There comes a point in everyone's life where you have a moment where you think to yourself "I can't believe this is happening right now!" These are the defining moments of our lives. They have the ability to grant us incredible joy, but they also have the power to bring us great fear and sorrow. These moments also prove that reality truly is stranger than fiction.
The Redditors share the moments they couldn't believe were real. Content has been edited for clarity.
The Phone Call That Changed Everything
“I got a message one day from a stranger that said, ‘There’s something we need to talk about that is important to both of us.’
I made some time for a call shortly thereafter, and the stranger called me.
‘Hi. You don’t know me, but I think it’s important that you know that my husband is sleeping with your wife. I know this because he left his Facebook logged into our computer at home, and I can see everything they have been chatting about for months.”
BOOM. Life upended. I was good to my wife. Really good. Then my life exploded. Children were involved and families destroyed on all sides. That was the start of the worst year of my life. Over the next 6 months, I lost 40 pounds of weight and probably shortened my life by 10 years due to stress.
Bonus points: it turns out that in my appointed position with the local government, I had given the guy an award the year before for his service to children.
Good news: it’s all good now. It was bound to happen, as I learned later she was a serial cheater before me, so it’s not like it wasn’t going to happen at some point. I am with a great person now, and my family life is great.”
Always Keep An Eye On Your Kids
“I was swimming at a lake in Keystone State Park last summer. My sister has seven kids, so I was helping her keep an eye on them. A little boy was bouncing up and down beside me. I thought the kids next to him were with him. Then I realized they swam away and he was by himself. But he wasn’t play jumping. He was trying to stay above water.
After four seconds of him going under and seeing that he actually wasn’t tall enough to be in the 4 foot water, I reached over and grabbed him. The kid almost drowned. It turns out he was about 3 years old. He puked up a bunch of water all over me and I held that stranger’s kid in a hug so tight.
The parents were 20 feet away with their backs turned. It took me a good 10 minutes to find them after standing there in the lake screaming for them and asking random people if that was their kid. I could not stop shaking with the realization this kid could’ve died and I just saved him. I had to leave after that and haven’t been back to that lake since.
People, watch your kids please. Tons of kids die every year. All it takes is one minute of distraction.
At Keystone, they have no lifeguards on duty except for the holidays. Swim at your own risk. It was only June and from what I heard later, kids drown there all the time. The parents were grateful, but I think they were extremely embarrassed. As they should’ve been.”
A Paramedic’s Job Is Never Done
“I was completely exhausted having worked 32 hours, I sat down in a diner to eat. I get my fisherman’s platter and this little guy in a booth across from me starts choking on a chicken finger. I get up start doing airway clearing as I send my EMT for my equipment in the ambulance. I had one shrimp and two scallops! This poor kid is going grey and I can’t get the obstructing piece of chicken out. Finally, my McGill forceps and airway kit arrive and I manage to get some out but most fell into the lung right bronchus.
The local volunteers arrive with no paramedic, so now I’m stuck going with them. I go to the hospital and basically kiss my dinner goodbye on the way out the door. My EMT stays behind to clean up and gather our crap. I take the ride in and thankfully the boy was fine, but I was ready to pass out from lack of food. I do my paperwork and my EMT shows up. She says we have to go back to the diner.
I walk in figuring they want me to pay my bill, but instead they made me a huge surf and turf dinner. I couldn’t believe it! No charge. The owner ended up being a great friend for years until his passing. I couldn’t believe though that kid started choking right as my meal came. What timing! My EMT said I looked like someone kicked my dog as we walked out and my plate got further and further away.”
It Was Supposed To Just Be A Simple Surgery
“I was 16, walking through my school’s gym when my little sister said that Dad had been in a car accident on his way back from a business trip. Momma called and said all he had was a broken leg and he’ll need surgery to fix it.
