhoto by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
So, I went on a date with a woman who spent most of her time on her phone. At one point, I even stopped mid sentence to see if she'd notice. She did not. She didn't have any money, so I was buying all the drinks. Then, it just got worse. She started asking me if I wanted to buy some ketamine with her. To top it off, she called her dealer right in front of me.
I put on my coat and started to leave, and she started crying. We talked briefly, and I gave her a big hug and asked if there was anything she needed. She replied with: "Maybe a tenner?" I walked straight out of there. Later, she texted me, asking to see me again. There was absolutely no way I was going to see this woman again.
She Had It Down To An Art
I went on a date with a girl who worked at a well known local art museum. She talked about art in the most technical, plain, boring, dry terms imaginable, and I could barely follow along. I asked questions, and she made me feel like an idiot. I tried to talk about art—which, incidentally, I love—and was again treated like an idiot. Needless to say, there was no second date.
She Waited Six Minutes
I was on a date with a woman and it was only six minutes in when she asked me how much I earned. When I asked why that was relevant, she said she had no intention of working once married, so she wasn't going to waste her time with someone earning less than X amount. I’ve now forgotten the amount she gave, but I remember it being very high, and nowhere close to what I was earning at the time.
I said, "I don't think this is going to work, then". She sighed and said I was another broke loser who thought I could get girls when I wasn't prepared to support them. I noped out of there.
He Had A Temperman in red carPhoto by Mubariz Mehdizadeh on Unsplash
I once went out on a date with a guy who I’d met on gay.com. He asked to pick me up, which was fine. He picked me up and proceeded to road rage at absolutely everyone for any reason whatsoever. At one point, his head was out the window screaming profanities at an innocent family in a van, who had not even slightly cut him off. I was so scared.
He Loved Radio
So, my date came in, and first thing off the bat said he recognized me from my acne scars. They’re not that bad, in fact, they're very minor. We moved to a coffee shop and halfway through coffee arriving, suddenly, he just jumped out the window. It was a low, large window, so this was pretty easily done. Once he landed on the sidewalk, he legged it up the street.
I sat there in literal disbelief for ages unsure if I should pay the coffee tab or what even happened. He eventually came back. Apparently, he’d recognized his favorite D-grade radio celebrity walking past and just had to go and tell them how much he loves them. He was raving about how exciting this was while I sat there dumbfounded.
I started talking to a guy over Facebook Messenger who was a tattoo artist about to open up his own shop. He invited me to come chill at the shop while setting stuff up. I hadn't even been there five or 10 minutes when he started questioning if I told anyone I was there, or where I was going. And if this wasn’t weird enough, it was about to get weirder.
He started asking what tattoos I wanted next and offered to give me a free tattoo right then. And then he tells me that if I'll be his girlfriend, he'll give me all my tattoos for free. I came up with an excuse to dip out fast. It was so bizarre, this dude was a seriously good tattoo artist. I kind of kick myself for not getting the free ink when I had the chance. He was pretty attractive, too. If he had not acted like a creep straight off the bat, he would've had a very decent chance of scoring.
On A Scale from One To Ten: You Suckblack haired man making facePhoto by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash
There was a guy who I was considering hooking up with. That is, until he said the following: he told me over and over again that I was a solid 7.5 out 10—at best. He said this was okay because most guys lower their standards as they are typically only requiring a six and above for marriage potential. Yeah, I was done after I found out he wasn't joking.
I was on a first date with a guy, and things were going okay. I went to the bar to get another drink, and the bartender wrote a CD recommendation on a piece of paper for me. When I got back to our table, my date said, "Did you just give that guy your number?" I was shocked and told him, "no", and that I’d just swapped music recommendations with him.
The guy got super angry and said that he was going to knock the bartender’s block off. I couldn’t help but make a comment about this guy’s bad temper. He agreed with me and told me about a time he got so angry while in traffic that punched his fist through the windscreen. He had scars to prove it. That was a big nope.
He Didn’t Just Lose His Shirt
I went out with a girl, we hit it off well to the point that things heated up and I spent the night at her place. The next morning, I awoke to an embarrassing surprise: all of my clothes were missing and so was she. It turns out, she had taken all of my clothes, including my underwear, with her to work. So, what could I do? I had no clothes and no way to leave her house.
