Britney Spears Just Wrote This Open Letter To Her Sons For Mother's Day And It's Beautiful.
Britney Spears wrote an open letter for Time magazine recently, inspired by her experiences as a mother, and in honor of mother's day. As she prepares to hit the scene again with her next album, it's nice to see that she's taking time to nurture a very different side of herself. Enjoy!
To Jayden and Preston
You are my masterpieces. From the day I saw the most precious eyes, I believed in miracles to the core. Such a gift God has given me, exploring in your beautiful worlds every day. I pray as a mother I teach you strength and passion to carry through the struggles in the world. Most battles will always be won on your knees. I pray you find your dreams.
God always comes to us in tiny whispers. I pray you always find his whisper and understand the true meaning behind following your inner voice as well.
Always believe in yourself and know anything is possible. I pray dreaming awakens your soul to limitless possibilities. I hope the most precious mysteries of life stay with you always and you are never ashamed of how bright your light truly is. I hope you learn praying alone is when you are most connected to God, and know you are never alone. He is with you always.
I pray you laugh, love and soar through your journey of life.
Share this with a special mother or child figure in your life <3
Reddit user ThePonyboyCurtis asked: 'What seems like snake oil but is actually 100% legit?'
Is it just us, or does it seem like as the internet continues to grow, so do the solutions and "hacks" that turn out to be total snake oil?
And we don't mean "snake oil" like oil that comes... from a snake. Because that sounds painful.
Rather, we mean "snake oil" like deceptive marketing, scams, and fraudulent medical claims, like cure-alls and overnight dramatic weight loss options.
But every once in a while, there's a solution offered that sounds too good to be true, but it turns out to be totally legit.
Curious what surprisingly good hacks others had come across, Redditor ThePonyboyCurtis asked:
"What seems like snake oil but is actually 100% legit?"
The Powers of WD40
"WD40 cleans candle wax off your living room carpet. If ever in doubt, consult an old housewife."
"There is a guy on Snapchat that I follow and I can't think of his screen name right now, but he legit uses WD40 on just about everything. It's crazy some of the sh*t he does with it."
"That’s because it’s a solvent. It’s not a grease meant to loosen up tight screws, it’s a solvent that breaks down the crap making your screws stuck."
Everyone Likes the Smell of Cedar
"I had a weird-smelling basement. Someone said to get aromatic cedar blocks, sand them down, and leave them there. I thought there was no way this could work. But it did. The smell is totally eliminated."
"12 blocks. Each two by two by two inches. Just top layer sand down, half a millimeter maybe. I left them next to a pipe that I believe is the culprit. The basement is like 900 square feet."
"An offering to the stink gods."
"Ah, inches, millimeters, AND square feet. You like to confuse both sides of the ocean, nice."
Don't DTR with Your Hiccups Just Yet
"The whole 'hold your breath to get rid of hiccups' trick."
"The thing is, most people just don't know the proper way to do it or why it works."
"It's got nothing to do with simply holding your breath. It's got to do with using your lungs to hold down the diaphragm and stop it from spasming."
"You breathe in until you cannot fit literally anything else into your lungs. When your chest is as full as humanly possible then you hold it and within about 15 seconds the hiccups are gone."
"So THAT's why it works sometimes and not others."
"I've never had success until I held it until my lungs burnt. That 'oh my god, we're suffocating' feeling is a legit life hack for making your body stop acting stupid."
"It also works for stuffy noses. If you exhale all your breath, then nod your head repeatedly until your lungs burn, and then breathe back in normally, your nose will magically unclog."
"If you have really bad congestion because of allergies or a head cold you sometimes have to do this several more times (the most I've had to do is five times)."
Impossibly Clean Windows
"Vinegar and newspaper to clean windows."
"I thought the ink would come off and make an even bigger mess."
"Almost turns the window invisible."
Magical Mystical Magnesium
"Taking magnesium. It really can cure some joint, nerve, muscle, heart, and breathing problems."
"Of course, the only ones it can cure are ones that are caused by a magnesium deficiency which a surprising number of people have."
"Some life events that can rapidly use up magnesium in the body are pregnancy, surgery, viral illness, and major periods of stress."
Not Just for Painting Toinails
"I was suffering with plantar fasciitis for over six months. I tried new shoes, new insoles, pills, and physical therapy, but none of those things fixed it."
"A friend kept suggesting I try these gel toe separator things like they wear when painting toenails. I thought it was silly, but they were only $10 on Amazon, so what did I have to lose?"
"I wore the neon blue gel thing at night feeling very silly. After the first night, my foot hurt like h**l, but after the second, it felt a whole lot better. I wore it for two weeks straight and plantar fasciitis was gone. Those things were like magic."
"The toe spacers are stretching out your tendons in the feet, therefore reducing the tightness that causes plantar fasciitis! Another thing that should help is putting something like a tennis ball underneath your foot and rolling it around."
"Sitting on your deck in summer or are you having a nice picnic when suddenly you're being accosted by the h**lspawn known as wasps? Get rid of them with this one easy solution: burn some coffee!"
"'Burn coffee?' I hear you say incredulously. Yes, burn coffee! Take a little saucer, pour a little pyramid of ground coffee on in, and use a lighter to light the top."
"It will smolder slowly and give off a smoke that smells, well, like burnt coffee. It will also instantly get rid of any wasps that are bothering you. No idea why, they absolutely hate the smell."
"Some people also dislike the smell of the burning coffee, I understand this. But ask yourself this important question while the smell is annoying you: what do you dislike more; wasps or the smell of burning coffee? I know what I would pick."
"I keep coffee grounds in a short jar on the deck for burning and put the lid on when we are going inside. It keeps the wasps away, and also, it repels mosquitoes."
The Indoor Sunrise
"Someone mentioned melatonin, so it reminded me of the opposite. I bought a daylight lamp last winter because I get depressed when it’s dark outside for long periods of time."
"I got one off Amazon for 40 euros, and now I can’t live without it in the winter."
"I thought it was a sham initially, but the light basically imitates the wavelengths of light emitted by the sun (bar the UVs) and inhibits the production of melatonin. Not only that, but it also boosts my mood and morale. You just have to be careful because it’s difficult to fall asleep for a couple of hours after using it."
"There's a subset of these types of lights that also work like alarm clocks. Wakeup Lights."
"The slightly more expensive ones even fake a sunrise for you. It actually slowly increases in brightness from a dull red, all the way to that bright white/yellow, and THEN starts making noises."
"I used to be such a heavy sleeper before I got mine, and now I can pretty easily get up even at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning even in the dead of winter. I could not imagine living without one going forward, HUGE quality of life improvement for myself."
"And I have not managed for a single family member to try it, not even outright borrowing mine for a week or two. Because they think it sounds dumb and pointless."
"I had chronic back pain for years. Then, just a few years ago I slept on my neck wrong and had neck pain that wouldn’t resolve."
"I saw a physical therapist and the first thing she did was look at how I sat and how I stood and walked. She told me nicely but essentially that my posture was horrible, affected by years of slumping in my seat and also being told continually by my mom to 'suck in that tummy!' when I stood or walked, which led to me thinking a pelvic tilt was necessary for good posture."
"The therapist showed me how to sit and stand with a straight back, my chest up and forward, and my back keeping a healthy lumbar curvature."
"Let me tell you, it was HARD. My shoulder/back muscles were not used to it and I had to train them like any muscle is trained, with a posture bra and also using a long sheet tied like a strap around my neck, arms, and waist. It also felt so unnatural at first to be sticking my chest and butt out, like I was looking for attention, which is part of the reason people have such terrible posture; we feel that’s 'immodest.'"
"No lie, three weeks later, all my back pain symptoms were gone and haven’t returned. I can do some slumping when I sit with no great penalty now, but when I walk, or when have to stand for a duration, or sit on something backless, I use my good posture and I am pain-free."
"I'm trying to spread the word on this makes me feel like a 1950s health movie ('Posture Pals!') but it’s so effective, I can’t stop sharing. Years of chronic back pain completely eliminated by just a few weeks of good posture training."
The Power of Meditation
"Meditation. When I was an alcoholic and drug abuser, my friend used to tell me about meditation to help with anxiety and stress."
"I thought, 'B***h, we use Xanax around here, no one’s got time to meditate.'"
"We no longer use Xanax and have the time to meditate."
Water in the Ear
"Hopping on the opposite leg when you have water in your ear after swimming. It works every d**n time."
"I need to try this. BRB (Be Right Back), gonna get water stuck in my ear..."
"Saltwater swish and gargle for toothache and sore throat (as long as it’s not something like strep). Source: currently have strep and ain’t nothing working."
"Otherwise, even the dentist tells me to salt water swish if I get tooth pain or something stuck. Total relief."
"I’m a once-a-year strep throat sufferer. For a severe sore throat, my doctor told me to mix a one-half cup Mylanta (kept in the fridge) with a tablespoon of Benadryl. Gargle every few hours. The cold Mylanta cools and soothes and the Benadryl reduces inflammation."
"She said saltwater only dries the throat out more and creates more pain. It works wonderfully."
"A few jobs ago, I worked as a pharmacy tech. There was a doctor out there who would call in 'Magic Mouthwash,' a one-to-one-to-one ratio mixture of Mylanta, Benadryl, and Lidocaine."
"It's great for strep, as well as mouth sores often caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Sounds like you got the over-the-counter recipe."
The Importance of Vitamin D
"Vitamin D supplements. it's much more important than any of us realized."
"I started doing this a few years ago and it's not straight-up noticeable right away but hot d**n, even a couple months into that first winter, I was like, 'Huh, I don't have that soul-crushing gloom like I usually do this time of year.'"
The Truth About Yoga
"Yoga. I have severe upper back pain and went through months of physical therapy. I couldn't keep up with the millions of appointments and started doing yoga as a way to stretch my upper back instead. I was doing it for 30 minutes each day and forgot that I had pain."
"It's so annoying that it does what people say it does because this whole time, I thought they were just being annoying but they're one hundred percent right."
"There's an app I like that's called 'Down Dog Yoga.' It's a blue dog as the logo, that's the app I really enjoy! You can customize the time and focus area so you can fit things in when you have time."
Something For Our Four-Legged Friends
"Does a dog thundershirt count?"
"I had an anxious dog with storms and loud noises, so I got him one, and while not perfect, he did seem to calm down with it on more often than not!"
Whether it's mocking back-and-forth conversations in the comments section on social media about, 'But have you tried yoga?!' or laughing at an informercial about Dog Thunder Shirts or Wakeup Lights from the comfort of our couches, we've surely all questioned at least one of the items or hacks on this list.
But it's humbling to know that every once in a while, the thing that seems too good to be true... will actually deliver on its promises.
Fortunately, for most of these hacks, trying them for a week or two wouldn't be a serious feat, and who knows, maybe they would work for us, too!
Whether you’re an attendee, or—gulp—the host, there’s nothing quite as unpleasant as a friendly gathering gone wrong. Whether it’s an uninvited guest, a ruined surprise, or an unexpected disaster, anything can make a celebration go awry. Buckle up for these stories about the worst parties ever—because they’re sure to make you cringe.
It Was No Piece Of Cake
A long time ago in December, I was working at a bad company when we got awful news. We found out suddenly that our whole division was getting laid off like literally days before it happened. So most of us knew it was happening a day before the Year End party, which would be our last working day before the holidays and then we wouldn't be coming back.
