oh-myyy-ribbon

None of us are perfect. Now a few of us do come close, but barely. And sometimes we will "overhear" or even flat out learn a few things about ourselves that are less than flattering. Often the truth is stumbled upon and not flat out told.


A Quora writer was wondering what some people have been surprised by when learning about themselves by asking....

What is the most surprising thing you have accidentally overheard about yourself?

SHE DEFENDED ME…. AND COMPLIMENTED ME???

Giphy

Growing up my sister and I had a very tumultuous relationship. We are 16 months apart, and we have a half-brother 5 years younger than me. Being the middle child I was always the black sheep. My sister was favored for being the only girl, and my brother was the full child of our parents (my sister and I had been more or less abandoned by our biological father and were being raised by our step-father). My brother and sister were a united front, and I was the odd-man-out.

During our teenage years my sister and I had some crazy fights. One involved her chasing me with a handful of knives after I refused to get off the phone so she could call her friends, after she dropped the knives I went running after her through a bedroom and just as she reached the hallway I dove through the doorway and tackled her into, and partially through, the wall.

For the remaining time we lived in that rental house there was a body shaped indention in the sheetrock of the hallway (don't worry about the security deposit, my parents were very bad with money and we had to move from that house because they stopped paying the rent). I did some evil things to my sister, like turning off the hot water heater in the middle of her shower, and she did evil things to me, like breaking a bunch of my cds because she left her tape in the stereo and I was listening to it.

On one occasions we had a particularly nasty fight about something teenagers cared about, I cant remember the particulars, but more than likely it had to do with whose turn it was to use the cordless phone. The house that we lived in was on property, several acres, and there were several properties around us that were unimproved (no houses, just fences), which meant I could go out and wander for hours, and I typically would after I had a fight with my sister. But on this particular day I decided not to, if I remember right I was thinking I could sneak back into the house to do something to get back at my sister.

I had a sliding glass door in my room that I regularly used to come and go, so I slowly and quietly opened the door, my sister's bedroom was right next to mine, sharing a wall behind a closet, so I had to be extra quiet if i wanted to sneak in. I got into my room and got the door closed without alerting her that I was back in the house, but as I got to my door that led out to the hallway I could hear her on the phone, she had left her bedroom door open, probably thinking that I would be gone for a while and she would be alone in the house.

She was on the phone with her friend, who didn't particularly like me, probably because of the one-sided stories she heard from my sister. I heard my sister telling her friend what had just happened between us and how I know how to push her buttons, her friend said something in response I am guessing something that was bashing towards me, and my sister replied "No, that's what is so crazy about the whole thing with him, he is actually really smart, like borderline-genius-level-smart."

Here it was only a few minutes after she and I were viciously attacking each other verbally and physically, I was still pissed off at her and ready to retaliate, and she was on the phone with her friend calmly telling her about what happened and when the friend said something bad about me SHE DEFENDED ME…. AND COMPLIMENTED ME???

She still doesn't know I overheard that conversation. Eric B

"Born Again" 

My parents divorced when I was 4. My mother remarried a man one year later in 1965.

He was a very controlling man about most things—but that's a different story. In the summer between my 4th and 5th grade, he became "Born Again" at a Billy Graham revival. At his insistence, my mother soon followed, as did my sister. I was the only one in our family of 4 who didn't want to give up their entire life and become a singularly focused religious fanatic.

My stepfather had never really liked me before that. After that he hated me, and could barely contain his loathsome attitude toward me.

Speeding ahead a few years, when I was entering the 12th grade, my mother took me aside one day and told me that they had no money to help me with college—that I was going to have to figure out my future on my own. (She was quite literal about that. They never even once discussed with me what my options might be.) I said it was ok. I'd figure it out. I did, and after high school, I got a job at a factory.

My sister, who is 4 years older than me, did attend a religious college, and while it crossed my mind as to how she was able to pay for college, I never asked. We weren't very close.

Fast forward to 1994. I am now successful in my career. I have a large house with a swimming pool and hot tub in the backyard. My family—mother, stepfather, sister and her family—are invited to my house for an afternoon barbecue.

My mother and sister are sitting in my hot tub. I am around the corner of the house tending the barbecue. They don't realize that I'm there. They are talking loudly, and I can clearly hear them. My sister starts talking about college education for her kids and she asks my mom how she and my stepfather saved up the money for her college education.