So, I waited for her to come home from work. To her credit, she had cleaned and pressed my clothes as she worked at a dry cleaner. They were just jeans, a button up shirt, trench coat and underwear—but I appreciated the effort. She also replaced a broken button and a tear in the shoulder on my London Fog trench overcoat. This was also very nice and kind.
I was grateful for her efforts, but still put off that I had waited 10 hours for her to get home since I had to essentially stay in bed under the covers. In my mind there would be no second date. She was, however, my friend's friend, so I did see her from time to time when we went out, but I never went back out on an official date with her again.
Her Dance Card Was Fulla couple of people that are dancing on a dance floorPhoto by Preillumination SeTh on Unsplash
I was set up on a blind date with a woman who possibly had some issues mentally. When I got to her home to pick her up, we sat around in the living room before we left for dinner. Unfortunately, all she did was talk about her boyfriend who, two years previous to our date, had lost his life in a car accident. Apparently, he’d been driving too fast and was over the limit to operate a vehicle.
After telling me about the accident, she excused herself to go get something. That's when the date turned into a creepshow. She came back with something that had belonged to the guy. Something she had kept to remember him by. To my horror, it was a blood soaked book from the day of the accident. It was very creepy. Even though this was a huge red flag, I decided to go ahead with the date.
We went to the restaurant and sat and talked and enjoyed our meal. Our meal was about midway through, and we decided to pause and enjoy a dance together. After we returned to our table, some stranger came up and asked her to dance, and she said yes, which surprised me, but I decided just to be chill about it.
An hour later, she hadn’t come back from dancing, so I just got up and walked out. I figured she was having more fun with him, so he could give her a ride home. I think it took her a long time to notice I was gone. Looking back, I could have handled that better. And I don’t like how many times I’ve had to say this in my life: "Could’ve done better".
She Had Two Choices
This happened when I was in college. I was hanging out with this guy in a state park during the night—I know it was a terrible idea. It was going alright until out of nowhere he said: "Don't you ever have the urge to hurt people in very bad ways?" Imagine being with a guy in the middle of the night in a park where nobody is around you and suddenly you hear that. Yikes!
So, suddenly, I wanted to get away from this guy. But there was one big problem: I didn't know my way back to the dorm room. I asked him to help me, and he said he wouldn’t. He gave me two choices: I could figure out the way back by myself or I could spend more time with him in the woods. He then took my phone, so I wouldn’t be able to check the Maps app.
I can't believe how naive I could be sometimes when I fall for someone. I am so glad nothing bad happened.
History remembers Marcus Aurelius as one of the Roman Empire's "good" emperors—but this is Rome we're talking about. Even the good guys did some pretty twisted stuff. From his scandalous marriage to his tainted legacy, this so-called "Philosopher King" had some serious skeletons in his closet. So who really was the last good emperor? Dive in and find out.
1. He Was A Rich Boy
Marcus Aurelius was born into one of Rome's richest families, but that doesn't mean he had a charmed childhood. He lost his father when he was just three years old, never getting to know the man who gave him life. In a touching tribute, he'd later say he learned "modesty and manliness" by studying his deceased dad's life.
So he lost his dad, but at least he had his mom to raise him, right? Well, not exactly...
2. His Mom Wasn't In The Picture
Turns out, Roman ladies weren't exactly the "motherly" type. Marcus Aurelius's mother Lucilla basically never saw her boy, and instead he spent his lonely childhood in the care of nursemaids. But, as the boy got older, the testosterone-fueled Romans believed he needed a man in his life, so a new father-figure hit the scene.
3. He Had An Evil Stepgrandmother
Aurelius's caretakers sent him to live with his grandfather, Marcus Annius Verus. After his isolated days with the nursemaids, Aurelius instantly took to his ol' granpappy. He spoke highly of his grandfather for the rest of his life—but there was one part of this new life he absolutely hated. When Marcus's grandma passed, his grandpa took a mistress, and he utterly despised her.
Though generally a pretty polite dude, something about this woman rubbed Aurelius the wrong way, and he couldn't get out of the house fast enough after she moved in.
4. He Was...Odd
Marcus Aurelius was a homeschool kid, and let's just say it made him a little...weird. Thanks to his, ahem, "eccentric" teachers, Aurelius started wearing rough, worn-out clothing and sleeping on the floor. Imagine if Prince Harry started walking around in a burlap sack and camping out on the grounds at Buckingham Palace. Yeah, it was weird.
Eventually, Aurelius's mother had to beg him to start sleeping in a bed again. It was bad enough that her son was so eccentric—but all of a sudden, he became really important really fast.