We are all bummed...and then our manager comes in with a Christmas cake. He was going to be laid off too. And he says “At least we should have a cake to celebrate the season”? So we all kind of agreed; with broken spirits. But the most humiliating part was yet to come. He didn't have plates or spoons or knives or even napkins. So we all literally just had to scoop out a bit of cake with our hands, and just eat it. All the while, a cloud of sadness hung over us. It was quite depressing.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
I had a friend from high school invited me and three other friends over for what he described as a "party". We thought that it might be a small gamer party with some nerdy board games or something as there were only the three of us plus him and his wife.
His wife then proceeds to start an hour-and-a-half presentation about Arbonne and tries to sell women’s beauty products to a group of males between the ages of 19 and 22. I was astounded.
Who’s Laughing Now?
When I was in college, a pretty attractive girl in one of my classes asked me to a party. Soon enough, I discovered the twisted truth. It turns out it was a "Bring the ugliest guy" theme party. However, in her short-sightedness, she forgot that I was the curve setter in the class and also her source of notes and class details.
She failed a required class and that threw her off a year.
A Disaster In Four Parts
I went to a formal and I had a really awkward date. She started off lecturing me about endangered free-range cows. Then started asking me random questions like "What brand of sandals do you prefer". Then she got into a religious argument with a kid who was Muslim and claiming that he is "worshiping a false God". Then when I finally got her to come dance with me, she sprained her ankle.
What Are The Oddsperson holding umbrella while rainingPhoto by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash
I used to work for a big company—a very large and roundly hated cable provider. They were incredibly cheap, and pinched pennies in every way imaginable. One year they celebrated the anniversary of their founding with a mandatory company picnic. If we didn't attend, we'd be written up. No time off granted, so it came out of our PTO. So on a dismal Friday afternoon, we bundled off to the "big party".
Which our jerk boss—the king of jerk bosses—had scheduled for a park. Lo and behold, that park was directly across from his house. And this "park" was a patch of grass next to a huge highway overpass. But then it got worse. It started raining, but the "party" was not rescheduled, we were all told to attend. It was held under the overpass, with all the bums in their tent city. Who, by the way, ate better than us because we were each allotted either one burger or one hotdog. They were frozen burgers and dogs from the local supermarket. No drinks permitted.
The "highlight" of the "party" was a raffle drawing for what we'd been told were going to be really great prizes. This at least wasn't too improbable, since vendors from big companies would send us extravagant gifts to try and persuade us to buy their stuff. It turned out that the big prize was, in fact, pretty cool—an R/C car that was one of the ones that was like, gas-powered and pretty expensive and all that jazz. Everything else was little grab-bags full of company-branded tchotchkes or t-shirts or whatever.
Naturally, the jerk boss drew his own number—total coincidence, he promised—for the big prize, which he took. There were exactly enough grab bags for everyone there, except one. Guess who!? Naturally, I was the only person who didn't get one. Mind you, I didn't care to have a company-branded t-shirt, but it was the parsimonious, cheap attitude that went with it that irked me. That, and the jerk boss walking over, pointing and laughing at me whole-heartedly and brushing tears from his eyes, saying, "Sucks to be you”!
I seriously exercised some willpower and just didn't say anything, and made to leave. He yelled after me, "You haven't been dismissed yet, you have to stay until 5”! And then pointed and laughed at me some more.
Yeah, that was the worst party I ever went to.
Grade 5. The nerdiest kid in class sent out invitations to almost everyone in our grade.
His mom had planned a huge pizza party, and had strung streamers and decorations everywhere, and we were going to go to Laser Tag after. I was the first one to show up, so we ate some gummy worms and watched Digimon while we waited for everyone else. Anyway, long story short, no one else came. She made us wait a couple hours before just driving us to Burger King and taking us home to play Nintendo.
So, all in all, it was actually a pretty awesome party because, you know, Burger King and Digimon and Nintendo. I even got to take home three treat bags after the fact, and probably would have taken more but wanted to look polite and not like a candy-addicted diabetic-in-training, you know?
I would later hear from one of my other friends and a group of kids we were hanging out with that most kids had thrown out their invites or hidden them so their parents wouldn't force him to go hang out with the unpopular kid.
Moral of the story: kids are not adorable bundles of innocence. Kids are jerks.
The Rare Reverse Surprise Party
About a year ago I went back home to visit my parents and some old friends. It all went well except for the night a friend and I went to a birthday party.
Here is the setup: My friend and I have been playing pool since noon. It is creeping up to 7:30 when my mom calls and asks if I wouldn't mind going to such and such's birthday as a representative of the family because she is stuck at work and wants someone to go.
I ask who it is and how old they are, my mom informs me that it is Caleb and he is probably turning twenty-one. I ask my friend at the bar and we both agree that 21st birthday parties are usually pretty fun, so why not?
We walk to the store and split a bottle of mid-shelf Scotch for good ol' Caleb, whoever the heck he was. We decided the easiest way to do a card was to have the cashier print off some blank receipt paper and quickly scribble out, “Happy birthday from [my] family,” and tape the “card” to the bottle. Good to go!
We grab a cab to the address my mom had texted me and roll right into this rager of a party. That’s when we realize where we’d gone wrong. It was a rager...of a fourth birthday party. It wasn't Caleb. Caleb didn't even live there anymore. It was Jeff.
We had already plopped our generous offering on the gift table by the front door before we had walked into the party proper. So here are two twenty-something dudes and we have just interrupted duck, duck, goose.
We left in such a panicked hurry we didn't even think about the Scotch we had both dropped $18 on. We just got out as fast as we could, walked as fast as two idiots can for a couple of blocks, and called a cab.
I got home to my mom laughing hysterically about the phone call she got from the family about our family's odd choice of gift for a four-year-old. She apologized to me and decided that she wouldn't choose me as a family representative for any future get-togethers.
Avert Your Eyes
I went to a Super Bowl "party" at this church. I don't go to church at all, but I went because this chick that I was crushing on was there—we were in high school.
So I get there, the game is on, there's snacks and video games, overall it's an alright time. And then the halftime show is about to start, which is always the most interesting to me. Well, we didn't get to watch it.
The church shuts off the projector, and instead this dude starts preaching Jesus and whatnot. Granted, I AM in a church, so I shouldn't be too surprised, but I was pretty angry. I felt like they were keeping me from the most entertaining part of the Super Bowl.
So whatever, I just go home and try to forget it. I go to school the next day, and everyone kept asking me the same thing: "Hey man! Did you see Janet Jackson's ‘wardrobe malfunction’”?!
A Sobering Experience
So there I was, an ambitious and fun-loving 19-year-old in my second semester of college. I had been the good student my first semester, but quickly, over winter break, discovered the wonders of drinking.
My roommate had a very nice and quite attractive girlfriend who would come by our dorm room on a regular basis and would go out with us to the various parties around town. She always seemed to have a good time, but the next day she would talk about how bad she felt, despite appearing to be completely fine. I should’ve known something was up.
Then one weekend she excitedly arrived to our suite and came bouncing into our room. She was amazingly excited to invite us to a party. Some of her friends were throwing a party at their house and she wanted my roommate and I to go. I had met a couple of these friends in passing and they seemed to be nice girls and were also quite attractive. The 19-year-old male in me was up for going to this party.
That night, my roommate and I walk over to his girlfriend's dorm room to meet up with her. She is driving and we excitedly head off to this party. Now let me preface the rest with one important fact. I had decided to pre-game for the party. I had a solid buzz going.
We arrive at the house and there are a few cars in the driveway. It's only about 8 PM so we are pretty early. The apparent number of people already there should have been a good sign of the night to come.
I was lied to. As we enter, I get my first glimmer of an idea that what I was hoping this party would be like, was simply not in the cards. I walked into what may have been the largest collective look of distaste that I have ever witnessed. I was the sole attendee that had brought drinks. And that would be the case for the entire night.
That’s when I found out the twisted truth. It was at this point that my roommate's girlfriend took the opportunity to inform me of what I determined to be a VERY important piece of information. At that moment I learned that she and all of her friends at this party were Mormons. So there I was, stuck at this house with about 25 Mormons and my roommate. That is all that happened.
They didn't play games. They didn't listen to music. They were offended by Law & Order as my choice for something to watch on TV. I had the joy of sobering up while listening to them talk about church. I twice asked my roommate to just punch me and knock me out so that I could just wake up when it was over and we were going home.
Welcome To Adulthoodman in black long sleeve shirt holding firePhoto by Meysam Jarahkar on Unsplash
It was my own 18th birthday. My mother thought it would be funny to have everyone dine and dash, sticking me with the bill when I went to the bathroom. But she didn’t stop there. Then when I got home, the locks had been changed and all my personal stuff had been bagged up in garbage bags and thrown out across the street.
That was really awesome. The joke was that since I was an adult I could pay my own way in the world from now on.
Attack In Black
I got confused about the address of my friend's party at his new house I'd never been to and showed up at a place with balloons around the mailbox with an address literally like 2 digits away. I’d got my friend a cheap katana from the swap meet and brought plenty of all-black, very real-looking airsoft guns, it was supposed to be an airsoft party.
So I walk in and nobody is around but I hear people laughing and stuff out back so I set the katana with a little Hello Kitty bow around it on the entranceway table with a loud metallic clack, whip out my 2 all-metal airsofts, pull my bandana over my face and my aviators down and walk into the backyard.
I see about a dozen VERY concerned and confused parents looking back at me with three or four toddlers sitting in a sandbox looking back at me in horror. "Oh…umm…oops, wrong party. So sorry everyone. Have an excellent birthday". And then I got the heck out of there.
My 18th birthday party. My crazy ex had just about disassociated me from any of the remaining friends I had. They were so sick and tired of her, and me sticking up for her as I was blindly in love, that they wanted no more to do with us. Yet then she decided to add salt to the wound by inviting them all around to my 18th birthday party at her place. She sorted out a load of food, cakes, etc., and music. But of course, none of my now ex-friends were going to make any effort to go around to a psycho’s house for a “party”.
So as you can imagine my 18th birthday party was her telling me "See, you call them friends? They don't even come on your 18th birthday party just because they don't like me”!
She later admitted and confirmed my suspicion that she fabricated the whole thing on purpose, in order to make me realize that I had no one in my life other than her, and as such was unable to leave her.
For prom I asked a chick I'd never spoken to but had a huge crush on. After I had asked her out and walked ten feet away my friends gave me a loud cheer complete with multiple high fives and huzzahs. It was the best feeling in the world—only to be followed by the worst party ever.
The next few weeks leading up to prom were terrible. I tried to talk to her between classes but it just wasn't happening. Prom was even worse. My parents made me spend way too much on photos. I literally have a yearbook full of them—at least I look fantastic. She said she didn't want to dance which I was fine with because I can't anyway but she also apparently didn't want to talk so we spent the entire evening outside, cold and in silence watching other people dance.
After that, we went to an after-party that neither of us were sure we were invited to. She didn't want to drink so we sat and caught stray ping-pong balls while straining at making idle chit-chat. Then her ex-boyfriend showed up and she decided she needed to go. She drove me since I didn't have my license.
The whole ordeal was very painful, but it helped me realize I need to get to know people before deciding to like them instead of just staring at them all semester. My prom date turned out to have no personality and the sense of humor of a six-year-old. I'm AT LEAST on the level of a seven-year-old.
My buddy said he was throwing a Christmas eve party and that I should bring two birds because everything else was covered by people bringing to share. So I paid my $20 for some fine stuffed chickens and got some of the most delicious (and expensive) hot sauce in the country too, because why not go out for your closest friends around the holidays right?
I showed up early, and from the driveway noticed the lights were off. I rationed that I must be the first or even better that my dear friends had lit candles and were caroling or playing Yule-time games.
When I let myself into the living room, I was perplexed. The house was completely bare.
