If there’s one thing we can always rely on in times of need, it’s our happy memories. Thinking back on certain great moments brings all those emotions rushing back as if it’s happening for the first time. If you ever need a smile, the first place you should go is your memory. These Redditors came together to share memories that always bring warmth to their hearts. Whether it’s a touching moment or a shared laugh, each of these unique memories are sure to spark a smile.
Back in college, I was eating at Chipotle with my friend Anthony, who is typically a pretty suave guy. As we were talking, he was alternating between taking sips of his beer and dumping Tabasco on his burrito before taking a bite. He gets lost in our conversation and I see him grab the Tabasco and start bringing it to his lips.
He catches himself and grabs his beer instead. Then I see him do it again, getting even closer to his mouth this time before realizing his mistake and correcting it. He laughs it off, no biggie. Another minute goes by and, exceeding all expectations, he grabs his beer and pours it into his burrito. Way too perfect.
When my daughter was little, she literally could not stop talking. One day, we were walking by an abandoned lot. It looked like an old gas station or something. My daughter looked at it and said: "Wow, that's a beautiful yard!!" I said, "That's a lot." She replied, "Yeah!! A lot of beautiful yard!!!"
I used to work for a landscaping company cutting grass in industrial parks. One day I was cutting a huge piece of the lawn after a light rain, and stirred up a bunch of these little bugs. Some swallows must have noticed and went on a sort of feeding frenzy all around me for like half an hour. It was a pretty wild sight.
I would be riding along, and a bird would swoop what felt like inches from my head, and then spiral all around to catch more bugs. After watching them for a minute or so I knew they wouldn’t crash into me, so it was like being given a private air show. Always brings a smile to my face thinking back to that moment.
My brother and I went to the dollar store one day and went through every aisle and put anything in the cart that we thought was cool looking. We kind of messed around and ended up putting away 80% of the stuff. But I don’t hang out one on one with him very often, so it made me very happy.
I was walking down a dock with my friend Pat. I started to pass gas. I kept passing gas like it was my only purpose on earth. I released a single toot the whole length of a long dock we were walking. Pat, who thinks flatulence is real funny, just kept looking at me in silent amazement, not wanting to break the magic. We both then collapsed in uncontrollable laughter.
There was probably a whole month that pat or I would start laughing randomly and we both knew what the other was laughing about. He still texts me, "that gas man," 10 years later.
Mine would be when I first started talking to my significant other. I had been asking co-workers about her for some time and then I found out that she was asking about me as well. We would talk here and there but I never had the guts to ask her on a date. When I finally built up the courage to ask her out on a date, she was saying yes before I even asked!
We were laughing like school girls because I only asked if I could ask her something. It makes me smile because I always had low self-esteem and underestimated how much I was and what I could bring to the table in a relationship. Having her love and support just makes me so incredibly happy now and that memory just stands out during the good and the hard times.
One time, I was cleaning my room and had no idea where my dog was. I picked up a pile of laundry and looked back down in time to see his little floofy nose slowly come out from under my bed. As gentle as could be, he grabbed a sock with his front teeth and dragged it back under the bed just as slowly as he came out. I just sat there and watched it happen before I busted up laughing.
My mom would sing and dance in the kitchen every Sunday morning when I was growing up. Times were always tough and money was always tight, but my mom always made sure we were happy and healthy. One particular day when I was eight, I was woken up by the sound of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" blasting through the house and my mom singing off-key.
As I walked to the kitchen the smell of chorizo and eggs filled the air and there I saw her. My mom, who only a few days earlier looked so miserable with her life, was dancing her heart out with a spatula in hand. When she passed seven years later I cried every time I thought of her, except for this memory. This is the only memory that got me through her passing.
It not only makes me smile every time I think of it, but it's my favorite memory of all time because I'm so lucky to remember her for who she was.
My mom and dad were never married and separated when I was very young. They are friends now, happily with other people, and I wouldn't change that for the world, but I do have one memory about them that I love. When I was about four I came home early from preschool due to a sudden power outage caused by a storm.
My mom and dad pulled the loveseat in front of our wood stove and we all sat there, drinking cocoa and reading picture books by flashlight as the storm raged on outside. It was like nothing could ever harm me in that little sanctuary created by two people who could only agree on one thing—caring for me at all costs.
