Childhood is full of mysteries. From things we simply don't comprehend to things our parents are tired of explaining to us--the truth is, we probably won't get a full picture until we are much older.
And that might even be for the best. Though children are naturally curious and deserve the truth, not every moment is made for a child's brain to fully comprehend.
Just One Line
My dad used to occasionally burst out with this one line of a song:
"...said Barnacle Bill the Sailor..."
Only ever that line. When I was 6 or so I asked him why and he said it was an old drinking song that was absolutely filthy and I was too young to hear the rest of it. This continued once or twice a year until I was 18.
I told him I was an adult now and he could tell me the rest of the song. I distinctly remember him looking up from the newspaper, sighing and folding it then going "The truth is I can never remember the rest of the song." And then went right back to reading the newspaper.
That Lil Old Neurological Disorder
The weird smell that I referred to as a "stinky cheese smell" were probably a symptom of seizures.
I would happen maybe twice a year, it's not really like cheese, it's like a smell that isn't a smell. Idk how to even describe it. It was so minor parents disregarded it. I can remember it starting in 2nd grade.
I suddenly started having it a lot more as an adult when I hit 28 and got diagnosed two years later after symptoms became way more extreme. Makes so much sense now!
Ah Yes, An Empty Box
The entire time I lived in my childhood home, my mom hid my Christmas presents in her "secret hiding place" she made it sound mystical and mysterious a few months ago a while after I moved out, she finally told me what the secret hiding place actually was, the Christmas tree box in a cabinet in the garage she would replace the Christmas tree with my presents when she put the tree up.
Dat Money Gone
Not the biggest mystery but...
One day my friend was over in my house playing video games. My mom called us over to her room to help flip the mattress over. So we did. We then went to another friend's house. My mom calls that friend and says, "there was two 20 dollar bills on top of the dresser, did you get them."
I said no, I asked my friend, he said no. Like 5 minutes later, my friend says if we want to go to the toy store because he has 40 dollars, in two 20 dollar bills. I say yes and we go and he buys me a yo-yo or something.
It took me YEARS to finally realize that my friend stole the money.
There's A Song In My Head
I remember being about 8, and in the car with my dad. I was in the front seat and we were driving somewhere, and this song came on the radio. He cranked it and said something about it being the best guitar playing ever. He really jammed out, which was really uncharacteristic because he was usually so stoic. It was the only time I heard the song, and he died before I could ever ask him what song it was. When I asked around, no one knew wtf I was talking about or what song I was thinking of.
So I had this melody in my head for years, but how do you look up a song that has no lyrics? So for years and years, this song stayed on the back burner in my brain. I was afraid to forget it. Somehow this story pops up when I'm like 26 or so, chatting with my husband and we searched YouTube for "best guitar songs". After about 15 minutes, we find it. Cliffs of Dover was the song that I'd burned into my brain on repeat for 16 years. Now I jam out to it with my kids.
When I was in elementary school, I always wondered what the teachers staff room was like. It seemed so mysterious - and I remember trying to get a peek anytime I walked by and the door would open.
Later became a teacher and can fully confirm they're dull, often toxic spaces full of cranky teachers complaining about students.
At Least It Was An Accident?
When I was younger, like 4 or 5, my family had a pet turtle. One day the turtle went missing and my parents told me it climbed the wall in our backyard and went to the creek behind our house. I, being a naive toddler child, did not question this logic.
Fast forward to when I was 17 and driving with my mom in the car. We saw a tortoise crossing the street and I was suddenly thrown back to my memory of us having a pet turtle. I pulled over to save the tortoise and was all "OMG MOM TURTLES CAN'T CLIMB WALLS! WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR TURTLE?!"
Came to find out it had burrowed a hole in our lawn and my dad didn't notice it until after he ran it over with a lawn mower 😢 obviously it was easier to pick up the pieces and tell your kid it climbed the wall than admit you murdered it with a lawn mower.
TLDR: parents lied to me about a pet going missing and I found out it was brutally murdered (on accident) by my father.
A Straw As A Vaccuum
Reverse of this: As a kid, my dad would call me from the other side of the house to bring him something to drink from the kitchen. He always drank from a straw and about 1st grade, I started getting annoyed at this so I started poking a tiny hole in his straw as my own little vengeance.
I didn't come clean about this until I was like 22 years old. The look on his face was priceless. It's like he instantly snapped back to then and knew exactly what I was talking about and just said, "son of a *****... you did, didn't you?" He just thought we bought cheap straws.
