Men Break Down The Most Ridiculous Reason Someone's Questioned Their Masculinity
Regardless of how anyone identifies themselves, people still seem to be in a position where they are asked to justify their gender identity.
But we still live in a socialized world where outdated norms dictate one's masculinity, which is a shame.
Curious to hear from our male friends online who've personally had to explain themselves, Reddit soyeahithrowaway asked:
"Men of Reddit, what was the most ridiculous reason why someone questioned your masculinity?"
Guys got "read" by others for being literate.
"I was reading a book on my lunch break while I was working construction, and got a bunch of sh*t about reading being for women. Which is easily one of the top 15 of the stupidest things I've heard said out loud."
Writing Well Is Gay
"My BIL told my SO that he writes ‘like a f*g,’ by which he means in full paragraphs, with proper spelling and grammar. Apparently writing like an adult with a firm grasp of the English language is extremely gay."
"We’ve also been told to not gift his children books because 'books aren’t real presents.'”
"Personally, I’m convinced my BIL is functionally illiterate because his anti-reading stance is completely insane unless he’s desperately trying to hide the fact that he can’t understand anything more complex than text messages that are 95% movie quotes."
Keeping up with appearances can draw judgment.
"My apartment was clean."
Safety Is So Not Manly
"For wearing gloves while welding."
"Being dressed for cold weather. Apparently wearing a men's jacket is not manly."
"At work I gave a guy a report and it had a pink paperclip on it."
"He asked me why I gave him a pink paperclip. I told him I just grabbed one. He then asked why I had a pink paperclip - I told him I had a rainbow pack."
"Then he wanted to know why, when I saw it was pink, I didn't throw it away. He told me I shouldn't use pink paperclips 'people might have questions.'"
"So anyway I spread that story to basically everyone at work and then everyone wanted some of my pink paperclips to use when they gave him stuff."
All Tied Up
"About 30 years ago, they came out with neon string lines. As I work construction, I am constantly using string to ensure things are straight. By far, the brightest of the strings was a pink one."
"So, I was constantly chided by the crew for having a pink string. This only happened until it started getting closer to dusk, at which point they all wanted to borrow my string."
"Somebody once told me I wasn't applying deodorant manly enough."
"You set fire to the can and let it explode behind you as you look epically to the camera."
"Did you put the can up your butt ?"
"Got accused of being gay for being nice to people in the dive bar I go to... I guess it's not masculine to be nice to people."
Men, watch what you put in your mouth.
Grown Men Don't Eat This
"Had a friend give another friend sh*t because he wanted to eat a corn dog. He said grown-a** men don’t eat corn dogs. Any man should understand."
"2 days later he was mad ranting and raving at me because I gave everyone else hot dogs and he didn’t get one. I just figured he was on his grown man sh*t."
No Fancy Cocktails For You
"Went to a Mexican restaurant and we waited at the bar before we could get a table. This place has awesome strawberry blended margaritas so I got one. Apparently lime = straight, strawberry = gay."
"My husband bought some of our homegrown raspberries into work to share and a guy he works with said they were 'girl food'. It must be so exhausting to have to gender your food."
Not A 'Hard' Food
"Said online that I like soup, it's one of my favourite things in life. Then some guy replied, assuming I must have been brought up on soup, which in turn meant I didn't eat much 'hard' foods growing up and probably given me an unmasculine jaw."
"My dad got sh*t from a guy he was working with because he was eating a plain bagel with butter on it and drinking chocolate milk because the guy said it’s childish. Dad never cared and just laughed at the guy for being an idiot. Who wouldn’t like that combo? It’s a great thing to eat!"
It's all so silly, really.
I was once asked to check for any gum on my shoe during recess at my middle school.
When I looked behind me and lifted my foot up to check, these two dudes were laughing hysterically, saying I was gay for not inspecting my shoe by lifting my foot out in front of me.
Well, I guess their gaydar was actively engaged at an early age. Whateves
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Petty vengeance may be as simple and relatively harmless as switching the salt and sugar before someone puts it in their coffee, or hiding around a corner and spooking them when they walk by. Sometimes petty vengeance goes farther, though — maybe too far. These are stories from internet denizens all around the world describing the time they got their petty vengeance. Let’s hope none of them went too far trying to get even!
We Don’t Know Hergreen door beside yellow doorPhoto by Christian Stahl on Unsplash
We live in an apartment block, and occasionally have new people move in and out. Yesterday we encountered a new resident, a short red-haired lady who, through dwarfism and food, manages to be about as wide as she is tall. My boyfriend greeted her with a simple “Hello". He also tried to say “welcome” but she cut him off with, “Shut up, I don’t know you". Okay, not the sociable type, neither are we, best not get friendly then!
Today when returning from grocery shopping we found her trying to pick the lock with what looks like a piece of a paperclip because you know, that’s going to work. She’s apparently been at it a while because before we could open the door with our key, a patrol car stopped and an officer called out to her. The officer asked her why she was breaking in, to which she responded she lived here. She turned to us and said, “They know me".
My boyfriend smiled and said, “I don’t know you". We entered the building after the officer asked us to confirm, and my boyfriend repeated: “We don’t know her". Can’t wait to have more contact with her…
I used to be kind of an idiot. I’ve really mellowed out since. But sometime around 2001-2002, I had an incident in my university dorm laundry room. Anyway, I’m a freshman living in the dorms, it’s the weekend, and I’m doing laundry. We had an unwritten rule in the dorm laundry room: if you don’t attend to your laundry, it’s totally cool for someone to pull it out and throw it on the table (wet or dry). If you don’t like it, just promptly attend to your laundry when the washer or dryer turns off.
I don’t like people touching my laundry, so I always set an alarm to be there when it’s done (on my digital watch, not my phone!). I wash my clothes, throw them in the dryer, and set my timer. Soon after, my watch goes off and I walk back to the laundry room only to find my dryer load completely wet and on the table. Oh heck no! Someone pulled my stuff from the dryer, only to dump it out and dry their stuff for free.
Well, good news: I had more quarters, so I could dry my stuff just fine. Actually, I had enough quarters for my anonymous friend too — why didn’t they just ask? So I grab their clothes and throw them in an open washing machine with six of my spare quarters. Actually, wait — I can drop another quarter in for a heavy cycle, which entitles you to an additional rinse and spin! I happen to have another quarter, so I do. The heavy cycle takes over an hour and a half to complete.
Now’s a good time to mention a nice feature the washing machines had that the dryers didn’t: they locked while in operation. The homie would have been stuck for about 100 minutes waiting for another chance to dry their clothes. I hope they made better choices the second time. I was kind of a petty jerk as a baseline, and I look back with a bit of a shock that I didn’t dump in some bleach or turn the water hot.
I’m glad I’ve outgrown that kind of thing, but I look back with some pleasure at that little guy standing up to some random inconsiderate person.
Thrown Under The Bus
I was at a subway station a couple of days ago getting back from Uni. As I got off the subway to line up and go up the escalators, this middle-aged lady nudged me out of the way just as I got on to the steps, and made me trip over and fumble my bag. She stared at me and went on her way. I was right behind her going up, and she probably saved like 0.01 seconds getting on the escalator before me.
As we made our way to the exit and I got up to the door frame, she went out of her way to nudge past me again. She gave me another stare as she went through the exit and stood there looking at me like she couldn’t believe I tried to go first or something. There’s a bus terminal that connects to the subway on the street level, and we ended up waiting at the same stop. She was the first in line, and I was right behind her.
When the bus finally arrived, she really took her time fumbling through her purse, talking on her phone, and looking for her bus card. As she was searching for her card, she ended up dropping it right at the tip of my boot. She was still busy talking on the phone while searching through her wallet. I thought about it for a second and decided to lightly slide her card underneath the bus with my foot.