My mom immediately started to panic, and began shushing my sister to be quiet. She frantically said, "I don't want Kent to hear this! We told him we had no money for college."

I always knew that I was the black sheep in the family, but it was in that moment that I truly realized how much I was excluded. From that point on, my eyes and mind were opened to the lies and deception within my family. It forever altered our relationship. Kent D

BOOM! That door flew open!

Giphy

I had a girl that was dating my ex husband say I was after her boyfriend. I knew this girl through elementary and high school I was in my late 30's.

I asked her what she was talking about I wasn't dating anyone . She said that my ex-husband told her I was still trying to date him.

I told her the last time I saw him was at a club and we spoke that was it. He used to beat the crap out of me until I cracked his head open with a beer bottle before he could hit me.

We had gotten on speaking terms after the divorce but I danged sure didn't want to date his sorry tail. So I told her I would prove it.

I told her I would call her later and I would prove it and how sorry he is.

I called him and asked him who was cutting his hair now? I said it was getting too long the last time I saw him. He told me I don't have a free barber anymore. Jokingly. I cut his hair the 7 months we were married.

I told him I could cut it the next night at 700 p.m. He was thrilled said sure!!!

I called the girl told her to be at my house at 6 p.m. and told her to park 2 blocks away or have someone drop her off.

I had a walk in pantry. I told her I invited him at 7:00 PM to cut his hair, I said he will probably be early.

I told her to sit by the pantry door and get in when he knocked and stay there unless you hear me turn the clippers off and I say I am done.

I put on makeup fixed my hair had my best long black sleek nightwear on and a see through robe that went with it.

I had told the girl I was going to bait him. He knocked on the door and I answered it and I said come on in sit down at the kitchen table had my clippers all laid out. Had his favorite perfume on, and put the towel around his neck.

I started his hair cut chatting him up. I asked if he was seeing anyone now he said NO. I told him you know I had the strangest experience at a store the other day. I said this girl I overheard saying that I was trying to steal you from her and I told her I hadn't seen you since we spoke a month ago at the club.

He goes on to say, I would not date that fat on and on and on talking trash saying how ugly and trashy she was and BOOM! That door flew open, she ran to hit him, he kicked the chair over I opened the door and they both ran down the street. Last time I saw either one lol. Donna J

"In an Econ Class"

Several years ago I was attending the local university. This was in an Econ class. I sat next to this woman and we talked before and after class, compared notes and basically helped each other out in Econ. This had been going on for several weeks when she saw my daughter on my computer screen. She asked about her, and then said she used to take her kids to my ex-wife's daycare.

Now, I had been divorced for probably… 3 to 4 years by this point. She remarried within 6 months (With a different guy than the one she cheated on me with). She had asked for the divorce, and as pointed out, cheated… and it was not the first time she cheated in our marriage. So, to this day, I feel my daughter and I were victims in my ex's decisions.

So, this lady tells me that they used to take their kid to the day care. They didn't anymore, but she also mentioned that my ex-wife I guess talked about me, in very unflattering terms. How terrible I was. Unfriendly. Poor parent, etc. All that good stuff that an ex with an axe to grind may have. But, having talked with this lady for the past month or so, she had gotten to know who I was, and honestly laughed at how wrong my ex was about me. She thought I was a good guy and from the photos with my daughter, it's obvious she loves me and likes being with me, which was a VERY stark contrast to what she had been told.

It's been around 10 years since this occurred, so I don't really remember the particulars. Mainly that it was kind of funny, and did make me mad that she was continuing to play the victim and make me sound bad.

(In the end it all worked out. I now I have my daughter full time, which is what she wanted. I also found an amazing woman to share my life with and my daughter considers her, her real mother). It was a surreal experience hearing how someone talks about you, behind your back like that, though. Kevin R

Pig!

"She's a good painter, but her face isn't as cute as Julia's. I'm worried she's already getting attached."

Around 10 years ago now, that was a text exchange between a guy I was casually seeing and his best friend.

He was in the shower one morning, and his phone (either an early iphone or something like a razor, either way, it did not have a passcode) was continually beeping while I was still trying to sleep. I picked it up and looked at it, so try and make it stop, and that last sentence was on the screen.

They'd been having a conversation about me, obviously, that had started the night previously, while he and I had been out at a bar and then back to his place. I guess he had been texting when I was in the bathroom or otherwise distracted. The first text in the conversation was, "I had sex last tonight."

