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People Describe The Longest Five Minutes Of Their Entire Life

Knowable

Time flies when you're having fun - but the opposite is also true.

Every one of us knows what it is to look at a clock and then wonder if it's broken because there's no way that's al the time that's passed. The last few minutes before the school bell rang or before you could clock out; the "doctor needs to speak with you" minutes; those excruciating moments before they got home - you know what I mean.


One Reddit user asked:

What was the longest 5 minutes of your life?

Some of these answers are heartbreaking, some are beautiful, some are awful. But they're all pretty relatable.

These Awkward Concerts

schitts creek singing GIF by CBC Giphy

Having a grown man sing a song he wrote himself about love and friendship while playing his acoustic guitar and giving everyone in the small living room perfectly rationed eye contact.

There's a fine line between sweet and cringe when you play an instrument and sing to someone who didn't ask you to. The line is crossed when you stare directly into their eyes while doing it.

- mantrakid

Oh I just laughed and cringed so much at this. You brought back a memory I have tried to suppress for years. Same situation but with a guy singing Ain't No Sunshine. Except he somehow slowed it down 4 fold its natural tempo and it isn't a fast song to begin with.

The guy couldn't hold a note and also kept leaving dramatic pauses in weird places and making his own percussion noises. Aint no......................sunshine when she's..........gone......bom bom........... bom. The entire room nearly popped their spleens trying not to laugh for the 9 minutes it took for him wail through the song.

- nightmarename

A Few Weeks Early

Our baby was born at 28 weeks (17 years ago)

The doctors immediately took him away from us.

We waited.

- alterperspective

Glad he made it! 😌 I know one born at 24 weeks 5 days. He's 20 now. NICU nurses, doctors, orderlies, even volunteers are the best in medicine. ♥️

- winedogmom88

I was born at 29 weeks 35 years ago, just under 3lbs. Dr said 50/50 shot I would survive the first night.

- its_its_not_its

Everything After The Intro

Freshman year of college I took an introductory social psych course (the reason I included the course is to give you a scale — it was a large class with about 200 students). We were put in groups and had to deliver short presentations on papers, about 5 minutes in length.

I got lucky — or thought I did — when my group assigned parts. I was given the introduction, so my slides comprised of the names of our group members, the title of the paper, and a short summary of the abstract (which is already a summary of the paper).

My other group members filled out the method, experiment and discussion sections, and we came to an agreement that we would each present the slides we wrote, and answer any questions the professor asked only for our sections.

So, naturally, as a college freshman, I didn't read the other slides. And I definitely didn't read the whole paper (after all I read the abstract!).

As I'm sitting in class the day of our presentation, I notice I can't really see my group members. Meanwhile, I dragged myself to class while feeling pretty sick, so I ignore this thought while digging for tissues. After a few minutes, I hear my professor repeating "If someone from group 5 can't come up and present you'll all get a zero." I leap up, my laptop in one hand and a collection of tissues in the other, and get to the front of the massive lecture hall.

And that's when I realize I'm alone. My group didn't show. I told the professor, and she says that I'll just have to present. Let me tell you — I absolutely killed my slides. I read the title of the paper like a pro. Then came the most excruciating and longest 5 minutes of my life.

I read off the slides, for every slide, occasionally misreading and having to go back. I stumbled. I tried to make it less obvious by expanding on points, but each time I just restated them using different words. The longer it went, the worse it got. And my nose got runnier and runnier, until I was forced to blow my nose in front of 200 classmates — except my tissues were missing, and so I simply sneezed snot onto my computer, said "oh gross" and moved on. Towards the end, I felt like I had been up there for an hour. So instead of including the last few slides (arguably the most important ones) I said "well, you get the gist of it" and skipped to the end. The professor only asked one question: "did you even try to do the assignment?"

When our group got our grade back we got a C (generous, but an easy A class). The professor's comment read "In future courses you will be expected to read the slides to yourself before reading them to the class. Presenter was not prepared."

Those five minutes still haunt me, but for what it's worth, in the years since I have always made sure I understood the entire presentation.

- MiggyTripleCrown

While Also Maybe Singing

Sent my 4 year old daughter to a 1-week musical theater camp. So on performance day, they have a song they all sing together.

The song, which one of the teachers wrote, doesn't have any chorus or repetitions, like you would have in a song written for f'ing 4 year olds to sing. It's a 5 minute wall of text, which they're reading off of poster-board cue cards.

Seriously it's 4 year olds, the song should be like:

"I like to dance! I like to dance! I like to dance all day!!"

"I like to dance! I like to dance! I like to dance and play!!!"

But no it's like:

"The woods are filled with many creatures, and nature and other things. I walked along the river and found some rocks and stick and twigs. I saw a bird fly high in the sky and a fish swim in the lake." And another 4 minutes 50 seconds of kids who can barely read trying hard to read off a hand written cue card while also maybe singing.

