WARNING: some sensitive material ahead
There is something so unnerving about disappearances.
There are so many stories out there about people who went out one day, never to be seen again.
What must that be like for those left behind to ponder what happened, to go through life without any closure or definitive answers?
Redditor ikalwewe asked the online community:
"Redditors who personally knew someone who went missing, what happened?"
"He went missing from a small town..."
Jacob Wetterling was a friend of mine. He went missing from a small town in MN in 1989. A guy in a car approached three kids and asked their age. They told him and he told two of them to leave and Jacob to get in the car. He was never seen again. Remains were found in 2016 of an 11-year-old believed to be him. His mom had become an advocate for missing child laws and the Wetterling Act.
An interesting fact:
Jacob Wetterling's parents, Jerry and Patty Wetterling, formed the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, an advocacy group for children's safety, just a few months after their son disappeared. The Jacob Wetterling Act, which instituted a state sex-offender registry, became federal law in 1994.
"The country where she went missing..."
An acquaintance from college who is legally blind and loved to travel went missing while visiting South America. She is of South American descent and speaks Spanish, but something must have happened to her. The country where she went missing and the U.S. have investigated and her family has gone there to look, but there are no leads. She just vanished.
I can imagine it's all the more devastating when you just don't know.
"I think about it a lot."
The younger sister of a girl I knew in my hometown went missing while riding her bike home late at night back in 2012. She was 21 or 22 at the time. Really pretty, vivacious girl. The whole community was upset over it.
They found her smashed-up bike a week or so later 25 miles or so from where she was last seen. She rode past several businesses on her way home, so there was a lot of video surveillance footage. Police tracked down a truck that seemed like it was following her.
The owner of the truck was arrested and they found her body about a week later. She apparently put up a good fight when she was abducted - her killer checked into the hospital the next day with multiple stab wounds. He confessed to the crime in exchange for no chance of getting the death penalty and said that she pepper-sprayed him as well. I remember her sister talking to the press while she was missing saying, "Keep an eye out for someone that looks beat up, like they got in a fight". She knew her sister would go down swinging.
Really sad story, I think about it a lot. It's a college town and it wasn't uncommon at all for young adults to walk or bike home after a night out. At her age, my friends and I were doing the same thing. I feel like the city was never really the same after she was killed.
And truthfully, how could it be?
At the very least, this person was arrested and taken off the streets. However, that is by no means a balm for the family that has to live with the loss.
"Her car turned up..."
A friend and co-worker of my mom's just didn't make it home from work one night. Her car turned up beside a dirt roadway outside town a few weeks later with her purse still in it. This was in the early-mid 80s, so there was no cell phone to track, no indication she stopped anywhere with security cameras, she was just gone.
Her skeletal remains were found by a hunter in a completely different place from her car about 2 years later, and as far as I know, I'm pretty sure her murder is still unsolved today.
This is scary to read and honestly, it's an example of what a lot of people would find baffling today. It's quite difficult to just disappear but it still happens (and at the time this crime took place, it was much easier to do or get away with).
"Nobody is sure..."
My cousin's toddler disappeared somewhere between eight to ten years ago, having been last seen by a neighbour wandering on the road in front of their house. This is a small village where most everyone knows everyone else, but it's very racially divided (natives vs immigrants). One of the neighbours said they saw a truck owned by a couple of natives with poor reputations drive slowly by the house right around the time the little girl (immigrant) went missing.
Nobody is sure what happened, but the child was found days later, dead, in a field about two miles from the house. This was a baby less than two years old.
A child taken away.
For many parents, there is no greater pain. And a crime like this ultimately leaves a stain on a community.
"He went to San Diego..."
A cousin left his wife and a newborn boy, which he claimed was not his, in our Midwestern state. He went to San Diego, worked his way through law school, passed the California bar on the first try. Mid-nineties he's living with a girlfriend helping her prepare for the bar exam. By the end of the decade, he's vanished, none of us family know what happened to him.
My own family experienced something similar, though this story involves an aunt of mine. She pretty much vanished and we heard nothing from her for over 12 years. We didn't have an idea of where to find her. It turned out she was in the same city but had been dealing with mental health problems that contributed to her falling off the map.
"A hunter found her remains..."
8-year-old kid. She took a shortcut between her house and the neighbors' (rural area). Her sister and friend made it home but she never did. The army was in town for the entire summer and they had heat-seeking helicopters looking for her. A hunter found her remains outside the search area 5 months later. Super sad.
