Are chance encounters really serendipitous or is it part of some grand master plan?
"What was the most important random encounter you've had?"
People from the past were brought together by fate.
Creep Reunites Old Acquaintance
"I'm from London but have family in Ireland and used to spend all my summers there as a kid. Anyway, a few years back I'm stuck waiting for a night bus in another UK town at like 3am and there's one other girl waiting there and a creepy dude who keeps hitting on us. We basically start chatting to have an excuse to ignore him, and i notice she has an Irish accent. I ask what part of the country she's from and she answers with my family's home town. Turns out I played with her regularly when we were five and our grannies are BFFs. Neither of us had recognised each other or even knew the other was living there, just random chance."
The Girl Who Made Silly Faces
"While in college I did some photography work for the marketing department of a theme park. A tall, pretty girl in one of the shops made faces at me when I tried to take her picture. Several years later I went to a jewelry to store to get a battery for my watch and she was working behind the counter. I was glad I had a conversation starter because we hit it off right away and went out to lunch together. Been married 38 years now."
How They Became Best Friends
"First day of university in home country, know nobody in my course. Sit next to another guy in orientation, introduced ourselves, go to lectures together. Over the next few weeks we discover that our parents went to college together in the same home country 25 years previously (all four parents), his family had moved to the far east, mine to Europe. We had met when we were 1 year old and his family visited mine before our parents lost contact with each other. Then we had independently returned to the same home country, got into the same university, chosen the same course, and sat next to each other in a room of 300 people. Found a photo of us together aged 1. Now one of my best friends."
From The Same Hospital
"I moved to a new school in 11th grade and made friends with a girl in my English class. We realized our birthdays are only one day apart, and later discovered we were born in the same hospital. In college, she found a photo of herself in the hospital nursery and on the name tag on the bassinet next to hers you could see the last 4 letters of my last name."
These Redditors had poignant encounters with the elderly.
"I worked at CompUSA in Baton Rouge, LA. in their computer repair shop. It was sh*t. There were invisible 'sales goals' we had to meet, the team there was f'king creepy - they took every computer and first thing they did was look through your personal photos for nudes or stuff they could otherwise copy, take home. Gross. It sucked."
"A customer came to pick up his computer, and he was an older gentleman and his computer was comedically large so I offered to carry it to his car for him. When he opened the trunk of his car, there were architectural manuals and I mentioned I studied drafting. He gave me card, that led to a job, which led a year later to a completely different card, which led to a career."
"I don't carry his computer later, 20 years later there's a good chance I'm still in IT and still not great at it."
Sharing A Name
"I had never ever met anyone with the same name (as me) in 25 years."
"So I had this big surgery coming up, and the night before in hospital, I was super anxious. Completely random - I meet a 96 year old guy who has the same name as myself at the ward. He also had surgery the next morning. He wore a diaper, but were super super happy and nice."
"It felt very special to me at the time. It kinda felt like destiny, or that one of us wouldn't survive the next day. We both did tho, but it was still nice :)"
The Landlord With Horses
"My brother rented a house from an older guy. I went to visit my brother one day and he was telling me about his landlord and said if we ever wanted to go ride horses, we could go out to his place. He's had, somewhere around, 20-30 for the 10 years I've known him. Turned out to be one of my best friends. Helped me learn how to mechanic, how to ride junk horses, how to make good horses, how not to ruin good horses. All while specifically telling me you didn't have to be a bronc rider in order to be a cowboy. I've had some bad wrecks in the past and he helped me work through them. I'm a much better horseman now, and much better person in general I think. I never could've asked for a better friend. He's helped me with so much, while never asking me for anything in return. That's hard to find now a days."
"He's 61 and I know he won't live forever. And I'll cry more for him than I ever will my dad."
"I was thirteen and riding the train back from Raleigh, practicing my German on duolingo. I was struggling a bit with some of the words. An old guy who looked like a bearded Morpheus, big old coat and all, heard me and corrected my pronunciation of 'zucker'. This turned into a conversation of how he was stationed in Germany in the 80's, used to sneak out with his buddies to do graffiti on the Berlin Wall with the locals, and was in the crowd the day it fell. He kept several chunks of it. Still one of the coolest strangers I've ever met. Felt like some movie sh*t."
Former Anti-Vaxxers Explain What Actually Made Them Change Their Mind | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"I was sitting in Washington Sq. Park, reading a book, one that would change the course of my life, and an older man sat down on the bench beside me. He asked what was I was reading. I showed him the cover and he smiled and said 'I'm the author, Paul Rosenfels' and he extended his hand. His picture was on the back cover, and indeed it was Paul. The book was 'Homosexuality a Creative Process.'"
The small acts of kindness by these Redditors made lasting impacts.