5. He Wasn't Supposed To Be EmperorFile:Head of the statue of emperor Hadrian.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
See, the thing about Marcus Aurelius is, he was never supposed to be emperor. Sure, he was rich and came from a powerful family, but there were lots of rich and powerful young men who were a lot closer to the emperor at the time, Hadrian. But, in 136, something happened that changed everything: Hadrian had a sudden hemorrhage and barely survived.
Suddenly, the most powerful man on earth felt mighty fragile. He started looking for a successor—and there was talk buzzing about this weird kid who slept on the floor and loved philosophy.
6. Hadrian Made A Weird Choice
Soon after Hadrian recovered from his attack, he did something no one expected: He announced that his successor was going to be a dude named Lucius Ceionius Commodus. People were...absolutely horrified. See, our friend Lucius wasn't exactly emperor material. He was old, sickly, and frail. This guy could barely stand under his own power, let alone run the Roman Empire.
So why on earth did Emperor Hadrian make the Crypt Keeper his heir? Well, it all has to do with our boy Marcus Aurelius.
7. Hadrian Loved Him
If anyone thought Marcus Aurelius was a weirdo, Hadrian wasn't one of them. The ailing emperor thought he was just the man for the job, but Marcus was still too young to become emperor. But, here's the important part: Marcus Aurelius was engaged to marry old Commodus's daughter. So, Hadrian figured he'd make Commodus his heir, then Commodus would croak pretty quickly, leaving Marcus Aurelius the emperor.
I know what you're thinking: That plan's more convoluted than an 80s action movie, no way it's going to work. Well, guess what? It didn't.
8. His Father-In-Law Croaked
In 138 AD, the most obvious thing in the world happened: Lucius Ceionius Commodus fell ill and passed. That's right: Hadrian was already on death's door, and his heir still didn't manage to outlive him. Pretty sure he got plenty of "I-told-you-sos" after that one. Instead, he made a guy named Antoninus Pius his heir. Since a gentle breeze wasn't about to knock Antoninus over, I'd say he was an upgrade.
So, what about our boy Marcus Aurelius? Don't you worry, thanks he was very much still in the picture.
9. He Swapped Fiancees
Hadrian really wanted Marcus Aurelius to become emperor one day, but it took some really messy dealing to get it done. Basically, after his first heir kicked the bucket, Hadrian made Antoninus Pius his heir, then had him adopt Marcus Aurelius as his son. Then, to really seal the deal, he made Marcus dump his fiance and marry Antoninus Pius's daughter.
Did I just say that Marcus Aurelius married his new sister? Yes, I did. Turns out, Romans loved marrying their sisters.
10. He Went From Nobody To HeirFile:Antoninus Pius Palatino Inv1219.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Now that Marcus Aurelius was officially in line to become emperor, Hadrian decided he was pretty much done with this whole "living" thing. He tried to take his own life several times, but people kept stopping him, so Hadrian decided to do it the old-fashioned way: He went to a ritzy seaside resort and started eating and drinking anything and everything he ever wanted.
Yeah, he didn't last long. Hadrian passed, Antoninus Pius became emperor, and suddenly our friend Marcus Aurelius was one of the most important people in the Empire—and that brought a whole host of new problems.
11. He Had So Many Kids
In 145, Marcus Aurelius married his sister-but-not-really, Faustina the Younger. This wouldn't end up being the greatest relationship, as you'll soon see, but at least this couple did one thing really well: Made babies. Faustina gave birth to their first child, a girl named Domitia, soon after their marriage. Domitia would be the first of a whopping 13 children.
But aside from that, I think it's fair to say their relationship was a total mess.
12. His Wife Had An Appetite
Marcus Aurelius was famously stern and reserved—Faustina? Not so much. Already a bit of a wild child, one vice possessed her more than the rest: Lust. I guess her Philosopher King wasn't exactly the most exciting partner, because she allegedly liked to sleep around. A lot. And this was the Roman Empire we're talking about, so she had no shortage of man meat.
This is why Faustina enjoyed one particular Roman tradition a little too much...
13. She Liked Tough Guys
The Roman Empire was one of the most militaristic societies in history, so it should come as no surprise that they held their own version of Fleet Week. Rome's finest legionaries, navymen, and gladiators would parade through the streets in their finest gear—and no one enjoyed the display more than Aurelius's wife Faustina. She would use the occasion to scout out new lovers.