- ebbfsharpee

Shock Is Shockingly Awful

elton john help GIF by Rocketman Giphy

Anaphylactic shock.

I had eaten something that had a trace of peanut (to which I am severely allergic) in it, and once we were aware of it, we figured if I took Benadryl I'd be fine.

Absolutely not.

The whole reaction lasted about an hour, from onset until complete stop, but at its worst (about 5 minutes), I wanted nothing more than to die. I specifically remember begging whatever god was out there to kill me and to make it stop. I lost my airway for about a minute and a half, and the next thing I know, I was in the hospital. Thankfully I lived to tell the tale, but those five minutes felt like years.

- bagelpilot_

Came here to tell my allergic reaction too! I was working as a mobile dog bather with my sister. We were grooming 3 golden retrievers and at the end of it I was wheezing really bad and my whole face and chest were turning red, my sister too said we'll get you some Benadryl from the store and it'll be fine. Less than 2 min down the road and she said I kinda started to turn bluish... and she called 911. Then it happened, I went to take a breath and NOTHING. People who haven't experienced it... it is the scariest thing. Your body knows you need to breath and you just get nothing.

- -kkmonster-

Lance Corporal J

I was in the the Marines, random unit formation one morning.

The night before my best friend, J, had stopped by my place to grab some stuff I'd bought for him for the Marine Ball that coming weekend. I'd just got a new place with my new wife and we made plans for him to come over after the ball.

The first thing my Commander did was announce that he had bad news. Last night Lance Corporal J had died in an accident.

Trying to hold it together in that formation after finding out my best friend had died was the longest 10 minutes of my life.

Then came the next longest.

You can't talk about someone dying in the military until after the family has been officially notified. So our CO put us on a gag order about J's passing until he'd been notified that the family had been told and had time to break the news on their terms.

I was good friends with his fiance. She called me a hundred times that day trying to find out where J was and if he was okay. J had been on his way to see his fiance when he died , which is why she was calling me so soon after the fact. And I couldn't tell her sh*t.

That was the next longest 5 min in my life, except it was spread out over an entire day.

- AlmightyLeprechaun

After Being Hit By A Car

It might not have even been five minutes, but the time where I was on the ground after getting hit by a car not knowing if traffic had stopped, if anyone knew I was there, or if I was about to be run over too. I couldn't see through the blood and knew I was hurt so all I could do was scream.

- Sporkicide

A Brain Tumor Or Something

I went to the ER because I had a headache so severe I legitimately thought my head would explode, and I have chronic migraines. After the meningitis test came back negative, they did a head CT. The resident doctor came and said they found something and her attending would be there shortly (don't know if that's standard or not?)

I thought I had a brain tumor or something. Turns out I have a Chiari malformation and my brain stem had become compressed. Not the worst diagnosis, but I was 20, had just moved to Seattle by myself, and was all alone in an ER thinking I was maybe going to die.

- aigret

After We Shut The Machines Down

Waiting for my dad to pass after we shut the machines down that were keeping him alive. My mom and brother went into the room to be with him but I couldn't do it. Brother later told me I made the right decision.

- BunnyBunny13

My dad unexpectedly was in the position where we had to shut the machines off. And honestly the sound that happens when they pull the ventilator out haunts me. The last Image have of my dad is him dying. It's not pleasant and I don't blame anyone for not wanting to experience that.

- KelsasaurusRex21

How's Katherine?

One of our twins was born with the cord wrapped around her neck. There was a gasp from the doctor and then what seemed like minutes while the NICU team got her breathing properly, all the while my wife who drugged for the c section kept asking 'how's Katherine?'

That cry was life changing.

- JHarrigan07

The Best And Worst Part

Can I make it my longest three minutes?

I used to be a hospice nurse. As such I was often called to a client's home after they already died. Regardless of the timeline, we were required by law to assess for heart sounds and breathing for a full three minutes in order to officially pronounce the person dead. The scenario was always the same: Loved ones surrounded the bed, but at a slight distance as I'd enter the room. We would have a short conversation then I'd move to the bed, place my stethoscope over their heart, and listen for heart sounds while watching for signs of breathing. It never mattered how long the person had been dead, I could FEEL hopefulness oozing out of the family and loved ones. They knew in their brains there was no life there, but for every second of those looooong three minutes their hearts held out hope that somehow they might have been mistaken. The stories I was privy to after the pronouncement we sometimes beautiful, sometimes funny, but always heartwarming. Those times, when I had to pronounce a patient became simultaneously the worst and best part of that job.

- gramosaurusflex

Arrested At School

assassination nation grace GIF by NEON Giphy

Long story short I was going to be arrested in high school - at the school. Walking in to school late I grabbed lunch before the bell rang and headed towards class. The school's Resource Officer stopped me on my way, she tells me "Your Administrator wants to see you."

