We all have memories of a time we wish we could change. Read on to make yourself feel better about your least kind moment.
Yesterday i was helping my daughter look for her bar of chocolate I'd just eaten...
We see what we see
I was 16, working at my first job as an amusement park employee. This particular amusement park had a “BounceBack” promotion, where you could come back within 10 days and your ticket would only cost $20. These “BounceBacks” were non-transferable, and the way they verified this was by taking your picture and printing it on a coupon. My job was to take these pictures for people.
I was already having a bad day. I was tired, I forgot my lunch at home, and someone keyed my car in the middle of the night. I wasn’t in a very cheerful mood. Then this Lady who looked like she was in her mid sixties walks up to me, tosses her day-pass in my direction, and bluntly says, “I need a bounceback,” without even making any eye contact. I take her picture, and hand her her coupon. She takes one glance at it and throws it in my direction and yells: “Oh my gosh! You’re the worst picture-taker ever! You should be fired!! I look like a monster in that picture!!” Then I placed her coupon back on the counter and, as I slide it to her, I calmly say, “The camera takes what it sees Ma’am.”
I didn’t even get a customer complaint.
Good friend, bad friend
I was the bad friend.
I only talked about myself, never listened much.
I did not invite people to anything or reach out ever, I waited for people to make plans with me.
I had a tendency to cancel last minute.
It makes me cringe and hate myself now.
Bad mom joke
I unknowingly made a “your mom” joke to a guy who had lost his mother. He said nothing in response but I remember his sad expression to this day. This was over 10 years ago and the memory still guilts me.
Happened just the other day. I provide(d) some video editing services on Fiverr. Someone messaged me about making a couple of minute-long videos for $10/ea. As a recent subscriber to /r/ChoosingBeggars, I replied with a "Thanks, but I like being paid a fair wage for my work." The interested party replied asking me what would be a good price for me, but before I answered, I took a glance at my profile.
Lo and behold, I had $10/video as my basic rate (was trying to undercut more established competition). I'd completely forgotten that's what I had set. I felt so embarrassed about my smarmy comment that I deleted my account altogether.
Back in 5th grade there was this kid with a really cool ruler (one of those blue and green ones that's rubber and you can bend it). One day, I decided I was gonna steal it. It was during recess, and no one noticed me and my plan was dutifully completed.
I tried being smart about it, and didn't start using it until a few days later. Kid finds out and tattles to the teacher and I lost the ruler. 10-year-old me thought, "Thats not fair! I stole it fair and square!"
I eventually came up with the thought that if I couldn't have it, he can't. So again, I steal the ruler during another recess, and decided to drop it into a drain, never to be seen again.
I started arguing with someone at a bingo game because I caught them cheating. I tore up their bingo card in their face and started insulting them.
3D modelling class in college. Final group project was roughly one third of our grade.
I got paired with three lazy, hapless bros. Made a real effort to draw these guys in and divided work between everybody, but none of it happened.
The project consisted of writing a paper, creating a fairly sophisticated 3D model, and then building it using simple parts. I wound up doing all of the work.
The day before it's due these clowns start reaching out. I'd already pulled several all-nighters in the run up to finals getting it all finished. I told tthem that I had it covered and not to worry about it.
I then turned the project in without their names on it.
I got into an argument with a guy and it almost got physical, but then he told me had cancer. I then laughed at him and said, "good."
This one girl tormented me for years in school. She was all about brands. I wore discount store clothes.
I was also skinny and she was not so skinny.
One day she was squeezing into this skirt that was too short and tight and I said,
"Kristy, now you know you are too fat to be wearing that."
It was mean, but felt good since she was an awful bully. I'm not saying what I did was right, but she never picked on me again.
Call a spade a spade
I was at a friend's house whose mother ran an afterschool babysitting service. The kids were running around, and they were playing hide and seek. One chubby kid went and hid behind the couch I was sitting on. I was 16 or so, and yelled: "Hey everyone! The fat one's behind the couch!" He immediately got out and asked how much I weighed. Heavyset, I couldn't really come up with an answer.
