People Break Down Which Lessons That Their Parents Taught Them That They Won't Pass On To Their Kids
Sometimes, the hardest part of being a parent is taking the things you hated and using them as lessons on what NOT to do.
Even the most loving and well-intentioned parents screw things up. But not every parent is loving as well-intentioned. One Reddit user asked:
So yeah... this is a pretty solid "What Not To Do" list.
That you need to hustle 100% of the time and be constantly busy with school/work, extra activities, side projects, cleaning etc. Spending time unwinding is a sign of laziness and boredom, and intelligent people are never bored.
This really messed me up and I'm still learning the art of wasting time. Don't get me wrong, I love laying in bed doing nothing but it usually comes with guilt that I could be more productive during this time. I'm still in the process of learning that rest is needed for a healthy and well functioning body and mind.
Stop When You're FullFull GIF by memecandy Giphy
Eat everything on their plate. I try to get my kids to make an effort to eat their meals, but I'm never going to punish them for not being hungry when I say so. Sometimes you start it and can't finish. Sometimes you just don't like it. Now if they keep saying they're hungry sometimes you gotta learn to take what you can get though.
My parents were Depression-era kids, so they were taught that wasting food is a sin. I guess it was back then. But now I am trained to clear my plate no matter how full I am. It has been an uphill struggle to not teach my kids to do that.
That crying is shameful
I'm trying to not teach mine this one. But I still feel REALLY ashamed when I cry. I'll say it's allergies rather than admit I'm crying. I HATE it if anybody sees me crying.
"I'll give you something to cry about" was common for me. I hate it, I hate it so much.
This. My father has always been well... mean. Then he will tell me to stop crying because it makes me look weak and I 'm stronger than that.
It really messes with me. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Even now as a grown adult struggle with embarrassment when I cry.
The "Awkward" Stuff
That sex, sexuality, drinking/partying, politics, money, spirituality are awkward things to discuss. I want my future kids to know facts and that if they are ever in trouble, I am a safe place for them. We don't have to talk about it if they don't want to, they'll be taught how to be safe, but they should also know that these subjects are a part of life and should not cause shame.
A Crush Shouldn't Hurt
"If a boy acts like a jerk, it means he likes you!"
First of all, he shouldn't be let off the hook for acting like a jerk. (Whether he's 5 or 105). Secondly, it teaches girls that abuse is okay, or that they should expect to be treated like crap (and that it's okay for them to be treated like crap.)
My daughter had a little boy that was picking on her and I was pissed. I asked her what would happen if Tati (her dad) pushed me off of the sidewalk or pulled my hair?
She said he wouldn't do that because he cares about me and that other little boys in the school are a lot nicer. That's damn right... you stay away from that little boy. That little boy is an a$hole and don't forget it. Oh! And at the start of the Coronavirus thing he was "blowing air" on her.
Oh my god this sh!t brought me into so many wired and some even abusive relationships. It actually taught me to choose the guys that were mean to me.. "because that must mean they like me right?"
Go Your Own Way
That i basically have to be a smaller version of them, believe exactly what they do and not think for myself and have my own opinion. If I have kids id let them be open minded and believe what they want
I'm not saying I'll let them do whatever they want regardless of it being stupid or dangerous or harmful. I fully intend to offer guidance to them and try to reason with them if I believe something they think is wrong. I'm just not going to punish or censor them.
I've seen so many parents disown or punish their kids for leaving their religion or coming out as gay and it hurts me man. When they get older I believe they have the right to have their own opinions
The "Wait" Isn't Worth Itmr bean waiting GIF Giphy
To wait until marriage.
You know they won't anyway. The best you can do is teach them to be safe and pray they do ok.
Same with a lot of things, actually. I know my daughter is going to have sex no matter what. I know she's going to try alcohol at some point. I know she's going to probably try pot. Her safety is my priority, so the sex talk is going to include how to stay safe, where the extra condoms are stashed, that it's perfectly okay to ask me any questions about sex (like, "x happened, is this normal?"), all about consent, etc. And about the effects of alcohol (based on science) and how to stay safe when drinking socially with friends.
