Knowledgeable People Reveal The Most Memorable Trivial Facts They Learned At Work
"Hey, Did You Know...?"[rebelmouse-image 18352064 is_animated_gif=
We're all subject to our surroundings. Even without wanting to, we pick up things that stay with us for a long time. Our jobs are a good example of that. While some people study for years to know every aspect of their careers inside and out, sometimes, you're force fed useless trivia about your employment. Time to learn something! Reddit user, u/HugSized, wanted to know these little tidbits when they asked:
What trivial fact do you know only because of your job?
Tonight, On A Very Special Episode...[rebelmouse-image 18352065 is_animated_gif=
The reason many TV shows have "holiday special" episodes is because TV viewership is very low the week of Christmas but if they call it a special they don't need to include it when they calculate their average ratings for the season.
Also the day Americans watch the least amount of TV is the 4th of July.
*begins reading all barcodes ever[rebelmouse-image 18352069 is_animated_gif=
Book barcodes always begin with 978. Always.
Well, 99.999999% of them. I once found one that started 979 and it blew my mind. I told my coworker and he looked at me like I was insane.
Edit: Apparently 979 is a thing that happens, but I've been a bookslinger for 7 years and I've only seen the one.
Edit edit: Older books have 10-digit ISBNs that do not follow these rules. The 13-digit ISBNs start with 978/979.
But They're Always Smiling...[rebelmouse-image 18352070 is_animated_gif=
The average length of a Real Estate Agent's career is about four months.
Everyone! Stop Breathing![rebelmouse-image 18352072 is_animated_gif=
Oxygen is considered to be a drug because a physician has to prescribe it before it can be administered to a patient.
No Knees, Please[rebelmouse-image 18352073 is_animated_gif=
Babies don't have patellas (knee caps) and it's super freaking weird.
Wool Over Your Head And Arms[rebelmouse-image 18352074 is_animated_gif=
You know those vintage looking shirts at the store that are distressed on the print.
It saves the company a ton of money on ink costs.
My boss says that trend is what made him a millionaire.
Tulips Ahoy[rebelmouse-image 18352075 is_animated_gif=
Tulips will continue to grow, on average, two inches more after they've been cut.
Generally not while they're in cold storage, but once they're in a warmer environment.
I Mean, Don't Actually Try It...Right?[rebelmouse-image 18352076 is_animated_gif=
So many companies will let you walk in say "I'm with the computer company" and walk out with a computer.
A Worm Refrigerator[rebelmouse-image 18352077 is_animated_gif=
Ground moles have kitchens just like us! They will paralyze earth worms (their primary food source) by biting its head and will drag the worms to a designated burrow where they store the bodies to save for later.
Investigating All The Sales[rebelmouse-image 18352078 is_animated_gif=
In the state of Nevada, only licensed private investigators are allowed to work as mystery shoppers.
And Now You Know...[rebelmouse-image 18352079 is_animated_gif=
The most common type of stainless steel is grade 304.
The second most common is grade 316, which is used for food and surgical purposes.
Yet, They Still Get Robber[rebelmouse-image 18352080 is_animated_gif=
Pizza delivery drivers (in a perfect world) are supposed to only carry $20 in change, typically two $5's and ten $1s.
Rows On Rows[rebelmouse-image 18352082 is_animated_gif=
Excel files from versions prior to Microsoft Office 2010 only go up to 65,536 rows.
Excel files from versions of Microsoft Office 2010 and on go up to 1,048,576 rows.
Maybe It's The Earth's Rotation[rebelmouse-image 18352083 is_animated_gif=
I work in print shop that also takes passport photos and I've noticed that an overwhelming number of people slightly tilt their head to the right about 1 to 3 degrees.
A few people have perfectly aligned heads and fewer still tilt their heads to the left.
Wait...They're Lying To Us?[rebelmouse-image 18352084 is_animated_gif=
Christmas season advertisements are photographed in/around July.
The Secret To Cows[rebelmouse-image 18352085 is_animated_gif=
I worked on a dairy farm and learned that cows love getting the insides of their ears cleaned.
Cows are very tactile animals. They love to rub, scratch, and touch things. Many dairies will provide giant scrubby-brush wheels that look like car-wash brushes because the cows love to rub themselves on them. Also, dairy cows generally like being milked. They also like riding on the rotary parlors - one dairy I've worked with had to put up special barriers not only to make the cows get off at the end of the ride, but to prevent them from getting back on and doing it again.
When English Isn't English[rebelmouse-image 18347362 is_animated_gif=
Noah Webster (of Webster's dictionary fame) was the one to take the u out of colour and advocate using z's instead of S's as the British do ( realize Vs realise) because his philosophy was new nation = new language.
The Secret? Ask A Machine[rebelmouse-image 18352086 is_animated_gif=
The eight steps to properly lifting a box from when I worked at UPS like 4 years ago.
- Get close to the box, work within your power zone (shoulders to mid thigh)
- Position feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend at the knees keeping the natural curve of the back.
- Grab the box from opposite diagonal corners.
- Test for weight and shifting contents.
- Stand up in a clean swift motion.
- Move your feet, step or pivot dont twist.
- Use existing equipment if need be.
Tales Of A Movie Theater[rebelmouse-image 18352087 is_animated_gif=
- The pop connected to the tubes behind the soda fountain is stored in plastic bags, inside flimsy cardboard boxes on a rack.
- Some theaters in your area may have "sensory friendly" screenings, mostly geared towards children with autism and other disabilities. The lights remain dim instead of off, the volume is turned down, and there are subtitles. Getting up, walking around, and talking are fine.
- Occasionally one person has ~five minutes to clean an entire theater.
- Theater employees are encouraged to see movies so we can answer questions you might have about them.
Time Consumes All[rebelmouse-image 18352088 is_animated_gif=
- 1-hour photo doesn't exist anymore
- VHS starts to degrade pretty hard after 12 or so years
- Don't keep visual data in weird proprietary formats because chances are you're never getting it back
- It's really expensive to print from film these days
- Get your best old family photos scanned before they succumb to time
- Get pictures of your friends and family, because you're probably not gonna care about that pretty scenery pic in two decades, but you want good photos of the ones you love when they start to die
- Save your best, most treasured digital pics to a Best Of folder on a regular basis, you take more pictures than you think you do and having some go-to good shots is really nice
Reddit user zZoZo- asked: 'What meal traumatized you as a kid ?'