"You don't sound happy?"

"She's a good painter, but her face isn't as cute as Julia's. I'm worried she's already getting attached."

Julia, I knew, was his most recent ex. I wasn't particularly attached to this guy; I didn't know him well, and I was rather trepidatious to begin with because I knew he was too attractive for me, but he kept insisting I was being silly and he was into me. It could have hurt worse, but it still hurt. Particularly his friend's "advice" on how to get rid of me.

It worked, though. After he was out of the shower, I said my goodbye, probably a little quieter than usual, and left. At my house, I sent him a text telling him that it wasn't working for me, but thanks for the nice time. He returned a very relieved-sounding response, and I sat on my bed and had a cry with my cat on my lap. I felt very stupid. Christine N

"I don't want to talk about Flora."

Giphy

I was at a friend's sleepover birthday party in 6th grade. We were all in her room, though my best friend and I had tried to go to sleep early to avoid disrupting our sleep schedule too much (we were both figure skaters, and accustomed to getting up early for 6AM practices).

Late into the night, the birthday girl and her other friends (all girls) decided to gossip about our classmates, starting with people not in the room, and then even talking about my best friend, sound asleep right next to me.

And then it came to me.

My chest tightened in anticipation, and I tried to keep my breaths as unchanged as possible to avoid raising suspicions that I was awake. I was curious and afraid to see what dirt they'd try to pull on me.

But then, birthday girl stepped in —

"I don't want to talk about Flora. She's a nice person, always been. She don't deserve this. And I can see her crying if she found out we did this, and I don't want to do that to her."

Since she was the birthday girl, it was her call, and they moved on.

I was stunned. I hadn't realized she was so loyal to me, or that she had cared about me so much. Especially since this was the same girl who would jokingly act as if she was going to beat up her friends for being stupid, or threaten to shred my clothes the next time I wore shiny bell-bottomed pants to school. She acted and sounded tough a lot, but apparently… she really did care about me. Flora S

How dare me!

I was a rather ambitious 26 year old. I worked 3 years as a Highway Design Engineer at wonderful company, but knew someone would have to die before I could get a manager position. So I decided to take a job at a smaller consulting firm where I could try my hand as a manager.

I was put in charge of the Transportation Department. This 60 year old male co-worker of mine didn't respect me being made a manager over him, because I was young and a female. How dare me!

He did not have a degree as an Engineer, which I didn't mind, because one of the best co-workers at my previous job helped mold me. She was an intelligent woman who knew more about Roadway Design than most Engineers. But this guy was an idiot and unteachable. He was also very slow with getting his work completed and had a chip on his shoulder. When you imagine what he looks like, he was the type of person who wants everyone to know that he goes to church every Sunday, but he doesn't treat people like a professed Christian should on a daily basis.

His office was located next to mine and we usually kept our doors open. One day, I hear him saying negative things about me to one of our clients on the phone. As soon as he got off the phone, I walked over to his office and told him that I overheard everything he said about me. He actually implied that I was incompetent, which is the furthest thing from the truth.

He was stunned that I had overheard his conversation. I told him that he should never do that again, because not only was he spreading lies about me, but that it would make the company look bad as a whole and we are supposed to be on the same team. The only reason he was allowed to keep his job after that incident was because he only had 5 more years until retirement, so everyone had to put up with him, even though most of us disliked him due to his arrogance and incompetence.

It was surprising to me that he was willing to risk the reputation of the company because he was threatened by my position in the company. The executives gave me the "Makes It Happen" award at the company Christmas party (which I also organized) and gave me a huge bonus at the end of the year.

Ha! I was really incompetent alright.

Ingrid L

Let's Be Pleasant.

A lot of these are about bad experiences but this one's more pleasant.

So when I was in high school I had very bad cramps on my period. To give you an idea, for a whole day I was immobile unless I was puking and had a fever. The cramps are kept in control now with birth control but early on it was a nightmare. I missed school, work, time with friends, etc.

One summer, my mom gave me and my best friend a job watching my younger siblings while she was working. Our usual schedule was to get them breakfast, play for a few hours inside, head out to the nearby park, then walk back for lunch. It was a good way to keep two kids busy.