"Once I talked to a guy who was deeply confused about his next steps in life. We didn't know each other, we just started talking out of nowhere, can't remember the reason. He seemed really lost, but I pointed out that he talked about some solid strategies for his future and just didn't notice them. He was shocked and really happy with the new perspectives I could offer."
"Months later, he found me on instagram through a mutual friend and sent me a dm thanking me for listening to him and saying that he started therapy immediately after our conversation and got his life back on track because of me. He even has a thriving business now! We didn't keep talking, but I'm glad I helped a total stranger with just a few encouraging words. It was one of the nicest, most touching moments of my life."
The Man In The Wheelchair
"I went to help a disabled gentleman who had gotten his wheelchair wedged between his minivan and the parking lot curb. He was really nice and thanked me profusely. Later, I was reading and drinking coffee when he rolled over and thanked me again, and introduced me to his wife. We talked and realized that I had gone to school with his niece and that his wife knew my dad (Hawaii is a small place). Fast forward a few months and they asked me to house sit their place on the Big Island and take care of their pets while they went on vacation. It was the first time I left Oahu and the first time I lived alone. It was a really special time for me, a kind of formative moment in my life when I had time and space all to myself. Just really happy memories from those six weeks."
Things Will Get Better
"At age 18 i left my home at 2am in the middle of winter, wearing pyjama shorts and no shoes. I walked 30 minutes towards a motorway, stood on the side and waited for a car to drive past so i could jump in front of it. After a while of waiting i had collapsed from the cold and pretty sure i was slowly trying to drag myself into the road. A car obviously saw me from a distance, put their hazard lights on and pulled up on the side of the road where i was laid. It was an old woman and she dragged me into the car and drove me back home. I was heavily anorexic at the time so she gave me her cookies she kept in the car for her grandkids, and talked to me about what pushed me to suicide and told me things will get better. She dropped me at home after hugging me for a while and i cried until morning. I wish i had learnt the name of the woman who quite literally saved my life and picked me up as i was dying and i think of her all the time. Random acts of kindness can do more good than you realise."
A Promise Made, A Promise Kept
"I once got into a train with no ticket, since I couldn't find a terminal to buy one. But once the train arrived and the doors pulled open, I saw a ticket terminal inside. Unfortunately, I discovered that the terminal only accepted cash. And all I had was my debit credit card. I was perhabs 16, and was freaking out at the prospect of getting a fine, but it just didn't dawn on me that there were still places with 'cash only.'"
"A sweet lady got up from her seat, likely having seen me sweating bullets as I stood there with my credit card in hand. And said to me 'Yeah. It's cash only.'"
"She reached into her purse pulled out her wallet, and started rooting around in her change. She then gave me the equivalent to 10 dollars in Danish Kroner (DKK) and said 'Here's the money for a ticket. But! you have to promise me, that someday, when you encounter someone in need of money for a train ticket. You have to offer to pay it for them' I gratefully agreed, bougt my ticket, and kept that promise with me for about 10-12 years."
"Then one day I actually happened to be at a train station, where a teenage girl in front of me, got her card declined continously at the ticket terminal and I could see the frustration and embarresment build up inside her."
"I still cherish the memory, of actually being able to redeem my promise to that lady in Hundested. As I paid for the teenage girls ticket, and send her on her way with the same promise as I had made a decade prior."
An incredible chance encounter happened to my dad once when he was golfing in LA.
He struck up a conversation with another solo golfer and ended up hanging out and putting together on the fairway for the rest of the afternoon.
When my dad asked what this gentleman did for a living, he was told he used to be in a pop-rock group called The Monkees. Turns out my dad was talking to Micky Dolenz, the drummer of the band and one of the known heartthrobs of the group during the late 60s.
It doesn't end there. Micky inquired about my father's story, and my dad eventually mentioned I was living in New York and doing a Broadway show at the time as one of the dance captains.
Micky, with whom I happened to work and taught him the show when he came in as a replacement as one of the villainous roles, was shocked and referred to me by name.
They were both dumbfounded.
Cut to me inside a movie theater in NY on a Monday afternoon and getting a phone call. Seeing that it was from my dad, I picked up in case it was urgent.
Who I heard on the other end of Micky Dolenz, who dialed me up using my dad's phone. "So I'm golfing with your dad.." he said, and I can hear my dad laughing in the background.
That was a wonderful memory I'll never forget.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
All of us have had an interaction with someone that just kind of didn't sit well later. Maybe we couldn't quite put our finger on why, or maybe we absolutely knew right away - but without a doubt all of us know what it is to just feel creeped out.
So let's talk about it. One Reddit user asked:
And yeah we've got everything here from near-miss kidnappings to what might be aliens, maybe the CIA, we're not sure. There was at least one entry that made us go "oh uh-UH no thank you!" out loud. Like you can just politely decline being stalked.
Proceed with caution, fam. Things are about to get a little unnerving.
