Veterans Reveal The First Thing They Did When They Came Home From War.
Around the world people sacrifice their own safety so that the citizens of their home country can feel safe and secure. We owe a huge debt to the military personnel who defend freedoms and keep the peace in times of torment and strife. I can't imagine what it must be like to live and work in war-torn countries for years at a time without seeing your own family and having that reminder of what you're actually fighting for.
Veterans on Reddit were asked: "What was the first thing you did when you got home?" These are some of the best answers.
I drank enough alcohol to work up the nerve to call the Soldier's Angel who had been writing me letters and sending me care packages to tell her I had fallen in love with her. Three years later we were married. Some days I'm all but sure I died in the war and this is my blessed afterlife.
One thing I do remember more than anything is that first shower I took when I got back to the Barracks in Germany. It was almost surreal, like a dream.. I couldn't believe the fact that I actually survived all that and I was getting out in 3 months after a 4 year stint. Never felt better in my entire life. Finally seeing all my loved ones again after not knowing if you would ever get another chance to.
My little brother was over in Afghanistan while I was doing my second tour in Iraq. I got back before he did and ETS'd, had the opportunity to greet him and his unit at his base when they finally touched down. It was really emotional, I was crying. Partly because I was happy my lil bro made it back in one piece. The other part was thinking about all my boys that didn't make it back and the pain their families must feel not getting the opportunity to experience what we were experiencing at that very moment. You lose friends that live and die with you, the bond is so close that you feel like they are your brothers, your family. Nothing good comes of war.. except when it ends.
1st tour: When I got home I made love to my girlfriend at the time and I tried to make sense of what just happened. I would just look at cars and building a lot.
2nd tour: I was pretty shaken up afterwards, I went back to my barracks. I have no family, ate in the club and took a shower and I volunteered for fast turn around. I was back in the field before the end of the year. I remember ordering a burger and a beer, the burger was cold and I went home and stayed in bed for 3 days.
3rd tour: I decided to take a trip to New York, I saw a Broadway show and just walked about enjoying my freedom.
4th tour: Well I got home and I had just been through my worst tour, it was awful ,terrible. I had pretty bad shakes and I cried in a shower, sat on the floor for what seems like an hour. I quit for a while.
5th tour: I asked my CO for a fast redeploy. It was refused. I haven't done anything as of yet. I'm still in my barracks and I don't want to take my leave. I think my field days are pretty much over, sad to think that. My next job will be behind a desk.
I'm 33 next week, I have no family or a SO. This job is all I am and all I have.
Drove. You have no idea how good it feels being in charge of something like that after months and months of having to walk everywhere. You want to go left? You turn the wheel and you go left. You want to speed up or slow down? It's all up to you dude, no one else is in charge. It's a powerful feeling, especially if you've only been allowed to go 30 mph tops for half a year.
The first time I returned from a combat tour in Afghanistan I was married. We had an absolute ton of sex the next few days in a hotel near the airport, starting about 30 minutes after the plane landed.
The second time I returned I was single, and an officer and I went to the base minimart (we were the ADVON and only people from our unit that returned early) and we stood there in shock for about 40 minutes not sure what we each wanted. I bought Nutter Butters and he bought raisens, and we wound up sharing. When I returned home, I was basically homeless and staying with my cousins, so we had some friends over and drank.
The third time will be happening in 89 days, and all I want is a hamburger.
My buddy picked me up and took me to his house to get my Mustang and my stuff. I had ordered some new cylinder heads, camshaft, intake, and a Procharger supercharger kit for it and I was excited to put it all together soon after.
It was already assembled, dyno tuned, and ready to drive. I drove the crap out of it for 3 days and then went home for 2 weeks on leave.
Fixed myself three PB&J on fresh, soft white bread. Washed it down with ice cold milk. It was the simple pleasures like fresh soft bread, hot showers, being able to relax after a shower not having to rush to get dressed. These are the things I missed the most.
Actually, my wife and I made a tradition out of me coming home (4 deployments in total.) She would pick me up at the flight line with a wonderful picnic lunch packed in her grandmothers old wicker basket. She always wore the yellow sundress that I loved, no matter the time of year. We would drive out to a farm near our house, lay out our blanket and picnic basket, and drink a beer.
I was lucky. As a former spook I was stationed shore and only sent out for very short periods of time (most awesome experience of my life was landing on and being launch from a carrier as a passenger).