From somewhere in the dark nether came my “friend” trudging down the stairs dressed in nothing but his boxer shorts, wiping the spittle from his chin, his cheek still lined with bed marks and his hairy stomach grumbling like a rabid mongoose.
He mumbled something to me about the lights being shut off before he began tucking into my delicious poultry, ripping great strips of meat from the birds and stuffing them into his stupid face.
Though I didn't want to admit it, my mind was beginning to realize that the whole thing had been a ruse by this obese sloth to get a free meal.
He remembered his manners long enough to offer me a glass of water and then he was back at it, half-dressed, hunched over the living room table gorging himself on MY chicken and gargling down MY special sauce.
He was lucky he was late on his electricity bill because he didn't get to see me sitting in the dark, tepid glass of water in hand, shivering with rage.
Double Whammygroup of people tossing wine glassPhoto by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
Me and my girlfriend of two years end up breaking up a week before her birthday, I had already spent quite a large amount of money on a surprise party for her and her friends. So I decided forget it, I throw it anyways, no sense in wasting all I’ve done. So her birthday rolls around and I get everything set up and whatnot, $200 on drinks, $100 on food, all kinds of decorations, etc.
Her and some friends get there and she pulls me aside. I couldn’t believe what she said next. She tells me that she is really thankful but wants me to leave because it will be too awkward. So I do because I am a gentleman. The next day everyone who was at the party asked why I wasn't there and said they wished I had been, even my ex said the same.
So a couple of weeks go by and one of our close friends wants to have her birthday party at her place as well, I get invited and all that. Things between my ex and I had been alright, we'd talked and stuff felt normal as if we were becoming friends and such. Night of the party, it gets really awkward. We are all trying to have conversation and be normal and act as if nothing ever happened, but she is just sitting there silently the entire night texting.
Whenever I would leave to go to the bathroom or get another drink, she'd snap out of it and talk to people but as soon as I sat back down she'd get quiet as a mouse. Next thing I know, some dude shows up that no one invited. Turns out it was the person my ex was texting all night and she invited him over to hook up.
Needless to say, once he showed up it wasn't long before the party ended—but the nightmare didn’t end there. The next day I got a text from my ex complaining about how I ruined the party. I felt like a fool for caring about a person like that.
My 21st birthday party, and my parents had gone away for a month. I was head over heels for a girl who kept telling me "It's not the right time for me to be in a relationship now". Rather than hear the "no" which she implied, I'd just wait another month or two and ask her out again. My friends and I partied all summer and my parents left about a week before my birthday. My house was now party central.
All week long I had people trashing the place, crashing over, waking up and we'd all pitch in and get the house back in shape. It was working really well. Additionally, the object of my affection slept in my bed five nights in a row...just sleeping mind you.
Saturday's my birthday and we were set up right. My brother got us a keg, and my band was set to play the basement. People show up and things are rocking. While the band is playing I notice no one's hitting the keg. Some dude I didn't know showed up. Whatever, the more the merrier.
After my band is done, and feeling mighty as Mr Cool Guy Guitarist, I go to find my little peach. We've been spending time together after all, and I just rocked the house. She was in the backyard hooking up the guy I didn’t know.
I got very sad. Angry/woe is me sad. At about 9, a bunch of my friends, the girl included, left. They headed over to our bassist’s house. I kept my downward spiral of depression going. They got back around 2 AM. I had spent the last few hours staring at the ceiling from my bed. I go out to the back porch to smoke before the confrontation.
I then walk back to my room. There's the girl and four of my other friends passed out in my bed. Every bed in the house was taken. Every couch was taken. Every comfy chair was taken. I was beside myself with self-pity. I slept on my parents’ kitchen floor feeling very alone in a house full of “friends”.
My former roomie had a Memorial Day barbecue party, invited a metric ton of people, including his cousin and her two-year-old. Along with his grandmother and aunt. I adored grammaw and auntie—such magnificently eccentric people—but had never met the cousin.
Well, I'd just come off a horrific 10-day stretch of 10-12 hour shifts waitressing—dealing with rude people and even ruder kids—and was very much needing to get tanked and eat barbecue. What happens? Cousin shoves her kid at me and books out to the backyard, roomie follows, grandmother and aunt follow, and somehow they've all seemed to assume I have a burning desire to watch this kid. Which I certainly did NOT.
So I went and chastised cousin and explained I would not be a babysitter, now or ever, and to watch her own kid. Her reply was infuriating. She told me, in front of everyone, "But it's a party! I want to have fun”! I could not believe this jerk was telling me this in my own house, seriously. I snarled something along the lines of "So do I, watch your own kid”! and stalked off.
Half an hour later, went to use my bathroom and shrieked the house down because there was little Jerk Junior, taking a messy #2 on my bathroom floor, right next to the toilet. People came running from all directions and cousin had the nerve to yell at me for not watching her kid that I told her I wasn't going to watch.
I yelled back that she'd better clean that mess up, and she snatched up her kid and bounced.
Unhappily Ever After
I just went to the worst wedding, here are some of the highlights: There were flowers falling down during the wedding, they had to break out duct tape during the ceremony to put them back up. The bride shows up 45 minutes late to her own ceremony. There’s no carpet down the aisle, so they roll out a giant sheet of cloth, more duct tape to keep it down. This is after all the guests were seated.
There, there limited amounts of food during the cocktail hour, and once it was gone, they didn’t refill. So bye bye shrimp salad. There was no meat option for dinner. The priest said, during ceremony, something along the lines of “It doesn’t matter if it's your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd try at it”. It was her 2nd wedding.
The dj/band was terrible. They didn’t play one good song. And the worst part? They told the father of the bride they didn’t have the song he wanted to dance with his daughter to. The whole thing was just really poor planning.
All’s Well That Ends Well
I went to a party with a friend from the restaurant I was working at. It was another employee’s house and he invited several others from work. It sounded alright until I found out it was from a place known to be a little…backwoods.
We barely find our way there and it is about ten at night. No one else is there yet except for the guy hosting it. He tells us people are on their way and shows us around the house. He lets us know that his kids (5 and 3) are asleep in the backrooms and that his wife is at a girl’s night with her friends.
A few people finally show up from work, including one of our bosses, who shows up with one of the cooks, apparently they are sleeping together. Makes things a little awkward—but it is nothing compared to what happens next.
The guy's sister shows up and starts yelling at him for throwing a party while he has his kids there. It’s awkward because he is acting like he was caught red-handed and is super quiet the whole time he is getting yelled at. She is yelling at everyone to leave while my friend and I slip into the basement with a few others. I feel like we were down there for YEARS with the awkward couple but I am sure it wasn’t very long in hindsight.
Eventually, we hear no more yelling coming from upstairs so we go check on things. That’s when we made an utterly disturbing discovery. We go to the living room and find the host MAKING OUT with his sister on the couch! My mind is screaming at me at this point but the awkwardness keeps me quiet and we just stand there…watching things escalate until clothes start coming off.
That’s when I say “Oh heck no” and my friend and I start tripping over ourselves to make a break for the door. We stumble in my car and I get to the end of the driveway and realize I’m in no condition to drive. The host comes out and I refuse to roll down my window, to face the situation. That’s when I finally learned the truth.
Eventually, I roll down the window and he tells me that was his wife, and I woke up the kids. We went back inside and played Wii bowling.
A Series Of Awkward Eventslighted candles on brown wooden tablePhoto by Hamid Roshaan on Unsplash
In high school. The awkward kid threw a party and invited everyone in our class. Every. Single. Person. The party was at his home, which was by no means big enough to fit our entire class, but it went ahead. About 15 people showed up.
The guy who was having the party was busy losing it because he invited girls—we were juniors at the time, he lived a sheltered life, I guess—while everyone else was playing some game with dice to break the ice. Eventually, he had a Wii boxing tournament. I won and got a $3 gift card to sonic.
As the night was winding down I accidentally pushed a friend into his stairwell and broke one of the supporting beam things. Then when everyone was leaving, we each got to take an ornament from his Christmas tree.
Freshman year, I joined the Speech team at my school. There was a party after almost every meet, but I was kind of shy then, and I didn't feel like I knew the rest of the team (mostly upperclassmen) well enough to go to any of the parties.
One weekend, I finally get the nerve to go to one of the parties. My mom drops me off (fashionably late), and I knock on the door. The host, a senior, is visibly relieved to see me, and that is my first indication that I've made a terrible mistake.
There is a huge spread of food set out in the host's living room. Enough for at least thirty people. There are 15 on the speech team, and the only guests are me and another girl, also a senior, who is just not very fun to be around (constantly corrects people, breathes super loud, rude, combative, etc). The host is urging me to eat some of the food, so I have a piece of frozen pizza, which had been cooked in a microwave, so it was limp, soggy, and by now, stone cold.
The host then gets out some Eurogame with movable stackable tiles and plastic army units. It's confusing, it's difficult, and the girl is getting increasingly hostile toward everyone because she's frustrated.
Eventually, one of the coaches arrives, and when he walks into the party room, he physically recoils. He sits down, joins our game out of obligation, but says he has to leave 15 minutes later. I take a cue from him, go into the bathroom, call my mom, and leave a few minutes later.
From what the host later told me, the other girl didn't leave for hours.
Help Me, Indeed
I attended a wedding where the groom karaoke'd "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails, uncensored. The bride walked up to him as he was singing and we thought she was going to stop it. No, she joined in. The older wedding guests were not impressed.
New Year, Old Drama
A very long time ago I noticed a correlation between how I spend my new year's eve and how the entire new year ahead goes. Crazy wild party? Crazy wild year. Didn't bother to celebrate? Boring year.
Well for the millennium, I couldn't have been more stoked to have been invited to a very rich friend's apartment, who spared no expense. He lived in a two-floor penthouse in a very la-di-da street in Boston that overlooked the Charles. Elevator opened up directly into the apartment. Every guest got a "starter" bottle of Dom Pérignon upon entry, with unlimited booze flowing the entire evening. Everyone, myself included, was dressed to the 9s. I had just graduated college, and it was a very good sign of the kind of life I was to begin leading after all that hard work. I had no idea what I was in store for.
Literally five minutes after we got there, my then-girlfriend excitedly bounded up to the host, who promptly told her something along the lines of "Please don't talk to me for the rest of the evening, I am very upset with you”.
She did not take it well. I spent the majority of the party consoling her in the coat room, drinking. She refused to leave. She wanted to keep making a scene until she got an apology, and the longer she waited, the worse her histrionics got. The host's boyfriend took a shift consoling her while I sought out the host, and when I confronted him and defended her, he basically explained that she had done something that had violated his trust. That’s when I found out the dark truth.
As a result, he had uninvited her (and by extension, me, but that he didn't mind that I had shown up), and that he would appreciate it if I would either stay upstairs and have a good time, or go back downstairs and do more consoling, or just leave. As hot as I was, as quick as I was to defend my lady, it seemed like a reasonable request, so I stayed upstairs a little more.
I knew I was being a jerk, but I had been down there for like two hours. Enough was enough. I started being social, which was always a little hard for me to do back then, and then suddenly some of my anxieties started melting away. I was chatting, laughing, having a great time, and then we all watched the ball drop on TV.
Shortly after midnight, I resumed my responsibility, and the girlfriend and I took the subway home—the transit authority had buses running all evening. When we got to the train station, we just missed the connecting bus that would have brought us the rest of the way home. It was the last straw for her. She started screaming about how everyone betrays you. She started kicking one of those wooden boxes where they keep the sand for when the roads get icy.
A bus driver saw this, drove up, and said he felt bad and let us board his bus and took us back to our place—he did it just for us—he turned the whole empty bus around after we got to our apartment. It was so affirming to me, that someone could be so kind, but it didn't matter to the girl. I put her to bed when we got home and stayed up and went to bed after watching the sun rise through the buildings and trees from my back porch.