And no one was able to figure out what happened?
Terribly sad for everyone involved.
"One day his wife reported..."
Local man went missing. Town of 300 and he hitch-hiked from one side to the other every single day because nobody's works and he was a bored 65-year-old.
One day his wife reported that he'd never come home. It wasn't entirely impossible that he'd huddled in the woods for the night, but after two days without his heart meds, they assumed the worst.
His body has still not been found, but a guy was arrested four weeks later after his ditched truck was found in a random place. There was blood on the front that he claimed to be moose blood, but it turned out to be Andy's blood. He had run him over and didn't know what to do, so he drove his body to the causeway and dumped him into the ocean. RIP Andy.
This is horrific. To hit and run (and attempt to cover up the crime) is egregious.
"We hired a PI..."
My uncle went missing. He was kind of the black sheep of the family. Stole money, he was an alcoholic, absentee father. It didn't raise too many questions initially. A missing person's report was filed, but nothing was really done due to his track record. We hired a PI, and they traced where he ended up. He'd been murdered by his then-girlfriend and the girlfriend's son. Legal proceedings are still going on over a decade later.
It is sadly not astonishing that legal proceedings are still going on.
Legal battles can take years and the court system can revictimize families. We extend our condolences.
"He went hunting..."
Good friend of mine disappeared 12 years ago. He went hunting with a couple of good friends of ours and one morning they woke up and he was just gone. His tent was perfectly fine and it didn't even look like he had slept that night. His truck, rifle, and dog were still there, but he was gone. The only thing he took was his knife and .44 Magnum. We spent a full month looking and never found a trace. Four years ago I went back and I found him. He had probably gone to take a sh!t and fell into a cave. He had lived for maybe two weeks before he died. His funeral was in 2018.
These stories are heartbreaking...
...but they are sadly a reality for far too many people out there. Remember, even when you read the paper or watch a true crime documentary, that the people being discussed were often once part of a family and had people who loved them.
If you have your own stories to share, feel free to share them in the comments below.
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In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
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It's PRIDE month. It's time to be loud and proud.
Well, every minute of everyday we should be loud and proud.
But this month gives you an extra special buzz.
So in the spirit of learning, we will be taking questions from the class.
I know cisgender straight people still have a lot they don't understand.
What do you need to know?
Redditorhre_nftwanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to be as aloud what they've been waiting to ask a queer person. Safe space for all. They asked:
"What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?"
There is always a good way to ask questions. I don't mind many of them.
I'm Outcoming out gay GIF by AT&T Hello LabGiphy
"What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying 'um, OK' or 'that's nice' sounds like I'm dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive."
"It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don't want confetti and vice versa."
So Many Letters
"I know you guys want to be inclusive and all but I always feel behind on all The letters you add to LGBT, so is it fine I just say 'LGBT+?' This is not meant to not be inclusive, I'm all for LGBT+. But sometimes it gets a bit too many letters for me personally. So will I offend you guys if I only say LGBT+?"
"Lol all the labels I identify with are included in the + and I just say LGBT. I don’t know anybody who has been upset over hearing the shortened version. You’re good to keep using the acronym that you already say."
I Don't Get It...
"What does non-binary mean? I'm from Italy and I've never met someone who came out as non-binary or even transgender. My brother met a guy once and he (my brother) said he looked gender-fluid. Gender-fluid Is the only term used here, nobody talks about non-binary."
"I know that non-binary means that you don't identify with one gender specifically (I guess), but I really really don't get it. I'm bisexual (although I've never gotten in a relationship with a woman) so I always felt like I could relate to most people of the community in one way or another."
"But this is just something I can't seem to understand, also because I've never met someone like that. I know I might never be able to get it because I'm cisgender, but I was wondering if some of you would like to take some time to share their experiences with me so that I can understand you a little bit more."
"I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is 'queer' part of the acronym? Doesn't it encompass 'lesbian' and 'gay?' Is there a nuance I'm missing?"
"One of the unintended benefits of the term 'queer' is that it's a good way of saying 'Not straight, and it's not really important for you to know why or how.'"
Hello ThereArt Peeing GIF by badblueprintsGiphy
"Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?"
So far, nothing here seems offensive.
You Like It?Fab 5 Netflix GIF by Queer EyeGiphy
"I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not."
"Do asexual people not want sex/don't feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don't have crushes/attraction in any form?"
"Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships."
"Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are. There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic."
