Need a Lyft?
Stepping into strangers cars. 1997: "Never get into a car with a person you don't know, they could be a rapist or a murderer!" 2017:"Let's find a random person on the internet and have him pick us up at 3 am and then give him my address! Maybe he'll give us candy too!"
Know Your Worth
Expecting people to work for free. As a journalist it's staggering the number of publications that are trying to get people to write for free (its exposure!). And surprisingly there are people who agree to this, thus taking a job away from someone who needs the money to live.
I would say being gay, 20 years ago when I was in high school there was nobody coming out. (I)t's easier to come out today than 20 years ago.
Meeting people from the internet. Now it's like: order an Uber and jump in a stranger's car to go on a date with a stranger you met on Tinder and when it goes well take them back to your place and order late night burritos online to be delivered to your door by another stranger.
Stay at home dads. Admittedly I live in a pretty liberal, urban area, but most people I know have done a total 180 on stay at home parents. Stay at home dads used to be considered lazy layabouts who didn't want to or couldn't manage to support their families. Now, though, if you're a stay at home dad you're usually congratulated for being progressive and feminist, for being a good, present dad, and for supporting your career-focused wife. And I think that's great: we should all be in favor of stay-at-home dads, because dads should get the chance to be present, participatory parents too. Families should be flexible.
However, I've noticed that a parallel change has occurred: stay-at-home moms are honestly kind of denigrated and looked-down-upon nowadays. While in the past stay at home moms were seen as wholesome, nurturing, and honorable, now they're often seen the way stay-at-home-dads were viewed, with an added touch of unhelpful "lean in" career-focused feminism; they're seen as lazy, not wanting to work, not "leaning in" to their careers enough, not "real" feminists, not independent women, and having "given up" on themselves. It bugs me a lot. Why can't we just be chill with all parents, so long as they're kind and good, whether they stay at home or work or whatever?
Tattoos, probably. I wouldn't say they're encouraged per se, but they definitely seem to be way more common and accepted these days.
Terms & Conditions
Agreeing to stuff before reading the agreement.
Entering your credit card info on a website.
Non-pop musicians selling out. Back then it was okay if Madonna did a commercial for a major brand because, hey, she was Madonna. She's pop. That's what they do. But if a band like Green Day allowed a song of theirs to used for, example, in a Coke commercial, there would be a loud roar of, "Sell out!" These days, fans would be overjoyed to hear one of their songs pitching their favorite brands. The "sell out" cry as an insult is dead. Now people are, "Get that money anyway you can!"
Being someone's fiancée for ever and ever and ever without ever marrying.
Online dating and being open on the internet. Both in a good "the world is better for this" way but also in a "we have everything there is to know about you on a server".
Personally people these days have so much debt, when I was a kid I was encouraged to not let myself get into debt but nowadays seems like everyone is up to their ears in it.
it's basically accepted as part of adult life that you have to put yourself massively in debt to get anywhere. Especially since the easiest way to build credit when you have none is to get a credit card.
Wearing leggings. 20 years ago, in 1997, leggings had gone out of style recently enough ago that they weren't plausibly retro, and long enough ago that wearing them was seen as frumpy and trailer-trash, even for exercise or under a dress. (It's possible some serious competitive athletes had fitted pants that were specialty wear for their sport, but regular people going to the gym or going for a run wouldn't even consider it.)
Starting at 1998, I'd say people can more openly speak about mental illness. Depression, anxiety, etc. aren't "as" dark of a secret anymore.
Speaking out on sexual harassment seems to be more and more encouraged.
Baby Got Back
Having a big arse. 20 years ago I remember everyone wanting to look like Winona Ryder or Kate Moss, and lots of jokes were based around the whole "Does my butt look big in this?" thing. Now Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian are in all the magazines, and women are incorporating squats into their exercise routines deliberately to get bigger butts. I realize that social ideas about beauty vary culturally and historically, but it has been interesting to see it change in my lifetime.