I should have realized then and there that she wasn't the right person for me. But I let it slide. We had so much in the bank. So many good memories. I wasn't going to leave her over a stupid party. Later, I discovered what had happened between her and the host.
She had promised the host that she would write some sort of letter to a grad school he was applying to, and she said she wrote it, but she never did. I had caught her in a bunch of similar lies in the past, and I believed his story. I felt bad that I had defended her so vehemently at first during the poor guy's party, that he had spent so much time and money on. I also later found out that she knew that she had been uninvited, but she showed up anyway. Thanks for dragging me into it, ex.
The rest of the year was, unsurprisingly, full of drama, and we eventually broke up, but not before moving into another apartment together, not before I caught her cheating on me and let it slide again and after we broke up every day I had to overhear her berate for "wasting years of her life," using her power of dramatic storytelling and half-truth spin to make me look like a horrible person to the point where I lost half my friends. She whipped everyone up into a frenzy—she had strangers online affirming her "strength" on a daily basis. I've seen her do it to other people. I should have seen that coming.
Just out of high school, a girl I knew was throwing a big birthday party at her house and her parents "totally wouldn’t be there". Not only were her parents there they also stood on the staircase and watched liked hawks the entire time. Eventually, it became a room of staring 19-year-olds vs bird-like parents from above—but that wasn’t the most deranged part.
The girl went upstairs to try and talk to them and when she came down she told us that her parents said we all had to pay $5 because "parties aren't free". I promptly left.
Seven Seconds In Heavenbrown short coated dog wearing blue and white striped hatPhoto by Jasmin Chew on Unsplash
When I was in the 7th grade, I went to a party where literally everybody started kissing, and I was the ONLY guy not getting any. I was the odd man out so I went upstairs and told on everyone to the host's mother and she stayed in the basement with us the rest of the night, with no more kissing.
Last Night The DJ Threatened My Life
I was at a party with my cousin. She starts making out with this guy, who then follows her around like a puppy, alternately telling her how great she was and what an awesome DJ he is. She tires of this and says, "Well go and get on the decks then”! So he goes to the kitchen to get on the decks.
Two minutes later he runs past us holding his face like he's embarrassed that he's leaving and doesn't want my cousin to see. About 20 minutes go by and we hear banging on the door, "POLICE, OPEN THE DOOR". Bear in mind this is the UK, and the authorities do not generally raid parties or bang on the door like that.
In response to that, nearly everyone there laughs and just shouts go away and other things like that. They then kick the door open and it is actually a bunch of officers. They start shining lights in everyone's eyes and asking random questions; "What have you taken? Do you know where so-and-so is? Where's the knife”?
What?! At this point we look at the room and seem to be taking it in for the first time, there is blood everywhere, all over the floor, all over my friend's handbag, all over the front door. Then one of the officers comes past with a breadknife in an evidence bag. That’s when we realized what had happened.
It would seem that my cousin’s friend was not embarrassed when he left, but was holding his face together. It turns out that the DJ decided that he was not going to let him have a go on the decks.
Thought that was probably a good point to leave.
In The End, it Doesn’t Even Matter
My 16th birthday party. For a girl, that's supposed to be a big thing, so I had it all planned out! I had a pool party planned, and my dad's band was going to play with me singing a Linkin Park song. It was super popular then, ok!
I invited everyone I knew, yet only a few people showed. My best friend, two girls who left about a half hour after they showed up, and a boy who's mom made him come because she was friends with my mom.
Talk about an epic fail. Still, my best friend and I tried to make the best of it but it never helped my wounded pride.
Funny though, my dad told me the other day that a girl came to his work that knew me in high school, with the flyer I'd given her for that party. I'm 26 now, and this happened just the other day. Funny that she kept it all these years but never showed. Life is weird like that.
A Man On A Mission
So I was about 16 and I had this crush on a neighbor girl of mine. One day we were talking after we got off the bus and she said: "I am having a little party tonight, you should come over it’ll just be a few of us girls". I said sure! I get to the party around 8 pm and notice there are only three girls.
While hanging out I realize there are no drinks and there are pictures of Jesus and crosses all over the wall. Well, being born completely atheist (and only having been to church twice) I know nothing about Christianity and honestly never cared to study up on it. So we go downstairs and she suggests we play charades.
I really wanted to leave at this point but I really didn’t want to be rude so we play. What happened next still makes me shiver with embarrassment. I receive my card and it says "missionary". Now, in my 16-year-old atheist young mind, I begin to think of something else. Needless to say, I acted out the missionary position for what felt like forever. I’m getting weird stares.
Finally, one girl asks what I got and I tell her and she tells me what an actual missionary is. I grabbed my jacket and left. I even started catching a different bus at a different stop after this.
Crushing The Crush
In high school, I was invited to a party that also included a girl I had a little bit of a crush on. I was a heavy kid and didn't have a lot of self-confidence so I never made a move. When she snuck up on me and jumped on my back (she later admitted she also had a crush on me), I laughed and attempted to lean back and set her down.
She didn't put her feet down.
When she kept hanging from my neck with my balance out of whack, I kept going and ended up falling right on top of her.
Doesn’t Add Uplow-angle photography of brown mansion under a cloudy sky during daytimePhoto by Fabian Wiktor on Unsplash
I was 17 years old and a senior in high school and me and my friends knew of this abandoned house in a very prestigious neighborhood. The house was probably worth upwards of $2 million. We decided to go check the house out and see if it was legitimate. So we walked up to the house (which was on a hill, so not easily visible), and to our surprise, the back door was unlocked so we just walked right in. This place was HUGE! It was just giant empty rooms with no furniture or anything inside the house.
So later that week, I decided to tell one of my more "popular" friends about the house, and he recommends having a party there. So about a week later on a Friday, I logged into Facebook and almost every status was something along the lines of "Huge Mansion Party! Text me for details”! I assumed that he just went ahead and decided the throw a party there (he lived right down the road from it. So I walk to the party to find at least 200 people there raging out. Now this is where it gets interesting.
I looked over behind my shoulder and see a kid sink a Beirut shot from probably 30 feet, and he went wild out of excitement. He started smashing things, he was punching and kicking walls, and even put his head through a wall. All of a sudden, every person there started to destroy the house.
Windows were broken, the staircase was damaged, the chandeliers were ripped down, walls were completely destroyed, the entire kitchen was pulverized, and there was garbage everywhere. To say the least, the house had A LOT of damage. In the midst of destruction, we hear sirens. Everybody just bolted out of the house and the party was over, I stayed a little bit longer to realize that no one ever actually came.
The next day I drove by the place and there were 5 or 6 squad cars outside of it inspecting everything. I know that so far this party sounds great—but I'm about to explain why it was the worst party.
About a month after the party, I'm sitting at home and there's a knock on my door. I open it to find a couple of officers standing there and they say to me "We have a warrant for your arrest, you have the right to remain silent... blah blah blah". So they take me to the station, explain that they have pictures of me at this party and what I was being charged with. I ended up pleading guilty to the charges of trespassing and mischief.
The consequences include more the $3,000 worth of fines, a 14-week class on underage drinking, 60 hours of community service, and 6-month probation—all just because I attended this party. Turns out there were 84 other kids who got the same punishment as me...and oh yeah, a total of $200,000+ damage to the house. Yeah, the party was fun, but not worth the consequences.
Party For Me? No, Party For Thee
It was my birthday party that my girlfriend threw for me. I knew she was doing it so I asked her, "If you are going to do a party can I give you a list of my friends to invite”? She acted like she wasn't planning anything.
Long story short. The "surprise" party was all of her friends. The worst part is they were eating all my food that my girl had bought using a gift certificate of mine to a local restaurant...I was saving that gift certificate!
I was at a friend's birthday party, and when it all wound down there was a group of four guys who refused to leave when they were asked to. One of the guys said, "Who wants us to leave”? to a group of us, and seeing that no one was really standing up to them I put up my hand. I was surrounded by him and his four friends pretty fast, and we were being pushed toward each other by a huge group of people.
I remember being confident in the fact that I was surrounded by my friends who would back me up, and none of these guys were particularly big, so I wasn't going to back down—but there was something that I forgot about.
When punches started being thrown I realized the huge group of my friends around us consisted solely of females, who instantly cleared the area, allowing myself to take a decent beating from four guys before some of my male friends heard the commotion and stepped in to save me. I got a fractured nose and orbital bone.
A Good Excuse Is Worth A Million Dollars
I went to a Christmas or Halloween party a few years ago at a friend's apartment with a couple friends. Everyone was already going at it, being obnoxious, etc, so we tried to figure out a way to get out without people making a scene over us leaving five minutes after we showed up. So, I act like I get a phone call, throw on my best "oh no" shocked face, and say "Oh lord, we gotta go, my dog exploded", and just left. No one said anything.
So, now whenever we're in an awkward situation we want to get out of…someone's dog explodes.
Silence Is Golden
My friends are always amazed when I talk about this one. I went to a "mute" party: we were about 10-15 people, at this girl's house, and nobody was allowed to speak (or to write). We could communicate only with gestures.
I only knew one girl there, and it was extremely awkward. I really didn't know what to do, so it just ended up in a very long staring contest. The weirdest part was when I decided to leave, but couldn't say it to anyone, and I just took my coat and went out, without uttering a word.
And yet, like every time I've been to a party, I had imagined I would meet a girl there.
A Different Kind Of Surprise Partyperson in white pants showing left handPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
Mine would have to be my seventeenth birthday. It had started like a normal day at school, completely fine, only thing abnormal was I had to be picked up instead of riding the bus. Well, my brother instead of my mom shows up, and immediately I see something is up.
The look on his face appears as if he had been crying all day. Come to find out that was the day his girlfriend had decided to tell him he had gotten her pregnant, and my mother had been less than happy about it to say the least. They had fought all day. Needless to say that dinner had been the most awkward moment of my life with pure animosity happening between my mom and brother while also trying to pretend to be happy.
A Different Kind Of Pool-Hopping
Years back I was at a pool party, and by nightfall, everyone was pretty inebriated. One of the guests thought it would be funny to fill a Jagermeister bottle with ipecac. And offer shots to the people in the pool. 12 or so people did the shots and didn't care that it tasted funny. A few minutes later it was a total puke fest, in the pool. Kinda like that scene from Family Guy, but in water so everyone was screaming and scrambling to get out as the puke swirled around them.
A Divine Gathering
My worst experience was when I was invited to a classmate's 18th birthday party in high school. I didn't really hang out with my classmates on a regular basis but figured that it was kind of a big deal turning 18 and that it would be kind of a jerk move to say no, so I said I'd come.
I knew that this girl and several others in my class were religious but not in a particularly annoying way—but in Sweden it's kind of weird to go to church every week. Anyway, when I came to the place where her party was supposed be, warning bells went off.
It was a church...So this was starting to feel really weird by now, but I stayed and eventually found the two only people in my class that I usually talked to—these two Muslim girls. It turns out that nearly everyone there was in her church. I can't really say that anything exceptional happened but I felt as I was in a cult. Everyone just seemed like they were over-the-top nice and friendly, in à creepy way. After an okay amount of time, I called my dad who came to pick me up. I said goodbye to the birthday girl and excused myself and lied and said I needed to get up early in the morning. But instead, I went to another party.
