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Positive, feel-good stories

One Group Deals With Births And Deaths, The Other With Marriages

, , , , | Right | August 12, 2021

I work for a twenty-four-seven gas station that has locations in six states on the east coast and is very popular in my home state. It’s late summer, and there are a few locations nearby that are perfect wedding spots, as well as a hospital that gives us a HUGE amount of business.

It’s about 12:30 or 1:00 am, and we’re in a rush due to a wedding party coming in, as well as hospital workers going home. Lines are at least seven deep, and my coworker on the other register is a bit slower than me. We also have three in the kitchen making food as fast as possible, but we’re SO packed it’s not fast enough. Most people know each other, but there are still a few strangers amongst the crowd.

I have a tipsy gentleman with his partner, and he turns to the next guy.

Tipsy Gentleman: “Put your s*** up; I’m buying.”

Despite the guy trying to say no, the tipsy gentleman is insistent, so the guy complies.

Tipsy Gentleman: “All I want is that one day you pay it forward.”

As a result, this guy paid for the next woman’s things. The line was a good mix of drunk wedding attendees and sober hospital workers, and at this point, they were all cracking jokes with each other, making new friends that some would totally not remember the next morning, and having a good time.

The woman, not having to pay for her things, in turn, paid for the next person’s. All in all, twelve people had their things bought by the person in front of them, so they bought the next person’s. I just kept laughing because, like I said, everyone was cracking jokes, even to the chick behind the counter, and because I was legitimately happy.

My store is in a town where people can be a pain in the rear, and they’re majorly wannabe r**-necks, but whenever I get to see displays of kindness like this, it makes me really proud of the town, and that despite being in a state where they could be destructive, all these people want to do is keep up the happy atmosphere.

Better Safe Than Sorry

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 8, 2021

I am around fourteen or fifteen years old. I am visiting a friend at his house. I use the restroom and I happen to notice a bowl with what I honestly think looks like a bunch of those individually wrapped sanitizing wipes. I am pretty sure it wasn’t there the last time I visited, and it makes me curious.

Me: “Hey, what’s in that red bowl above the toilet?

My friend gives the slightest hint of hesitation or embarrassment before responding.

Friend: “Oh, umm, those are condoms.”

Me: “What? Really?”

Friend: “Yeah, it says, ‘condom,’ on every one, you know.”

Me: “Your parents just leave their condoms sitting out in the bathroom?”

Friend: “No. They’re… not my parents’.”

Me: “Who else would they be for?”

Friend: “Umm, they’re for me or [Sister] if we need them, or anyone else, really.”

His sister is only eleven months older than he is.

Me: “What? Your parents are letting you have sex?!”

Friend: “Not really. I mean, they gave us this whole lecture on how they want us to wait, how it can lead to hurt feelings, STDs, and pregnancy if you aren’t careful, and how teens are usually happier when they wait, all that junk.”

Me: “Then why are they giving you condoms?”

Friend: “Well, they want us to wait, but they said teens often don’t, so it’s better if we have condoms just in case we do have sex.”

Me: “Oh, that’s… cool, I guess. But won’t they know if you have sex when condoms disappear? That would be super awkward.”

Friend: “Nah, they thought of that already.”

Me: “Huh?”

Friend: “They said they would rather we did tell them, and that we won’t get in trouble or anything if we tell them, even if they think we’re too young. The only thing we would get in trouble for is if we had sex without a condom or we pressured someone into having sex who wasn’t ready to do it yet; Dad was really big on that last one. But if we don’t want them to know, that’s okay, too. They said we could give condoms to any friends who needed some, and if the condoms start to go away, they’ll just refill them, no questions asked. Since they won’t know if it’s me or [Sister] or our friends using them, they won’t know who’s having sex.”

Me: “Oh. Wow. Your parents are… really cool about it, I guess.”

Friend: “I suppose. It’s still a little odd talking with your mom about sex, though, even if they are cool with it, you know?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, totally.”

Friend: “So, can we go back to [Video Game] now?”

Me: “Umm, sure. But your parents said you could let friends have some, too?”

Friend: “Yeah.”

Me: “Umm, can I take some, then? You know, just in case?”

Friend: “Sure, I guess. But, umm, I’m supposed to offer to teach you how to use them if I let you have some.”

I am a young teen who knows almost nothing about sex beyond what little adult material I can get ahold of. (It wasn’t as easy to get back then.) I also don’t want to admit how little I know, so I fall back on bravado.

Me: “What’s to know? Stick it on and start humping.”

Friend: “But don’t stick it all the way on; you need to leave some space on the tip to catch the sperm or it might break.”

I then got a quick but informative lecture on proper condom use and storage from my friend. In fact, apparently, his parents were even willing to help anyone with getting the morning-after pill if they did have an “accident,” no questions asked.

As it turns out I was, shall we say, overly ambitious asking for condoms at that age; all the ones I took that day went to waste, other than the one I opened just out of curiosity. However, as we got older, I, and a few of our mutual friends, took advantage of the free condom source. We all got, or were at least offered, a lecture on proper condom use when we took some, and a second one on consent and making sure everyone is ready for sex from my friend if we said we really were looking to “do the deed,” both lectures his parents believed every child should get.

We went to a big high school, and there were a few unplanned pregnancies circulating through the rumor mill, and even more pregnancy scares. However, I can safely say that I and all our mutual friends had no such concerns, as we all were properly getting and using condoms thanks to this friend and his parents.

I Don’t Work Here, But I’m Confident As Heck!