When I was a kid on a family camping trip. I woke up in the morning. It was still cool out, but I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag inside our big old canvas tent. My parents were already up and making breakfast. I could hear them talking and the echoes of someone chopping wood. I could smell the bacon cooking, too. It was a perfect feeling.
My original date to prom canceled on me. My plan was just to go by myself and hang out with my friends. However, my best friend's mom heard that I didn't have a date and decided to set me up. She asked one of her co-workers if her daughter would be interested in going on a blind date to prom, and her daughter said yes. Now, we had never met each other, because she didn't go to the same school as me. She was homeschooled due to medical reasons.
She's had seizures her whole life and had to drop out of school because of how bad they were getting. This would probably be her only chance to go to a prom of any kind. So, she decided to give it a shot—lucky for me. We met up at my best friend’s house. We decided to double date so that she didn't feel uneasy.
I remember the first thought I had when she walked through the door, which was, "This girl is way too pretty for me." I felt like she was way out of my league. Turns out she thought I was handsome, too. That night was one of the best nights of my life. The next day I called her and asked if she'd want to go on another date, and she said yes. A few years later and we were married. We've been together now for over ten years.
I worked as a homeless street outreach worker for a couple of years. My co-worker and I saw a guy standing near a river. We felt something wasn't right and parked. Thank god we did. My co-worker and I convinced the person that ending his own life isn't worth it. A few weeks later that person confronted my co-worker and thanked him for being there that night.
That person had found an apartment and felt that their life had finally gotten on track.
The last afternoon I spent with my grandma. She was such a firecracker, always joking around and giving people the bird. We had a great time, just the two of us. She passed in September 2019, about two months after her husband. I miss them both but thinking about that last afternoon with her always makes me smile.
My grandfather had a wooden leg. His leg was amputated after a motorcycle accident. He was a bit of a Pied Piper when it came to kids and they would often gather around when he sat outside. He loved nothing more than to shock an unknowing new child by cleaning his fingernails with his knife and then stabbing it into his leg as if that's where it belonged. Even kids who had seen him do it before would be shocked, but the new ones would just about poop themselves.
Remembering my "Pa" doing this never fails to make me smile.
My daughter woke up one morning, looked at me, and said, “Papa!” The funny part is that my wife had, according to her, the perfect plan. She would repeatedly say to the baby the word “Papa,” hoping that when the baby would need anything she would call me and not my wife. It worked until a certain point. Now she's jealous that the first word was Papa.
During my first pregnancy, which came as a surprise because I was on birth control, my fiancé and I were SO SCARED of what was to come. My fiancé was terrified and had no idea how to react and seemed more detached—until one night. I was starving, and I couldn't keep ANYTHING down. He gets up, it's like 3:00 am, runs to the kitchen, and comes back with a bowl of ravioli.
I clearly remember disagreeing with the thought of eating it, but I was so hungry that I had to at least try it. Well, I kept it down with NO PROBLEM, much to my chagrin. My fiancé laid his head down on my belly, rubbed it softly, and said, "Wow, you're already so much like me. Driving your mommy bonkers and you'll only eat ravioli."
That will stay with me until my dying breath and it was so wholesome I can't help but tear up and smile.
Begging my parents for a dog when I was 13 years old. They refused to buy one for ages saying it was too much responsibility/money for me and my brother. We decided to take that as a challenge and worked odd jobs scraping some money together—mowing lawns, delivering papers, etc.—for about six months straight.
I come home one day from school, open the door, and this Labrador puppy comes running out of the house to greet us. Cue squeals of excitement and plenty of hugs and kisses. Spent all the money we saved up buying him a collar, bowls, food, and an awesome dog house. He gave us 11 good years as part of the family.
My mom found out she had stage four lung cancer when I was two and passed when I was six. When she got diagnosed, she was given six months to live. Needless to say, she gave us lots of amazing memories and lived in the moment. The one story I always tell when talking about my mom was how one day she let me and my older sister stay home.