But let's not be too quick to cast aspersions on poor Faustina—she faced more pain than most of us will see in our lifetimes.
14. They Suffered Heartbreak
Marcus Aurelius and Faustina's first daughter Domitia was a sickly child from the very beginning, and she barely clung to life for her first years. Almost immediately after she was born, Faustina became pregnant again, this time giving birth to twin boys. The couple rejoiced, but these were even more sickly than their first. The twins didn't survive long—and while grieving them, Domitia just got worse and worse.
15. He Lived His Worst NightmareFile:Roman Empress Faustina the Younger, 161-170 CE. Marble ...commons.wikimedia.org
Marcus Aurelius should have been spending his days preparing to rule an empire, but he spent most of his time looking after his frail daughter. Sadly, his doting couldn't save her—she passed at just three years old. The loss devastated the couple once again—and according to Aurelius's writings, this was a moment that changed him forever.
16. He Grew Hard
After losing Domitia, Aurelius wrote this: "One man prays: 'How I may not lose my little child', but you must pray: 'How I may not be afraid to lose him.'" Rather than buckle under the pain of losing his children, Aurelius steeled himself into the hard man he'd become. He would end up needing every bit of strength he possessed—because the hard times were only beginning.
17. His Kids Had A Bad Track Record
Though Marcus Aurelius fathered 13 children, only one son and four daughters outlived him. Not a great track record. And the one son who did outlive him wasn't exactly the kind of boy who would make a father proud...
18. His Son Was A Demon
In 161, Faustina gave birth to a healthy son. They named him Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, but you probably only know him by the last part: Commodus, the only one of Marcus Aurelius's sons to live to adulthood. Unfortunately, Commodus didn't have much of his father in him...He'd go on to be one of the most bloodthirsty, arrogant, and hated emperors in Rome's history.
But that's jumping ahead—we haven't even gotten to Marcus Aurelius's ascension yet.
19. He Made It
It's a good thing Marcus Aurelius was a patient guy (his wife can attest to that), because he had to wait a long time before becoming emperor. Antoninus Pius reigned for 22 long years before he finally kicked the bucket. As soon as that happened, Marcus Aurelius finally became emperor—but there was a bit of a wrinkle. In a strange turn of events, Aurelius wasn't the only emperor.
20. He Didn't Rule AloneColossal head of Lucius Verus (mounted on a modern bust), … | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Marcus Aurelius didn't rule Rome alone at first. He had a co-emperor: Lucius Verus. Now, if you think that Roman emperors don't tend to be the "sharing" type, you'd be right. Though both of them were emperors, Marcus Aurelius technically had a little bit more power than Lucius Verus. He also happened to be smarter, calmer, and all-around less nuts than Verus.
And they both got along perfectly and nothing dramatic happened, right? Yeah, about that...
21. They Couldn't Have Been More Different
Poor Lucius Verus, the guy never stood a chance. See, Marcus Aurelius, for his all his faults and saucy personal life, was a pretty darn good emperor. That's why Roman historians called him the last of the Five Good Emperors. He kept Rome stable, managed to expand its borders, and didn't make half the empire despise him. If you're a Roman emperor, that's about as good as it gets.
On the other hand, history has almost entirely forgotten Lucius Verus. He was a total screw-up and he just couldn't manage to get himself out of Aurelius's shadow—but hey, at least he got a (super gross) consolation prize...
22. He Married His Brother To His Daughter
One thing is for sure: Unless your name is Commodus, you definitely did not want to be Marcus Aurelius's kid. First of all, you'd be lucky to see your first birthday. But then, even if you did, you'd probably end up married to some old dude before you were even a teenager. That was his daughter Annia Lucilla's fate. Aurelius betrothed her to his fully-adult co-emperor Lucius Verus when she was just 11 years old.
And if that's not gross enough, it gets worse. Aurelius and Verus were technically brothers, so that meant that Annia Lucilla wasn't just marrying a man decades older than her, but that man happened to be her uncle. Yick.
23. His Happy Times Didn't Last Long
Aside from marrying his daughter to his brother and his wife's taste for sailors and gladiators, the start of Marcus Aurelius's reign actually went pretty smoothly. In fact, he would call his first years as emperor the "happy times." Sounds nice right? Well, not really. See, if you call an early period the happy times, that can only mean one thing: There were some dark times ahead—and were there ever.
