Thought Catalog


16 Struggles Of Just Wanting To Call Everyone Out On Their Bullshit But Being Too Polite To Do So

Posted: 21 Jul 2015 05:58 AM PDT

@Atalla
@Atalla

If there is one thing true of humans, it is that we are fallible, unpredictable, ass-saving, ego-driven creatures (among other, more noble things) and we love to carry on with our attention-seeking, problem-avoiding, procrastinating, lazy ass ignorant bullshit so as to not actually have to face ourselves. You do it, I do it, we're all guilty in some form or another, and yet there seem to be people so steep in their lack of self-awareness, you can't help but just want to call it the hell out. Here, all the struggles of being the kind of person whose daily struggle is not to do that so as to save their own asses from familial exile (and other things). Sigh.

1. You know you can't talk. You have your shit too. You have novels worth of bullshit that probably needs to be called out. You're not unaware of this, hence the hesitation. You can't point fingers, and yet, here you are.

2. "Polite" is basically just code for "dislikes confrontation/kind of also doesn't have time for it." You're just hoping the repercussions of their intense ignorance will teach them, though you do find it curious how after a certain age, people assume it's totally okay to close their minds to anything that wasn't acceptable in their first two or three decades of life, and keep it that way, as correcting them is 'not respectful.'

3. You're kind of confused by the people who try to pass an incorrect fact off as 'just their opinion.'

4. Most people who conduct their lives in a highly negative way tend to also be too fragile to hear feedback on them, even if its done very positively and lovingly. So any hope of even inching the self-awareness train along is usually futile.

5. You're always straddled between having the strength to call some bullshit out or the grace to let it go because you have none of the wisdom to know the difference.

6. You are a master of passivity, and a lot of the time you don't see it as the completely negative thing. It is often your source of sanity (though, admittedly, when taken to an extreme, your source of rage).

7. You're constantly wondering how it's totally okay for everybody to talk behind someone's back about something and yet let them carry on, spiraling toward self-destruction in their little pit of envy and negativity. (Everybody does this, everybody knows who their spiraling person is. Don't even front.)

8. You spend half your time trying to figure out how people have such warped logic, or what it is they're trying to deflect from with their willful ignorance.

9. … And the rest of the time wondering what logic of your own is warped, reinforcing the idea that, yeah, no you shouldn't start bitching and moaning.

10. Facebook is a minefield for you. An actual mental, emotional, spiritual minefield. Perhaps more frightening than 'opinions' that are objective fallacies (going by research or medicine or what not) is how many people believe them and believe them loudly.

11. You wonder where the parents of the people who actually call people out on shit are hiding, and how they don't get stern lectures because of it. (Let's be real. The only thing keeping you back is that your mom is on Facebook and she'll see. We all understand this.)

12. You are beyond validated when one of your friends complains about the same thing you were bothered by. You consistently maintain enough reasonable doubt that you could be wrong about it – that perhaps you're being shortsighted or not hearing the full story, so to hear that you're not crazy (and yeah, that situation is insane) is so life-affirming you can't even take it.

13. You don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. You're trying not to completely in-debt yourself in karma. You're not out to intentionally cause harm so you just don't do anything at all because you'd probably end up causing harm if you really got started.

14. You try to give a perspective to people who aren't open to it and because the people in question are so shockingly self un-aware, they reject of deny the idea that their most obvious problem in life is actually an issue, hence the arrival at the conclusion of: 'it's call this out or let it go forever, please god help me decide which.'

15. Ignorant family members are basically Your Mountain To Overcome. You're stuck with them, you're morally obligated to smile and agree with them, and yet their Official Stances on an infinite variety of social, political, human issues are the antithesis to your soul.

16. Just because you don't say it, doesn't mean you don't see it. And really, that's what you should just say to everything: "I see this, and this is bullshit, but I just don't have the energy to fully engage with the level of insane you are currently functioning at. So. See ya." TC mark

12 Men Describe The Sexy Thing Their Girlfriend Does Without Even Realizing How Much It Turns Him On

Posted: 20 Jul 2015 02:33 PM PDT

 st.nothing
st.nothing

1. “My girlfriend's a funny person, but once in a while a joke is bound to fall flat, right? Happens to anyone who tries to make other people laugh regularly. Anyway, that’s when her brow furrows and she sticks her bottom lip out to pout and I get horny because she looks so adorable—and fuckable.”

— Nelson, 25

beetlejuice

2. “Whenever my girlfriend picks her wedgie, I get so turned on. She has a hot ass and I love seeing her touch it, even for a second. She moves fast when she readjusts, but I’m on the lookout for it.”

— Pedro, 24

beetlejuice

3. “If a sneeze is powerful enough, it usually makes my girlfriend fart. I think she's more beautiful every time it happens, no matter how embarrassed she is. It really never gets old, the sneeze-fart.”

— Chad, 27

beetlejuice

4. “This might sound weird, but I love watching my girlfriend get dressed—even more than I like watching her get undressed. The way she clasps her bra and carefully pulls the straps up, shimmies into her panties, and then points each foot as she pulls her jeans up. She’s so graceful and feminine and it makes me mad horny.”

— Tommy, 32

beetlejuice

5. “I've been dating this girl who sticks her tongue out a little whenever she’s thinking about something for two months now. We could be talking about marriage equality, the presidential election, or a reality TV show—as long as she's thinking hard enough, it happens. She has no idea I'm sitting there across the dinner table getting rock hard as a result.”

— Max, 28

beetlejuice

6. “My fiancĂ©e has the worst voice, so she never sings when anyone else is around, even me. But once in a while I catch her belting out a tune when she thinks she's alone and it's so awesome to see. She really gets into it—like she's performing on stage or something. And as awful as she sounds (I actually have to cover my ears), she looks sexy as hell to me.”

— Rhett, 31

beetlejuice

7. “I'm a sucker for hair twirling. I don't know what I'd do if my girlfriend ever cut her hair short. I love it when she tickles her mouth and chin with the ends. Sometimes she even sniffs it a little and I think it's hot as fuck.”

— Serguei, 22

beetlejuice

8. “I hate reading, but my girlfriend's a bookworm and nothing turns me on more than coming home to find her curled up on the couch or in bed reading something. When she laughs out loud to herself, it's especially attractive. Come to think of it, I should probably buy her some funny books.”

— Jacob, 30

beetlejuice

9. “Bad dancing can be uncomfortable to watch, unless someone owns it like my girlfriend does. She might have no sense of rhythm, but she's tall and gangly and she has a great sense of humor. Whenever she breaks out the moves because she hears a song she can't resist or she just feels like acting stupid, I want sex.”

— Harrison, 26

beetlejuice

10. “I love listening to my girlfriend talk on the phone. She's so caring and attentive to her friends, and she's pretty hilarious too. I don't always understand what's going on, but whenever I overhear her gabbing, I realize how lucky I am to be with such a fun, thoughtful person. And I want to take that person to bed immediately.”

— Freddie, 20

beetlejuice

11. “My long-term girlfriend started her own small business a year ago and I think she's at her sexiest when she's in her element at work. I love meeting her at the office and observing her for a few minutes from a healthy distance because I get to see what a capable badass she is, and how great she is with her employees. It's sexy to watch her take charge.”

