“A Career Wasted!” Decries Maurice Sendak, As He Discovers The Wild Things Were In The Library The Whole Time

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 6, 2018

I have recently moved to a new city. I go to the closest library to get a register and get a card. I am shown to a computer stall to fill out the forms electronically, before returning to the desk.

At the desk, two middle-aged, female librarians are waiting for me. One of them stands up and sternly tells me I must now make a very difficult decision, one which will affect my experiences at this library for the rest of my life.

She then holds up two cards: one that is purple with the name of the city and library printed in business script, one with the characters from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Her coworker then gravely adds, “Choose wisely.”

I agonize over the decision, but eventually choose Where the Wild Things Are, thereby forever cementing my path. The two librarians nod their heads in sage approval.

The first librarian activates my card and I immediately check out five books.

I can’t wait to go back and see them again!

Kindness Doesn’t Take Half-Days

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2018

When I was seven, my family moved to a new house, which was the first house of a new development. By the time school started, a few other families had moved into other houses, but we hadn’t gotten the chance to meet them yet.

One day our school had a half-day, and we were all sent home early. The school bus dropped me off and I happily skipped home, ready to enjoy my extra time off. When I reached my house, I suddenly realized no one was home to greet me. I was always losing things, so my parents never gave me a key. I was scared and cold, and had no way of getting inside, so I did the only thing I could think of: I hid behind a bush in the garden and cried.

I don’t know how long I was there, but it was long enough that I couldn’t cry anymore and my hands were numb. That’s when a strange man approached me. He started asking me questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are your parents?” “Do you need help?” I didn’t answer any of his questions; I just kept shaking my head no, since I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. He walked away, and I started to cry again. I was even more scared because I thought someone was going to take me.

A while later the man came back, and I was scared stiff. I thought for sure he was going to take me away. Instead, he silently and slowly handed me a cell phone; cells weren’t too common back then. When I answered the phone, I heard my dad’s voice on the other side. We exchanged our “secret passcode,” and he told me the man was our neighbor. He was a good person, and was going to take me to a demo house where I could wait until my dad could get me.

Once I hung up and handed the phone back, my neighbor smiled at me and took me over to his house. We spent a few minutes there as he warmed me up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a few cookies. Once I was warm and happy, he took me to the demo house where a woman greeted me. She sat with me for an hour and taught me how to use a Rubik’s cube until my dad finally came and picked me up.

Years later, I found out everything that happened. The school had never informed the parents that there was a half-day, and they were sued for neglect. My neighbor, who was on his way to work, happened to notice my little pink coat poking out from behind the bush. When he talked to me and I denied his help, he was planning on letting it go and leaving for work, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave me. He called up the Homeowner’s Association and let them know what was going on, and they’re the ones who called my dad. My dad told them I’d never leave to answer the phone, so the neighbor drove over, picked up the cell phone, and brought it to me to answer. He ended up being an hour late to work that day. The nice lady who stayed with me kept the house open two hours later than she was supposed to so she could be sure I was safe and warm while I waited for my parents.

Those people are still a part of my life to this day, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful and kind people as my neighbors. I honestly don’t know what would have happened that day without them.

The Mother Of All Rescues

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | October 31, 2018

I was walking into town for some errands when a man ran up to me.

“Do you have a mobile phone?” he asked.

He didn’t look like a mugger, so I assented. He led me over to an elderly lady and told me she had fallen down; he’d helped her up, but then she’d fallen again and now couldn’t get up. She was conscious but obviously needed an ambulance.

I called an ambulance and then waited with her.

While I was on the phone, her neighbour came by, and she gave the neighbour her handbag to take home, which seemed a silly idea, but I was on the phone so I couldn’t stop her.

She was warm enough, and there were no signs of blood, so I decided the best thing to do was not to move her but keep her talking. I asked about her family and she told me she had two sons. One owned a pub and the other worked with the police. I wanted to try to contact her sons, but having given her handbag to her neighbour, she didn’t have their numbers. I realised that with the information she’d given me, I could find them myself.