Definitely would prefer if she didn't drink before 21, but if she's going to, might as well try to help her help herself not get absolutely shitfaced and possibly assaulted.
My mother celebrates her pettiness, and never misses an opportunity to take the low road or seek revenge. For example, she had a customer skip out on a $150 bill. My mom turned it into collections.
Years (and I mean yeeeeaaaaars) later, she was contacted by a debt management company looking to pay the $150 bill so the former customer could fix their credit to buy a house. My mom dodged the call for weeks ON PURPOSE just to be an a-hole and hold up the process.
She told me this story all proud and smug. I think she was expecting me to clap for her. I just stared in disbelief. My kid is being taught to show mercy when given the opportunity.
Being hypercritical. My parents were very critical of me about so many things. My grades, my performance in extra circular activities, even how I did chores. What was worse was that they would often compare me to others as well, and would only ever praise me when they were basically bragging to other people. An example that always stuck with me was when I had a part time job as a waiter in high school, and my dad would often scold me for wasting my time at a a useless job instead of focusing on school, and how I was just gonna end up being a bum just like my older brother. But then when he's talking to his friends he brags about how his youngest son is so hard working, he even has a part time job in high school!
It's this sort of hypercriticism is why I struggle a lot with self esteem and confidence. What's worse is that I find myself even being hypercritical of other people's behavior, like if they make a mistake or don't do something how I would've done. I don't snap like my dad would do, but I still find myself immediately getting annoyed. It's something I'm working on, and hope to never do to my future kids.
"You Make Me Hit You"
That a parent's feelings are more valid than the childs.
My mom did this once when I expressed to my dad that she constantly hurt my feelings. She came into my room after that since my dad had just tucked me into bed when I told him and she said and I quote, "I hurt your feelings? You hurt mine when *you make me* spank you or yell at you!"
Almost every time she spanked me (with what we call "The Board" which is basically a shaped piece of wood with a handle) it would be about me talking during church or playing with my friends in restaurants too loudly. She never said to quiet down, she'd say shut up/stop and threaten me with "licks" aka spanking me with "The Board". So I never felt like I could have fun as a child.
Basically, that's a trauma I'm still trying to get over. Though my confidence is getting better and I'm finally branching out and doing things by myself. (I say finally because I'm around 20 years old and have yet to ever have a job or adult properly.) I do still have trust issues and issues with feeling like how I feel is valid and okay but I'm working on it.
This might sound mean but to give to the homeless
My parents always gave their spare change to homeless people who would just use it for drugs or cigarettes. I think it's better to give them food.
We were poor growing up and I would have rather them saved the money for useful things for ourselves rather than have them give it to people who use it on drugs.
The Neighbor's Daughter
My dad, when I was like 13-14, says, "Son, the neighbor's daughter is ready for some sex education, get on it"... This is not something that helps you grow up to be in the proper mindset!
I know you guys are very curious... No, I didn't bang the neighbor's daughter!
An Intolerant Pot-Smoking Atheist
My parents were extremely old fashioned in a lot of ways. My dad was a proud, racist, homophobic man that had a problem with everyone that didn't think the same way as him.
His lifestyle and ideals projected to my mother, who is mentally unstable and easily manipulated. My dad passed away when I was 11 but one of the things that really pissed me off as an adult (aside from his hateful nature) is them teaching me that if people don't think the same way as me, then I couldn't associate with them because they were horrible people.
For example, I wasn't allowed to hang out with any kids that didn't believe in God. They didn't have to be committed to a religion - but if their faith wasn't in god, I couldn't be their friend cause they would be a bad influence on me.
I've abandoned all his teachings, but that one has always kind of stuck with me and I hate it. Now that I'm my own person, I feel like I still project that behavior onto others based on their political views or religious views, and it's still something I have to correct in myself even though I'm a (in my dad's words) pot smoking atheist now.
I Will Not Be A KarenRedhead Karen GIF by moodman Giphy
My mom is very manipulative and she keeps trying to teach me how to be the same way. When I refuse to do something bad she gets a bit mad at me.