One day my friend and I are at the swings while my younger siblings run around when I start feeling cramping. It was mild, but I knew the worst of it would hit before I got home. I mentioned it to my friend and she immediately called my sister, who had a car while the two of us didn't. My sister got us both home and I immediately rushed into the bathroom and puked, then stumbled into my room and curled up. A few minutes later, my sister slid in with a hot water bottle she microwaved and a wet washcloth for my forehead. She was talking really quietly and sweetly and when she knew I was feeling a tiny bit better she walked out.

The second she left my room her voice dropped back to normal and my stomach dropped. My sister and my best friend are extremely blunt, my friend actually has a bit of a reputation for being mean. I was used to people downplaying my cramps, even among family, so I was expecting them to be making fun of me.

Instead, I got this exchange:

"Is she okay?"

"Yeah, she'll feel better tomorrow but she won't be getting up much today."

"That's gotta suck."

"Yeah I wouldn't want to deal with that either. She's tough though."

I think at the time I was too sick to care, but looking back, that was the sweetest thing anyone could've said about me. Tori S

The Law Knows...

Giphy

Well back in my junior year of High school back in 2005 I was attending career center full time. Morning was my program (the law enforcement class) and afternoon was math, science, English, and history. Well all of our instructors are well educated in their field. Two surprising statements were made about me were because of this.

I was sitting in law enforcement class with our instructor (A former police chief and ex Air Force Security Forces member) was reviewing our research papers with us when he called out a buddy of mine (now an ODNR wildlife officer) for plagiarism. He had used a French term for body of evidence. Not exactly something to be expected of a high schooler. So our instructor makes him a deal. If the smartest student in the class doesn't know the what that term means then he was guilty of plagiarism. I thought he was going to call on a friend of mine (who I had a huge crush on) named Nicole but he called on me! I was quite shocked. And for the record I didn't know the term. Sorry Caleb.

I was taking an honors history class and as a project we had to teach the class for 10 mins on a history subject related to our program. I was allowed to do military history on the justification that militaries normally have law enforcement in some form. So I did the battle of Stalingrad. I went well beyond the 10 mins allotted and when our 50 mins of class was done I still had about a hour of material left. Well fast forward a few days later and my mom and I were grocery shopping in Kroger's when we ran into my history teacher. He and my mom are talking when he tells my mom that I should consider becoming a history professor as "He could easily teach that class better than I can". I consider that to be the highest compliment I've ever been paid as I have so much respect for that man. I also passed his history final exam with flying colors and was done in 10 minutes. But history and reading comprehension have always been my strong suit. I used to read college level history books during class in 4th grade… Andrew

The Soul Mate...

I had a very dear friend… actually an unrequited love… that died of leukemia when he was 26. We had been close from pretty much the time we met in college, but our stars never aligned. We dated, but he eventually married someone who divorced him 3 months before he died.

I visited him whenever he was in hospital. The last time I beat my blood donation to his room by 5 minutes. His Mom (who adored me because I got up to clear dishes with her the first time I had dinner with them), was with him as usual. I knew he was close to the end and didn't want to chase her out and told her she didn't need to leave for me, but she insisted. She came back a few minutes before I left.

My friend's dad called me a week later at work to give me the news and let me know about arrangements. The funeral was about 5 hours away. My mom took a mutual friend and me to the funeral.

His family was surprised and pleased that we came all that way and invited us for lunch at his sister's house. We three travelers mingled and talked separately for a couple of hours and then headed home.

On the way home Mom related a talk she had had with my friend's mom. Friend's mom said that she spent most of her time at the hospital when her son was there as he was for days and weeks at a time. She loved her son and didn't want him to be alone. She usually stayed no matter who came to visit. But she said she always felt safe leaving him alone with me…that I was the only one she felt safe leaving him alone with…and that he was always better after I visited.

I knew he was my soul mate, but that kind of sealed the deal.

Dawn S

Then my father said the strangest thing…​

I was seventeen and a senior in high school. It's early winter and football season was over but the recruiting process for colleges was about to start. My brother was very well known and the former captain of the football and basketball team. He ended up attending the University of Tennessee (…not on a scholarship because an illness stopped his career). He was 6′ 7″ tall and around 240 when he was a senior.

Me…well not so much. I was good only in the fact once I started playing consistently our team went to our local championship. We started out losing four in a row when I started on defense (opponents average score was 6 points) and won 7 in a row when I was switched to the offensive line and ultimately went to the championship.