The next day, I’m grocery shopping with my grandma when she got a phone call to come immediately to the hospital to say goodbye. Strangely enough, I was looking at get well and sympathy cards when she answered the phone. We immediately abandoned the cart and quickly drove to the hospital. I walked into one room. My mom and little brother are on the floor, my little sister ran towards me, and my dad’s aunt whispered, ‘I’m sorry, but your dad didn’t make the surgery.’
My dad died during a simple procedure because a blood clot formed in his knee, let loose during surgery, and caused a pulmonary embolism, one where my dad was too weak to recover from.
I howled, bled from the nose, and passed out.
This upcoming March will mark seven years. I hate reliving that moment.”
The Happiest Day Of His Life
“My first dance with my wife at our wedding. We are 30 and have been married for two years, but we have been friends since we were 13. I always always always had a crush on her. In school, I was more focused on soccer, which lead to many universities offering scholarships. I was also preoccupied with a severely abusive home situation. Things never really worked out. After high school, she went to college; I joined the Army.
Fast forward a bunch of years. I messaged her on my birthday because she was in France celebrating her Masters Degree. We hit it off and have been together since that message. All these memories and this timeline flashed in my head during our first dance. I sobbed. I never thought I was worthy of love. I always thought my purpose was to be everyone else’s punching bag. Today, I am the happiest I have ever been. I honestly can’t believe this is happening right now.
If I can pass along one piece of advice: always communicate, especially when it’s hard. We have had three heated arguments in almost five years of being together. We talk about things we like. We talk about things that annoy us. We talk about getting hurt by each other. We talk about little things that makes us happy. I never wonder how she feels about something and she doesn’t either. You’re both on the same team, don’t make things harder on your teammate.”
“Who Steals A Cat?!”
“My cat-sitter gave my cat away while I was on vacation.
The girl who had him then claimed he was ‘lost,’ so I proceeded like he was lost, but she wouldn’t tell me where she lived/he was lost from. After some Veronica Mars-level investigating that I’m still very proud of, I showed up on her doorstep with the police, then her story changed. She had been asked to re-home him and found a family in a city a couple hours away (these people already lived about an hour away from me in the ‘burbs). I called bullcrap when she wouldn’t tell me what rescue she volunteered with and wouldn’t put me in touch with the family (who probably would have appreciated knowing their cat was actually stolen).
The police couldn’t help me further as it was a civil matter, they had just accompanied me to the house to ensure it didn’t escalate. Her helicopter mom got involved and tried to have me charged with harassment for continuing to put up posters in their neighborhood. I also sent posters to every vet in the city they said he was in now, but I didn’t believe them after they lied about him being ‘lost,’ hoping that would get me to leave them alone. I suspected they just wanted me away from their house. I also posted up at the pet store where the thief worked. I already had a lawyer by this point, but it was a real low point. I couldn’t believe that after all of this, I might be the person to get in trouble with the law. The police told me it was just a warning and wouldn’t lead to charges unless I continued the postering and contacting them, but I felt so powerless.
I had to sue the mom and thief in order to get my cat back. This was after we had invited them to mediation and they ignored it. The whole process of searching, involving police, working with a lawyer, serving them and being offered a settlement (drop everything and we’ll give you the cat back) took 3.5 months. Once we agreed to drop the suit, they stopped negotiating where to exchange him and just dumped him at a humane society on the other side of the province.
The expression I tended to say during that whole surreal process was ‘WHO STEALS A CAT?’ but I definitely thought, ‘I can’t believe this is happening right now.’
The cat-sitter and I are no longer friends. He didn’t even try to help me get the cat back. He had a lot of red flags I should have seen earlier, but he was an old friend that I wrongfully trusted.”
“When I was 15, I got tickets to my favorite band’s concert for my birthday but the concert got cancelled and rescheduled for a totally different, smaller venue. I managed to still go, but they weren’t the headlining band here and after they played, I lined up with some others to get their autographs. They started loading up their stuff in their van, but the next/main band was about to start.
