It’s a common misconception that people mature as they get older. Even after they’ve long passed a respectable age for doing so, most folks are still prone to childish outbursts and petty antics when things don’t go their way.
1. Wakey, Wakey!
My dad was in dreamland, and I ended up making a racket when I slipped into his room to grab something. Naturally, his sleep got interrupted. So, the following morning, he decided to repay the favor by dumping an entire bottle of water on me while I was still snoozing.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around why he'd do something like that. I suppose he thought it was some kind of payback, but honestly, it was such a petty thing for a grown man to do to his kid.
2. Keeping Score
I found myself in a pickle when I missed a math test because I was hospitalized. Despite showing my teacher proof of hospitalization, he wouldn't let me retake the test. He said the grade didn't matter because he'd decided to disregard every student's worst score.
However, I wasn’t okay with this because I had studied hard for the test and wanted my current lowest grade—a 78—to be the dropped score. I proposed taking the test after school, but my teacher refused. However, I didn’t let this stop me.
I took my case to the guidance counselor, providing proof of my grades from previous assignments. Luckily, they sided with me and instructed my teacher to administer the test. I finally sat for the test and was rewarded with a well-deserved A-.
Soon after, I discovered my homework grade had mysteriously plummeted. I was furious. Before I had confronted my teacher, my homework submission rate stood at a proud 100%. Now it was suddenly halved to 50%.
Once again, I gathered my evidence—screenshots of grades this time—and headed back to the guidance counselor who helped me rectify the situation.
When I was about eight years old, I remember going to a baseball game with my family. Like any kid, my eyes were peeled, eagerly waiting for a chance to catch a baseball.
One of the players on the field spotted me in the audience, made eye contact with me, and tossed a ball my way. But just as I was about to catch it, some guy, who looked like he could be a college student, leaned over my shoulder and grabbed the ball instead.
I turned around to find him laughing along with his friends, celebrating his "catch". Even after nearly two decades, I still feel a hint of annoyance about that incident.
4. Ball Hogs
When I was in fifth grade, my bus stop was located in a church's parking lot, which had a basketball hoop. After school, we'd often shoot hoops there. I usually brought my own ball—a basic orange Spalding. One day, a young kid, about five years old, cycled over to us insisting that we were playing with his ball—one he claimed to have left behind earlier.
It was indeed my ball, though. It even had my name on it. To be sure, I turned it over, showing him my name. The kid burst into tears and fled the scene—but that wasn't the end of it. He returned shortly after, armed with his parents, another kid of the same age and his parents—all packed into a minivan.
They accused me and my pals of petty theft, alleging that we'd unfairly marked the kid's ball as our own. Speechless, we handed over the ball. They carried on their ranting for another 10 minutes, throwing accusations of bullying and threats of juvenile detention.
My friend, who happened to be Black, timidly pointed to a ball lying under some adjacent bushes, only to be aggressively mocked by one of the parents, insensitively referred to as "Afro Boy"—even though he didn't have an afro.
The two kids soon ran over to the bushes, and one of them exclaimed, "Mom, look! That's my ball!" The parents were dumbfounded—the name calling stopped, and there was an awkward silence until the boy's mother, recovering, declared, "Well, Colton, now you have two balls"—a thinly veiled attempt to save face before they sped off.
This was an eye-opening experience for me, showing how adults too can be unjust just for the sake of being "right". We did get a sort of revenge later that weekend, though, by egging their house. Naturally, they suspected us and came to confront my parents, who already knew what they'd done to me.
I'd used up all the eggs from our fridge, so in any other circumstance, my parents would have obliged me to confess and apologize. But instead, they rejected the accusations, feigning innocence, and even retorted back. My mom delivered the final blow with a sarcastic offer to check our egg-less kitchen, adding that we were saving up to replace my "lost" basketball.
Amidst all the confusion and embarrassment, they eventually backed off. My parents' support restored my faith in adults, despite never getting my ball back from the stubborn neighbors.
5. Roll Call
Here's a bit of backstory: my first name is Abby. That's it. Just Abby, not a letter more. There was this one time in sixth-grade social studies, my teacher kept calling out "Abigail". Considering that's not my name, I didn't answer, wondering who this unknown "Abigail" could be. My teacher then marched up to my desk and asked why I was ignoring her.
I remarked, "You were calling for 'Abigail,' not 'Abby'". To this, she retorted, “Abby is short for Abigail". She then accused me of disrespect and sent me off to the principal's office. Once there, the principal wanted to know why I was there and I informed him, "My teacher was calling for an Abigail, and I didn't respond".
Perplexed, he asked why I hadn’t responded to which I simply said, “Because my name is Abby, just Abby". On checking my records, the principal confirmed that I am indeed an Abby—not an Abigail, never have been. He then sent me back to class, no hard feelings. My teacher, however, let things lie and never called on me again.