I brought up this question to my mom just now. She says when I was young and we lived in an apartment (just us) she woke up in the middle of the night while it was pouring rain because she heard a loud noise.
She went to the front door and looked through the peephole to see if she could see what made the noise. There was a person standing there, facing the door, hood over their head, repeating over and over again "just go to sleep...just go to sleep...just go to sleep."
I never really knew about this until recently. I asked her this morning what she did: She said she slowly backed away from the door because she didn't want them to hear her (they were basically up against the door facing it)- then in her words "remained vigilant" but she didn't call the police.
Our neighborhood had a fair number of homeless people. I think she would have called the cops if he tried anything else. Besides being creepy and terrifying my mom.
Borrow Your PhoneGiphy
I was walking in the parking lot of the mall with my ex-girlfriend and it was 7pm but it was already dark out. I forgot something in the car and we were only about 30 feet from the side entrance of the mall so I told her I'd meet her inside. As I'm walking back to the car, I hear two guys come up from out of nowhere and ask her if they can borrow her phone.
Something didn't feel right so I rushed back over to her and grabbed her hand so we could head into the mall. Sure enough about two weeks later, I saw those same two guys on a local news channel because they were arrested for attempted kidnapping of two young women.
In The Background
I've had the same creepy older man pop up in the background of 5 different pictures that were all taken at different places on different days over the course of a few years when I was a child. I didn't notice him until I started putting together a scrapbook for my mom about six years after the first pic.
I'm pretty sure he was stalking me, cause it's not like he'd just be walking by in the pic. No, he'd be standing in the background looking at the camera. I understand it happening once or twice could be a coincidence, but 5 times is way too many for it to have been chance.
The police were shown the film scans/double copies, because stalking a ten year old child is creepy and so illegal - but because so many years had passed & the quality of disposable cameras weren't the best you couldn't really make out who a person was when they were lurking in the background.
I've since caught him once or twice while out & about, so I know he's real. However, I never noticed the pictures until I was putting together that scrapbook for my mom and had the horrifying realization sink in as I was going through bins and bins of images.
Needless to say those 5 photos were burned after the police reviewed them.
The creepiest thing is to walk alone as a young girl. I remember a car with 2 grown men in it asking if I wanted a ride. I was 12. I told them I lived right across the street. I did not. They kept following me and I walked up some random person's driveway and hide on the side of their house making sure not to move because they had motion sensors. Idk why I didn't knock and as for help. I guess I was afraid of what would happen if they didn't answer. They stayed down the street for like 15 mins waiting for me to come back out.
Creepiest encounter, by far, in my long nursing career was my patient that whipped out a stack of Polaroid photos of women bound and gagged; some bruised and bleeding, all half naked.
He proudly told me about being in a motorcycle gang and all these women were "house stock",
I was a young nurse but knew not to give him the satisfaction of my disgust. I just gave him his meds and walked out of the room. His toothless cackle still makes me sick when I have the random nursing nightmare of all the sh!t I've seen.
A Black Thing
This was around 5 to 7 years ago.
My cousin's family from the city came for a sleepover at our house in the countryside. Me and my family live in a village that is "suburban-like" is surrounded by forests and wild vegetation.
We finished having dinner and I invited my younger cousin for a walk outside. This was only around 8pm. Near the end of our little stroll around the village, I looked up at the sky only to be greeted by thick clouds hanging weirdly low in the sky and blocking out the stars.
That's when I noticed something else strange.
Hovering lower than the already-too-low clouds was this black... thing. No, it wasn't a hole in the clouds revealing the night sky above it. It was very noticeably a T H I N G.
It was like the size of a fighter jet, but solid black. It wasn't moving at all just hovering. It only caught my attention when I looked up because I couldn't hear anything.
It didn't make a sound at all. Like zero.
The weirdest part was that it seemed to know that people on the ground could see it. so it made itself hard to see by constantly changing so you couldn't quite make out what it really was.
Sounds strange I know.
What I mean is that when you look at it head on it's like it's trying to change its shape subtly so your brain has a hard time understanding the nature of the object. But when you have the object in your periphery, it's as still as an image. It's like it doesn't want your eyes to focus on it.
I called the attention of my cousin to the blackest "object" I've ever seen and he can't understand it either. Like when you see something in the sky like a plane or a bird you understand it. Your brain recognizes it even if you just glanced at the thing. But this, stare at it for as long as you like, it doesn't want you to figure it out.
It was just... black.
A Very Oblivious Kid
I was nearly kidnapped in Mazatlan when I was 11. My dad walked up at the last second, grabbed me and screamed at the two women escorting me away. I had no idea what was happening, or that I was even in danger. I was a very oblivious kid. Very close call.
I shudder when I think about what may have happened to me.