But, when I was in temp waiting for discharge my wife and our dog went back home three months ahead of me.
Our dog is only about 30lbs, a little sight-hound. She is also extremely passive/quiet -- we've never once even kept a leash on her because she doesn't stray far from either of us, and she never jumps on anyone.
When I pulled up into the driveway and got out of the car, the front door to the house cracked open and out she darted. My wife shouting, calling her back because she'd never "taken off" like that before. There's this little brown blur moving towards me, and then suddenly I'm on my back getting my face licked. My mother in law said she'd never seen the look of love so much in an animal's eyes before. My little princess is now 9 years old, and ever since she has traveled with me wherever I go if it's longer than two days.
Walked down to the shoppette in my PTs and, after overcoming the shock of remembering stateside cigarette prices (Iraqi cigarettes are $1 a pack), bought a 6-pack of Steel Reserve tall boys. I drink like a lumberjack, but after nine months of no booze - period, my tolerance had completely vanished, and I couldn't even finish two. I was so messed up I couldn't even climb into my top bunk so I curled up on a pile of dirty laundry and passed out.
As a single, introverted dude in the Navy, the ONLY thing I wanted to do was to do something ALONE. The stress of constant human contact after more than 13 months underway almost drove me up the wall. So I went to a coffee shop, read a book, hit the beach and stared off into space. BY MYSELF. It was grand. Nobody asking how I was, for me to tell cool stories, or what I wanted to do constantly.
No family waiting on the pier, but that didn't bother me. We had a mini-reunion with Mom, Dad, Sis a couple weeks later and it was great.
Took a shower and sat on a keg my wife had gotten me. It was a pony keg of Coors Light. I'll always remember that day: sat on it in the shower until the water got cold while she sat on the toilet and talked to me. I drank, we laughed, she cried and I did too. Best day of my life with my wife. I love her.
The first thing I did when I got back home from a tour in Iraq? Ride the northbound bus to my sisters house in Seattle. Get in a bus accident, have to administer aid to 3 young women who decided to turn in front of the bus.
I drank a beer while in the hottest shower of my life. Once I'd finished that beer, I had another, and another.
After twelve months of combat patrols on the Afghani-Pakistani border, it was time for our unit to finally redeploy back home to Alaska. It was early August and the we knew the temperatures would be beautiful with highs about 70, but it was just as likely to be raining as sunny. A beautiful summer day would be icing on the cake, but honestly it was the least of our wishes at that point.
A few hundred of us boarded the first plane on the final leg of our journey from Kyrgyzstan to Anchorage. It was a commercial jet from 'World Airlines.' I was a 1LT at the time and sat in the front 1/4 of the plane with the other officers in the battalion. The enlisted guys were behind us in coach. (May I digress for just a moment by saying that I happily realize the injustice of that arrangement. My life is forever owed to the greatest men and women I've ever met, our nation's NCO's.)
As we neared Anchorage, we flew over Denali and it was utterly and perfectly clear. I have never seen Denali in such crystal clear visibility. I realized that we were flying into a perfect Alaskan summer day. I knew that I was about to have the greatest moment of my life: Kissing my girlfriend who would be waiting with other family members on the tarmac of Elmendorf Air Force Base, with the beautiful mountains all around us and the beautiful clean smelling air. (Clean smelling air was at a premium in Khost, Afghanistan.) My feeling of anticipation was so great that all of my senses seemed to be utterly on edge. Life felt more than real.
Well, what ended up being the happiest moment of my life happened to come just about 10 minutes prior to that kiss. As the landing gear on the plane dropped and we were about to land, a strange quiet came over the hundreds of soldiers in that plane. One last moment of anticipation. One last chance for everything to go wrong, as it almost always had in the previous twelve months. One last moment of attention and mindfulness.
But nothing went wrong. We touched down smoothly. And as those rear wheels made contact with the runway, the hundreds of enlisted men sitting behind us erupted into wild, joyous, unabashed cheers and applause. Their joy was like none other I have ever heard in my life. There was no filter. I heard and experienced something so utterly pure at that moment -- an unintended gift from my soldiers that I will never forget and can never thank them for enough.
I'll admit the kiss from the girlfriend that followed not long after was pretty great as well.