Fast forward to Monday in school. My two Muslim friends tell me what happened after I left—and I was horrified. They started playing soothing music and everyone was supposed to lie down on the floor and think about god. They found it a bit odd but decided to just play along. This worked out well until one of the girls' cell went off. The birthday girl's father then barges into the room, takes the girl's phone, and proceeds to lock it in a drawer. He gave her an angry look and said it was necessary so she wouldn't ruin the moment for everyone else.
My friend's 11th birthday party. She invited a bunch of people and had it at a restaurant/arcade place. I was the only one who showed up. Her mom had rented a section of the place out and had awesome gift bags set up for everyone that had RSVP-ed saying they'd be there. Me and her still had a great time. To this day we're still best friends.
I used to live with my girlfriend and she threw a big party for her co-workers one year. She was a checker at a well-known supermarket chain, and she must have invited thirty people.
Some necessary backstory: She had a Siberian Husky that was only partially housebroken. By that I mean she had him trained to do his business in one part of the house. I couldn't take him out on walks because I am in a wheelchair, or I'd have taken him out, and my girlfriend was working long hours, so she wasn't able to take him out every time he needed to go. So she designated a 3 x 6-foot area behind the couch as his toilet, and she put flattened cardboard boxes down for him to go on. It wasn't great, but it was the best she could think of.
So, the day of the party, I cleaned the house really well, and since we couldn't have a big piece of cardboard behind the couch ("What's that for”?), we just pulled it out and left the floor bare.
My girlfriend decided to make some blender drinks. Well, she overdid it, and I was pretty much left to host the party myself—even though I barely knew any of the people—while my girlfriend went to bed so that she could vomit copious amounts onto the floor.
Even so, everyone else seemed to be having a good time, and the party seemed to be going pretty well, even though there was hardly any seating. I didn't mind that bit since with my wheelchair I always have a set, but for everybody else, it was standing room only, other than three people on the couch, and two people on our kitchen chairs.
Since the dog lived in the house, he was there too, and sure enough, he decided he had to take a dump. Do you see where this is going? There wasn't anyone behind the couch (the couch pretty much cut that part of the room off from the rest) so the dog went back there and got himself hunched over and dropped a big dog log on the bare floor.
Nobody else saw him do this except me, and by the time I noticed what he was doing it was too late to stop him, and so all I could do was laugh…as I watched the party unravel.
The smell was pretty remarkable, but there wasn't much in the way of air current, so the aroma just sort of hung there in an invisible cloud of rank. I could tell though; when the folks on the couch smelled it because in unison they all screwed up their faces. One of them turned around and looked behind the couch (the dog was done and gone by then), and he went "Oh no" and all three of the folks on the couch got up and away from it.
As soon as the three people were off the couch, three more people who had been standing around with nowhere to sit for an hour saw their opportunity and they jumped over and sat down before anyone else could grab a seat. They lasted for about 45 seconds to a minute before they realized why the couch had been vacated. As soon as they got up, three more people grabbed a spot on the couch.
This went on for about three or four turns before the smell had drifted far enough to empty the room, and thus the house, and that was it. he party was over, and everyone drove home in the rain without saying good bye or even leaving a note for my passed-out girlfriend.
She never threw another party as long as I knew her.
Uninvitedpeople tossing their clear wine glassesPhoto by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
When I graduated from high school three years ago, I wasn't invited to a single party afterward. Now the optimist in you might think that "Oh, people must not have had any parties, everyone gets invited to graduation events" Well my friend, my friends, the sad truth is that there was one. It was held at a local country club. There were over 200 people in attendance, for a graduation event of my class of 192.
How do I know this you might ask? I was present when everyone was invited. I was watching the computer when the Facebook Event creator, who was our class president, sent out the Facebook invites, and I watched her uncheck my name and one or two other kids' names before sending it. I was also present when the paper invites were given out, the school gave permission to hand them out in homeroom. I was the only one that wasn't given one in my homeroom.
On top of that, my school doesn't even have official graduation events outside of the usual honors day, commencement and such.
For my "Sweet 16", my mom and I planned out this whole theme of a nightclub and had a party planning place come decorate a warehouse with white curtains to white everything out, a disco ball, a DJ with lights, and a lounge area that had tables with glowing centerpieces and all. I'd been having some family troubles so it was an amazing thing for my mom to do for me, and a lot of money. I passed out the invites at school to all of my friends, and didn't invite the jock that had made a point of trying to make my life miserable. I had over 100 people coming.
Day of the party I got a flood of texts telling me that people "couldn’t make it”. I knew something was up—but I didn’t know how bad it was. The jock had planned a party of his own and invited everyone that was coming to my party. I ended up with about 30 people there...20 of whom didn't go to my school. Almost everyone I went to school with didn't show.
My mom even called that kid and told him he could come if he wanted to but to please not do this to me on my sixteenth birthday. I will never get over the humiliation from everyone at school the following Monday. I transferred schools after that. I will never forget that feeling.
My friend had his birthday party yesterday. The plan, for weeks, had been to go to a giant shopping mall for dinner, drinks, and general fun. About 20 people had been invited.
Well, I show up at the appointed time, and no one is there, not even the host! I call him to ask what's going on and he tells me that he changed his mind at the last minute and now everyone is going to just meet at his place—on the opposite side of the city, an hour drive. So I ask him if he needs me to help him call people to tell them about the change, and he says, "Nah, everyone is already here”.
So I said, “Guess I’ll just go home then”.
Mine has to be my 11th birthday party, which my twin and I had planned. We had no idea how parties worked and ended up brainstorming a series of activities and games at SPECIFIC times. I kind of ruined the fun when I would constantly watch the clock and then freak out saying, "OMG GUYS, IT'S 6:31, THE GAME IS SUPPOSED TO BE OVER”! Gosh, I feel so lame...
The Jig Is Up
I worked at a furniture store where the wife of our manager decided to have a surprise birthday party and invited all employees over to her and manager's home. When we got there we all (15 people) realized that the whole house was furnished with STOLEN furniture from the company. It was very uncomfortable as we all waited for the husband to arrive. When he came in, the surprise changed into shock right away. Everyone left 15 minutes later. Manager was fired the next day by the owner. He was then given the choice of returning all furniture or being charged with theft.
Lesson Learned: Never Party With Co-Workersperson watching moviePhoto by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash
My girlfriend and I both work at a movie theater and another girl we worked with invited some people over to her house. First off, let me just say that this place is in the middle of nowhere. So here we are, driving out to someplace where modern medicine hasn't made a foothold yet. We get there and the girl isn't even there.
She gets there an hour later and at this point, it's still just the three of us. Some more people finally show up, including her 40-year-old sister, her 8-month-old baby, and her trashy husband. Anyway, the girlfriend and I decide not to drink because at this point we want to leave as soon as possible without being rude.
This 40-year-old sister has no intention of leaving anytime soon apparently because she precedes to knock out more shots than there are minutes in the day. Fast forward 30 minutes and she starts screaming at us because she has forgotten that we were even at her house. Which...wasn't her house. It turns out that babies don't enjoy yelling at 2 in the morning so her baby in the living room starts screaming crying. Like this thing must have the vocal chords of a full-grown adult male lion. I'm thinking we need to get outta here at this point.
Before we make it out however, Joe Dirt over here pulls out a baggie of weed and a one-hitter. "Wanna hit this”?, he smugly asks. We decline because we are honestly thinking about breaking through the kitchen window to get to our car.
Everyone, except us, passes it around. Out of nowhere, a 9-year-old child comes out of nowhere from the back of the house. I’ll never forget what happened next. He confidently picks up this one-hitter and finishes it out, packs another, and finishes that one. I honestly had no idea what to do or say. The girlfriend and I promptly leave and go home.
It honestly felt like I was about to be on Cops. It was the perfect people, setting, and time for an episode.
When I was in high school, maybe sophomore year, this kid began passing out invitations to a party he was throwing. He was in a few of my classes, everyone knew him, but he was one of those weird Reserve Corps kids who lived, breathed and ate ROTC. High and tight and all. Anyways, like I said, he passed out invites like a week before.
As the night of the party came closer, he told me, "Dude, there are so many people coming, I might have to un-invite people”. I was pumped about this huge party. Long story short, I showed up with one of my buddies, to the kid, his parents, and a table of party food. No one else came for the three hours I stayed there just to make the kid happy.
While I was here, his awkward stepdad showed us his saber collection, proved to us that he could do handstands, and watched The Last Samurai. The next week at school, I told everyone how fun the party was, and made the kid feel like a champ.
My Time Or Yours?
I had an office Christmas party where we were sent a stern letter saying if we dared to not stay an extra hour to make up for the time we spent at the party or didn't use PTO, we would be at risk for being fired. Oh yeah, then the budget was cut to $50 and everyone was told to bring their own food. Yay company morale!
Raise The Roofie
I went to a party in college that a lady friend invited me to. As soon as I got there she was headed out the door because she had to leave for some unexpected reason. She handed me a fresh drink in a red cup and apologized for taking off, but told me to enjoy the party without her. It was a pretty fun party as far as I remember, but I only drank that 1 drink that she gave me before I headed off to another party with my roommate.
That's as much as I remember. When I woke up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. In 40-degree weather, I was in only a shirt and shorts, cuddling with a minivan in a random parking lot. Confused and still a little messed up, I dusted myself off and walked three miles home. On the way back I stopped at a Qdoba and got a free breakfast burrito because they took pity on me, so that was nice.
As it turns out the chick got the "free" red cup/drink from some rando at the party and didn't get the chance to drink it. Lucky me. The night remains one of my most entertaining college stories and the biggest mystery of my college career. See, the story doesn’t end there. It turns out the roommate I left with also got roofied that night.
From what we gathered, we left the party with the intention of walking home and going to a neighbor's party when it hit both of us. Everything is a huge blur up until the next morning. I woke up in the parking lot with the van, his destination and circumstances were even better.
He woke up in a forest nestled into a nice den he made for himself out of sticks and tree branches. He has a picture of it somewhere, seriously looked like an animal's residence. We only know what it looked like because we collectively spent the entire next day trying to retrace our steps from the party to find where we ended up, neither of us remembered where the parking lot/forest was. We had to find where he woke up because he left his hat and phone there.
Through the tiny memories we had from the night, we traced our steps back and found where we ended up. I remembered a colorful wheel from the night, and he remembered walking through construction. That was all we had to go on. We found the construction and a nearby forest, and as we walked down a path there was a large colorful wheel in someone’s backyard that was some sort of children's plaything.
When we got to the den he made himself, there was also a 2 liter of Sprite and a bottle of the hard stuff laying by his things. We got his phone and stuff back and were going through his call log and found that he called a friend of ours at some point in the blackout.
We called her the next day and she said that we were being ridiculous when we called her and some chick kept saying weird stuff in the background. Neither of us have ANY memory of a chick being with us, and we still have absolutely no idea who it was.
I was trying to break into the goth scene when I was a much younger lad—and it led to a seriously embarrassing moment. I hung out for 10 minutes at a wake that I mistakenly assumed was the party I was planning on attending. Thanks in part to my outfit, nobody suspected anything until I opened my stupid mouth. "Jesus, you guys take this stuff seriously. You even brought a…oh”.
Join Usperson holding orange and white toothbrushPhoto by Julia Koblitz on Unsplash
In college, my lab partner invited me to go to a party at a hotel with her "camp friends". I didn't know too many people in the area so I didn't think much of it, sounded like a great way to meet people.
She brought me to a cult. First there was a lecture, took all of my willpower not to ram my palm through my forehead. Being a little lonely in a new city I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and not ruin any kind of a friendship with this girl. After the lecture we were split up and asked very personal questions, I was asked to sign up for more courses and to give money.
Politely gritting my teeth through the entire ordeal, about to leave she decided to stay, hang out, and get a ride from the other cult members. I had been her ride there, it was a long drive back to my apartment alone.