— Anoosh, 29

beetlejuice

12. “I love watching my girlfriend cook. It's not a jackass misogynistic thing—at least, I don't think it is—because she genuinely loves being in the kitchen. What gets me is that she lets herself get crazy messy along the way. I love catching her with flour in her hair or bits of food goo stuck to her fingers. Part of it is knowing that she's doing it all for me—to make us something to eat. What’s sexier than that?”

— Ford, 28 TC mark

Don’t Forget To Set The Alarm: 17 True Scary Stories To Read In Bed Tonight

Posted: 22 Jul 2015 06:54 AM PDT

Creepy Catalog readers love reading accounts of true scary stories, so I scoured threads all over Reddit and asked the users if I could share their creepiest. Below are the 17 scariest stories that will make you double check that your door is locked. Enjoy!
Tobiasvde
Tobiasvde

I thought this was an urban legend

I was driving home from work at 2 am. I’m a nurse and I live in a small city. The roads were totally deserted and it was a freezing night. I don’t live far from work, maybe a couple of miles. I’m driving down a residential street around the corner from my house and I see a man laying face down in the street.

Now remember, I’m a nurse. My first thought was “Great, gotta help this guy up.” I was coming off a long shift and falls happen all the time. As I slowed down the car I suddenly realized what an idiot move that was. I’m a 100 lb woman and I don’t carry any weapons. I thought I should do something to help the guy so I called 911 as I drove past him and slowed to a stop at the end of the block. While I was stopped at the light I explained to the dispatcher that there was a man in the road who might need assistance.

All of a sudden I hear a loud BANG! BANG! from the driver’s side window. I screamed and looked over. A man was pounding on my window and jiggling the handle of my locked car. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw that there was no man laying in the street. Still on the phone with 911, I screamed “I’M SO SCARED!” to the dispatcher and floored it through the red light. I quickly told him what had happened and even though I was right by my house, he told me to keep driving. After a few minutes I had calmed down and he told me to loop back around. I pulled over down the road from my house and stayed in the car. I didn’t see the man anywhere, so I got off the phone with the dispatcher who told me he was sending a police car to cruise the area.

As I gather up my things I do a final scan of the area, and I see the man. He is walking with two other men. I hunched way down in my car until they were far down the road, then bolted into my house.

The butcher knife lady

When I was really little my parents would let me stay up late on the weekends and watch TV until I fell asleep. I really loved these times and I would stay up later than anybody else just because I could. Well one night I was almost asleep on the couch when I heard a noise on our front porch. It was the sound of our old fashioned porch swing moving back and forth. I was a little scared so I crept toward the bay windows of my living room and peeked out towards the porch. Sitting on my front porch swing was an older woman, probably in her 50’s wearing nothing but a night gown, covered in blood and holding a huge kitchen knife.

I flipped out immediately and ran screaming into my parents room but was too terrified to form words. My parents saw that I was upset, but when I finally was able to tell them what I saw, my dad got really angry and told me that it was just a dream and to go back to bed. I refused and kept crying and screaming until he had had enough and snatched my arm and dragged me towards the front door to prove that nothing was there. I kicked and screamed all the way trying to make him stop, but he kept pulling me. Finally we got to the door, he unlocked it, swung it open and said “See theres nothing th-” To this day, I have never seen the look of fear and shock that was on his face when that woman turned and stared at both of us and slowly stood up with the knife.

My dad slammed the door shut and got my mom to call the police while he went and got his gun. He went back to the door with a 12 gauge and cracked the door enough to stick the barrel out. He asked her what she was doing and she said “Somebody killed my husband, but it wasn’t me.” My dad told her that the police were coming, and she freaked out, grabbed the knife and walked away. They police found her 15 minutes later trying to break into one of our neighbors houses.

I never slept in the living room again.

The blood covered lady

Happened to a friend of mine. It was about 1am and he heard a noise outside his front door. His front yard is really dark so he looked through the peep hole rather than opening the door, he couldn’t see anything but could tell something was below the peep hole. He decided to open the door slowly and as soon as he did an older lady who’s face was covered in blood and only wearing a t-shirt(no underwear or pants)tried to run into his house. He slammed the door on her and called the cops. While waiting for the cops he kept looking out the little hole on the door and every so often she would scurry back and forth on his front lawn. (I wasn’t there but I picture it like the alien at the birthday party in “Signs”). So the cops finally show up and detain the women and they get to the bottom of the story. It turns out the woman was his neighbor and she was extremely drunk. She had been drinking and locked herself out of her house and tried to get back in by braking the window with her face/hands.

They had to bury her quick

My family has lived in rural Nebraska since they immigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. Near the turn of the century disease was pretty rampant in the homesteading area and it killed off members of almost every family. When someone died from illness, time was of the essence in burying them as not to let the virus spread from the deceased to the living. This meant no wake periods.

So an aunt of some unknown number of “greats” preceding her relationship to me dies of some disease and she gets buried in the family cemetery on the the homestead. The dogs were very fond of her so it wasn’t too surprising that after the funeral the two dogs stuck near the grave.

The rest of the family began to think something of it when, a week and a half later, the dogs were still visiting her grave almost constantly. But they weren’t just at the grave. They were visibly distressed, frantic, and often barking while there.

This goes on for maybe two weeks when the family decides to check it out. They dig the casket up and open it.

The deceased’s hair has all been pulled out. Her fingers are raw and bloody and mangled from where, on the inside of the casket door, they can see deep scratches in the wood.

She was comatose when they buried her, and she came to while underground, spending probably her last five or so days alive in a buried casket.

Simon says ‘run’

When I was about 7 years old I went on a walk with my babysitter. We were walking back a mile or so to my house on a fairly busy road and about half way there she says we should play Simon Says. At first we walk faster, then skip, and then jog lightly. Then she says “Simon says run as fast as you can. Simon says turn here.” I was slightly confused, but played along. As we turned down the driveway I looked back and saw two guys chasing after us, one with a bat and the other with a knife.

We ran up to a house and some old people living there let us in thankfully. At the time I didn’t grasp how fucked up it was that we were getting chased and I still have no clue why they were.

The lights

I have noticed that almost anytime I am walking alone at night through my town, street lights turn off as I pass them. Not all of them, but enough to make me think something wants me to be in the dark.

They didn’t know I understood Spanish

Thanks to the response I received on my last post, I decides I’d post the only other creepy thing to happen to me.

About a year ago in my final semester in college I worked at a department store in the mall. I didn’t have a car yet so I asked for day shifts because it was a 2 hour bus ride back home. So basically if I had a closing shift, I’d get done at 11 but not get home until 1 am. But sometimes I’d be given closing shifts much to my annoyance since I had a 6 45 am class & my mothers worry because who wants their kid on public transport that late? (Sometimes she could come & get me but it’d be too much of a hassle to get my younger sisters out that late & such so I never asked her).

My managers being the jerks that they were gave me a week of closing shifts, knowing my situation. I was pissed but whatever. One night I had just finished my shift, got on the bus (I sat in the back) & was minding my business when my iPod died. I was annoyed but I just kept my earbuds in & occupied myself by playing a crossword on my phone.