Oddly enough I came home form Iraq (the first time) 8 years ago yesterday so the memory was on my mind.
My dad came out to Hawaii. He came to hangout with me. He had rented two rooms in this bed-breakfast style place. We got in the rented car and he had a six pack on ice waiting at the house. My dad is a Vietnam Vet so we talked. We talked and talked about everything that happened on the deployment (early 2004 to early 2005). That short conversation actually lasted about 6 hours. I drank about three beers and was really loopy.
Still in my BDU's the sun was coming up, I changed and we went out to breakfast. I didn't have a girlfriend, or a wife, I would have felt all alone in the world but he thought it was important to come out and see me. Just my dad and I and a few cold beers. From then on we've been awesome friends as well as father and son, maybe I finally earned the old man's respect.
Came home from 7 months in the combat zone, spent time with my family, slept in my own bed, and then worried, heart wrenchingly worried about my friends that were still there. Wished that I was back to do everything I could ever do to protect them. When I was there I never wished for anything to be home, once I was there I wished for nothing more than to be back in hell with them.
My girlfriend flew down from Seattle (to Palm Springs) and we stayed the night at the on-base motel. The next day I said my goodbyes to a few friends (who were all waiting to EAS as well) and went to the admin center to pick up my DD214.
We did the whole road trip thing on the way back, hitting San Francisco, then we went to Oregon City to visit my roommate and best friend from the marines, and then back home to washington. We took the 101 instead of I5 which I highly recommend if you like pretty scenery.
When we were about to get home she told me that we were going to go see a couple of her friends at a little bar down the road from us. I said okay.
We got home and unpacked my car a bit, she had some of her friends decorate the apartment with balloons and streamers. So we leave for the bar to meet her two friends, I walk in and theres 20 or so of my friends yelling 'Surprise!'. Apparently my girlfriend had orchestrated the whole thing a month earlier with a private Facebook group. Even my buddy from Oregon City was there, he had driven up before we left in the morning and hung out at the bar for like 5 hours.
Anyways, the bar named a $2 specialty shot after me which for the whole bar was able to get all night. I got really drunk, took two puffs from a joint outside the bar and proceeded to pass out in a lawn chair until my girlfriend took me home in a taxi.
Then she made me steak for breakfast.
I returned home from both my deployments(Baghdad 03-04,04-05) in the middle of the night. The first time, we had a buddy waiting for us. We grabbed some food and beer. Drank about three and passed out.
The second time I came home as Advance Party (Barracks NCO) and my Smoke's wife met me at the homecoming (which was about twenty exhausted guys at 0300 in a half-empty gym where six band members played the Anthem for us) with a sixer of beer. I wasn't allowed into my barracks because they were still secured and I needed orders to break the seal on the doors even though I was the damned barracks NCO, so I caught a ride home with another guy and crashed on his couch. He told me to make myself at home, so I dropped my bags, took a shower, and sat on his couch drinking in my towel until the sun came up. I was single, but I didn't allow my family to come see me off or see me home because I knew my folks were struggling with cash at the time. The last thing they needed was to spend money on taking a trip to NC from IA.
The most emotional part of both homecomings was calling home. I woke my parents up both times, and each time I was barely able to choke out, "Mom, I'm home. I'm home." It's hard tell them that everything's OK when it wasn't. My homecoming trip took over two years and nearly my life until I was able to get my emotions to come home, too.
I walked my sister down the aisle. She delayed her wedding until I got home so I could be there.
I drove cross country from California to Ohio with another Marine who just got out. It was one awesome road trip. When I walked into my parents house (who I haven't seen in almost 2 years) my Mom said "Oh good you're here. Can you pick your brother up at school?"
I stopped at store and picked up bath bubbles, bath salts (not the drug) and a new towel. I went home opened up the bottle of mead that I bought in Ireland and enjoyed about an hour long bath while while drinking my mead. After that I went out and rented a black and pink tuxedo and crashed one of my friend's casual parties.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.
Reddit user DarthAbhinav asked: 'What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?'
Every now and again, when talking to a friend or family member, a rather shocking piece of information might casually slip out.
Information one imagines they wanted to keep secret for as long as they possibly could.
In some cases, it's something embarrassing, that everyone will be able to laugh about with the passage of time.
In other cases, however, it's information that stuns us silent.
Learning something we wish we hadn't.