A movie is only as good as its ending.
Unless audiences are left with a major cliffhanger under the premise there's a planned sequel, all plot points should be resolved to a degree.
However, even the best films that are thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable can lead to a disappointing finale that leaves audiences hanging with no promise of a follow-up. It can be frustrating.
And then there are the thin plot holes that are so arcane, it's nerve-wracking trying to make sense out of them.
Yet, there's somehow logic in them that escapes the minds of audiences with short attention spans.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor Animeking1108 asked:
"What infamous movie plot hole has an explanation that you're tired of explaining?"
Scenes from these thrilling films left some audiences stumped.
Beast Follows Feast
"In Jurassic World, Claire didn’t 'outrun' the T-Rex (in heels) … because it wasn’t CHASING her. The dinosaur was conditioned to equate the flare with feeding time so it was patiently following her to an anticipated meal. The situation is similar to how zookeepers can have (limited) interactions with lions and bears."
"How does Sarah Connor know which button to press to crush the Terminator in Terminator(1984)?"
"Because she accidentally presses it a few minutes earlier and it set the crusher off, it what lead the Terminator to find them."
"Oh, like in The Incredibles where Elastigirl has the remote and Bob tells her to push that button again."
The Glitch In The Machine
"The matrix reloaded the scene where Neo is talking to the architect, the screens behind them are not other ones, it is the predictions the machines are making on Neo’s responses, most of the scenes are incorrect in those predictions, except for when Neo must choose between Trinity and all of humanity, the machines nailed that response on all screens."
These classic examples left some viewers completely flummoxed.
"There was a whole topic on the front page a while back about The Truman Show asking about what happens when Truman wants to sleep with his onscreen wife, is that upsetting to her because she’s just an actress, how do they avoid showing it on TV. People offering all kinds of explanations like 'he was raised not to know what sex is.' I thought I was going crazy because not only does the movie directly address this (two guys watching the show complain that the camera always cuts away when Truman and his wife go to bed) but it’s an actual plot point in the movie that she’s trying to have a baby with him so that they can start Truman Show Phase 2, and his obsession with a woman they kicked off the show years ago is ruining the director’s plans."
Remembering Memory Loss
"In Memento, people always wonder how a guy with short-term memory loss remembers he has memory loss. But he’s conditioned himself to say it, just like Sammy was subjected to conditioning in the flashbacks."
"One of Charles Foster Kane’s servants was outside his bedroom when Kane said 'Rosebud.' The door was wide open. The dialogue later confirms that a butler heard Kane’s dying words and reported it to the paper."
Establishing Reality Up Front
"FRIENDS. 'How did they pay for that apartment on their salary in New York?'”
"The very first episode, Monica mentions that her grandma owned the apartment, and she would never be able to afford it otherwise!!"
"And it was rent controlled, plus i think it was an illegal sub lease and they had to hide that from the super."
Playing On A Steretype
"I am so late to the party but… Legally Blonde"
'OMG, a dumb blonde sorority girl studied for the LSAT for a summer and aces it? Bullshi*!
"No. No, the point is that Elle Woods was never a 'dumb blonde.' She was always brilliant. Literally the first scene is her interrogating the salesperson and catching them in a lie because she was observant and smart."
"Rather, Elle was pigeonholed by the circumstances of her looks and her privileged upbringing to pursue a vapid life. While inspired by the wrong reasons, it results in her breaking the mold she was confined in so that she is able to reach her full potential."
Is it too much to ask the audience to suspend their disbelief?
It depends on the movie.
Witnessing The Supernatural
"People sometimes wonder how Indiana Jones initially remains sceptical of the mystical events happening in the second film, when he just witnessed a magical ark mass killing a bunch of Nazis in the first film."
"But that's because the second film is a prequel."
Accepting The Mythical As Real
"Also the majority of artifacts and myths Indiana Jones interacts with are completely mundane. They have fascinating cultural significance and implications on history, but they're ultimately just mundane. The encounters with the supernatural are clearly rare exceptions he gets caught up in, not his primary field of expertise."
"Like, even if literally Atlantis was discovered right here and now today, that doesn't mean the lost continent of Mu, or the city of El Dorado, or the lost colony of Norumbega, or anything else is real. It means Atlantis is, apparently, real."
"On watching The Sixth Sense it may seem completely improbable that Bruce Willis' character didn't realize that he was dead. Yet it's explained right there in the movie: ghosts see only what they want to see."
What makes the moviegoing experience enjoyable is the assessment afterward with other cinephiles.
It's fun to discuss the contrasting takeaways each person may have had from watching the same movie.
Occasionally, there are plot holes that seem easily identifiable, but wind up having a perfectly logical explanation behind them, which warrants a second viewing.
But one movie that my friends and I had a difficult time figuring out was Back to the Future.
Even though Marty successfully corrected the course of time with his parents falling love, wouldn't they have recognized their son when he eventually became a teenager?
They each interacted with the catalyst–their future son–who brought them together in the first place after all.
But that's just an example of the suspension of disbelief.
Sometimes, you just gotta go with it.
Everyone has heard the stories of hardships and struggles, but sometimes in life, things can be surprisingly easy. Whether an unexpected life hack, trade secret, or just through pure luck, these stories encompass the little victories of everyday people.
I lived in New Jersey, and a friend of mine invited me to a commercial audition at a New York City bar. I went because of the bar and only auditioned after two drinks. I left thinking it was a waste of time. I had no idea what was coming.
A month later, I get a call that they want to use me for the commercial. Plus, it turns out the director was the guy who directed the original Space Jam. I got lines and ended up in two of their commercials. I then got a 40k payday, where I thought someone made a clerical error. This kick-started my acting career.
Staying Linked In
On LinkedIn, I always have my status set to “looking for work” even when I have a job. One day, a recruiter asked me if I wanted a job. I found the position and applied with the company directly, and apparently, they had been looking for someone with my qualifications.
Just like that, I made $20k more and got a super laid-back job with flexible hours where I never had to commute to work. I also have a really nice title now and actually just interviewed for another job that’s a higher title with higher pay. I’ve only been at my current job for seven months.
Not So Common Knowledge
My small victory was overcoming a lifelong speech impediment at 22 years old. A lot of the "common knowledge" around speech impediments is that if you can't beat the thing by the time you're 10 or so, that's pretty much it for you.
The idea is that your speaking patterns have become so ingrained at this point that you basically have to accept that you're stuck with it for the rest of your life. This was the explanation given when I was cut from speech therapy in third grade.
It was a big part of why it took me until I was 22 to return to speech therapy as an adult. I assumed this issue was stuck in stone, and that I was kidding myself by thinking it was something that could be fixed. But someone had made a big mistake. Turns out that common wisdom was all incorrect.
There actually is no deadline for when you can fix a speech impediment; you just need to be given competent speech therapy. So, my lifelong lateral lisp was gone within two sessions, and my lifelong rhotacism (can't pronounce 'r's) was gone within a month.
It was awesome! But also, really? It was that easy? I could've had a happy, normal childhood this whole time but I just...didn't? Because the adults in my life thought the issue couldn't be fixed back when I was only eight years old? Well, that sucks.
I achieved a small victory fixing clogged drains. It started out because my sink drain plug wouldn't stay up. I poked around under the sink and found the pop-up rod had rusted completely through and broken.
It cost me five dollars for a new one at the plumbing supply store next to where I worked at the time. It took five minutes to figure out how to swap, and now I know how sink and shower drains come apart, which makes unclogging them simple.
Maybe it's just me, but in my brain, it seemed like that was something I'd have to call a plumber to come to unclog, but it's all remarkably simple.
Small Victory At Small Claimsman in black shirt sitting beside woman in white shirtPhoto by Saúl Bucio on Unsplash
My small victory was suing someone in Small Claims. It was surprisingly easy because my case was rock solid and I had a professionally printed document of evidence, witness statements, and precise records sent over to the court.
Meanwhile, the defendant did literally nothing but send unlabeled loose printouts of my Facebook page as her so-called evidence. It was a very quick judgment for the plaintiff.
Best Job Ever
I've hated every job I've ever had. Then at 18 years old, I joined the forces for six years. That sucked the whole time, then I went into customer service at Walmart, and the staff was mean to everyone. I tried security and the staff was just degrading.
I had job after job doing what I thought was the "right" thing. One day, my life changed. I decided to apply for a local HVAC company and worked at a call center. Nothing big, I think there were a total of nine of us on the phones. Honestly, it's the best job I've ever had.
We all get along, spend hours a day on our group chat sharing memes, and our management has one-on-one meetings every two weeks with the goal of "this meeting is not work-related but we want to know just how you're doing, how's is life treating you, what do you need".
There's constant communication about expectations and how we can better meet them and how they can help us perform better. The majority of the company's profits are used to better employee lives (I get monthly commission and residuals, and $30 a month in healthcare) along with monthly potlucks, paid lunches, and competitive pay starting at $17 an hour.
I haven't seen any turnover...none! My position was only hiring because too many people got promoted.
Too Good To Be True
For months, I had been applying for tons of jobs on every platform I could find. I was also talking to friends to get critiques on my resume/cover letter. Updating my online portfolio, et cetera.
Then one day a recruiter messaged me out of the blue on LinkedIn and basically handed me a dream job. It was one interview and then a call to say “Hey you're hired”. I legitimately thought it was a joke right up until my first day of work.
How I Doubled My Salary
I got a salary request when applying for a job, and accidentally wrote double what I meant to write since the number keys were right next to each other. They accepted anyway.
The 20-Dollar Flat Screen
I found a 60-inch TV by the dumpster. Plugged it in but it didn’t turn on. Looked up common problems with the model number, bought a part on eBay for $20, replaced the part, and had a huge TV for $20.
Sleep Hackedperson holding white medication pillPhoto by Mariana Rascão on Unsplash
I never slept well. Then one day, there’s an over-the-counter magnesium supplement called “calm”. I drink a cup every night and sleep like a hibernating bear. It was that easy.
No One Else Applied
This is how I got the Erasmus scholarship. We had only two places each term for the 300+ people in my university program. I always thought of applying, but I thought my chance was too small to get into one of the places, so I didn't really push myself to apply.
Until I did. Turns out I was the only one applying, and I spent the next half a year in the lovely city of North Sweden completely financed by the European Union.
When In Doubt, Try Amazon
I had a loose hinge on my door. It kind of drove me crazy for three years, but I had no idea how to fix the wood that had been stripped. Then I found a product on Amazon for $10 where you shove on a sleeve, break it off and then screw in the new screws.
I bought two new hinges that don’t squeak. It took about 10 minutes and cost $20 and it’s no longer a problem.
A Cheaper Fix
The power steering failed on my Acura. My local Acura dealership wanted to charge me well over $1,000 to fix it. But I had a better idea. I bought a power steering pump off Amazon for $70 and found a YouTube video that explained how to fit it.
I don't have any car maintenance experience but it only took a couple of hours to do the job myself and it worked like a charm.
Thank God I’m Fired
I had accepted a new job but was anxious about giving my notice at my old job. I had been there for 8 years and really loved my team. I had also been stressed out that I was taking a week off between jobs because it was a stretch financially.
I finally set up a meeting with my boss. I couldn't even sleep the night before. An hour before I was going to give my notice, my boss's boss called me into a meeting with HR. I was being laid off along with a large number of other employees.
They were so sorry, and my boss's boss was in tears. She promised they would "take care of me". Anyway, I got 20 weeks of severance and a full three weeks off between jobs. Definitely, the best thing that's ever happened to me.
I was so shocked that I almost started laughing during the meeting and had to pretend I was trying not to cry.