Marcus Aurelius's reign was about to devolve into chaos, and to make matters worse, his wife was at the center of it.
24. His Wife Had A Darker Side
According to Roman historians, Faustina the Younger played the game of thrones with the best of them: By that we mean, she never hesitated to poison or just flat-out execute anyone who got in her way. This was a serious contrast to her husband's more pragmatic approach to ruling, but hey, to each their own. And it's not like ol' Marcus Aurelius couldn't use the help. His predecessor had made sure of that...
25. His Predecessor Had BeefsTake It Personally Michael Jordan GIFGiphy
As he lay on his deathbed, Emperor Antoninus Pius laid down the equivalent of an Ancient Roman diss track. He spent his final moments calling out all the foreign kings and political adversaries who had wronged him like Michael Jordan at the Hall of Fame. No, Antoninus Pius wasn't exactly the most diplomatic guy—and that meant he left quite the mess for Marcus Aurelius to clean up.
Eventually, those old enemies came back to haunt him, and Aurelius learned there's a difference between learning how to run an empire and actually doing it.
26. He Faced Rebellion
One of the enemies Antoninus Pius name-checked in his final moments was the King of Parthia—with good reason. Not long into Marcus Aurelius's reign, said king revolted. To make matters worse, the Roman governor in the region, a guy named Severianus, was a bit of an idiot. Convinced he could take on the Parthians himself, Severianus charged straight at them...and got his entire legion massacred then took his own life.
The situation in Parthia was getting completely out of hand, but Marcus Aurelius came up with a devious plan—a plan that could kill two birds with one stone.
27. His Partner Was A Disaster
Parthia was in revolt, but Marcus Aurelius had another problem: He co-emperor Lucius Verus. While Aurelius was all about running an empire, Verus was all about spending money, partying, and sleeping around, and it was starting to get embarrassing. So, Marcus Aurelius decided there was nothing like a little campaigning to straighten a man out. He sent Verus to Parthia to deal with the upstart king, hoping the conflict would teach him how to be a better emperor.
If you think that's what happened, you're greatly overestimating the incorrigible Lucius Verus.
28. His Plan Failed Miserably
Marcus Aurelius hoped Verus would lead his Roman legions to victory over the treacherous Parthian king. Verus said, "Nah." He spent the entire time partying and gambling with a bunch of bohemian actors while other men handled the conflict. Rather than make Verus finally smarten up, if anything, it made him even worse.
That didn't stop him from taking all the credit when Rome captured the Parthian king's main stronghold, though. But that's not nearly the worst thing he did during his little vacay in Parthia...
29. His Cousin Paid The Price
Anyone who knew Lucius Verus knew not to trust him very far, and that included Marcus Aurelius. He sent his cousin Libo along with Verus to keep an eye on the debaucherous emperor. However, Libo mysteriously turned up dead very early on in the campaign—and few people thought it was an accident. Historians have long speculated that Verus personally had Libo taken out of the picture so he'd be free to party as he pleased.
30. He Was Almost Too NiceFile:Cicero Denounces Catiline in the Roman Senate by Cesare ...en.m.wikipedia.org
It's hard to imagine two emperors more different than Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Verus went about doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted—which almost always meant drinking and gambling and almost never meant running an empire. Meanwhile, Marcus Aurelius always asked the Senate for permission whenever he wanted to spend money on a new project even though, as emperor, he could do whatever the heck he wanted.
But let's not go thinking that Marcus Aurelius was some saint. He was good...as far as Roman emperors go. As you're about to see, that was a pretty low bar to clear.
31. He Had A Dark Side Too
The early days of the Roman Empire weren't exactly the best time to be a Christian. Roman emperors brutally oppressed members of the fledgling religion—and somehow Marcus Aurelius managed to top them all. Under this "good emperor," not only did the Roman Empire persecute more Christians than ever, but the punishments they doled out got even harsher.
Apparently, Marcus Aurelius hadn't read the bible: If you mess with Christians, you get a plague—and one of the worst the world had ever seen was coming.
32. He Faced A New Danger
The world was changing fast while Marcus Aurelius was emperor. Trade networks spread further than ever before, and the Romans actually made contact with China for the first time ever. This meant goods and information spread across the globe—but that's not the only thing that spread. Around 165, Marcus Aurelius would face his greatest enemy yet. It came back with the soldiers from the East, and it claimed more lives than any battle ever could.