Redditor DarthAbhinav11 was curious to hear the most disturbing information people have ever been casually told or overheard, leading them to ask:
"What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?"
An Acquired Taste
"I work in a deli and some lady asked me to cut her ham extremely thin to the point of seeing through it."
"I heard her justify it as 'so you can get rid of the ham taste'."
"I still think about this one."- Alternative_Net8931
"When I was walking to my front door."
"My neighbor had their window open and was scolding their 3 year old adopted child."
"She was howling crying."
"'Do you want mommy to send you back?'"- BoredBSEE
It Arrives Sooner Than You Think...
At Macy's, two teen girls: 'Women over 30 have the ugliest elbows'."
"'OMG. I know'."
"'I always ask my mom to wear long sleeves when we go out to eat'."- CapitalPhilosophy513
Never Too Late
"I when younger I worked at a pool and had to lifeguard senior aerobics classes."
"Most participants where 65+."
“'Where’s so and so'.”
“'Oh he won’t be here, his wife was put into hospice'.”
“'Well I feel bad for him, but we do need some more single men around here'."
"'He’s not bad looking, has a retirement too'.”- CuriousOne9320
Round And Round It Goes...
"'If the Earth is spinning, then why my front door is always facing east?'"- SuvenPan
"Something I once heard a passing stranger say for which I have no context: 'He wears a scarf around his neck so you can't see where he's decaying'."
"I've been curious for years and it annoys me that I'll never know."- xyanon36
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
"An ex after I ended things 'I don’t understand, if I want to be in a relationship with you but you don’t want to be in a relationship with me why do you get to win?'"- TinyFurryHorseBeak
Not His Decision To Make
"Was at an end of season event for my kid's baseball team when he was little."
"The coaches brought Italian ice for everyone."
"Mom has just served her kids and husband and comes back with her own."
"As she's sitting down to eat, I hear her husband loud whisper behind her something like 'absolutely not'."
"'You don't need any more calories'."
"I just watched her face fall."
"I can't imagine what their marriage must look like behind closed doors and what life must be like for her."
"Note that this woman was already probably a size 2 at most so this was not a scenario where there were serious weight-related health problems."
"This guy was just a jerk and this really wasn't the first time that season, but his reminders that they aren't living up to his standards were usually aimed at his kids on the field."
"I try to assume the best of people but that guy sucked."- littleirishpixie
The Truth Hurts
"I was in an accident once and was hospitalized."
"The accident left me severely disfigured."
"I was out of my mind on pain meds when I arrived at the hospital and told my family to call my girlfriend and let her know what happened and where I was."
"My mom called my girlfriend and my sister not knowing the particulars of my life called my ex."
"Neither knew the other had called and both ended up showing up."
"They arrived within an hour of one another while I was asleep."
"Since someone was there with me it gave my family a chance to go home and take a break."
"So I woke up to my ex and my girlfriend talking to one another."
"Obviously my girlfriend was mad my ex was there and things got heated between the two."
"My ex being level headed suggested they step into the hall since I was half awake and in no condition to deal with the drama."
"As they're arguing in the hall voices are being raised until finally a nurse comes to reign the situation in."
"The nurse breaking them up made my girlfriend leave."
"As she was leaving she yelled 'you can have his a**'."
"'It's not like I wanna be with some burnt up scarred dude anyway'."
"At this point I was still bed ridden and hadn't seen a mirror."
"I was aware my body was f*cked but had no idea what I actually looked like."
"Hearing that was such a gut punch and it really messed with my head at the time."- Burnvictim49percent
Where To Even Begin?
"I am a tutor."
"I heard some of my students say ;What's the point in learning history? We should live in the present'."
"We are German."- GentlemanPirate13
Most of the time, when a friend or family member warns us or apologizes for sharing "too much information" or "TMI", what we've heard isn't that shocking in the grand scheme of things.
Indeed, as evidenced by the sad and shocking stories above, when people really share TMI, they often have no idea they're doing so.
There are rules in life where people are expected to just know how to operate without being told.
For instance, if someone falls down... help them.
When you like a sweater in a store... get money to buy it.
Just leaving with it won't go over well.
And there are more rules, or guidelines to adhere to...
Redditor christygl7 wanted to hear about what is expected in people's homes without words, so they asked:
"What's an unwritten rule in your household?"
If you have to pee... lift the seat cover.