The Miracle Cureclear drinking glass on white tablePhoto by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
My small victory was drinking water. I went from having sleeping issues to waking up fully rested. Water has changed my life! I thought it would be super difficult to kick soda, but once I tried, the benefits certainly outweighed the lack of taste.
Lying On The Job
I got a job that required full-time fieldwork for minimal pay. On my first day, they asked about my other skills. I saw other people using AutoCAD so I said I used it in college but I was rusty. This was a lie. I had only ever used it once to draw some circles.
The company was excited and got me a 4-day refresher class. I learned AutoCAD and haven't been in the field in over a year. I later asked for more pay since I wasn't a field tech anymore.
They said “no”, so I got another job using AutoCAD for double the salary. Pro tip: learn AutoCAD C3D, it's not that hard, and people will think you're a tech genius.
“DJ's Got Us Falling In Love”
In my sophomore year of college, my buddies were throwing a party at their house. One of them was a moderately successful DJ in the local college scene. We were having a good time and the DJ was doing his thing when he had to use the washroom. That's when something beautiful happened.
As he's leaving, he taps me on the shoulder and asks me to just stand at his turntables to make sure no one messes with them. He had songs queued up so I just had to stand there and wait.
About 30 seconds later, two women walk up to me and say how much they love the music. I tell them it’s just a playlist and I’m only keeping it running. But they are still super impressed.
A few minutes later the actual DJ comes back and I give up my post. Then one of the girls comes up and asks me to dance with her. One thing leads to another and we ended up having a great time.
At one point I told my friend about this girl I’d met while covering him at the DJ booth. He laughed and said, “Yeah sometimes it’s that easy”.
Worth A Try
My small victory was getting a job working for the US Department of Defense. I'd always thought that those kinds of jobs required prior government service, and a whole host of various degrees or such to get a job with them.
Then I saw a job opening for one site near where I lived and thought to try it. So I applied. I honestly didn't expect to even get a callback or anything. I not only got the callback, but also got hired for the job.
The requirements were far more lenient than I expected. All the job required was a clean criminal record and a willingness to learn. I ended up working as a wastewater treatment tech for them, and eventually got an environmental engineering degree with their help.
Never Too Late
My small victory was going back to school. I've been toying with the idea for years, but telling myself it was too far, too expensive, too time-consuming, et cetera. Because I had a home, job, and child to maintain, I couldn't do it.
Something in me finally cracked recently and I thought to try it and made a call to a tech school nearby. Three days later I'm on a tour. The tour is maybe an hour or two in total. The papers were all done online, and I start Monday!
They also threw a ton of financial aid at me. I'm only going to pay about $50 a month until I've graduated, and then those payments go up to about $95. Still very manageable. My classes are only four hours long and are at night, and I only have to be in class two days a week.
The rest of my studies are done at home with a tablet they provide me, so I didn't even have to buy a computer or anything. I couldn't believe how easy and affordable it actually was.
Up, Up, And Awaywoman in white knit sweater inside aircraftPhoto by Jon Ly on Unsplash
I got my pilot license. To be fair, I did study a lot but it was one of those things I wasn't sure I was going to do well on. My instructor said I'm ready, but I still wasn't sure.
Day of the check-ride, I answered every question correctly without hesitation, and did every maneuver correctly. We parked and my examiner said "So how's it feel to be a private pilot". I thou.ght in my head "There's no way" even though I did everything right with relative ease.
A Little Research Goes A Long Way
I'm a 24-year-old female who knows absolutely nothing about cars. Well, I bought myself a nice front/rear dash cam without considering how to safely wire it and found out I would have to remove parts of my car to wire it behind airbags and stuff so it wouldn't prevent an airbag from deploying properly.
I thought I was going to have to pay someone to install it for me, but then I found an amazing solution. It turns out a simple YouTube video walked me through the whole thing! Now my dashcams look professionally installed. I also learned how to change a blown fuse on the same day because my USB adapter wasn't working.
I was high on the achievement of something new and had a brief hyper-fixation on learning to mod my car but thankfully got over it.
Learning To Love
My small victory was breaking up with someone who wasn't good for me. I stayed way too long in relationships that I didn't want to be in. Once I learned to like myself, I realized I don't have to settle.
I didn't mind being alone in between, and because I liked myself, I started to draw the type of people I actually wanted to be around. The type of people who made me want to keep challenging myself to be better.
If you're in a relationship where your heart aches all the time, where you're accepting less than love and respect and kindness, and if you're in a position to leave and still be safe, just do it.
Even if you don't like yourself yet, you will. This is true for all relationships, not just romantic ones. Surround yourself with people you like to be around, and who like to be around you. Time is all we have, so invest wisely.
The Broken Fridge
Some previous owners left a "broken" fridge in the kitchen when we moved in. They put it in the paperwork that the fridge was broken and that they weren't going to dispose of it. So I made plans to get a new one the week we moved in, but just for fun, I decided to plug the old one in to see what was wrong.
Four years later and we're still using it without issue. We did find that the push-to-connect plastic water line for the ice maker was leaking a bit so we replaced that for about two dollars.
All Little Action
When I was working overseas for a US company, many of my co-workers and I all developed a similar chronic health problem due to our employer's ongoing violation of several workplace health and safety laws.
I repeatedly urged my co-workers to file SPOT reports, because it was not the kind of health issue that goes away on its own. Not one of my co-workers could be bothered to file a report, even though everyone complained constantly about their resulting health issues.
So, I filed a SPOT report. They had no idea what they were missing. I ended up in two years of physical rehab back home, hauling in overseas money tax-free, while not having to work, and ended with a generous five-figure cash settlement.
My health issues, thanks to the medical attention I was able to get by holding my employer accountable, have been resolved. My former co-workers, I imagine, are still just complaining about theirs. There was no lawsuit and no attorney. One single report of injuries was all it took.
The Family Favoritewoman standing beside black and gray concrete buildingPhoto by ᕈ O W L Y on Unsplash
My parents and grandparents all had this really annoying habit of making anything and everything sound way harder or more demanding than it actually is.
Whenever I'd perform the feat and realize how insultingly easy it was, I'd be left a little offended while my family would cheer me on. I never could tell if I was offended because I expected a harder challenge or offended because my own family thought I couldn't handle something so simple.
Maybe it's an ego thing, maybe it's Maybelline. I don't know. But here's the twist. After I turned 18, I started treating everything like it was easier than it looks so I didn't let my mind get caught up thinking I couldn't do it at all. The result of this was that I became one of the handiest and most skilled people in my group.
A Little Upgrade
My small victory was learning to code. I’m no programmer by any means, but I was working a data management job that heavily utilized Excel to update a database via file drop. We were using formulas to check our work against the master file of the database after loading it.
I showed an affinity for working with data and my manager encouraged me to learn SQL and move into analytics. I was intimidated so I put that off for about two years.
Finally, I was so unsatisfied with the job that I knuckled down and got started learning SQL. I was so surprised at how much easier it was than I expected.
With just the basics I had a new job within three months. Now I use it every day. Not so much writing SQL, but using and tweaking existing code to suit my needs. Reading code to determine what it’s doing is a great way to learn as well. With any luck, this time next year I’ll be starting as an analyst.
One hot Summer night, we had a severe thunderstorm that hit my area hard. Power got knocked out everywhere around me. So the next morning, they were able to get the power back on, and all of my lights and appliances came to life...except for one big problem. The 65-inch TV that I bought two weeks prior still wasn't working.
Obviously, I tried to turn it on, unplug and plug it back in, et cetera. I tried every single thing I could think of, and after hours and hours of attempts and endless research online, I came to the conclusion that my TV was just donezo.
I figured even though I had the proper surge/power protection hooked up to it, it somehow must’ve gotten fried in the storm. I was devastated.
But after more hours of reading sites and forums about how to repair it, I find a post on a forum that describes the exact issue I’m having, and they said that all they did was get a hairdryer and aimed warm air into the back of the TV and all the internal junk inside.
I say to myself, “There’s no way that works, but what’ve I got to lose” so I grab a hairdryer and aim it into the back of the TV for about seven or eight minutes, and then plug the TV back in.
And boom! It comes back to life and turns back on. Crisis averted. Not too sure why it worked, but I was ecstatic, to say the least.
I got an email from Amazon that said I was being invited into their "Amazon Vine" program. I had never heard of it, but the email said that I can just request free stuff, and all I have to do is review it.
It sounded too good to be true. In fact, it sounded exactly like a joke. I was 90% sure it was one, especially since they needed me to sign up with my name, address, and social security information. You know, exactly the kind of information you should never give out on the internet.
But the email seemed to come from Amazon itself, so it made me curious. I did some looking into it just to see if it was a joke and how it worked. However, after looking into it more, it turned out to be completely legit.
In the last year, I've gotten about $45,000 worth of free stuff from Amazon, and all I had to do in exchange was write honest reviews about it. If I like it, I say so, and if I hate it, I say so.
I've gotten all sorts of stuff, like a large-screen HD TV, an ice machine, boxes of snacks like cookies and Doritos, furniture, dash cameras, tablets, tattoo machines, and more. My neighbors must think I have a serious spending addiction, and my poor delivery drivers think I've opened up a retail business or something.
I do owe the IRS a bit because it technically counts as income, but for my income bracket that ends up not being too much anyway. And because people always ask me how they can join, well, you can't. You either get an invite, or you don't.
Nobody knows how they choose whom to invite, but it's based somehow on reviews you've done in the past.
Knowing Your Worth
My small victory was negotiating a pay raise. Rumor got around work that I could use a computer. They tried me out on the CNC machine. Turns out my hobby of playing with computer programming for the past 20 years meant I was absolutely fantastic at it.
It also turns out that fixing the edge banding machine isn't that hard if you learn how it works. Suddenly I was the most valuable person in the place. I expected to just get a pay raise because I have the belief that people should get what they deserve.
No pay raise was forthcoming after 18 months. I am a fairly anxious person, but with some encouragement from my friends and family, I worked myself up to ask for the raise. The response made my stomach drop. The first time I asked, my boss just chuckled.
I don't think he was condescending, I just think the way I framed it sounded like a joke. The second time I asked, my boss said he'd think about it. I immediately started looking for a new job.
Turns out, I am a highly desirable employee. Within two weeks, I had three job offers. I resigned. Everyone was sad. My bosses panicked and asked me what it would take for me to stay. So, I demanded a fairly high wage for my trade to stay.
They didn't even hesitate to give it to me. Now I'm the highest-paid person in the place.
Dream Home Dealbrown and white concrete house near green trees under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Johnson Johnson on Unsplash
I got my place because it was sitting on the market for months. It was slightly more than I wanted to pay and it wasn't exactly my style, but it had "potential". It was only four years old and a 15-minute walk to the beach.
It was also on one of the larger blocks in the street. Anyway, I decided to buy it. The pest and building report came back confirming the house was pretty much immaculate. Two months later value had gone up $50,000.
Two years later, the place is worth $200,000 more than I paid. I think everyone overlooked it initially as it only has one bathroom and one small garage, but it does what I need.
I saved 18 years for a deposit and had a great credit score and savings history. I just found the one unicorn property and am so fortunate for it. I managed to even get a bank loan without having to rely on a broker. I absolutely love the place now.
I have a little garden and am putting in trees for the visiting wildlife. The street is quiet, and the neighbors are friendly. I was so lucky to come across it.
Just Another Lego Set
Building a PC is my small victory. With so many sophisticated videos on YouTube that didn't teach the trade well, I thought it would be hard to build a PC. Then I tried it once, and apparently, it was just an adult Lego set, but easier.
