For my fifteenth birthday (which is a pretty big deal for my culture) I got dumped. In the middle of the dance floor at my birthday party. While wearing an enormous white poofy gown. Because he had a baby the whole time and realized he wasn't going to be able to keep lying about it. Oh, and also he thought my mom was hot and it was weird for him.

He sprung this all on me directly after handing me my birthday gift, so it was like a 1-2 combo. Buddy hit me with the ol' 2 piece and a biscuit.

It sucked, and it absolutely caught me off guard - but his gift was a Pearberry set from bath and body works, which was like gold to a 15 year-old in the 90's. So it all worked out.

Recently, a Reddit thread about unexpected (though maybe not as crappy?) birthday gifts popped up. The responses made me feel less alone in sucksville, but also kind of restored my faith in the birthday fairies.

Birthday Package

My girlfriend and I started dating freshman year of college and neither of us live in the state we go to school in. Over the summer we went home and did long distance for the three months. My birthday is in the summer and she kept telling me she was gonna send gifts she got for me and kept asking questions like "when does mail usually get to your house?"

She also made up this story about how the kids she babysat liked to take her phone and play with it. She casually mentioned that she was taking them to a pool the next day (day before my birthday).

Her mom texted me that day while I'm at work telling me that one of the kids dropped her phone in the pool. I felt so bad because I was told that she was a wreck about the whole situation because she would be out of communication for my birthday.

I get home from work and I'm sitting on the couch and my mom comes home and tells me the package that my girlfriend sent me was on the porch so I open the front door expecting a big cardboard box but instead I got a short, gorgeous lady who had flown so many miles to spend a week/my birthday with me

- jgilly00

Don't Give Up

My husband and I were trying to have a baby, and not having success. For my 34th birthday my mom sent me a sleep giraffe for my future baby nursery. Turns out it was the last birthday gift I would get from her, she died 10 months after that birthday in 2016. I found out I was pregnant in early 2017, and never got to share that news with her. I remember being annoyed when I opened the box, but now I realize it was just a sweet sentiment from her telling me not to give up. After she passed, going through her things, I found a congratulations card meant for me in the event I had a baby, a card she never got to send.

I look at that sleep giraffe every day, it's the first thing I see every morning when I wake up, and she tells me every morning "don't give up."

- peechpy

A Late Meeting

A few days before my 30th birthday, my (now ex) wife told me she had a meeting in the city and would be home late - but she actually drove to the airport and picked up my best friend who had secretly flown in from out of state to surprise me.

The next day she took us to a spot a few hours away where we spent my birthday weekend with a bunch of my other friends. One of the best weekends of my life!

- TempleofCyclops

Broken Down

My 13th birthday I got the surprise that our truck broke down.

I lucked out and was able to ride home with the football team. We lived on a farm 13miles out of town. I did all the chores the next two days while my parents stayed in town "working on it." When they finally get home, my birthday was never mentioned. I never got cake or presents. They completely forgot about it. Sucky thing was we were really poor. I looked forward to my birthday because that and Christmas was when I'd get new clothes.

Killed me ever caring about birthdays. Which is sad since my wife really tries to spoil me. I have to put on my fake happy face and act like it's a big deal.

- Varvatos_Vex

Fourth Grade 

Not even joking, in fourth grade my friend gave me a 3 hour couples massage coupon.

- IssMeMario

Lost And Found


I have an old silver watch that a nun gave me when I was in my teens. I would visit her in the nursing home when I was doing my required service hours for school. She was so sweet and I always looked forward to seeing her every day. My senior year she passed away, but gave me her watch before she did. I wore that watch every day until finally it stopped working.

A couple years after I moved in with my now fiance I accidentally lost it and was really upset for a long time because of that.

For my birthday last year I told my fiance that I didn't want him to spend any money on me so we can save for our wedding. That morning he handed me a small box. Inside was the watch, which he found at the bottom of a box in the basement, and he had cleaned it and fixed it. I still wear that watch everyday and that was honestly the best gift I'd ever received.

- AggieChristie


A few years ago my siblings and I hosted a 70th birthday party for my dad on my birthday. My birthday is in July, his in February. We had him fooled into thinking the surprise party was for me and he was shocked when he walked in and realized it was his party. Half the fun was watching him almost spoil the surprise about a half a dozen times.

Fast forward to yesterday, I get a package in the mail with a super cozy sweatshirt and note from dad saying is was a birthday gift for me on his birthday. Included in the note, he stated, "I couldn't think of better person I would want to swap birthday's with." I'm not gonna lie, the note was the real gift.

- Tanaisy

Birthday Bike

My brother was riding my bike the previous day, and left it at the end of out driveway apparently.

So for my birthday he got me a stolen bike.

My mom's friend told me to not be upset because "we'll just get you another one" but I have never owned a bike since. Her parents had a lot of money, and always bailed her out, so she couldn't relate that not everyone would get bailed out all the time. I haven't had a bike since.