The Antonine Plague had arrived.
33. His Empire Suffered
As if Lucius Verus's campaign in the East couldn't have gone any worse, when he came back to Rome, he brought the plague with him. Believed to be smallpox or maybe measles, whatever it was, it hit Rome like a ton of bricks. People started dying by the thousands every single day. In a matter of months, Marcus Aurelius's hold on his empire started slipping—but at least there he found a silver lining to this catastrophe.
34. He Found The Bright Side
The Antonine Plague was one of the most horrifying events in human history. By the time it had ended, it had claimed the lives of up to 10 million people. However, it did solve at least one of Marcus Aurelius's problems: In 169, Aurelius's hapless co-emperor fell suddenly ill and passed at just 38 years old. Reports at the time said it was food poisoning, but many historians have speculated it was the plague.
Perhaps Roman officials didn't want people thinking a grand, divine emperor had died the same way as the common people. Either way, that was one less headache for Marcus Aurelius—but the worst scandal of his reign was soon to follow.
35. His Problems Piled Upperson walking near The Great SphinxPhoto by Spencer Davis on Unsplash
They didn't have email in the Roman Empire, so that meant news traveled really slowly. And when news did arrive, who can say if it was even true. That's what happened when a general, Avidius Cassius, received earth-shattering news in Egypt: Marcus Aurelius was no more. He wasted no time in proclaiming himself emperor, completely unaware that Marcus Aurelius was very much alive.
The whole thing started with a simple misunderstanding, but it would end in bloodshed.
36. The Pretender Screwed Up
The smart thing for Cassius to do would have been to renounce his claim to the throne once he realized Marcus Aurelius lived, but no one who wants to rule the Roman Empire would give up power that easily. By the time he heard the truth, he already had two legions behind him and he decided he kinda liked this whole empire thing. That was the biggest mistake he ever made.
37. He Got A Head In The Mail
Cassius got to enjoy being a fake emperor for exactly three months and six days. After he realized the news of Marcus Aurelius's passing was greatly exaggerated, he kept up the charade, but the writing was on the wall. Soon enough, one of his own centurians stabbed him in the back—literally. They then cut off his head and sent it straight to Marcus Aurelius to prove their loyalty.
The head absolutely horrified Aurelius, and he refused to even look at it. Granted a head would horrify most people, but the Romans tended to be into that kind of thing. Maybe he dreaded it so much because he knew who was behind this betrayal...
38. His Worst Betrayal
According to the histories, none other than Faustina herself, Marcus Aurelius's own wife, put Cassius up to the whole thing. She knew that her husband was growing old and frail, so she wanted to set up a puppet emperor to keep the throne warm until her son Commodus came of age. As if it wasn't enough to sleep around on her husband, but now she stabbed him in the back too...
39. His Wife's End Was Mysterious
If indeed it was Faustina behind the false emperor, she didn't last long enough to try something like that again. She passed in 175 under mysterious circumstances; no historian is exactly sure what happened to her. So, not only did Marcus Aurelius outlive the majority of his children, but he also outlived his much-younger wife, too.
I guess he was too busy to die. After all, he was plenty busy finishing his greatest accomplishment—the thing that would make him a legend.
40. The World Read His DiaryFragment of a bronze portrait of Marcus Aurelius, probably… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Marcus Aurelius's book Meditations is maybe his greatest accomplishment. Written over the course of 20 years, it's his reflection on life, politics, and philosophy. This landmark work has been studied by countless scholars over the centuries—which makes this next part a little awkward: Aurelius didn't want anyone reading it! He called the work, "To Himself" because it was basically his secret diary, intended for his eyes only.
Apparently, no one cares about an emperor's privacy after he's gone...
41. He Faded Away
Some Roman emperors died at the hands of their own soldiers. Some took their own lives, or partied so hard their hearts gave up. Marcus Aurelius was not one of those. This simple, reserved man met a simple, reserved end. He passed from unknown causes in 180 AD. He was nearly 60 and had been ill for years, and the man had surprisingly few enemies for a Roman emperor, so few historians think there was foul play involved.
The foul play would come later, because with Marcus Aurelius gone, Rome was about to enter a dark time.