Eventually, she realized that she might have dropped her card, so she packed her wallet back in her purse, hung up the phone and looked around for her card. As she looked, she began getting increasingly worried, scanning everywhere for where she could have dropped it. I nudged her out of the way, gave her a stare, and made my way on to the bus.
I sat happily on one of the seats. I saw her flustered and panicked, as the next bus was coming in half an hour. The bus started to depart, and I opened the window and told her with glee, “Maybe you should check under the bus!” I watched her for as long as I could until she was out of sight, and enjoyed the rest of my commute home.
Punished For Coming In Early
I work in an office with flexible hours. We can start anytime from 8 am to 9:30 am. I’m always in the office at 8:15 am. Usually, if work comes in urgently in the morning, my supervisor gives it to me to complete since I’m one of the few in the team presently in the office. Well, yesterday I came into the office at my usual time and one of my colleagues was working on an urgent task given to him at 8 am. He had to pause the task for 20 minutes so my supervisor told me to complete it while he’s away from the office. I couldn’t even have my breakfast or even drink water because of how urgent this task was.
I was still working on it when he came back. He asked “how are you going with the task?” and I explained that I’m still working on it and that I found a few mistakes and showed it to him. He puts his hands up in the air and says, “Nope. Not my responsibility anymore” and walks off. Really? I was livid. But this needed to be done and I have no time for drama.
I finished work 5:30 pm that day. Before I left, my supervisor told me that she got a HUGE workload given to her and that she will need to give it to someone urgently in the morning to complete. I knew that my colleague would be in the office at 8 am again. Guess who is walking in the office at 9:15 am today with a cup of fresh coffee and breakfast?
A Bus Seat Built For Two
So I’m on the way home from the shops and I decide to take the bus. Really, it’s only about three stops away and I should probably walk, but it’s the middle of Australian summer, I’m wearing thongs, my bags are heavy and, most significantly, I’m lazy. So I jump on the bus home and it’s pretty full. No problem — as I said, only going three stops, not far, more than happy to stand. I’m shuffling through the aisle past other standing people though when suddenly, about halfway down, I see it. A middle-aged woman hogging a whole seat to herself.
Now I catch public transport every day and let me tell ya if you take up a whole two-person seat by yourself when other folks are standing, mate, that’s 5 years gulag in my book. Not only is this woman not sharing the seat, but she’s also moved herself to the aisle side so as to discourage anyone else from sitting down. Not on my watch.
Now previously I had been perfectly content to stand, but that’s all over now. I walk on over to this woman, look her straight in the eyes and with my nicest young man voice, broad smile and most unwavering gaze ask if I can please sit there. She glares daggers at me but relents — but not by shuffling over though. Instead, she stands in place with a huff and turns her shoulder a few centimeters to the right to indicate that yeah, there’s a seat, but if I want it I can squeeze past.
I am not in the least bit dissuaded. Happily, I squeeze past the standing woman and gosh, well I sure am a big clumsy boy carrying some bulky shopping aren’t I, and there is just not a lot of room between these seats. It takes me a few seconds to shuffle my lumbering butt all the way in, by which time the lady’s taken a few whacks of the old green bag and my grocery-laden backpack, not to mention been stumbled over once or twice by my big ol’ un-coordinated feet (it’s so hard, walking in thongs).
I sit down in contented silence, she lowers her huffing self down next to me, I spread out and brush up a little with my hairy legs, she fixes me with a glare. We sit in silence for two minutes. And then, wouldn’t you know it, my stop arrives and this woman is forced to get to her feet once more so we can do the whole dance again on the way out. I hope you enjoyed your personal space, witch. Next time just shove over.
Yearbook Humiliationboy in green sweater writing on white paperPhoto by CDC on Unsplash
So flashback to grade 1 and little ol’ me was happy being a little child. Until this girl in my class, let’s call her Mary, uninvited me to her birthday party so she could invite someone else. I was such a sad little nugget after that! Anyways, for the next 10 years, Mary and I end up going to the same schools since we lived in the same school district. In elementary and middle school she would torment me and anyone not in the “in” crowd, but would get away with it because her dad was a teacher. Needless to say, Mary was not in my good books.
A few years later, it’s grade 9 and I am part of my middle school’s yearbook class, where we got to design and create the yearbook from photos taken at school events. One of the pages that we need to create was a talent show page. Mary happened to participate in the talent show doing a singing performance. I saw an opportunity. I browsed through the photos of Mary singing at the talent show and found the one where her face was the most gloriously contorted and screwed up, as she was singing her high note.
I blew that photo way up and placed it in the middle of the page, carefully choosing background colors that wouldn’t take too much attention away from that moment in time where her visage was disheveled and distorted. And that’s how we published the yearbook. I’m 21 now and almost have an undergrad degree, and I still think back to that glorious moment and pat myself on the back. I bought a copy of that yearbook so I will always have that revenge as a treasured memory.
I’m Rubber, You’re Glue
Years ago I was working for a company where I had an office and the neighboring department was all open plan. We shared coffee facilities so I would often speak to the people in this department over a coffee. There was one idiot called Trevor in that department who would only talk to people on his desk phone on a conference call — every conversation. Needless to say, the rest of the department were annoyed with this loud and obnoxious person screaming on the blower.
As a senior guy, I casually raised this with Trevor. He responded by saying “you can go and get [bleeped]!” Now, as he was in a different department I had no authority over him and his boss was a moron too so I would have got a similar response. After Trevor went home, I went to his desk and accidentally dropped some glue into the microphone on his phone. The next day it was set rock hard.
Of course, the phone rang and he answered it on a conference call, but of course, the person couldn’t hear him. He started screaming into the mic, but they still couldn’t hear him. They would then hang up and try again. This went on for a couple of calls until he answered the phone in the manner appropriate for the office.
Crayons For The Mature Adult
I’m a server at Denny’s. Today I had a grown woman come in with her two little kids and ask for a booth. I cleaned one and sat her down. She then looks at me points at a booth across the restaurant and says she wants that one instead. Okay, whatever. I move her. I sit her down and seat someone at the booth she was in originally.
Not 2 minutes later she comes up to me and asks for the other booth back because “I was there first and it’s nicer". Yeah, I know lady: that’s why I sat you there. I tell her I can’t make other customers move and she can keep the one she’s in now or wait until a new one opens. She then says, “No, I want that one. I was there first they have to move". I told her, ” I’m sorry I can’t do that".
She asks for the manager. I get him and explain the situation. He then tells her exactly what I said. She sits down crosses her arm and pouts like a child. I proceeded to walk to her table with a huge smile on my face and hand her 3 children’s menus. I looked her in the eyes and asked what color crayon she wanted. She goes, “I’m an adult!” I gave her green and walked away.
She walked out, but the satisfaction of not getting in trouble or having to serve her was worth it.
Last year some stupid for-profit education company kept leaving me messages for some person I’d never heard of. My outbound message is literally just, “You’ve reached John Doe, please leave a message". And they’d start in with, “This message is for Jessie Harrison” or whatever name it was. I had blocked the number from ringing long ago, but I was starting to get sick of them leaving my voicemails too. I could have unblocked the number, but it seemed like a lot more fun to just change my voicemail message just for them (a pretty handy feature of Google Voice).
I recorded a 3-minute message (the maximum) where I repeated my name many times and implored them to actually freaking listen before they leave a voicemail. They called once more after I set that message… and never again. I guess they took the hint that I was just going to keep wasting their time or something.
Sign Your Work
My ex cheated on me while I was deployed. She wound up getting engaged to the guy. Before I changed duty stations, she reached out to say goodbye. We hooked up. While she was asleep, I found his underwear drawer and left a note that said, “Cheaters cheat. By the way, I didn’t use protection". I signed it. Hard not to think fondly on that memory…
“I’ll Just Be A Few Minutes…”cars parked on parking lot during daytimePhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
So years ago I delivered jugs of water to homes and offices. My work truck was fairly big probably about 35ish feet long. I had a building I delivered to that had 8-10 stops in it and was one of the few places that had a loading bay for delivery vehicles. This bay was wide enough for 2 large trucks side by side and long enough for my truck to mostly fit with a bit of the cab sticking out in the alleyway (not so far as to block traffic).
