People Who've Met Up With A Stranger From The Internet IRL Reveal What Happened
Nowadays, we find dates via the internet, and it's not so strange to think about picking a time and place to meet up with a complete stranger.
However, when the internet was first becoming a thing 10-15 years ago, things were very very different, and sometimes, they were scary.
Most of the time, people you met on the internet came from chat rooms, or forums, or something with some sort of an unknown factor involved. Social media has pretty much solved the anonymity factor, but most of our parents would not let us go near strangers on the internet for fear of what may happen. These stories reflect that time.
People who have tried to meet someone from the Internet IRL, what happened?
Here were some of those tales.
Dreams Came TrueGiphy
First person I met from the internet, we started a private game server together. Fun times, fell out of touch.
Second person I met from the internet hooked me up with a job in IT, got me started in the industry, and has been my career mentor ever since. He played on our private server.
Our Millennial Lives Intersected
I met one of my best friends in an AOL chatroom 18 years ago. I chatted with her nightly for about a year, lost contact for 2, then bumped into her IRL and have been friends ever since. We were also recently roomates for a year and a half. She is basically a sister to me.
Sad Endings Don't Make The Stories Less Worthwhile
We had been planning to meet after known each other for years on line, just a couple of crazy old guys who loved cars, beer, and weird sh*t. I had a business trip that was gonna take me out near to where he lived (he lived in Northern NH, and I had a trip to Montreal), but my business trip got delayed, and delayed again. And between those cancellations, his cancer, which he had defeated once, came back with a f*cking vengeance.
When I contacted him about my updated schedule to come out in, what was then, 6 weeks from the call, he said his docs said he had weeks to live. I told him I didn't care what it meant, I was gonna stick with the plan. So I reserved a rental car on the hope he'd still be kicking. I stayed in touch regularly, he moved to a hospice and I let him know that I had cared for my dying grandmother through months of hospice, 24/6, as she died of cancer, so I'd been there and seen it. I was not scared of hospice and would be honored to see him regardless of where he was.
When the weekend came, my flight got delayed, there was a forecast of frozen mix between Montreal and the border, but I drove it anyway. I landed in Montreal, paid out of pocket for my rental car, dropped my bags at the hotel downtown, and drove to NH. I got to the hospice around 9:00 PM and talked to him and his wife for hours. I brought his some timbits at his request, it was the only thing he asked for. Eventually, around 2:30 AM I realized that I needed to head back, because I had to be at work, teaching a class, at 9 AM, back in Canada, so I slowly say my goodbyes, take a picture with them, and drive back. I called my son to keep me awake, and when I got to the border back to Canada I told the guards that I had some carrots in my bag that had come from the US via plane, to Canada, to NH, and now back to Canada, and that was the only thing I had to declare. My son stayed with me on the phone until I got back to my hotel, where I took a power nap, and then taught my class that day.
Guard duck (my friends online nickname) passed on last Thanksgiving (which was just a couple of weeks after I visited). But he held on and fought and faced it through it all. He never flinched or looked away, he was thankful for the extra time he had with his wife and getting to see friends. He and his wife were among the greatest people I have ever met.
Speaking of, I got a Christmas card from her a couple of days ago, I'm in the process of putting together a care package for her. She's doing as well as could be.
I guess, this is just to say, imaginary internet friends are sometimes the best friends you'll ever make. And I regret nothing.
RIP Guard Duck.
Far Away But Closer Than Ever
Back in 2008, my 3 Call of Duty buddies from a few states away and I would play every day after school, after randomly adding each other. They all 3 knew each other IRL. Friend #1's dad passed away suddenly and I sent him and his mom a sympathy card. They were both really moved by the gesture and I was invited there over the summer. As of today, #1 and I have met up 3 times, and #2 and #3 4 times. We continue to game and text at least once or twice a week, now that we've all grown up. I consider them closer friends than a lot of the people I'm friends with here at home.
A New CollaboratorGiphy
Probably not what you are looking for but this was kind of wild.
I posted in a thread looking for vocalists in my area to sing on some songs I've been working on. Someone responded to look up someone via Instagram. I looked her up and she's good. Really good. Turns out she's been recording at a studio just down the street from my house.