Sorry mom! But I will never follow your Karen footsteps
Maintaining The Un-Fun Things
That you don't have to keep doing something if you don't feel like it. For example, when I was a child, my dad showed me all kinds of possible interests. Baseball, golf, cars, music, books, etc. Most of them I said "I don't feel like learning this any more" very early on. He was just like "okay". It worked out because I came around to find true interests in music and art, but i think It would be a good idea if there was just a bit more discipline imposed.
I'm not a parent yet, but I think maybe I would say: "You can't quit after three days. You're going to play for a season and stick it out. Then you can choose to quit. You'll learn plenty of lessons and maybe make some friends." (Of course that would change if they're traumatized or being bullied or something) It's important to learn that if you want to do something you need to stick things out when they're not fun. I still have a hard time knuckling down and getting to work unless I really feel like it.
I will have them do small chores as well. It doesn't have to be every week, they don't have to be punished or something. Teach them how to keep a clean house, how to maintain those un-fun things that are necessary in life. My first apartment in college became so messy. I remember not wanting to wash gross dishes and after a week I'd just throw them out. I had to learn on my own those seemingly simple things.
I suppose the thing they did best though was teach me how to learn. Learning is a bit of a skill. You need to be able to break down problems and identify obstacles. You need to be persistent and believe you can learn. If you have that skill plus some books or the internet, you can do anything.
These are super minor things, I had fantastic parents growing up, they were trusting, understanding, and never played head games or withheld love. If I was in trouble , they were mad, but I was still their child and loved. Come to think of it I was never in trouble much. My dad's dad used to use the belt, so he made sure to never hit me, I got time outs and groundings if I was really in trouble.
Feeling Weird About Religion
Religion, I guess. And I kind of feel a bit weird about it.
I grew up catholic but my parents were not militant about it. We went to church on Sundays, I went to Sunday school for a little while...but that was the extent of it. My parents never preached or made a big deal about it...they obviously believed in god and all that but we weren't living our lives for religion.
Then, two things happened: One day my mom was picking me up from high school and on the corner of the street were a ton of anti-abortionists on the holding graphic signs of aborted fetuses. My mom flipped out. My mom herself was mostly pro-life but she was absolutely livid that this group would expose kids to these really horrific images. I remember her getting out of the car and screaming at the top of her lungs at these people. She found out the people went to our church and we immediately stopped going.
The second thing was when my grandfather died and we had a traditional catholic service in the church. The entire service was all about god. They barely said a single thing about my grandfather or what type of a person he was...it was just about god and everything else fell by the way side.
After that I rarely heard my mom ever talk about religion. I'm not sure where she stood after that.
When my kid was born there was never any talk from her about getting my daughter baptized. Never any talk about religion, really. I think I remember her teaching my daughter about the manger scene she put out for Christmas but that was about it.
I don't necessarily have an opinion one way or the other about religion. I don't think it's a bad thing but I find it difficult to believe it. My wife and I feel conflicted about religion in general (wife's parents were a bit on the wacky spiritual side) and it's become one of those things we just don't even discuss.
My mom died last year so I'll never know what she really believed. Like I think if it was important to my mom we would have had our kid baptized for her but it really doesn't mean anything to me either way. I just don't see it being a big part of our lives and I'm still trying to determine what I actually believe myself.
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.
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We've all heard how parenting is a full-time job. So it's not surprising to learn that parents have discovered plenty of quirks and methods to make things just a little bit more efficient during that eternal slog.
Sure, taking care of one's kids is an absolutely heartwarming, unparalleled joy at times. But parents are humans too, and they cut corners to make things move along or to generate an outcome they prefer.
Unfortunately, some of those shortcuts can have long-term side effects.
A group of Redditors gathered to share the examples they knew all too well.
Capable-Parsley2368 asked, "What 'parenting trick' can actually f*** up a child?"
Many people described the ways parents, to make their kids behave in a desired way, do things that are a bit emotionally manipulative.
It's a kind of "at all costs" approach that can be damaging.
The Adult in the Room
"Giving kids the Silent Treatment when they're in trouble, honestly teaches them to shut down when things get difficult rather than talk things through."
"I am personally unlearning that behavior to this day because of how often my mom did that."
