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Too Bad You’ve Lost Your Inner Child

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 14, 2020

My girlfriend is a bit childish — not as in being immature and acting spoiled, but she likes some things popular with kids and is easily excited.

We’re shopping for shoes we need for our jobs when she spots a huge teddy bear all the way at the other end of the store in the toy section. She races to it like the Roadrunner. It’s blue and purple, and covered in glitter, and I can tell from her huge smile it’s going home with her. She grabs it and carries around instead of putting it in the cart.

We already have our shoes, so we get in line. The line is long, so she talks to me all about the bear — what she’s going to name it, where she’ll put it, hugging it, and going on about how adorable it is. Lots of the other customers are chatting in line, too, so I’m certain we aren’t disturbing anyone until:

Customer Behind Us: “Shut the h*** up!”

The customer is loud enough to draw the whole line’s attention and quiet them.

Customer: “Shut up! Is she f****** mental?!”

Cashier: “Sir, is there a problem?”

Customer: “This d*** girl sounds like a f****** five-year-old! My God, shut the f*** up! No one cares about your f****** toy! It’s for children, not slow people! Are your kids slow like you?”

I realize a total stranger has no way of knowing, but my girlfriend had cancer as a teenager that made her infertile. She didn’t know as a teen if she wanted kids or not, but it’s taken years of therapy for her to not feel she’s “broken” because she couldn’t have them if she wanted. 

Honestly, I want to knock this customer’s teeth out for all of his comments.

Me: “Mind your business! She’s my girlfriend. I like to see her happy, and she can buy whatever she wants. It’s her money.”

This guy kept arguing and insulting my girlfriend, me, and eventually the line of people, who I guess he was mad at for not being on his side. One of the cashiers called for a manager, who asked the nasty customer to leave.

He tried to spin it that we instigated the scene, but some of the other people in line backed us up. The guy argued with the manager for a bit before finally leaving, and the manager apologized to us for the experience.

My girlfriend was quiet for the rest of the time in line, but she smiled when the cashier who checked us out gave her a lollipop.

This Story Tips Both Good And Bad

, , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

My husband and I are Australians on holiday in America. My cousin spent about two years working in America as a waitress and has drilled into us the importance of tipping our servers. Even when the service is shockingly bad, including the time they forget to put our order into the system for forty-five minutes, we tip at LEAST 18% because that is what my cousin recommended, and we’re a little stunned that servers work for pennies an hour and rely on tips to survive.

A large amount of staff who notice our accents seem pleasantly surprised when we tip them the proper amount or more. We stop for lunch in a little diner near our hotel and the waitress is AMAZING. She chats with us, asks about Australia and expresses how much she’d love to visit, tells us where to find a specific store I really wanted to visit but haven’t been able find, and is just all-around wonderful.

She is coming over with our refills:

Waitress: “Here we go, guys, here’s your—”

Mid-sentence, a small child who has been running around unchecked for the last half an hour slams into her legs. She drops both our drinks — one all over the kid and one directly into my lap.

The kid’s mother starts SCREECHING at the top of her lungs and demanding to see a manager. The waitress is trying to clean up the kid, apologise, and get us napkins all at once. I clean myself up as best I can and wave her off — I can easily pop back to our hotel to change — so she leaves to get her manager to deal with the screaming mother and her crying child.

She comes back a few minutes later with new drinks for us and is near tears; while her manager had her back, the other woman had said some awful things and her entire party of ten had left her without a tip. She drops off our drinks and we finish them, and she brings back the bill.

Waitress: *Still nearly crying* “I am so sorry about that, guys. I took your refills off the bill; those are on me.”

Feeling bad, my husband is trying to make her laugh.

Husband: “I think you’ll find they were on my wife and that demon kid.”

The waitress, realising we’re just kidding, does crack a smile as she walks off to handle another table. While we were already going to tip her about 25% on our tiny lunch bill — seriously, food is RIDICULOUSLY cheap in the States — for being so wonderful to us, my husband just rifles through his pockets for whatever he has on him in cash and shoves it into the billfold. It adds up to about $60 on our $19 bill, and we try to escape before she sees it as we don’t want her to thank us for it. 

We’re about five steps out the door when she chases us outside.

Waitress: “Wait! You guys, two of these are twenties! I know we joked that you’re used to your rainbow money but you’ve gotta read the numbers. Here!”

She tries to hand us back some of the money and we refuse to take it.

Me: “Honey, no, that’s your tip. You were amazing. Take it.”

The waitress seemed dumbfounded that we had deliberately left her that much, and my husband joked that it was to make up for the gremlin’s parents stiffing her. She legitimately started to cry and asked if she could hug us, which we accepted, and she went back inside.

I’m still stunned that she was honest enough to try and give the tip back to foreigners she thought didn’t understand. We saw her again a few times before we left — the food was incredible at that diner — and she was just as lovely each time. Tip your servers, people!


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Theater Lovers, Avert Your Eyes!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 22, 2020

Some years ago, a friend and I had tickets to see The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway. We went with one of those bus tours and got to the theater early so we could take our seats and be comfortable.  

And then two things happened.

Incident one:

About ten minutes from the opening curtain, two gentlemen came to our aisle and began to argue with the women sitting next to us in the aisle. The women were in their seats and the men wanted them to get out. They debated the point — all of them leaning over us and getting tenser and more irritable as the debate went on — for several minutes until an usher was called over.