The people in Port Authority always miss that one.
RoutineCleaning Chores GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"Either my wife or I can do any chore when noticed. We thank each other for routine chores as we appreciate each other."
"That’s how my fiancée and I handle chores. Whoever’s around when the core needs to be done does the chore, typically. I find she does more regular cleaning of the whole apartment while I do more dishes and cooking."
"Replacing the trash bag IS PART OF taking out the trash."
"Similar to this, in my house, the rule is if the toilet paper ended on your turn (or there’s barely enough for the next person) then it is your job to procure the next roll and put it in the bathroom. It is NOT acceptable to let it run out for the next person."
"We have extra stored in every bathroom. I make sure of it. However, if it runs low/out on the roll, my wife will 100% of the time take the new roll and set it on top of the empty tube on the spindle, refusing to replace it. I actually called her over and shamed her into changing it in front of me the other night (not in an abusive way - we were both laughing about it)."
"If you find money in the laundry while you are doing the laundry, it's yours."
"Yep. My boyfriend learned that lesson the hard way when we first started living together. He had a bad habit of just crumpling up bills in a big wad in his pocket, usually just ones, but sometimes he accidentally leaves a twenty in there. I tipped myself the twenty. It took him a couple of days of trying to figure out where it went before I took pity on him and told him."
"He now both turns out his pockets and washes his own clothes. I still find the occasional single dollar in the dryer."
"If food is dropped on the floor it becomes the property of the dog. The dog knew this rule before we did."
"That was one of the hardest things after our family dog died. Dropped something? Who cares! Riley will get it. But then he didn’t."
"Also, I don’t live at home anymore but coming home to him barking and crying out of excitement and greeting me always made my day and I looked forward to it every time I opened the door and could hear him wiggling in excitement on the side hahaha. It’s a little less exciting coming home now."
Obligations...Water Stay GIF by Kinda FunnyGiphy
"If the water you take from the Brita pitcher leaves what’s left below a certain line, you are obligated to refill the pitcher on penalty of death."
If you stay in my home and don't refill the Brita pitcher...
I'm setting your hair on fire at 3 AM!!!
FlushedGo Away Pink GIF by HacklockGiphy
"Check the toilet after you flush."
"This. My brother-in-law never does this. It's annoying and disgusting! You don't want to clean up after yourself because you think it's gross? How do you think it makes me feel to clean up after you?"
"Wake someone up if their alarm goes off. It's a pretty weird one but setting up alarms is a conscious and deliberate decision for all of us and you want to wake up when it goes off, so we just help each other out."
"I'll do this a few times, but my roommate needs to learn not to hit snooze because he's taught his body that alarms don't need to be woken up to. I don't wake him up anymore. He started waking up to them."
"I’ll wake them up because it annoys me when people snooze especially if I’m next to them in the bed and I don’t have to get up."
"Shoes off at the door. No exceptions."
"Shoes-on people must not be using the same public bathrooms that I do. 100% of them have a lake of dirty urine in front of the urinal. They must also be amazing at finding two urine-free spots that are shoe-sized on the shores of said lake. It’s fine if they want to bring that into their homes. It’s not allowed in mine, though."
"No tech at the table."
"Even with a teenage daughter this has proved eerily easy; we all love food though!!"
"Also murder is out of the question, it is non-negotiable. If any of us kills another then they are outlawed in the true sense."
"Other than this, we are pretty cool."
WoofWell Done Applause GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Let the dog out to go potty before you use the restroom. (Seriously, the dog is asking to go out and you think she can wait while you take a 30-minute poop first? Not cool.)"
Always let the dogs go first.
If you wait, you won't like the surprise they leave!
Sometimes we look at a product and think "who would buy that, and why?"
For me the "Flowbee" home haircutting tool comes to mind. If you're unfamiliar, it's a shaver you attached to your vacuum cleaner so you hair was pulled past cutting blades.
It was sold on late night infomercials in the 1990s.
Who wouldn't want to style their hair like this?
As fabulous as that looks, results did vary with most veering toward "yikes!" yet by 2000 the company reported 2 million were sold.
And *surprise* you can still buy one—for about $150.
It seems no matter how bad a product is, someone will buy it.
Reddit user NoBridge255 asked:
"Which product doesn't work as it should, but people still buy it?"
"Septic tank safe flushable toilet wipes."