This was a big deal in first and third grade already. We went to Bulk Barn and got EVERY item we wanted. When we got home, we snuggled in my parents’ bed, spread out what felt like a never-ending amount of bags of chocolate/candy, and watched Disney movies all afternoon. When my dad came home from work, he just jumped right in and joined us.
It was right before she went into hospice and the last “good day” I remember her having before she passed, so the memory holds a special place in my heart.
One time my brother said something funny while I was eating cereal and I had a huge mouthful of unchewed Mini-Wheats and milk and I started to laugh. Then my sister said something funnier. Then I thought of the most epic funny thing to say but I was trapped in the state of laughter/trying not to spit out or choke on my food.
This made me laugh even harder because of the situation I was in. Then my brother looks at me like what the heck is wrong with you and I just point at him, and then my sister, and then myself. It was so stupid and I just fell to the floor crying with laughter.
Pretty sure it was a dream or something I imagined. I remember walking down a dirt road with heavy swamp vegetation, reeds mostly, growing on both sides and dense tree branches hanging over the road around 10:00 am at the end of June with patches of sunshine barely making it to the dirt below. I was a kid and was walking with a friend.
It's where I go when I need to calm down if I remember it.
My daughter was born in July. The following fall she often would cry at night. I would wrap her in a blanket and take her for a walk. Moments after we got into the cool fall air, she would fall asleep, but I would make the walk last as long as I could. Now every fall when the first cool evening hits I smile and often take a walk.
Well, I was hitting a real low point and my friend invited me over. I still had all these thoughts in my head, until she opens the door and her big freaking Siberian Husky jumps on me and starts to lick my face. I started giggling and literally, all my worries went kaput. Dogs, man, they’ll do it every time.
I'm from the middle of nowhere in Scotland, a tiny little fishing village. So anyway, my parents are like, "Let's go to the airport and look at the planes!" So I am insanely excited as I'm obsessed with flying. We get there and they're like, "Let's buy some tickets!" and I just about lose it. I'm on the plane, FLYING.
They take us to London, and we get on a few trains to France. I'm not aware of where we are, I think we're still in Scotland as it was so fast. I think the train is taking me back home. So, the train stops, and they say, "Let's get off here!" Whatever, we're probably on the way home now. Until I see the sign.
Disneyland Paris. They took us to Disneyland and never said a word in advance. We stayed for a week, it was AWESOME.
My favorite childhood memory is, and always will be, sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee with my mom. We would just sit and talk for hours about everything over a pot of coffee. Truthfully, every time I have a coffee I think of those times and smile. That probably contributes to my caffeine addiction.
I need coffee to get through my day. It has a different meaning for me. That joyful thought always rights whatever wrong is going on. She lives several states away now and is getting a bit older. I don't know how many coffee talks we have left, but I'll always have the ones we've already had. I’ll miss them.
My husband and I have a habit of touching feet when we sleep. A nice, cute comfort thing because cuddling in your sleep is just impractical and sweaty. Once we were napping in the study on the inflatable mattress. We were head to toe because I was trying to use my phone while charging it. We fell asleep, and I woke up and instinctively reached my toes to his toes.
I heard a muffled, "Hey!!!" because I forgot we were head to toe and shoved my feet around his head instead. It’s been 10 years and I still laugh thinking about it.
I would pick dandelions for my grandma, and she would make this big deal about it, and we would go and find a vase for them, and put them in water, and I would run out again into the huge yard so excited trying to find the biggest dandelions and bring them to her, braving bumblebees and rushing to the next big patch.
They were just weeds of course, but she loved them because they were from me and I do not think I have ever been happier than when I heard her exclaiming over them, how big and fuzzy and nice they were. I made Grandma happy which meant I was the single most wonderful person in the universe. Now I look back at that and realize that all I have to offer anyone is a bunch of silly weeds, but they are special if they make someone happy.
My grandparents were always super religious and fairly old fashioned, but they were cool with it. If they saw something they didn't like, you know what they'd do? They'd smile at you, tell you to have a good life (in a sweet way), and go on their way. One day, as most little kids do, I drew a picture.