Chosen at Birth
"Why is intersex included when it's a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong."
"Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It's the variation from the normal binary gender/presentation of that, which aligns them with the queer community in most cases."
"For non binary folk: I'm having trouble wording what I want to ask, like, why I guess? I identify as a woman but don't fit in with the typical stereotypes or gender roles, but I still consider myself a woman. I don't feel like activities, or behaviors, or clothing or whatever has to have a gender to it, so why specify that you don't identify as man or woman? Idk maybe because it's not something I've struggled with, it's hard to wrap my head around! Either way, I 100% support anyone who identifies any way!"
ExtraGay Hearts GIFGiphy
"Do you have to pay an upgrade fee to go from the LGBTQ membership to the LGBTQ+?"
"Omg dude, you can get it for free with Amazon Prime! You didn't know?"
I Like You
"How do you know you are attracted to the same sex? I personally wanted to know this because I am struggling with my sexuality. I have an attraction to men at least as far as I know. But I am constantly going back and forth with women. And it's been very confusing. So I guess it may be how do you know if you're attracted to anyone?"
Ask all you want. Just be respectful. It's easy...
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The infamous Mortal Kombat ABACABB code doesn't actually work in real life, but there are absolutely times when some overly dramatic poorly-rendered game blood would make a moment way funnier.
We could use it for educational purposes, or in trauma reduction.
Ted the Feminist might even still have a girlfriend!
Sometimes a sense of humor is all you've got left, ya know?
Hilarious as that could get - if cheat codes actually DID work, we can think of quite a few we'd try before that one. Sorry, Ted.
Reddit user citizen287 asked:
"What is a real life cheat code you use?"
Instead, we're just stuck with these "real life cheat codes" from people who are somehow good at life or whatever.
Look It UpGIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"When I hear a word I cannot define, I stop whatever I am doing and look it up."
"You would be amazed how that helps you understand the world around you and all aspects of it, especially finances."
"You are absolutely right."
"It was the philosopher Wittgenstein who said: 'The limits of my language means the limits of my world.' “
"In other words, your field of experience of the world will increase as you become more competent in learning language, vocabulary, words and definitions."
"Wait, I thought everyone just did that? How else would you understand the sentence or whatever"
"When you decide to use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for ice cream or yoghurt or pretty much anything."
"It gives you more bites, forces you to take more time to enjoy something, really savor it -- and I think that's pretty special."
"I only use small dishes and utensils for the past few years :) Makes a huge difference!"
"Completely agree with you!"
"I have tons of little spoons specifically for that reason, so I can savor what I’m eating instead of gobbling it down right there"
"Agreed. Except cereal, which requires bigger bites so it doesn't get soggy."
Thoughtful NotesTaking Notes GIFGiphy
"Keep a list of things people love or want."
"It comes in super handy during birthdays and Christmas."
"I always get complimented on how thoughtful my gifts are. A little planning goes a long way."
"My brother decided to create a Google sheet for all of us."
"We each have our own tab, and after Sept 1, no one is allowed to look at their own tab, because the rest of us make changes to it to indicate what was bought."
"He got tired of all of us screaming for lists from his family."
"I do this too! As people are chatting and mention something they like, a favorite restaurant, etc I’ll remember and add it to a list in my notes app on my phone."
"I’m constantly complimented on my thoughtful gifts but I’m just listening!"
To The Left To The Left
"Whenever I have to fart/have a belly ache I lay on my left side. I did this long before actually looking up the science but apparently your GI Tract is situated in such a way that laying on your left side helps move things along."
"Same. Did it for years before understanding the reasoning why."
"Sometimes I can only burp if I lean up and to the left as well. When I was very young, I just told everyone I had a leaky chamber."
"Yeah, this one's a good tip, which I also follow. Any of you who suffer GORD or similar can use use this to take some of the edge off the burning too."
"Doesn't always work, of course; but I'll say anecdotally that I've suffered severe GORD my entire life, and sometimes just moving into this position is the only thing that brings any kind of relief, even if slight or brief."
Clean As You Gocleaning GIFGiphy
"Wash your bowls, spatulas, and so on while you are cooking. After supper you will have hardly any dishes to do."
"YES. My dad swears by this, the 'clean as you go' strategy, thus I use it in my daily life even at work and not just in the kitchen."
"My mother is a ‘leave all the dirty dishes in a pile and clean them after the food starts to cook’ human"
"I do a lot of this while I'm waiting for the food to cool down before I eat. So much nicer being able to enjoy a warm meal knowing there's no cleanup afterward."