The usher looked at the men’s tickets and said, “You are correct. Those would be your seats… if you were coming to see The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately, your tickets are for The Lion King which is at the New Amsterdam theater.”

The men argued a few more seconds and then finally took off running. My friend and I and the ladies beside us couldn’t help but wonder out loud how you can see the name “Minskoff” and read “New Amsterdam” or read the name of the musical and mistake it for another.

We all settled back in. A loud buzz of voices started up behind us. Everyone in the theater looked back to the balconies where a large group of high school students was taking their seats. No problem. Schools bring kids to the theater all the time. They usually quiet down as soon as the play starts.

Not these kids.

The theater probably did themselves a disservice when they announced that “This performance has been selected to be taped for airing on PBS later this year. We ask the audience to please be on their best behavior.”

Almost immediately, the kids in the balcony started shouting random words and screaming at each other, and their teachers did nothing to stop them.

As the play began, it was almost impossible to hear the actors’ words or enjoy the music as the kids in the back continued to sing loudly — other songs, not the songs in the play — and shout out suggestions to the actors during quiet periods.

At one point in the performance, the characters gathered to quietly plan a coup and, even though we were sitting in the ninth row, we could not hear a word they said. Suddenly, at that point, the cast all stood up from their positions, went to the front of the stage, and said “SSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The audience joined in and we all waited until the kids were silent before the play resumed.

I took a quick look back at the balcony: two ushers were up there speaking with the teachers. Before the act was over, the balcony had been cleared and the rest of the play took place without incident.

I am sure the kids were screaming in hopes of seeing the play on TV and hearing themselves ruining the experience for everyone else. I have to wonder what kind of pea-brained little snot thinks that’s an appropriate thing to do. More to the point, I wonder why the teachers didn’t think it was their responsibility to shut the class up.


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It Was A Humbling Time For All Of Us

, , , , , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(I’m working at a coffee shop in Manhattan. Today is September 11, 2001, and it is about 20 minutes before the first reports of a plane hitting World Trade Center 1.)

Customer: “Can you hurry up? What is taking so d*** long to make my coffees?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Usually, we have a large staff to take big orders but today most of the staff are out.”

Customer: *irritated* “Well, how is this my fault? You should be ready to take any orders that I give you! I have a big meeting at 9:00 at the World Trade Center! That makes me important and I should be the top priority!”

(I ignore him and continue making his drinks.)

Me: “Here you go, sir, your order of [ten different coffees] ready to go. Your total is [total].”

Customer: “About f****** time!”

(He rushes out, and then ten minutes later, the news stations start talking about that first plane. The whole ordeal of 9/11 happens. Then, about a week later, the same customer comes in with presumably his wife and daughter.)

Me: “Hello, sir, what is your order today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m not actually ordering anything, I just wanted to thank you.”

Me: “For what, sir?”

Customer: “I’m the jerk from last week yelling about his important meeting in Tower 1. The time it took for you to make my coffee made me just late enough that I was walking up to the building when the plane hit it.”

Me: *tearing up* “Oh, my God!”

Customer: “But that’s not important. You saved me from that horrible attack and I am still here for my wife and daughter.”

Customer’s Wife: *starts sobbing on her husband’s shoulder*

Customer’s Daughter: “Can I give you a hug?”

(I happily gave her a hug through my tears. Still to this day, knowing that I was able to save one family from those terrible attacks warms my heart.)


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Just Another Day In The Big Apple

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 11, 2020

A few years ago, I took a trip to NYC with my mom and my cousin. It was a girls’ weekend to celebrate my cousin’s upcoming wedding. We spent the morning shopping and stopped in a family-owned Italian restaurant that was recommended to us. The woman who greeted us was the chef, and her elderly mother who’d started the restaurant was behind the register. There were only five tables in the whole restaurant and we were currently the only customers. 

We’d been seated and were chatting about what we wanted to do that night when my cousin suddenly stood and pointed behind my mom and me. Black smoke had started pouring from a staircase in the hallway that lead to the businesses above that one. Thinking the floor above us must be on fire, my mom ran to the back to grab the chef, while we tried to convince the elderly Italian woman, who it turned out spoke no English, to come outside. She couldn’t see the smoke from her place behind the register and kept swatting us away and scolding us in Italian. 

Finally, my cousin physically picked the lady up. Yes, it was as awkward as it sounds, but thankfully, she was a tiny lady and my cousin was strong. We got her outside and she finally saw the smoke, which was now also streaming out of the windows of the floor above her restaurant. My mom and the chef made it outside right behind us, and the mother and daughter began speaking rapidly in Italian. 

My mom took her phone out to call the fire department, but someone else must have already done that because we heard the sirens coming our way. The fire truck rounded the corner, crushing the front end of a cab in the process. That was something else to see on its own. The passengers in the back of the cab started screaming in panic, and the driver just sat there looking bored, like this happened every day.  

Thankfully, no one was hurt. We didn’t find out what had caused the fire, but at least it didn’t spread beyond the second floor. The chef thanked us for helping them, and her mother kept hugging my cousin and kissing both of her cheeks. The rest of the weekend was uneventful compared to that afternoon, and I’ve always wanted to go back and see if that restaurant was still there.