Allowing a corporation to have a microphone always on in your living room. Where I'm from, 30 years ago government put microphones in the living rooms. They would have killed for opportunity to put microphones in every single living room. Or pocket. Instead they had to rely on old fashioned treats to neighbors to make them observe you and write reports every week.
Fathers taking paternity leave, thankfully. Raising kids should not be exclusively a women's issue. Dads want to spend time with their kids as well.
Likewise, kids should be given the opportunity to grow up spending time with both parents.
Putting your whole personal life online for the world to see. I deleted Facebook years ago, but there's still a sloshed party video with my full name in the title that comes up whenever you search for me.
Putting your real identity online was a big "Heck no". I don't get how some people are okay with showing their faces on YouTube in front of potentially millions of viewers, along with their full names and where they live. They may not know your address, but if they know what state and city you live in, that could cause some problems.
Internet Safety 1997: Use your real name and a psycho will find you.
Internet Safety 2017: If you don't use your real name YOU are a psycho.
Being available 24/7, be it for friends or calls from work.
That's one of my pet peeves. If someone texts or calls you and you don't answer right away, a lot of the time they seem to want an explanation. You're always "on call" for everybody.
Touch and Motion
Touching the computer screen. When I was a kid, we used to laugh when my mom would try to play Mario and she would lift the controller to try to make him jump. Now when I visit my nephew, he laughs his ass off because I don't raise the controller to try to make Mario jump. Technology is funny that way.
Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.
There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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If you live on this earth and you're fortunate enough to form long-lasting relationships with different people, chances are you'll know the pain of heartbreak. It's an unavoidable fact of life.
We are not guaranteed to stay with one person forever, as we were reminded once Redditor disturbance of mirrors asked the online community,
"People whose long-term relationship faded, what was the final straw that made you realize it was time to call it a day?"
"The last time..."
"When she 'broke up' with me for the 12th time.
We had a long-distance relationship and whenever we had an issue or a disagreement, instead of engaging in a conversation with me about it, she would say we were done and shut me out for two or three days before coming back and manipulating me into groveling for her forgiveness. The last time, I just said no to going back and stuck to it. She freaked out and tried to drive 6 hours to my place at 2:00 a.m... I got a call from her mom saying she had left in the middle of the night as a head's up and, upon finally getting ahold of her when she was just a couple of hours away, I was able to convince her to turn back.
That relationship f***** me up for a while but, once I began dating my now fiancee, it was unbelievable to me how wonderful a real, loving relationship with healthy communication can be."
"Her brother was living with us..."
"Mine was not a slow burn like most seem to be, but a very definitive moment.
Her brother was living with us and this was right when WiFi was becoming available to the general public. We couldn't afford it cuz we were broke kids, so her brother would take my GF's MacBook (it was a gift) and sit on a nearby bus bench and leech off someone's unsecured WiFi.
Well, one day we get a call from her sister and she says we need to get home immediately. Turns out some guys came up and asked him for change for a $20 and when he told them he didn't have it they tried to snatch the Mac and jump in their car.
He knew it wasn't his so he held onto it and tried to get it back but they were too much. He had gotten dragged by the car, kicked in the head, and then had his leg run over. He was in pretty bad shape.
As we turn the corner (didn't know what had happened yet) GF sees cop cars and an ambulance and says "This better not have anything to do with my Mac. We walk in and he's visibly in bad shape and she is just immediately "Did you lose my Mac?" I'll never forget his face. He was so ashamed and felt terrible and just started crying. She however started screaming my computer! My computer! And hitting him. To the point where the cops considered arresting her. It was an instant eye-opener."
"I'd sit in my car..."
"I'd sit in my car after work playing on my phone for like an hour because I just needed a break before going inside and dealing with him."
That would do it.
"I would find any excuse..."
"I would find any excuse to work late or sometimes go sit at a bar by myself just to avoid the misery at home. We divorced."
"He was a workaholic..."
"He was a workaholic to the point that I saw him about 6 days per month."
"Somewhere between giving up on small talk and not looking forward to the weekends anymore."
That's no way to live.
"It really forced us..."