It was of an alien saying, "Wowee, I’m on Earth!" I gave it to my grandpa. Instead of throwing it away and lecturing me about the Bible like most people I knew would, he hung it up on the wall next to his side of the bed. It was still there, around 10 years later, when he passed. It was still there, around 4-5 years after his passing when Grandma passed.
My stupid little drawing, drawn by a little kid and given to a person who could've easily thrown it away, was put in a place of honor for the majority of the time I knew my grandparents. I'm crying right now, I can’t help it. I'm going to have to go up there and see if it's still there and ask if I can have it.
During a family reunion, a bunch of us were sitting on an L-shaped couch near the kitchen. The rest of the family was in the kitchen. About 15-20 people in the area. My pregnant sister lets out a silent toot, and then says, “Whew.” Then the other six or so people on the L-couch get up from the awful smell almost instantaneously.
Then the rest of the family looks over and wonders why everyone but my sister is off the couch screaming at the top of their lungs, and my sister is just laughing and her face is glowing red with embarrassment. The kicker though, was that she was only two or three months pregnant and she hadn’t told everyone.
She just said, “I ate a lot of cheese.” Oh, man. I freaking love that story.
Honestly? I played baseball for ten years, all the way from little league to high school. My first several years I was great; hitting the ball, catching fly balls, taking bases. The whole nine. My father was always so proud of me, I could tell he was invested in my games. He never missed a single one.
Every single game my dad would take me out for ice cream afterward and when I did something especially great, we would split a banana split. I'll never forget the day when I first struck out. I screwed up bad, costed a game. I was so hard on myself. I was so scared to see the look of disappointment in my dad's face because he always called me his star player.
I sat on the other side of the bench (away from the bleachers) and was barely able to focus through the last half of the final inning. After we ran the field and told the rest of the players "good game," I was afraid to make eye contact at the gate while I was leaving. I looked up, afraid, to see my dad smiling ear to ear.
He wrapped his arms around me, picked me up, and told me I was still his star player. I asked if we could still split a banana split. Instead of having to share, we each got our own. I got extra fudge. I'll never forget how much we laughed that night together. He taught me that failure isn’t something to fixate on, but something to learn from.
He taught me that failure doesn't have to be scary. He taught me that it was a necessary part of life to make someone better. He taught me that everyone makes mistakes, even big ones and that the biggest part of failure is to always have compassion. We've had a really hard life, separately and together, but I'll never share a banana split with anyone else.
I had a big family. We were lower-middle class. We never had air conditioning, and one summer it was unbelievably hot. My dad hauled our only TV down to the basement where it was cooler, and my mom made a huge bowl of fresh cherries covered in ice. All nine of us sat around with all the fans in the house going and watched TV together until late into the night.
My boyfriend once gave me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I joined him on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with his friends. I’m not great at it, but it was another thing for us to do together. Anyway, the goal was to receive these special objects, and a little girl character in the campaign had one of them.
So, I decided to talk to the character. And I must have done a good job because my boyfriend said to his friends, “You know why she was awesome at that?! Because she’s a teacher!” I don’t know, I’m so used to getting physical compliments, so hearing him exclaim that I am good with kids (albeit fake in this scenario), was one of the most amazing things to hear. I think about that often.
Authorities once could have detained me for a small amount of grass possession in ninth grade. Instead, he cut me loose and made me promise to not have it on me again. I cleaned up my act, and still have a clean record to this day. My life could have been dramatically altered had the officer not been as emphatic and forgiving as he was that day. I’m still very thankful every time I think about.
In sixth grade, I had a boyfriend, and it wasn't awkward or anything, but we just didn't do a lot of things. It's a middle school relationship, after all, they never last. But I remember it was around summertime and I had one class with him, keyboarding. For all of you that don't know, it's a class where we learn how to type, and we learn about parts of a computer.
I sat next to him every day in that class, I loved him. And I remember telling him, "Hey, can I do a trick on your hand?" He said sure, so he gave me his hand and I took it. I told him to spread his fingers apart, and I remember my heart beating so fast. I interlocked fingers with him, and we sat the rest of keyboarding class with our hands like that.
He told me it was really clever, and thinking back about it now, it makes me smile about how brave I was.