6. The Gift Giver
When I was all set to graduate from high school, my aunt wondered which of my late grandfather's rings I'd prefer as a graduation gift, coupled with a card and a bit of spending money. I thanked her kindly, but explained that I wasn't one for wearing jewelry and feared such a meaningful gift might be wasted on me. Plus, there were other keepsakes I'd already inherited from him.
My aunt replied with a simple, "Alright, that's fine," and I assumed the matter was settled. Nope. My graduation passed, and a few weeks later we had some family over for dinner. As I was engaged in a chat with another aunt—the sister of my ring-offering aunt—the latter approached us and gave me a small box.
I knew what it was, but despite my earlier refusal, I decided to play along, ready to respond with an enthusiastic "Wow! How wonderful, thank you!" As I lifted the lid of the ring box, before I could say anything, the aunt whom I'd been talking to flew off the handle. "Are you SERIOUSLY JOKING? Why HIM for THAT ring?”
She was shouting at her sister, at me, and causing quite the ruckus. It turned out she had wanted that particular ring for herself. My glance shifted to my gift-giving aunt and there was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. That's when it dawned on me; their intense sibling rivalry was at play and I was used as a pawn.
If only her anger had been directed at her sister, I might have felt some sympathy for her. She did apologize a few days later. Moreover, there were some of my friends present that day, who witnessed all this drama. Every time I recall the incident, I feel embarrassed remembering it, especially since the ring had no place in my life.
7. Collateral Damage
Once upon a time, I had an uncle who was involved in a long-standing spat with my mom. He decided to fan the flames of this feud every time he met my sister and me. He would shower my sister with compliments, praising her beauty and charm. But when it came to me, all I got was a dismissive, "Oh, you're here, too," before he phased me out for the rest of the evening.
I used to think the world of him, but this behavior shattered my affection for him and left me feeling deeply wounded. I remember spending hours pouring my heart out to my mom, feeling unworthy and unappealing. It hurts to admit, but he managed to score a low blow against my mom and, unwittingly, crushed my confidence.
Even today, I find it hard to let go of the hurt he caused.
8. Bookworm Blues
My experience with my sixth-grade teacher was a tough one. I ended up in her class when the gifted students' teacher was reassigned, which seemed to make her discontent. Our class was going to read The Hobbit— a book I was thrilled about, having already read it and The Lord of the Rings trilogy the previous year.
However, she openly accused me of lying to the entire class. She didn't just stop there, she launched into a rant about how children like me were full of themselves, assuming they were superior to others. I was a quiet and shy girl, so tears were my only response. This, too, she derided.
The rest of the year was really disheartening, and she seemingly encouraged her favored students to tease me. I could never meet her standards. She wasn't able to officially fail me because I excelled in my school work, but she seemed to get joy from belittling me whenever possible. Her behavior was far from commendable.
9. The Mechanic
When I was in Cub Scouts, we held a pinewood derby. My dad and I worked closely together on constructing my car. With our combined effort, I managed to secure the victory in the first three rounds. As the final round approached, a curious incident occurred.
A father of one of my competitors picked up my car with the intent of passing it to me. However, it "slipped" from his grasp, and my car's wheels shattered upon hitting the ground. To this day, I'm convinced this wasn't a mere accident, but a deliberate attempt to dismantle my car so his son could gain an upper hand.
30 years have passed since that event, but it continues to irk me deeply.
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10. Patient Zero
One day when I was in third or fourth grade, I started to feel ill. The teacher filling in for our regular one wouldn't let me visit the nurse. She said I "didn't seem sick enough". Turns out, I had strep throat.
11. Inside Voices, Everyone
When I was in middle school, I spent the night at a friend's house. Her parents spooked me a bit—they were incredibly strict and had taken my friend and her siblings out of the local school to attend a Catholic institution.
The story I'm about to share took place around 11 pm during this sleepover, when my friend's mother, albeit reluctantly, allowed us to watch the Disney movie, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
During the movie, I found something funny and laughed. Despite her parents being awake, they stormed into the living room to reprimand me for my loudness. Then, everything went south. I took a sip of water, started choking, and began coughing uncontrollably.
Because of this, they phoned my parents after 11 pm to come get me, claiming I wasn't behaving appropriately. They seemed indifferent to the fact that my parents were probably asleep and had work early the next morning. Essentially, they wanted me gone due to a series of events—laughing and coughing—that happened within 10 minutes.
Following this incident, my parents forbade me from ever spending another night at my friend's house.
12. The Cash Fairy
When I was around the age of nine or ten, I was roller-skating back from my mother's office. I was navigating Fourth Street when I stumbled upon 16 dollars—composed of a ten-dollar bill, a five-dollar bill, and a one-dollar bill—lying on the ground.
This money was just resting there on the pathway beside an outdoor cafe setting. Being the overly kind-hearted child I was, I picked up the cash and gazed around, pondering if someone had misplaced their money. Suddenly, a woman in an unusual sweater vest appeared around the corner.