About 2 seats behind me I hear these guys speaking Spanish. Now, my stepmother is Puerto Rican so while I understand a fair bit of Spanish, I don’t speak it. So i hear them talking but I don’t pay attention because it’s rude to eavesdrop & all until they say “that black girl up there” then my ears perk up. I keep my earbuds in so that they think I can’t hear them & I continue listening. What they’re saying is horrific. To paraphrase, they knew my stop (second to last one before the bus gets back to the terminal & while my stop is at the front of my neighborhood, it’s got no street lights & at this time of night, empty.) & to put it simply were planning on “snatching that piece of ass up”

I was about 20 mins away from home so I knew I had to act quickly. Since I knew they could see me (they were 2 seats behind me but like across if that makes sense) i pretended to play on my phone, oblivious while I was actually texting my mom.

“Mom, can you please meet me at the bus stop” 5 minutes go by, no answer. We’re getting closer to my stop so I decide to call her cell. No answer. I call the house phone & she finally answers. Its about 1230 am so she was asleep. I try to talk as cheerily & calmly as I can. This was our convo. “Hey mom, did you get my text?” “Uh no…what’s up?” “Oh I sent you a picture of these jeans I’m gonna order online when I get home. I REALLY need your opinion so I REALLY need you to look since the sale ends at 1 am.” She gets the hint that I need her to look at her cell so I say goodbye & hope for the best. We get to my stop & I see my mom’s car. I snatch my shit up & hightail it off the bus. Id on’t even look behind me to see if they’re following me. I jump in the car & tell my mom to just GO.

I look in the rearview & I see the guys staring at the car.

The next morning I called my job & told them I quit. No more public transport for me. Thanks to my stepmom for teaching me Spanish. Thanks to mom for getting the hint. Weird Spanish speaking guys, let’s not meet again.

Human trafficking

My best friend at the time (same age as me) was my neighbor who lived with her mother and grandmother 3 houses down from mine, we had been friends since we were babies, we grew up together, went to the same school, moved in the same social circle, went on vacation together, shared clothes, cds, food, we were basically sisters, our families were close, etc.

Her mom, early 30s at the time, was a single mom working as a secretary, they didn’t have it bad, between her salary and the grandmothers pension they lived comfortably and without any major setbacks.

Her mom started seeing a foreign guy who was in the country for business, he claimed to be from Spain but he had a funny accent, as if he was originally from Italy or another non-Spanish speaking country. He was supposedly rich, despite staying in a rinky dinky hotel (the hotel did have a pool tho, lol) he would often show pictures of himself in a very luxurious residence, he said it was his house in Ibiza, pictures of him driving a red sports car, a picture of him in front of the Eiffel Tower (oh god, how innocent were we) and so on.

After a month and a half or so of dating, my friend’s mom said they were leaving the country in perhaps the next 6-7 months. She was in love with him and he had promised her a life of luxury in Europe and everything was going to be perfect, the country they were moving to: Spain. Her and her daughter. The grandma couldn’t come. at least not yet, she was supposed to meet them in the future after they had settled in (but at the same time, wasn’t he rich? so many red flags).

This is where I come in, since I was such good friends with Maritza, the guy had told Maritza’s mom to bring me along for vacation, that it would be good for Maritza, make the transition easier, etc.

I was, of course, thrilled, a month in Europe with my best friend who was moving away, and the idea of going to see her every summer and stay at her step father’s mansion, it was a dream. My parents of course weren’t so thrilled at first, but as they got to know him they liked him and eventually he won them over too.

Eventually I even got a little weekend job as a waitress at my uncle’s restaurant to help my parents with the plane ticket and other costs, we got my passport, we were ready to go. As the months went by, it became evident that I wasn’t gonna be able to go, the money I had saved wasn’t enough, it didn’t even cover half of the ticket, and my parents couldn’t come up with the money for the rest of the trip.

A week or so before they left, the guy came to my house and talked to my parents, he offered to pay for my plane ticket. My parents politely declined. I was fuming, I swore I would never talk to my parents again, I didn’t come out of my room for days, eventually I got over it and when it was time to go to the airport to say goodbye to them, I did, we cried, we hugged, we promised each other we would meet up next summer, by then I would already have the money saved. They left. We never heard from them again.

The days went by and nothing, I remember the grandmother, the pain on her face, the nights she went on without sleeping, home alone without her daughter and granddaughter who were supposed to call her as soon as they arrived in Spain, and yet they never did. Eventually they were reported as missing, surprisingly enough the guy had given out his real name and last name the whole time, so after the cops got involved turns out he had this huge record in Spain and Italy, and had been in jail for drugs, prostitution, kidnapping, extortion and god knows what else. The police told their family that they were most likely sold into a human trafficking ring, that this was very common and that sadly there were too many cases like it, there was nothing to do but wait. Last time anyone saw them or had any register of them was at the airport in Seville when they arrived. Nothing else.

It breaks my heart even to this day, and to think that if my parents had said yes, I wouldn’t be here today, sends chills down my spine. Sometimes I look Maritza up in facebook, in hopes that I’ll find her, maybe she regained back her life and her freedom, but nothing ever shows up. The grandmother died in 2013 too, sadly without ever seeing or hearing about her daughter and granddaughter again.

The man and the hatchet

My stepmom (we're going to call her Macy) grew up as a kind of a privileged teen in the 70's and her mom had moved their family over here (the states) from England when she was about 9. She went to a pretty nice high school in a really nice town. There, she made friends with a girl ("Lily") who didn't exactly run with Macy's type of crowd (popular, stereotypical, etc.) They really hit it off, and Lily would take Macy out to do her type of stuff: hiking, fishing, sailing (there's even a hilarious set of pictures of them camping. My stepmom has raccoon eyes and looks like she hates everything.) Anyways, because of Lily's influence, the two of them would do stuff like that a good amount.

One Sunday they decided to go hike in some hills about an hour away. Macy put on what I'm sure were her extremely expensive hiking shoes and the two of them drove off to the hiking trails. Lily parked in this big clearing with makeshift parking spots (you know, like a piece of wood marking the head of a space) but there were no other cars there. This was only important in hindsight.

They started hiking up the hill, off the path because Lily fancied herself as something of a badass. The hike was nothing extraordinary (if you asked my stepmom she would just lament for fifteen minutes how sticky and buggy it was.) Anyways, they reached the top of the hill and my stepmom was done. The polished, pampered side of her was coming out and she groaned until Lily (begrudgingly) said ok, they would rest and then walk down again, slower.

They had been heading down the hill for maybe ten minutes when Macy started bitching again. Lily conceded to walking down the side of the road instead of the rough hiking trail. So there they are, probably looking like a couple of tools geared up for hiking and walking down a crappy road, and after not even five minutes, a truck pulled up next to them.

It was red and rusty, and just generally looked like a clunker. The guy driving rolled down the window and the girls looked in through the passenger's side window. He had a big beard, a baseball cap pulled down, and long brown hair. He greeted them and even smiled through his beard, asking if they needed a ride. Macy described him as charming, and even cute. Lily still says the moment he greeted them her hackles went up. Despite her better judgment, my stepmom convinced her to get in the truck. "It must only be a ten minute drive down to the car, tops."

The two girls opened the passenger's door to this rusty old thing, and the guy directed them behind the seat to get into the back. They settled in and the truck started rumbling forwards. Lily always says that was the point it hit her what a mistake they had just made. The backseat was clean enough but there was a rope on the floor behind the drivers seat and four boxes of saran wrap half hanging out from under the passenger's seat. It seemed creepy and weird, but Lily didn't want to freak my stepmom out so she just kept her mouth shut.