I let a little while pass without messaging her because I wasn't quite ready to send anything out yet. Cut to my band's show last weekend at this dive bar on the other side of town. Get off the stage and she's in the crowd actually approached us and complemented us. Took me a minute before I made the connection. Sent her the songs yesterday and she liked them.
Does Craig's List count? Because I got a lot of roommates off Craig's List over the years. Became very good friends with a few of them. One of them had this ex-boyfriend she wouldn't stop complaining about, all day everyday. Her stories about him were so outlandish & she was so embittered, it made me insanely curious about what his side of the story was, given that I lived with her & knew that she could be...a handful.
I wound up meeting him randomly a few years later (not online) & paid extra-close attention because I knew who he was from all of her endless complaining. I was like, "Huh...He's really cute, and he seems smart. And funny. Not at all like a human garbage monster." And then we fell in love, had a baby, blah blah blah. I sometimes wonder if it would have happened if I'd never met this random bitter ex-girlfriend after posting a roommate ad on Craig's List. I probably wouldn't have paid nearly as much attention to him if I hadn't been hearing terrible stories about him for literally years. (FWIW, we are still together & I really must attribute her stories to the fact that everyone is a less-than-ideal partner when they're like 17 years old.)
The Wonderful Partner From Oz
I kinda have two examples here.
Met a guy online through a pen pal website (I love writing letters). I live in Australia and he lived in California. We decided to try a long distance relationship and after 6 months he came to stay with me for 3 weeks. He never left and we've been together nearly 9 years, married for 2.
During the wedding planning process I was an avid gamer. I met someone to play games with that was going to teach me to play better since I wasn't very good. Got talking and found out that the guy and his wife were wedding photographers and we had just had ours cancel because he double booked himself. They flew down and did our wedding photography for us!
All in all, had pretty good experiences I would say!
Little Groups, Big Families
I joined a couple small gaming forums in 2002. I befriended lots of people on each, and found myself wanting to meet everyone. Some people thought the idea creepy, but it was purely out of friendship on my side.
So in 2008 I saved up about $1500 and went on a 3 week, 8,000 mile road trip to meet anyone who was interested in having me visit them. I met over 20 people on that trip, every visit was awesome in its own way. (It's a lot cheaper than you might think it is if you're willing to sleep in your car or if people you visit let you stay the night).
One of the women I met on that trip married me 6 years later. Been together ever since.
I've also had one friend from that group live with me for a couple years, before the road trip actually, and I've met several others under other circumstances.
Meet people from the internet. It's great, trust me. I can literally say it changed my life, and for the better.
This Is Why The Show 'Catfish' Exists
I fell for a girl once. We met in a chat room and talked just about every day for 2 years. Long distance with her in the US and me in Australia. One day she basically just disappeared without word and feeling impulsive I thought I'd fly over to visit her. Would be just like a movie, making a grand romantic gesture and everything working out perfect. So I flew all the way to a small town called Ooltewah, TN. Booked the closest hotel to her house which was an almost 10 mile walk to her house. So I walked all the way and knocked on the door, hear the footsteps rushing to the door, my heart racing. Open the door and it's a 13 year old African-American boy. Knocked on every door in that street hoping I'd just made a mistake but no dice. One of the lowest points of my life walking back to the hotel and spending the rest of the week alone on the opposite side of the world.
WoW, I Love This StoryGiphy
This pertains to two different friends.
We played World of Warcraft for something like 7 years. We had always joked and mentioned about actually hanging out but we were both middle schoolers when we started playing WoW. Fast forward to 2016 both of us are grown up with jobs and still in constant contact through video games and social media we finally went forward with a plan for me to fly from Minnesota where I live out to New York where he lived. Spent a week out there and had some of the most fun of my life. I returned in 2017 for a two-week stay. Planning on going back again this spring. He's even tried to get me to move out there with him.
The second friend was the guy that introduced me to my first friend. I never chalked him up as the type that would open his door to strangers from the internet. He was our guild leader in WoW and was quite a bit older than all of us like 10 years so for most of the time knowing him it wasn't really something I considered until 2018 where I'm in my mid-20s and hanging out with people in their 30s isn't weird at all. I rented a car and drove down and met up with him after nearly 10 years of gaming together and spent an enjoyable week hanging out and playing video games together.