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Lost_in_the_Library | August 5, 2021

My wife and I are shopping in a large chain store where almost every store is set out the same way, with the departments all in the same order. So, if you shop there regularly, like me, you quickly learn your way around the store, even if it’s a [Store] you’ve never been to before. The only difference is that occasionally the store layout is flipped, like a mirror image of the usual layout.

We’re looking for a few things, including a specific vase we want. This isn’t our usual [Store], and it is pretty busy, being Sunday afternoon, so my wife is a little turned around and getting a bit flustered.

Wife: “Hang on, we need to find the vases. I’m not sure where they are.”

Me: “Follow me; it’s this way.”

I start walking in the right direction.

Wife: “Are you sure? I think we’ve already passed them!”

Me: *Calling over my shoulder* “I know where I’m going!”

Sweet Old Lady: “Oh, if you know where you’re going, you might know where I need to go, then!”

I stop in my tracks and laugh, mostly at myself because I realise I am being kind of loud and probably obnoxious. My wife laughs at me, too.

Me: “Of course, I’ll help. What are you looking for?”

Sweet Old Lady: “Do you know where the hangers are?”

Wife: “Oh, I do! We just passed them!”

My wife then ran back to the row with the hangers and gestured grandly. The sweet old lady thanked us and said something like, “I know you don’t work here, but I was a bit lost, and since you seemed so confident, I thought I’d ask you for help.”

She got her hangers and we parted ways. Sadly, they didn’t have the vase we wanted in stock.

A Colorful Wedding For A Colorful Family

, , , , , , , , | Related | August 5, 2021

I never wanted kids, and yet, I fell in love, hard, with a widower who had three children. He was former army, straight-laced, and had a sense of humor. I find it slightly ironic that he fell in love with me with my multi-colored hair, tattoos, and free-lancing job.

We were visiting his mother and talking about our wedding.

His Mother: “I really think you should change your hair before the wedding. It’s only two weeks away and your hair is still blue and pink!”

Future Husband: “No, Mom. I like her hair exactly how it is.”

On the way home, his kids asked if they could dye their hair because they want to look more like a family when we get married. My future husband got a huge grin on his face and made the turn to the hair supply store I use.

Come our wedding day, not only was I sporting blue and pink, but one of the daughters had pink, one had purple, and the boy had bright blue hair… and my future husband’s hair had lime green.

I still smile thinking of how amazing that day was.

Thank You For Being A Friend (And An Amazing Uncle!)

, , , , , | Related | August 3, 2021

I don’t recall my exact age when this story happened, but I know that puberty came much earlier for me than my peers and that I was presumably in the very early stages of it at this point, as I’d just recently started to consider the idea of dating and romantic (or sexual) attraction.

This new attraction confused me a bit, mostly because I found myself as attracted, or perhaps more attracted, to other boys as I was to girls. I grew up in a more conservative area and so didn’t realize that there were people who weren’t heterosexual out there yet.

My parents had a close friend who visited semi-regularly. He would often take time to spend with me as well, to the point that he was almost like an uncle to me. One day, he was in the living room talking with me while my parents were busy doing something elsewhere in the house.

Friend: “So what about you? Do you have yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend yet?”

Me: “What did you say?”

Friend: “I asked if you were dating anyone.”

Me: “You said, ‘boyfriend’?”

Friend: “I said girlfriend or boyfriend, whichever you have.”

Me: “Boys can’t have boyfriends.”

Friend: “Sure, they can! Most boys prefer to date girls, but some boys end up preferring to date other boys, just like some girls end up dating other girls.”

Me: “Why do they date boys?”

Friend: “That’s just who they like to date. Everyone is different and likes different things, right? You like vanilla even though I know chocolate is much better. Same thing with dating — some just feel happier dating other boys instead of girls.”

Me: “How do they know?”

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Me: “How do they know they want to date other boys?”

Friend: “Oh, well, I’ve never been gay — that’s what they call boys that only date other boys — so I can’t really say for sure. I mean, can you explain how you knew you liked racing games more than other video games? It’s just something you figure out because it’s what you enjoy and like doing. Like, if you close your eyes right now and picture dating someone, are they a girl or a boy?”

This question was a little too on the nose for me. I panicked a little, not wanting to admit that I’d probably pick a boy, so I lied.

Me: “I don’t want to date anyone!”

Friend: “Oh, girls all have cooties, right? Well, just for the record, whenever you do decide to date someone, your parents and I would love to meet them, whether they were a girl or a boy.”

I remember thinking that day that he was staring at me like he saw through me and already knew I was lying. For years after that, whenever any topic about dating or sex came up, he seemed to make a point of saying, “girlfriend or boyfriend,” and generally making it clear that he would be supportive whichever I ended up dating. I never knew if he would have done that anyway or if he was doing it specifically because he suspected I was gay.

He was the first person to suggest to me that being attracted to the same sex could be okay, and his continuing to hint that he would be supportive of me even if I was gay was honestly a real help as I struggled to identify, and admit to myself, my own sexuality. It was good to know that at least one person would be my friend no matter what.

I ended up being somewhere between gay and bi; I’ve had relationships with both sexes but generally, I’m a bit more attracted to men. When I finally came out officially, the friend was right; my parents were fully supportive of me. As to their friend, his response basically boiled down to, “I knew it, and I’m glad you’re finally ready to come out to us.”

I don’t know how long it would have taken me to even realize that non-hetero people existed without him, or how difficult it would have been to come out if I didn’t know I had someone supporting me through it.