Grandma Knits Communities Together

, , , , , | Related | March 4, 2021

When I was in college, my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. My grandma has always knitted as a hobby, and after Grandpa’s diagnosis, she started knitting constantly to help relieve stress. After a year of near-constant knitting, she had mountains of scarves, hats, socks, mittens, small blankets, and other items piled around the house.

My mom and her siblings convinced Grandma to start selling items to help raise funds for Grandpa’s treatments. It was decided that everyone would take a pile of stuff and sell to coworkers, friends, and neighbors, and then pass the money back to Grandma. I took a pile of stuff to college and posted pictures and prices on social media, along with the story about my grandpa.

A few of my close friends shared the post, and within a week, I had people from all over campus messaging me looking to buy gifts for themselves or their significant others. I sold out of everything within a month and still had people messaging to ask when I would get more stuff from my grandma.

Everyone was super friendly and sympathetic about my grandpa, so even though it was a stressful time trying to balance family needs, the messages from buyers, and my school work, it was a huge morale boost that helped me get through the year.

My grandpa survived his treatments and is still with us today. My grandma has continued to knit, though at a slower pace than she used to, and two or three times a year, we all still get a pile of stuff to sell wherever we are.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for March 2021! This is the last story of this roundup, but we have plenty more feel-good stories for you! Just check out the February Feel-Good roundup here!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for March 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for March 2021!

1 Thumbs
695

Having A Gay Old Time

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2021

I am in college and have to go to a certain office to meet with a person named Gay. Up until this point, I have only corresponded with Gay via email, so I do not know what they look like or even their gender. I am in the waiting room when this happens.

Employee: “[My Name], please come back with me.”

Me: “Are you Gay?”

Employee: *Shocked* “Excuse me?”

I suddenly realize what I have asked and decide to phrase it better.

Me: “I have an appointment with Gay. Is that you?”

Employee: “No, just follow me and I’ll take you to her.”

I could have phrased that a little better, but if they knew my appointment was with Gay, surely they could have realized what I was asking?

1 Thumbs
451

Maybe They Didn’t Wake Up Until Three?

, , , | Learning | February 27, 2021

I work for a college within a university that specializes in teacher preparation. Some of our students are… interesting. 

We have advisors for our students, but they go by appointment only, not walk-ins or unscheduled phone calls — a “quick question” is never quick! Students are told this during their orientation.

I pick up the phone for the main line in that department. 

Student: “Hi. I’ve been trying to call [Advisor] all day and she just doesn’t ever answer her phone! Is it, like, broken or something?”

Me: “[Advisor] had appointments all morning and is currently in a meeting. Have you scheduled an appointment with her?”

Student: “No, but I just have a quick question and I just can’t believe she doesn’t pick up her phone!”

Me: “Ma’am, she doesn’t answer her phone when she is with other students; it would not be fair to those who have an appointment. If you’d like, I can take down a message for her, or you can send her an email at [email].”

Student: “Ugh! This is so unprofessional!” *Hangs up*

Maybe five minutes later, my colleague, [Advisor] finishes her meeting and comes out for a stretch. I tell her about the call, and she goes to check her missed calls. 

Advisor: “You know, it’s funny. For someone who has been calling me ‘all day,’ you’d think I would have more calls from her. I have two missed calls from her: one at 3:20 and the other at 3:33.”

It was only 3:50 at the time of this conversation.

1 Thumbs
349

It’s Official; Cats Are The Cure For Everything

, , , , | Learning | February 25, 2021

I used to get what I called “I hate everything!” days. Let me explain that: I used to struggle with depression, a lot of unresolved anger and grief, and several other mental health issues. I started therapy when I was in my early twenties, and I am so much better now, but back when I was in university I would sometimes have days where I felt nothing but anger and resentment toward everyone and everything. If the toaster malfunctioned, I wanted to throw it against the wall. If someone walked too slowly in front of me, I wanted to punch their lights out. If my dad called, I wanted to cuss him out.

On such days, I only had negative things to say. It was an awful feeling, but thankfully, my enormous fear of hurting people kept me from acting on my impulses. Still, I didn’t trust myself on those days, so I would stay home, lock myself in my room, and not interact with anyone.

One day I couldn’t do that, and that was the day that changed everything. I had an English literature seminar that day, and since I was struggling with that class a bit and had already missed a class because I was sick, I knew I couldn’t afford to miss it. I told myself to just go and keep my head down and my mouth shut. This is what I kept repeating in my head as I walked to class, wanting to scream insults at every cyclist that didn’t obey traffic rules and to kick everyone who got in my way. “Eyes down, mouth shut. Eyes down, mouth shut.”