After ten minutes, the woods didn't look any clearer, and they hadn't seen another car the whole time. Lily asked how long he thought it would be. He said he was taking a different route down the hill and had to stop somewhere to get something first. That was it. The girls were 16/17, and Lily didn't want to press the issue. She was scared. She can remember his hair because she was sitting behind him. He looked like a woodsy guy, but his hair was super tangled and dirty. She noticed crusted mud on his collar and tried to find something identifiable about him, but just got scared the more she picked up on little details. He was young-ish, strong looking, and had a 1' on both of them. So they didn't ask any more questions, and he didn't offer any information, and they drove on.

Several minutes after that, they reached a tiny shack/log cabin looking place right there in a clearing of trees. There was an old stump where someone had been chopping wood and a huge axe stuck into the log. Lily was definitely on red alert now. The guy turned off the truck and slipped out of it, saying, "I'll be right back. Don't get out." And he disappeared into the house.

Lily tried to talk to my stepmom about how she was incredibly uncomfortable but she mostly just dismissed it. Lily started begging, increasingly freaked out and finally put her foot down, demanding Macy exited the truck with her. So they got out and walked around the front of the vehicle. The house was about 50 yards in front of them (why this guy would have left two young girls in the truck alone while going into the house is beyond me) and they wandered around, looking at it, hesitantly. If this guy really was decent and just trying to give them a ride, it would be super rude to just run off right? My stepmom had this strict upbringing when it came to manners and a public persona and she saw it as an issue of that nature, so she actually started to head back to the truck, opening the front door to climb in behind the driver's seat. Lily was pissed off and followed her to yell some more.

On the driver's side floor, half hidden under the seat, there was a big hatchet. It had dried red/brown stains covering the blade and stuck to the floor under it. Lily understandably lost her shit and seeing it, my stepmom started getting hysterical. They decided that leaving was by far their best option at this point, and just booked it off the side of property into the trees. They bumbled around in the trees for a little while until Lily was fairly confident they were on their way back down the hill. My stepmom cried all the way down. Lily felt bad about it, but was also completely freaked out that he would heart it and kept trying to calm her down.

When they finally got back down to the bottom and saw the old wooden fence that surrounded the original parking area, they were relieved. But as they got closer they saw it. The truck. It was parked on the other side of the gravelly makeshift lot. Just sitting there, facing the other way innocently. They couldn't see if anyone was in it and of course Macy wanted to run for the car, but Lily was super hesitant. She managed to calm my stepmom down; saying she wanted to wait before running out into the open, to see what was out there. Remember, this is the 70s. No cell phones. There was no ranger station or anyone around. The parking lot was big and empty and open and who knows what would have happened if they decided to stroll across it.

Thankfully Lily convinced my stepmom to chill and the two of them hunkered down against a big tree, hidden by bushes and other trees and waited it out for what was seemed to be a couple of hours, when dark started to fall. All the animals started coming out and making noises and my stepmom (predictably) started getting antsy about this and bothering Lily, who was tired and moments away from giving in. She was just planning their dash to the car when they heard a "clunk." Across the twilight-lit lot, they watched as one of the back doors of their car swung open. And the bearded guy slid his way out of the backseat.

He got out, shut the door, looked around at the surrounding woods for several moments, and then walked back to his truck. The truck lumbered past their car and out of sight. Several minutes after watching him drive away, they sprinted to their car as fast as they could, jumped in and peeled out before they had even shut the doors.

Australia’s Backpacker killers

This happened a couple years ago when I was backpacking in Australia.

I traveled around driving a van, like many backpackers there do, as it saves a lot of money with accomodation. I usually slept in rest areas, gas stations or wherever I could park.

This one night, I’ve been driving for a few hours and started to feel sleepy. I decided then to stop in the next rest area, in the middle of nowhere. Parking in that location during day time could be a great idea, but at night it seemed like a horror movie location.

There were no cars parked there (I know, I should park where there were more people around, but I was really drowsy) and no lights whatsoever. I turned off the engine and closed the curtains of the van.

It was not long before dawn that I heard some heavy knocking on the side of the van: “Open up, it’s the police!” Nothing wakes you up faster than that. My heart was racing. I was just adjusting to the adrenaline rush in my system when they repeated the heavy knocking, saying it was the police.
My first thought is that I parked somewhere I shouldn’t, but then again, it was the middle of nowhere and it was a rest area.

Before opening up, with my mind telling me that that situation was weird as fuck, I decide to go slowly to one of the windows and look through the gap in one of the curtains.

I could clearly see the shape/shawdow of a guy standing beside the van. His car wasn’t too far, but it didn’t have any lights or flashing lights on. This guy was definitely not a cop.

Bringing up the courage I had left I just shouted: “Get the fuck away! I have a gun and I’m calling the cops on the radio!” I didn’t have a radio or a gun, but that seemed to faze him. I saw him getting back on his car, and – to add to the creepiness – someone came out of the bushes and also got in the car.

They left and a few minutes after that, I turned on my van and drove in the opposite direction they went to.

Safe to say that I never slept in another rest area that didn’t have at least a couple other cars parked. I don’t know what those people wanted, but with Australia’s history of backpacker’s serial killers, I’m very happy to be here today!

The death premonition

My grandmother swore by this story till her dying day. It was during the war in London, and my dad was a baby. She was bombed out of her house and was staying with a friend. The friend had set her up in a room on the top floor. Anyway, she was taking my dad upstairs to bed when a figure materialised on the stairs telling her not to sleep in that room tonight. She noped back down stairs and told her friend that she, and my dad, were sleeping in the sitting room that night. Her friend was annoyed but agreed. That night a bomb exploded near the house and the roof caved in, right on top of my dads cot – he would have been killed.

Shush

I had awesome parents who let me sleep in the living room on weekend nights when I was very young because my sister was a light sleeper and I could stay up until dawn. But of course I always end up sleeping on the couch because Nick At Nite made me tried.

So, one night I wake up to the prickly feeling. Like an instinct. Just bolted into a sitting position and stared out the front window. We lived in rural Georgia, so you can imagine the magnitude of trees. In perfect light cast from the moon, I see a silhouette of someone in this fucking tree. The family dog dashes to the window and is snarling into the glass.

Terrified, I run into my parents room and try to explain to my parents that there is a strange person outside. Dad grabs something defensive and darts outside with the dogs to beat the wax off the hot head. I tremble in Mama’s arms until Dad comes home and says he saw no one and to go to bed.

I decide to sleep in my regular bedroom. I fill in my sister in as to what happened. Dad is making regular rounds in the house with a cup of coffee. We’re all still and I finally think “I can sleep.”

Nope. I notice the man outside my window. From what I can see in the moonlight, he gives me a shush signal and runs away. Just turns around to run a straight line away.

I swear I couldn’t stop crying for what felt like hours.

Handprints

When I was a child, I lived in an old Victorian house, and I would always hear laughing while I was trying to sleep. I was an only child with a single mother, and when I was about 5-6, I would wake up hearing laughter in the hallway in the middle of the night.

After mentioning this to my mum, she swore it was probably just the TV being left on late.

One night, I awoke hearing the laughter in my room. I went to sit up but felt like there was someone holding my shoulders down, invisible hands gripping into my shoulders while I heard laughing. I screamed my little heart out.

