I know, I know, there’s often a bit of overblowing when people come at you with words like “unforgettable.”
At least, they did for me.
5. When dirty talking goes all wrong.
Not me, but an old friend of mine.
Really quiet, soft-spoken, polite guy. A total gentleman and a graduate student in the liberal arts. Also, pretty inexperienced, tentative, and vanilla s^xually.
He’s dating this really cool girl for maybe two months. She is much kinkier in bed. She floats the idea of dirty talk, and apparently likes to be objectified, from time to time. He’s hesitant, but wants to please her and doesn’t dismiss the idea outright. Changes the subject and figures that they’ll revisit the idea another time.
Anyway…they have s^x a few days later for the first time since the conversation. Really going at it doggystyle, and she tells him to talk dirty to her. He says that he can’t think of anything to say, so he says nothing, and she then repeats the request, but the second time she is not requesting, but demanding it.
He comes up with: “Yeah…you like that, you f**king r**ard?”
He’s never struck me as one for embellishment, so I believe him. He said that was it for s^x that night, although they are still together two years on now.
4. This pregnant lady, who was likely in grave danger at home.
Lotta context the character limit cuts off, but here’s the gist: My husband and I are expecting our first child, which I knew would be a really sensitive issue as his own mother died in childbirth with him. We met with a marriage counselor to talk things through at the beginning, and he swears he’s been seeing his own therapist twice a month throughout my pregnancy. I don’t want to call him a liar, but I’m fairly sure he’s either not going or not talking about the big issue—he and his father (a hugely active part of our lives) are COMPLETELY convinced that I’m going to die in childbirth. They won’t openly admit it, but their behavior has reached the point where it’s constantly making me feel stressed and uncomfortable.
When it was husband saying “please make sure your life insurance is up to date” and “I’d like you to meet with a lawyer and draft a will”, I was like “that’s kind of intense but ok, if that makes you feel better”.
When husband asked me to go through all of my possessions and “inventory” what I wanted to be saved for the baby vs. what I would want to be returned to my family in the event of my death, I put my foot down and said absolutely not. Too morbid. No way. My FIL (who lives a few blocks away and eats dinner with us 2-4 nights a week) got on my case about how I was making things “difficult” for my husband in the event that he will be a grieving widower with a newborn. I’m just gonna add here that I’ve had a completely complication-free pregnancy and have NO REASON to think I will die screaming in the coming weeks.
When I tell my husband this, he calls me paranoid, but I feel like my FIL WANTS me to die; his whole life identity for the past 35 years has been “amazing single dad” (never dated or had close friends or even hobbies really), and it seems like he’s looking forward to being able to guide my husband through what he went through. At this point, I’d honestly be happy to never see my FIL again, and I certainly don’t want him in the delivery room, especially since he told me he was “putting [his] foot down” about me not being “allowed” to have an epidural or laughing gas. He’s a commanding presence and I know that whatever he wants in the delivery room, he will get (I know people will say “oh L&D nurses would never let that happen!” but you haven’t met this man).
My husband, in addition to backing his dad on everything, acts like my due date is my death date, and has completely pulled away from me. Every minute with him is morbid, stressful, and a reminder that our marriage seems to be crumbling. No matter how many times I tell him his behavior makes me stressed and upset, it’s just getting worse, and I do NOT want it around me while I’m concentrating on giving birth. Do I owe it to my husband to let him stress and upset me during labor? Is his presence at the birth more important than a safe and healthy delivery? My therapist says “no”, but this whole thing has been so weird I feel like I need some outside perspective.
3. A horrible food allergy.
I’ve written and deleted this post maybe 7 times now, but I think it’s time to get it out.
Trigger Warning: a MIL who doesn’t believe in allergies and the price I paid for it. Child Death.
This happened 12 years, 2 months, and 13 days ago on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005. My DH got married in 2002 and had our son 10 months later in the same year. In May 2004, we welcomed our twin girls. My family was beautiful. Every time I took a picture of us, we looked like the families in the stock photos you can google for. My DH is an engineer and I’m a college professor. We had a nice house in the city. Our children were healthy and happy. We even had a golden retriever named Argo as if we weren’t the picture of familial happiness as is. I can no longer look at the pictures of us because it makes me too angry to.