I was seeing a girl for a bit. She was into supernatural stuff; believed her dead brother was watching over her etc. One night as we were falling asleep, she sat up a bit panicked and said she'd seen the figure of a man in the hallway. I said I didn't see anything.
3AM On A Dark PathGiphy
Snowing night about 2 years ago. Was going for a walk around 3 AM because I couldn't sleep.
I was walking on a narrow pathway in a pretty rural area, it was the middle of the night so it was absolutely pitch black; I could see absolutely nothing but kept walking straight.
I reached an area of the pathway where a small light in the distance lit up the path a little more so I could see my direction better. That's when I saw something obstructing my pathway.
There was some sort of object in the direction I was walking, a pretty tall object; looked like a sign or something? So I kept walking. As I got closer, I started making out more about this "object" and I realized it was actually the silhouette of someone standing there.
There was literally a person standing in my way at 3AM on a dark path.
I probably stood there, completely frozen for a few seconds. Trying hard to process what I was seeing, and what the fck to do. The figure I was seeing didn't move either.
Noooope I turned the hell around and walked straight the way I came, no hesitation.
The Kids Were Oblivious
Went shopping with my kids. My 8 and 9 yr old girls had a milkshake, so they waited outside a clothes shop for me so they didn't accidentally spill on anything.
A guy sitting across the way immediately started smiling at my daughter like a creep. He was staring at her with a horrible smile. She is very pretty and tall with long brown hair. Her sister is equally as pretty, but is shorter and had cut her hair very short so she looked like a boy from this guy's distance.
I told myself not to be paranoid but after going back and forth from the shop I brought them in with me. I walked in front of my girls I tried making eye contact with the creepy guy but he kept staring at my daughter.
By the time we left the store he was gone but I felt so paranoid decided just to go to a book store right by the bus stop. I let my kids go to the kids section and followed them down. I normally feel safe enough to leave them together and go upstairs to 2nd hand part of the store, but that day was different.
After a few minutes I start to feel very uncomfortable and tell kids it's time to go. Turn around and creepy guy is stood between two aisles with a kids book in his hands just staring at my daughter.
I grabbed kids and got a cab home instead of taking the bus. I don't know if he followed us or if it was just a coincidence, but was definitely a warning sign to always keep my eyes on my kids.
Thankfully kids were oblivious.
My dog found a guy trapped in the bushes at our house.
We check when he signals because sometimes it is important (like he flipped out when there was an escaped bull nearby) but usually it's one of the neighborhood cats or a groundhog.
This time NOPE. Random dude. Rather polite, but not particularly coherent.
A Bony Figure
Oh my gosh, one time while staying in rural Devon, I left the house in the middle of the night to let my dog out (no garden) and walked to my left where there was a patch of grass. Between me and the patch of grass were cars which I normally walked between to get to the grass. Pretty straightforward.
As I nonchalantly walked between two cars, my dog (a chill dude) was growling and seemed hesitant. I kind of just ignored him, which was dumb.
As I got between the cars, I realised there was this kinda bony figure there, crouching, between the cars tearing into something with their teeth. Reminded me of how a zombie in the walking dead eats something.
They were just crouching. In pitch darkness at like midnight, in the shadow of those two cars. I practically had to squeeze past him and he didn't even look up or acknowledge me. He was just completely engrossed in frantically eating (?) the bag.
I completely blanked out, I made it to the grass and was just panicking about how to get back to my door without passing this guy again. In the end I just legged it past him, practically hysterical with fear!
I always wonder what the FUCK that guy was, he definitely couldn't have been homeless because this is a small rural village there are no homeless people. I've never even come across a creepy person there it's all very safe, doesnt seem to be any drug problems I don't know.
It was almost inhuman in the way it moved and stuff. I have never in my life felt fear like I felt, my god. Was terrified to walk my dog at night ever since. Gives me shivers to even think about.
The Deer CarcassGiphy
This was about almost exactly year ago. I was jogging in the nature trails of a park near where I live. I was a senior in HS at the time and had been running in these trails for cross country for almost five years and nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened so I felt very comfortable alone in those woods. I find running to be an incredibly meditative sport so I try to find places away from people, and that day I had the wonderful idea to go to the park at night so I could run completely alone.
I got to the park around 2am and got the chills as I was locking my bike in the gravel parking lot. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I've never been particularly fond of the dark, even in the comfort of my own house. At that, I told myself I was just being stupid and that I'd calm down once I started my run.
Keep in mind two things before I go over what happened:
- There is a small stream that runs in a little valley sort of thing along the left side of the trail loop
- I have never seen deer or really any animal bigger than a squirrel in this park; It's not a very large park and it's surrounded by suburban neighborhoods.
So for this run I decided to do three loops of the trail, about 6 miles. I finished the first loop and confirmed that there was nobody around, so I decided to put my earbuds in. Bad idea.