When I was around 12, my cousins and I had a game of water balloon fight with some neighbors on a hot day, no rules just whoever surrenders first loses. Both teams were making balloons in two different houses. My cousins and I decided that the best place to have the battle was at the park across the street from us.
So, I walked to the neighbor’s house (it was about four houses away) to tell them the plan. That was a mistake. Once I got to the house, I told them to go to the park. Without saying anything, the neighbors smacked me with a couple of water balloons. I quickly turned around, went back to my cousin’s house, and explained that they weren't going to the park.
We had just finished filling the balloons until we saw the neighbors coming with their arsenal. It was time. We scrambled to carry a large bucket with water balloons to the battle zone which consisted of a medium-sized grassy front yard and a large sidewalk. Quickly, we were on the defense and badly losing. Things looked grim.
One of the neighbors got themselves a secret defense, a VERY large balloon that one of the kids used as a makeshift super soaker. We did have the upper hand as we had more water balloons, but the sight of the large balloon demoralized us. If we retreated the neighbors would take our balloons and use them against us until we surrendered.
I had a cunning plan. It was daring but would have made me a hero. I got a few balloons and pelted the kid with the large balloon. Once he was looking away I made my way towards him, taking a few hits from the neighbors and friendly fire. Once close, I lunged towards the large balloon and we were both wrestling for it.
With the balloon temporarily disabled, my cousins got a second wind, knew what I was doing, and they pushed forward. It was the turning tide of the battle. I eventually got the balloon but fell to the floor and burst. With the neighbors in full retreat, we used this momentum and pushed forward. They eventually surrendered on their territory.
Turns out they were relying on the large balloon and did not make as many water balloons as we did. Every time I look back I smile thinking how heroic I was for doing that.
Many years ago, I worked with severely physically challenged kids and teenagers. A group of us were in the gym with different kids doing different exercises etc. We aware all asked to be quiet and obviously, our curiosity was engaged. A beautiful young man, about 15 years old, maybe six feet by this stage, was about to stand up out of his wheelchair.
He had done it before, so we were all smiling and happy for him once again. It took a huge effort for him to do just that. Cue clapping and general praise for a physical feat. Then he went quiet, stood as tall as he could, and took one step. We all hushed and watched in utter amazement. Then another, albeit very wobbly one step.
This is a 15-year-old who had NEVER walked un-aided before. Then he took another step. Then another! The whole room by now is up on our feet cheering and screaming and clapping and jumping up and down to egg him on!! Most of us are very ugly crying too as he takes the very first steps by himself, with no assistance, of his life!
And the kicker? As if that wasn’t good enough, his parents had come to speak to the school about starting a new sports program and had been watching through the doorway the whole time! Happy, happy tears all round. Still, one of the happiest memories I can remember. I’ve never stopped being proud of him, and never will.
I went to a fair with my crush. There were rollercoasters, food, and cool rides. Bumper cars and horror rides. I was so close to her. Her presence made it 100x better. The happiest day of my life. No stress, no confusion, no toxicity. It is the only memory I have that brings pure joy. I still feel the warmth of the sun and the taste of the food. We were kids being kids, and that was alright.
In the 90s in London, Sega opened Sega World, six floors of arcade games arranged in themes; racing game floor, flight game floor, etc. Each floor was connected to the next by an indoor theme park ride. Basically heaven for a kid like me. I won a pair of tickets from a newspaper competition when it first opened.
I went up there with my dad. When we got there, I looked around the first floor carefully for which game I was going to play and saw Time Crisis in the corner. I took the five-pound note I had in my pocket and asked the nearest staff member where I could get it changed up. He looked at me and frowned. I thought I was in big trouble.
Then he made a sweeping gesture with his arm and said, "They’re all free."
The last time I saw my great-grandma Claudine. She was 98 and had horrible dementia. She didn’t recognize my grandmother (her daughter) and it was honestly very sad. We were going to her house because my papa, her husband, passed and we needed to go to his funeral. Before we left, we got a car wash and one of the guys there gave us a red carnation.
It was a weird promotion or something, I think. But after a 10+ hour drive, we made it to her house. I rushed inside and overheard my grandma begging my great-grandma to remember her because my grandma had recently been diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. I gave her a second and knocked, then walked in.