I strongly suggest if you trust your internet/gaming friends enough to go visit them. It's something I haven't for a second regretted and has become a yearly tradition for me.
I'll gobble up pretty much anything.
But I do have my limits.
All people have culinary limitations.
Some menus, as fabulously touted as they are, just don't do it for everybody.
Everything popular is not everybody's cup of tea... or cake, for that matter.
Redditor Complete-Sweet5222 wanted to discuss the menu, so they asked:
"What is the most overrated cuisine?"
I won't do french cuisine. No snails. No way.
That's just me.
Fancy SchmancyChrissy Teigen Cupcake GIF by Billboard Music AwardsGiphy
"Fancy cupcakes. Every ‘designer’ cupcake I’ve had has been incredibly dry. I just don’t get why they charge $5-$10 per serving, but the quality of the cake is below a Walmart sheet cake."
"I make cupcakes sometimes. Over baking and day old baked products tend to dry out. A lot of the fancy desserts take time to build, which means the cupcakes have been sitting out for a while."
"Not really a cuisine per se, but ‘shock food.' You know those giant milkshakes with whole slices of cake and candy on top, or quadruple cheeseburgers with so much cheese it’s running everywhere. It’s just not practical/tasty and really only exists to get a cool picture."
"I made the mistake of getting one of those milkshakes exactly once. It was fun to get and then you realize you just paid 20 bucks for a normal milkshake and grocery store sheet cake."
"Complicated burgers. Some a good but others have far to much on to eat without disassembly or using a knife and fork."
"Also I hate when they have overly elaborate names. I want to verbally order a cheeseburger, not the ‘big wet sloppy double daddy burger.'"
"I totally agree. I hate being embarrassed to order something. There used to be an ice cream shop that had funky names for sizes. I had to stop going because I could not stop giggling at having to say 'no, I don’t want a zinger, I would like a zooper.”
"Our family has been restaurant investors for 40 years. High end French cuisine using offal or organ meats."
"These dishes are pushed because the costs of these types of meats are very low and produce a huge profit margin. Also, the lack of experience with guests cooking these types of dishes for themselves mean very few patrons complain about authenticity. Usually a chef will throw his/her twist in the menu."
"Most customers can tell the difference between a great pizza and a mediocre one. They'll remember a great steak - but a restaurant may be paying huge premiums to fly that Waygu in from Japan or for your Flintstone tomahawk. Whereas, a local butcher shop will gladly unload offal and such with glee due to low demand. You'd be surprised as to how little we paid for cow brains for example."
No Silver?gold GIFGiphy
"God, why did it take me so long to realize you were talking about literal flakes of gold? I read this three times and thought, 'What a weird way to describe fried food.'"
Gold is meant to spend not eat.
Price PointExcited Winnie The Pooh GIFGiphy
"The most expensive dishes. 'Yeah, man these diamonds sautéed in truffle oil and emerald dust are good, but do you have a cheeseburger?'"
“'Something for everyone' restaurants. Anywhere where the menu has a ridiculously extensive offering. If I’m flipping multiple pages and not even halfway, I just know everything is about to taste questionable."
"Several of my local Mexican restaurants have 8-page menus. All the dishes use some combination of tortillas, cheese, peppers, onions, avocados, beans, chicken, and beef, it's just the proportions and presentation that differ from one to another!"
"No cuisine, but I am sick of the whole 'bacon life' meme. It was funny for a couple of decades, but enough already. Bacon 'flavored' anything is disgusting."
"One time in college I ordered bacon flavored popcorn."
"When I popped it in the communal microwave it smelled so awful that we had to open all the windows and evacuate until it had aired out enough for us to Febreze the rest away. It tasted like death. A couple guys threatened to beat me up if I popped any more. Some things just don't need to be bacon flavored. Popcorn is one of them."
"Rather than pick on a specific nationality or style of cuisine I'll talk about presentation."
"Any restaurant where portion sizes get smaller as the price goes up is the very height of epicurean pretentiousness. Like if they actually serve you enough food to be satisfied, it might as well be McDonald's."
"I spent a lot of years working in restaurants, and the ironic thing is what's on your plate is by far the smallest expense in serving that plate to you. There's no reason for tiny portions other than pretentious do*chebaggery."