We may have many fond memories of childhood that center around food.
A favorite meal, a special celebration dinner, simple comfort foods, baked goods enjoyed with grandparents or holiday feasts.
But not everyone is blessed with culinary talents. And some cooking impaired are responsible for feeding children.
For those kids, memories of meals might be more trauma than beloved tradition.
Reddit user zZoZo- asked:
"What meal traumatized you as a kid?"
"My grandma’s asparagus, it traumatized my dad more as it was the only way he had had asparagus until he met my mum."
"We would go out and harvest fresh asparagus when I was a kid, and my mum would grill it, sauté it, or make a salad."
"My grandma only made it for me once. Well my grandma would put it in a pressure cooker on a steam tray and cook it at pressure for 3 minutes."
"It would come out just holding itself together, she would slide it onto the plate, put slices of hard boiled egg on top, salt, and pepper. It was hot mush in a stringy tube with cold egg and no real seasoning or flavor left."
"Just a miserable symphony of textures that would stick in your mouth and teeth."
"My grandma knew I hated cantaloupe but my sister loved it, so so when we would visit my grandma when we were kids she made me eat a piece of cantaloupe for every piece my sister ate."
"To this day I do not know why."
"I f'king hate cantaloupe."
"My father would put raw liver in a juicer and make liver pancakes, no bacon no onion."
"Your father seems like the type to have…secrets."
"I’m wondering if fava beans and Chianti were involved."
"Mom had a habit of clearing the fridge of leftovers by tossing everything in a pot and serving it for dinner. Ugh."
"The most...ahem...memorable combination was: some old spaghetti sauce (not a bad start...) some baked beans (kinda weird, but okay...) some leftover tuna-noodle casserole (getting weirder...) some peas (gotta have a vegetable) and, I kid you not, the leftover cherry Jell-O (why, Mom? Why the Jell-O???)."
"I still have NO IDEA why it all had to go in a single pot."
"I was forced to eat a mayonnaise sandwich at a sleepover once."
"It was so disgusting, and I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I was done."
Bribery or Extortion?
"Not traumatized, just salty. Mom took my brother and me to a restaurant with another one of her mom friends and her kids, that mom was really into making kids try new foods."
"She made me eat a stupid octopus or squid tentacle or something to get dessert, whereas my brother held out until all he had to try was some basically normal piece of cheese."
"Clearly I didn’t know how to be stubborn."
"My mom found some 'hidden veggie' article that called for zucchini in brownies. Two bites in, something tasted off."
"I looked in the brownie and saw the green fibers of vegetable and my mom gleefully told me the secret ingredient. I protested and complained and refused the brownies and she said I wouldn’t even notice."
"Mother, if I wouldn’t notice, then why did I almost immediately notice?"
"Took a long time for me to trust her desserts after that."
"F'k those 'hidden food' recipes. Just learn to cook zucchini in an appetizing way and let me eat the zucchini for dinner and a normal brownie for dessert."
Salads That Aren't Salads
"Oh God, this 'salad' my mom would make that was literally just frozen peas and cheese chunks coated in mayonnaise. I couldn't even be near it without gagging.
"Whenever she'd make it I'd start crying and hide under the bed (I was around 5 or 6). Thank Christ she eventually stopped making it."
"I still hate mayo. To this day even the smell of it makes me physically sick."
"With my grandma it was green Jello, grapes, celery, walnuts, shredded cabbage and carrots in a Jello mold."
"When she unmolded it, she would fill the center with Miracle Whip and sprinkle it with paprika."
"Most disgusting side dish ever."
"Meatloaf. My mom would force me to sit at the table and eat a bland meatloaf with no seasoning whatsoever."
"My grandmother's cooking in general is always bland. Salt and pepper. That's it."
"So when I moved out with my boyfriend. It was a kick to the face cause he actually uses spices and seasoning."
"Love the woman, but damn. And I get it. She lived on a farm with 11 brothers and sisters. So taste wasn't really the point of eating."
"At least she uses salt. My MIL doesn't even use that!"
"That's disturbingly common in some regions - especially the Midwest.
"I have family who deliberately don't add any salt as they're cooking, and then offer guests a salt shaker (which they, themselves don't use)."
"Holidays are agony. And the worst part is that I'm not sure if everybody is suffering in silence with me, or if they've all somehow been indoctrinated and just don't even want the salt."
"I went to a wedding as a kid where they served oysters but not fresh ones. They were from a jar and then put back into shells."
Anyway I put it in my mouth and I wanted to spit it out, but my dad gave me one of those looks (death stares) so I had to swallow the snot like thing."
"I love seafood but have never been able to eat a fresh oyster since."
Not Finger Lickin' Good
"Cow's tongue. I was 8 or 9. I sat at the table until 9 pm, refused to eat it, just sitting there crying as quiet as I could."
"I didn't want to get in more trouble."
"Finally my mother gave up and I got a cheese sandwich and sent to bed."
"I will never, never eat another mammal's tongue. Just typing that out made me gag."
"I was around 6 at the time. My dad used to season and roast baby potatoes. For some reason as a kid, I just couldn't stomach them."
"They made me want to throw up. After a few of them I would run to the toilet."
"One time, I thought I was clever by hiding them under the cushions of my seat. I got away with it for a few weeks."
"Until my mother was obsessively cleaning because she couldn't get rid of the smell of compost from the dining room."
"Eventually she lifted the cushion to see a heap of mouldy squashed potatoes."
"That day for dinner, my dad made an extra portion just for me. Apparently when I saw the plate I went pale."
Don't Name Dinner
"It's not at all fun to name and raise a chicken only for it to be served for lunch."
My Mother was not a good cook because she hated to cook.
She could reheat things from a can or make something from a box, but she had a tendency to add canned peas or cut up hot dogs.