Unfortunately, those things don't count for too much.

It's Friday night and I'm watching television with my father. He gets a phone call. My father NEVER, EVER gets a phone call…EVER. I'm surprised he knows which end to talk into.

It was a recruiter from the University of Cincinnati...I was unaware at the time but since my father NEVER, EVER got phone calls…obviously I took pause and listened.

He started answering questions about someone's study habits, their attitude, what they were good at and and what they weren't. He started talking about what issues someone had at school and at home. This Q & A lasted about fifteen minutes…

Then my father said the strangest thing…

He told this person on the phone. "they're two different people. One boy is great at some things and the other boy is great at other things. The eldest is more analytical and the youngest is more imaginative. Both work as hard as they can and they don't settle for less than what they can give…

He said, "…both do what they're told and sometimes they both are hardheaded…he couldn't blame them for that. That was his fault."

He said, "…I can't answer that question any better than I have already."

He says goodbye and hangs up the phone.

I ask my father who that was…he tells me. He tells me it was the University of Cincinnati and he tells me how the recruiter asked questions about me.

I asked him what was the last question. He told me the recruiter asked him who did he feel was the better son.

At seventeen, I gave my father a hug, ran upstairs, looked out the window and cried. Snow wafted across an empty field and clouded the vision of streetlights. I didn't want that day to end.

Thanks.

Mark Anthony

"I do the newsletter."

Giphy

I was out of the office for an errand and came back to my desk. When I sat down, I overheard two coworkers talking about someone. "She blah blah blah and then do you know what …?"

Then the other responded, "Well how about the time she yadda yadda?"

"Oh," I thought to myself, "they are ripping into somebody. Let me scoot my chair over so I can hear more of this while I pretend to be working."

They continued their complaining, unaware that I had come back to my desk and I was listening. "Yeah, she took for-EVER to finish the newsletter!"

"Hey, wait a minute," I thought to myself, "I do the newsletter."

"Oh man, when she did my mailing and I had to correct some of the labels!"

"Hmm, I did her mailing," I reflected.

It was at that point that I realize they were talking about me. It hurt and I mentally cried out to God. "Lord, help me, they are talking about me!"

Then, I heard a voice deep in my heart say, "Just a minute ago, you were ready to listen as they ripped into somebody."

I was shocked. I had pleaded in prayer for comfort and I got this very direct, very distinctly spoken answer but no comfort. Instead I felt shoddy and dirty for wanting to hear the juiciest gossip I came across.

One of them turned around and saw me and they stopped talking. I didn't care anymore. I had been convicted by the Lord for my attitude and it felt rawer than any meager information that I had heard about my work habits.

That weekend, I talked to a friend at church and she was sympathetic about my being talked about, but I told her that wasn't what I was hurting about. It was because I got a glaring look at my inner being and it wasn't pretty. She got it. After we prayed together, I came up with a plan.

I would not treat my coworkers any differently. I would not act like I knew a secret or hold anything over their heads. I would not grovel, but I would treat them with respect. I decided that I would treat what I learned about myself as constructive criticism. I would make more of an effort to proofread my work closer, and to hand in my projects on time. I would politely confer with them about their preferences so I would get things right.

My coworkers and I never became good friends, because they had broken my trust, but we got along okay. After I left that job, I declined their friend requests on Facebook. I felt like they would just be judgmental about me and anything I would do after that, again, the broken trust issue. But I can say that I learned something about myself through that eyeopening event. I still catch myself gossiping and listening to gossip. It's a very hard habit to break, but every once in a while, I remember this incident and it helps me to strengthen my resolve.

Christine L. Litvak

Trouble with Drinking....

Back in the mid 1970's I ended up traveling by car from Eastern Canada to Alberta with a buddy who needed to leave town. He had been causing a lot of trouble drinking and getting into fights, so he thought that heading out west to work in the oil fields would be a good idea. He convinced me to tag along for the journey and I would head back home if I couldn't find a job.

After we had been driving for an hour or two I decided to hop in the back seat and nap to get rested up for when it was my turn to take over the driving. After we passed through a small town, my friend pulled to the side of the road and picked up a hitchhiker. When my buddy tried to start up a conversation with the guy, he would only reply with one word answers so the talking soon died down and I fell asleep.

