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Here’s To Setting Boundaries!

, , , , , , , , | Romantic | March 10, 2023

Several years ago, back when I was a junior in high school — sixteen or seventeen years old — I started dating a guy who was a grade above me. This was a relationship that I really shouldn’t have said yes to in the first place. There wasn’t really anything BAD exactly, but I’ll admit that I mostly said I’d go out with him just to get him to stop asking me to go out with him.

Anyway, we start dating, and about four or five weeks in, he started asking me to go to a family wedding with him.

Guy: “It’s at the end of September, and it’s going to be down in Olympia.”

Me: “I don’t think that’s such a good idea. We haven’t been dating that long, and I don’t really know your family.”

Guy: “Oh, it’s not a problem. They all want to meet you. And I know seating’s going to be short, but if they run out, I’ll give you my seat and just go stand in the back.”

Me: “Okay, first of all, it’s too early for us to be doing something like that. I don’t really want to meet the rest of your family yet. And second, even if I did decide I wanted to go to this, there is no way you’d be leaving my side.”

He still tried to push a little more and get me to go, but I didn’t budge. As I mentioned, I started dating him for a lot of reasons that really didn’t amount to what dating should be about, even in a high-school relationship. But hey, I was a dumb teenager.

I did end up breaking up with him about three weeks later for several reasons. Things got fun six months after that when he started dating a girl from another school and also tried to ask out one from our school and hide it. Then, he tried to blame me when his girlfriend found out.

I’m so glad I dumped his a** and really sorry I went into the relationship in the first place. At least I got a cautionary tale out of it.

A New Kind Of Red Scare

, , , , , | Learning | February 15, 2023

I am cripplingly shy in middle school due to an incident in my first few weeks at middle school. I’m fine in classes, and I have a few friends, but I’m generally pretty quiet.

In eighth grade, however, I get my period, and I make a discovery that on the day preceding my period, the first day, and the second day, I become extremely cranky and stop giving a flip about what people think of me. (What a shock — I become hormonal during periods.) 

I also have an unusually heavy period; it’s to the point where I’ll soak through maxi overnight pads in a few hours. I start becoming even quieter and avoid speaking to people to avoid snapping during these days.

In middle school, for some reason, many people think it’s prime time for romance in the halls. One particular couple tends to block the girls’ bathroom entrance in one of the halls by holding each other and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. What a romantic location! Just the place you want to romance your middle school significant other, right?!

They give the stink-eye to anyone who tries to politely ask them to move so they can go in, offended at being interrupted in their romantic actions. They get snapped at a few times, but they kind of just brush it off and keep doing it.

I’m generally non-confrontational, so I avoid that particular bathroom…

Until one day in February.

My period is on its second day when it’s the heaviest. I’m able to get away to put a pad on, but it’s already pretty much full by the end of class. “No problem,” I think. “Class is almost over, so I can hold out for just a little longer.”

Well, the teacher, oblivious to my issue, proceeds to keep us a few minutes after class. The longer it takes, the more worried I get; I’m starting to awkwardly shift to see if I can see blood on the seat, and I can’t really tell if it’s started leaking onto my pants without reaching down and physically feeling, which would look really awkward.

The second we’re allowed to go, I sprint down the hall. The nearest bathroom is the one that tends to be blocked by the couple, but at the moment, I’m just fully focused on changing the pad, so I don’t register that until I’m already at the door.

The couple is there making goo-goo eyes at each other. I stop, some modicum of shyness still there.

Me: “Excuse me—”

Girl: *Snapping* “Can’t you see we’re busy?”

Nope. I don’t have time for this.

I reach into my bag, grab a packaged pad, and wave it in her and her boyfriend’s faces. I end up being quite a bit louder than I intend to in hormonal anger-panic.


The hallway hushes.

They move, and I hurry in. Thankfully, I haven’t leaked, but I was right in that it was really close.

My next class is in the same hallway, so after using the bathroom, I hurry to my locker, grab my next class’s materials, and head to class.

One of my classmates turns around when I sit down. “Oh, great,” I think. “Now I’m gonna get s*** for screaming about my period in the middle of the hall.” I’m already feeling extremely embarrassed.

Classmate: *Shocked* “I didn’t even know you could be that loud!”

For at least a good portion of that day, many of my fellow classmates expressed shock that I was able to yell so loudly that apparently the adjacent halls ALSO heard me shouting.

Nobody joked about the fact that I’d shouted about bleeding onto my pants — or at least, they didn’t do it to my face, which I was eternally grateful for and fine with.

For at least a month after, that couple stopped blocking the bathroom entrance. (They did eventually return to that as their de facto spot until a teacher started scolding them for PDA at school and they started getting significantly sneakier.)

She Gives Teenage Girls A REALLY Bad Name

, , , , , , , , , | Romantic | January 13, 2023

My husband and I usually spend Thanksgiving with a close friend instead of going to our families’ homes. This year, our friend’s fifteen-year-old son invited his girlfriend, also fifteen. She is about as mentally stable and secure as most fifteen-year-old girls. She thinks [Son] should only do things they can do together, he should always hold her hand, and he should absolutely never talk to any other women.