Let dead dogs lie
Friends of mine had run over their dog a few months ago and had recently gotten a new puppy. I jokingly said "try not to run over this one." The second the words left my mouth I realised what an awful thing I had said. The punch that I received was well deserved.
For the love of pens
I stole a pen when I was 13. It's now missing though.
When I was in high school my friends and I used to put together these scavenger hunts where instead of finding things people had to do things. It was mostly pretty innocent dumb stuff like eat six raw eggs or argue with a street sign for 5 minutes.
Anyway, one day we had a hunt planned, but it started raining so we went into the Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago to wait it out. While there we got the idea to play a giant game of tag since we couldn't do the scavenger hunt. There were about 10 of us total just chasing each other around throughout all the stores and floors and we were having a blast. About 15-20 minutes into the game me and a couple of other people that were around me got stopped by a security guard. They were kicking us out for what we were doing. This was pretty serious: they had a guard on every floor looking for us.
Fast forward to years later and I'm working as a cashier at Borders. A couple of little kids start chasing each other in the store and end up knocking over a display. I had to go and clean it while these kids ran away laughing. It was then that it hit me that my friends and I were probably such a huge pain to a lot of people that day, but we just didn't see it that way because we were dumb teenagers.
Once when I was like, I don't know, 7 or 8 or something, I stole a huge packaged balloon that required inflating. I just gingerly grabbed it from the shelf and left the store. As soon as I got to my bike I floored it before they could notice me. I made my way to the nearby park because I just couldn't wait to open it up and gaze upon its beauty.
But then I heard sirens in the distance. Then a helicopter flew overhead. I panicked thinking the store had seen me after all and called the SWAT team on me so I hurriedly tossed it in the garbage and went directly home, my heart racing. I had never been so scared and nervous in my whole short little life.
I learned a valuable lesson that day that stealing is bad, and have never stolen anything since.
I jokingly told my ex girlfriend that she was "socially awkward" after she met my parents house and didn't converse with them. She cried most of the drive back... I felt awful.
My ex and I were driving home from dinner one night when I noticed a guy running oddly down the street a block or two ahead. I pointed him out to my ex and joked the runner must be drunk or something. When we caught up to the guy, I noticed he was wearing an Army hoodie and had prosthetics on both legs. I have never felt more ashamed of myself than I did in that moment.
In high school, my friends and I use to go out looking for houses with those inflatable Christmas yard decorations just so we could run at them full speed to tackle them like they were tackling dummies. It became our holiday tradition. We must have destroyed the holiday spirit in every suburb neighborhood we ran into in the greater Los Angels area. Yet, as a person that now owns holiday decorations, and embrace the holiday cheer, I feel bad.
Just today, I came out of the elevator of my residence hall (I’m in college). I was looking down at my phone, not looking where I was going, when a man nearly bumped into me. He shouted, “Heads up, move!”
I looked up, annoyed, and noticed his shirt. It read “EMT” on the front pocket. Turns out, someone was having a medical crisis and I was standing in the EMT’s way.
When I was in third grade a kid was running in from recess at full speed. I stuck my foot out and tripped him. He slid what seemed like 20 ft. on rough concrete that was dusted with pea gravel. There was no reason for it. He wasn’t mean to me or anything, I just thought it would be funny. It was not.
Red light green light
I baited a driver into an impromptu drag race off a red light.
I knew there was a police speed trap about 200 m up the road from the lights.
He not only took off before the light turned green, he was flying by the time he passed the cops. They pulled him over further up the road, and by the time I drove by (going the speed limit with both hands on the wheel) he was getting cuffed.
In the months before I left for university for the first time, I became a real princess. I kept asking my mom when we were going to be going shopping for all my uni stuff, and she kept putting it off. I decided that this meant no one cared that I was leaving, and was sulky about it. Then during a fight I threw it in my mom’s face about how no one was paying enough attention to me.
Turns out my whole family was planning me a big surprise party, where I would get a bunch of my school stuff given to me as gifts (pots, pans, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, etc.) The reason everyone was avoiding the subject of me leaving was so the surprise didn’t get ruined. I felt awful, and I still feel bad looking back on that moment. My mom, luckily, is an amazing human, and realized how incredibly bad I felt- so she promised not to tell anyone that I knew, and said we could pretend it was still a surprise.
