We are told, from a young age, not to interact with strangers. And let's be honest, that is sound advice.
With plenty of creeps and weirdos around, it's best for parents to just nip any possibility of abduction in the bud early.
But when we grow into adults, we can take care of ourselves. We develop a keener sense of people: who is approachable, who's not, and when it is or isn't a good time to strike up conversation.
That well-honed sense can open us up to so many amazing interactions that, without being just a little bold, we would never have the chance to experience.
Some Redditors recalled the times they read the moment right and got a very memorable encounter out of it.
Defiant_Cat7301 asked, "What's the most memorable moment you shared with a stranger who you never saw again?"
Many times, the moment begins with an act of kindness from one stranger to another. Simply lending a helping hand can be enough to smash things wide open and lay the groundwork for a great back and forth.
"I moved across the US a few years back (Washington to Ohio) and the first night I stopped at a random truck stop in Montana (I slept in the back seat of my truck). The next morning, I was letting my truck warm up when I noticed someone a few spots down was having a hard time getting his truck started so, of course, I went to help him."
"We got to talking and come to find out, not only did we work in similar lines of work, have similar backstories (both graduated in the same year from small towns, were navy veterans that were on subs, similar degree, etc.), but he was coming from Columbus Ohio going to Centralia Washington, and I was coming from Centralia Washington heading to Columbus Ohio. It was really weird."
"I was standing nearby this couple in Dollar Tree. I was deciding what snack I wanted and I overheard that the guy really liked Reese's bars but they didn't see any. Pre-Covid, I had frequented that particular Dollar Tree often, since it was nearby my house, and I knew that the store usually had those bars, they just weren't usually kept in the snack isle."
"I quickly checked the one island between the isles and the checkout and I found them. I went back to where the couple was, tapped the girl's shoulder and silently pointed them to the Reese's bars. Then I went back to doing my stuff."
"I was in the Flagstaff, Arizona area and hiked up 12,637 ft. Humphrey's Peak with a small group of people. On the way up, we met a young woman who had been hiking up the mountain with a group of her friends, but for some reason they left her behind."
"She was a slower hiker, but they should have never ditched her. She joined up with our group and made it to the top of the mountain, but on the way down it was clear that she was slowing us down. We weren't going to leave her behind like her friends did, however, so we went down the mountain at her speed."
"We ended up being on the mountain much longer than we planned, and soon it got dark when we were only about halfway down. That's when we realized we only had two small flashlights for 6 people. Hiking in near-pitch dark slowed us down even more, so I think we didn't even get down to the trailhead until around 10pm. It was unnerving not being able to see where we were putting our feet down, and I was sure someone was going to break an ankle. Luckily we made it down safely."
"When we got there, her friends were waiting, and they were mad that they had to sit and wait for her! After we made sure she was safe and good to go, we said goodbye and told her that she needed some new friends."
A Very Clutch Hitcher
"I was heading out on a three-hour drive from West Texas to The Metroplex. Stopped to fill up and, as I was pulling up to the pumps, saw a car pull in and let a hitchhiker out. When I was about to pull out of the parking lot and head for the highway, he started yelling, 'Wait!' and 'Don't let her leave!' which pretty much freaked me out until several people looked my way and signaled for me to stop."
"Turns out, I had a tire that was seriously under inflated. He helped me get air in the tire and we chatted for a bit. His last ride lived in the area, so had dropped him here beside the highway to catch his next ride. First and only time I've ever taken a hitcher while driving solo, but if ever a hitcher earned a ride, it was this guy. Made for a really quick trip, too, because he was smart and funny and made great conversation."
"I missed the last bus home (hour and a half away) after a big night out. I resigned myself to sleeping at the bus stop and was trying to get comfortable when some locals walked past. They asked me what i was doing and when I told them they said they were heading home and to come party and I could crash there."
"Went back to this guys waterfront mansion and drank and listened to classic records. Crashed out and left before they got up. I had his number so i texted him thanks later that morning and got a 'no worries champ' back. Never contacted him again."
Safety in Numbers
"Was being followed on campus and I ran up to three girls who were walking the same direction as me. I pretended to know them and quietly explained what was happening."
"They immediately incorporated me into the group and even when the guy stopped following me, they walked me to my dorm and made sure I got into the building okay."
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"A homeless guy gave me roses."
"I was barely scraping by as a daytime bartender, my car had died and I had to take a bus. The nearest stop to my job was in a dirty, edgy area of downtown and I had learned to not make eye contact with anyone."
"But one afternoon I saw a guy wearing nothing but a pair of filthy, bad-fitting overalls come ambling up the street barefoot, carrying something red. I did a double-take and our eyes met. Before I could react, he was standing in front of me with a bouquet of red roses, the stems wrapped in newspaper. He shoved the flowers into my hands, wished me a nice day, then went on his way."