On the other side of the alley was another building, and the dumpsters for said building. These dumpsters were in a position that it could be a little tight to get into the dock but it was doable. This day I pull up and see a small courier car (size of a Honda civic) pull into the bay and stop right at the entrance. This position is just enough that I cant get the angle I need to be able to nose up to the dumpsters and back into the open spot in the loading bay. If I tried I’d likely hit the car.
Luckily for me, the driver was just getting out of the car. So I politely asked if she could back up a couple of feet so I could get into the dock. Her: I’m only going to be a few minutes… Me: Yes but if you take 5 seconds, we can both do what we need to do… Her: I’ll be a few minutes… Then she just walks into the building.
So I’m kinda stunned at this point. I’ve been in the delivery industry for almost a decade most other drivers get that it’s a tough job and we can all do what we need to do and there’s kinda an unwritten code even amongst competitors. So I maneuver my truck nice and tight to the building so as not to block the alleyway while parking perpendicular to the loading dock entrance and blocking her car in.
I start loading the first of 2 or 3 cartloads into the building. She comes out and sees my truck… Her: Well isn’t this cute… You need to move… Me: I’ll only be a few minutes. Her: I need to go. Move your truck now… By this time my cart is loaded and I tell her, “It’s okay, I’ll only be a few minutes". And I walk into the building.
Interrupting The Game
I have large trees in my yard. My neighbor next door blows all the leaves into my yard with his lawnmower. He says they’re my leaves from my tree. In doing so, he also leaves all of his grass clippings mixed in with the leaves. I blew them back; he called law enforcement. This happened several times.
His TV cable is buried in my yard. It runs from a pole underground through ten feet of my yard. During the local football game, I took a shovel and jumped on it. He lost TV and Wi-fi for two days. The cable company ran a new line. It messed up my yard a bit, but I know where it is. Just in case.
More Pain Than Intended
My mother had really bad asthma and allergies and made us kids rake up the leaves. This was not an easy task. They would get several feet deep if we didn’t do it often enough. One day we raked the whole yard into these giant piles for the city to come pick up. This took several hours. The next morning, they were scattered all over. We raked them again over several more hours and it happened again. Apparently, the neighborhood jerk kid was knocking them over just to be a jerk.
The next time, we made a super huge pile around the fire hydrant hoping he’d kick them and hurt his foot. Nope, this time he decided to do a run and jump. I watched it peeking through the blinds. He ended up breaking several bones. I didn’t even feel bad.
When I was a kid, our mailbox got taken out like once a month. Finally, after the 10th mailbox and post, my dad was fed up. So he got an eight-foot I-beam and buried it four feet down and filled in the hole with Quickrete. Next time it got hit, the jerk wrapped his car around it. Like the mailbox/pole was sticking out of the middle of his car.
After that, I don’t think the mailbox was ever hit again.
My brother-in-law did something to irritate my wife back when they were in high school. My wife turned off the TV, wrote “broken” on a piece of paper taped to the TV, shut off the power strip, and flipped the batteries around in the remote. It took my brother-in-law several days to figure it out.
It’s Mine, Apparentlyplates on tablePhoto by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash
I went to a restaurant for brunch. Upon receiving my bill I noticed a $3 charge for table linen. As I was leaving I folded up the tablecloth. The waiter said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I paid for it, I’m taking it home". And I did.
It Smells Your Fear
A girl in high school did something to annoy me. I can’t even remember what it was. She made it well-known to everyone that she was terrified of Furbys. So I brought one to school, found people in all of her classes, and passed it along between them so that it followed her all day. She ended up having a panic attack; I almost felt bad.
The Worst Smell!
I know a girl that broke up with her idiot boyfriend and moved out. But before she left she hid potatoes all over his house where he couldn’t find them, so that when they rot months and months later he will never get rid of the smell.
I’m a hairstylist and I got fired from a salon job over some nepotistic hogwash. Luckily, I had about 60 free haircut cards lying around my apartment. So I donated them all to a charity that helps recent parolees get back on their feet. On one hand, it’s nice to help people. On the other, it’s also nice to know that they’ll probably use the free haircut card, never come back, and not tip the stylists.
My neighbor flipped out on me because my dog was sniffing her lawn and yelled, “Get your dog off my lawn! Don’t let him poop on my lawn!” It really got to me so I ordered 500 boxes from USPS to her house every two weeks for a few months (you can order up to 500 of any size for free). I also mixed five bullion cubes for chicken broth (usually you use like two or three for a large thing of soup) into a water bottle with a hole in the cap and I’d just spray it all over the last foot or so of her lawn the whole length every day for a few weeks so that every dog, cat, and stray/wild animal would go sniff her lawn every time they passed by it.
Obedience Or Consequencewhite and brown long coat large dogPhoto by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash
My girl told me that the neighbor across the street was instructing his dog to go poop on our lawn. At first, I doubted he was telling his dog to do that, but I was home sick for a few days and saw it myself. I asked the owner to stop it and he said the dog wouldn’t listen. When I asked him to at least clean up the poop, he said his dog was only peeing.
We had our own dog and I took a week’s worth of his poops plus the neighbor’s dog’s poops for the week and walked across the street and threw them all over his front yard and walkway one night. Somehow the neighbor’s dog listened after that and never pooped in my yard again.
Return To Sender
When I was about 14, I was walking down a road with my friend. Some older teenagers in a car pulled up next to us, threw an egg right at me, and then sped off. Somehow, the egg hit me in the shoulder and then landed on the ground without exploding. It was still intact. The kids did a U-turn and came around to inspect the damage. My friend picked up the egg and threw it right back at their car.
Their window was down, and my friend hit them right at the base of the driver’s side window, creating a perfect airburst. The egg exploded everywhere.
Dosing Out His Own Medicine
My neighbor watches TV at night loudly. I’ve asked nicely for him to lower it (I’m a nursing student, so I need what little sleep I get). Long story short, he wouldn’t lower it, and my apartment complex says it’s not loud enough to be considered a disturbance. I now play heavy metal music during the day and put the speaker right by the neighbor’s wall, so he’s not able to sleep during the day.
The music is a disturbance, but it’s not loud enough for the complex to consider it a disturbance, so they can’t do anything about it.
Free Food For Vengeance’ Sake
I worked in a restaurant with a jerk in the early days of touchscreen point-of-sale systems. Whenever he forgot to log out, I would enter duplicate orders for his tables under his account. Management thought he was a complete idiot and eventually he was even questioning himself. Meanwhile, the rest of the staff got free food.
Not A Good Fit
My grandma, when she was a teenager, was sent to an all-girls school with dorms, uniforms, and the whole shebang. Well, my grandma isn’t an all-girls school type of lady and would sneak out at night by leaving a window cracked open with a shoe. One of the girls at the school did not like my grandma and one night took her shoe out of the window, locking it. This makes it so you have to enter through the front, where a nun was stationed 24/7.
To retaliate, my grandma took a massive poop in this girl’s bed, then remade it. Yeah, my grandma didn’t last too long at that school.
Early Wakeup Callblack alarm clock at 10:10 on white wooden table near tablePhoto by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash
I work as a hotel housekeeper. I was abused by an obnoxious snowflake guest. During her room service, I set her bedside alarm clock to go off, full volume, at 2 am.
In my old department, there was this dispatcher who probably shouldn’t be a dispatcher. We’ll call him G. One day, G needed to stay home for the gas and electric people to do some work on his home. Instead of taking a whole day off, he made the mistake of telling our boss that he’ll be at work no later than noon, but he could be there sooner if it’s really busy. G said he’d call to see how we were doing to see if he needed to come in early. I was left to dispatch for that day.