The lead singer yelled to the line that anyone who was interested could come out to the alleyway when they were loading up their van and join them to hang out while they packed up. My friend and I were so excited, but everyone else in line went back to the main concert area for the headliner. We went and spent a hour or so with the band and got pictures, autographs, and a lot of nice conversations with the band.
Afterwards, my friend and I went to the pizza shop next door and it was empty so while my friend was at our table I yelled back to him (with my back turned to the main seating area), ‘I can’t believe we literally just spent an hour with them!’
He didn’t respond, so when I looked back I noticed that the band had just taken the table next to ours and I was totally embarrassed about it.”
Always Wear A Helmet
“I woke up from what felt like a dream; kind of like when you are half asleep and someone is talking to you and you know that they’re there, but your mind is somewhere else. I was woken up to a man asking me what my name was and my first thought was ‘Well, that’s a pretty good question isn’t it!’ I wasn’t quite sure what my name was, I was still in a dream like state where I couldn’t really grasp the physical world. Then he asked me what day it was, to which I thought, ‘I couldn’t tell you what day it was most days of the week’… and then it clicked. It was Christmas Day, the guy waking me up was a paramedic getting ready to load me into a helicopter. My face was so broken that I couldn’t open my eyes or make any sound more than a moan, but I wasn’t in pain. My next thought was ‘damage control, I got messed up somehow (I still don’t remember what happened 12 years later) but I was being taken care of, and I still have all my teeth.’ The first thing I did when I realized I was in bad shape was lick all my teeth to see if they were there.
The moment where I thought, ‘I can’t believe this is my life right now,’ happened once I landed at the hospital.
I always would think, when watching shows such as ER and the like, that it must be embarrassing to be injured and have a room full of people strip all your clothes off. So there I was laying on a table which felt like cold like metal, in a neck brace, uncomfortable, butt naked, with people evidently scurrying around me. I chuckled to myself in my head how crazy it was that I was now that person naked in a hospital, but I didn’t care at all. I was just comforted that I was being taken care of.
Ski patrol told me I got knocked out and slid 200 yards face down, unconscious. No one saw the accident because so few people were riding on Christmas day, but they could tell by the tracks that I had left. I don’t remember what happened at all however. Needless to say, I wear a helmet when I ride now, which, everyone should regardless of skill level.”
A Whirlwind Romance
“I’m about to turn 40, still single and have recently ditched my long time boyfriend after discovering that he was cheating on me. My friend suggests that a ski trip to Park City, Utah would be a great distraction, so off we go.
The first night we’re there, I meet this really cute guy in the communal hot tub at our condo and he asks me to go out to dinner the next night. I agree and we have an amazing time in a beautiful stone restaurant at a table in front of an enormous fireplace with a copper hood. It was very romantic and I was totally smitten.
My birthday arrives a few days later and he gives me a wrapped box with a cute little Park City sleep shirt inside and there’s also a card. I open it and it’s a simple Happy Birthday card, but he has signed it ‘I love you.’ I’m so shocked I almost fall off the chair, but the look on his face convinces me that he is sincere. A whirlwind long distance romance follows and we get married 3 months later.
We’ve been married 30 years and now we’re living our dream retirement life in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We’re too darned old to ski now, but we do have a hot tub!”
“My husband and I were sitting in a courtroom at the culmination of 2+ years of stress, 6 months of legal work and media attention. We were presenting our arguments against a company that had royally messed up my husband’s credit report. The opposing side never showed up for court, so it was going to be a default judgment either way, but we still had to do our thing with our lawyers.
After we give our testimony and as our lawyer is going through the extensive list of financial damages we’re seeking, both in real money and in emotional harm, the judge says to him, ‘I’m going to be far more likely to award you this if you stop detailing out every line item. What’s the total number you’re seeking?’ After our lawyer gives him the total and sits back down with us, the judge states that he is sympathetic to our plight and all the obstacles we’ve dealt with over the last couple of years. Rather than choosing to ‘take it under advisement’ (aka, ‘I’m going to review everything you’ve given me and decide what’s fair compensation, then get back to you in a couple of weeks’), he chooses to rule on the spot.