Carefree Car Troubles
I completely ruined the first (and last) brand-new car that I ever financed by being a sloppy driver and never changing the oil. Like, not only did I trash the interior of this car, I completely ruined the engine. But here's the kicker.
By some insane stroke of luck, I was granted a recall of my entire engine, due to some unrelated issue. They replaced my engine free of charge, and I drove the car for another 60,000 miles. I recently traded it in for a nice used car and am treating this one like my baby. I used my spare life already.
A Breezy Breakup
My small victory was divorce. Maybe this is an unexpected answer but I was dreading it. I worried it'd be this whole huge debacle. Once I mustered the courage and we got over the initial upset after an hour or two, we just began separating.
The divorce paperwork was simple, the court visit took less than an hour, and boom, we’re divorced. We both moved on amicably. I just feel like people always paint divorce as this incredibly difficult thing but it doesn't have to be and isn't always all that hard to get through.
I once was a temp at a tiny office on a construction site around 2003. I was only there for one day while the regular person was on some training.
They sat me down and told me that I just needed to copy all these numbers from one program to another. So, I selected them, hit ctrl c and ctrl v. They stared at me. Turns out about 60% of this woman's time had been spent manually typing numbers from one place to another.
Machine Takeoverblack flat screen computer monitorPhoto by Jake Walker on Unsplash
I used to process HSA claims around 10-plus years ago. One system we had to use back then was an old terminal program that took four line items per page. That's it. For a usual claim, no big deal, and not too hard to keep track of things over two or three pages for a longer claim.
Most fit on one. However, we also had the dreaded shoebox claims. This was the person who saved up every receipt all year in a metaphorical shoebox and sent everything in, once a year, to empty their account. We hated them.
Dozens or hundreds of line items totaling thousands of dollars. Just because you only have $500 in your HSA doesn't mean we get to stop there. If you sent in $4,000 in receipts, I've got to account for it all. Totally ruined my numbers for the day, and they tracked claims per hour religiously.
The main issue was double-checking that everything added up right when you were done entering it, and at four items a page it took forever to tally. But I came up with a genius plan. I made an Excel sheet.
It was laid out so I could enter every single line, then run a macro that would calculate the needed totals and dump all the text to a text file formatted exactly so I could select four items at a time, and paste them directly into the terminal window from the default starting cursor position, and every field would fill in automatically.
Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next, et cetera, et cetera. This easily halved my entry times, with way less work. Finding any typos was much easier. I just had to look at a single organized sheet instead of scrolling through hundreds of pages of terminal text. It was great.
I showed it to my manager so the rest of my team could use it. Her reply made me see red. She was horrified I would use something like that, as no human was "double checking as they went along". This is despite demonstrable improvements to my error rates on large claims after I started using it.
She ordered me to stop using it and forbid anyone in her team from automating any part of their job at all. I kept using it for all of the two months I stayed there after that. I had some of the highest claims per hour numbers and lowest error rates on her team.
I never developed any more tools for them. She didn’t deserve them.
I used to have to make two contracts for every person I brought on a traveling training team. I said two contracts were unnecessary and made them into one, sent it to our lawyers, and they approved it.
Still, it took me a long time to update each contract with different names, pay rates, and dates. So I went on an Excel forum and found out how to make a mailer list, and hours of work suddenly took me 10 minutes. I didn’t tell anyone this though, so I just took my time.
Then I had to make floor maps for restaurants to send to the company that puts them into our scheduling program. Well, all of our restaurants are cookie cutter, so I just used Paint to piece them together rather than make all of them each time. I’m a Picasso with Microsoft Paint.
Then they wanted me to use Excel to keep track of training teams. One of my co-workers used Smartsheet and loves to teach people things. So, I jump on Smartsheet with her and she shows me around.
It's way easier to publish it so that people can see the teams but not mess up any information. I used forms to avoid asking them 30 questions that auto-populate my Smartsheet and shared it with payroll so they never have to reach out to me.
I had templates on Outlook and tons of stuff. I basically took a lot of my job and realized there has to be an easier way. So I would ask on Reddit or just look things up, and spend maybe an hour learning something that will save me many hours in the future.
I always tell people to just look things up. They say “I don’t know what to look up” and I say “Whatever your problem is just search it up the exact same way you’d say it to me”. Then when they look up “Excel thing that makes this do that” they are shocked that they find their answer.
A few years ago, my mom was tasked with fixing my grandparent's toilet while we were visiting for the holidays. The toilet reservoir was constantly filling and running, and thus flooding the bathroom, because the buoy arm wasn't lifting high enough from the water in the reservoir to switch off the water flow.
My mom (who is normally a very practical person) had been tackling the issue for hours. She was pretty distraught, thinking we would have to order a new buoy arm, maybe even a new sensor, or switch and pull the whole assembly apart to replace everything.
She was planning out a trip to the store and pricing things out when I walked in. The solution was so simple. I took one look at it and bent the metal arm the buoy was attached to down so the arm had a slight upwards curve.
The buoy still reached the same level in the reservoir but registered on the sensor as higher because of the curve in the arm. Problem solved.
I watched it dawn on her what I had done, and she just looked at me like I had a third eye. She said, “I've been struggling with this thing for four hours and you fixed it in four seconds". She was very happy I saved her from more work and spending more money.
She calls me her “little toilet engineer" from time to time. I work on Aircraft, so it's mildly demeaning.
A co-worker of my husband's got locked in their office. He was out on a Friday night for a few drinks. He walked past the office on the way to the taxi stand and decided to pop into the office to use the washroom.
When he tried to leave, the magnetic lock on the door wouldn't release. This was one of those buildings where the ground floor was a separate unit, a separate business was on the first floor, and their office was on the second floor.
The only other way out was a rolled-up emergency evacuation ladder he could toss out one of the larger windows, but he was drinking and scared of heights so instead he sleeps in the break room.
The next morning, when the co-worker is still unable to leave, he calls my husband who lived nearby. My husband talked him through where to find the management keys and contact numbers for the security company but they were no help.
So, I grabbed our tool kit and my husband and I drove to find him. We get there and the co-worker is chatting through the letter box. Now, these two men are highly educated. The co-worker is a senior software developer with the company.
The first thing I say is "Sure it's a magnetic lock, so do you not have access to the breakers to cut the electric"? They both just stared at me. The breaker box was right beside the door, and all the co-worker had to do to all night was open it up and cut power.
Suddenly the letterbox closes, we hear the snap of the breaker being flipped off, and the door is open. We all laughed at the situation as he only then told us he'd been there overnight.
Since they both worked with software and it seemed to be a software fault, that's where they focused. But I just thought "door doesn't open because of the magnet, and the magnet needs power, so remove power".
Funny thing is, this is the second time I'd had to come down to that office and release someone trapped inside.
Serious About Scholarships
My girlfriend didn't realize most scholarships aren't even applied for, so they give it to whoever applies to it by default. With her help, I wrote four essays that were tweaked for each scholarship application.
I did the writing because I'm a writer by trade. By the time she transferred to her new college, she had an excess of $1,500 to spend every month. Because of that, she could focus on her studies instead of trying to balance a job on top.
Suddenly Irishblack and brown electric guitarPhoto by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
When I applied to college, I applied for an Irish American scholarship. Turns out they had so few applicants they just gave me $40k towards my tuition. I have a secret, though. I am not even remotely Irish.
Never Hurts To Ask
I was at a private concert with maybe 50 people for a band that used to sell out stadiums. My friend was a huge fan but too shy to talk to the band. So, I dragged him up to the edge of the stage after the show and explained the situation to the lead singer.
He dragged my friend onto the stage and took his picture with the whole band. My friend had a great time. Sometimes it is that easy.
Right Place, Right Time
I went to the bar one night with some friends and ran into a girl who had worked for me a few years earlier. I said “hi” and we chatted for a minute. Then she asks me where my girlfriend is, so I let her know that we broke up a couple of months earlier.
Suddenly, she replies "Oh cool, well I'm here with my friends and I'm going to go hang out with them, but if you want to hang out after the bar closes, I've always liked you". I blinked about 10 times in a row before finally saying "That sounds awesome". We ended up having a great time.
This One Weight-Loss Trick Doctors Hate
I lost 25 pounds...and all I had to do was stop eating before bed.
Seriously, Did You Try Turning It On?
I was given a TV because the audio didn't work on it. On the back was a "sound on/off" button.
Did Somebody Say Free Electronics?trash against wallPhoto by Kevin Butz on Unsplash
When I was a kid, I used to regularly dumpster dive for electronics. The vast majority of electronics are thrown away because some minor part was broken. Often, it's as simple as a fuse.
From Home Cook To Chef
Turns out it’s so easy to learn to cook with raw ingredients. Throwing in random things that taste good together usually works as long as you understand what you like.
All It Takes Is A Personal Touch
I was recently looking for an apartment. Rent in my city, like most cities currently, is outrageous. So after three days of looking, I found this 2-bedroom apartment with a price that normally would get you a roach-infested one-bedroom/studio in a bad part of town.
But these apartments look nice and are in a good part of town. The reviews online are all positive. I can't figure out the catch! Then I saw a disappointing detail. I see there is a year-long wait list for this place. As a result, I decided to go to the leasing office directly.
After talking to the property manager, I get bumped to the top of the list for an apartment that becomes available next month. I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out. Most people spend months looking for places in my city and they'd be paying a third more than I'm paying at a minimum for a similar place.
I looked for 3 days and found this place, but I think I just got lucky and it was just that easy.
Did You Try Turning It On?
I worked on an almost five-million-dollar lighting rig for a concert as a junior guy on the job. We get it all plugged in and patched, but it all went so wrong. None of it would turn on. All the guys were freaking out trying to figure out why.
The team collectively had about 150 years of experience...yet no one checked to see if the generators were turned on. I was like “No way this is why but I'll just go check if the generators are good”. Flipped stuff on and voila.
One Man’s Junk, Another Man’s Treasure
When I was a kid in the 80s, my family was broke. Like, we were two paychecks away from living in our car. We actually did have to live in our car for a few months before my mom landed her job.
Anyway, imagine a single mother of three, who works three jobs just to make ends meet. I was just attending 8th grade, and I was playing in the back of our house. I noticed something in the dumpster that I hadn’t seen before.
I fished it out and brought it home. It was a computer. A monitor, keyboard, and a tower thing. At that time monitors sat on top of the box. And they were huge! Not to mention expensive. I managed to set it up and it was already booting into Windows 3.1.
When my mom got home, she was livid! She thought I had taken it from someone. We couldn't afford anything close to that. No way! But once she saw the grass stains on the side, she knew.
We had that computer for four years. It helped me in ways I can’t even believe. Because of that computer, my love of electronics and my curiosity flourished. No, I am not a computer technician now, but I am the resident computer nerd for my family.
I make a living online, and I attribute most of my knowledge to what I can Google. So yeah! It “was” that easy!
Arcade Awakeningbeach under blue sky and white clouds during daytimePhoto by Roland Denes on Unsplash
I was at Carolina Beach last summer around Memorial Day. We got to the boardwalk one afternoon and there was an arcade there.
I found this skill game where you have to press a button that moves a fixture with a razor on it. When you let the button go, the device stops and the razor snaps through the middle. There's a small string close to the glass. If you time it right, the razor cuts the string, and this huge door opens, and you get all the prizes in the machine.
I swiped my card to play, pressed the button, and held it before releasing it. Suddenly, the rope cuts and the doors open. My son was losing his mind, and I'm just regretting the next two hours where I have to lug this giant bear and box of sand castle toys all over the boardwalk.
I still have not decided if I'm a savant at this game, or if it’s just really easy.