I came in at 6 am Starting at 7 a.m., he called numerous times. By the time it reached 9, G must have called at least 20 times. Each time he said the same exact thing: “Is it busy? How does it look? Do I need to come in?” By the 20th call, I got fed up and told him that it’s really busy and we could use the help if he’s able to show up. He hesitated because he had no one to watch the house, but eventually agreed and said he’ll be at work in a few minutes.
When he came in, I let him know about the workload. He realized that it wasn’t that busy and asked why I did that. My response? “Because you called me more than a psycho ex. I had to stop you somehow". Our boss wouldn’t let him leave and thought the whole thing was hilarious especially since G knows better than to do things like that to me.
South And More South
I was working at a call center. My coworker, who has a very rich southern accent, gets a call in. The woman on the other line detects her accent and gives her a hard time. She then requests someone “intelligent” with “better English”. My coworker tells the woman her English is fine and she can assist her. The lady says something to the effect of, “Just transfer me to someone else, tramp". My coworker then sends her to the SPANISH line. I just about died from the laughter.
Someone kept stealing snacks from my little sister’s lunch that was in her locker in elementary school. They even left the wrappers there. My sister had a suspect in mind but her teacher did not want to act on it. So we decided to prepare some Lindt chocolates: We scooped the middle part and put some Sriracha in them. The next day, the kid did indeed fall into our trap and came back from her ”bathroom trip” with a red face and tearing eyes. She stopped stealing from my sister’s locker after that.
Cheaters Get Cheated
When I found out my then-husband was sleeping with a coworker for over two years, he was in Denmark on business. I took every penny out of our joint account and opened a new account at a different bank. When he called to ask why his debit card didn’t work, I acted puzzled. This went on for days until he called the bank. In the meantime, I’d gotten an attorney and filed for divorce, and changed all the locks. I also took his phone and threw it into the Mississippi River.
Restaurant Playgroundburger with lettuce and tomato on white ceramic platePhoto by Juan Rojas on Unsplash
This was about 15 years ago, in college, while I was a host at a crummy Mexican restaurant. It’s a normal, busy Saturday night, and this guy walks in, right past me. He circles through the whole restaurant, comes back, and points out the table he wants to sit at. I do exactly as he asks. I knew what he was doing. He did not want to sit by any kids. Now, what happened next was completely avoidable, but he had angered me by acting like a smug jerk.
I proceeded to surround him with every party including kids. Loud kids, messy kids, small kids, birthday parties, I’ve got the perfect seat for you! I could see that he was ready to erupt, but it was too dang funny. He came up and yelled at me in front of the entire restaurant for the slights. I played dumb and then went in the back and laughed my butt off with everyone else.
The Gift Of Pettiness
I gave my jerk sister-in-law a beautifully wrapped (like, tight wrapping paper with so much perfectly curled ribbon) copy of Toxic In-Laws at her bridal shower. I obviously did not attend said shower, so she likely opened the gift in front of the crowd, for maximum embarrassment. Yes, yes, it made me look ridiculous, no doubt, but I know the irony probably shook her good, which was my goal.
Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated
One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody buys something, but instead of handing me the money, they plop it down on the counter. So one guy came up and was being… undesirable. Grown man. When it comes time to pay, he grabs a bunch of crumpled cash and throws it on the counter in front of me. I stare at it for a few moments and eventually the guy says something along the lines of, “The money’s right there, you can count it!”
So being the petty little guy I am, I pick it up, thumb through it incredibly slowly (about 30-45 seconds without exaggeration), and this guy is giving me the ANGRIEST look. I open the register to grab his change and I go to set it on the counter. He tries to dip his hand beneath mine to grab it so I slide my hand to the side and drop it on the counter. I slide the item he bought across the counter and look up and smile with a, “Have a very nice day sir".
He storms off and I ask if he’d like his receipt. When comes back and tries to snatch it out of my hand, he instead rips it in half and it took all of my energy not to bust out into tears. I will go to any lengths to anger people if they treat me like I’m subhuman.
I think one of the most satisfactory ones for me was when I got back at my childhood tormentors. I got into fights because I’d physically defend friends weaker, smaller, and younger than me. Eventually, the jerks had had enough. The main girl literally recruited two years worth of bad kids. My friends sat at our usual table. The hall was weirdly empty, then came in ALL the jerks and sat at two (eight-person each) tables.
Three of them came up to me. They started insulting us. One grabbed my fork and started eating my pasta. She then picked up my cardboard juice box, stuck the straw in it, and started drinking. I clapped my hands together and all the juice flooded into her mouth where she was forced to splutter it all down herself. The rest of the jerks found this hilarious, and, not having a nice fun fight to get involved in, left.
The main jerk with the juice all over her started yelling at me. I said, “Oh yeah? You and what army?” She panicked and fled. I ate my pasta and one of my friends shared their drink with me.
Drying Up After Him
My roommate in college used to get out of the shower dripping wet and leave water all over the bathroom floor. I asked him several times to dry himself off in the shower but he refused. Rather than get angry about it, I just started drying off the bathroom floor every morning with his bath towel.
Concrete Pumpkinpumpkin near treePhoto by Matt Eberle on Unsplash
I have a friend whose pumpkin/fall display at the end of his driveway would be run over by the neighborhood jerk. It happened every year. So my friend decided to put a stop to it. He withdrew money from his savings account so he would have enough to buy the largest pumpkin he could find, along with several large bags of Quikcrete. He filled that puppy up and made a real pretty display.
The jerk broke the axle of his bad car when he hit that pumpkin. He could not drive away. My friend had his car towed.
Long-Term And Expensive
Back in 2001, I was cheated on by a guy I dated for a few years. After we broke up, I went to Walmart’s book aisle. I grabbed about 40 subscription postcards out of the magazines and filled them all out with his name and address. I marked the ‘bill me later option’ and mailed them slowly over a few weeks.
Five years later, we hung out via mutual friends, and in the garage, there were so many magazines that the two-car garage was a one car garage. Three years after this, we were talking and he mentioned how his credit was screwed up because he didn’t pay for some magazine subscriptions and they turned him in to the collection agency.
Burning In The Bathroom
Several coworkers and I noticed that our lunches and drinks would constantly go missing, even when clearly marked. One of my coworkers was a diabetic and it ended up causing him to have a hypoglycaemic incident due to having his food taken. So after that, things got serious. He brought in a lunch that was laced with laxatives and a Carolina reaper extract oil. The previous diabetic incident was well documented and HR at this point was now aware of the food bandit. Luckily, that day, he hit the jackpot.
Turns out it was someone from HR who was taking people’s food. We heard a blood-curdling scream when the guy took his first bite and he was caught red-handed. It only got better from there. He stayed in the office the remainder of the day as things were sorted out. However, he ended up in the bathroom suffering even more. So not only did he get his mouth burned, he was pooping his brains out at the same time.
I was at my mom’s for Christmas Eve one year with my husband. I was pregnant and she had been getting on my nerves because she micromanages the holidays and my siblings and I just wanted to relax. She also had a brand-new iPhone and I knew her password. So I set her alarm to come on every hour on the hour starting at midnight and stopping at 7 a.m. I also changed the alarm tone every hour.
One was a dog barking, which set off her two Shih Tzu-poodle mix dogs for almost 45 minutes before the next alarm went off 15 minutes later. It was the best feeling in the world to hand over her phone after setting up those alarms, knowing what was going to happen. It’s one of my most cherished memories.
My little sister NEVER changes the toilet paper roll. Like totally empty, roll under the counter, doesn’t bother to change it. So I collected the empty rolls for about four months, and the next time she did it I took all of them, pulled up her sheets, and hid them all under the form-fitting sheet on the bed. It took her a long time to find all of them.
Don’t Touch My Peanut Butterclear glass jar with brown liquidPhoto by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash
My roommate kept on grabbing my peanut butter without asking, so I bought a bottle of laxative and made sure all of it went into the jar. I locked the bathroom door when I left in the morning. He pooped on himself and all over his bed — it was so bad he had to buy a new one.