"Honestly it was the pandemic. It really forced us to actually spend time together and I realized we kind of just didn't do much together at all. I had spent years thinking it was cool that we kept our own friends and space but once those distractions were taken away it was just really clear to me that we were more roommates than a couple."
"When I realized..."
"When I realized I was needed and not wanted. Constantly trying to make someone happy who didn't want to be happy."
This one hurts. I've been there myself. (And I have also been that person––I thankfully got help.)
"We lived together..."
"We lived together but lived completely separate lives. Basically a housemate I shared a bed with. Happened twice to me so far."
"I would have moved mountains for him..."
"I knew it was over when I cared more about his wellbeing than he cared about his own wellbeing. I would have moved mountains for him if it made his life easier and he just continuously put himself in shi!ty situations. I eventually just gave up. I can't be with someone who doesn't care about themselves. Thank God that's over."
If you think you might be stuck in a pointless or unhealthy relationship, it's worth evaluating your options. And it's never worth sticking around and risking your emotional and mental health.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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There is always that "one." There is always going to be that person.
That person who you will always remember. And when they are the one who you regret losing most... they are the ghost that will haunt you forever.
I have a few escapees. I'll never know how it would've turned out. But that is part of why I'm haunted. I need to discuss....
Redditor u/AssistantNo1733 wanted to discuss all the times we've lost in love by asking:
Who's the one who got away?
Do we even have a clue that they're the "one" that got away? How long until it sinks in? And how do we not know there isn't another "one" coming behind them? I have no answers. Just asking...
The DraftEpisode 1 Omg GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"The girl who summoned up the nerve to ask me out towards the beginning of high school. I was so humiliated by the life my family was living that I stalled until she gave up."
"Betsy, if by some stroke of dumb luck you're reading this... I'm so sorry. It was 25-27 years ago, but I still hate myself for that. You were beautiful, intelligent, a good person, and if I had anything resembling a stable, presentable home I would've said yes in a heartbeat... I had a crush on you since 7th-grade 'intro to drafting.'
I Love Her
"Weird, I was just confiding in my mom about this last night. I'm late but for catharsis's sake I'm going to post. My first girlfriend is a classic case of you don't know what you have until it's gone. She's the complete package. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and so kind. We started dating when I was 17 and broke up when I was 21."
"For reference I'm 30 now. I was an idiot. I wanted to play the field. I wanted to party and hook up with college girls. It was fun at first but after a while I felt this gnawing hole in my heart. The feeling of doubt crept up slowly and still, a decade later my chest feels tight thinking about it."
"I didn't realize until my later serious relationships that getting along with your SO's family is so important. Her mom and step dad genuinely treated me like a part of their family. It's not a stretch to say I literally grew up with these people. I spent some of my most formative years with them. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, you name it. They celebrated me and my accomplishments. They genuinely cared about me. Just amazing, salt of the earth, lovely people."
"Her birthday was in March and I sent her a text and we ended up talking for a bit. She's happily married and stable with a daughter and a second on the way. I'm genuinely so happy for her. She deserves happiness. I just wish I was a part of that. Sitting at work 10 years later I'm tearing up. I numbed myself out to it for years, it's so strange to me that I've been so stuck on her lately. Is this normal?"
15 Years Later
"My very first real love. I was a teenager and I didn't really know how to be comfortable in myself or with myself. I played silly teen girl games and lost him even as a friend. Now 15 years later I still think about R from time to time. I genuinely hope he's happy in his life."
"Edit: Wow this blew up while I was sleeping. Thanks for all the sweet words and to everyone with their "one" congratulations! I suppose I hadn't looked him up on social media because I'm scared, scared he won't respond, scared he will respond, scared he'll think I'm a stalker. I'm in a happy relationship now, but what if... Etc etc etc. But I'll give it a Google."
Missed You Muchrhythm nation dance GIF by Janet JacksonGiphy
A girl I dated in high school. Went on a date one time she took me out parking and I was too stupid to realize it.