My mum ran into my room, flicking on the bedside lamp, convincing me it was just a dream, until I said “but my shoulders hurt.” She lifted up my t-shirt and there were two adult-sized hand prints on my shoulders.

I honestly thought I had imagined it and that it had never happened, but the other day I mentioned it in passing to my mum and she went blanket white and said “I don’t want to remember that.”

Scratching

About two years ago, I was driving home from a family reunion pretty late at night, and the drive was about two hours. I didn’t stay the night because I had to be back for work the following day. Most of the drive was on roads with dense bushes and trees on either side – the real creepy ones you see a lot in movies. Anyway, I had been driving about 45 minutes, and I was starting to get really tired. You know how sometimes you just suddenly become really tired, out of nowhere? Well yeah, that happened to me. I knew I wasn’t going to last, but I didn’t come across any place that I felt I could park and safely sleep.

Anyway, after it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to find a place to pull up, and my tiredness wasn’t going away, I did something very questionable. I pulled over to the side of the road onto the grass, behind some bushes, to try and hide my car from anybody else who was going to come past (the roads weren’t empty, I came across another car every few minutes or so). I made a mental note that the time was 11:22, and then fell asleep.

Some time later I was awoken by a scratching sound. I looked at the clock – 11:50. The sound stopped after a few seconds, and because I was still extremely tired, I didn’t bother looking around and simply went back to sleep. I was later awoken by the same sound, and it was now 12:40. This time it really freaked me out because the sound didn’t stop. The thought ran across my mind that it was just an animal inspecting the car, but why would it return almost an hour after it had left the previous time?

I looked in my rear view mirror and just managed to catch a glimpse of something running away into the forest. Now, at the time, I thought it was the damn hook killer, you know the one that scratched that couple’s car and then slaughtered the guy when he got out to investigate? Fuck that, I thought to myself, so I got the hell out of there. There was a bend no more than a hundred yards up the road, and as I came around it, there was a fucking car, parked off to the side of the road with the driver side door opened. I slowed down just to look to see if anyone was in there (there wasn’t). Then I looked in my rear view mirror.

I didn’t see anything, and all of a sudden, this guy comes sprinting around the corner. He starts screaming at me, shouting stuff like “Hey! Hey you! Get the fuck out of your car! Now!” I noped the fuck out of there and sped off. I never saw the guy again.

“Someone’s in your apartment”

So I was sleeping, and in the middle of the dream a character of my dream who was doing something turned her head, looked at me very seriously and said “There’s someone in your apartment, wake up.”.

I nearly had a god damned heart attack, and my apartment was empty.

The phone call

Ok so this happened to me last summer when I was back at my parent’s house during the holidays. It was around 3am and i was in my room on my computer when I got a call from my sister.

Now that was already a little bit weird since my sister’s room is just down the hallway from mine and she could have just came in my room. I went to pick up and the call ended as soon as I reached the phone.

I figured that she wanted to speak with me so I got up and went to her room. As soon as I reached her door, she started screaming that someone was in the room with her so I busted in and of course nobody was here.

After she stopped crying she told me that she woke up and saw a dark shadow just centimetres from her face and that’s when she screamed.

So I told her that she called me, she tell me that her phone is not in her room and that she was sleeping. Sure enough her phone is actually dowstairs in her purse. The weird part is that I have the log of her call on my phone but she doesn’t. Never managed to explain this one.

Always bring someone when looking at a room for rent

Back in my younger days when I was still living with roommates, I had what turned out to be the most obvious of dangerous encounters.

I was looking to move and I was about to leave to see a place in the perfect location, good price, two seemingly professional male roomies. At the last minute my boyfriend suggests he goes along because the place is nearby and they’ll have to meet him at some point anyway.

We get there and I introduce myself and the one roommate seems a little taken aback at the fact that I had someone with me. I suppose it could be seen as unusual to bring your boyfriend but I figured “Oh well, the damage has already been done. If they don’t allow me to be their roommate simply because he’s with me, I can’t do anything about it now. Let’s just see the place.” The apartment is HUGE! We’re both suitably impressed until we turn the corner of the living room and we see it. A 2-camera setup with a light pointed at the couch. There’s a guy sitting on the couch that is introduced as the other roommate. He jumps off of the couch and gives my boyfriend the same weird look. I now realize the look they were giving, was disappointment.

I shoot my boyfriend a very quick look of understanding but we silently decide to continue with the tour, so as not to escalate the situation. I casually joke that it’s nice they have a camera so I can video tape myself for my auditions. They both laugh much too hard and say, “YES! That’s what we were doing!”

He brings us over to “my room” and it’s literally a broom closet. You wouldn’t even be able to fit a single-sized bed in there. It is now patently obvious that there was never a room for rent in the first place.
I take this opportunity to get out of there by saying, “Oh that’s too bad. I have a queen bed and I won’t be able to fit. Okay well thanks for your time!”

We get out to the street and walk around the corner without saying a word. When we finally look at each other, it’s in this stunned silence. He just hugged me really tight, and we went for a walk in the park. TC mark

8 Struggles Of Living In Your College Town Post-Graduation

Posted: 21 Jul 2015 06:46 AM PDT

dinalf
dinalf

1. You are constantly getting asked what you did with your degree.

Most of the acquaintances you run into are ex-group-project members who stayed in town for grad school. Upon running into them, they babble for about twenty minutes about being so-and-so's research assistant and then ask what you did with your degree. At which point you have to gently break it to them that there's no work to be found post-graduation in your mutual field. But you're sure their research experience will come in handy.

2. You start to feel super creepy at bars.

No matter how hard you try to avoid the classic 'student bars,' you end up chatting up a student at least once every time you head out. Everything's going well, they're cute and friendly… and then the inevitable, "So, what's your major?" question pops up and suddenly you feel like a massive cougar. Sure it's only been a few years since graduation but the student life seems like an entirely different Universe – one you're far too old to venture back into.

3. Nonetheless, you make the mistake of dating a student at least once.

They took a couple of years off after high school so you're actually the same age. Plus they seem super mature. No problem there, right? Until it's the fourth Tuesday night in a row that they're urging you to come to the bar with them and their seven roommates – and something about the phrase, "I have to work in the morning," just doesn't seem to translate.

4. You inevitably end up living with students.

Yes, you want that big-kid apartment to yourself but renting out a room in a student house saves you $800 a month, which is tough to pass up. That is, until finals season rolls around and you're the only person who's done a dish in the past three weeks. But hey, at least you're no longer being woken up to the chanting of, "Shots! Shots! Shots!" at 3am anymore – or at least, not as regularly.

5. You constantly have to explain to people that no, you're not in grad school.

"Oh, you're still in town?" Is almost always followed up with, "What are you taking now?" At which point you have to explain that you're actually working now – believe it or not, the University/College is not the entire population of the city! This fact seems to genuinely baffle most of the people you tell it to.

6. And honestly, you don't really have a good answer to the question, "So then why are you still here?"

Because of work? Because the rent is cheap? Because all of your friends stayed and you weren't sure where else to go? Realistically, even you aren't sure of the answer. Staying in town was just a default decision when no better option came up.