The very first thing my great-grandma said when she saw me was, “is that my beautiful MY NAME?” I nearly cried just from that. My grandma was super happy she remembered me but sad she didn’t remember her and decided I should spend time with her alone. She went off to go get some food I think, but I don’t know.
So, it was just me and my grandma. We chatted for a while and the inevitable question finally came up, “Who was that woman in here earlier?” “That’s your daughter.” “Oh really? Why does her hair look so weird?” “Oh, it’s a wig. She is bald now.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that her daughter had cancer, even though she wouldn’t remember.
She giggled a bit then attempted to pull me in, and said, “I’m gonna take her wig!” I laughed, she couldn’t walk or lift her arms on her own, let alone snatch a wig right off of my grandmother’s head. After about an hour my tummy started to grumble so I called my grandma back in and went to the kitchen for some potatoes.
After maybe five minutes, I heard my grandma scream. I was afraid my great-grandma had finally passed and rushed in, but it wasn’t that at all. My great-grandma did it. She ripped the wig right off of my grandma’s head. She told her to come close to whisper a secret and with all her might snatched it. She went on to live in a care home and got into many more antics, and would call once a week begging me to take her away and start a traveling band.
Almost every summer, I lifeguard at this camp with another lifeguard around my age. We’d play around a lot before the pool opens for the day, sometimes even waking up early just so we could take turns swimming for a little while. A couple of years ago, we’d just closed down the pool for the campers and as per usual, began fooling around.
Somewhere down the line, she found a busted-up lawn chair and decided to sink it to the bottom of the deep end. We kept it weighed down with a few cinderblocks and posed with it underwater- just the typical stuff like pretending to sit in it or holding onto the armrests and acting like we were doing handstands.
She had a waterproof phone case on her cell or something too, so she was able to snap a few pictures while we were down there. I know it wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but it was the most fun I’d had in a while. There were lots of laughs and shenanigans during our time there, but that day holds a special place in my heart.
I catch myself thinking back to that day a lot, especially since life has got me feeling kind of depressed. It never fails to put a grin on my face and a spring in my step. I love getting to hang out with her when I can. We don’t see each other that much apart from lifeguarding together over the summers, so I’m hoping the camp isn’t canceled because of all this.
My cousin. He was 13, and me and my brother were six and four. I remember him doing the best thing. We got to see him every summer in Virginia. His mother, my aunt, had left him with our grandmother since she didn't want to raise him. He considered us his brothers and my parents as his. We looked forward to any time we could see him.
He would get up just before dawn and go out in the front yard and he would place candy all over the small tree there. He would wake us up when the sun came up and tell us to get outside quickly and harvest the candy tree before all the adults got up. We would eat candy with him for breakfast and he would tell us stories about aliens and ghosts and how the world was full of unseen mystery.
He would show us pictures in books of far off and beautiful places and how we would all go there someday to say we had seen the world. He shaped who I am more than I can ever describe. He passed four years later after taking a truck with his friend. He was trying to come to where my family lived to be with us.
We were going to go down that summer and finally get our grandmother to agree to let him come live with us. I miss him.
I was depressed for a long time and became a shut-in for roughly three months or so. I went back to my parents’ house once every month. Every single time I'm at my parents’ house my three-year-old nephew comes to visit me. One day he came and knocked on my bedroom door when he heard me crying. He then asked, "Are you sad?"
Then I opened the door while acting as if I was okay. Before I could give him any answer, he hugged my legs so tight I cried again in the doorway. He never said anything, just stayed there, giving me his best hug. It was all I needed back then, and I never thought I would get such happiness from a kid. I love him so much, and he is here with me right now.
I remember my little brother wanted to see my school ID. I told him that I look really gross in it, he looked at it anyways. He told me that I don’t look gross. I don’t know why, but that felt like the sincerest compliment. Whenever someone says I look good I just feel like they're trying to be nice, but when he said that, I felt really nice.
Normally if you tell someone, "You're not ugly," it sounds really rude, but for me it just feels more realistic.
The time my girlfriend almost destroyed our moving truck. We had been dating for six months or so and decided to move in together, and while pulling into a parking lot, she clipped the awning of a parking overhang, tearing a massive gash in the side and nearly toppling it onto several other parked cars. My heart almost stopped.