The trail passes through the parking lot as you finish a loop, and as I finished my second loop, I noticed a pair of footsteps wearing vans had stepped through the line my bike made in the gravel (there's a light at the entrance which let me see this). It took me a couple seconds to realize that this meant I wasn't alone anymore.
About a third of the way through the last loop I noticed a dark shadow up ahead in the stream to the left. As I got closer I realized it was a grown man on his knees, hands behind his back, face buried in the gut of a fcking deer on the ground in front of him.
He looked up at me as I passed him, sprinting at this point. I was terrified. It was pretty dark but my eyes were adjusted enough to see that his face was dripping, with blood I assume. To say I was terrified out of my mind is an understatement. I sprinted as fast as I could, taking a shortcut through the center of the park so I could get to my bike faster.
If I didn't have my earbuds in I would've heard him chasing me before I looked back. I did not hear him.
I think that's the scariest thing I've ever seen, ever. Looking back over my shoulder to see a grown man chasing me through the woods in the middle of the night, fcking dripping with blood. Thank god I was in good shape and could outrun the guy.
I fumbled with my bike lock and it felt like it took forever to unlock it. I kept looking back at where the trail meets the lot, knowing that this guy would come bursting out any second.
I unlocked my bike, charged home as fast as possible, and called the police. They checked out the scene in the morning and found the deer and the imprints of his knees in the mud of the stream but the guy was gone.
I still have trouble falling asleep at night. I never went back to those trails either. It's really a shame, they were great trails. Really beautiful.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
We all meet thousands of people throughout our lives, and many of them will quickly fade into distant memory shortly after we do. Some, though, manage to affect us so profoundly from a single meeting that we remember them for the rest of our lives.
Whether it's a stranger who was there to help in a time of need, a kind word during a really hard time, or someone who just happened to say exactly the right thing at the right time—sometimes the memory just sticks.
Reddit user direwolf107 asked the folks at r/AskReddit about their profound encounters with strangers, and got some wonderful answers.
I was about 16 and getting the bus home from school. It was always super crowded and and you'd be really lucky to get a spot on before the driver closed the doors and drove off. You could wait 4 or 5 buses before one came along that you could get on.
Anyway, me and my friends had been really lucky that day and managed to squeeze on to the first one, just about. The lady behind us started begging to be let on, saying she had a job interview. The bus driver said he was sorry, but the legally couldn't because of how many people were on. He kept asking us to move down but there wasn't any room and people were starting to get mad and telling him to just go. The woman started sobbing. It was about 2010 so we'd all been hit really hard with the economic crash, and jobs were hard to come by.
Like, it broke my heart. It was the first time I'd really seen an adult publicly in such distress. So my friend and I just got off and she got on. We didn't even look at her or exchange any words. The bus was free for teenagers, all we lost was 30 minutes that we would have normally waited anyway. But my parents were fairly comfortable, I'd never had to face how bad things were before. It feel like a big moment for me.
I still think about her from time to time. I hope she's okay, I hope she got that job. I can't imagine how it must have felt to be that desperate.
I was on my way back from Disneyland Paris, sat in the airport and a guy beside me was typing away on his laptop. A little curious at what he was writing I peeked over and saw the title "the last letter I'll ever write". I was frozen for a few minutes, im 24 and I had absolutely no idea what to do. I thought maybe he was a writer and if I ask ill look stupid. Eventually though I turned round to him and said, "Look man, I really hope I'm making a fool of myself, but are you OK?".
Turns out he and his long term partner had broken up, and they were meant to be coming on this holiday, that he'd now come on with his dad. He blamed himself, and he'd been going to therapy for a while to get out of a a pretty dark place but some days were better than others, and writing the letters was an exercise from his therapist.
We chatted for a bit, about her, his dad, me, life in general. Turned out his brother lived nearby me and frequented a coffee shop right by where I used to live.
Eventually my plane got called, and we hugged and I told him I really hope things get better for him and that at the very least I'd had a lovely time talking to him. We left there and I still wonder what happened to him. I hope he's happy now, I hope that he's managed to find some good in the world again. But I guess I'll never know for sure.
When I was a kid, I flew by myself for the first time. At the airport, when I was about to check in, I spotted an elderly lady looking at me. Deeply. At first I thought I accidentally hit her or something, so I asked if she needed anything. She nodded. Didn't give it much importance so I just checked in and headed to my plane. Later, already on the plane, I see the very same lady, looking for her seat. Of course I helped her and asked her what number her seat was. She handed me her ticket. "B37". I'll never forget it because I was the C37. She sat right next to me. I was scared. I was a kid, and I wasn't used to coincidences. Anyway, long flight.
When we arrived and were waiting for the plane to land for us to head out, she finally says "You know, you really look like my daughter, I even thought you were her! But she passed away 5 years ago, silly me. Here, this is her with my grandkids". She handed me her phone with a zoomed in picture. I was paralyzed when I saw her.