Luckily I loved cooking and took over all family cooking duties as a child.
My only food trauma was a dish my Sister made: Polynesian liver. Yes, it was liver baked with pineapple rings.
None of us could eat more than one bite.
Do you have food trauma? Share your story in the comments.
Every unhappy family is unhappy in their own way, but these toxic families are all completely insane. Whether it’s a controlling mother or an absent father, these Redditors had to find out the hard way that their families had ugly habits and dark secrets. They say you can’t choose your family—and no one would choose these broods.
The Prodigal Sonwoman crouching in front of display shelfPhoto by billow926 on Unsplash
My birthday: "I got you a pack of socks, but I realized I can get them cheaper from somewhere else, so I'm going to return them." My brother two weeks later: "I think I'd like archery, will you get me this $600 bow?" Parents: "Oh, heck yes!" Thing is, I never even got the socks. The favoritism runs very deep in my family.
Man Hands Misery Down
My dad screamed at me for 20 minutes when I was 11, called me a witch, and told me to get the heck out of his house when I casually mentioned we seem to argue more than other families. In truth, I know he was hurt too, and he regrets not having talked to someone about what he went through as a kid because of how much it hurt his own family.
The Black Sheep Of The Family
My wife helped me come to the realization. Out of myself and my two brothers, I was the only one to have never been behind bars, yet I was the only one my parents didn’t buy a car for. And actually, it wasn’t just about getting a car—they refused to even teach me how to drive. I had to move out of the house before I learned how.
So one day, I had my wife (girlfriend at the time) over to my parents’ for Christmas dinner. My mom offers me a glass of champagne about two months before my 21st birthday. No big deal, right? My stepdad proceeds to throw a temper tantrum about how I’m underage and not in his house and all this. Well, a couple of months later, I found out he bought my little brother, his biological child, a bottle of high-end bourbon for his 18th birthday.
When I was in the service, they had a whole bunch of deep-sea fishing trips and pro sports games they would go to without even so much as asking if I could come. They didn’t come to my boot camp graduation that I offered to pay for. They didn’t see me off when I was deployed. They weren’t there when I came back. Great times.
Better Off Apart
My mom and dad separated because they finally admitted that all that fighting wasn't normal. I'd talked to them in my young teens about how I hate how they fight so much, and my mom said all married couples fight like that and that it was normal. Now I'm 18 and they separated this year, and they realized it is not normal or healthy to have "discussions" that involve screaming, tears, clenched fists, and everything short of physically harming each other nearly every day.
Neither of them are bad people in the slightest. They are both good parents, but they were just in a bad relationship and thought that staying together would make me and my sisters happier, when in reality I wish they would've separated years ago. They brought out the worst in each other. Then recently, my mom let out her biggest secret.
My mom came out as a lesbian. Turns out, part of the reason she was angry all the time was from repressing her sexuality.
Even though I seldom leave the house because I’m pretty introverted, my mom can’t handle it at all when I visit friends. Whenever I get home, she accuses me of loving them more than her. It's even worse if I go out for two consecutive days or more, than she just goes totally ballistic. It's suffocating and stupid, really.
Daddy Doesn’t Know Bestassorted clothes hanged on rackPhoto by Chase Charaba on Unsplash
I was 9, and I was really nice to a poor guy selling shirts out of the back of his truck. My father’s reaction haunts me. My dad pulled me away and told me directly "It's great to be nice to people, Chris, but be mean too. You want people to be a little scared of you." Even at nine, I was like, "That's not...great," and it really was an interaction that shaped our relationship.
I went on to teach, have a vibrant friend group, and generally, I love people. It's in my work and in every fiber of my life. My dad didn’t come out so well. He passed, alone, of an overdose about 10 years ago. The funeral would've been basically empty if not for all the friends who came to console me.
Correcting The Sins Of Father
When I was growing up, especially in my teens, I now realize I suffered from anxiety and severe depression. My parents never did anything about it, even though they definitely could see something wasn't right. I don't place ALL the blame on them, as this was back in the 90s when mental health was still not openly discussed. But I was messed up for a very long time.
I got the help I needed, albeit as an adult, and now am a mom to an 11-year-old daughter. I am starting to see some familiar things in her; anxiety is the big one right now. So we have "Brain Checks." If she ever needs to talk, at any time, all she has to do is say she needs a "Brain Check" and I stop whatever I am doing and let her tell me what is bothering her.
I can't always fix her problem for her, but we talk it out and see if we can ease her mind or how we can do that. I know she won't come to me for everything, but I hope that by doing this, she knows I will always provide her with a safe space to speak her mind and not be judged. I have no qualms dragging her to our GP for either meds or a therapist referral, though, if I feel talking to me just isn't enough. I don't want her to suffer like I did.
I was 11 years old when my mom and I came home to my aunt stealing our stereo equipment. When my mom confronted her, she pulled a knife. At the same moment, my uncle happened to be driving by, slammed on the brakes, reversed, and then came into the yard on the lawn and hit the corner of the house a little bit, jumped out of the van, and attacked my aunt. I only found out the dark truth about that day much later.
As my mom unpacked everything to me when I was older, she explained that my aunt was taking things to get money for her substance habit. Much later than that, I found out that my uncle wasn’t sober and shouldn't have been driving at all. I look back on that day as the day I lost my innocence in a lot of ways. Can’t really go back from that.
To be fair, my nuclear family was generally your standard loving functional family. It was just my mom’s half-siblings who were toxic. They were always taking money and never around unless they had to be or needed something. After my mom passed, my aunt called me looking for money, and I pretty much hung up and never talked to any of them again.
Busting A Gasket
I married into a toxic family. My husband realized it when his sister insulted me, out of the blue, to him for an hour. She then blamed him for making her husband hate the entire family. Meanwhile, everyone else in the family who was within earshot of all this all claimed to have not noticed or heard anything. It was loud and long. They knew.
He was pretty shell-shocked by the whole thing. It was ignored and NEVER resolved or discussed. It's a very large family. I have been the black sheep ever since even though I wasn't even in the “fight.” I would actually take responsibility for anything if I knew what made her so mad at the time. I apologized to her and she has never even admitted anything happened.