When my twin girls were born, we had no issues in the hospital. They were born right on their due date, latched perfectly, and passed all their postnatal tests with stellar stats. When we brought them home, however, we noticed that one of the girls, let’s call her OD since she was a whole 4.5 minutes older than her sister, was developing a rash. I hadn’t really dealt with allergies in kids since my son didn’t have them and neither did any child or adult in my entire family. I wasn’t sure what it was, I thought that maybe she just had sensitive skin like me. I can’t tolerate certain fabrics because I have very dry skin and I’ll often break out in rashes if my skin decides that it doesn’t like something. So I stopped using fabric softener on all the clothes. I bought the nicest, most comfortable bedding and clothes. At one point, I even made her clothes myself in the fear that maybe something in the manufacturing process was upsetting my OD. We went to the doctor several times, and they knew that she was having an allergic reaction to something, but every test came back negative and we couldn’t figure out what it was. It took 3 more months to figure it out. During that time, her allergic reactions got more and more severe. At one point, she was the only baby in the history of the hospital who had to be kept in a clean room because she seemed to have a reaction the minute she left. When that happened, we began an elimination therapy that would rival the lifestyle of Buddhist monks. My husband and moved our son and YD in with his parents because we needed to eliminate everything from our routine to figure out what was causing the reaction in our OD. We stopped using our soap, our shampoo, our deodorants, our laundry detergents, and that was before we even got to our diet. It took us 3 more months, but we figured it out. Our OD was allergic to coconut. The doctors told us that it was a particularly rare allergen and so it wasn’t on any of the skin test panels they ran. When we found out what she was allergic, we were relieved, so so relived. But in addition to feeling relieved, I delved into a bought of hysterical laughter. I laughed so hard I cried and to this day, my DH tells me that he didn’t know if I was crying from relief or pure happiness.
You see, I come from a culture that uses coconut almost religiously. It’s in our cooking, we break a coconut open at religious events, it’s used in almost all sweets, it’s in everything. The reason I was laughing was because of how much I hated one particular use for coconut. When I was a kid, pretty much up until I was in the 8th class, my mother would put coconut oil in my hair all the time. It looked greasy as hell, I hated it, and once I was old enough to start doing my own hair, I never put that stuff in my hair again. I was laughing so hard because of course I had a daughter with a severe allergy to the one thing I hated my entire life. We had a lot of fun telling people about her allergy and everyone laughed because they all knew about my hatred for coconut oil.
We told my mother and she laughed as well. She made jokes about how my baby must have heard me talking about my hatred for coconut oil while she was still cooking inside me and decided that she needed to hate it too. We all had a good laugh and left it at that.
Or so I thought.
My mother and I have always had a…. contentious relationship at best. We got along well enough, but we disagreed vehemently on certain topics. She wanted a traditional daughter who would be religious, get her MRS degree, marry a man that she and my father picked out (common where I’m from), have 2 kids, a house in the suburbs near her, and be a stay at home mom like her. I’m not religious in the slightest, I got 2 undergraduate degrees, went on to get a masters, and a PhD, didn’t get married until 27 (late in my culture), and I married a man who was the polar opposite of what my parents wanted. As if this wasn’t enough, I was a working mom who didn’t need her to babysit since my husband and I made more than enough for a part time nanny.
Essentially, the best way I can summarize our relationship is by saying that she was very proud of me and loved to talk about my accomplishments, but I could always tell that she wished I was something else. We have a fair amount of “safe” topics that we can talk about, but I could never discuss anything too serious with her such as politics or my career. Not because she’d get mad at me, but more so because she just wasn’t interested and I hate getting into conversations where I’m passionate about something, but the other person could care less.
As far as raising my kids, my mother was a JustYes 99.9% of the time. She was hands off, and respected all of my decisions, even if she didn’t like them sometimes (ex: I chose not to raise my kids religiously, but I still took them to community events so they could understand their roots and my mother never pushed them to pray).