42. He Was The Last Good One
When you picture the Roman Empire, you probably picture the 200 years of the Pax Romana, between the reigns of Augustus and Marcus Aurelius. Those were the golden years. Next came our boy's son Commodus, a spoiled and violent dictator whose rule threw Rome into utter chaos. From there, it was basically one long descent to the fall of Rome a couple centuries later. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
43. His Nepotism Doomed Rome
So where the heck did everything go wrong? Here's one clue: Commodus marked the first time ever that a biological son succeeded his father as Emperor of Rome. Why's that so bad? Well, recent emperors had tended to choose heirs who they thought would make good emperors. Commodus was a brat whose mother spoiled him rotten and believed he deserved the throne with no effort. See the problem?
And the saddest part is, Marcus Aurelius saw all of this coming, yet was powerless to stop it.
44. He Didn't Believe In His Son
Marcus Aurelius knew his kid was a screw-up. He feared that Commodus would be a poor emperor, more interested in his own hedonistic pleasures than in actually ruling an empire. Well, this is one time Marcus Aurelius was actually wrong. Commodus wasn't just a poor emperor—he was one of the worst emperors ever.
45. Commodus Was Worse Than Anyone Imaginedcommodus as hercules | The vainglorious megalomaniac emperor… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Anyone who says, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" has never heard of Commodus. While his father was intelligent, reserved, and thoughtful, Commodus was arrogant, brash, and cruel. Convinced Hercules was his ancestor, Commodus loved nothing more than doing demigod cosplay and entering the gladiator area to murder innocents and slaughter animals.
And that's not even close to the worst of it. He neglected his people, bankrupted the Empire, and eventually fell to an assassin. So much for "making daddy proud."
46. There Was One Truly Scandalous Story About Him
No matter how much Commodus stained Marcus Aurelius's legacy, everyone still considered the latter a pretty remarkable man. But even remarkable men have skeletons in their closets, and there was one chilling rumor that dogged Marcus Aurelius wherever he went. His wife's many affairs were an open secret throughout Rome—but one of her flings got a lot more disturbing than the rest.
47. His Wife Fell In Love
Faustina allegedly had many partners, but one of them was special. Multiple ancient sources claim that she actually fell in love with a nameless gladiator. Two things made this man different: Faustina actually cared for him, and Marcus Aurelius found out about him. And when the emperor did learn about his wife's affair, his response was absolutely twisted.
48. He Asked For Help
Marcus Aurelius was never one to rush into anything, so when he found out about his wife's new man, he asked some Chaldean soothsayers for advice. And boy oh boy, did they give it. The soothsayers had the perfect way for Marcus Aurelius to reclaim his manhood. First, they said Faustina must sleep with the gladiator one last time. I'm sure Aurelius wasn't too excited about that part—but it's what came next that was the truly messed up part.
49. He Did Some Weird Stuff In The Bedroom
The soothsayers had Faustina sleep with her gladiator—then had Aurelius stab the man while they were doing it. Pretty dark, right? We're just getting started. Then, he made Faustina bathe in the man's blood, and once she was good and lathered up, Aurelius slept with her over the man's still-warm body! If you think Roman histories are boring, you're not reading closely enough, because this stuff is straight out of 50 Shades of Grey fan-fic.
50. Did He Like It?File:Marcus Aurelius auf dem Pferd.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
After that bananas bit of foreplay, one question remains: Why the heck did Marcus Aurelius put up with his wife's constant affairs? He was, after all, the emperor of the freaking Roman empire, and he could have left her if he wanted. Well, evidently, he believed that as the last emperor's daughter, "her dowry was the empire." Basically, he thought if he left her, he'd have no claim to the throne anymore.
I don't know if I really buy that—maybe he was just into it?
As young students, we often looked up to our teachers...well, at least some of us did.
For the most part, we sought our valiant educators for guidance, as they put up with many of our antics as adolescents trying to find our place in the world.
Some students, however, had the odd situation in which they felt their teachers had wronged them.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their lingering bitterness, Redditor SparkelsTR asked:
"What is something your teacher did in school that you’re still salty about?"
These Redditors unjustly failed the assignment.
The Day Hopes Were Smashed
"20 years ago, we had to make a diorama. We all had them sitting on tables in the classroom and one day some other kid was messing around, fell into the table and smashed mine. I failed the assignment for having a smashed diorama."
"In middle school I did a display with real fossils that my parents had let me borrow. The teacher was insistent that I sell the fossils to him. But I refused."
"So the teacher gave me an F on the display."