We locked eyes and I informed her about the money I had discovered. She reacted with disbelief, saying, "Really? Show me". My seemingly naive self thought, "Sure, that checks out. She's an adult, she's equipped to handle this".
She had a look around, returned the one-dollar bill to me, and made a hushing sound while placing a finger to her lips. THEN, SHE SIMPLY DISAPPEARED, NEVER TO REAPPEAR AGAIN.
13. Don’t Cross The Queen Of Swords
My mom inquired if I'd like to join in a game of 52-card pick up when my pals were visiting. I was curious and questioned her about the game's nature. She gave me quite a black-and-white choice, stating I either wanted to play, or I didn't. I informed her that I wasn't keen on participating in something without prior knowledge. Her reaction was rather intense.
She became noticeably annoyed, flung the cards onto the floor, and explained, "This is how you play 52-card pick up: go ahead, pick them up". As I obediently gathered the scattered cards, she dangled the threat of grounding me overhead. It definitely made the situation more unpleasant since my friends were present to witness the ordeal.
14. Beware The Momma Bear
Back in my fifth-grade year, I neglected to place a cover on my math textbook. The task required me to cut a paper bag or some similar material, which I never got around to doing. Consequently, my math teacher confiscated my textbook, leaving me unable to do homework or participate actively during class. I mean, seriously, who does that to a child?
When my mom discovered this, she made her way down to the school. She caused quite a stir, arguing they were obstructing my educational rights or something along those lines. My presence made the school district uneasy until the day I received my diploma.
15. By Any Means Necessary
When I was in kindergarten, I had a teacher who tried to send me packing just because I fell ill and couldn't come to school the day before. She accused me publicly, in front of all my classmates, suggesting I was dishonest about my absence. She even mentioned bringing in the principal.
I was so scared, I ended up shedding tears right there in class, utterly at a loss. It seemed like she was after an attendance trophy or something, and thought pointing a finger at a child was the best strategy. I was only five. To this day, I still can't believe she got away with it.
16. Bragging Rights
When I was 16, I worked at a gas station in the afternoons. The job was filled with menial tasks like cleaning up the parking area and throwing out the garbage. One day, as I was hauling the trash out, an older man in his 40s approached me. His words stuck with me.
"I earn more in one week than you do in an entire year," he told me. My first reaction was, "Of course, you do. I'm still in high school". It seemed so unfair for him to say that to a teenager who was just trying to earn a little extra cash after school.
17. Just A Flesh Wound
Once, at school, I injured my ankle badly, but the nurse shrugged it off, thinking I was exaggerating. Despite my high tolerance for pain, I found myself hobbling around on crutches for about a month. Unfortunately, a similar situation arose years later when I sustained an actual neck injury. School was, without a doubt, the toughest period of my life.
The distress was so extreme that it led me to attempt taking my own life twice. During one such instance, I jumped off a second-floor balcony. Luckily, I landed in a garden filled with woodchips, suffering just some severe bruising and a dislocated knee.
However, instead of finding understanding, I was given detention by the principal for "showboating" and wandering in the garden.
18. Rough Waters
My swim coach had promised me a candy bar if I could jump off the diving board, even though I didn't know how to swim. I took the leap, but they told me they had forgotten the candy. However, I noticed them munching on one in the break room. At just five years old, I experienced my first sting of betrayal.
Rather than teaching me how to swim, my coach seemed more interested in teaching the class how to keep our eyes open under water—goggles off and all. As expected, that swimming lesson did not help me swim. It was a year later when I finally learned to swim. My sister was the one who taught me in a hotel pool during our family vacation.
My handwriting has always been atrocious. Trust me, it isn't for lack of trying or seeking help—nothing seems to change it. Take a trip down memory lane to my fifth-grade social studies class. My teacher seemed to get a kick out of constantly highlighting my poor penmanship.
Our routine was to place our workbooks on her desk for homework inspections, an activity that filled me with dread. In front of the whole class, she'd brandish my notebook, instigating laughter at my scribbles. Though I'm now an adult, I am still uneasy when it comes to handwriting anything for others to read.
20. Double Scoop Dismay
We were nearly out of ice cream and I scooped out the last serving for myself. I strolled into the living room to enjoy it, but my dad the unthinkable. He grabbed it and finished the whole thing because I didn't share any with him. That happened when I was about eight years old. Now that I'm 41, I still find myself sneaking away to eat my bowls of ice cream in secret.
When I turned 16, my mum and stepdad allowed me to get my learner's permit. At 17, they gave the green light for me to attend driving classes. However, they drew a line when it came to hands-on road practice with a supervising adult; they simply wouldn't let me use their cars.
I communicated this to my driving instructor who, in turn, queried my mum about her approach, wondering how she believed I'd learn. A lifeline came in the form of my brother-in-law who granted me around five hours of road practice before my final test. Needless to say, ill-prepared as I was, the end result was predictable. I failed.