"Lobster. It’s fine, it’s just not really worth it’s cost imo. I also like eating it in things rather than by itself. The lobster rolls I had in Maine were much better than lobster straight up."
Food should be more affordable.
Do you have and foodie quibbles you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
People Break Down Which Things Only Work In Movies And Never In Real Life
We go to the movies to escape reality.
Nothing is more transportive than watching our favorite Marvel heroes face off with their nemesis in an epic battle or going to Middle Earth and following the journeys of different-sized protagonists.
While we may never truly experience their worlds in reality, there are other films deeply routed in real-life that are still a welcome distraction from the stresses of our daily lives.
But there's one thing that separates truth from fiction, and that is plausibility.
Moviegoers offered examples of the things that don't fly in real life when Redditor qbl256 asked:
"What only works in movies?"
Courtroom antics are better left up on the big screen.
Anything Goes In Court
"Doing whatever you want in a courtroom as long as you are 'going somewhere with it.'"
"Any random person being able to walk up and present new evidence."
"Also, yelling at a judge and invading the judges personal space always works out ok."
Action movies are entertaining because of its heightened sequences that are more convincing on film.
"Conveniently knocking someone unconscious so they're not bothering you for several minutes while you do secret stuff. Without killing them or serious brain damage."
"Actually lampshaded in Archer."
"Jumping through shattering glass windows and surviving without lacerations all over."
"Shooting a gas tank so it explodes."
"Or removing a bullet from yourself and then you're fine."
The Perfect Aim
"Shooting a lock to open it is my favorite. Sure shooting a lock will break it, but you just broke it in the locked position. Now it’s even harder to open."
It's Such A Blast
"Running away from an explosion and letting the blast push you to safety."
Certain elements are added to elevate a scene–which only proves, "yeah, that's not real-life."
"A hushed conversation immediately after shooting a gun indoors without ear protection."
Street Vendor At The Wrong Time & Place
"Someone pushing a fruit cart across a street just as you’re speeding by. I’ve never seen a moving fruit cart otherwise. Or seen a fruit cart, actually."
No Time For Recovery
"Running for a very long time and then being able to talk normally."
What I always get a kick out of is when the distressed character attempts to flee from a knife wielding, masked home intruder by running up the stairs instead of going out the backdoor.
Like, why make the escape route that much more difficult by adding another obstacle like jumping out the window or being trapped in the closet until the inevitable moment of death?
Oh, right, it extends the tense sequence to prolong the final moments of the soon-to-be victim.
Ah, gotta love the movies.
People Reveal What Absolutely Ruins A Restaurant Experience For Them
Sometimes we need a night out or to take a break from our cooking, and it's nice to go to a restaurant.
But from bad food to even worse service, there are details about the dining experience that can ruin the whole night out.
Redditor raymorude asked:
"What ruins a restaurant?"
Yelling at Your Date
"When the background music is too loud."
"WHEN THE BACKGROUND MUSIC IS TOO LOUD."
Not to Mention Terrible Acoustics
"We went to a small restaurant that had a live band rocking out on a Wednesday night while a bunch of families tried to eat their dinners."
"We couldn't hear one another at our own table, couldn't hear the waitress, etc. Unsurprisingly, they went out of business."
"Live music is great if you're not eating in a shoebox-sized restaurant, and the band isn't trying to void the warranty on their speakers."
"When they don’t put a price on the menu. It makes me not want to order anything just in case it comes out to $30 per dish, but I also feel embarrassed to ask for the price of each item."
"I personally like a dark and quiet atmosphere where I can sit in a high-backed booth and enjoy my meal with my family. Restaurants that are too open, too bright, and have loud music playing in the background ruin it for me personally."
"People underestimate how much atmosphere can make somewhere a lot less appealing."
"Once I found a chill, quiet, British-style pub with nice wooden booths and furniture where you could relax with a beer and actually talk to people, I realized why I hated going out before. I just needed a better atmosphere."
That Luke-Warm Feeling
"Slow service coupled to food not served hot enough because it's been sitting in the kitchen too long waiting to be delivered."
Hilariously Bad Food
"There's a famous restaurant in Denver called Casa Bonita that had legendarily bad food. I went there once as a kid, hated it, and never went back."