I visited my dad when I was 6 or 7 years old at the place where he worked, or so I was told. I remember remarking at the time, and people laughed at me, because I said it looked just like a prison. The people laughing were the guards and I was indeed visiting my dad at Terminal Island federal correctional institution where he was a federal inmate.
Being A Sneaky Kid
I solved a family mystery for my mom. I wasn't allowed to play console video games during the week all the way until I was 18 but some nights I'd really be craving it so I would noiselessly creep through my house into my basement where I could play video games in peace. But once every 30 times or so one of my parents would need something from the basement and I'd quickly turn off the tv monitor, hide in the guest room and pray they didn't turn on a light or notice the Xbox was on. One night I ducked into the guest room and hid behind the bed.
To my horror my mom followed me into the room and turned on the lights. I was panicking so when she started digging through the closet with her back to me I made a run for it. I nearly brushed her shirt and if she'd seen me I'd probably have given her a heart attack. But I made it and kept going all the way to bed.
About 5 years went by and my mom said something like "you're such a quiet walker" and I told her it was because of my basement trips thinking I had nothing to lose. My mom's face went kinda solemn and when I explained she said "so there really was someone down there." And she explained that she remembered that exact night and the feeling that there was a ghost in the room. Over the next couple days she'd stare into space and just say "I can't believe you were really there." She seemed to get over it but she probably checks empty rooms closer now.
Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.
But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.
Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:
If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
I just can't see anyone else saying those words other than the people who did. And it's not that America can't do great fantasy, look at Buffy. Which also benefitted from the Brits. Coincidence?
Pay Upharry potter art GIFGiphy
"Quidditch coach is the highest paid "professor" at the school."
"Harry would probably live in New Jersey. Ron would probably live in Kentucky or Tennessee, and Hermione would probably be from California. They would go to ileverany (I spelled it wrong it's the North American wizard in school), which is in Massachusetts. There would be a train but only for people in Boston-New York-Philly-DC corridor. Everyone else would use flying cars. Outside of that it is a typical American boarding school."
"Airport terminal 9 and 3 quarters."
"Eagles instead of Owls. Sasquatch instead of Centaurs."
"We have owls though? Eagles would be more of a flex but like, owls would still work better as they fly night and day. OK. Eagles would be an option. The useless 1 miles per gallon of gas muscle car of the owl world. Americans are super obnoxious. We suck. I get it. Sorry. Lmao."
"Too conventional. Leave it to the Wizarding World to adopt the mythical Ben Franklin's turkey idea instead. Idk how the heck that'd work as a delivery service, mind you, but still."
RelicsHappy Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"The school would be a defunct military base because we don't have any incredibly old buildings, and the uniforms would be military style instead of robes. 'Murica."
Well those sound like some solid choices. Who doesn't love taco Tuesday? And why are sports always the first go to change?
Happy 5th!Happy Birthday Dancing GIFGiphy
"Taco Tuesdays at the Great Hall."
"And a freaking epic (but pointless) Cinco De Mayo party. For non Americans, it's mostly an excuse for Americans to drink on a Mexican holiday. It gets cringey. But hey, on other hand, tacos and margaritas."
"Nathan Fillion would've been cast as Guilderoy Lockhart."
"They would change 'philosopher's stone' to 'sorcerer's stone'."
"The editors wanted Rowling to change the name to "Sorcerers Stone" so that the readers would know the book is about magic, and not some philosopher with a theory about a stone and sends a random guy on a mission to find it. Most people that are not American underestimates an American's brain capacity. I'm American. We are not as stupid as you think."
The Drop Off
"No train ride to Hogwarts. Instead, parents will be dropping them off by car. A huge parking lot just outside Hogwarts, and instead of Diagon Alley, a large Wal-Mart exists surrounded by nothing more than another parking lot."
"It's hidden by being inside a Walmart parking lot. But when you reach the edge, almost to the building, muggles get all turned around and suddenly notice the Walmart was at the other side of the parking lot. This can repeat until the muggles either get inside a real Walmart, or go away."
Commercial GainFlying Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"This quidditch match is brought to you today on ESPN by Swiffer, the official broom of the Quidditch Cup."
"Quidditch in the old South West Conference was crazy… I remember when Texas A&M offered Eric Dickerson that gold Swiffer and he took it and rode it up to Dallas to sign his letter of intent with SMU."