Collective Coffee Revenge
I worked at a coffee shop in high school and this businessman came in every morning. He was always extremely rude and treated all the baristas like we were garbage. This guy truly talked to us like we were worthless servants. Buddy would order a quad shot americano, so we collectively started pouring him only decaf. He would sometimes come in on his lunch break and would muse out loud about how coffee just didn’t get him going like it used to.
Sweet And Sticky
My ex cheated. There was a dollar store near her work that I liked. So I went in and spent a dollar on a giant bag of gummy bears. I opened the and ate one. It was sweet! I had another! So good! These were my favorite gummy bears by far! I felt bad for wasting them by throwing them on her windshield on a hot day… but it was totally worth it.
Bed Time, Not Game Time
When my husband and I got our first apartment together, we lived with someone who didn’t have much going on schedule-wise and would stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. playing video games online with friends and shouting. We asked him to be quieter after midnight because both my husband and I had early mornings, but he would always do that thing where he was quiet for about 10 minutes and then got even louder than before.
So my husband started unplugging/replugging the internet box after midnight and then when he knocked on our door and asked if we knew why the internet was out, we’d play dumb and promise to call Comcast in the morning.
I was working at a taco place in the drive-thru, and this one customer was being so rude. He ordered some things, I repeated back his order, and he said I was completely wrong and wasn’t listening. Then he kept yelling at me through the speaker. When he got to the window, he didn’t even look at me when he handed over his money.
Of course, I was angry. One of the things he ordered was ten crunchy tacos with mild sauce. Before I gave him his tacos, I “checked” his ten tacos and crushed seven of them. Then I threw in twelve packets of Diablo sauce and only two packets of mild sauce.
Your Music, Then My Musica robot with red lightsPhoto by Albany Capture on Unsplash
Neighbors had a party with karaoke (pretty bad karaoke) that lasted until about 4 am, blasting the speakers with Rancheritas, Corridos, bad oldies Spanish pop. I decided to wash my car with speakers blasting at 6 am when they had just gone to sleep. The next time they had a party, they came over beforehand and said it was going to be over by midnight. It was.
Tiny Book Ruiner
Whenever I fought with or got mad at my parents when I was very young (five to seven years old), instead of giving them attitude, I’d just bite my tongue… then later sneak into their bedroom and rip out the following five to ten pages of whatever book they were reading at the time. I was a tiny little passive-aggressive psycho.
A Deserved Loss
My former roommate/best friend out of the blue started spreading completely fabricated rumors about me. When I heard about them, I didn’t confront her or call her out. Instead, I blocked her in every way, took all my stuff out of our shared storage unit and never reminded her about paying her half. Months later, she showed up on my doorstep to tell me that they had repoed everything in the unit.
She had every childhood photo, family heirlooms, expensive furniture, and a small jewelry collection in there. Got what she deserved as far as I’m concerned.
A neighbor tried to hit my cat when she was chilling on his lawn. I got so annoyed, I ordered a ton of catnip seeds from Amazon, and threw it all over his lawn. The cat situation got so bad for him that he had to move out.
When I lived in this apartment complex, there was a huge blizzard one winter. The apartment complex had a parking lot. I was parked in the space right in front of my apartment. It took me three hours to shovel out my car and the space, toting the snow to the grassy areas instead of just throwing it into the lot or other spaces. It was brutal.
I leave for work that night, and the jerk neighbor, who was parked in the space next to mine… brushed off his car a little, pulled out of his space without shoveling and parked in the space I had just shoveled. I WAS PEEVED. So I spent another two or so hours shoveling out the space he had been parked in… directly onto his car.
Different regions around the world are known for specific foods and customs.
In the United States, each state becomes officially and unofficially known for certain things.
Like if you think of Pennsylvania you might think cheesesteaks or the Amish. Nevada might bring thoughts of gambling.
California might evoke beaches or Hollywood. Alaska is known for it's wilderness and fishing industry.
If you say Florida Man you associate batsh*t escapades in the news, transphobia and book bans—we're looking at you, Ron.
Each state has their own flag, motto, bird, flower and in some cases an animal or food.
The Maine Coon cat is the official state cat of Maine.
Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash
So what if all the states held a big party and everyone brought what they're known for?
Reddit user Jacob4L posited:
"America is having a house party. What does your state bring and do?"
"North Carolina: We show up as twins, one brings pulled pork with Eastern NC sauce, the other shows up with ribs covered in Western NC sauce. We proceed to get drunk on shine and argue bitterly over which is better."
"Our little brother (South Carolina) shows up with some grilled chicken covered in mustard based sauce, and we forget our argument and gang up on him for being a complete disappointment to the family."
"South Carolina brings a Bible and spends the first part of the evening preaching and the last part getting drunk and fighting about BBQ sauce."
"Tennessee. We bring whisky, a guitar for a sing-a-long and Dolly Parton."
"Virginia: Eastern Virginia will bring chips with that white sauce that confuses so many people."
"Central Virginia will bring tons of different craft beers and wine."
"Northern Virginia will bring company-branded fleece vests to hand out as party favors."
"I got no idea what goes on in the western part of the state, to be honest."
"Western Virginia? Moonshine."
"Georgia brings several party trays of fried chicken and waffles as well as an obscene volume of IPA beers."
"Spends the evening standing around the trucks outside with Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Florida, and Mississippi talking about mudding, camping, fishing, and hip-hop."
"Louisiana here. We will bring crawfish, gator bites and beer. It’s the best we can do."
"Florida dances on the table, but falls off and puts a hole in the wall."
"We bring Florida man, he brings national news coverage."
"We’ll bring the folding chairs."
"Kentucky—we come in riding a horse. We bring Kentucky fried chicken, good bourbon and tobacco. After the bourbon we drink mint julips."
"West Virginia brings the couch to burn on the porch."
"West Virginia will definitely bring pepperoni rolls."
"We bring cheese dip! It was invented in Little Rock, Arkansas! Then we call the Hogs!"
"Arkansas. Gon' bring possum stew and cheese dip, then insist on saying grace."
"My state has a state meal, so I'm apparently bringing all the things: 'The official state meal of Oklahoma consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries (state fruit), chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas'."
"Texas. We'll bring Barbecue Beef Brisket and all the guns & ammo for the shooting events."
"Texas brings steaks and a Bible for everyone. Then proceeds to let your 9 year old play with their gun."
"Eeeeee! New Mexico shows up late with his homies in a low rider and brings several 30 packs of Bud Light. Then his abuela brings some green chile enchiladas and biscochitos for dessert."
"Arizona, We'll bring Sonoran dogs and tequila and turn the thermostat to 110º."
"Nevada. Gambling and hookers baby!"
"Colorado is bringing weed and also bringing the psychedelic mushrooms. We’re pretty much the best party guest anyone could ask for."
"Utah brings the Jell-O and turn their nose up to all the sinners."
Pacific Coast Vibes
"Oregon would bring weed, craft beer, and Tillamook cheddar with crackers."
"Alaska. We are driving down and I’m gonna beat up Texas (who’s been telling everyone they’re the biggest guy)."
"Also I’m gonna tell everyone I like Hawaii, but Hawaii is gonna say 'I barely know Alaska'."
"Washington is our friend. Washington always lets us come over and hang out."
"Washington and Alaska. Both would probably bring salmon, crab and Indigenous dancing."
"California is hosting the party and paying for everything you damn cheapskates."
"From Hawaii we bring lau lau, Kalua pork, hula and aloha!"
"Hawaii, can you bring spam masubi too?"
Head Back East
"A drunken Montanian riding a horse inside, with a plate of Rocky mountain oysters."
"Idaho. We're bringing the potato salad, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato chips, potato bread, French fries, tater tots, and vodka."
Did anyone remember to invite Wyoming?