It was a great party, I love my family.
When my sister and I were six or so (twins, so rivalry was built in), I told her the nearby park was haunted and that the ghosts in there were calling her name. I also told her our home was haunted and that you could hear the blood dripping at night from the ceiling fan. I sometimes took it too far and left the faucet on in the kitchen so it dripped.
Fourteen years later, my sister is terrified of the paranormal. She reminded me about the childhood pranks I had all but forgotten and now I can’t help but feel terrible.
Just for kicks
Taekwondo instructor here. I "lightly" kicked a student in the leg because he was being annoying. He gave me a sad look and I felt bad. I have been trying to be nice to him ever since.
Bully for bully
I started to go to a private school at third grade, and I was bullied until I went to high school. During fifth grade a there was a new girl in the class and she was being bullied as well. After a while we became friends, but this made the bullies gang up on the two of us. A few days later I broke up our friendship and began to make fun of her like the others.
Mind your manners
This is cringe. I was riding my bike in London. A school trip of young teenage girls was crossing the road a long way ahead of me. The were all looking the wrong way, presumably being from a right hand diving country. I rolled my eyes to myself and rang my bell. They remained completely impervious as I rang my bell several more times with increasing insistence.
Now at this point I should have slowed down and stopped to wait for them to clear the road.
I didn't do that, caught up in my own petty anger at being ignored I rolled on. Still ringing my bell continuously I tried to pass through a gap in the crocodile, but to my absolute shock and shame I knocked one young woman to the ground.
As her friends bustled around her helping her the awful truth dawned on me.
They were all deaf.
I learned an important lesson that day.
Listen and watch
I was waiting for the traffic light to change, chilling out to my music. I then heard a siren in the distance but the light turned green. I noticed the guy in the lane next to me wasn’t moving, but I just thought he was an idiot not paying attention, so I drove through the light. I only narrowly avoided hitting the ambulance that was speeding through. So yeah I was the idiot who wasn’t paying attention.
All in the music
Back in varsity one of the guys I knew lost his mom. He happened to mention that they played Norah Jones at his mom's funeral as one of her posthumous requests. Not liking Norah Jones, and being the idiot who thinks too slowly and speaks too quickly, I made a crack along the lines of, "What? Did she want everyone to fall asleep?"
I instantly knew what I'd done and apologised profusely to the poor guy. He showed his class by being thoroughly gracious about it. To this day I don't understand how I could have been so distasteful.
I was about six, and a mostly well behaved child. But one time a boy in my class stood up from his chair and I took his chair for myself, knowing he was going to sit down any moment. He fell to the ground and hurt himself. He was crying and I played innocent and pretended to I thought his was a vacant seat I could take. I even got to keep the seat and he had to find a new one. Sorry, Simon.
I had just passed my driving test and I was driving erratically. I overtook this pair of girls in a car and they started waving at me. I thought they didn't appreciate my overtaking. When they pulled up alongside me, I flipped them the finger, only to be told by them that my petrol cap was open.
This past weekend. My wife, some friends and I went to a bluegrass show in a cave and my wife who was holding the tickets directed us to our seats. I then got up to get a beer and when I came back, my wife and friends weren't there. Then a guy sits down next to me with his wife, so I inform him that these are our seats. He pulls out his tickets and says "Nah man, I believe I'm right".
I told him "Ok man, wait till my wife comes back with our tickets cause I believe you're wrong."
At that same moment my buddy walks up and says: "Oh hey our seats are way down here. Your wife was in the wrong place." I was too embarrassed to even look at the guy. I'm sure he was like "what an idiot." Thanks honey.
Slow for a reason
I was riding the Isle of Man TT course during the race weekend, but there was no race on.
A line of really slow cars appeared in front of me. I was on a pretty fast bike and the next section has no speed limit. I wanted to get passed the cars before the unrestricted section started, but the cars in front were getting slower and slower, so I decided to pull out and go round.