Unfortunately, my calculations hadn’t accounted for my teacher, a young, happy-go-lucky guy who was super enthusiastic about his subject, loved every book we had to read, and loved interacting with his students even more. Normally, I really enjoyed the discussions we had in that class, and I was usually one of the most involved students. I should’ve known he’d get suspicious if I kept quiet.

The book we had to read that day was Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea.” I’m not a fan of Hemingway on a good day, and this was most definitely not a good day. So, of course, the first thing our teacher asked us is what we thought of the book. “Eyes down, mouth shut,” I kept repeating to myself, as the rest of the class started debating. And then, disaster struck.

The teacher smiled brightly and turned to me.

Teacher: “What about you, [My Name]? You’re unusually quiet today. What did you think of the book?”

Now I’m thinking, “Don’t hurt anyone, don’t hurt anyone!”

Me: “Didn’t really like it.”

It’s all I trust myself to say, but [Teacher] isn’t satisfied.

Teacher: “Really? That’s it? That’s all you have to say? Nothing on the struggle of man versus nature? The wonderful use of language? The fascinatingly ambiguous ending? The—”

Readers, I’m sorry to say that I snapped. I flew into a rant about how much I hated this book and its author. I think the least harsh words I used were, “pompous, grossly macho, and ridiculously over the top.” The rest I won’t repeat, but I get a good few minutes of belligerency going before I suddenly realize the entire class is looking at me like I’ve grown an extra head, and the teacher looks like a kicked puppy. I turn red, duck my head, and mumble an apology.

Feeling guilty but still angry at the world, I say:

Me: “Sorry, I hate everything today.”

Before the teacher can recover, one of my classmates, whom I have previously bonded with over a shared love of cats, jumps up, pulls out her phone, and shoves it under my nose.

Classmate: “There. Do you hate that?”

It’s a picture of her cat, a very fluffy white Persian, wearing a tiny Christmas hat and looking very grumpy about it. The balloon of anger inside of me deflates a little.

Me: “No, I guess I don’t hate that.”

Classmate: “Look at her! Look at how grumpy she is. She only agreed to the photo because I was holding a treat. You can’t hate that!”

I really can’t. Somehow, that picture of a grumpy cat in a Christmas hat pops my balloon of anger, and I just feel tired — a vast improvement.

Me: *A lot calmer* “No, I can’t hate that.”

The teacher seems to think it’s safe to talk to me again.

Teacher: “As much as I appreciate the rescue, I must ask if that’s relevant for class.”

Classmate: “No, sir, it’s a picture of my cat.” *Shows him* “But it worked, didn’t it?”

Teacher: “Okay, that’s adorable. But we really have to continue now. [My Name], do you need to leave for a moment?”

Me: “I’m good, sir. And I’m sorry. Thanks, [Classmate].”

We continued the seminar without further incident. Afterward, I wondered if [Classmate] had found the cure for my “I hate everything!” days and decided that next time, I would look at cat pictures BEFORE going out. I did, and what do you know? It worked! It didn’t miraculously make me happy, but at least it made the anger go away.

Thanks to therapy, I no longer have days like that, but I still look at cat pictures when I feel down. My therapist and I even made it a part of my treatment plan, because apparently, no matter how miserable or angry I feel, I can’t resist cats.


This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of February 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of February 2021 roundup!

1 Thumbs
939

Fighting Tooth And Nail To Keep A Cast Together

, , , , | Learning | February 23, 2021

It’s the first week of classes in my first week at university away from home when one of my wisdom teeth literally shatters in the middle of lunch. After a bit of calling around, I discover that since I’m not registered with a dentist in my new city yet, my only option to get the remaining jagged shards removed is the emergency after-hours clinic at the hospital. Since any movement of my jaw slices my cheek into ribbons, I don’t have much choice.

I’ve managed to get myself cast in the theatre society’s next play and the first read-through is this evening, so my next call is to the director. It’s relevant that this play is a satire with some VERY adult themes.

Me: “I’m really sorry, [Director], but I can’t make it tonight.”

[Director] gives a long, despairing groan.

Director: “I will make any changes to the script you want, but I’m begging you not to drop out on me.”

Me: “What? No! I’m not dropping out. I have a dental emergency, and even if I’m not in the chair during rehearsal, I won’t be able to speak.”

Director: “You’re sure? You’ve read the script. You’re okay with it?”

Me: “Yeah. I won’t be inviting my granny to see it, but I think it’s pretty funny.”

Director: “Oh, thank God. My lead actress and both parts of the double-act dropped out as soon as they saw the script. The lead actor is wavering, too. I couldn’t take another dropout.”

I got my tooth out — which was a disaster — and made the second rehearsal. The play went great and I’m still friends with some of my fellow cast members nearly twenty years later.

1 Thumbs
398