I was skeptical because I was troublesome in general and they always gave a name of Dean, Principal, Vice Principal, etc. Walking opposite down the hall she started ahead of me and led me to the Vice Principals room but he was not there.

She turns on the light but shuts the blinds (they faced out into a hallway) and explains that I am being arrested, reads me my rights and asks if I want to eat my food before I go. Couldn't do it.

That walk from the office to the police car out front felt the longest and the most socially stressful thing (on top of the whole being arrested thing).

- Kyle_Gravy

Lockdown

In middle school we went into lockdown. For those who don't know what happens in American schools, lockdown is when you lock the door, turn off the light, and hide in the corner. It's what you do when there is a shooter.

When they made the announcement on the intercom, they said it was not a drill, which scared the shit out of me. We did the standard thing, and five heart-wrenching minutes later it was over, and within 10 minutes the assistant principal was in the room telling us what happened.

A delivery guy got lost. Yup. This dude from UPS was buzzed into the school, couldn't find the office, and went down some hallway. After he didn't show up at the office, the administration put us on lockdown.

For a UPS guy.

- tacticalcatupi

No With No Explanation

I asked a girl out today when her my friend and I were studying (my friend was in the washroom) she just said no, with no explanation, then went back to her work like nothing had happened.

It was just her and I in that room for 5 agonizing minutes as I felt like an idiot. It then lasted for another 2 hours as we kept studying, but the other people came back so it seemed less intense... Still sucked tho.

- iAreRylan

I Let Him Beat Her

The five-ish minutes I spent resisting the urge to kill my stepfather as a fifteen-year-old.

I was chopping carrots and potatoes to go in the pot roast for dinner. He went after my little sister again, berating and insulting her until she cried. When she started crying, he raised his arm and said, "Stop crying before I give you something to cry about!"

I almost stabbed him. The knife was in my hand, I knew it was sharp, and I knew if I stabbed him once I wouldn't stop until I knew he was dead. I wanted him dead. So bad. But I was scared of jail.

So instead I kept chopping veggies and let him beat her.

Longest five minutes of my life.

- MoonSilvery

Blue And Unmoving

When I pulled my 15 month old out of our home pool she shouldn't have been able to access, blue and unmoving. I thought she was already dead.

She finally started moaning and twitching after about 90 seconds or so, but I still thought she was dying for the next several minutes. It was an absolute miracle that she was okay, zero water in her lungs and no bad side effects of any kind. She's 10 now.

Every once in awhile, I have a visceral reaction to the memory of seeing her floating there; my brain sort of shudders and stops for a moment and my blood runs cold. Her being alive is one of the things I am most thankful for.

- Childproofbirdhouses

My Uncle's Funeral

This happened yesterday. I was at my uncle's funeral service.

For some context, most of my relatives on that side of the family are no nonsense farmers that are focused on getting the job done. They're not especially interested in sentimental stuff.

That being said, the funeral was incredibly awkward and nobody was really talking to each other. So when the pastor asked for nice stories about my uncle, it was silent.

Of course he was a good guy, but this family barely talks. Only 1 person told a story about him and that was it.

Instead of waiting like 30 seconds and moving on, the pastor waited much longer. I could feel every second and at one point I exchanged looks with my dad. I guess he didn't believe it either.

I'm not sure if it's normal to wait that long because that was the first funeral I've been to (I'm a teenager so a lot of things I do are a first), but it was the most uncomfortable I've felt in awhile.

- clown-spaghetti

Another Date

So for context, I went on a date with this guy that was super pushy and yet passive aggressive at the same time. Just pushed all the wrong buttons for me, raised a bunch of red flags and I just found an excuse to get out of the rest of the date that he kept trying to extend to a sleepover while also trying to play hard to get.

It was really weird, awkward and uncomfortable. Once I got out of there he texted me later that he hoped "we could do it again" and I just was honest and said I was really uncomfortable and not interested, that was the end of that.

A few months later, I go to pick up takeout at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The restaurant is quite small and as I walk in, I see him eating at the counter which is between the door and the register. He didn't look up so I figured I could sneak behind him, pay for my food and be gone without being noticed (usually I spend less than 2 minutes for that whole process).

Well, for whatever reason they hadn't finished cooking my food yet. So I pay and then have to wait, standing behind him just hoping that he doesn't turn around. Except that he does.

So I give a fake smile and a "hey, how are you doing?" While shifting eyes to the counter ready to pounce once my food is ready. And then he gives me the "so when are we going on another date?" as he is staring at me. I swear he didn't even blink. I was waiting and hoping for an earthquake, tornado, food fight or anything as I struggled to answer without sounding mean.

I swear, I could've watched the entirety of LOTR in the time the awkward silence/staring ensued until my food arrived. In reality it was 5ish minutes and as soon as it arrived I grabbed it and said "I'll text you" and gtfo. Thankfully, never saw him after that.

- bttrflyr

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