"South Dakota will just be outside on its Harley drunk, revving the engine trying to impress chicks until 3am keeping the neighbors awake."
"The Juicy Lucy. 100 years ago Minnesota discovered you can put cheese inside the hamburger and we've been riding that high ever since."
"Please talk to us we're surrounded by corn and Wisconsin."
"Iowa. A couple of cases of Busch Light, corn and the Pork Producers trailer grill to start grilling chops. We spend the entire night with Minnesota and Wisconsin making fun of Nebraska."
"Nebraska shows up with a massive Snickers Salad in an old, gallon-sized ice cream bucket and a 30-rack of Busch 'Lattes' shouting 'GOOOOOOO BIIIIIIIIIIIG REEEEEDDDDD' in the blind faith that someone, somewhere will respond 'GOBIGRED!!!' And they will. They will."
"North Dakota is bringing lefse, rolled with butter and sugar."
"And you’re all gonna love it!"
"Wisconsin. I show up undetectably drunk. I bring Cannibal Sandwiches which is ostensibly raw ground beef on white buns."
"I'll have a better time talking to your grampa than any of you and I'll sneak out the back door when I'm ready to leave so that I don't hafta say 'bye'."
"Missouri brings toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, then gets trashed on Boulevard, Logboat, and Schlafly beers, while the under-21s have Fitz's and Vess."
"Also, a fistfight with Kansas breaks out and Branson plays country music."
"Kansas. We bring bread. We stand in the middle of the party but everyone ignores us except to make jokes about The Wizard of Oz. Unless it's March, when suddenly everyone wants to talk sh*t about our basketball teams."
"At some point we'll get in a fight with Missouri, but we will throw down with anyone who attacks Missouri when the inevitable BBQ war starts."
Home of Industry
"Michigan. We bring coney dogs, ginger-ale, and superman ice cream (you're welcome)."
"What do we do? Get drunk, play some Motown, start a fight with Ohio, then get them to join us to help us throw down with California about who had the real music center of America."
"We (us and Ohio) lose, but we spend the rest of the night licking our wounds, commiserating about how much California sucks, and texting Canada trying to coax her to join the party."
"Illinois. Probably bring the Malort, Italian beef, deep dish pizza, and hot dogs with mustard, onions, green relish, diced tomatoes, and sport peppers on a sesame seed bun and some celery salt on top."
"Indiana brings some big a** tenderloins, plays cornhole the whole time, and takes 90 minutes to say goodbye."
"Ohio’s party contribution is a mixed bag."
"Everyone is obsessed with the Buckeye candies they brought but are so sick and tired of the bragging about OSU national championships from a long time ago every time they go to grab one."
"There is now a hefty supply of Bloody Marys at this party thanks to Ohio bringing a gigantic shipment of its state beverage tomato juice."
"Fortunately, Ohio has also brought Smuckers jam to go on toast when everyone’s hungover in the morning."
"Pennsylvania is the second person to arrive, just behind Delaware. It’s a good thing that PA arrives early, because PA brings the best food items—Turkey Hill Ice Cream, Utz Potato Chips, Hershey’s Chocolate, and Wooder Ice."
"Despite smelling slightly like cow manure, PA is generally liked by the rest of the party attendees, but when the conversation shifts to football, PA suddenly wants to fight everyone else at the party."
"Pennsylvania and Ohio will also bring the Amish—who will build us a shelter for if it rains."
Mid-Atlantic In the House
"With an armful of Half Smokes and DCBrau, Washington DC tries to explain to the bouncer that he is not exactly a state but he belongs at the party."
"The bouncer begrudgingly let’s him in after examining his DC drivers license for a full minute and conferring with the other bouncers."
"Once inside he bops his head lightly to the music and tries really hard to restrain himself from asking everyone 'So what do you do?'.”
"Maryland is bringing steamed crabs. But we’re late because we drive 20 miles under the speed limit."
"Delaware: that awkward guy that just shows up first and most people don’t know who he is. But hey we brought drinks for everyone and we won’t tax them."
"New Jersey. The best Italian food in the Western Hemisphere. Maybe an old mobster for protection if you know a guy who knows a guy."
"New York brings pizza and won't shut up about how it is better than everyone else's food and they just HAVE to try it. He also interrupts people and claims he is better than everyone."
"Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the South hate him but California doesn't mind hanging out with him for a little bit."
"Vermont, We bring maple syrup, b*tch and moan about all of the out-of-staters that we’re driving to said party, craft beer, and weed."
"Connecticut brings lobster rolls and weird craft beer and cries because New York and Massachusetts ignore it. Then it goes off and drinks with Rhode Island and is okay."
"Connecticut with airpods in, quietly sitting in between Massachusetts and New York on the couch while they scream at each other about the Red Sox and Yankees."
"The great state of Rhode Island brings a crock of seafood chowda and complains about how far we had to drive to get to the party."
"Massachusetts are bringing alcohol, chowder, lobster rolls, and some fluffernutters for those who’s drunk food is sugary. Dunkin’ donuts, munchkins and coffee of course."
"We will also bring our sports superiority complex and argue with everyone about it so everyone will learn why Maine calls us Massholes."
"New Hampshire. We’ll bring lots of liquor from the state-run tax-free liquor stores, and we will spend the party chanting 'Live free or die!' And probably arguing with Massachusetts."
"Maine rides in on a wicked huge moose with a Dunkin' regular spiked with Allen's Coffee Brandy in one hand and a Tim Horton's double-double in the other. We bring red hot dogs, whoopie pies, Moxie, Humpty Dumpty all-dressed chips and our buddy New Brunswick, Canada so we don't have to talk to New Hampshire."
"We tell the flatlanders wanting lobster we don’t give that away for free—it’s wicked expensive for a reason."
"We'll throw a wicked beat down on Massachusetts after they say for the hundredth time we used to be part of their state and they used 'wicked' to describe everything before we did."
"When it gets wicked dark, Stephen King and Joe Hill show up to scare the crap out of everyone with stories around the bonfire."
"New Brunswick, Canada, Maine's next door neighbour, arrives with enough poutine to feed the multitudes."
"Quebec, Canada files a noise complaint against their loud neighbour. Ultimately, it's ignored."
"British Columbia, Canada is the neighbour next door slightly jealous for not getting the invite but also a bit scared to visit because those neighbours can be a bit crazy. California, Washington, Alaska and Oregon finally convince them to come."
"Ontario, Canada brings an LCBO 8pk of 8 different craft beers you’ve never heard of, and immediately starts trying to convince New York that Daylight Savings Time is garbage, and bitching about Quebec."
"Alberta, Canada brings steaks, while Saskatchewan, Canada brings home made bread. Both of them spend most of the night hanging out with Texas and start sh*t talking Ontario."
"Manitoba, Canada brings mosquitoes."
"The other Canadian Maritime Provinces—Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island—show up piss drunk and have a loud and obnoxious conversation amongst themselves, excluding New Brunswick who's too chummy with Maine and Newfoundland just because they're Newfies.
"Newfoundland, Canada brings a cod fish and rum, and insists that everyone present kiss the fish and take a shot."
"Quebec, Canada finally decides to come bringing ridiculously strong beer. Complains about Ontario to anyone who will listen. They try to flirt with Louisiana en Français, but they get weirded out when they realize they’re cousins. Ends up going home with Ontario at the end of the night."
"Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut tell the First Nations the colonizers are all gone and they shut down the border before they can come back."
"Then Kaná:ta has a BIG party."
"Scotland and Ireland would be taken into the fold with the moonshine and hard liquor group. Everyone would just be sitting around a bonfire passing around sips of the tasty stuff. Each country/province/state has to bring their best storyteller to this fire."
"Don't worry, all of our accents are basically the same when we are drunk. The slang is where things get dicey, but if the storyteller is worth their weight in salt, it's going to be fine."
"Minnesota will sneak in Norway and Sweden as Cousin Olaf and Cousin Sven. Oof, da!"