"Pretending to ring the police when you've done something bad." -- Scoobyginger25
"Scare tactics. My mom was always telling me horrible stories to scare me not to do things. Like yes I get it, I won't play by the train tracks or the canal but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had a scary story to go with it."
"Even when I was going to college and trying to decide on a career. Oh you don't want to do that because so and so did that and are now homeless, divorced, depressed, etc." -- zeldessa
Dropping a Bomb
"My mom would always tell me right as i was heading out the door for school that i was in trouble and we needed to talk when i got home. She would never give any clue to what it was but would let me know i was in some sh**. I'd spend the entire day wondering what i did wrong and thinking i was a bad kid.
"9 out of 10 times it had to do with my grades, school was a huge struggle for me."
Beware of Bullfrogs
"My dad would take us camping a lot. He didn't want us getting lost in the woods so he would tell us the sound we heard (bullfrogs) was actually a water monster that will drag you underwater or deep in woods to eat you."
"I think most old school parenting was terrifying your kids to keep them out of danger."
Other people discussed the times their parents were blatantly dishonest. These Redditors didn't always notice the truth at the time, but 20/20 hindsight sure clarified some issues.
Just Say No
" 'Next time' promises to make the child not complain, but are never fulfilled. It only leads to trust issues." -- macncheese_z
"They also lose their power quickly when the kid knows there will be no 'next time.' Which makes them fight harder for 'this time,' causing the entire goal of promising 'next time' to go unfulfilled along with the trust issues."
"Which is what I like to call an 'epic gamer move' " -- KalebMW99
The Hot Gossip
"Reading diaries or journals, (text messages, emails). It's a huge violation of trust and will cause kids to bottle emotions up instead of expression through creativity. If you think something is wrong or that they are in a bad situation choose to sit and talk with them in earnest."
"Extreme euphemisms that are almost lies to make bad news less harsh." -- kaida_notadude
"Seriously. Just tell the kids whats going on. If you want to soften the blow, take them out somewhere nice to put them at ease, but give them the truth."
"Kids can handle a lot more than we give them credit for, and telling them the truth without blurring it all up with euphemisms helps them process information more clearly." -- CaptainHindsight212
Last, some people realized that their parents had good intentions, but totally missed the mark about implementing them. These parents wanted what they felt was best for the child, but getting there, they did the worst.
In Your Ear Forever
"Putting down your child to 'motivate' them. My parents never gave me positive reinforcement, they'd be quick to jump all over my mistakes and they even told me that I was faking my grades when I got the straight A's they wanted."
"It didn't do anything except sow the seeds of self-doubt that I still have to this day."
" 'You see that child Timmy? Be more like him.' Made me insecure and feel beneath everyone." -- Madam-Vixen
"My moms logic is that it pushes me to do what the others do as well. What really happened was i felt they would rather have the other one as their child not me" -- mizukata
Doesn't Have to Be a Transaction
"Cleaning your room as a punishment or something to hold over your kid if they want to do something fun."
"This will give your kid the impression cleaning their room is a bad thing. Treat it as something you both can do together, encourage them to do it because they want to. I've decided that I will always help my kid Clean his room solely to achieve the goal of a clean room, that's it."
Hopefully, a thread like this will shine a light on the intuitive, but problematic, approaches to parenting. Maybe you're thinking about kids or have some of your own.
Take it from these folks that even the minor things can add up.
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Stupid is as stupid does. And it’s pretty obvious when some poor, misinformed, potentially ignorant soul needs to be put in their place. Luckily, there are a lot of witty ways to do just that. We love a good euphemism.
Wanna know the best way to call out stupidity when you see it? Stay tuned.
Get a load of these sick burns. I swear, the people of Reddit are harsh.
Call outs are a universal language.
In Russian we have "intelligent thoughts have always followed him, but he was faster".
We have something similar in German: "Intelligence is chasing you, but you are faster."
Be your own Easter Bunny.Looney Tunes Cartoon GIF Giphy
You could hide your own Easter eggs.
The great Harvey Korman had some Alzheimer's @ 2005, and he still went on a talk show. They asked him how he was doing and he said he was OK. "Now I can hide my own Easter eggs." RIP.