She was having a really tough time in her marriage at the time, however, and is now divorced. We didn't live in town, so each visit was a nice, pleasant time and we all got along fine prior to this. Really changed out entire dynamic.
The Mother Of All Pettiness
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother's birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date. But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. My mother said I "ruined her birthday"—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August.
Mother May Iwoman in black and white striped long sleeve shirtPhoto by Julien L on Unsplash
My first memory is of my parents fighting when I was three years old. I remember my mom looking at my dad and yelling, “This is why we’re getting a divorce.” They separated when I was two, but took some time to figure out custody, as well as the actual finalization of their divorce. My mom was always so angry and would scream, throw things, and tell me consistently she didn’t want me around.
I finally had a breaking point with my mom the day before I turned 17. We got into a huge fight and I realized that she was just taking out the aggression of her past on me. I realized she had been blocking out what she put me through, and finally brought it to her attention. I know her mother was awful, and she kept perpetuating this cycle.
What triggered the whole realization was when I dated someone for the first time when I was 16, and my boyfriend’s mom treated me like her own. It was the first time I felt welcome in a home. She made sure I ate because she knew I wasn’t eating properly at home, she always had a bed made for me in case I ever needed a place to stay, and would always check in with my boyfriend to make sure I was okay when I went home.
A Twisted Family Tree
I was eight years old and sitting in my new babysitter's apartment having an asthma attack. I was very allergic to cats and my mom had left me with her despite knowing my allergy and knowing that she had nine cats. But the reason why she left me there was even worse. She needed me out of the way so she could go sleep with my older sister’s boyfriend.
She hadn't even sent my inhaler with me. My life nearly ended that day, honest to God. To make matters worse, my sister found out and got in a fistfight with my mom in the hospital hallway while respiratory therapy was working with me. They both caught an STD from the dude, and I learned to always have my inhaler on me. Among other lessons.
You Are What You Eat
My cousin Stephanie made a peanut cake, just everything out of peanuts. The flour had peanuts, it had peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and peanut chunks. I'm very allergic to peanuts, and she knew it. I refused to eat it for obvious reasons, and Stephanie shed some crocodile tears about how she had lovingly made the cake so we can all eat it, and how insulting it was for me to pass on it.
Between my Aunt Karen, her husband, and my paternal grandparents, they forced me to eat a HUGE piece of that cake while my other cousin called emergency from outside the house. I literally almost passed on. Afterward, they said they didn’t know about my allergy (???), and “I was a rebellious teenager who was very picky about food."
Rain Check On Decency
When none of them showed up to our youngest child’s third birthday party. Oh, but it gets worse. We had this planned for about a month and a half; you have to when you have three kids and crazy lives. Less than three weeks out, my mom decides to go on a mini-vacation to Florida for three days and asked us to move the whole party.
Her husband, my stepdad, decided that since she wasn’t going to the party, he didn’t have to either. Meanwhile, one of my brothers decided to go on a kayaking trip because he felt no obligation since my mom and stepdad weren’t going. Our youngest brother is the only one with a legitimate excuse because he had work that weekend.
So, the day of the party, everyone’s asking, “Where is your family?” This is both friends and my wife’s family, who I love dearly. For the first time, I didn’t hold back and said, “Because they’re toxic and too self-absorbed.” This was definitely one of those last straw situations. My wife and I were married young, and to be honest, my in-laws have been my parents ever since then.
Visiting Hours Are Over
Years ago, I was in the hospital after getting stabbed in the abdomen. I went under and the doctors had to bring me back. I woke up in the hospital full of stitches, but still alive. I had a really great group of friends who came throughout the weeks of my being there, to the point that I got my own room because it was disturbing fellow patients I shared a room with and the staff were super nice about it.
The only family member to visit, however, was my younger sister. My mom, dad, other four siblings....None of them came, and my mom only phoned and communicated to me through the nurses, never speaking directly to me until I was back at home. And this was during a time where we actually had a decent relationship comparative to other times in life.
A Rude Awakeningwoman in white long sleeve shirt holding wine glassPhoto by krakenimages on Unsplash
When I moved in with my partner, I noticed she called her family for things I would never call my own for. Then I realized this was because she actually likes them and doesn't see communicating with them as an obligation. Instead, she wanted them to be part of her everyday life. It was then I realized just how messed up my family truly is.
The Root Of All Evil
Growing up, my family basically pooled together all our paychecks, and whatever was extra after bills was more or less fair game to use for my parents. So I constantly got my paychecks drained. I tried saving money up by saying I had a little less than what I did. After a year, had about $1,000 saved up. That’s when disaster struck.
My mom took my card to "buy dinner" and proceeded to check the balance on my card. She sees I have a lot more money than I was telling them. So she used my card to buy over $150.00 of food that I got none of, and then kicked me out of the house for "making the family do without." Imagine not being proud of your kid for trying to save money.
Not me, but my girlfriend. After a year of being, together I invited her over for Christmas. After all the gift opening, my family sat down for food and we were all laughing and having a great time. Then I looked over at her, and she was quiet and just looked kind of shocked. We get in my car afterward, and she said “Is this how Christmas is every year?”
I told her yes, and she said “This is nothing like my family’s style. We open gifts, get into arguments, and then take the gifts back.”
I Know You Are But What Am I?
When my mother and I were on a heated phone call with each other and she said how much I "hurt her." I finally had the courage to say "Well, what about how you hurt me?” Her response was "Well yeah, I MEANT to hurt you!". Big eye opener on that one.
Loud And Proud
I always thought my family was normal, it was just big and loud and everyone had tempers. Then I learned I was wrong. I told someone a funny story involving my little sister throwing a loaf of bread at my mom...the look on their face told me to stop there and not get to the part where she threatened to burn down the house with all of us in it.
Bad News Beargrayscale photo of man using magnifying glassPhoto by mari lezhava on Unsplash
One of my grandfathers only called me with super-negative information. He’d tell me thing like he put one of the cats down, with details on how the cat acted on the way to the vet. He let me know on my 21st birthday that I was an old maid. That one was just after my grandmother, his wife, had passed a few months prior.