"Australia shows up already drunk and proceeds to drink all the beer and complain that it's weak as piss. But we did bring party pies and sausage rolls."
"The UK is imposing upon the party unannounced. England is intoxicated and attempting to dominate blasé Scotland; Scotland has copious amounts of whiskey to appease America’s indignation at the UK’s indiscretion."
"Wales has rarebits and hovers disconcerted behind Scotland. Northern Ireland brings Irish whiskey and a Bible and strides over to the Bible Belt states for a bit of religious contention."
"England makes everyone cups of tea at 2 hour intervals."
"Mexico shows up at around 2AM, seven deep, and with a worm as a mascot."
"Texas immediately picks a fight with them and at the same time tries to get them to share their food."
Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
It certainly sounds like a wild time.
Do you think your fellow citizens nailed your state?
What would you add?
We can all agree that, while it's supposed to be fun, navigating the dating scene is hard.
But since the world has never before seen the technological tools it has at its disposal now, never before will we have seen how this technology could impact our relationships.
But it goes much deeper than people sitting in the same room with each other while only engaging with their screens.
Seeming to be getting fed up with the dating scene, Redditor princeflare asked:
"What do you think is the true killer of modern dating?"
No Third Places Left
"A lot of commenters are saying "dating apps" but I think that misses the mark. The true culprit is the loss of community and, as someone else mentioned, the Third Place. We wouldn't need dating apps if people were still able to meet organically as much as we used to."
Fear of Being Approached
"A lot of women nowadays freak out if asked out even organically. A friend and I were at the bar a bit before the pandemic and we were having a good time and started talking with a mixed group near us. Eventually, groups merged and we were all having fun."
"We ended up having a lot of conversations with two of the girls in that group. One went to the bathroom and the other right after she left was all like, 'You should totally ask out my friend,' and all that."
"Fast forward through the night, and eventually, we are playing pool, and that girl and I are kinda in the corner by ourselves, so I asked her for her number."
"She just freaked out, like, 'I gotta get out of here' style freakout."
"We hung out for like two hours, laughed together multiple times, we're were in public place near people she knows, we had a small bit of physical contact initiated by her, her friend thought I should ask her out, I didn't do it within earshot of everyone to not put her on the spot, etc. I very much can't imagine a scenario where I could make someone more comfortable beforehand."
"I'm married now to a great woman but when you try off dating apps and it's looking like the stars aligned and you get that response, it's just like, what the h**l is wrong with people."
"Wow, just when you think the signs couldn’t be any clearer, she pulled a complete 180."
"Glad you ended up finding someone good, though."
What (True Crime Podcasts) Heck?
"Is it crazy to link the explosion to true crime content and it largely being consumed by women to their fear of an organic dating scene in the last 20 years?"
"I’ve heard some crazy stats about women EATING up true crime content which can induce paranoia, I listened to that s**t for a summer and couldn’t look behind myself at night as a 6’2 male, lol (laughing out loud). Terrible and anxiety-causing stuff."
"Dude, not at all crazy to link it all together. I actually had to have a small intervention with my ex-girlfriend a couple years ago because all she listened to was podcasts about murder... etc. and she was becoming so insecure and anxious, and it absolutely was changing her personality and sense of safety."
"We even had a similar talk about following nothing but Instagram models… things like that will completely warp your view of the world."
"Not crazy at all. Studies have shown that watching crime dramas, the news, and true crime type stuff can all lead to unrealistic perceptions on how dangerous the world actually is."
Too Many Options
"The true killer of modern dating is the paradox of choice, where endless options often lead to indecision and commitment issues."
"It's amusingly called a frictionless market. There's no cost in continuing to look for the 'perfect' partner, so people skip over the good matches they could build a happy life with."
"I wanted to add: There seems to be some confusion about what the costs are, and what the side-effects of this scenario are. In a non-frictionless market, there's a cost in time and effort to continue looking."
"For example, if you're looking for a perfect apple, and you can't find it in your store, you drive to store after store. That costs time, gas, etc., costs that you don't have in online dating, because to continue looking is just another swipe on the dating app. So there's no deterrent to continue looking because to continue looking is 'free.'"
"The side-effects are around failure to have successful relationships, emotional costs due to frustrated expectations and relationships."
Lack of Shared Experiences
"Call me old-fashioned, but it’s the complete lack of mystique, in my opinion. Part of the fun of dating pre-internet was learning about a person and getting to know them through conversation and shared experience."
"We are more connected than ever before but there is a loneliness epidemic happening. It all seems so cheap and seedy nowadays."
"I'd add getting to know them by actually talking to them instead of sleuthing around to find stuff about their life."
"Totally agreed. Shared experiences are such a huge factor, and nobody wants to give anyone time anymore."
Level Up: Dating Gamification
"The gamification of swiping left or right on hundreds of profiles based off of two-second first impressions, typing one-word messages, and then ghosting them or unmatching because you’re bored. Not treating them like actual humans. There’s always a new profile to move onto."
"I say this as someone who literally met their current spouse on Tinder, but online dating apps are (for the most part) very demoralizing. I couldn’t wait to get off the app and meet up in person to have a real human connection."
"This really rings true to me. I was already with my husband when dating apps took off. I vividly remember watching some friends check their apps and just saying, 'Nope, nope, ew, doesn’t make enough money, too short, nope.' It was all based on their immediate impression of the photo and bio."
"Then they’d start messaging someone and obsessing over exactly what to say, how quickly to reply, what did the other person mean by that. There was so much analysis and decision-making before they ever met someone in person."
"I know several couples who met online and have great relationships, so it can work for some people, but I know many more who have struggled with online dating."
"I think this is definitely it. My husband and I met on Tinder, but he doesn't even have social media, and I only use it to post big things like our wedding and literally nothing else. So not avidly. Our first date was like five days after we matched and moving off the app to meeting in person definitely changes the dynamic and trust and should be done as soon as possible."
"Social media is a killer of interpersonal connections and has created a shallow society."
Getting Paid to Date... or... Paying... to Date... Wait, What?
"If we consider that modern dating is largely just online dating at this point."
"Then the clearcut killer of modern dating to me is monetization. A decade ago Tinder was AWESOME. It was very easy to match with people, land dates, and participate in hook-up culture if you wanted to. OKCupid was fun and based on personality, lifestyle, and chemistry. Bumble was a decent alternative to Tinder."
"Then they all I think got bought out by one company and all started to care more about profit than purpose."
"Bumble, you get like ten likes a day max. Sometimes five. It’s inconsistent."
"Tinder you have a ton of bots and ads and spam accounts. You have to pay money to access the same features that you got for free before."
"OkCupid went away with their great formula and went for a swipe feature instead and now it sucks."
"Hinge could be good but it locks away the most essential, basic filters for finding suitable dates behind a paywall."
"Work-life balance. People are too tired or too broke to go out and do things. Any spare time and you are just too tired to want to do anything. This is how dating apps took off and led to objectification and judging people in five seconds."
"Yeah. It’s so exhausting to do anything after work. Friday is just recovering Saturday is the day to do everything and Sunday is for preparation for the week. How can you get the time to get to know new people?"
"Oh gosh, I thought I was alone in this! The couple of times I have started seeing someone I end up completely overwhelmed because I never get a day to just do nothing. I’m too tired during the week, so would have to cram seeing family, and friends, and going on a date on a weekend. I feel much more relaxed single."
"I wish I could’ve met someone in school where it seems like it was much easier to see them during the week."
The Search for Perfection
"The fact that, thanks to a steady diet of social media and brain-dead entertainment, everybody seems to think that they deserve a partner that checks all the items in their cartoonishly unrealistic list of requisites while at the same time they, at their best, would have basically f**k all to offer their fantastical ideal partner in return. And odds are they're not at their best anyway, so they have even less than f**k all to offer."