"The gentleman that pumps our tank brought me outside to see the evidence when his hose clogged. Sorry about that, Clint."
"Amen! I work water and sewer for the town I live in, 80-90 percent of the sewer issues are from a huge chunk of 'flushable wipes'. Yea, they went down the toilet then gathered up in the city's main!"
Don't Tear Here
"Any cardboard package with perforated 'Tear Here' lines."
"They never tear there."
"As an engineer, one of my peeves is a product where the perforation is the structurally strongest part of the whole thing."
"Anything that is supposed to cleanse, flush, or remove 'toxins' from one's body."
"People forget that we have organs in our bodies that do this already."
"Those silly copper bracelets that supposedly do everything from healing things to fixing your golf game."
"Every printer I have ever purchased no matter how expensive is the flakiest of products I ever own. Wifi constantly disconnects, PC's constantly have connectivity problems with them no matter if it is USB, WIFI or ethernet or all three."
"When you finally connect to them unless you print on them every week they will no longer work, ink will leak, or be dry and the printer is destroyed."
"Get a laser printer? You now skip the ink drying issues but the other issues still remain. That device has dementia."
"Whenever something is marketed as 'military grade', I recall the DOD-procured wrench that broke on me right after I removed the tape from it."
"Military grade simply means 'made within our generally vague specifications for the lowest price'."
"The Sims 4 expansion packs."
"I miss the days where games had to work out the box and didn't rely on day 1 patches or, hell, with The Sims it's like 6 months after they finally patch out 25% of the glitches."
"Living with my mother who was incontinent near the end of her life….all 'medical supply' style adult disposable diapers. Depends and McKesson ought to be a shamed of themselves for putting out such godawful products."
"Thank God for the folks at Northshore Care. They actually made products that did what they were supposed to do."
"And it allowed my mother to sleep soundly at night and function throughout the day without having to worry about feeling embarrassed in front of others."
Ax The Axe
"Pretty sure no woman has smelled Axe body spray and thought ‘I really wanna have sex with him, he smells amazing!'."
"As a woman I can confirm, I despise the scent of Axe body spray."
"Can confirm, makes me nauseous and want to run away."
"Every can opener ever purchased from a dollar store."
"Man, it feels like every can opener these days. Growing up we had the same can opener for YEARS and now I feel like I need a new one every year."
"Gas cans with their mandated safety spouts. It takes two hands to operate them."
"Very unwieldy, especially when filling small tools like chain saws. Often leads to spillage."
"The annoying irony is that they were created to stop spillage, yet they are so difficult to operate, that I have spilled far more fuel since the change than I EVER spill with a regular old funnel."
Don't Tell Snuggle
"Fabric softener dryer sheets ruin the absorbency of your bath towels."
"Also ruins wicking fabrics—clothing that is designed to dry quickly"
"And ruins fleece—destroys the soft/fluffiness."
"Personal AntiVirus software. It all sucks and doesn’t effectively work."
"And even then, the most effective is actually Windows Defender which is built in and free."
"Disposable razors. Especially the 3-5 blade ones that cost a ton of money."
"I avoided shaving because anything other than a single pass from a trimmer would irritate the hell out of my skin."
"I tried out a unbranded basic safety razor, and the difference is unbelievable. Far less irritating that an electric razor and the disposable razors. Takes fewer passes to actually get shaved. And the blades cost pennies, so you can literally use a fresh blade every time if you heart so desires."
"I have no idea how the advertising industry convinced us that modern 3+ blades nightmares are remotely good."
"Memory soles. The ones you put into your shoes."
"I bought them, put them in my shoes, went upstairs and STILL forgot what I went up there for."
"Don't be fooled people. They do not work."
I never bought a Flowbee, but I have fallen victim to can openers.
Many, many can openers. Pull-tops are my friend.
What products would you add to the list?
There's this amazing quote by Maya Angelou that we can all put into practice: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."
This can be applied to anything in life, from learning more about a subject that we're passionate about, to practicing better time management skills, to being a better friend.
But there are some things that we may not even realize we need to do better... until we suddenly know better.
Cringing in anticipation, Redditor one-droplet asked:
"What have you always done, but later found out was gross?"
The Best Ice
"When I was like five or six years old I would love going to the grocery store with my mom because the vegetable and fruit and meat tables always had the best ice to chew on..."