I get out of my car and run over to her, prepared for an emotional thunderstorm, and she bursts out of the truck just laughing wildly. She was just so cool about it, and I think that was when I fell in love with her.
The memory of watching my bully basically knock his front teeth out always makes me laugh. NYC, maybe seventh grade, recess at a park with a rectangular paved area that had four basketball hoops set up in the middle of each side. The class is playing football and I am picked pretty much completely last, as usual.
Paul is the QB and he tells Alex to run a zigzag pattern up the middle and he will throw it to him. Paul tells me to go long—with clear intent not to throw it to me under any circumstances. Alex has been tormenting me that year. He had curly hair, beady eyes, buck teeth, and a perpetual sneer on his liver lips. I loathed him.
The play begins. Paul steps back, waiting to throw to Alex. Alex is running full speed ahead with his head turned back to Paul. I am lazily running parallel to Alex, watching him because that’s where the ball is going to go. Alex is now fast approaching the metal pipe holding the basketball hoop. I am interested by this.
That’s when I make a stunning realization. He is definitely on course to hit it, just as Paul sends the ball spiraling to Alex who has his arms up and his face still turned back to Paul. “Watch out, Alex!” I yell instinctively, and Alex turns his head just in time to run face-first into the pipe. Alex is down. Blood everywhere. He sits up, pokes at his mouth, and says, “My feeth! Where are my feeth?”
The teacher looks in his bloody mouth and, sure enough, both front teeth are missing. “Everyone look for Alex’s teeth!” yells the teacher, which was the final straw for me: I began laughing uncontrollably as I and the other kids are all picking up bottle caps and whatnot as if they might possibly be Alex’s teeth.
Several people, including the teacher, got mad at me for the discourtesy of laughing during such a grim moment. But I was beside myself. It was all just too delicious. Turns out he didn’t knock his teeth out; he knocked them in. He hit the pipe dead-center and it knocked his teeth back into the gum line of his mouth. Painful dentistry ensued.
Yes, that memory never fails to delight me.
I grew up in the country, and our property contained maybe a dozen apple trees. We used many of these apples for things such as pies and apple cider, but a lot more of them would fall to the ground and be unusable. So, as a way to get us kids to help pick up and get rid of the unwanted apples, my dad created a game.
The game was called—don't ask me why—"Daddy Gonzalez." My dad would crouch in a bordering empty field and have us throw apples at him. He'd be holding a large piece of cardboard or something as a barrier, sticking his head over his barrier and mocking us as we tried our hardest to bean him with apple projectiles.
When I was a teaching assistant, I had one student who struggled all semester. It was his first semester, and he wasn't used to the workload that came with college. So, he came to my office looking for help. I gave him some advice, some things that helped me, and then I sent my good wishes and hopes that he did well on the final.
I ran into him a few semesters later and was stunned. He was excited and said that he passed that class and went on to enter the psychology program at our university and that he was conducting his own research, and had entered a mentorship program. Running into him doing well, and him saying that my encouragement and advice made all the difference, I was so proud to see him go so far because I knew he had the ability all along.
It was probably one of the proudest moments in my college career.
When I was 17 I discovered that my partner loved the Broadway play Wicked. Due to this, I worked tirelessly at my job, working overtime so that on her birthday I could surprise her with some tickets. A month or two before her birthday I took her window shopping at a local mall that had just been constructed. We stopped at a rather expensive store and looked around and she told me later that she needed a good pair of workout shoes.
Cut forward a couple of months later. I got us practically front-row tickets to a Wicked play showing at one of the major live theaters where I live. I also surprised her with a pair of shoes from the store in the mall. I felt like a boss having just walked out of the store with that pair of shoes but nothing compared to that dang magical glint in her eyes as she watched the performers on stage twirling about like spider monkeys. I've always had a bad relationship with Valentine’s Day, but that day took the cake.
I'll never forget the magical moment I looked over at her in the seat next to me and saw that wholly innocent look of adoring. It's a golden moment in my memories. Shortly after that, I suffered an episode of amnesia that has affected my short-term memory severely, but it's still one of the only memories I have when we first started dating.