"And to top it off, everybody seems to think that this imaginary ideal partner should put in all the work and effort in the relationship, including pursuing them before the relationship even starts, while they sit back and do, well, f**k all."
"'You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense, this girl you met isn’t, either. The question is, whether or not you’re perfect for each other...' I think that quote is what people miss."
The Need to Share
"Social media and dating apps. How on earth is not broadcasting your life a red flag? To me, that is a neon green flag."
"The last place I would look for love is on an app. Maybe I am old-fashioned... the instant filtering is just plain weird."
Increased Opportunities to Cheat
"I've been cheated on in every relationship I’ve ever been in because of Instagram and Snapchat, obviously not 'because,' but they make cheating a lot easier and seemingly less 'painful,' which it’s not."
"I’m sick and tired of this s**t, man. I just want a loyal woman in my life, I’m tired of being f**king hurt. All my friends have been cheated on at least once, some physically and most on social media. Mine all of the above. So tired of it, for real, man."
"Where the f**k did true, loyal, adorable love go?"
Knowing Your Worth
"I would say egos, and people that think they have a high perceived value to the point they feel like others should bend over backwards to be in their presence."
"I've been saying this for years. The phrase 'know your worth' is ingrained into everybody nowadays, but nobody is willing to have a frank conversation with themselves about what they are worth."
Too Many Main Characters for One Story
"Main Character Syndrome."
"I came here to say this, you know, one NPC (Non-Player Character) to another."
One Word: Escapism
"I mean, life in general. But getting more specific, I'd say escapism. Social media, gaming, drugs and alcohol. It's all a way to escape reality and while it feels good in the moment, it takes you away from the process of growing as a person and growing with another person."
"It causes resentment, contempt, f**ks with insecurities, and has shifted the point of partnership from PARTNERSHIP to access. We're all traumatized and we're all running from something."
We Just Need a Nap
"We're tired, boss. Just plain worn out, burnt out, run down tired. Work-life balance is dead, society is mentally draining, and literally everything worth doing costs money. When the h**l are you supposed to meet that person when you get home from work and immediately go to bed so you can be up at 4:30 A.M. to do it again tomorrow?"
"This is everything, buddy. I feel this and I don't see my self getting married and for sure not having kids. I don't want to introduce a new life into a decaying world that refuses to fix its older generations' mistakes. This whole attitude of 'I will be dead before it effects me' f**king sucks."
It's totally understandable that each generation, with its own priorities and relationship with technology, will see a shift in how their social lives look.
All of that being said, it's still surprising how extensive of a reach technology and social media now have in our dating lives, going from people not really knowing how someone looks until seeing their in-person... to hardly ever have the opportunity to see them in-person anyway.
It's not uncommon for certain products to end up being used for purposes different than their initial intention.
Cotton swabs, or Q-tips, are the prime example, as nearly all who buy them use them to clean earwax from their ears despite the box expressly warning customers not to.
Then there are the products made for specific customers but whose clientele proves to be quite different from their initial target market.
Specifically, things or experiences intended for children but primarily enjoyed by adults, ruining any excitement the young folk may have had about them.
Redditor opposeThem was curious to hear about all the things magic grown-ups stole away from children, leading them to ask:
"What was meant for kids but adult consumers hijacked it and ruined it?"
Who Doesn't Need Something Soft And Cuddly Every Now And Then...
"People trying to resell these literal stuffies 3x the price online."- sighcommagroan
Seems Like They Were Looking For The Wrong Kind Of Bears...
"Build A Bear."
"As a former employee I don't care if you came in and bought some stuff animals."
"Hell, there's some cool ones like Pokémon."
"HOWEVER, just cuz I worked there doesn't mean I have a whole collection myself and watch every show and movie that's partnered with the company."
"Yes I was an adult man working at a stuffed animal store."
"Yes I bought a couple Pokémon for myself."
"'No I don't wanna hear another grown man passionately talk to me about My Little Pony and PLEASE I DON'T WANT TO SEE A CUTIE MARK TATTOO YOU HAVE ON YOUR A** CHEEK EVEN IF THERE'S NO KIDS IN THE STORE CURRENTLY."- That_Guy_Pen
Fun Can't Be Forced
"After school hobbies!"
"Around the age of 47, I decided to pick up guitar again."
"So I went to a local school and enrolled as an adult."
"I would see parents harassing their kids and berating them for not being better."
"I think the majority of them have lost the idea that extracurricular activities are too help your child out of their shell and also to have fun."
"Not to make them a professional of any sort or the best of the best of the best."- BisquickNinja
I Mean, They Are Pretty Cute
"I remain baffled as to how and why minions, of all things, became the thing of choice for unfunny boomer memes."- moonbunnychan
Collect Them All... To Sell Them Later...
"Every card hobby."
"It’s literally just about prices now."- lol022
"Scalpers were so down horrendous they were raiding McDonald's during the pandemic."- Sol-Blackguyash ketchum pokemon GIFGiphy
"When I was a kid I felt so bad for that rabbit."
"I still don’t understand the idea behind that marketing campaign."
"Was it- being greedy and mean is hilarious."
"Buy our cereal?
"Just give the bunny some cereal you sadistic little sh*ts."
"They ran an ad for a little while that was a campaign that allowed you to vote on whether or not the rabbit would get some Trix."
"I think you had to mail in a box top with your vote or something."
"I voted 'share' with all of my sensitive little heart."
“'Greed' won by a landslide."
"That’s when I first became disillusioned with voting and people in general."- Iamtevya
You Can Keep The House, But You Can't Take My Babies...
"Beanie Baby collectors."- bigredthesnorer
" [A] photo of a divorcing couple dividing their beanie baby collection in court always makes me laugh."
"So ridiculous that people thought they were like stocks."- Delores_HerbigBeanie Babies GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"Parents who film their kid’s lives for likes and subs are sh*tty."- da_predditor
The Edward Vs. Jacob Fued Will Never End...
"I'm an adult that reads them."
"But the characters are TEENAGERS."
"People get upset that teenagers act like teenagers, in books targeted at... you guessed it, teenagers."- PumpkinPieIsGreat
So Much For Love Of The Game...
"When I was a kid 30 years ago, you’d have a practice or 2 a week plus a game on Saturday."
"Then if you loved sports, you’d get together with buddies in your ample free time and mess around playing super fun pick up games."
"Now, many kids are having full weekend tournaments like every weekend."
"And tons of practices.'
"They rarely have the free time to just play with their friends for the fun of it."
'Sure they are better athletes than we were, but are they better off?"- omgphilgalfondhomer simpson pitcher GIFGiphy
Can You Say "Re-Sale?"...
"Pretty much any kids' toy."
"The scalpers are working harder than ever to f*ck it up."
"Pokémon/whatever is popular cards?"
"Check as f*ck."
"Fuzzy egg furby like critters?"
"If scalpers can leech money out of people with it, they'll do it."- chris14020
Car Salespeople Can Be Ruthless...
"Hot wheels."- Snow-Dog2121
"Worst memory I have of comic con."
"An exhibitor gave a kid what must’ve been an exclusive at their booth."
"Grown men rushing and crowding the kid pressuring him to sell his toy."
"His parents moved him away promptly but I imagine he was shaken up by the experience."
"Went from a cool moment of unexpectedly getting a toy to grown weirdos getting in his face."- Dwike2
Where To Even Begin?
"Harry Potter vibrating broomstick."- PursuitTravel
"I have one found at Goodwill about 11 years ago."
"I'm a big HP fan, and I was excited to buy it."
'I realized it turned on, and I was hoping for cool sound effects, I was disappointed it only vibrated."
"I remember looking it up online just to check out info on it and found out why it was discontinued shortly after its release, thought never occurred to me until then."- NecranissaHarry Potter Halloween GIFGiphy
One has to wonder how the manufacturers or marketing departments feel about these alternative uses?
Sadly, one can only guess that as long as they are turning a profit, they couldn't care less...