When my parents’ house was broken into, he didn’t even tell me. I only found out when we arrived home to see yellow tape outside my bedroom window. When my father passed, he decided my mom and I didn't need any sympathy calls or anything. Because it "might upset us more." I had more sympathy from perfect strangers.
He did call me after my father passed to let me know that my father never loved me—which was a crock, as anyone who knew my father knew how close we were. He passed in the hospital last year, and I had to miss the funeral. I couldn't have shed a tear anyway. Meanwhile, many of the locals think he was great—they only saw his public persona.
The Lion’s Share
I will mention one episode only that particularly hit me, as toxicity in my family is basically the norm. I was around seven years old and my grandfather, my mother's father, a plush of Mufasa and baby Simba from the Lion King. After visiting him, my parents and I went to my grandmother’s, my father's mother. I had my plush with me.
We stayed at her place for 3-4 days. When it was time to leave, I was collecting my stuff but I couldn't find the baby Simba anywhere. My mother asked my grandmother if she had seen the plush anywhere and she said no. Also, she commented "She (referring to me) is spoiled" because, in her opinion, I wasn't good enough at taking care of my things.
I left with Mufasa only and without baby Simba. One year after, we visited my grandmother again. I went to the living room and my blood went cold. In one corner, my grandmother had put all my cousins’ toys so that they could find them easily when they were going to visit her. And...well, together with a giant doll, kitchen utensils, and a children’s book, there was my baby Simba plush. My grandmother had taken it away from me to give it to my cousins.
Get Away From It All
When my mom yelled at me for being depressed. She was saying how rude and inconvenient it is for everyone around me that I was depressed. She was screaming so hard that her face was all red. She screamed at me frequently. She would also always wait until I was in the car with her because I would be unable to leave.
I stopped talking to her after that and she played the victim. She apparently was suffering because she was “abandoned by her daughter.” No one in my family wanted to hear my side of things, no one reached out to check in on me. I was made out to be the bad selfish daughter. Now, I don’t have a relationship with anyone in my family.
I cut both my parents off after I realized they both will not change or get help or see they ever did anything wrong. It’s been tough to deal with the emotions of it all, especially the emotions I felt when I was younger and in their care. I’ve been working on it with therapy for a few years now. But it’s been a necessary decision for me to cut those ties, so I can focus on myself.
I was seven years old, and my dad hadn’t been home for three days. My mom put us kids in the car and drove to every bar in town until she saw my dad’s truck. Then she told me to go into the bar, look for my dad, and tell him to come home. I refused, so she sent my 4-year-old brother in instead.
Forgive And Forget
My mother threw a fit about how my son is so involved in his dad's life. This hit home, because my mother and father have been separated for a long time because she did the same thing to him with us. She decided that I was “neglecting” my son because I didn't want to limit what he does with his dad. I'm sorry if I won't repeat my family’s mistakes and that I want my son to have a father.
Shoddy Support Systembrown and red books on white surfacePhoto by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash
When my parents realized that I had been accepted into a premier school on a partial scholarship, they retracted their promise to pay for my college, just because they wanted me to go to a state school near them. They even gave me an ultimatum, telling me that if I went there, I could never really be accepted back into their house.
I ended up going to the local state school they wanted, and flunked out due to stress and depression. 24 years later, my brother is on his fourth degree and they are still supporting him and his wife. Oh, and his "professional poker playing."
Hush Little Baby
I was talking to a friend about how my allergies had been acting up recently, a problem I had never had until I moved out of California, when she asked me if I wanted Benadryl because she had some in her purse. I told her I built up a tolerance to Benadryl, and she was very surprised because my allergies had just started getting bad when I moved here.
She asked me how in the heck did I build up a tolerance to Benadryl? My answer made her go white as a ghost. I mentioned to her that growing up, my mom would give me Benadryl every night until I was about 14 or 15. It would make me drowsy so I would go to sleep and leave her alone. She was very alarmed.
In Sickness And In Health
When my mom opened my mail, took out a credit card check, made it out to herself for $4,000, and put it in front of me to sign…while I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy. I did not sign it, and she was very angry and told me how I owed her. We really didn't have any kind of a relationship after that because I was just trying to stay alive and the stress was too much.
Then my sister started jumping all over me because I was asleep and didn't answer the phone when she called me…because I was tired from cancer and the treatment. Yeah, we're still not talking.
It’s All About Me
It happened this past week. I asked my mom if we could go out to lunch and we made plans for Thursday. Instead, she stood me up to go shopping for a new car, and kept calling and saying, “Just one more dealership!” I was waiting for over three hours in the shopping complex by the restaurant. She apologized over text and asked if she could come see me to show me her new car.
There were kind of a lot of moments; but some re-occurring moments were whenever I was seriously sick or hurt, my mom wouldn't believe me, or she would ignore me. When I was nine years old, I told her the vitamins she gave me made me feel sick. She told me to hurry up to the car so I wouldn't be late for school. I said that I really didn't feel good.
She yelled to hurry up. I go outside, and suddenly I'm puking on the lawn. She rolled her eyes at me. When I was 12 years old, I told her that I fell on my elbow at school and it hurt a lot. She just hummed at me. I tell her the next day that my arm still really hurts.
She said I was fine. The day after that, I'm being driven to school, and she asks me why I was wearing a sweater even though it's hot outside and also, "Why are you holding your arm like that?" I roll up my sleeve and show her my elbow, which is purple and swollen like heck. Her response: "Oh." 17 years old. I was sick, sick sick sick, and she kept telling me that it was just allergies.
I asked her if I could just lie down for an hour. At exactly an hour, she called for me to do the dishes. I didn't get up because I was just starting to doze and I really felt like I couldn’t move. She kept yelling at me to get up, stop being lazy, and come do the dishes. I pulled myself out of bed, having to use the wall to support me.