She looked EXACTLY like me. But she was 28 and I was 10. I couldn't even talk. Now that I am older, every time I look in the mirror for my birthday, I remember that lady and the picture. I am a living photo of her daughter. Every year that goes by, is a year that I look more like that woman in the picture.
When I turn 28, I hope this memory will finally scare me less.
A stranger I interacted with at Wall-Mart about 4 years ago is still engraved in my brain.
I was with my mom shopping, and we found ourselves at the yogurt section. I love this stuff, so I was looking around at all the flavors pretty carefully. Well, after a little while a searching, a older man came up and started also searching through as well. He was maybe mid 40s or early 50s. I remember him being really tall, and he had a resemblance to my features. He had my build, same skin complexion, same hair color, you name it.
As we're searching through, he chuckles and says how he's gotta find the perfect flavor, and I agree with him. It's like our little mission to find the best kind - it was a lighthearted feeling just searching through the brands and flavors with him. He asks what my favorite flavor is, and turns out we had the same favorite. I thought that was pretty cool.
A little bit more looking through the section goes by, and he introduces himself as John.
My name is Jonathan.
He then found the ones he wanted, which were the same brand as the ones I was getting, and he put them into his cart, smiled at me, and rolled away.
I have not seen him since, but every time I remember the story I can't help but think that there's always a possibility I met my future self - even if it's just a silly idea.
When I was fresh out of college I drove over two hours away for a job interview and got into a car accident like a block away from the building. My car was completely totaled. A woman who was stopped at the stop sign near my accident pulled over and got out to make sure I was okay. I was completely fine physically but have very bad anxiety and immediately had a panic attack. I was sobbing and couldn’t catch my breath and this complete stranger sat with me the entire time telling me to breathe and just being so caring and supportive. She waited with me for the police to come, she helped me talk them through what happened, she called my mom for me, she even called the office I was on my way to so she could let them know about the accident and that I would call them to reschedule my interview. As if that wasn’t enough, once she found out that I was that far away from home and it was going to take my mom two hours to get to me, she CANCELLED HER MEETING THAT SHE WAS ALREADY LATE TO SO SHE COULD DRIVE ME HALFWAY.
She did not think it was a big deal whatsoever. She just stepped up to the plate to help without question. I would have been completely alone and lost without her that day. She was an angel, honestly. I lost her business card between all the paperwork from the accident and I've been kicking myself over it for the last five years. All I want is to call her and tell her how thankful I am and that I've kept her in my thoughts ever since. Roxanne if you're out there, thank you so so much. And please for the love of god send me your last name so I can send you some flowers.
I was having a rough day and I thought I'd get an ice cream to cheer myself up. I was standing in the line and this old lady looked at me and asked if I was okay. I said I was fine and just had a rough day. I got up to the front to get my ice cream and she tells the cashier, "I've got this young man, he's had a rough day". She smiles at me and says enjoy your ice cream. I still think of her whenever I have a rough day. I send her my good vibes.
An old man I overheard telling his grandkids that if their dad got accepted to the job he was interviewing for in town, they would move there and then they could visit each other all the time. I never even saw the guy interviewing for the job but I really hope he got it
A year after graduating from a tiny college on Idaho, I was at Disneyland with a high school buddy. I was totally convinced that I saw a college friend, Adam, in line at Pirates of the Caribbean. I kept waving at him, but he looked at me like I was out of my mind. My high school friend tried to talk me down, saying that "Adam" clearly had no idea who I was...it's not him...everyone has a twin...yada, yada, yada.
The line finally snakes around to where I am standing right next to "Adam" so I tap him on the shoulder and ask "hey, aren't you Adam M?" And he says "no, I'm his twin brother Aaron"
34 years later and I still tell that story at parties. I only met Aaron once, in 1986, in line at Pirates, but I do wish him...and Adam...a very happy birthday on Facebook.
I met my husband's doppelganger once. The man looked EXACTLY like my husband. I was eith someone at the hospital waiting for their medical transport to pick us up and I saw who I thought was my husband across the street. My husband was supposed to be at work so I was confused. I called out to him but he didnt respond. My patient and I walked over to him but I stopped short a few feet away because I started to realize maybe it wasnt actually him. His clothes were different and this man was assisting someone in care giving type role -my husband absolutely would not do that.
The guy noticed me staring at him and so I explained why and even showed him a picture of my husband. He swore that was a picture of him and this was all some practical joke. I had to show him pictures of my husband and I together for him to realize the pictures were not of him. This man could have been his identical twin. I often think of that encounter and how insane it was. I also think of the astronomical chances that not only did my husband have a doppelganger but that we lived in the same city for a while and I happened to cross paths with him.