Some time later I came to when the car slowed down and pulled into a parking lot in another city where there was a corner store. I lay there on the back seat semi-awake while my friend got out of the car to pick up some supplies for the trip as we would be traveling through some long stretches of open country with no towns.

While he was out of the car, our hitchhiker sitting in the front seat suddenly started to mumble some strange words out loud as if he thought he was alone in the car. He must not have noticed me lying in the back as we were driving at night and I was under a blanket. His mumbling became louder and he started to half sing a strange jingle that I recognized as a toothpaste commercial on TV, "I wonder where the yellow went, when I brushed my teeth with Pepsodent."

This refrain was repeated a few times and then he said in a chilling voice "I wonder if I should take the gun out now or wait until we start driving again." I was suddenly very conscious of my breathing and tried to keep as quiet as possible lest this crazy guy do what he was proposing to do right then and there if he realized that I had heard him.

Just then, my buddy returned from the store, opened the back door of the car and told me to wake up and get into the front seat as he was getting tired of driving. He motioned to our hitchhiker, who had gone silent again, to get in the back seat and rest while we continued our drive. He told him we would drop him off in the next major city as we were heading in a different direction than where he said he was going.

As I started to drive, I kept a close watch on our passenger through the rear view mirror. When the guy seemed to fall asleep, I motioned to my friend by rolling my eyes towards the back seat and pointing to my head to indicate that our hitchhiker was nuts. For some reason he didn't get what I was trying to explain so I gave up, not wanting to say out loud what I heard him saying about the gun.

For the next few hours I kept a close eye on our sleeping passenger to make sure he didn't make any weird moves. As we reached the city limits where the next major highway turnoff was located, my friend woke up the hiker in the back seat and told him it was as far as we could take him. After he left the car I related the incident of what had happened when he went into the store earlier. He laughed at me and said I must have been dreaming or half-asleep when I thought I heard him mention a gun.

We drove through the night and early the next morning there was a report on the radio that a mentally unstable inmate from the locked ward at the provincial mental institution had escaped the night before and was still at large. The public was warned that he was dangerous and not to engage him but call the authorities if he was seen.

I looked over at my friend in the passenger seat, but he had dozed off again, and I just shrugged and continued driving. As it turned out, this was only one of the many incidents that occurred during this three-day drive . . . but those are stories for another day.

Garry Spence

"Do you think he heard?"

I had graduated just a couple of years previously from a performing arts degree and after putting in my dues working for free in backstage theatre (not as many paid jobs as there are wannabe technicians), I had finally got a gig working as the stage manager for a small production doing a small national tour of about ten dates. I worked hard, and thought I got on with the actors, all of whom were older than me (in their thirties and forties, while I was a fresh faced 23).

I was doing some set up on stage and one of the actors came to ask if it was ok if he ride in the company van (which I had to drive between locations - the actors normally got the train). I said sure, no problem, and we arranged a place for me to pick him up.

I then had to go to the control booth to check the light and sound circuits were set up ok, and one of those checks was the sound link between the dressing room and the booth, usually used to give the actors their ten, five and one minute calls. I switched the circuit on and the first thing I heard was my name. One of the other actors was asking the guy I'd spoken to how it had gone, and he said that I'd had a little tantrum and gave him some lip, but had agreed. The other actor giggled, and then she and the guy started to basically make fun of me, calling me a baby and basically saying I was immature and useless.

After a couple of minutes of this, I had to get on with the set up, but at the same time I was annoyed at how two faced they were, so I said into the mike, "Testing for call circuit, (name 1) and (name 2) please confirm you can hear me."

After a moment of silence, they both confirmed. I switched off the mike at my end but left the circuit open - after a couple more minutes I heard a whispered "Do you think he heard?" from the lady actor, which other guy must have answered with a head shake it nod. I was thinking "Yes… yes, he did."

The van journey of around three hours (and indeed the last three or four dates of the tour) had something of an atmosphere after that, but I at least maintained my professionalism.

Now, this was over half a lifetime ago so my memory is kind of hazy on detail, and while there was a possibility I had done something to justify that which my brain has since glossed over, I don't think there was. I had got the job solely on recommendation from other, much more experienced technicians - if I did that kind of thing I would never have been recommended!

I have never seen any of the actors since then or even seen them on the billing of a show which surprised me, especially as one of them was quite famous (she was the lady actor in the incident I describe, she had previously had a role in EastEnders, a very long running and popular soap on UK TV).