When I questioned my parents about their stance, their hostility surprised me. Accusations flew left and right about my selfishness for wanting a licence and the dreaded increase in their insurance premiums since I turned 16. My solution was to wait until I turned 18, and take more instructor-led driving lessons to secure my licence.
The highlight of this story, my parents were dishonest. A decade and half later, working in auto insurance sales, I've come to learn that unlicensed teens don't impact your policy. And even when they're licensed, they can be marked as "excluded".
22. Sic ‘Em!
Growing up, I was a bit on the heavy side. At age twelve, I made up my mind to start jogging around my local area. I preferred going out at twilight, in hopes of being less noticeable. On one of my early runs, I encountered a man walking his dog.
For his amusement, he let his dog loose and it started chasing after me, only being called back just as it was about to catch me. After this incident, I decided to stop my jogging routine.
23. He Chose The Wrong Rung
So, here's a story from my teenage years. As part of my Eagle Scout project, I had to come up with a proposal and get it approved on several stages. My proposal was top-notch.
In fact, I was the only one in a long time to pass the first approval stage without needing any changes. But then came this guy at the district level, seemingly on a mission to reject every single proposal at least once.
After debating for about an hour and a half, he turned mine down due to the lack of "ladder safety measures". But I wasn't about to let it go. I came up with a plan for revenge. I whipped up a 150-page manual all about ladder safety and slapped it down in front of him. Except, it wasn't the same man, so I didn't get to see his reaction.
When the other man asked me why my proposal was so lengthy, I explained what had happened. He thought it was absolutely hysterical.
24. One Man’s Truth Is Another Man’s Treason
I finished a task my dad gave me to do. When my mom came home, she noticed the great job I'd done on it. Yet, my dad claimed he had done it instead of me. I immediately reacted and told them the truth—it was me who accomplished it. Instead of accepting this, he got very angry and accused me of being disloyal.
25. That’s Cap
Back when I was just a kid, our family stuff got swiped while we were relaxing at the seashore. One of the snatched items was my cherished cap; my one and only hat. I had an immense fondness for it, wearing it everywhere, every day. I was only six or seven years old, and that hat carried a significant emotional importance to me.
There was this lady with us during that incident who chose to provoke me. She ridiculed my distress, pointing out the fact that my folks lost even more valuable possessions, like a digital camera. Looking back as an adult, I get her point.
However, as a youngster grappling with this colossal unfairness that not even my parents could rectify, it was a monumental issue. This lady insisted on provoking me until I shouted at her: "Just go, leave me alone!" I was not my usual self, but her response made her the ultimate Karen.
She ran off to my mother to rant about my my impoliteness and disrespect. She accused me of shouting at her and using slurs. Consequently, my mom punished me. This happened way back, like 20 years ago...I mean, it's not like I'm still bitter.
26. The Set-Up
Back when I was in ninth grade, I had the misfortune of breaking two fingers on my main hand. This forced me to wear a splint and completely took away my ability to write. Despite this, I remember during a school test, and my teacher insisted that I should use my left hand to write instead.
Unfortunately, because the writing ended up being hard to read, she marked all my answers as incorrect.
27. Did You Do Your Homework?
When I was in sixth grade, I found myself in hot water for reading during homeroom. Think of homeroom as this random 30 minutes to catch up on homework. However, I was always ahead of the game and finished my assignments the night before, so I'd spend that time engrossed in my book.
For some reason, this didn't sit well with my homeroom teacher and one day, she lost her cool. Out of the blue, she scolded me for constantly being buried in my book during her class and insisted that I should be doing homework. To that, I assured her I'd already finished all my assignments.
When she asked me to back it up, I promptly displayed my completed homework. Surprisingly, rather than acknowledging my diligence, she took away my book and sent me to the principal's office, accusing me of disrespect. To this day, that incident leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
In the past, my father would often request a sip of my beverage, only to gulp down more than half of it. Back then, I was pretty naïve and fell for this trick time and time again, while he just chuckled. Currently, I'm open to sharing anything except my drinks.
Regardless of what it is, I won't let anyone have a taste... Well, except for my wife, because I absolutely adore and trust her.
29. Daddy Dearest
I've got quite a handful of tales about my quirky dad, but I'll only share a few of the most memorable ones. Wearing uniforms was a rule at my high school, applicable even to PE class, with two specific types of PE shirts and khaki shorts as the uniform.
Unfortunately, one of my PE shirts had a tear in the armpit area. Once, while passing by me, my dad playfully stuck his finger into the tear and widened it by pulling it. He found it hilarious when I voiced my complaints about my problems getting worse because of him creating more.
On a different occasion, my dad took me fishing, inviting me to bring along a friend. After three silent hours without any fish, my dad suggested we pack up and head home. When I agreed, he gave me a scolding. He teased me by calling me a “mama's boy” and made me walk home, which was two kilometers (or a mile) away.