“At this point, you can only impress me."
This reminds me of something I saw in a show recently. One character said "Would you think less of me if ____." The other character said "I could never think less of you."
I think I saw this one here previously "You aren't the biggest idiot in the world but you better hope they don't die".
It takes a very intelligent person to properly call out a dumb person. Weird how that works, huh?
When the bears are smarter than the tourists.GIF by Smokey Bear Giphy
Now I know what Douglas Adams was talking about.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
That’s a gross mental image.
In Greece we say "when it was raining brains, you had an umbrella".
Edit: In German it's "Gott, lass Hirn regnen".
It’s probably a bad sign when your lawyer calls you dumb.
Lawyer to client who shared detailed attorney-client privileged strategy memorandum with a whole bunch of people, including an adverse party:
Client: "Is there anything you can do to fix this?"
Attorney: "No, you've pretty much waived the privilege and now they know everything."
Client: "Is there anyway to put a positive spin on this?"
Attorney: "Well, I suppose the judge might buy that this proves that you lack the mental capacity to form specific intent."
These next ones are just plain cold, but probably very much deserved.
Meanness from a Canadian is probably well-earned.eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
On a Canadian jobsite
Ahh Terry, having you around is like losing three good men.
Oof, that’s harsh.
He's so far behind he thinks he's first.
I had a keychain as a kid that said, "She who laughs last thinks slowest.”
Those are some gross socks.
Once heard someone say "Well he's about as sharp as a sock full of soup".
"Sharp as a marshmallow" was one that went around my friend circle.
In the words of the great prophets Smash Mouth, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. That self-burn is perhaps one of the most classic euphemisms. And I just almost misspelled “euphemism”. So I can definitely relate to that lyric.
A good way to exercise your brain? Keep thinking of creative ways to insult people. Trust me, it works like a charm
It's a plague many of us would rather not admit occurs on a daily basis.
Reddit user, u/Jamally1980, wanted to hear about:
When It Happens To Others...
You might be out, with a friend or a co-worker, minding your own business, never once considering what degree of person you'll meet. Then, BOOM. They're there, ready to make the person who you're with and their life a living nightmare.
Suddenly Changing Their Minds
I (WM) played in a band with an African American guitarist. We wrote songs together and became great friends. One day we went to a convenience market and there was a help-wanted sign on the door.
"Watch this," he said and went in the store to inquire about the job. 2 minutes later, he walked out and said with a sly grin, "The owner said they are no longer hiring. Now YOU go in."
I went in the store, and five minutes later, came out with an application.
"You see," he said. "You have no idea what it's like to be black."
30 years later, I still think about that day.
"Not even the correct kind of racist here."
My landlord thought one of my closest friends was some sort of hardcore latino gangbanger who was selling me crack. He's an asian IT professional who doesn't even drink. He was even coming over in his work clothes 99% of the time. We have a lot of jokes about that one. "Not even the correct kind of racist here."
Maybe They Shouldn't Be Around Kids
6th grade. This was mid/late 90s. Our teacher was telling us a story.
She said "this black woman without shoes came up my driveway and approached me. At first I was nervous because we don't have any black people in our neighborhood and I could tell she was homeless because she had a foul odor and she was black" and the black girl in class interrupted her and said "why does she have to be black for you to be nervous?"
The teacher responded, "because she was and we don't have black people in our neighborhood, and skin color matters Kelly."
It shook me up. It is a big commuter area close to some major cities and military bases so we had a diverse student body.
The next week our principal came in to explain the teacher was let go because of her racist remarks, and we had a week where we learned about diversity and how discrimination plays a part in so many lives, how it can affect populations, and how you can be aware of it.
Silly Reasons, Real Fears
I remember the first time I experienced racism. I'm Canadian but lived in England for a year when I was 8. I had a buddy from India. One time we wanted to play soccer at school over lunch with a group of guys. A boy said "you can play because you're from Canada. He can't play because he has brown skin". I was so confused and didn't know why skin colour made a difference. My friend was way better than me so I thought they didn't want to play with someone so good. I asked him if all people with brown skin are really good at soccer. He just said no, let's go play somewhere else. It wasn't until later that I realized why they didn't want to play.