Nothing here really seems necessary. It was fun to dabble in the thoughts though. Keep perfect as is.
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Life isn't as simple as one may think. It's not always easy to take a step back and look at the big picture, but when there's over seven billion people on the planet, there's no way things are as cut and dry as they seem.
Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.
So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.
Redditor Queasy_Researcher_27 asked:
"What's not as simple as people think?"
There's never a bad time to learn something new, so keep reading to get a different perspective on life.
Driving a bus.
"Driving a bus. It's very tiring focusing on the road for up to 10 hours a day and having to look in the mirror every 5 to 8 seconds while making sure all your passengers are safe and well on top of try to work out what other motorists are gonna do in front and behind you."
"Really, driving in general should be like this but most people ignore most of these aspects and that's why we get accidents involving inattentive drivers."
"Thank you for taking your job seriously, though. An inattentive bus driver would be phenomenally dangerous."
"Getting out of poverty. Especially if you're born into it."
"This. Very few people who haven't experienced poverty, understand how systemic it is in keeping people trapped in it."
"Even grocery shopping while broke is hard....more money you have the easier it is to take advantage of the offers and weekly/daily deals."
"Its not even as simple as being poor. I think finding comfort in poor is a huge part of it."
"I was raised middle class. And being able to go out to a nice restaurant without worry was one of many luxuries that are now nostalgic to me. And even when my family dropped all support and I had to work up from nothing again, I was never comfortable until I was back there again."
"On the flip side, I have no idea what it would be like to be rich rich. Like designer clothes, fancy cars, knowing-the-right-people parties. There's a 'lane' of upper-middle class-rich that Is foreign to me and I have absolutely no desire to push or work to get to that. I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did."
"I'm not saying that those that grow up poor are stuck that way or don't know how to get out of it or anything like that, but there's something so damn nice about what-you-know. I can imagine if all you know is being broke AF it would be so much harder."
Mental health matters.
"Getting out of depression."
"'Just be happy.' Yeah Mom, I like being sad all the time..."
"Relationships! I thought it was simple. You love someone, they love you, that's all you need. Ohh how wrong I was haha."
"Welcome to the club. It's even worse when you have to give up before you even get a chance to truly love the person. You just have to go on with life knowing that you wanted to and were willing. So yeah, relationships, don't recommended those lol."
"Same. I could never understand why my friends would brake and then get back together with there a**hole ex's after what they made them go through until I was in my own relationship and had my own a**hole ex."
Moving on from relationships.
"Moving on, even when you want to."
"There are relationships I've moved past, but doubt I will ever truly 100% get over. Years of time, therapy, meditation, burying myself in my career, hitting the gym and getting in the best shape of my life and even now these people occupy more mental real estate and influence how I go about making decisions."
"Hey man that's natural, it's just what makes us human. As long as people can embrace that it is easier to understand and deal with."
"Relationships form the strongest memories, so it's natural for them to always be there and pop up when you least expect it."
This effects the last two.
"None of us are ready to talk about this one bud."
"Learn English, it's super painful because it isn't consistent and [doesn't] make any sense most of the time (at least for a Spanish speaker)."
"It's worse for someone from a language like Russian, since you have to figure out what the hell an article is and how to use it (Slavic languages don't have them). My wife has been living in the US for 10 years and still routinely messes them up."
"There's also the inconsistency between when to add an S to a word. For nouns it's when they're plural. But for verbs it's when they're singular (third person)."
"And the TH sound can be very difficult for someone who is an adult to master, since vocal cords harden with age to your preferred language."
"Making a movie, it takes hundreds of people to make a film and most of them actually put effort and care into the project."
"I went to a filmmaking summer camp for 2 weeks. While was SUPER fun, it took a lot of effort to put the movie together and I learned just how long it takes to really make a movie."
"Same goes for making games, hundreds of people sometimes who all care very much for the product they produce, however chewed up it gets by publishers."
Making friends as an adult.
"Making new friends as adults."
"Yeah this is me. When i was a kid I was just able to approach someone without thinking too much of it, I'd consider anyone I've talked to as a friend. Idk what age hit me when i realized that we're just acquaintances. Now I just can't go up to someone and make a conversation without an intention, and you also have to feel what that person is thinking. Maybe its just me overthinking this."
Though these things are not as simple as they seem, we are all going through life together. At some point or another, we may find that we need to walk a mile in someone else's shoes to really understand the difficulty of the situation.
