So Much For Unity And Working Together…

, , , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2020

(I walk into the thrift store where two older ladies are working and there’s an old man who just hangs out all day. They are talking very loudly about a very mild kerfuffle that got blown way out of proportion that happened at a local high school involving pro-[American Politician] posters. They have apparently not noticed or cared that anyone has walked in.)

Lady #1: “–and so this little [expletive] kept tearing down the posters, and the school won’t do a thing! It’s disrespectful.”

Lady #2: “They’re always like that, and the teachers are always protecting those types. Why, my granddaughter got in trouble for telling one of those Hispanic boys to stop insulting the teacher. And walking around with Brown Pride shirts!”

(I am starting to get uncomfortable, as well as mentally calling bull on her claim given the area’s demographic makeup. Then, they go back to complaining about the poster incident when the old man pipes up.)

Man: “You know, that boy should be hung by the neck for showing such disrespect!” 

(The ladies made noises of agreement — and I immediately left and haven’t been back since.)

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The Only Disgrace Here Is People Who Assume

, , , , | Friendly | March 20, 2020

(I’ve recently graduated college. My sister is in elementary school. When I go out with my parents and sister, I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who assume I’m a teen mom. I’m out to dinner with them when my sister announces she has to use the bathroom. I offer to take her and walk her back. The table next to ours has an older couple, maybe in their sixties. I hear whispering as I walk by. I ignore it until I hear…)

Woman: *loudly* “Disgraceful!”

(Startled, I turn around. Lo and behold, she is staring at me and scowling. I roll my eyes and head back to the table. My sister digs into her food. Meanwhile, I’m very angry. My mother looks at me and raises an eyebrow.)

Mom: “What’s up?”

Me: *loudly* “Oh, some people just have nothing better to do than make ignorant comments to strangers regarding situations they know nothing about!”

(I hear a gasp from the other table. I look over and the man is shaking his head while the woman’s face is bright red.)

Mom: *sighs* “Did someone assume that [Sister] was your daughter again?”

Me: “Yep.”

(The older couple left very quickly after that, and I am 90% sure I heard the man tell the woman, “I told you so,” on his way out! Come on, people. Don’t make assumptions. And if someone is a teen mom, that does NOT make them a bad person!)

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There’s No Age Limit On An Adrenaline Rush

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 19, 2020

When I was fourteen, my Ma, Sis, and stepdad Jim — nicknamed Jimbo Bimbo Spam by my sis and I — and he had a cool little powerboat. 

One evening my ma, sis, and I were at the lake with the boat. There was a park near the spot where you back your boat into the water. While I waited for my turn, I happened to talk to a lovely couple. 

I’ve always remembered these things about them: they were in their mid-seventies, had been together for fifty years, and they had never officially married. 

After a bit of talking, my ma and sis popped up and joined in the conversation. My ma offered a ride and they gave each other a look, talking in their own little way without words but looks. They took the offer. My ma took the woman out for a bit and when they came back I got my turn with the gentleman and we took off.

We were going for a bit and this fellow was enjoying it with a smile and the wind whipping through his hair. This boat was good with catching the waves from other boats if you could whip the boat itself just right. I went in with a bit too much juice and caught a wave, the boat tilting a good bit.

I looked over in time to see this man in his seventies fall into the water. Now, I almost panic, hoping this man can swim and expecting a good earful if he can. I got the boat turned back around and saw his head pop up. When I came up to him, I reached out and helped him up. He got onto his seat and, after wiping at his face, he waved his hands and said with excitement in his voice, “That was crazy, mannnnnn!” and I swear I saw the youth in his face.

We started laughing for a good few minutes. We rode only for a little bit longer with him being soaked. I pulled up and we got off the boat, and before he left, the man gave me a good hug for a few seconds, along with back pats and a thanks for a good time. My ma and sis got on for a turn and I watched them ride off.

At one point, I saw the cutest thing: the man with his arm over the woman’s shoulder and her arm around his waist. She pulled him tight against herself, even with him soaked. It was a moment of genuine love.

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Share A Taxi, Share Some Kindness

, , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2020

When I was fifteen, I went on a trip to my cousin, who lived in Vienna, Austria. I’m from The Netherlands, so I had to take four different trains to get there, and for two of them I had to make a reservation. I was at the station on time, but the first train had a delay of half an hour, which meant that I would miss the next train that would take me through Germany and for which I had made a reservation. I started panicking on the first train and called my parents on my old Nokia, but of course, they couldn’t do anything, either.

When I got to the station, I was almost in tears. Wi-Fi wasn’t a thing and I didn’t know what to do or who to call. But then, a man came up to me, and asked me where I was heading and if I wanted to share a taxi. It’s not usual in The Netherlands to take a taxi, as the public transport is very good, plus it’s way too expensive for a fifteen-year-old, so I didn’t think of it myself. I heard my mom’s voice in my head, saying that I shouldn’t go to a different country in a strange car with a man I didn’t know, but I really didn’t have a choice.

So, we went to the taxis and found a guy who would take us to the town the train was supposed to go. He charged 90 euros, and the man and I agreed that he would pay 70, and I would pay 20, as I didn’t have that much money.

During the ride, the man turned out to be really nice. He was from Brazil, living in Germany, so we spoke to each other in a mix of German and English. Even though I didn’t always understand what he was saying, he still managed to calm me down.

When we got to the station, even though he had to travel a bit further to get to his home, he got out of the car to help me get my bags. I took my wallet to get him the 20 euros I owed him, but he pushed my hand away and said, “No, no, it’s okay. I’ll pay it. Enjoy your stay at your cousin’s.”

This happened seven years ago and I still think of it. It probably didn’t mean a lot to him, but it sure did mean a lot to me. He made me realise that day what being kind and giving what you can miss — 20 euros weren’t a lot to him, but to me, at fifteen, it was — can mean to someone else. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I made the train.

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A Regular Nice Guy

, , , , , | Friendly | March 15, 2020

I was enjoying breakfast at a small, locally-owned diner, sitting at the counter. I was chatting with the owner — also a waitress — when a regular walked in, strolled up to the counter, and sat down two seats away.

The owner said, “Good morning, [Customer].” He never ordered his meal; it just showed up — a definite regular. I began chatting with the man, who seemed to be in his seventies.

I mentioned that my wife and I were considering moving to the area from about 70 miles away. It would be a significant commute for me for work, but the area is gorgeous. He told me about a place down the road from his apple orchard. It turned out to be more acreage than we were interested in and about double the price we were looking for.

The waitress pulled off my food ticket and set it down in front of [Customer]. I thought she had made a mistake. I then saw [Customer] grab his ticket and mine off the counter. I sat there with my mouth agape, looking at her, then at the tickets [Customer] took, and back at her.

She said, “He does that now and then for people.”

I said, “That’s not fair. That’s not right.”

He didn’t say anything. He just paid both bills. I left a large tip even though he’d left a tip, too. I profusely thanked him and left. I don’t know if he reads this site, but if so, I’ll see you during apple season because I am going certainly be at your orchard to buy some apples.

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