"I work in a restaurant, and I try to grab a cup to get the ice before they use it for raw oysters and shrimp cocktails. It really is the best ice."
Toilet Paper Use
"As an Asian, I was always taught growing up to throw used toilet paper in the trash bin. It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Italy and the chaperone mentioned to everyone, 'The plumbing system here isn't as good as the USA so you guys are just gonna have to throw it in the trash bin,' and everyone went, 'Ew.'"
"That's when I learned that it was gross to throw toilet paper in the trash bin since the issue was you're basically having shit bits sitting around in a bin."
"All my life, I wiped my toothbrush on the hand towel to dry it up until my sister asked what the f**k I was doing."
"My sister used to scrub the bristles on the faucet where the water came out when she was done brushing her teeth. I guess to dry it off. I still cringe thinking about it."
That's Not Clay
"As a child, I would dig up bits of clay from the local sandbox. It wasn’t as good as Play-Doh, so I would cast it aside and continue digging."
"Maybe I didn’t have a very good sense of smell at that age, because I was well into adulthood before I realized it was probably cat s**t."
"I showered in a dirty tub. Once I discovered how gross it really was, my hoarder mother didn’t like it when I cleaned the bathroom, so I just lived with it til I was able to get a place."
"My hoarder mom was like this."
"When I tried to wash the nicotine off the walls in my bedroom, my hoarder parents were not happy."
"I waited until a towel smelled weird to swap it out."
"Look, the towel forgets everything before the next shower."
Self-Service Assorted Candies
"I used to really like those self-service lollies/candy buckets with the scoops. They were in most big box stores in Australia, like Kmart, Target, Big W. So much fun mixing and matching."
"But then one day I started working at Target. Every single day I caught old people and kids with their hands directly inside grabbing them out and munching down all slobbery-like. That turned me off forever."
"Though not too long after they started disappearing from businesses so obviously someone got the unsanitary message."
"I flushed my tampons my whole life until I was about 30. No one had taught me they weren’t flushable. I stupidly thought they were like toilet paper."
"One expensive and embarrassing plumbing problem later, I never did it again."
"Not brushing my teeth when I wake up. I would only brush my teeth after breakfast, and I would rarely eat breakfast."
"So most days I would only brush my teeth at night. I figured, 'Well, I brushed last night and haven’t eaten anything since, so why should I brush again?'"
" Then I learned about all the bacteria that feed on the tiny bits of food left in your teeth and they literally expel gas and feces in your mouth as they consume it. And this is what causes awful morning breath."
"So I have this mental image of bacteria poop and farts coating my mouth and have brushed every morning since regardless of eating breakfast or not."
"Brush at night to keep your teeth, and brush in the morning to keep your friends."
Not Just Yellow Snow
"Eating snow. Just take the same handful of snow you might see a kid stuff in their mouth and let it melt in a glass. Bet you wouldn’t willingly drink it!"
Don't Visit Everyone's House
"I sit on my couch butt naked when I’m alone watching TV at night. I mean I’m relatively clean but I feel sorry for anyone else that sits there."
Letting the Hair Fall Where It May
"I'm suffering from hair loss at the moment (51 Female) and I'm often absent-mindedly raking a hand through my long hair, glancing at what comes out and then dropping the strands on the floor."
"Just read on another sub that that's pretty disgusting to other people. In my defense, I work exclusively from home in my own small office and would never do it in public, but even so, maybe my husband thinks I'm gross."
"Wearing shoes inside. My family was not a shoes off family and they always wore outside shoes inside."
"I remember a few friends' homes were strict shoes-off homes, but I thought that was the minority."
"I was about 27 years old before I realized it was disgusting and people were definitely judging my etiquette."
"Double-dipping snacks. Pretty logical but only found out recently that’s very bad etiquette."
"Double-dipping is only acceptable if you’re not sharing the dip with anyone."
"Some things I've learned:"
"Wash my bedsheets every week, including bed, pillows, and covers."
"Only use the same bath towel twice before washing it."
"Use a new toothbrush head every month."
"Always wash my hands coming back from a store or public transit."
"And NEVER EVER go into a resort pool with a swim-in bar."
This conversation was so cringe-worthy and left us wanting a shower in the worst way.
At least for most of these Redditors, now that they knew these are gross habits, they've chosen to do something better.