"But people love it and will try to convince you to go. If you point out that the food is terrible, they will even agree with you but say that it's worth it for the atmosphere. And I'm always like, it's a RESTAURANT! Who cares about the atmosphere if the food is terrible?!"
"I heard a few years ago that it's under new ownership. No idea if the food got any better."
"A lot of good answers here but bugs top them all for me. The restaurant could have a 10/10 atmosphere, food, drinks, waitstaff, etc… but if I’m trying to swat flies away from my face and food every 10 seconds, my experience is ruined."
"I’ve left places due to this. One of my favorite places in a downtown area has an amazing outdoor patio, but there’s a bee problem there they refuse to deal with. It’s a deal breaker!"
Declining Food Quality
"Cutting quality to save money. Sometimes prices need to change, I get that as frustrating as it can be (and in all fairness that can ruin a restaurant for me just because of my budget, but I think that's an exception), but cutting quality to save money doesn't just make your food worse, it makes your image worse to your regulars."
"Children on loud devices, so d**n annoying."
Too Many Options
"A menu that's way too freaking big, saying this as a food service worker."
Not Enough Choices
"When you see a menu with like four items to choose from, you better believe all four options better be perfectly delicious."
"I personally can’t stand when the bussers or servers are going at 100% speed. Makes me feel anxious and like I need to be eating quicker."
"I worked at a restaurant like this and they were borderline abusive and my coworkers would literally be sprinting around trying to get 10 things done at once. I prefer a relaxing environment and I’ll wait a bit longer to get my food."
Not All Karaoke is Good Karaoke
"I went to a small restaurant that I've liked before. For some reason, the owners decided to put up a karaoke machine in the middle of the place. With the size of the place and how loud the machine was, you could hear everything at any table."
"We sat down, heard a kid trying to sing 'Let It Go' full-blast and all decided to leave."
"When they don't treat/pay their staff well. You can tell, especially if you've worked in the industry, and it seeps into every aspect of the place. You can practically feel it oozing out of the walls."
"Waitstaff walking towards me carrying a cake and singing Happy Birthday..."
While dining out can be an awesome experience, there are obviously things that can ruin the whole vibe. But it's clear from these diners that there are certain details that will be a deal breaker, no matter what.
People Break Down What Absolutely Ruins A Good Burger For Them
Most people love a good burger, and many, many American restaurants serve them, but not all burgers are created equal.
Super tall burgers that are hard to eat, way too much sauce (or only a tiny bit of sauce on the middle of the bun), soggy lettuce — there are lots of ways to ruin a burger.
Redditor TheKeyMaster365 asked:
"What Instantly Ruins A Burger For You?"
"Nothing kills a burger faster than a bad tomato"
"Tomato can be okay if you're eating it right now but tomato on it togo burger or sandwich almost always makes the bread soggy."
"I don't object to the taste of tomato in a burger, but I despise the actual tomatoes themselves. They're too slippery, so they always end up squeezing out and, somehow, falling on anything except the plate."
"When the tomato has that hard area in the middle (the core I guess?). Gross."
Lack of Structural Integrity
"Poor construction. When it flies out the other end. Stick everything together with a blob of sauce."
"Too much sauce can make the bun disintegrate and it becomes a soggy mess."
"You’ve identified an important problem but I’m not sure about the effectiveness of the proposed solution"
Too Much Sauce
"I do enjoy sauces on a burger, but to a point. If I end up having to hold a soggy mess, I'm not going to enjoy the burger nearly as much."
"Also tall burgers. The two also go together to make an awful burger experience"
"If I have to wipe/clean my hands after every bite, it is an unpleasant experience."
"I hate it when the first bite launches a glob of sauce out the other end."
"I feel the same way and thought I was in the minority. If I pick up a burger, take a bite, and immediately need 4-5 napkins, it's not worth it."
"Watery old lettuce. One time I got a burger with terrible lettuce.. it tasted like it came straight out of a lake.. from then I avoid that place saying 'they have lake lettuce.'"
"Limp, watery, garbage lettuce ruins so many things. If you can't get quality lettuce, please leave it off! Restaurants sneak it on without putting it on the menu and you can't just take it off because the wateriness has already soaked into everything else."