Once I got passed about 6 cars, who were all giving me dirty looks, I saw a long black limo sitting behind a hearse at the lights. I realised then that I was in the middle of a funeral procession...
To make things worse, the funeral was for a rider who had died on the course earlier in the week.
Suddenly my exhaust sounded like the loudest most obnoxious noise I'd heard in my life. I could feel eyes boring into me from all angles. But there was nothing I could do.
One of my biggest regrets in life is that I was a horrible bully when I was in year 7. My friends and I were bullying a particular person all year. The worst part was at the time, I remember I really liked it because the class didn’t like that person as well but that’s not an excuse to do that terrible act. Now I am more mature and if I could jump in a time machine then I’d slap my younger self so hard I won’t even think about bullying someone.
The slip up
This happened 2 years ago. One day after work while walking to the elevator lobby I failed to notice that the water bottle in my lunchbox was leaking. While waiting for the elevator to come up, I created a small puddle of water that I didn't notice until it was too late. This old lady and her daughter were walking towards the elevator when the mom suddenly slipped bad and landed on her knee. Assuming nothing I went to her to see if she was alright but that's when I felt my lunchbox was completely saturated with water dripping. This other person next to me saw the whole thing and knew I was the cause of the scene, he ended up saying "You should probably go." He knew I screwed up, and was merciful enough to tell me to hurry up and go before the mom and daughter knew it was me. I avoided a potential lawsuit thanks to that gentleman.
The small tip
I went on a trip with my friends before we graduated high school. We messed the whole hotel room up every day and the cleaning lady cleaned it every day and it was spotless every time we came back from the beach. When we left the hotel we also left her a tip of 1 cent, with a note saying "Don't spend it all in one place." To this day whenever I think of that I feel bad about myself.
Hot and cold
Back in the late 90s my parents had one of those water igloos that dispensed water from a giant container at the top. The red toggle was for hot water and the blue one was for cold water.
I convinced my friend that technicians had switched the toggles and that red was now cold water.
He poured himself extremely hot water and sipped it before spitting it out and crying.
Pre-10 year old me didn’t find it as funny as I expected it to be.
Once when I was a teen driver, for some reason I decided to cut off a person when the two lane road we were driving on was going to converge (to cross a rail road crossing). She was plenty of space ahead of me and I accelerated and overtook her, but not giving her much time to slow down. There wasn't an accident but there could have been. When the road became a two lane again she gestured very angrily at me but left it at that. For some reason I was smiling. Weird psycho moment for me there. I normally would never have even thought of doing that. I'm sorry lady.
This is a story that still makes me hate myself when I think about it. My mom was a struggling single mom. I was an ignorant snot-nosed preteen. I complained for months about not having the new popular style of puffy shirts. When my mom finally gave me one of the shirts, I scoffed in her face and said it wasn't in style anymore and I'd never wear it. Now, realizing she probably scrimped and budgeted for that shirt and was so happy to finally give it to me and that I reacted like that makes me want to throw up.
Over a cart
Walking through a grocery store parking lot. A woman in her car asks me to put away her cart that she left in the middle of a spot. "Why didn't you put it back?" I asked, with a bit of attitude. "Because I can't walk", she replied. I then noticed her disabled sticker. I was mortified.
Don't diss McDonald's
I might've been 11 or 12 and I was in a friend's car. We were driving to the movies and we passed a McDonald's. My friend's dad then mentioned that he used to work at a McDonald's when he was in his teens and I replied "McDonald's is where the high school dropouts work."
Don't text and park
I’m sitting there parked in a parking lot, texting someone, looking down at my phone. After a few minutes, I feel my car move slightly. I look up and see that a man in a large truck had parked in front of me and hit my car. I got out with my arms out, confused, looking at the guy, asking him what on earth man? The guy didn’t even notice, as my car was small. He seemed relatively unphased, and after looking, no real damage was done, so I got back in my car, thinking about the audacity of this guy. He just pulls into a spot, bumps me, and then doesn’t even care or apologise?
Then I noticed my gear shift, I was in neutral, slightly inching ahead the whole time. I just drove away.