The only thing she continually got on my case about was the coconut oil thing. You see, my girls has very textured and curly hair. We don’t really know where they got it from considering my husband and I have pin straight hair that won’t even hold a paperclip in it without slipping. I loved it. It was a little on the rough side and my mother always insisted that a little bit of oil would make the curls soft and more defined. I always said no. Sure, we could have used a different type of oil, but my girls were still so young and the allergy process had made me terrified of incorporating new things into their routine. I made sure I explained why to my mom too. She remembered what we’d gone through with OD and her allergy. She brought me food and clothes at the hospitals more than a few times. She helped me move all of my furniture and clothes out of my house when I was eliminating every possible source of allergen. She taught me how to cook from scratch when I was eliminating certain foods from the kids’ diet. She knew everything about OD’s struggle. To this day I cannot understand how she did what happened next.
November 2nd, 2005:
I was giving a midterm that day to my students and I had to be at my research lab late that night. My DH was away at some conference and our nanny was down with the flu so she couldn’t watch the kids that day. So I had my mom come take them for the day. My son was almost 3 years old and the girls were a year and half old. Overnight visits with my parents weren’t exactly common, but they weren’t unusual either. They had always come back from these visits very happy and well taken care of so I had no second thoughts about leaving them with my parents. They spoke to me on the phone after their lunch and then, around 5PM, we videochatted. The kids were all so happy and healthy. I got home around 10:30PM that night and called my mom to see if the kids were up by any chance and I could say good night. I missed the kids by about 20 minutes, they’d already gone to bed. So I talked to my mom for a little bit, but she’s a pretty early sleeper too so we hung up and went to bed. I woke up around 5AM the next morning to go pick up my husband from the airport at 6. We were going to get breakfast together and then go pick up the kids. I picked up DH and neither one of us was very hungry yet, so we thought it’d be a nice treat to pick up the kids first and go to breakfast/brunch with my parents. We got to my parents’ house at 7:45AM. My parents weren’t there. My son was at the neighbor’s house, and ran outside with the neighbor as soon as he saw his daddy and I pull up. He was hysterical and crying and I couldn’t calm him down. My blood pressure was rising because now I’m thinking that something horrible had happened to my parents. My neighbor tells me that she isn’t sure what’s happening, but there was an ambulance at my parents’ house at 6AM and my dad had run over and woken them up to see if they could watch my son for a few hours until he got back. Of course they’d said yes.
I’m calling my parents nonstop at this point and I’m getting frantic because I don’t know what’s happened. My son was still crying but he was calmer. He still couldn’t really explain to me what had happened though. I honestly don’t remember the details of what happened next, but somehow we figured out that the ambulance was from X hospital nearby and we broke several driving laws trying to get there. We got to the hospital, pulled into the emergency entrance that was for ambulances only, left the car and bolted inside. A few nurses took notice of us immediately and were asking us what was wrong. I was calmer than my DH at this point, so I explained that I didn’t know, but my twin girls and my parents were here somewhere. I’ll never forget the look on that nurse’s face. She knew exactly who I was in that moment and she was about to cry. Another nurse took me and my DH to an empty room and asked us to calm down and listen to the doctor before we went to find my family.
My mother had put coconut oil in both my daughters’ hair when they were playing the previous day before bed. The girls loved it when my mom did their hair and so they had asked for braids and my mom was doing their hair. She put coconut oil in both their hair because it would make for smoother braids. According to my son, OD started to get a little dizzy and itchy when my mom was doing her hair so my mom gave her some kids benadryl which made her sleepy. Since it was close to bedtime anyways, the kids then went to bed. Giving her benadryl was something we did whenever she had a mild reaction since it usually meant she accidentally came across some coconut from a secondary source. We also showered her from head to toe immediately to erase any lingering traces of it. My mother simply gave her some benadryl and kept the coconut oil in her hair and put her to f**king sleep. The benadryl made her sleepy and unable to wake up or be conscious enough to wake up her brother or cry. She vomited in her sleep and the rash spread all over. Her little body was swollen to twice the size. She had asphyxiated in her sleep. She died painfully and slowly in the early hours of the morning.