I see her in the main room and tell her that I genuinely didn't feel well. She scoffed at me and said I needed to stop acting. My brother had stepped in the main room then and immediately took a step back seeing me. "Oh my god, you're literally gray. You look terrible, Mom are you seeing her?" My mom didn't say a thing, but my grandmother came out of her room, hearing my brother, and also gasped in horror, expressing how terrible I looked.
It was only then that my mother said, "Okay, let's get you to a hospital." I had a particularly bad case of strep throat. Anyway, I'm 20 now. She still doesn't believe me if I'm sick or hurt. She’s always claiming that I'm being dramatic, even though I'm not the type to play-up my sicknesses. In fact, I even tend to downplay them.
A Lifetime Burdenred envelopPhoto by Natasya Chen on Unsplash
My mother is sending me a copy of her will. She said if I ever open the envelope before she passes, she will kill herself. And if she ever sees me in person again, I need to show her the unopened envelope. She said if I "get snippy" about it, she will turn around and go home. I tried to help her find a different place to keep it. But she doesn't know of one. And she will hassle me about not opening it for the rest of my life.
My father-in-law is beyond toxic. My wife always said she wasn't close with her dad, but we would see him for Christmas every year. We lived in southern California, and her family lives in Michigan. My father-in-law once took a trip to southern California and never told my wife until the day he was flying home. On that call, he told my wife that she "was ungrateful" for not driving down to see him.
She had just had a spinal tap for a meningitis scare and couldn't drive by herself. Then when my son was born, my father-in-law dropped off another family member but said he needed to run an errand. He didn't come back for a few hours. When he did, he just said he had to leave. Didn't even talk to me or my wife. Oh, but it gets worse.
For my son’s second birthday, he said he and his wife would be out of town for a wedding. Turns out, the wedding was the next day, and “out of town” meant 20 miles from our house. The third birthday, he just didn't show up. When my mother-in-law—they aren’t married anymore—got diagnosed with cancer, my wife called him, and all he had to say was "Huh, crazy” and hung up.
When my mother-in-law passed this last January, he never even checked in on his daughter. My wife calls him out now, and I've told him off a few times and "ruined Christmas" after he tried to say my wife wasn't a good daughter since she never visits.
No Going Back
When I was locked out of the house and my father told me, "You're not my son" at age eight because I'd forgotten my homework at school. I was let in when my mom came home from work at 11pm. There were a lot of other things that happened before and after that, but being told your status as a family member is that arbitrary really puts it in perspective.
The Silent Treatment
My brother got mad at my dad for bringing him the wrong food—my brother is older and spoiled. When I stood up for my dad against him, my dad yelled at me, marched out of our house, and then didn’t talk to me for two weeks straight, despite the fact we were living in the same household at the time. He proceeded to only talk to my brother and my mom.
My grandma and I are very close. I live a few hours away from her, and she is not very tech-savvy, so it’s difficult to phone her sometimes. I went home a few weekends ago and we got some time alone to talk. She told me that her sister, my great aunt, is getting pretty sick. She is having problems with her kidneys and it’s affecting her mind.
My aunt and grandma took her to the doctor, and then to get some medications that were about $7. Her card got declined. She hadn’t been checking her accounts, and after calling the bank, she found out they were drained of over $10k in checking and were overdrawn on top of all that. That’s when she discovered a horrific truth.
They called her daughter and granddaughter, and they both admitted to taking the money from her account. My great aunt has been paying their rent for three years and has given them two vehicles. She pays the insurance on them both. This was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she is cutting them off. Best of all, the latest update on her health is positive.
Don’t Follow Your Dreamsblack and white typewriter on green tablePhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I was on the ride home from school and my mom said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I answered, “Maybe be an author or something like that.” She replied with “That is so dumb, that is the stupidest thing. You are smart and you have the whole world at your fingertips, and you want to be an author? You can be a scientist or a doctor, but you want to waste your life being an author.”
Kind To Be Cruel
The first time my husband spent time with my parents was when I realized I was in a toxic family. When we left, he was like, “Wow, your parents have literally not said a single positive thing about you. All their ‘funny’ stories about you growing up are really just awful.” I kind of just figured that was normal. Lots of eye-opening times later, and I don’t talk to my parents anymore for a slew of reasons.
Going Whole Hog
After my dad passed, we were cleaning out his apartment. My mom, paternal aunt, paternal grandmother, and I were there. I was 11, my parents were divorced, and while my mom tried telling me that my grandma was not a trustworthy person, she detached her own biases enough to still allow me to be close to my dad's family and make my own decisions.
My dad had a motorcycle, which he adored. At his apartment, because he had no will, every major possession was supposed to be recorded to the estate lawyers to be sorted out later. Nothing was to be taken home. On his motorcycle keys, he had a keychain of a bike. I was in the kitchen alone with my grandma, and spotted them on his key rack.
Nonchalantly, I said, "Oh, it's dad's motorcycle keys!" My grandma said, "Oh yeah, it is." Then she grabbed them and slipped the keys in her pocket. Weeks later, I overheard my mom talking to the lawyer about not being able to find the bike keys. I told her what happened. My mom asked me if I was 100% sure I saw what I saw, and I was positive.
Lawyers spoke to lawyers, and my grandma denied that it ever happened. It came to the point where I had to give a sworn testimony at a deposition, all while my grandma looked me straight in the eye and calmly told everyone present that I "was a grief-stricken delusional child who was prone to lying". She then tried telling everyone that my word could not be trusted due to the intense trauma of my dad's passing, and questioned the courts about whether it was wise to believe an 11-year-old over an adult.
She chose possessions over her family. Every member of my dad's side supported her—and then she topped even herself. She lied on my dad's gravestone, making him two ranks higher in the service than he was, and then also stating he served in a war that he never did. I don't even visit my dad's grave anymore because it's just lies.
I tried to sporadically interact with them for a few years after that, but officially cut contact in 2013.
Lean On Me
I was waiting outside the toilet at my mom’s house for my partner to come out. I was with her because she has severe depression and anxiety, and wanted someone there. My mother came out of her room and exploded, asking me why I'm sacrificing so much and telling me that my girlfriend was faking it to manipulate me, horrible things like that.
