Every family has secrets. Sometimes they are so taboo that no one is allowed to bring them up - like when a parent has a secret kid, or when your grandparents turn out to have been bootleggers during prohibition (pretty cool if you ask me though).
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Dad has a secret kid.Giphy
Apparently our dad had another kid about 8 years older than me. My mom blurted something about it after their divorce when she was pissed about something. It was along the lines of "if he thinks he can forget you exist like that other kid of his...", she then turned very white and I was never able to get more out of her than that. My dad pretends he doesn't know what I'm talking about but has apparently told my brother a bit of the story and then backtracked and never talked about it again. So yeah, apparently I'm not the oldest.
A crazy custody battle.Giphy
The fact that my cousin got kidnapped when he was a baby. Long story short, two young teenagers got knocked up, got married, aunt wanted a divorce but husband was abusive and manipulative, and she fled out of state back to us (her family). He followed her to try to talk it out, she let him inside to talk, he took my baby cousin who was sleeping in her arms, and fled out of state. Then he took her to court for abandoning her child and refused to let her see him. 20 years later, my cousin seeks us out and we all reconnect. Thanksgiving dinners are great, but we don't talk about that whole ordeal.
To The Nunnery
My grandfather's brother was a priest when he was younger. His wife of 40+ years used to be a nun. Their first child was born a few months after they left.
When I was growing up, I always heard stories about my dad as a kid hanging out in his mom's tavern. The first time we visited his home town, he showed us his house, which is on a crossroads and split-level - front door goes to the top floor, "basement" (or lower floor) opens out the back, which has a small road / parking area and that's where the tavern was.
It wasn't until many years later that it dawned on me that my dad grew up during Prohibition... grandma was a bootlegger...
It gets better...
- His home town is on a road that was considered a "bootlegger's highway" from Canada
- He went through jump school in the same class as Henry Hill (whose life Goodfellas was based on)
- One night in my teens a friend of his (who I'd never heard of) knocked on the door at 10pm. He and his two buddies (all italian) wanted a place to sleep for the night. They were gone in the morning.
- His pension and the work he did after he retired couldn't possibly explain our lifestyle
Mom has forbidden me from digging into it any further.
That my parent's died from AIDS in the early 90s when I was 2.
Growing up I never knew how my mother died, and I was told my father just "dissapeared". I remember throwing a tantrum in middle school for wanting to know what really happened to my parents. My aunt finally told me the truth (well more yelled at me about it). I remember crying alone in my room for hours. I'm pretty sure their death was the starting point for how... strange my family is.
Anyhow my family hasn't mentioned it since then and I'm now 27. As far as I know we've never said the words HIV or AIDS aloud in my family. If it must be talked about it's "that disease" or something similar.
My friends constantly wonder why I never mention my parent's and I still have hangups telling people why/how they passed away. It makes me feel so conflicted inside because I know I should have nothing to feel ashamed of but my family and society makes me feel my parent's deaths should be swept under the rug.
edit: i want to make it clear we do talk about my mother. She isn't forgotten. Just her death and the exact cause is something that is avoided at all costs.
My grandfather remarried a women who almost immediately developed Alzheimers and forgot who he is. He is now dating his first wife while his actual wife is confused who anyone is. He refuses to divorce because the scumbag family of his second wife bailed when they saw how expensive she was going to be, and my family had to get her care because she was too much for my grandfather to take care of (he is almost 90.) I called out the relevant members of her family for bailing and was told I was being rude, which might be true, but I'm also fucking right.
My great grandfather was a member of the Nazi party, oddly enough my Grandma(his daughter) is the coolest/most tolerant banana in the bunch
Paying It ForwardGiphy
I've got an unspoken thing that's actually quite a bit different. As far as I know, my dad started this. I learned from him, and will hopefully also pass it on the same way.
When I was a kid, my dad took me to Wal-Mart about a week before Christmas. Not unusual, really. I was around 12 or so at the time. Old enough to understand what was happening. We went to the service desk, and my dad got out his checkbook. He asked the person behind the counter to pick a layaway at random, and he would pay it off. The lady didn't seem too fazed by this, so I assumed she maybe had seen him do this before, or maybe my dad wasn't the only person who came up with this idea.
Anyway, he paid off the layaway thing, and then he brought me across the lobby to the McDonald's there. I asked him what he did, and he just smiled. He said something along the lines of him paying it forward. I don't remember exactly what was said, but that was the general idea I remember about it. 12 year old me didn't have a talent for storing memories. I thought a lot about this, but I could never do it myself with my allowance, plus I wanted to buy GameBoy games at the time.