Or When It Happens To You...
It's not always someone else, is it?
Most of the time you'll see racist interactions first-hand because they happen to you. You didn't do anything wrong, you might even have been out walking, but you feel it deep down in your gut when they direct all their hate and fury at you.
We Should Have You And The Missus Over Some Time
I was driving out of my gated community and a lady stepped off the curb and in front of my car yelling at the top of her lungs. She comes to the driver side and is like, "I see you driving through here, do you live here?". Her husband, not far behind, grabs her and proceeds to explain to her that I live literally around the corner from them. She then proceeds to ask me for my drivers license. As I laugh, I invite them over for drinks later. The husband thanks me as his wife continues to yell.
6 hours later, I walk to their house with a bottle of red wine and white wine (not knowing which they like). The husband answers the door, shocked, he invited me in, only to have his wife say, no. Embarrassed, he says he'll stop by later. Fast forward, he's one of my closest friends and she's still a raging [b-tch.]
At Least Get The Geography Of Your Insults Right
Old guy in his 70's walked up to me while at McDonalds and asked me "Is that your camel parked out front?" Took a moment to register that he was being racist. I told him that there wasn't a camel in the parking lot and that he should see a doctor about his senile dementia. I'm not even Arab or Persian. I'm Puerto Rican. If you're going to be racist, at least make the effort to get the race right. The only thing worse than a racist is a lazy racist.
We're Working, Here!
When I, Hispanic, was a landscaper, my boss and I were hired to do lawn work in a really nice neighborhood. I was approached by an angry elderly white man and he asked me what I was doing and told me I don't belong here. My boss, who was also white, had to come and basically f-ck off and told him we were hired and allowed on the property we were on.
...It's All Truly Terrible.
No matter how you slice it, discovering anyone's racists intentions isn't pleasant. You may not know what to say or what to do in that situation, but you'll know how you feel.
Finding Out Who The Racists In Your Life Are
Maybe it's a combination of being white with a shaved head, or maybe it's just being white, but sometimes folk feel very comfortable spouting off racist sh-t with me in the room. A common one is whining about "immigrants". On several occasions I've let people go on about their various stupid issues with The Immigrants, until I point out I am one.
Most of the time the whiner will awkwardly change the subject. One time a guy said "Yeah but you speak English!". Somehow I don't think language was his problem.
The most common trait I've seen among racist people is the assumption that most other people are as racist as them.
Seeing Their Biases Laid Bare
There was this convenience store near my elementary school that kids used to go to sometimes to get candy, snacks etc. A friend of mine (also black), told me I shouldn't go there because the store owner was racist, so I never went. Well one day I went in, and before I could even grab something, the guy yells at me to get out. I try to ask why, but he just kept yelling how he didn't want "us" in his store, even though I was alone. At this point, I was old enough to understand, and unfortunately has already experienced sh-t like this before.
Fast forward maybe a few weeks or so, I'm with a white friend of mine and we're walking on the same street as this store. He says we should stop in and get some sodas. I tell him I can't go in because the owner is racist and won't let me buy anything. My friend thinks that's ridiculous because the guy is always nice to him. So I tell my friend to go in first. He goes in, grabs a soda, buys it, comes back to me saying how nice the dude was and I had nothing to worry about. I say okay, now lets both walk in. We both walk in and the dude has smile on his face until he spots me and his demeanor completely changes. He says something like, "Oh no, YOU (my friend) can stay, but HE (me) has to leave." My friend is like wtf why? The guy says, "I don't want "them" in this store! You're (my friend) fine though." I stand there just looking at my friend with the I-told-you face. My friend actually gets upset, starts yelling back calling the guy racist and so on, but I grab him and I'm like lets go before he calls the police. My poor friend was blown away because he thought the guy was so nice and friendly then boom! All of that erased in minutes.
If you ever find yourself in a spot like this, there's a few things to do: Talk to someone, anyone, whom you can trust. Make sure you're safe. Above all, don't engage or react unless you absolutely have to.
There's real love in this world. Go out and find that, instead.
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