Worst of all, my girlfriend heard everything and broke down really badly. I haven’t taken her to my mother’s since.
Big Day, Big Ego
I was at my sister's wedding, and it was the most fun wedding I've ever been to. Everyone was having a blast. I was catching up with some first cousins I don't see very often when my mom walks up to us and starts complaining about how my sister didn't want to invite some of my mom's cousins. My sister and I had only met them a few years before and my sister didn't like them.
My mom insisted that she needed them to be there so she could have fun. The screwed up thing was my sister had given in to my mom's demands and some of those cousins were actually there. So my mom was actually insulting my sister at her own wedding for letting her have her way. I had known my mom's siblings and parents were pretty awful, but this was the moment I accepted that she was just as bad.
Evil Stepmothera person holding a small mp3 player in their handPhoto by Cartoons Plural on Unsplash
I didn't realize this was an example of how awful and toxic my stepmother was at the time, but when I was 11, my stepmother got my two sisters, her biological kids, iPod touches. I did not receive one. At first, I brushed it off as my stepmother not getting me one because I didn't really listen to music much, but then again neither did my sisters.
I realized years later this was just another example of her blatant favoritism towards her own children, whether she would admit it or not—and trust me, she wouldn't.
My dad gave me the silent treatment because he thought I crashed the car he had just bought for me and I wouldn't own up. Why? because it had red marks on either side of the window. He thought I must have hit a barrier or something, despite me pointing out that this would have almost certainly smashed the screen into smithereens.
After a week of racking my brain, I asked if there was a red “for sale” banner across it...he replied yes, then slowly began talking to me again.
Poisoning The Well
My oldest sister, who is not mentally well, went on a bit of a poisoning streak several years back, and we pretty much told her that either she needs to stop, or she's officially kicked out of the family. But yeah, so my sister apparently would be spreading salmonella and E. coli into our drinks and food whenever she could.
Me and my dad went into her apartment, and her fridge was full of uncovered raw chicken and it wasn't even cold. The whole fridge was unplugged. All the chicken had that slimy grey film on top of it and I would have blown chunks right then and there if I hadn't splattered the toilet bowl two or three times over just earlier that day.
She admitted to us later that before she'd come to hang out with us, she'd rub the slimy, rotting chicken all over her hands and face and then spray on perfume to mask the odor. I always thought her perfume just smelled bad, but I guess it was always because she had the putrid scent of rotten meat all over her skin. Sadly, it gets more horrifying.
Then, for whatever reason, a reason that she couldn't or wouldn't explain, she'd take her disgusting hands and rub the rims of our cups or glasses and lick and spit on our food when we weren't looking. Who does that? Of course, there was tons and tons of mold growing everywhere in her place as well. Every little crack and nook had something growing in it. I left her place fully willing to just cut her out of my life.
The Ones Who Are Left Behind
My brother is the worst. He may be depressed or addicted to his computer or something like that, but he's just terrible with everybody around him. To him, everybody is stupid, nobody cares about him, and the entire world is out to get him and keeping him from achieving anything. He's 28, without a job, living with our father.
Meanwhile, our poor father is doing all he can to help him, but there's nothing to be done. This is, of course, after our mother gave up helping him after many years of putting up with him. In the meantime, my brother has been tormenting everyone who dares talk to him. When visiting my father a few years ago, I saw my brother very briefly.
It was tough for him because I'm getting on with my life. I have my own home, a cool job I love, I'm getting married, money isn't an issue...and he on the other hand is alone, living at his dad's, without a job. We talked, again briefly. He tried and tried again to find ways in which he was better than me or to say that I'm stupid. He got frustrated, called me names, and left.
Love Thy Neighbor
My adoptive parents kicked me out my junior year of high school for being gay—they had already known for a while, but my then-boyfriend coming over Christmas morning to exchange gifts made them “deal” with it. They told me to break it off or get out. I declined and came home one day the following January to find out they’d changed the locks.
My boyfriend’s mother found out that I was staying with my aunt and what my parents did, and immediately drove me over to make my parents let me get clothes and items from my room. She then let me stay with their family. A few weeks after that, my parents showed up with officers, claiming they were holding me against my will and brainwashing me.
We told them our side of the story and it ended up in court. I went through the process of getting emancipated while dealing with them and finishing off high school. I haven’t talked to them since I graduated, over a decade ago. I still hear about how crazy and manipulative they are from the stuff they do to my brother when he complains about them, but I won’t see or speak to them under any circumstances.
About Facea woman with her mouth open and hands in front of her facePhoto by Simran Sood on Unsplash
My aunt has always been difficult. She could be very nice and caring, but then, for no obvious reason, she suddenly turned into a screaming monster. Once, my mom, who has a key to her apartment, left her a present and a card in her bedroom for my aunt on her birthday, and all my aunt did was scream and yell about "How dare we break into her place.”
A few months later, she was detained for throwing a chair at her co-worker. This led to her being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She had to get into therapy and was on probation for many months. She’s doing much better now, and her therapist helped her a lot. It turned out that my aunt is the sweetest, most caring person in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing her next week.
My father and his wife spent years convincing me I was a bad son, and I believed it. Genuinely, from when I was around 3-4 until I was 23, I thought I was a bad son and felt so guilty. It wasn't until I was 23 that I realized that they were the ones canceling seeing me and then calling me up to reprimand me for not seeing them. It was them. They were bad parents, I wasn't a bad son. Their friendly facade to me and my friends was so thick that I never saw it, and a lot of my friends still don't see it.
I cut contact with them three years ago and have refused to acknowledge their existence since. I just tell people I don't have a dad.
The Great Deceiver
When I was six years old, my aunt, who was my guardian, faked my grandmother’s passing. She lied to all of us—local churches, her friends, and strangers—for sympathy and money. She wrote to multiple people asking for support. She needed money for a headstone and the funeral, etc. People bought into it hook, line, and sinker.
So you can imagine our surprise a year later when we received a letter from our grandma saying she was coming to see us.