To add to it, he instructed me to clean the car upon his return. My friend backed me up when we reached home, but my mom didn't. However, the most frustrating instance involved him deciding one day that I'd be devoting my evening to studying Spanish.
Even though I mentioned having other homework, he didn't pay any mind. Once he left the room, I sneaked around to do my other homework. But, he came back, confiscated my book and grounded me, insisting I focus on Spanish.
When I told my story about my dad's unusual homework mandate to my teacher, they found it hard to believe, which I can't really fault them for—it was indeed an odd situation.
30. The Convenience Fee
When I was around 18, I spent a year residing in China and traveled quite a bit, often staying in hostels. One particular morning, I overslept and realized I was running late for my train.
It's crucial to note, this train journey was a lengthy 40 hours and the service was a daily one-time affair. Plus, buying a new ticket was out of the question, due to my tight budget.
As the taxi driver reached the street where the station was located, he turned to me and said, "If you want to get off here, it's ten kuai. But if you want me to drive you right up to the station entrance, the fare will be 50". Feeling I had no choice, I agreed to pay the higher fare to ensure I didn't miss my train. Needless to say, I was seething with anger.
During my time in China, I have encountered some truly wonderful and selfless individuals. However, as is the case anywhere else on the planet, there are also some downright unpleasant characters.
Back when I was following a vegetarian diet, an unforgettable incident happened at work. We were all given egg rolls by my boss who assured me that they were completely vegetarian. So, I accepted one. But halfway through enjoying the egg roll, she dropped a bombshell on me.
With a voice as sweet as honey and a smirk that was reminiscent of someone who just played a prank, she said, "Oops! You just ate one that's stuffed with chicken". It's been 14 years since then and the memory of that incident still gets my blood boiling.
32. Lost In Translation
Once upon a time in my school's English class, I was coasting by and still pulling top marks. My English teacher couldn't stand it. One fateful day, I was summoned to the headmaster's office where my English teacher was laying a complaint about me.
His argument was that I was bound to fail English and proposed that I should be shifted to a simpler class. The principal enquired about my grade and I was honest—I was at 89% then. Despite everything, I stayed in the class with the same teacher. And today, I can proudly say English isn't so bad for me, even though it's my second language.
33. The Pretender
My father-in-law started acting incredibly unkind right after both of my parents passed—it's honestly so frustrating. He's now spreading negative things about me behind my back, yet maintains a pleasant facade in my presence.
The only way I found out about his cruel gossip was through my niece and nephew, who took the trouble to let me know. I truly hope and wish, for my peace of mind, that he won't ever need to live with us in his later years, because frankly, I'm not open to that idea.
Am I being too petty for thinking this way?
34. A Fresh Fade
When I was younger, I'd pop into the army barber shop for a haircut every two weeks. During one of my visits, I was handled by a barber who was new to me. I gave him specific instructions for my haircut: a low fade with a part on my left side. But the barber placed my part near the center of my head, which wasn't what I asked for.
When I pointed out his mistake, his response was simply, "That's too bad". Despite the snafu, I was obliged to pay for the haircut. That experience ended my streak with parted hair, making it 23 years and counting without a part.
35. Teacher Tantrum
In math class, our teacher returned our graded exams. She painstakingly reviewed questions most students, myself included, didn't answer correctly. As we went through each question, I jotted down notes on my test for future reference, hoping to comprehend where I went wrong and what I should have done differently. However, my teacher didn't see it that way.
Out of nowhere, she snatched my paper and launched into an intense lecture, accusing me of cheating. She made it clear that such behavior was absolutely unacceptable and that I should feel disgraced. Still reeling from the unexpected outburst, I choked up and tried to clarify that I was merely making notes.
This event remains one of the most mortifying experiences from my childhood, and I'm still puzzled as to why it took place.
36. Nitpicking In The Newsroom
I was working in a newspaper's newsroom and part of my job involved inputting official reports into our system for printing. The paper's style guidelines said we should use abbreviations such as "VCR," "CD player," "TV," and so on. However, some overly authoritative person aggressively corrected me.
This person insisted I had to write out "videocassette recorder," "compact disc player," "television," and so forth. When the editor questioned why I changed these abbreviations, I mentioned, "That individual instructed me to do it this way". I guess he faced some consequences after, but I was not particularly concerned.
It was a fair outcome due to his ridiculous need for control.
37. Solve The Equation
Back in high school, folks knew me pretty well for being the top of my class, especially when it came to science and math. I had a knack for picking up subjects like physics and chemistry without much effort. Despite that, I wasn't a fan of raising my hand in class, but I was pretty good at acing tests.
Other students noticed this and often approached me for help instead of going straight to the teachers. The teachers didn't generally mind, except for one in particular—a geometry teacher whose name I can't quite recall. One day she decided to make a point at my expense.
Out came this incredibly complex geometry problem that would likely take me at least 20 minutes to solve, while the rest of the class would possibly find it insurmountable. But she gave us all just five minutes. When the time was up, she told me to come up and solve it on the board.