"She always talked about moving away as soon as she got finished with high school. I always thought I would stay in a little town the rest of my life. Turns out I was the one who left and move to another state. Later I heard that she had told someone that I knew that she thought that we would be married at some point. Missed it by that much."
Ok... I've been a bit blind to the light. People can be cruel, but also highly creative. Why not just lead with the truth? It'll always hurt more after lies.
Chuck E.Chuck E Cheese Wink GIFGiphy
"Ah the rare AskReddit question I can answer."
"I met a wonderful woman circa 2013-2015. We worked at what I can best describe as an upscaled Chuck E Cheese. Or ghetto Six Flags. Your choice."
"We hit it off instantly, though at the time I was rather romantically inept. Eventually, she says she's leaving to join the Air Force. I tell her I'll miss her, and wished her well. The thought of asking for her number so we could stay in contact didn't even cross my mind."
"Cue the next day, I stop for lunch on my way to work, and as I'm walking to my car I hear my name being called. I turn around, and it's her, running toward me. Universe giving me a second chance, right? Wrong. My dumb butt still didn't ask for her number. She looked a little upset, and I still think about her often. Desiree, I hope you're doing well."
"He was my first and last love. I was 16 and he was 18 when we met. We bounced around like idiots, on again off again, finally got together mid 20s. We both fell into bad habits - drugs and alcohol, more booze for me, more drugs for him. We had some bad things happen that were pretty detrimental to staying sober. We would split, reconcile, get sober, fall off the wagon, split, etc... repeat as necessary. We realized we were very bad for each other unless we could BOTH just get sober for ourselves, and split."
"Ten years later, I was sober for 7 years (still am, going on 18 years end of this month, actually! Woo, go me!) and he was beginning to come back, sober about a year. He contacted me, we met, talked about trying again. He said that once he had been totally clean for a year, we'd do it. That whole "Don't make any changes for a year" thing. I would visit him, tho, things were good."
"He woke up one morning feeling bad, thought he had the flu. (This was pre-now) I stayed around because he was sick, but neither of us thought he was drastically bad, just the flu, right? He got worse and worse, finally we called an ambulance because he got up from a nap and couldn't breathe. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Aortic dissection."
"He got away, but someday I'll see him again. I never stopped loving him, and him me. We just weren't good for each other."
Ce la vie...
"My most serious Ex."
"Don't think I truly understood love until I met her. Loved her more than I ever thought I could love anything. It eventually ended when she told me that, through no fault of my own, she had fallen out of love with me. That was 2 years ago, still hurts to think/talk about."
"Ce la vie..."
"I'm in the middle of trying to avoid that right now actually."
"It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost a lot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time."
Sweet...Kim Tate Eye Roll GIF by EmmerdaleGiphy
Damn man why bring this up.
"My ex and I broke up over 3 years ago. Mutual breakup through a lack of communication on both ends I feel."
"Thought I was over that hill until this week she messaged just to say hey and ask an innocent question. We text for the best part of the day and it's brought up a lot of old feeling. Feeling pretty bitter sweet right now."
Love is a mess. Why even bother trying if you can't be true? It's not hard to just spell out the situation. And if you're the one needing to put together the words... look closer. The dialogue shouldn't be difficult.
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What are the odds you'd click on this link today?
What was the biggest coincidence that made you question the fabric of reality?
There's small coincidences, occurrences so minute that you wouldn't even notice them if you weren't paying attention. However, once someone makes a big deal out of them then there's no other choice but to acknowledge that what just happened was spectacular.
Each Having A Buddy Coming To Town
"My friend and I were on a road trip a few years ago and needed a place to stay. We both told each other we had a friend in the city we were going through, so we figured we'd be able to crash with one of them. Turns out our two friends were roommates and had both been telling each other that they had a friend coming to town soon."
What's That Got To Be? A 1 in 1000 Chance?
"Several years ago I was at a coffee shop with some friends and one of them had an ipad, another friend went to unlock it and asked him what his 4 digit unlock code was, so I just blurted out 4 random digits pretending like I knew it, and it actually worked. I had never unlocked it before or knew of the same numbers being used for anything else, or his phone number, etc."