"Also accept that you will clean your kitchen every day. It's just a law of physics."
One, Two, Three ...
"If you go into another room and forget what you came for, next time start counting in your head as you are getting up to go to the other room."
"You can think about other things but for some reason the counting keeps the original thought tied to it."
"I’m going to have to give this a try!"
"I did it all the time, I called them trigger points, basically recount your step so your head trigger and help you remember what you were doing in the first place."
Save The Zipper
"I had a pair of jeans where the zipper wouldn't stay up."
"I put a keyring through the little hole in the zipper and hooked it around the button. Zipper stays up and the keyring is hidden behind the fabric that fastens over the button."
"Saved me buying a new pair of jeans for a while. I hate buying jeans, they're the worst clothing to go shopping for."
"this is great!"
"Elastic band works too"
Let It Go
"I abandoned my ego about 11 years ago."
"Life has been immensely easier since then."
"100%. The easiest thing to do in life is to sometimes just say sorry or not have an ego about things and everything goes smoother."
"So true. The focus returns to just what needs to get done in life/work/school without the ego clouding or triggering a lot of baggage."
Don't Shed A Tearworld onion GIFGiphy
"When dicing onions, cut it in half and peel the paper then rinse it good. No tears."
"5 - 8 sec microwaving the half onions do well, too."
"Didn't know that, nice."
"You can pick up relatively anything with your toes instead of bending over."
"Yes I know it’s weird but it actually helps a lot whenever you have back issues"
"I do that, my family looks at me weird tho"
"Everyone that lives with me collectively agreed that I do not have feet, but rather four hands."
"This is a good one, I often use this especially when picking up clothes that have be put into the washing machine or something falls down and your hands are not free."
We may not be able to use video game cheat codes, but if you're nailing it at life and have a cheat the rest of us can use, share it in the comments.
Please? Seriously, 2022 is a mess and we need all the help we can get.
Remember when people actually met in public spontaneously and ignited a romantic spark after catching each other's eyes?
Yeah, I don't either.
But there was a time when people did just that. Meet in person. Young romantic hopefuls looking to make a connection would gather at bars or clubs and spend a fair amount of time preparing themselves to look good in the hopes of getting noticed.
Nowadays, people meet online, where how you present yourself in photos and bios is your one-shot deal in getting someone's attention long enough before they swipe left.
Not everyone is good at describing themselves on dating apps.
Redditor Breme_42069 was curious to hear bad but oh-so-good examples of this and asked:
"Online daters, what are some of the most unattractive stuff people put in their bios?"
Arrogance and a higher-than-thou disposition is not for everyone.
Is That A Threat?
"If you don't speak, I'll unmatch"
"whilst they literally make zero effort to talk to anybody"
"edit: I am ghey and was referring to male + male tinder, but it's news to me that this is a similar thing straight men experience too."
"Don't waste my time"
"This long laundry list of requirements in a partner with no mention of what they’re going to be bringing to the relationship."
Bad Is Still Bad
"When they announce how bad they are and get away with doing bad stuff as if it's meant to impress us."
People can be more amusing than sexy.
“I don’t even know why I’m here”
"Bro you made this account."
Everyone Everywhere All At Once
"My personal favourite is when you come across multiple profiles with the same profile pic but they are all in different locations. F'ken wizards."
"Their only photo is a group photo, with no indication of which one they are."
When The Hiatus Is Over
"This isn't the worst thing in the world but something I'm always bewildered by some variation of."
"hi, I'm back again, hopefully this time it will work out!"
"This isn't conventional social media with followers."
Some people just require more effort in getting to know–which indicates, they lack personality.
“Don’t be boring”
"'Just ask' was always an instant no from me. Plenty of other people provide some kind of info to go on, so why would I choose the low effort profile?"
“What do you do for work?”
“I don’t like talking about work.”
“Where did you grow up?”
“Are you implying I’m not from here?”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“Ok, I’m trying here and you’re giving me nothing.”
"Edit: talking about 'just ask' profiles here. If someone has more details I will gladly ask them more in depth questions about them."
The art of conversation still applies, even with dating online.
Single people seriously looking to meet someone should take the time to creatively express themselves in their bio. That might increase your chances of attracting more interesting users.
Also let your photos speak for themselves. Just make sure it's you in the uploaded pics.
Because no one has time for catfishing.