"What the f'k, did you tell your parents about it? (I know at that age it can be hard, no judgement if you didn't)"
New Kid In Town
"At the end of my first week at a new school, the teacher handed out slips of paper with our current grade. I had a solid A at my old school, but the teacher said I had an F. I asked her why. She said I didn't hand in the quarter project. I reminded her I had just moved to the school. She said we would give me the weekend to do it. The project was to interview a longtime local resident and write a paper about their experiences. The articles were being collected for a book she was 'writing.' I failed the class."
"I had a teach accuse me and a classmate of cheating on an exam because we had the same answer. It was a multiple choice test and she was upset we both had it correct."
Some teachers just fail in humanity.
"In about 91, I was starting to get into animals, specifically marine animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist so i thought. Junior year in HS we all knew we had to do a bug collection. So I went on a family trip out of state and collected bugs in preparation. I put a lot of time into it. Mr Cope, the worst biology teacher ever, failed me because 'I could not have collected bugs he’d never seen.' Completely shattered my confidence and desire to peruse science of any sort. F'k you Mr Cope."
"I had really severe eczema on my hands as a kid. I used to keep them tucked up in my sleeves to avoid 1 people seeing them and 2 getting blood on my paper - yes, it was that bad. She called me out during a test and said to take my hands out of my sleeves because 'it’s not like that’s gonna help my grade.' I was a shy kid and silently cried through the rest of the test. Also, I was a straight A, gifted student, so why she was acting like I had poor grade I never knew. I’ll never forget that woman being needlessly cruel to a child who was already in physical pain."
Punishing The Innocent
"She told me to get the hell out of her classroom because I forgot to get something signed by my mom. She then marked me as truant and played dumb when the principal got involved."
"Similar story. My mother had me relay a question to my kindergarten teacher about an upcoming field trip. When I asked my teacher started screaming at me. I don’t recall all she said other than continuing to call me stupid and threatening to have me paddled by the principal. I just remember going back and wanting to hide under my desk with everyone staring at me. This was just one example of her behavior."
"That sh*t impacted me for years."
Shy Of An "A"
"Never gave my art a higher grade than a B+. Even though she asked me every year if she could hold my art back, to show everyone how to correctly apply a technique or what she wanted from everyone else that next year. Not good enough for an A, but this is perfect and it's what I want everyone to do. Which is it then? B*tch."
Being bullied is common, but not so much when it's the teachers who are causing the harm.
"Threatened to hit me when, as a brand new mid-term transfer in Grade 3, I was too scared to speak to ask for her help, so I had tapped her on the arm instead to get her attention. Apparently, that warranted threatening to assault an 8 yo in the 90s."
"I had been there less than 2 weeks and had just transferred from a school of 40 to a school of over 200."
"Some teacher did the same to me when I transfered from primary to middle grade (small town, one school had kindergarden up to 4th grade then the second one has 5th grade to 8th grade then it was 9 to 12 at another one). I tapped her at recess because I had been waiting to ask her something for 10 minutes and she wasn't looking at my raised hand. She absolutely lost it and berated me. Turns out she had had cancer in that arm not too long ago and wasn't comfortable being touched. I understand but I didn't know about that and I was only like 10 y.o."
"High school psychology teacher 'evaluated' me in front of the whole class as 'mentally troubled' and told everyone that I’m 'an undiagnosed ADD-case with 99% certainty'. And because she was a psych teacher, everyone took her word for it."
"Yeah, thanks for making everyone think I was mental throughout high school and giving me nagging self-doubts if I really did have ADD for most of my 20s, until I got that medically ruled out."
"I wasn’t always the best behaved kid and even back then I understood that, but that was pretty harsh of her."
Growing up Japanese American in Los Angeles, I attended a school every Saturday for Japanese students who were temporarily staying in the US so that my parents were assured I would be in an environment where I could communicate in the native language.
One of the cultural health regimens incorporated into our classes was an exercise/stretching session where we followed an instructor and moved our bodies to recorded piano music. It was called "Radio Taiso"–or radio exercise.
So, being the most agile and naturally limber student in the class, I clearly demonstrated my advanced physical abilities.
However, I was embarrassed for it by a teacher who was observing the session to make sure all the students were giving proper form.
She asked me, in front of my fellow middle-school students, "Are you a homo?" in Japanese.
"Why yes, I am!" was not an answer I was prepared to give at 14, even though I knew I was different and didn't like girls.
That moment traumatized me further into the closet, and it took me a long time to get over that shame until I was ready and came out at 21.