I asked for more time, but she wanted me at the board right then, claiming we would solve it "together". So, with no real choice left, I made my way to the chalkboard. With the entire class looking at me, I stumbled for a bit, trying to figure out how to tackle this monster of a problem.
After a couple of minutes, she stepped in and gave me some tips on how to work it out. Once I had solved it, she sent me back to my seat and announced that anyone with questions should go to her, not me. That hit me in the gut, and I fought back tears for the rest of the class. But I did get a little petty payback later that month.
I found her car parked in an out-of-sight spot and got my revenge by relieving myself on her door handle. I realize that's not exactly mature, but at the time, it seemed appropriate.
38. Mr. Misery
Back in seventh grade, I had a teacher who seemed to have it out for me. He singled me out often because I took a little longer to grasp math problems compared to the other kids in class. One day, he sent me to an after-school catch-up class, even though I wasn't a special-needs student.
You see, I was more of a literal thinker and often questioned why things needed to be carried out in a certain manner. One instance where this happened, I was 10 minutes late in submitting my homework, but only because the teacher himself wasn't present at the assigned time.
I was actually on time, but his lateness resulted in a very harsh punishment—a three-month detention. Every lunch break, I was supposed to fill pages with lines. If I didn't finish before lunch ended, I wasn't allowed to eat. Obviously, I let my mom know about this.
Her advice to me was to just put up with it because we were set to move to the UK later in the school year. She sort of had a point. As it happened, we did relocate and I was saved from completing the remainder of my detention. So, I got the last laugh, I suppose.
39. Pop Quiz
Back when I was in fourth grade, our teacher would hand out some questions right before lunch and expect us to have all the right answers by the time the break ended. One day, a friend of mine struggled to answer a few of the questions. As a consequence, the teacher had him go up and down the rows, getting a light smack from each classmate.
Now, reflecting on that incident, I wish I could travel back in time and really give that awful teacher a piece of my mind.
40. The Cookie Monster
When I was a tiny tot in kindergarten, my dad used to pack lunch for me. The school I went to had a big focus on "eating healthy" and "healthy snacks". Don't get me wrong, I was pretty good about eating these things. But hey, sometimes a kid needs a surprise cookie tucked in their lunch from dear old Dad, right?
However, one day, my teacher spotted this cookie in my lunch box, snatched it away from me, and exclaimed, "NO COOKIES ALLOWED IN THIS CLASSROOM!" But that wasn't the worst part. The teacher had the audacity to munch down the cookie right there, in plain sight of my little shocked self.
That incident left a lasting impression on me. My dad ended up scheduling a meeting with the principal about it. In this meeting, he labelled both the principal and the teacher as un-American for denying him the freedom to choose what he thinks is appropriate for his daughter's lunch.
41. Frosty’s Revenge
About a dozen years back, I was a high school sophomore in a small Pennsylvania borough of just 7,000 folks. My then-eight-year-old sister spent a whole day building a sizable snowman after a substantial snowfall. I must admit, it was pretty outstanding.
In my small school, everyone knew everyone. There was this one guy we'll call Scotty who just got under my skin. We never had personal issues, but his antics were downright irritating. Ironically, I ended up sharing way too many classes with him, which felt like more than a coincidence.
Scotty's annoying ways extended to his choice of automobile—a loud, showy, John Deere green truck—complete with an oversized brush guard on the front that will later become significant to this story. That evening, as I enjoyed the warmth of our living room, the distinctive roar of Scotty's truck neared.
It was followed by a troubling sound of a snowman being struck and mockery. Closer inspection revealed the unfortunate fate of my sister's hard work, splattered all along our front road. It was heartbreaking. I decided it was time to take action.
The next day, I woke up early and got to work, building one terrific snowman. He was very stereotypical—three tiers, scarf, stick-arms, and even a face made from garden veggies. But this snowman hid a secret. Unlike my sister's, I built mine atop a fire hydrant on the corner of our yard, a spot without any curb.
For the next two nights, I dreamt of Scotty's truck losing the bout against the mighty snowman. Time passed, but I saw no sign of Scotty. My hopes started to wane. But then, during dinner on the fourth day, we heard it—the familiar grumble of Scotty's truck. "This could be the moment," I thought, "depending on whether our friend Scotty takes the bait".
Knowing his predictable impulsivity, I hurriedly finished my meal and braced myself. The unmistakable sound of a fast-approaching truck boomed, ending abruptly with the crushing sound of metal and a surprised halt. My family raced outside and I tried hard to conceal a victorious grin.
Scotty stood there shell-shocked, surprised by a defeat he hadn't even seen coming. Justice sure was sweet.
42. For The Love Of Shrimp
Confession time—I wasn't the most mature person in this scenario. Picture this: last week, I attended a sophisticated luncheon in honor of my parents' anniversary. The food was plentiful, but due to some seating mix up, I ended up next to this obnoxious seven-year-old, who has a knack for getting on my nerves.