Once I was walking to work past a homeless shelter pickup spot. It was a sunny day, middle of summer. A small lady was standing on the sidewalk wearing rain boots, a yellow raincoat, and wrapped completely in a blue vinyl tarp. As I walked by her, she leaned into me, looked me in the eye and said, "...fish monster...?"
I still think about her. Did she think I was a fish monster? Was she concerned that I had seen a fish monster? Perhaps she felt I was unprepared, and her questioning tone was more about if I'd heard about the potential of fish monsters.
Such a surreally complex interaction in just two words. One thing I know for certain is that whatever the fish monster status was, she was clearly the best prepared of everyone present.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
If you're from a big city where celebrity sightings are commonplace, or you somehow work in the entertainment industry, you're probably a lot more comfortable with the idea that celebrities are just regular people with a really unique job.
It can be hard to see through the characters they become in the media, but every now and then a person gets a peek behind the curtain. Chance encounters can often reveal who the celebrity is as a human being - and it's shockingly not always a total dumpster fire.
You'd think fame would start to get to you after a while, and maybe in some cases it does, but apparently a lot of celebs genuinely don't suck as people. Reddit asked people to talk about the nicest celebrity they've ever met, and these stories are honestly all kinds of adorable.
And right now we could all use a little bit of that. So let's let the celebs save the day and make us smile just by being their genuine selves. How incredibly meta.
L.L. Cool J Is In The Bookstooooooore!
I worked at a Barnes & Noble in high school. LL Cool J lived right next to it and would come in almost daily. He knew most of our names, really nice guy.
He visited my best friend's nephew on the burn unit when nephew was 8. Nephew nearly died, had 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 80% of his body. LL Cool J visited and kept in touch for a while after.
Not my style of music, at all, but I will always be a fan of the person he is.
Down To Earth DaveGiphy
Dave Chappelle and his family live a few miles from where I went to college, and he and I frequented the same Starbucks. I ran into him about ten times. One day he sat with me for about 45 minutes and talked about screenwriting. It was amazing. He's as down to earth as his stage persona suggests, and it's no wonder he opted to raise his family away from L.A.
Mine is Dave Chappelle too. I was in a college group that brought in speakers and performers so we brought him in. After his act we thought he left, so we started eating all the trays of food in his waiting room. He poked his head in and joked that we were hotboxing the room. Then he came and sat with us for an hour! He sat next to me, and when I told him it was my friends birthday and this friend was a big fan, he took my phone and called this friend and talked to him. It was amazing. This was 2005, I think right before he took a big break from everything.
Danny Devito. I ended up at a hotel bar in Philly with this girl I was hanging out with and her friend. Turns out the cast of Always Sunny was filming the 10th(ish?) season and staying at the hotel and hanging out downstairs. So girl's friend flags down Danny as he's walking by and he ends up sitting with us for a solid 2 hours. Buys us a couple rounds. And tries to invite the girl up to his hotel room; which was a weird turn but he also introduced us to Charlie Day so I'm calling it a win.
Not At All Like House
Having met Hugh Laurie in person, I can confidently state that he is one of the nicest and most humble celebrities out there. Not only is he completely happy to interact with his fans, but he also does so in a way that makes each and every one of them feel like they're a friend. He remembers names and personal details with amazing accuracy, and he makes each conversation seem like it's an extension of a treasured (and ongoing) dialogue. Add to that the fact that the man is outwardly hilarious, and you've got a recipe for a genuinely great guy.
A Wink And A Head Nod
Peter Dinklage is a lot of fun! Really cool guy. His laugh is incredibly infectious.
He and I had a funny encounter. We were both at a coffee shop in the Bowery at like 6:30 AM. We were the only ones there. He'd ordered a fancy drink of some sort so had to stand there and wait. I ordered a filter but it was a long process pour over type thing.
So he and I were stood there next to each other for 3-4 minutes. It was awkward because I don't really talk to celebrities / public figures. But at the same time it was weird because it was just the two of us and it was obvious I knew who he was.
In the end I gave him the chin nod. He winked and gave me the chin nod. That cleared the air and we were able to get on with our day.
My aunt met Steven Tyler and said he was super chill. Except she had no idea who he was, and he was just some guy who bought a lot of the musical instruments she was selling at a charity event. She posted a video of the two of them singing together on Facebook, and made a comment about how she was happy that this nice musician was making enough money to live off of. I had her go look up Aerosmith videos and she was shocked it was the same guy.
My stepdaughter was maybe 7 years old. She and I were sitting in a coffee shop and she was complaining about her mom making her take piano lessons. A man behind her goes "my mom made me take music lessons too. And I've made a pretty good living ever since." And it was STEVEN TYLER! Aerosmith was in town for a show and our coffee shop was near their hotel. He sat down and chatted with her for about 10 minutes. I was blown away. The 7yo? Not so impressed by the random old guy talking to her about piano lessons. It was very kind of him to give her the pep talk though.