"I was too stunned to react in the moment, and I looked for him every day after that, hoping I could buy him a sandwich or something, but I never saw him again. It's such a strange story that I wouldn't blame anyone who didn't believe it, but it really did happen and I'll never forget that guy."
"I was going through a tough patch and his strange and kind gesture reminded me that good things can happen when you least expect it."
Other people talked about a time that, for whatever reason, conversation began and everything else was history. They spent either a memorable moment, or even hours and hours, with a new person because the vibe was right.
Just a Good Day
"I met a guy at a restaurant. We were both in town for a short time. Me, for a convention and him for work. After eating and parting ways, I ran into him again, so we decided to explore the city together for the next 5 hours."
"He then walked me to the train station and I will always remember that day very fondly."
"Stuck in a traffic jam for almost an hour and got bored and did the swervy thing you see NASCAR drivers to during the pace lap. In my mirror a few cars back I spot a guy doing the same thing. He only ever did it after I did and we continued our swerve dance until traffic cleared up."
"He eventually caught up to and passed me, but not before exchanging a friendly wave as he went by. Hope he's doing well."
"Met a woman on a glacier excursion in Argentina. We went and had some beers afterward and had an absolute great time. No hookup or make out or anything -- just a great night out at the bar with a British chick, telling each other about life in our respective countries."
"This was like 16 years ago and I still think about it sometimes. Great night."
Under Her Wing
"She was actually a cousin but still a stranger to me. We'd gone to visit my dad's family and to attend his family reunion one summer when I was 8. I'm the youngest of 8 (next sibling is nearly 10 years older) so I was basically an afterthought. She was 17 and it was my very first time meeting her."
"We were there for 2 weeks and for most days she took me on an adventure. Ice cream. Snow cones. Fishing. Flying kites. Swimming. Bike riding. She would tell me about how she always wanted a sibling and wanting to go to college to get out of that small town and she would listen to me drone on about things that my siblings could care less about. She even let me drive her car once. I had to sit on her lap and we ended up in a ditch but it was so much fun."
"She made me feel like I had a real sister and I loved her instantly. When we left I cried myself to sleep. I never saw or heard from her again because a few months later she was killed by a drunk driver."
Sometimes, however, the circumstances were a bit grimmer. A crisis or medical emergency can be just the thing to dissolve the social norms and create some serious closeness, if only for the brief time that's necessary.
A Worthy Bystander
"Driving my kid to school last year and came up on a young woman laying in the road. She had just wrecked and was thrown from the vehicle."
"I covered her with a blanket from my car (it was late February in Indiana) and held her hand until the ambulance arrived. I hope she's ok."
Nurses: A Unique Breed
"I was rushed into the emergency room to deliver my baby whose heart rate had dropped off during delivery. They literally ran me in the room and started operating. I could not move or talk or anything from the fear and shock. God bless the nurse that was right there by my side."
"I can't even remember what she said, and I never saw her again, but she just keep saying the most reassuring things in the worst of moments."
"Definitely the time I was on a crowded bus with an incredibly erratic (and possibly drunk) driver. The person next to me and I kept joking around that we were gonna die every time the driver swerved the wrong way, pumped the breaks in the middle of traffic, and drifted in and out of traffic lanes."
"It became WAY less funny when the driver almost drove off the freeway & into a body of water below three times. People riding the bus had to come up to the front and literally help steer the wheel and navigate back on course, a couple people were on the phone with 911, some people in the back were literally crying."
"It was insane, and for sure the most memorable moment I've shared with a group of strangers. Never saw any of the people on that bus ever again, hope they're all doing well & haven't had to experience a bus ride like that ever again."
A Worthy Distraction
"I was at a music festival with friends when I got a pounding headache (dehydrated most likely. Drink water people!). I told our group I was going to sit down for a bit against a nearby wall."
"I'd only been there for a short while when a girl came over with a look of genuine concern, asking if I was ok. I said I had a headache, but was feeling better after having a bottle of water. Anyway, she sat down and told her friends she'd catch up with them."
"We ended up talking for about an hour or so. We had heaps in common. At no time did I feel as though I should ask for her number or anything. It was just a really nice, easy-going chat about different subjects."
"Time went by so quickly that we were both surprised when my friends came over and said the next band I'd wanted to see was about to start. I thanked her for checking on me, she thanked me for a chilled chat and we both went our separate ways."
"This would be about 20-25 years ago and I still clearly remember it."
So next time you're wandering around among plenty of strangers, maybe take a second to deliberately open yourself up. Put on an approachable face, or even make a comment out loud.
You never know the kind of day you might have after it.
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Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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