Throughout the entire meal, this little terror managed to test my patience, but I held it together. Here's where it gets interesting. It's worth noting that I have a serious fondness for shrimp. But given the large scale of the luncheon, every appetizer was served sparingly.
From noon until it was nearly evening, I was anticipating the arrival of the shrimp dish. And when it finally arrived, it was a sight for sore eyes and I was practically drooling in anticipation. But, there was a catch! There was exactly one shrimp per person. Didn't seem like a big issue, everyone eats their own shrimp.
I decided to save mine until the end as I munched on the other offerings. As I started enjoying my meal, the irritating kid suddenly insisted: "I WANT MORE SHRIMP". The unanimous response was, "Sorry, kiddo, it was one shrimp per plate, and you've had yours".
Inevitably, the kid spotted my untouched shrimp. The way he said, "HE STILL HAS ONE," implied an obvious solution in his mind. As all eyes turned to me, it dawned on me what was expected, and I thought, "Nice try, squirt, but you chose the wrong battle today. I patiently awaited almost six hours for this shrimp. You aren’t getting a bite of it, considering you've already eaten yours".
So, I meticulously peeled open my shrimp, making a show of cleaning it neatly. Then, I gently raised the now gleaming, succulent shrimp with my fork. Wordlessly, I locked eyes with the kid and gobbled it up in one go, savoring each bite just to make a point. Silence swept the room. The kid didn't utter a peep.
This probably was the first time he was denied something, whether he begged or played the cute card. The meal resumed, in awkward silence. Though unsaid, I could sense the palpable disapproval around me. But I justify myself by saying: sometimes adults need to put their foot down.
43. Prove It
Back in high school, I had an English teacher who cringed at everything I did. In a peculiar case, she said I'd copied my paper, incredulous that a teenage girl could know some of the words I'd used. As someone from an underprivileged background, I always wrote first drafts on paper because lacking a computer, typing them up in school was my only choice.
So, to justify my paper, I handed her the handwritten draft. Case resolved? No. She was adamant I'd cheated. Even with zero evidence, she stuck to her guns. When I proclaimed, "This is unfair," her response shook me. She darkly commented, "It's clear you lack a mother". Fed up, I left. She followed, launching insults about my appearance and attire.
Distraught, I sought refuge in the principal’s office. He was a long-standing family friend and knew how tough I was. Her account painted me as aggressive, claiming she expelled me for swearing. A friend later informed me that she'd badmouthed me during a play rehearsal; luckily, he had recorded the whole episode.
When I finally relayed this to my livid dad, he immediately arranged a meeting with the principal and this teacher. True to form, the teacher denied everything at the meeting. My dad decisively overruled her protestations by playing the recording for her and the principal.
At the end of the showdown, my dad convincingly proved her dishonesty. For the rest of the academic year, I had private classes with the principal. Now, as an adult woman, I find it absurd that a teacher would harass a teenage girl so brutally.
44. To The Letter
My science instructor insisted that all of us write in uppercase on our paired test. Hence, the first question was marked as "M" and so forth. Now, I often drew my capital letters just as bigger versions of the small letter versions. There was no question they were meant to be capital letters, since that was my style throughout the year.
My approach was common among many other girls in our classroom; we all liked to play around with our penmanship. Still, my teacher attempted to score my paper low, despite my answers being all correct. I just sat there, shedding tears.
I couldn't comprehend why I had been graded so poorly when I had answered all the questions accurately and clearly in uppercase. I guess that day, my great big letters just didn't meet his aesthetic expectations. This, despite him never had any objections to my previous handwriting.
45. The Intern
In my inaugural internship at a corporate finance and real estate firm, I found myself on a team whose members were significantly older than me. I had this opportunity at the age of 20, courtesy of my father, despite never taking a finance course, no exposure to advanced business education, or experience in a professional work environment.
Clearly unprepared and disinclined to venture into this field, I landed in the role owing to a far-from-friendly boss, who seemed particularly unimpressed by me. Efficient in Word and Excel, though a novice in using Outlook, I became a regular subject of his unkind ridicule.
With vague instructions and lack of guidance, I spent my days grappling with tasks that required a barrage of questions and clarifications. While he led a yet-to-officially-launch program, his schedule was far from tight, a fact I learned when I saw him loafing around more than working.
He created an environment where I had nothing concrete to work on most of the time, yet chided me for my idle status. Despite the minimal support, I strived to stay productive by offering help to colleagues and taking care of their ancillary tasks.
This only left me with long, idle hours until my boss's next meeting where he'd, once again, berate my lack of "effort". Interestingly, he seemed thrilled to spend until 7 PM in office, mostly fiddling with his iPhone. During a 360-review, my peers gave me an average score of 3 on a scale of 4, whilst my boss rated me, harshly, with an average of 0.75.