Variety is the spice of life. Without the difficulties and challenges that come along the way, life would be pretty boring.
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Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.
This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.
Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.
Reddit user RichPesaventoum asked folks on AskReddit:
Politicians aren't perfect, even the ones you like.
"Ignoring character flaws in politicians you support while demonizing ones you disagree with over the same thing and similar flaws."
"I hate when people assume that because you are in support of a certain party that you blindly agree with every policy, every speech, everything they do. It shouldn't be that way. We're allowed to be displeased or hate things and yet still support the majority of what they do, or at least see them as the better candidate."
It's normal for guys to like kids too.
"That guys that like kids are pervs but women can love kids. I am a dad to a 3 year old girl and think kids are a ton of fun, but society thinks if I like kids I am a perv or something."
"I had trouble with this when mine were young. Some parents would totally trust me with their kids for a play date when my wife was somewhere, so I assumed other parents would too and got answered with awkward silence."
"Kind of nice to have high schoolers now instead."
So should I care, or...?
"Parents: You need to stop what caring what other people think about you!"
"Parents: Look at you! Imagine what other people must think about you!"
"'why don't you come out of your room and talk to people?'"
"'Look who finally decided to show up!' Tells another embarrassing and degrading story about you"
Everyone deserves rest.
"That poor people are basically not allowed leisure. The scion of some billionaire industrialist can lounge around all day, throw parties and wreck fancy cars and everyone is just sort of okay with that. A poor person wants to sit down for a second, and out everyone comes, pitchforks and torches in hand, demanding they surrender the right to free food for their children or whatever."
"The upper-class advice for struggling people is always 'just give up everything that keeps you from blowing your brains out, and work harder for me'."
"At some point, even luxuries can be a necessity."
Assault is assault, regardless of gender or sex.
"Celebrating teenage boys being sexually abused by an attractive older woman. It's statutory rape, but there will always be scores of men saying things like 'wish that happened to me when I was his age' or similar statements."
"I'd go further, that double standard is part of a larger more inherent double standard."
"Male sexual assault, rape, and victimization being treated as a joke (often times literally if you watch enough tv or movies) if the aggressor is a woman. Underage boys being victimized is terrible don't misunderstand but it's a fundamental part of the wider double standards that enable it."
Girls need armor too.
"Games with male characters in practical armor and female characters in armor-colored lingerie."
"Yes, yes, I know, oversized bosoms draw a lot of male attention. But it's a huge red flag that women aren't part of the target audience."
Just don't hit people.
"'No man should ever hit a woman but if a woman hits a man then obviously he must have done something to deserve it'. Abuse is abuse and nobody deserves it."
It's irritating when you do it, too.
"Hating certain behaviors in someone else but making excuses for the same or similar behavior in yourself."
Greed is always a character flaw, no matter how much money you have.
"Being greedy is seen as a character flaw, but being a billionaire is seen as a great accomplishment."
"Such is the great contradiction of a society that is obviously built to reward selfishness but shames people for being selfish. It's almost like that messaging exists to keep the poors in their place."
"The right people get to be selfish, you don't."
Everyone has emotions.
"Probably that it is okay for a woman to be emotional, but if a man does it he needs to 'man up'. Drives me slightly insane."
"Unless that emotion is anger, then it’s reversed."
Double standards hurt everyone. It can be hard to notice them if you're on the side that benefits from them, though. If you take a look at your own life, you might be surprised to see how many double standards we're all affected by every day.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.
Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.
Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.
Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:
And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.
Like Refrigerator Bigjust ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy
"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."
"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."
"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr
Immigrants In ActionDog Brazil GIF Giphy
"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."
"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."
"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas
With A NoteTelevision Bunny GIF Giphy
"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."
"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf
Life Hack!studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy
"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"
"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."
"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."
"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."
"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."
"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."
"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow
Literal Gold Treasurevalley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy
"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."
"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."
"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."
"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."
"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch
The Best Day Of My LifeWill Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy
"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."
"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."
"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."
"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."
"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."
"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."
"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief
Who Throws Away Money?spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy
"A jar full of quarters."
"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."
"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."
"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."
"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980
Filing FeverFiles Workload GIF Giphy
"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."
"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"
"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."
"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."
"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz
This Sucks - In A Good Way!mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy
"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."
"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."
"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs
Tiffany's TrashAudrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy
"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."
"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink
Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!