I saw him sitting in a cafe with his son. Extremely nice, I waited until they got up to leave before I went and asked if I could get an autograph for my mom (who's a huge fan). He asked me a few questions about her and wrote a quite nice autograph for her. He asked if I wanted one as well and I told him that meeting him was more than enough.
I had told him where she worked and he went in the next day and made a point to stop and chat with her. Truly a class act.
She came to my synagogue one day and gave a speech and then came around to our classrooms to talk with us a little. She was extremely sweet and incredibly beautiful. Seemed very patient and caring.
Gene Wilder, but there's a story behind this...
I worked at a pharmacy in the '80s and was asked to deliver medicine to Gilda Radner (Gene's wife) during her cancer battle. After a long delay to make the delivery due to issues related to the getting in touch with her doctor, I was finally given the prescription and drove up to their house to make the delivery. During my drive, I was excited at meeting one of the brightest comedy stars of the time...
When I arrived, I rang the doorbell and Gilda answered. I knew she was sick, but even I was surprised at her gaunt appearance - she did not look well at all. Immediately, I realized she was very angry because of the long delay in getting the medicine to her. Unfortunately, she let loose all that anger at me. I apologized many times (even though I had nothing to do with the delays).
After she finished and I gave her the prescription, she closed the door on me. I was not upset at her, though - indeed, I was very sad - that this brilliant comedienne was sick and was going through such an absolutely awful ordeal... This was an awful situation and not at all as I had hoped my encounter would go.
As I turned around to walk away from the door, I went several steps before I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around and it was Gene, letting me know that his wife was very sick and he apologized many times for her behavior. He then gave me a nice tip for the delivery service and shared his gratitude for the weekend delivery and work by my pharmacy.
I'll never forget the encounter and appreciate that I got to meet both of them, even for a brief time, under difficult circumstances...
My girlfriend works at a high end grocer in los angeles and among the many celebrities she encounters daily, Rob Schneider is not only the most genuinely nice guy, but has become a bit of a friend now. He picked us up in a van for her 30th bday and drove us to his comedy show, paid for our table, dinner, everything.. truly such a nice fcking guy
At Comic Con. I spent about 10 to 15 minutes talking to which is way longer than you're supposed to. She went out of her way to be nice. She did this with every fan (making the line take a really long time but worth the wait, her people actually had to hurry HER on while she was talking to fans.) She also ordered pizza for everyone standing in line that had to wait and she was also giving out her phone number to some fans. Emma also specially signed my photo, leaving a personal note. She's great.
Trust me, not everyone does things like this at cons.
James Avery (Phillip Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). I was walking with my three little kids and lots of baggage in the Philadelphia airport car rental parking lot and he offered to help me with my kids and bags to get to the shuttle bus. He was genuinely really nice.
And Obviously, Mr. RogersGiphy
Mr. Rogers. Absolutely as kind and gentle and lovely as he seemed on TV.
I was lucky enough to spend 6 hours sitting next to the man on an airplane. I was 7. Highlight of my life.
We ate lunch. I spilled on him. I thought I had ruined everything, but he just smiled and gave me his dessert.
A friend of mine used to work on his show. Apparently he was exactly the person his TV image conveyed.
I went to high school right next to the building (WQED in Pittsburgh), where they taped his show and we'd see him frequently coming and going. Now, for teenage guys, Mister Rogers obviously wasn't "cool" but since we all grew up watching him, so he was okay. This was around 1981 or '82.
And then one morning, we were hanging out at the Senior Smoking Area, a side door entrance to the school that faced the WQED building, talking with a kid named Randy. He was a bit of a stoner; not a great student, denim jacket with 'Led Zeppelin' written in black marker on the back, greasy hair, the whole deal. He was a funny guy and we hung out with him, but he definitely seemed destined for a difficult life, probably pretty lost, no plans for college, etc.
So as we stand there, we all see Mister Rogers walking up the path toward WQED, and we're all like "Hey, check it out, it's Mister Rogers," and suddenly he looks over at us, and his arm shoots up and he waves and says, "Good morning, Randall!", with a big smile, very energetic and sincere.
And Randy says "S'up Mister Rogers," and pulls another drag on his cigarette and just grins. We were speechless and were like "Dude, you know Mister Rogers??" and Randy said, "Yeh I mean, I see him like almost every day".
I'll never forget that morning because, as stunned as we all were as teenagers, I think back on it now (at well over 50!) and it reminds me just how nice and accepting Mister Rogers was of everyone. Here was this misfit of a kid, smoking and hanging out, looking a mess, and Mister Rogers cared enough to obviously find out his name and remember it and make an effort to at least say "hello" to him everyday. Incredible.