7. Your dating pool is more or less limited to other ex-students who stayed in town.

Most of the original inhabitants of the city left for school and didn't come back. Which means that most of the people in your age range are people who also graduated and then stuck around. This would be fine if the pool weren't getting pretty small. Everyone seems to be someone else's ex – or a close friend of your ex who's still in town. It's starting to feel like school never ended at all.

8. On the plus side, you continue to get the student discount on everything.

If there's a silver lining anywhere, it's that you're still assumed to be a student. Which means you get 15% off basically everything – because the town is set up that way. It is built specifically around the college population, after all. TC mark

For Seven Minutes My Heart Stops, And I See You

Posted: 21 Jul 2015 03:55 AM PDT

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via oh_snap_its_summer

After the heart stops there are seven minutes of brain activity left. Seven minutes, four hundred twenty seconds, where the brain plays back movie memories of what shaped it –  like a homage to the organ, like a final goodbye to the restless dreamers that lived by it, and to the unwavering capacity by which they loved through it.

During the first minute, I saw you. I saw you as if it were the first time, and my god you were perfect. I saw the bad chat, the coy smiles, the terrible dance moves and the genuine laughter. I saw you pick me up and take me into your arms, I saw you lean in for our first kiss. I saw me beaming on my way home, spellbound thinking, "This is something big. This is going to ruin me."

Minute two and three. I saw the flicker of our flame. I saw the way your bones played with the moonlight, the way your back looked against the night sky as we slept under the canopy of our favorite city. I saw the letters you wrote me, scrawled in graphite along the surface of my skin. I saw the man you were trying to become, the intelligently awe-inspiring man you were working towards. I saw the clock, as we counted down the days, gripping tighter and tighter within our false reality, until I saw the goodbye.

Minute four. I saw the hurt. I saw it riddled across your face like a cold sweat. I saw the last embrace, and the heaviness that came with having to let go.  I saw the confusion, the need to simply make sense of what we had shared, of what we didn't want to give up on. I saw the scramble within both of our souls, the human parts of us trying to make up the miles, trying to fit the world into a shoebox so we could fill the void. I saw the suffering.

Minute five and six. I saw the girl who found you at the right time. I saw how you kissed her with my warmth on your mouth; how you tried to place yourself into her open arms like a jagged puzzle piece that simply did not fit. I saw my hope for you during that time; the impatient and genuine hope that you would be cured of this memory, that you would be able to sleep beside the bones of another without dreaming of a ghost.

But before I knew it, I met minute seven, and despite all of the hurt, all of the feeling, all of the unanswered questions –  I saw the communion of hues, the colours of every sunset I had ever witnessed, come together to build the contours of your face. I saw the purples of your under eyes, I saw the whites of your teeth. I saw the pinks of your lips, and the reds that made up the flush in your cheek. I saw the man who shaped me, the man who dug my heart up like dinosaur bones. I saw you whisper goodbye, and it was then, only then, in the beauty of your night sky, that I finally moved on. TC mark

18 Scientific Reasons That Women Aren’t Treated The Way They Deserve

Posted: 21 Jul 2015 01:17 PM PDT

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via Flickr – Sodanie Chea

A recent study by two university researches, Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, has revealed, well, some things that many people already likely expected but had no data to point to. That’s now changed. A scientific study observing how different men treat different women in groups shows that women are held to a standard that men don’t even hold one another to.

1. The two researchers hypothesized that if women suddenly entered a male dominated arena be it work or simply online forums then the men who reacted mostly strongly against them were the ones who either believed they were or actually were of low social status. In other words, the ones who feel the weakest would react the most strongly.

2. The researchers used Halo 3 online as their laboratory which is about as real world as you can get.

3. So here’s how it went down. The low-skilled male players were found to act subserviently to high-skilled male players.

4. However, the low-skilled male players were found to act aggressively towards female players.

5. The low-skilled female players received even more hate for their mistakes than higher-skilled female players.

6. High-skilled male players were found to be more positive towards medium to higher-skilled female players  in general than they were towards lower-skilled males.

7. The researchers believe that the reason lower-skilled male players react so aggressively towards women is that they fear a loss of status, especially public status within the context of the Halo 3 online community which is mostly male. This could be (but isn’t) called the “you made me look bad in front of the other guys” effect.

8. Higher-skilled males, occupying the top of this community’s hierarchy, had no such fear of status loss and, as a result, felt no need to act in an aggressive manner in order to maintain status.

9. While some of this may seem a bit obvious it’s important to remember that this study is also taking place in a context where other theories about equality and gender interaction are also present. Most notably, the researchers take specific aim at some sociological and feminist theorists who believe gender traits are primarily socially determined rather than genetically determined. This study says that’s not entirely correct and that evolutionary theory is just as important.

In other words, no, not everything is socially determined.

10. Here’s a key quote from the study:

“Although many sociologists and feminists argue that sexism can only be explored through social constructionist theory, such a view assumes that sexist behaviour is solely determined by social and cultural environments, ignoring biological variation. From the same perspective, a biological approach alone ignores the importance of social interactions. We argue that a much clearer understanding of sexist behaviour is reached using evolutionary theory as it incorporates both a social and biological perspective.

From an evolutionary perspective, intrasexual competition is common and is one of the strongest forces shaping sex differences. This is also true in humans and the fact that direct conflicts were largely fought by men can help explain sex differences in body structure. In a similar manner, these biological sex differences also shaped sex-specific competitive strategies.”

11. What does that mean? It means that due to how humans evolved, men have different, often more aggressive competition strategies than women do. Why? Because historically they had to be aggressive and women did not have to be as aggressive.

12. It means that due to evolutionary pressures women will have different competition strategies than men will and that these strategies (aggressiveness, ally building, etc) are based on biological pressures just as much as social pressures. Specifically, the researchers claim that social groups of males have to deal with navigating a hierarchy more than groups of women do.

“As a man's access to resources and mates (i.e. fitness) is determined by his position in a hierarchy, it is important for men to understand and navigate dominance hierarchies enforced through overt signals of dominance.”

13. As a result, it’s going to be the males who believe they are the weakest or most at risk that will be likely to react aggressively.

14. Despite modern workplaces now stressing capacity and ability over gender, the researchers argue that these competition strategies still exist for both genders. As a result, in a blended environment like playing Halo 3, low-skilled men exhibit aggression towards women to prevent a perceived loss of social status.

15. What’s more, the researchers believe that the hypermasculine aspects of some games contribute to a more elevated aggression on the part of low-skilled male players since it seems to reinforce the importance of male status. Halo 3 was chosen for the study because every player is covered in armor and looks the same.

16. The researchers believe that this study revealed several important things about women entering male dominated fields. One is that the reaction on the part of high-skilled males to female performance is either high or low. While they were less likely to say anything positive when a female player was doing badly they became extremely likely to say positive things as the skill level of the female player increased.

The researchers actually believed they were hitting on the them at that point.

17. Male players rarely got positive comments from other male players no matter how well they were doing. It barely mattered at all to the high-skilled male players.

18. Food for thought, does this study suggest that certain socialized gender pressures (be masculine, be feminine) are based on biological realities that resulted from evolutionary development? In other words, do we have a concept of masculine and feminine traits because natural selection formed them as we evolved thousands upon thousands of years ago? Wouldn’t this also mean that changes in social gender norms are at least somewhat based on biological need in terms of evolutionary pressures?