About a year ago, I was in a discount grocery store. I had about $20 left after bills and rent, so I was having to carefully pick what to buy. In the end, after umming and ahing for a couple of minutes over whether I could afford to spend $6 on coffee, I put it back on the shelf and went to the register, defeated.
As I'm walking out of the shop I hear a woman call after me: "Young man, you forgot this." I turn around and she thrusts the jar of coffee into my bag. I go to protest and she cuts me off saying; "I remember what it was like, not having enough money and having to go without. You take that coffee and enjoy it mate."
She had the biggest smile on her face. She was like a beacon of light during one of my darkest times, and I always remember her. With every cup of coffee, I can't help but smile ear to ear. Because now each cup reminds me there are truly good people in the world. Thank you, mysterious lady. I’ll never forget you.
Before we started dating, my now boyfriend went bar hopping with some friends and got wasted. He then spammed my phone with texts and Snapchats and they were all hilarious. But my favorite was, right before he went to sleep, he told me that he “like-liked” me. He now swears his drunk brain didn’t realize he had already written like once, so he wrote it again, but I always joke that he meant to say it that way, and now it’s a big inside joke.
We really “like-like” each other, guys!
My dad was retired military. When I was pregnant with my son, he came to stay at my house near my due date. Things start happening and off we go to the hospital—my husband driving me in his car, and my brother and dad following in their car. I had a truly horrible and very long contraction right before we got to the hospital.
So, my husband calls my dad to tell him about the new plan. He was going to grab a wheelchair for me and then my dad was going to take me in to get admitted while the other two parked the cars. So, we get out of the cars, and I'm sobbing, leaning on my dad while waiting for the wheelchair. He asks me if I'm okay, I think just as a reflex.
Obviously, I say no. I can barely focus through the pain and this is not a light, delicate tear slowly rolling down my cheek situation. So, the wheelchair comes and I get in it. My dad starts pushing and HAULS IT through the doors, where I see there is a huge line of people waiting to check-in at the front desk.
Dad doesn't even attempt to wait in line. He goes directly to the side of the desk as fast as he can, pushing my fully pregnant self. He doesn't look like he's planning on stopping for the little old lady who's being helped, so I put my feet out to stop the wheelchair and prevent her from being hit. Luckily, she doesn't take very long and my dad soon pushes me up a little further to talk to the woman behind the desk.
"Hi yeah, my daughter is in labor, she needs to be checked in right away" "Okay sir, we can do that, we just need some ID from you." Now at this point, he's behind me so I can't see him, but the contraction is finally starting to subside so I'm calming down a little bit. But I can hear the disgust dripping from his voice when he says:
"She's about to have a baby and you're worried about my ID?" She tells him yes, she doesn't need anything from me but she does need to make a quick ID sticker for him. So logically the next thing he says is, "Okay fine, here's my driver's license, military ID, credit cards... what else do you need? Can we go now?"
All the while, he’s emptying his entire wallet and tossing random cards on the desk. My dad was a career military man and I have rarely seen him lose his cool, but he lost his cool that day. But the memory of him losing his mind and trying to help while I was in pain always makes me smile. He passed recently and I miss him.
I stopped at 7-Eleven on my way home from the dog park with Brody. I left him in the car with the windows down, like I have frequently in the past three years. When I came back out, he was gone! I panicked and called him. He ran over to me, but when I opened the car door and told him to get in, he took off and ran behind the store. I followed him because this was very out of character for him.
I found him sitting by a dumpster being hugged by a ten-year-old boy. I tried to ask his name; he didn’t say a word. I called the police. Turned out someone in the neighborhood called in a missing autistic child.
He’s a hero!
I was on what I call a rumpled suit flight—one of those flights on a Friday at 6 from NY to DC where most of the flight consists of business people in suits drinking $14 double whiskeys. A fellow rumpled suit sat across the aisle next to a mother and her kid. When she could the kid brought down her tray table and a coloring book and started coloring.
I didn’t hear what was said but at some point, the kid handed the rumpled suit a coloring book and they spent the remainder of the flight coloring and chatting. I was kinda like, “I want to color too.”
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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