Andrew McLeish

​"I never have to worry about her."

Giphy

"I never have to worry about her."

My grandmother always preferred my sister. It wasn't something she even tried to deny. My sister looked exactly like her dead son, so I guess on some level—I can understand why they were so close.

Since I was a little girl, I watched as my sister was showered with love, attention, and money from a person that would hardly let me know her. For some time, I tried to build a bond, but eventually, I grew to understand that our relationship was meant to be at an arm's length.

It hurt. But all wounds scab over time.

As we got older, my grandmother and sister's relationship became somewhat co-dependent. My grandmother paid all of her bills, bought her cars, and really anything else she wanted. I learned to pay my own way or go without.

At the time, it really sucked, but it taught me to be financially responsible—something my sister didn't learn until much later.

Before my grandmother's death, she really fretted about how my sister would manage without her. A conversation I overhead with her friend:

Her: I just hope she's able to figure it out for herself when I'm gone.

Friend: People always rise to the occasion if they are forced to.

Her: I know. I just wish she was more like Sheree. I never have to worry about her. I know she'll find her way. She's that much like me.

It may not sound like much, but coming from her, it really meant a lot to me. I never felt like she really saw me. And it touched my heart that in some ways when she looked at me, she saw herself.

I'm sorry we couldn't be closer, but I'm glad she found comfort in knowing that I would always be okay. And I am. I guess I get that from her.

Sheree McDonald

When You're 7 or 8....

When I was about 7 or 8, I went on holiday to visit my grandparents. My aunts also lived there and they were the most fun to be around. They took me and my siblings out, played games with us and were just kind of the only people we could hang out with there.

We went in the summer so it was really warm all day, and at night, everyone went to the roof to just chill and talk, so of course we did too. One night I was there with my aunt, and she was telling me a story and we were looking up at the stars. Then she said it was time to go to sleep - I said I wanted to go find my mom instead of stay with her. So I went downstairs to find her. She said to go back upstairs and she'd come.

Basically, halfway up, I heard her talking to my other aunt about how I was "annoying" and they said "she's always stuck to her mom." I was about 8, so ouch. I didn't tell anyone. The same summer, she got offended that I told my mom about something she told me about her fiancé, because she said I shouldn't share everything with my mom and somethings are meant to be secret.

I kind of thought that maybe I heard wrong after that, because I didn't see her again until I was about 16. This was also when I went to see my grandparents. She got married and lived far away and this was the first time she'd be there the same time as me. Again, thinking I wasn't around, she was telling my uncle how they shouldn't "trust" me. I was right the first time. Don't know what the hell that meant since I don't even talk to her.

Anyways, I haven't talked to her since. My aunts had a big problem with me talking with my mother, and they still do. They don't like her, and by extension, they don't like me.

Alizah Ahmed

"I can't even hate you."

When someone I worked with and don't generally like or get along with turned out to not only respect my work performance and integrity but was always rude and toxic towards me because she was upset that I am married and not a prospective boyfriend. I'm not going to lie. If I was single, I would have definitely liked to take her out on a date and talk privately with her. Her abrasive nature is a completely obvious defense mechanism. She wasn't a beauty queen by a long shot either. But I'm willing to bet under the abrasiveness and rudeness and office arrogance, I'll bet she's a very interesting person. She just needs to open up to the right person and be herself.

My last week at the company I walked into the office much earlier than expected because 4 big orders couldn't be delivered due to weather. I heard her telling her coworker how next week would be better because she wouldn't have to attack the man she wanted to kiss because she can't have him. That really blew my mind. I walked in and she turned red as lava. The two asked me how long I had been in the building (under the guise of wanting to see my log book to make sure I wasn't sandbagging overtime). I just said "I heard everything and there isn't any reason for you to be bitter towards me. I haven't done anything to you. I'm sorry you are still looking for Mr. Right, and I hope you find him. But if next week will be easier for you, then I'm glad. I wish you the best of luck."

She starts tearing up and says "I can't even hate you." and goes into the break room and locks the door. Until that day I had no idea that she had a hard crush on me for two years. My wife and I had separated for a couple months right before I started working there and subsequently got back together. Other people were never in the equation and the basis for the separation was family drama from her relatives. I never hit on her or flirted or led her on. About a year ago I talked with a friend of mine that worked there too and knows her since grade school. He told me she had an abortion as a teenager and the botched procedure left her unable to have children. He said she fell in love with how I revolve around my two sons. I take being a father very seriously. I don't know how, or why, but not much has ever hit me out of the blue like that.