Here’s a link to the full study. (PDF) TC mark

9 Books Every Aspiring Female Comedian Should Read

Posted: 20 Jul 2015 02:18 PM PDT

We Killed
We Killed

1. Bossypants by Tina Fey

This one is a given. Fey covers everything from growing up as a nerd, to experiencing the comedy scene in Chicago, to landing her life-changing role on Saturday Night Live. In a collection of hilarious essays, she explores what it’s like to live with the pressures of being a modern day woman and shares plenty of fascinating information about working in the fast-paced comedy world.

2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Another obvious choice, Poehler’s book, like Fey’s, includes tons of captivating bits about working on shows like SNL and Parks and Recreation. But my favorite part about this book is the endless amount of encouragement, inspiration, and honest advice that Poehler gives out, like the following: "You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look."

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Kaling shares a lot of insight on how she got to where she is now. And, in my opinion, the best part about her book is that she shows you how achieving a seemingly-impossible future in comedy is possible, when you take it one step at a time. She goes into delightful details about her time living in a cramped NYC apartment, to how she got her writing gig for The Office (and how initially inadequate she felt), to how she has dealt with the unrealistic expectations that the media has for women in Hollywood. You can’t not read this one, especially if you’re an Office fan.

4. We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen

This book is a female comedian’s dream. It covers a history of funny ladies that spans over fifty years, going all the way back to the early days of Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers and ending with the most prominent female voices today. You get to hear from successful writers, producers, nightclub owners, and more, to go alongside the interviews and discussions with famous standups, SNL standouts, popular TV stars, and more.

5. Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch

Dratch’s book is a remarkably honest and vulnerable account about the difficult parts of showbiz life. She goes into some awesome details about her audition for SNL, and also discusses some of her favorite moments there (including the infamous Debbie Downer at Disney World sketch). But she also delves into what it’s like when the calls stop coming in, and how she’s learned to deal with the ugly side of comedy.

6. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

Technically, any of Chelsea Handler’s many hilarious memoirs could be included in this list. I simply chose this one because I have crystal clear memories of laughing out loud while reading it in the airport (standing in a three-hour customer service line after a canceled flight, mind you.) Handler delivers continuous wit and refuses to apologize for her irreverent sense of humor. It’s inspiring for any female trying to make it in this world.

7. Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield

Though not nearly as entertaining as most of the female-written books on this list, this inside account of one of the most successful periods in television, by the former NBC President of Entertainment, is still incredibly informational and beneficial to read. Top of the Rock goes into a ton of detail about casting processes, how pilots are picked up, what made certain actors stick out, etc. It’s highly useful for anyone looking to get into this field – both behind and in front of the camera.

8. Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

Like Top of the Rock, this book is an awesome insiders’ account of what it was and is like to work on one of the most successful shows in the history of comedy and television. It provides plenty of fascinating, behind-the-scenes interviews with former SNL writers, producers, guests, stars, and more.

9. Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

Lynch provides an honest viewpoint about what it was and is like to try to make it as an actress in a highly competitive environment. It’s been described as both a hilarious memoir and an inspirational narrative, and is a beneficial read for any woman who feels like she’s missed her chance at her dream.

10 Signs You’re In A Healthy Relationship

Posted: 20 Jul 2015 06:54 PM PDT

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pexels.com

We read a lot about red flags and signs that you’re in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, but what we don’t talk a lot about is what exactly makes a relationship healthy. So let's take a look at what a healthy relationship looks like.

1. You TRUST each other completely.

You trust each other implicitly, without having to convince yourself. You don’t give each other “the benefit of the doubt” because, quite simply, you don’t have those doubts. This trust goes beyond simply trusting that your partner is faithful. You take what your partner says at face value. You feel safe with that person and can allow yourself to be vulnerable. You trust that they care and that they won’t hurt you.

2. You make POSITIVE assumptions.

In unhealthy relationships, people make a lot of negative assumptions. He canceled plans last minute? He didn’t want to see you. She went out for lunch with a male coworker? They’ve got something going on. He is grumpy? He must be annoyed with you. And so on. In a healthy relationship, you make positive assumptions. He canceled plans last minute? You believe his reason (working late, feeling tired, etc) and that it has nothing to do with you. She went out for lunch with a male coworker? They are friends and they like having lunch together. He’s grumpy? He had a stressful day and needs you to just give him a bit of breathing room. You don’t assume there is a problem between you, unless they have specifically told you there is a problem, or you can specifically point to an actual problem.

3. It feels NATURAL.

You don’t have to try around each other. Things don’t feel forced. Silence isn’t awkward. You are comfortable with each other and don’t feel like you need to put up appearances or question how the other person feels or ignore things you don’t like about them. You can totally just be yourself with that person. When you are hanging out together it just feels right. It feels natural.

4. You like each other's FRIENDS.

A lot of people ignore the importance of this one. See, who a person chooses to keep as friends says a lot more about them than almost anything else. If you don’t like your partners friends then chances are, when it really comes down to it, you don’t actually like your partner. If you think all your boyfriends friends are dickbags, then there is a good chance you are ignoring a lot of things about your boyfriend that you don’t like (or he is hiding a lot about his real self from you). “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn.

Not to mention, when you actually genuinely like one another’s friends, you don’t have to deal with the stress of fighting whenever one of you wants to hang out with your friends, with or without the other person, because you like and trust those people.

5. You’re there because you WANT to be.

This is a big one that also is too often ignored. Co- dependency is not healthy. You should not depend on your partner for your sense of self or value. You shouldn’t depend on them to take care of you emotionally or financially (the obvious exception is if you choose as a couple to have one parent stay at home with the children while the other works). In a healthy relationship, you were fine on your own without the other person and their presence in your life is a sweet, sweet bonus. You’re not with them because you NEED them. You’re there for no other reason than you WANT to be.

6. You GET ALONG more than you fight.

We all know those couples who seem to be always fighting about one thing or another, and we wonder why the heck they are even together. In a healthy relationship, fighting is the exception, not the norm. Yes, you do argue sometimes, or get annoyed with each other, but the vast majority of the time you spend together, you are getting along. Fighting is NOT your normal/your default.

7. You are FRIENDS.

This comes back again to simply LIKING each other. In a healthy relationship, that person is not just your lover, they are your friend. If you were not in a relationship with this person, you could totally be friends with them. You think they’re cool. You like hanging out with them. You see them as a complete person, not as a sexual object or some relationship trope. In another life or another time, you could imagine yourself hanging out with them platonically as friends.

8. They bring out your best SELF.

You don’t feel pressured to change for one another, nor do you want to change one another. You accept each other the way you are, but you also support each other's’ dreams and goals, and being around the other person brings out a better version of you. Not because you are trying to be better around them, or because you are hiding your faults from them, but because they are a positive influence on you and you feel like a better person with them. It’s easy to say no to your vices, or to pluck up the courage to work toward a goal when you’ve got a cheerleader in your corner.

9. You have a LIFE outside that person.

They are not the only person in your life, or the only thing you draw meaning from. You don’t do absolutely everything together. Sometimes you go out with your own friends without each other. Maybe you each have a hobby or two that the other person doesn’t share. The point is that you have a life outside that person. And the fact that you each have your own life doesn’t make the other person uncomfortable or insecure.