The Bare Necessities
My shower stopped working one day. I went to my mom, who was sitting in bed, and told her it was broken. Her response chilled me to the bone. She just looked at me, annoyed, and shrugged. Well, then my bedroom light burned out. Same thing. I tell her, hoping she'll at least give me a new bulb. She says "okay?" And shrugs me off.
She made me feel entitled for asking for necessities. So I stopped asking for things. Most of my high school life, I spent in a room with no light, a kitchen with no food, a bathroom with no means to shower, one pair of pants, no socks, and in pain. Sitting in my dark room, unable to shower for a few months, I considered why some people shouldn't have children.
There's a saying about needing to kiss a lot of frogs before finding Prince Charming. Most people date more than one person before settling on a life partner.
And even then it doesn't always work out.
Most of us have at least one breakup in our past. The reasons things don't work between people vary greatly.
But we all have our breaking point.
Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked:
"What caused your last break up?"
Lack of Empathy
"I had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. All the attention I had been giving her I didn't have the energy to maintain while getting Chemo and avoiding Covid."
"My final straw. She yelled at me on the phone while I was in intensive care with pulmonary embolisms."
"Just that light bulb moment, and I was done."
"That was 3 years ago. All good now. I'm in remission, and thinking about dating again."
"I got into an argument with a crazy ex that was about 8 years older than me when I was 19 and we were screaming and chatting at each other and I remember she grabbed this vase that I had just bought her some flowers in and chucked it at my head and barely missed.
"It's hard to remember what kind of insanities I was yelling at her after that but she came around the corner with two brand new butcher knives from a knife set we had bought earlier that day and chased me around the house in circles."
"The house had bars on the windows and you had to have a key to open the front and back door it did not just have a manual lock."
"I ended up putting myself in the bathroom and holding the door as hard as I could and she actually stabbed one of the knives through the door."
"The whole knife did not come through the door only about two inches of it but that's plenty enough to still scare you."
"It was around 2010 and I had one of those prepaid phones in my pocket and I called her dad to come get her. He lived across the street."
"After her dad got her calmed down he took me on a ride to the duck pond at like 2 or 3:00 in the morning and was feeding the ducks old pizza and was just telling me that I needed to chill out and trying to give me some kind of a life lesson."
"He was probably pretty intoxicated himself but usually managed to hold himself together."
He really wasn't a great guy but came in during his daughter's mental crisis."
"The duck pond adventure started to end as the sun came up and I went and locked myself into the bathroom at the house and just went to sleep on the floor."
"I was going to get my things and get out that morning but she begged me to stay and at the time I thought that was what I really wanted."
"I think she kind of was mentally unwell at the time and I wasn't my best either."
"I did not call the cops on her and we reconciled for a time."
"Unfortunately I seem to have a pattern of not realizing I'm in a major mentally abusive situation due to growing up in one."
"Wife and I were attending couples therapy."
"The therapist said she was being literally abusive to me. My then-wife demanded a new therapist."
"Second therapist said she was being abusive to me. My then-wife filed for divorce.
"While my life right after was hell, it's come back around and I'm doing better than ever."
"My drinking, lies about drinking, and sh*tty finances because of drinking. 107 days sober today."
"Finally, someone who admits it was their fault. Me too brother."
"Past exes all was because of my drinking. Thankfully, I found someone who helped me quit."
"I'm 1yr 8m sober. We got this."
"We had our home, our plans and were preparing to marry in about three months when we separated."
"Thank goodness you found out before getting married."
"I know it must really hurt and maybe even keep you from trying again with someone new but you really dodged a bullet."
"Yep, my wife cheated and it's costing me about 100k between legal fees, buying out her equity in the house (which she paid none of), give her a chunk of my retirement and liquid cash."
"Honestly I think everyone should have a nasty infidelity clause in a pre-nup at this point."
"I can also look forward to sending her 70k in child support over the coming years. And I'm gonna take a wild guess that most of it won't be spent on the kid."
Something is Missing
"It took some time but we both realized that we weren't giving each other what we needed."
"Same! He saw it first so he was the one to leave me, but thank God he did, we were so incompatible!"
"Leaving my last relationship was rough—it was my first ever relationship and lasted 7 years—but I was so relieved at the same time when I got dumped."
"It was a very healthy breakup on both sides, and we kept in touch on and off for just under a year afterwards until she began seeing someone else and I felt it would be best to leave it be out of respect for her new partner."
"We honestly just both grew up (got together when I just turned 18; both young) and eventually fell out of romantic love."
"I still hold her to the highest respect and will always have a place in my heart for her, but I was so glad when she bit the bullet and broke it off. I would've felt too guilty to do so; I owed her so much."
"We had a very tumultuous relationship for the first couple years—we were very much in love but I had a lot of unresolved mental health issues, had a nervous breakdown, etc..."
"I still hate what I put her through but hope I was able to make it up to her in the last couple years of the relationship."
"Anyways, I wish her the best. My life and mental well-being has gotten SO much better in the last few years of being single; in a way I owe that to her too."
"He wants to get his life together."
"We still love each other and he thinks he needs to do this on his own but I want to be here for him, I promised him when we first started dating I’d be here for him as much as I can."
"It just hurts because he thinks I’m not strong enough to still love him and be apart from him when I am. It’s complicated."
Not enough time
"Her not having enough time for both grad school and a relationship."
"She did make the right choice though."
"Oof, yeah. Grad school is a real drain, emotionally."
"Like, you need the support of a partner while you go through it, but you don't really have anything to give back."
"It's an awful time."
"Just broke up with a girl halfway through a medical degree. I couldn't do it. I had been supporting her financially for 8 years and even another four I couldn't do. She also wanted me to cook, shop more than her."
"I started telling her I wanted her to contribute more towards the relationship. She grew distant but then really leaned on me when she needed financial and emotional support."
"She gets through her exams gets admitted to the doctorate and then cheats on me on holiday with a Swiss rocket scientist."
"He's now supporting her finanically in a long distance relationship. Feels like I dodged a bullet. Still 8 years is a long time."
It's complicated seems to be the mantra of relationships in the 21st century.
Are we no longer as loyal or loving as we were in the past?
Or do we just have more options and an unwillingness to settle.
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.