My mother had found her when she went to check on the kids in the morning around 7AM. She was already dead by then. My mother screamed, called for my dad, and that’s when they’d gone to the hospital. My dad hadn’t known about the coconut oil until my mom explained and to this day, I’ve never seen my father so angry. He was still unable to look at my mother, out of fury, or me, out of shame, when I saw him at the hospital. They had rushed to the hospital hoping there was some way to save my OD and to get my YD checked out immediately since he thought she might have a mild allergy as well.
I can’t even explain to you the emotions my DH and I felt. I remember seeing my little girl and just being in denial. There was no way that she was gone. This had to be a horrible, horrible nightmare. The following days, the funeral, and explaining to my other kids what had happened are events I still can’t talk about because it just breaks a part of me.
My mother was investigated, as was my entire family. I almost lost my kids to my country’s version of CPS once because they thought my kids were in danger. My DH and I had to fight tooth and nail to show that uprooting them during this time would be the worst thing for them at the moment.
My mother was never arrested. My father did leave her, though they’re not officially divorced. The majority of my mother’s family refuse to speak to her, and the few that do speak to her only do so on a limited basis. She currently lives on her own in a small town and every couple months I’ll get a call from her telling me how sorry she is and how she just wasn’t thinking and can I please find a way to forgive her. She wants to come see me. The only thing I can find to ever say to her is “You can come see me when you bring my daughter with you.”
It’s been 13 years. OS just got his license this year and YD is going to start high school soon. Both of them are healthy and they’re turning into amazing adults, but neither one has been the same since OD passed. OS is extremely protective of YS and doesn’t allow anyone to breathe rudely in his presence. YS used to be so bubbly and such a talkative little child, but she’s quiet now. When she does speak, it takes some effort to hear her because she’s so quiet. She told me a few years ago that she knows she was only a baby when it happened, but she feels incomplete all the time, like a part of her is missing. I didn’t know what to say to her.
If it weren’t for my DH, I don’t think I could have ever recovered from the loss of my daughter. We have helped each other through the loss.
It’s taken over a decade of therapy to even get to this point. I don’t know what I expect to get out of typing all of this out, but I’ve seen how much comfort this subreddit brings other posters, so hopefully I find some of the same peace.
Thank you for reading.
2. This guy who thought he was the most unpopular person on Reddit.
It never really made sense why over the course of three years I never got one comment or upvote/downvote for all of my posts.
Reddit is an absolutely huge site, but after a couple years you begin to have your doubts.
I decided to check to see if I could see my posts in an incognito browser and saw that none of my posts existed.
What the heck?! It was at that moment I realized that from my first post I was shadow banned and all of my contributions over three years never was viewed by a soul.
I can’t believe I never caught onto it sooner.
I’ve had my hand raised for three years and no one could ever see me and I never questioned it.
1. Today you, tomorrow me.
Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big city and all that, my girlfriend wasn’t too stoked on the practice. Then some s**t happened to me that changed me and I am back to offering rides habitually. If you would indulge me, it is long story and has almost nothing to do with hitch hiking other than happening on a road.
This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation. All of them were while driving other people’s cars which, for some reason, makes it worse on an emotional level. It makes it worse on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my car, and know enough not to park, facing downhill, on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.
Anyway, each of these times this s**t happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn’t loan them out “for my safety” but I could buy a really sh**ty 1-gallon one with no cap for $15. It was enough, each time, to make you say s**t like “this country is going to hell in a hand basket.”
But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.
He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn’t careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off.
No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand but he wouldn’t take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best f**king tamale I have ever had.
So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…
But we aren’t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My f**king $20 bill! I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won’t take it. All I can think to say is “Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor” with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:
“Today you…. tomorrow me.”
Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view. I sat in my car eating the best f**king tamale of all time and I just cried. Like a little girl. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t deal.
In the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are through:
“Today you…. tomorrow me.”
tl;dr: long rambling story about how the kindness of strangers, particularly folks from south of the border, forced me to be more helpful on the road and in life in general. I am sure it won’t be as meaningful to anyone else but it was seriously the highlight of my 2010.
I cannot deal with some of this information. Gah!
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