10. You’re HAPPY.

This one is simple. It’s basic. But it’s important and it’s true. If you are in a healthy relationship, you are happy. You’re not trying to change the other person. You feel satisfied, sexually and emotionally. When you think about your partner, you smile a bit. Thinking about them makes you feel calm and secure. Obviously, no person is 100% happy all the time. When I say you are happy, I mean that your relationship brings you a lot more happiness and joy than it does sadness or pain. Your relationship is a net positive. Your relationship doesn’t drain you emotionally, it energizes you. TC mark

7 Insane Reasons Why Smoking Weed Became Illegal In The U.S. In The First Place

Posted: 20 Jul 2015 12:43 PM PDT

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1. Smoking it was associated with Mexican immigrants.

In a super shocking turn of events, the war against weed has always been fueled by xenophobia and racism. When Mexican immigrants started crossing the border in huge numbers in the wake of the Mexican Revolution, American citizens began to hold them accountable for the country's dilemmas du jour—particularly the proliferation of urban slums and labor unrest. Marijuana was available in the US for medical and recreational purposes looooong before **THE MEXICANS** arrived, but of course, the moment racist policy makers caught wind that the diablos were trafficking/smokin’ it, weed became stigmatized as a categorically Mexican—and therefore, dirty/poor/stupid/crazy—thing.

When Montana outlawed pot in 1927—a decade before the Marijuana Tax Act effectively criminalized the substance on a federal level—the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s awesome statement: "When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff…he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts to execute all his political enemies." And in Texas, a senator was quoted saying that "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [weed] is what makes them crazy." Cool shit, right?!

2. …And Black jazz musicians.

By the time jazz arrived to Harlem, weed had been established as an essential part of *the Black music scene.* Jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway wrote about pot in their music—e.g. Calloway's "That Funny Reefer Man”—and as a result, marijuana was demonized as a *Black thing.* When the Treasury Department established the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Harry Anslinger, the bureau's first director, crystallized the country's position re: Negroes 'n' weed when, at an FBN conference, he was allegedly overheard saying, "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men." Indeed, Chicanos and "darkies" were believed to be plying America's youth with weed, so as you can imagine, that shit had TO GO.

3. …And ASSASSINS.

Lol, for real. People drew their associations between weed and violent behavior based on the centuries-old stories of Marco Polo (you know, the Italian merchant whose adventures he recorded in The Travels Of Marco Polo, the book credited with introducing Europeans to Central Asia and China), who returned to Europe with the tall tale that the Hassan-i Sabbah fueled his followers with hash—a potent form of marijuana—before sending them on murder missions. I shit you not—in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote, "Under the influence of hashish those fanatic would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every on within their grasp." Oh, you heard that pot makes you giggly and hungry? LOL nah, it makes u kill ppl. Duh.

4. Long story short, weed was believed to make people of color violent and crazy.

According to Anslinger, "The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

5. …And to make white women want to have sex with Black men.

Watch out, white ladies of early-20th century America!!!!! If you're not careful, Anslinger says pot will make you want to fuck a Black dude: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

6. Racist, sensational lies about weed sells sold newspapers.

Newspaper tycoon William Hearst was, much like Sir Donald Trump, not a huge fan of Mexicans. After he lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Mexican Revolutionary general Pancho Villa, Hearst used his media empire as a platform to promote his horribly racist agenda. His newspapers bolstered the prominent view that Mexicans were lazy, savage, pothead degenerates—"Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug," a nationwide column observed, "that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim's life in Los Angeles?…THREE-FORTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES—that is a matter of cold report." And you the fuck r u to question a cold report?

7. It was rumored to be more dangerous than heroin.

When asked if the "hardened narcotic user" falls back on marijuana, Anslinger retorted, "No…he would not touch that." According to Anslinger, pot posed a greater threat than heroin (probably because heroin was popular among harmless white middle-class suburbanites and not big, scary Blacks and Chicanos). Still, marijuana was falsely lumped together with hard narcotics like heroin and cocaine, which were the main targets of early anti-drug laws. The association stuck such that, today, anti-weed legislators have flipped the script on Anslinger's hypothesis, inaccurately vilifying pot as a "gateway drug." But, as Miriam Boeri writes for Newsweek, the gateway theory—much like Anslinger's outrageous suggestion—is utter bullshit. The theory entails that that weed boasts a causal mechanism that biologically sensitizes those who "use" it, increasing their likelihood to experiment with harder drugs; however, research overwhelming shows that pot-smokers are not at any inflated risk of "graduating" to more harmful substances.

…BUT LIKE SRSLY, HAVEN'T YOU HEARD?! A WHITE HEROIN ADDICT IS WAAAAAY LESS PROBLEMATIC THAN A BLACK/LATINO/FILIPINO *WEED SMOKER.* TC mark

19 Things That Feel Bizarrely Good (And Aren’t Sex)

Posted: 20 Jul 2015 03:07 PM PDT

Counselman Collection
Counselman Collection

1. That glorious release of peeing when you’re super drunk. Honestly, it’s a close call what feels better when drunk: sex or peeing? #TeamPeeing

2. That exciting moment when the lights first dim in the movie theater and everyone stops talking.

3. When the lights come back on in the movie theater after seeing a truly amazing film and the entire audience just sits together in awe. Then someone starts clapping and it quickly spreads until the whole room is vibrating with applause.

4. The first bite of a “cheat” food when you've been eating super healthy. Hell, even just smelling it does the trick.

5. Sitting down to take a test and realizing your studying ACTUALLY paid off and you know the answers.

6. When a random baby smiles at you. Even those with the Grinchiest hearts, they can’t deny the ooey-gooey feeling from a beaming babe.

7. Sticking your fingers in candle wax and having it create some tiny finger mold.

8. When that hottie you had a MASSIVE crush on in high school casually “likes” something of yours on Facebook or Instagram. It’s like a sudden time warp and you are sixteen all over again.

9. Driving somewhere and hearing the PERFECT song come on the radio that exactly fits your current life situation. In fact, you’re semi-convinced the song was straight up written for you.

10. Groping yourself, but in a non-pleasure-seeking way. Just sitting with hands down your pants, chilling. Or maybe you’re watching TV, casually holding your breasts. So relaxed! So comfortable!

11. When it’s disgustingly hot outside and then a GOD SENT breeze blows through and you feel, even if only momentarily, refreshed and revived.

12. Introducing your best friend to a song you are currently obsessed with and them loving it just as much.

13. Walking down the street while listening to “Feeling Good” and pretending this is your big moment in a movie, complete with an empowering soundtrack. You just dumped that asshole or earned that big promotion and you are ON FIRE.

14. Hearing the words: “Don’t worry, it’s already been paid for.”

15. That electrifying moment RIGHT before a first kiss. Your lips haven’t touched yet, but it’s as if there is an invisible magnet drawing you towards each other and it’s one of the sexiest feelings…maybe ever?

16. Getting into your bed and sleeping in freshly laundered sheets. Mmmmmmmmm, so clean and cozy.

17. Checking your bank account and seeing that direct deposit went through. OH YEAH, WE GETTING EXTRA GUACAMOLE TONIGHT $$$$$

18. Finding out that you’re doing better in life than someone who used to routinely bully you. Heh heh heh.

19. Not. Having. To. Set. An. Alarm. Clock. PRAISE!!!!! TC mark