"I once ordered a breakfast burger that was advertised as having, among other toppings, 'egg.' I imagine a nice fried egg or at least a scrambled egg patty of sorts. No, the monstrosity that came out had a quartered, hard-boiled egg on it. Just terrible - what self-respecting chef would serve that?"
"Filing this under 'things that feel illegal'"
"As someone in the industry, a breakfast lover, and a burger lover, this is honestly one of the most offensive things I've seen on reddit."
"When the patty slips out the other side."
"This is a corollary to the massive height complaint. Make a burger wide, not tall, and it won't slip out."
"PSA: The toothpick on top of your burger is not for decoration, but they are a functional tool to prevent the contents to fall out."
Humans Can't Unhinge Their Jaws
"Being too big to fit in your mouth. Pointless. Might as well just throw it all on a plate, and call it 'deconstructed burger'"
"Yeah, make burgers wider not taller."
"If I gotta unhinge my jaw like a snake to eat something, I'm not ordering it. It's incredibly annoying and a lot of work. A burger should be a hand held food. If I need a knife and fork, what's the point?"
"I’ve had a few burgers in my time where I have actually just taken it apart and put it on my plate to slowly eat. It is frustrating."
"Wet untoasted bun"
"Nothing worse than taking a bite of a soggy bun. Also the reason why I don’t like tomatoes in my burger"
"Looking at you, Five Guys. $20 burger and it's not even toasted. They tell me it is, but why is it a soggy mess only a couple minutes after it was made?"
"Untoasted bread is acceptable, just a matter of choice. Now, a burger where bread is all soggy because there's tomato or wet lettuce touching it is almost a negligence by the person who made it."
Too Much Conversation
"People that want to talk while I'm eating a burger."
"And then gets mad when you don't respond... Like can't you see I'm chewing?!.."
"I have a mate who, whenever we go for a burger, all of a sudden feels the need to start asking me all these questions about my personal life as soon as I start eating:"
"'What your dad up to at the moment?'"
"'Have you been to your brother's house lately?'"
"'What sort of stuff has your mum been doing since she retired?'"
"'Is your brother still in touch with his ex?'"
"I'm one of those people who sort of gets into a zone while eating so firing a load of questions at me very much kills the 'vibe' I'm on!"
My Wallet Hurts
"When they cost $20+"
"Yeah, I’m fine paying $20 if it’s something good. Bison burger for $18? F*ck yeah! Even just something like local grass fed beef. F*ck yeah!"
"I went to a burger place by me once, got a burger, loaded fries, and one beer. It wasn’t a sit down place, you order at the counter like it’s fast food but they give you a number to take and they bring your food to the table."
"It was $40. There’s a reason I only went once, and the burger was good but not $40 good."
"That does certainly make a burger, no matter how delicious, unappetizing 😵💫"
Burgers Are Supposed To Be Boneless
"Bits of bone! I regularly bite down on these at Camino. I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt and tried again multiple times but I haven’t been back in a while because of it."
"This a the real answer. A chunk of bone will ruin your trust in burgers for a very long time."
"Wow! This brought back some repressed trauma. I bit into a burger over 20 years ago, and it had a bone chip in it. Biting into that (not expecting it) caused my tooth to crack. That tooth later became impacted and lead to the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. That was the worst burger by a long shot."
Why Is There So Much Bread?
"A dry bun or too much bun."
"100% … Bun to meat to topping ratio is paramount."
"Brioche. Brioche is a terrible choice for a burger bun and I don't understand why everyone is using it these days. Brioche is basically bread make with low-protein flour and lots of eggs."
"Also known as: CAKE, just drier and without any of the chew and texture of a properly made bread roll. Brioche sucks ass and that trend needs to die."
Cheese Should Be Melty
"Unmelted cheese - imagine taking your first bite and everything is warm and fresh, then your teeth hit a f*cking ice block."
"this is why I dislike cheeseburgers. I avoid cheese on mine. and people think I’m f*cking weird."
"Pickles when I asked for no pickles."
"And you can’t just pick em off. The whole fu*kin burger is contaminated if a pickle touches it."
"Same thing with mustard. No ... you can't just scrape it off."
Making a good burger doesn't seem like it would be very hard, but there's a lot of ways things can go very wrong.
Now it's your turn. What absolutely ruins a burger for you? Let us know in the comments below.