Both Probably Assumed What The Best Time Was
"I passed out after receiving a flu shot when I was 28. The nurse who helped me up kept asking if I wanted my mom. It seemed like a really weird thing to offer an adult woman - the option to have her mother phoned and brought in - so I was really confused and getting progressively more annoyed at her repeatedly asking...
...until my mom walked up to me. She had the appointment after mine to get vaccinated. The nurses assumed we had come together, but neither of us knew about the other's appointment, and we lived an hour away from each other in different cities."
Living in such a big world can lead you to the conclusion that math is silly and odds are never in your favor. With over seven billion people roaming around, chances of meeting someone of significance?
Less than you think.
A Simultaneous Love Of Traveling
"This guy I went to grade school and high school with, an acquaintance at best. I've seen him in 5 different locations in different countries throughout the last 15 years.
Disney World when I was a kid.
Some beach bar in Thailand.
The Bean in Chicago.
A pub in Budapest.
A library in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We've become friends due our love of traveling, but neither of us post on social media and neither of us communicated with each other our plans to travel. We never talked outside of the random meetings. Now if I see him, its like the world wants us to have a beer together. haha"
"I Mean, The Crash, Yeah, But How Have You Been?"
"My dad lives in a national park here in Australia. It's farmland that's grandfathered in. It's the remnants of a volcano that blew itself up very violently, so it's very hilly terrain.
One day we were sitting out on the deck, when we see a hang-glider come down halfway down the valley, and it didn't look like a nice landing. "Sh-t, we better see if he's alright, they don't land anywhere near here"
So we get in the car, drive for about 10 minutes to reach the spot. We head over to the guy who is standing by a very damaged glider. The pilot is staring at us incredulously, he stammers "F-ck, Jack, is that you?".
My dad, who hasn't seen his childhood friend for 35 years shouts "F-ck, Tim, is that you?".
They both grew up in Greymouth, NZ. Found each other randomly after a glider crash in NSW, Australia."
Takes A Wedding To Bring People Together
"My wife and I were looking to hire a caterer for our wedding and when we met, my wife and her started talking about their lives a bit.
Turns out they had both literally grown up on the same street, in a city of 10 million people, on the other side of the world. Both had left the city around a decade before immigrating to our current country.
They knew the same people, had hung out at the same coffee place, attended the same church. They even used to grab mangoes off the same large tree that hung over the wall of one of the large houses in the neighbourhood.
But they had never met one another until meeting on almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in a small town of about 50,000 people."kor_hookmaster
What we can gain from these experiences is a coincidence will occur more than you think, you just have to have the eyes sharp enough to spot them.
But how would you explain these?
Position Is Key
"I dialed my mum on my mobile when I was on public transport and accidentally swapped two numbers around.
The person I called was on the same carriage."
"Go on, tell us what happened then!"
"So I was listening to my phone and at the exact moment it started the ringing sound I heard a phone start ringing and I thought it was a coincidence but then the phone answered and it wasn't mum.
All I said was "Oh, are you on the Upfield train?" and they said "Yes, who's this?" but I got shy and I hung up.
Poor guy must have been so confused."
Universal Echoes Bringing You Closer Together
"One time, me and my dad were discussing his friend while out driving at night without many other cars on the road. As we were talking, we pulled up to a red light, and the car waiting in front was my dad's friend. He didn't even live close to there."
Extremely Unlucky Odds. Go Buy A Lottery Ticket.
"A couple of years ago I was visiting my hometown and decided to sit on a bench at my favorite park. As I was sitting, I felt something land on my head. Bird poop. After heading home and washing my hair, I went back into town. While I walked around, I watched as a guy got hit with a drop of sky sh-t. As I was laughing about the apparent irritable bowel syndrome of the birds in my town, a bird flying right over me drops a fat sh-t on my head."
There's no magic at play. All of these happenstances can be explained away with simple math and rudimentary probability.
Still, it's fun to live when you're in the moment.