Things only got worse when I led a charity drive where we were proudly at second place despite being a smaller team. However, on the last day, apathetically refusing my pleas, my boss forced me to sell breakfast tacos office to office, much to my, and everyone else's amusement.
This humiliating experience only added to an already stressful environment, making me consider quitting, but I was close to the completion of the internship. When I finally left, most colleagues expressed their sympathy about the boss's behavior.
He, true to his character, delivered a barrage of discouraging remarks, leaving no room for constructive criticism. In his parting comments, he feigned goodwill, but it was enough for me. Remember how I mentioned that my father worked for the company?
Well, he was pretty influential there, a detail I had consciously kept under wraps. In a twist of events, I mentioned my relationship with my father to my boss. His face drained of color as I subtly mentioned my father's key role in the company and his close acquaintance with his boss's boss's boss.
Suddenly, his harsh demeanor altered as he stumbled to present a reserved company water bottle, trying to make amends. However, the saga didn't conclude here. Five days later, tragically, my boss perished in a car accident. Given this unfortunate turn of events, I could never voice my grievances about him, leaving him with the last word, which frustrated me significantly.
46. The Green-Eyed Monster
When I was a kid, my mom was really close with a woman from our neighborhood. She had a son my age, so naturally, our moms pushed us to become best buddies. But boy, was his mom a nightmare whenever mine wasn't around. We would be out playing, and she'd storm over just to yell at me, often for something minor or insignificant.
If we were caught being slightly naughty, she'd pin it all on me and never even slightly scold her own son. I was only around seven to 10 years old at that time, and I was honestly at a loss with how to handle her. It weighed on me pretty heavily.
Many years later, I learned the unsettling reason behind her behavior—she was essentially envious of my superior academic performance and wanted to "knock me down a notch". As time went by, her son and I ended up going to different high schools and our paths diverged.
On the bright side, that meant that I finally got a reprieve from dealing with her. Our moms have maintained their friendship and she is invariably civil to me as an adult. But even now, after 30 years, I keep her at a safe distance due to the unjust way she treated me during my childhood.
47. Bottom Of The Food Chain
My second-grade science instructor had a unique lesson: there isn't a single morsel we consume that doesn't stem from plants. He used a cow as an example—it munches on grass, which is a plant. He wagered a five-dollar bill to anyone who could prove him wrong. Unsurprisingly, no one had ever won.
So, off we went, carrying this thought-provoking question home. The following day, classmates began naming off random snacks like marshmallows, ice cream, and candy. I confidently raised my hand and responded, "salt". The room fell silent.
My teacher, after a brief pause, agreed with me, admitting that no one, including himself, had ever pointed this out despite the ubiquity of salt in daily meals worldwide. Despite my evident victory, he denied me the promised five dollars. Now that felt unnecessary.
48. The Name Game
My aunt always seemed to have it out for everyone, but I felt like I was her main target. Then, one day, I discovered the ludicrous reason for this. When I was around 14, she pulled me to the side and revealed that she had a long-standing grudge against me because of my name.
She had intended to give her first daughter the same name, but my parents unknowingly beat her to the punch—they had no clue that she coveted my name, and they aren't the type to intentionally rain on anyone's parade. My aunt told me that she had struggled big time to let this go and that she was almost ready to forgive me for it.
All I remember in response was feeling utterly confused and then genuinely feeling bad for her because she had let such petty feelings consume her. Although it was strange, I'll admit, it didn't stack up against the other horrifying actions she later inflicted on her own family.
49. Finders Keepers
When I was about six years old, I was at an Easter egg hunt in a large park full of rocks, perfect for stashing eggs. I spotted the twinkle of a tiny chocolate egg's foil cover and eagerly dashed over to snatch it up. But as I was about to grasp it, a man stepped on my hand to keep me from grabbing the egg.
Following this, he beckoned his child over to "discover" the egg themselves.
50. Third Time’s The Charm
The day my mother married for the third time is etched in my memory as the absolute worst. I recall sitting alone in my room, tears streaming down my face, struggling to accept the situation. Knowing how important the day was for my mom, I did my best to hide my sadness from her. However, my aunt spotted me in my emotional state, and alerted my mom.
It wasn't long before my mom left her hair and makeup session to come to my room, berating me with accusations of selfishness and attempting to spoil her joyous day. I had genuinely tried my best to hide my emotions, making her words even harder to bear. That wedding day was a challenge to get through, yet there was a silver lining in the end.
Despite a rocky start, my mom's new husband turned out to be a positive influence in her life, which I am sincerely thankful for. My mom has also made tremendous strides, seeking therapy, receiving adequate diagnoses, and starting treatments.
Although I'm not living at home anymore, our relationship has become quite solid and she frequently apologizes for past behaviors. Despite some unresolved emotional baggage from my childhood, I’ve managed to carve out a satisfying life for myself. I am determined to use these experiences to be a better parent to my potential future children.
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