My dad died about ten years ago. It was sudden; unexpected. It was also 3 days before Christmas. Now, I'm sure you know where this is going, but for me, this was a rough time. We had family in for the holidays, and my mom was a wreck. I was the oldest, so I had to step up and make all the arrangements. My siblings were pretty shaken up as well, but they helped how they could.
On Christmas Eve, I went to K-Mart (no other store in my area still did layaway). I walked to the back of the store to the layaway center. I did the thing my dad taught me for the first time. I asked for the lady to pick out a person at random, and I paid off their ticket. I thanked her for her time, and walked out. I didn't make a big deal of it, and I have never mentioned this to anyone other than my wife.
Every year, a week before Christmas, I go to K-Mart and pay off a layaway item. I don't tell anyone I'm doing it. I just do it. I do it in memory of my dad. I do it for myself. I do it to give someone out there a nice Christmas. I wish I remembered what my dad told me that day, but I do remember the conversation being selfless and basically just making someone else happy for a change.
I plan to do this with at least one of my own kids. I'm sharing it with you guys not for karma, praise, or recognition. I don't know any of you guys. I just hope that maybe some of you could make a struggling family really happy this year in an anonymous way. Let them believe in the magic of Christmas just for one year.
EDIT for non-US people: Layaway is an in-store program that lets you reserve an item in the store and pay it off over time. Once you've paid it off, you get the item.
Well, that's awkward.
That time my sister stole thousands of dollars from my father's business while working there.
Wow, they still speak to her?
My father doesn't trust her, but we still get together at least once every couple of weeks for dinner like nothing ever happened.
The gay uncle.
My uncle and his "friend" who's been around since I have memory (almost 30 years). They've never had a female companion, they live together, damn they even owned a gay bar at some point. Very Catholic family so that's probably why they never came out.
I thought it was something they kept from us "the kids" all these years until I had the courage to ask my dad and he said that's never been discussed, that he has never even asked my mom about it.
That seem happy and travel all the time so that's awesome. I just wish they could just be who they are around their loved ones.
Drugs destroy families.Giphy
I thought it was that my aunt was hardcore into drugs. Turns out nobody knew. To be fair I didn't "know" per-se but it was so obvious that I thought everybody knew but didn't mention it.
My family was blown away when she got busted going to Florida to buy pills so she could resell them here. I was like, "yeah, duh."
Reminds me of my cousins ex-wife. She always looked zonked out, and worked at a nursing home so I figured she was stealing meds. Everyone was super confused after she collapsed at my other cousins wedding after having a few drinks. apparently she had a lot of pain killers in her system.
My mom said that she didn't know what somebody on drugs looked like. I was like she doesn't act normal at all.
Suicides are truly an epidemic.
The numerous suicides. It's FINALLY getting to the point where they admit that these people even existed, let alone died. One of my great uncles killed himself before I was born and if not for all the group photos and my great aunt being a decent human, I wouldn't have ever known his name. My mom likes to pretend they died in "car accidents" or "heart attacks." It made for some real confusion once I got older.
Huntingtons disease. My grandpa died from it, my uncle is getting worse and worse and my niece and nephew have 50% to get it. We all pretend it isn't there because it's difficult to talk about,especially since my grandma is still alive. She knows how it will be.
Think your family is weird?Giphy
OK, to break the chain of secret girlfriends and estranged relatives, my family does not talk about cottage cheese.
I can tell you want to hear more about this, for that we must start at the beginning. My father is a lover of all things dairy. He would drink so much milk as a child his mother would tell him "You either have to become a dairy farmer, or marry a farmer's daughter". And dear dad did just that when he and my mom tied the knot.
Dad also loves cheese; solid cheese, soft cheese, and... cottage cheese.
Dad is however, very squeamish. He cannot stand the sight or thought of blood, body fluids or .... cheese curds. This makes enjoying his cottage cheese (by the quart) difficult. No one is allowed to talk about cheese, curds, whey, or how it is all made when he is enjoying his snack. If you make the mistake of mentioning any of these things dad ends the conversations by throwing his hands in the air and yelling "WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT!"
That's so strange that he's squeamish about body fluids but loves milk and cheese! He knows milk is quite literally a body fluid, right?
- People Share The Most Insulting Gift They've Ever Received ... ›
- People Share The Worst Cases Of Bad Parenting - George Takei ›
We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.