First, I searched online for the pub. I called the number but got no answer, unsurprisingly, since it was morning. I left a message. Then I asked which police service the other son worked for, found the number, and called them. He wasn’t there, but I gave someone there my details and explained the situation. They asked for his mother’s first name to assure that I wasn’t making it up, and a few minutes later he called me back. I told him what had happened and let him talk to his mum for a bit. Then we rang off and continued waiting for the ambulance. When they came, I texted the son with which hospital they were taking her to. He thanked me for taking care of her and promised to let me know how she was.

I went on with my errand and didn’t hear from them. Once a couple of weeks had passed, I assumed that I would probably never know what happened to her. I often wondered about her but I changed phones and lost her son’s number.

Two years later, I got a phone call. It was her. She thanked me for my help, for calling her son, and for staying with her. She told me that she’d broken her hip that day and she’d had a lot of surgeries as a result, but she was doing well. I was crying my eyes out when I got off the phone, I was so pleased she was okay.

Halloween Roundup

Friendly Healthy Hopeless Learning Legal Related Right Romantic Working | October 31, 2018

It’s time to carve that Jack-o-Lantern, put on your costume, and collect the candy! Or will you spend the night watching scary movies?  Having a costume party?

To celebrate Halloween, here are some of our favorite tales of ghosts and witches, monsters and creatures, the spooky and scary and weird, and things that reach out from under the bed to tickle your funny bone. These stories are sure to give you a frighteningly good laugh!

 

This Story Will Haunt You Forever — Claims of bravery may be exaggerated.

Thrill You More Than Any Ghost Would Dare To Try — A classic song for a spooky evening.

Ice Screaming Monsters — Which will give you more indigestion, the food or the monsters?

Scare Me? Not A Ghost Of A Chance! — Everyone wants their own ghost, right?

They Usually Go For Black Cats — The fuzziest kind of witchcraft.

Pray They Weren’t Watching Christine — Poor kid got honking scared!

More Daylight, Less Twilight, Part 7 — Every old school horror fan just screamed in terror.

The Son Of Mondegreen — The monsters are where?!

Halloween Has-Been — Surprise!

The Customer Is Always Fright(ened) — Must have been too fussy for that poor ghost.

The Ghost Of Theories Past — But they say it’s haunted!

Trumps All Other Scary Stories — The horror story of our times.

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Post pictures of your costumes!

 

Enveloped In Love

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | October 28, 2018

This story took place over two years ago, but it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

My husband was an English teacher at a local high school, also running an afterschool “club” designed to support the LGBT+ students. He ran it through his own choice, not getting paid to run it, and became pretty well liked because of it.

He was coming home from work one afternoon when he was involved in a serious collision with a drunk driver. He was taken to hospital, but ended up passing away from his injuries later that night. I was devastated, and my brother had to be the one to inform the school of his death. The school passed on their condolences and I thought that would be the end of it.

Almost a month later, one of his old colleagues came over to deliver the belongings that my husband had left in his classroom at school. I had completely forgotten about going to collect his things, so I was incredibly grateful to the woman who brought them over. With a box of his things I was also handed a large reusable bag, crammed full of envelopes. Confused, I looked up at the woman and asked what they were. She just smiled and told me it was “a little something from the students.”

After she left, I sat down and opened the envelopes. There were close to 300 envelopes in that bag, and each and everyone one of them contained a handwritten letter from a student about how much they had liked my husband, how his work had helped them, and how he would be missed. There was one larger envelope containing a cheque for just over £1,000, along with another letter explaining that the money had been fundraised by several students after they had learned of my husband’s passing, wanting to support me and our children as a way of saying thank you for all the support he had given them through his running of the club.

I don’t remember how long I cried for, but it still warms my heart to know how much effort teens were willing to put in to help a grieving family that they had never even met. If any of those students are reading this, I want to thank them. They helped me smile during one of the most unbearable moments in my life.

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