- mkicon


A cousin thought that it was hilarious to get me a 12 pack of condoms at my early 20s, in front of the entire family.

I wanted to die.

- netslaveone

Bagels And Love

A Bag of Bagels.

I was at university (UK) and I had been wished happy birthday by my family and a small number of friends (read housemates) but hadn't gotten any gifts, considering I didn't have many good friends at uni and my Family live almost 6 hours up north from me, I wasn't really expecting anything in the form of gifts.

I decided on a whim that I would join up with a society I'm part of for a couple drinks at the local Spoons, but didn't tell anyone and just met em there. When I got there one guy saw me and called me over and gave me the bagels and said that they were really glad I came along cos they weren't sure if I was gonna.

Before he gave me these I had had like 5 conversations with this guy and barely knew him, but he went out of his way to learn my birthday and grab me a bag of bagels knowing it's one of my favourite foods.

Long story short we've now been dating for just under a year.

- ManicGinger

Nose Hair

My cousin gave me electric ear/nose hair clippers. She had apparently just had a first date with a guy and he had really long nose hair and it bothered her so she thought it would be a good gift for me (I don't think she was implying that I had long nose hair, just that it was something I should handle).

- twomz



My family one time just gave me Snoopy clothes,I don't know why, since I never mentioned Snoopy at that time. And I got a lot of them. Weird, but they're still good.

- toniking-reddit


For my birthday, I was visiting my great aunt in California, my cousins were visiting with us as well. I was so happy, I love these cousins and they are so awesome. We were talking about their plans after they finish their visit, and they said something about ComicCon in San Diego. I told them I would love to go, but I don't think I'd ever go because I live on the east coast and don't have money (college student at the time).

They offered to take me and bought me a ticket! I was so in shock I told them they didn't have to do that and they said 'Its a birthday present.' I was not expecting that and I had so much fun there with them. I was so happy that they loved me so much to take me. I didn't tell them they had to, they offered to and I first felt bad because they had to spend more money on my ticket.

- mystic_vixen_mermaid

She's Totally Winning

A few years ago my then girlfriend, now wife bought me a PS3 and about fifteen games. Very unexpected, and very appreciated. And last year she bought me tickets to see Train and the Goo Goo Dolls, which was awesome for me (and taking one for the team for her; she's not exactly into either band). Worth noting that she has the same birthday as me, just a year younger; I have yet to give her anything as cool, though not for lack of trying.

- twcsata

Coldish Soup

A container of ice cream from a fancy ice cream shop a 4hr drive from where I live. Was a coldish soup by the time it got to me ūüėā IDK WHY

- SpaGooootie


Not birthday, but one Christmas my mum got me airpods out of the blue. I didn't even ask for them or think about asking for them. Turns out it was the best thing I've ever got and I'm obsessed and they literally don't leave my ears lol.

- I_am_irrelevant

Back To The Future

I'm a huge Back to the Future (BTTF) fan. I also grew up playing old school video game consoles like the Genesis and Super Nintendo. And as an adult I got back into retro games.

Now when it came to Back to the Future video games back in the day, they never got it right. From the horrible NES games to the horrible Genesis BTTF Part III game to the god awful Universal Theme Park simulator or whatever it was that was on the GameCube. It wasn't until 2010's Back to the Future game from Telltale Games that we finally got a great BTTF game.

But there was one BTTF game from the '90s that actually was good that I didn't know about for a very long time. In Japan they released "Super Back to the Future Part II" for the Super Famicom. It was only released in Japan and I live in the US, so I never heard about it. When I did I watched gameplay footage on YouTube and thought it looked great. But I had no way to play it, so I didn't even try to look for a copy.

Then, a few years ago, my birthday rolled around. My brother came around to my house to hang out and he brought a gift for me. I unwrapped it and there it was: A modified copy of "Super Back to the Future Part II" that worked on US Super Nintendos. And it was in English, too!

I don't know where or how he got it, but, man, I did not expect it and it remains one of my most treasured gifts because he got me something that really rings true to the type of person I am. He knows me extremely well and he used that knowledge to get me something that he knew I would love.

- KyleNeetsNew

The Notebook


When I was in my last year of high school I really hated both my literature class and the teacher who taught it. I often complained (in a joking manner) to my dad about how much I just wanted to straight up destroy my notebook once I graduated. A couple months after I finished (on my birthday) he took me to a shooting range to teach me how to use my mom's pistol (no big deal, he is a retired firearm instructor and it was something we had previously discussed).

After practicing for a while he went to retrieve something from the car: my notebook. Needless to say, I got the chance to tear it apart just like I always wanted to. The fact that he remembered something so trivial and turned it into an awesome yet unconventional gift made it really meaningful (and fun!).

- YawningYarn

The Cupcake

Three years ago someone at work gave me a cupcake for my birthday. I was the first time in 35 years that I've gotten anything other than a generic card or a facebook message for my birthday. I took the day off and went home and cried.

- varthalon

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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