He granted us a judgement for $306,000… plus additional lawyers’ fees of around $50k. In shock, I turn to my lawyer and whisper, ‘Did he just do what I think he just did?’
My lawyer just says, ‘Shut up shut up shut up’ because he’s as freaking amazed as we are. In the news interview afterward, I babbled like a freaking idiot because I was still so flabbergasted at the ruling.
We never saw the money, but we never expected to either. The shady company we were dealing with in the first place refused to come forward in any way, had restructured themselves from an American-based company (who flipped states of jurisdiction every few months) to a French-based company a few days after our news story broke. Then they declared that the subpoena and summons they were served with had to be served to this address in France.
The company itself disbanded right before the court date in order to help avoid having to pay us anything.
The good news though is that a couple of states heard our story and started passing laws to prevent what happened to us from happening to anyone else. Then it got taken up by the federal government. Congress crafted a law that unanimously passed both houses (which never happens!) and was signed into law by President Obama. I’ll take that over money we’ll never see any day.”
Not Your Normal Lunch Date
“My wife and I were having lunch with friends at a restaurant one day.
It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except I’d recently been blindsided by the discovery of her affair and her subsequent decision to leave me. We hadn’t told anyone what was going on so things were a little strained, to say the least. I was still trying to process everything that was going on (and falling out of love with the woman I’d been with for almost 20 years), and I found myself becoming infatuated with a casual acquaintance I had, a woman I’d met exactly once for all of an hour. Stupid, I know, but that fantasy of falling in love again, of rebuilding my life with someone new… it was the straw I found myself clinging to as I drowned in the emotional maelstrom of divorce.
So, back to the lunch. Everyone was chatting away, my wife and I were doing our best to ignore the 800-pound gorilla that had it’s arms cozily wrapped around us, when who should walk in: the infatuation-woman. It turns out she was friends with one of the other people at the table. They said, ‘Oh, you should join us!’
She asked, ‘Are you sure? Is there room? Well… okay, I’d love to.’
This is how I ended up having lunch with my soon-to-be-ex wife and my soon-to-be-future wife.”
No Parent Should Have To Witness This
“I was having a pizza dinner with my young daughter. She was about a year old. I gave her an abnormally large pizza crust to hold and chew on, much like one of those big baby crackers. It kept her busy and probably tasted pretty good.
A piece of it broke off and went right down her throat. She looked at me quizzically and her face immediately turned to panic as she realized that she could not draw a breath. I watched as her face turned blue. Like, literally blue. Yes, that happens, and it happens quickly.
I immediately got up and swung around the back of the high chair. I knew I had to perform the Heimlich, but I was not quite sure how to on a small child. I knew it involved quick compressions below the ribcage and an upward thrust UNDER the ribcage. I took one fist, gently placed it on her little belly, and pulled it in with one quick motion.
POP! The crust came out and she immediately started hugging me. She never cried. She just absorbed what happened and went on with her evening. Everyone at the table was just staring at us blankly. I think they were as freaked out as I was.
I have never forgotten it. Jeez, I hope no one ever has to see their little sweetheart turn blue. It’s a nightmare.”
“I went to a combination birthday party for my buddy’s fiancée and one of their mutual friends (like, their birthdays were within a week of each other, so they got all their friends together). We were all having a good time, having some drinks, hanging out, dancing, etc and someone asks everyone to quiet down. They make a quick announcement that we need to be quiet because it’s getting late (I don’t know why, it was a deli they rented in an industrial park), and then we go back to what we were doing. Literally seconds later, some dudes start yelling and shoving happens.
Now, some of these friends of friends were gang-related and jump some dude. His boys back him up, and suddenly what was a rented deli with about 40 people in it is now a brawl space for about 20 people. Pool cues are getting swung, some dudes in the kitchen with two huge knives, and someone swung a bar stool into the glass at the deli counter.
Basically, everything went from chill to the biggest bar brawl I was ever in within about 60 seconds over stupid egos.”