Matt Mostowicz

ECON.

Giphy

Several years ago I was attending the local university. This was in an Econ class. I sat next to this woman and we talked before and after class, compared notes and basically helped each other out in Econ. This had been going on for several weeks when she saw my daughter on my computer screen. She asked about her, and then said she used to take her kids to my ex-wife's daycare.

Now, I had been divorced for probably… 3 to 4 years by this point. She remarried within 6 months (With a different guy than the one she cheated on me with). She had asked for the divorce, and as pointed out, cheated… and it was not the first time she cheated in our marriage. So, to this day, I feel my daughter and I were victims in my ex's decisions.

So, this lady tells me that they used to take their kid to the day care. They didn't anymore, but she also mentioned that my ex-wife I guess talked about me, in very unflattering terms. How terrible I was. Unfriendly. Poor parent, etc. All that good stuff that an ex with an Axe to grind may have. But, having talked with this lady for the past month or so, she had gotten to know who I was, and honestly laughed at how wrong my ex was about me. She thought I was a good guy and from the photos with my daughter, it's obvious she loves me and likes being with me, which was a VERY stark contrast to what she had been told.

It's been around 10 years since this occurred, so I don't really remember the particulars. Mainly that it was kind of funny, and did make me mad that she was continuing to play the victim and make me sound bad.

(In the end it all worked out. I now I have my daughter full time, which is what she wanted. I also found an amazing woman to share my life with and my daughter considers her, her real mother). It was a surreal experience hearing how someone talks about you, behind your back like that, though.

Kevin Rank

On the Take.

I heard I was on the take. Really!

I live in a very very small town (less than a sqr mile) and deciding I needed to do something for our town, decided to run for town council. I have worked for several years as both an environmental engineer and a civil engineer so I knew a thing or two about municipal projects and felt I could contribute. Our form of government had 6 council members and a mayor. Basically, majority rules.

So it was obvious before I was on council that the water tower in town needed replacing and the government body was already moving in that direction. I was on council for about a year when it came down for citing a location for the "new water tower". One location popular was in the public works yard which used to be the town dump throughout the 60s through 80s. Recall I worked as an environmental engineer and I worked on Superfund sites.

In particular, I had done work on remediation of landfills. If there is anything you need to know about a pre-1980 landfills it is that you don't touch them unless the DEP/EPA or some other higher authority tells you to. It is a potential landmine of liability. As you may guess, I was dead set against locating the tower in the landfill where you would have to dig down to virgin soil for the tower supports and all pipes leading to and from it. It was contentious, to say the least.

So after about 1/2 a year of fighting, I was at a friends house whose husband happens to own a large engineering firm. He informs me that the rumor going around town was that I was on the take and that is why I refused to endorse locating the water tower in the landfill. We both had a really good chuckle. I am a pretty straight shooter and he knew that.

However, the funny thing is our town is so small that I could not even figure out how a council member could even be on the take. Like, who would actually pay you? Mind you, many muni-engineering firms in my state, as well as lawyers, and politicians have been busted for just that. However, in a non-partisan town that is so small, there just are not those opportunities to make money.

So the most surprising thing I ever heard was that I was on the take.

Mark Mushi

When Young Men Gather.... 

Soon after I started a new job, I think after maybe 3 days, I was in the stationery room (for paper, pens, folders etc) next to the business room at the hotel I worked at. A few men came into the business room and did not know I was in the stationery room with the door a little open. One of them mentioned my name and I started to listen in. As typical with young men when they get together, they talk about women and sex etc but this time it was about me.

One was saying some crude things about me and what he wanted to do. Others mentioned about how my private anatomy would be different from that of a white woman and what I would look like down there. Someone said that because I am from Indonesia that I will be Muslim and that all Muslim women are circumcised so I will be circumcised. The other said really, she will have no clitoris? BTW, I am from Bali and am Hindu, not Muslim. They started talking about how Asian woman always are after sex and they start discussing who will try to have sex with me. They agree whoever has sex with me will take a picture of my circumcised privates to show the others.

At this time I walked out into the business room and past them to the door while they just sat there with their mouths wide open. I did not mention it again but never felt like working with these 3 men again.

Lamisah Cucil

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