As the only woman at the meal that [Son] is not related to, I am obviously a threat and she treats me as such. I was seventeen when [Son] was born and babysat him a lot growing up, so we are pretty close, but I’ve never looked at him as a prospective boyfriend.

I stopped drinking several months ago because of a complication with one of my medications, so I have been trying out different non-alcoholic substitutions. I bring a four-pack of this substitution to the gathering and put it in the garage. [Son] and [Girlfriend] are sitting out there by themselves. [Girlfriend] sees me and starts crawling in [Son]’s lap and trying to kiss his neck.

Me: “Hi there.”

Girlfriend: “Bye there.”

She waves me off.

Me: “What’s going on?”

She sits back in her seat and glares at me while [Son] gives me a fist bump and laughs.

When the meal is ready, we are all seated at the table. [Girlfriend] strolls in last, drinking one of my non-alcoholic beers and looking right at me.

Friend: “[My Name]…?

Me: “Yeah, that’s mine. What are you doing, [Girlfriend]?”

Girlfriend: “It’s not real beer, so it’s not illegal.”

Friend: “It’s also not polite to help yourself to things that aren’t yours.”

[Girlfriend] shrugs and keeps drinking.

Son: “Sorry, [My Name]. I’ll give you some cash for it.”

Girlfriend: “Why?”

Son: “Because you just stole that!”

Me: “Let’s just eat.”

Girlfriend: “It’s basically soda, anyway.”

[Girlfriend] chugs the rest of the drink. I don’t know if you know what happens when you down a carbonated beverage in a few seconds, but [Girlfriend] learns. She burps so loud, I think her throat is sore. [Son] laughs out loud and [Girlfriend] glares at me.

Throughout the meal, [Girlfriend] continues intercepting dishes as I ask for them, talking over me, and just being a classic mean girl.

When dessert comes, I bring out my pies and set one at each end of the table. When they come to her, [Girlfriend] picks one up and shouts. The glass plate lands on the floor upside-down.

Girlfriend: *With mock sadness* “Oh, no! It was too hot.”

The pies have been cooling for several hours by this point and are not hot at all. I’ve had enough, but I’m not going to yell.

Me: “That’s why grownups touch hot plates and children wait their turn. Go get—”

Girlfriend: “I’m not a child!”

Me: “Go get some towels to clean up.”

Girlfriend: “Kiss my a**, you ugly whore.”

Friend: “Hey! Absolutely not! You can go call your mom and have her pick you up.”

Girlfriend: “F*** you, too! This b**** is—”

Son: “Shut up!”

Girlfriend: “What?”

Son: “Go home.”

[Girlfriend] leaves the table and is picked up a few minutes later. Her mother is apologetic. It sounds like [Girlfriend] is a terror at home, too. As they leave, [Girlfriend] looks out the car window and waves, tears streaming down her face. [Son] turns away and walks back inside. We can hear (Girlfriend) screaming down the block.

Son: “When are girls less crazy?”

Me: “Ohhhh… probably a ten-year minimum.”

Son: “Oh, my God!”

At Least They’re Figuring This Out Before It’s Too Late

, , , , , , , | Romantic | December 24, 2022

I used to teach tenth-grade English. One day, I assigned a twenty-minute writing prompt on the students’ dream life.

In my seventh period, I had a couple who had been dating for about three months. The boy was completely head-over-heels in love with his girlfriend, but he had some “unique” ideas.

After the twenty minutes were up, I asked for volunteers to share what they had written and the boy stood up to read his paper.

Boy: “My dream is to live off the grid in either Wyoming, Montana, or Alaska. I want to live in a cabin that I built with my own hands. I am going to have a farm and grow my own food, an orchard where I grow my own fruit, and cattle, chickens, and pigs that I’ll raise myself for meat. I’ll be living hours away from any real towns or cities and just have a completely free life where I can do whatever I want and be totally self-sufficient. My wife will help me build our cabin, she’ll bear our children right in our cabin, and we will homeschool them and teach them to live off of the land.”

Girl: “Um, I will definitely not be having our children in a cabin! I will be having my children in a hospital.”

Boy: “Honey, we’ll probably be three or four hours away from any hospital. Maybe more if we choose Alaska.”

Girl: “I am not giving birth four hours away from any sort of medical care!”

Boy: “You won’t have a choice. I won’t be able to get you to a hospital! You’ll be fine, I promise! I’ll know how to deliver a baby because I’ll have to help our cows have their calves.”

Girl: “Yeah, I don’t think this is going to work out.”

Surprisingly enough, they were no longer a couple the next day. He was much more heartbroken about it than she was.

The Mother Of All Awkward Goodbyes

, , , , , , | Romantic | July 7, 2019

(I’ve just met my daughter’s boyfriend for the first time after they’ve been dating for over a year, and he’s just brought us home from lunch with his parents. I’m in the back seat and the kids are saying goodbye, and there’s a fairly intense look between them.)

Boyfriend: *suddenly turning around* “Well, it was nice to finally meet you.”

Me: *taking the hint* “You, too.”

(I get out of the car and go to the door to wait for her.)

Me: *once she’s joined me* “Tell him I don’t mind if you kiss in front of me, but I appreciate the subtlety.”