They say rumors spread like wildfire, and they were right. Good grief!
These people responded to the Quora thread, “What gossip have you heard about yourself that just isnt true?” Can you believe these people?
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
“I was walking down the street one day about ten years ago when an acquaintance nearly bumps into me, does a double-take, and exclaims, ‘You’re alive!’
I looked open-mouthed at her, and said, ‘umm…yes, why wouldn’t I be?’
She replied, ‘But I thought you were dead!’
Me, with a very puzzled look: ‘Why would you think that?!’
‘Because of the Memorial Garden at Public School #6!’
‘Whaa? What are you talking about?’
‘You know! That garden next to the school: the David S. Rose Memorial Garden!’
I told her I had no clue as to what she was talking about, but I immediately walked over to the school, where right next to the front door I saw a neatly manicured flower garden, with a lovely bronze plaque saying ‘In Honor of David S. Rose!’
It turns out that my mother had donated a flower garden to the school in gratitude for my experiences there… and neither she, nor the school, nor anyone else had thought to mention it to me. A fair number of people had noticed the plaque and simply assumed I had passed away at an untimely age.”
This is actually an amazing piece of gossip that I heard about myself that I wish was true: that I was on show Seinfeld in the mid-1990s playing, shall we say, a ‘woman of the night.’ I never saw the episode, but apparently the girl looked just like me. I had red hair at the time. Most likely one person saw it and told everyone it was me.
When I went to my 20 year grade school reunion, everyone asked me about this. I would have loved to have said that was me and played along with it. I’d play that role on Seinfeld in a heartbeat.
“When I was in college thirty years ago, there was endless gossip that I was gay. Back then, people gossiped about boring stuff like that.
I was (and am) straight, but it was a reasonable assumption. I lived with an openly gay man, who was also my best friend, and we were always hanging out together. Neither of us was in a relationship, so people didn’t see us with anyone else. They certainly never saw me with a woman.
Someone from the school paper asked me if I would be willing to write an article about life as a gay college student. Now I kind of wish I’d agreed.
Once, my friend and I stayed overnight to visit this married couple he knew. They had two small mattresses for us to sleep on, which they pushed together, to make a double bed. Neither of us wanted to sleep together, so we moved the mattresses to opposite sides of the room. Then we went out to get some dinner.
When we came back, we discovered the couple we were staying with had pushed our mattresses together again. We laughed and pulled them back apart. I later found out our hosts were deeply offended. They wanted to impress us with how they were totally accepting of gay people–and (from their point of view) we didn’t trust them.”
“I was accused of pushing someone into a lake at a wedding.
My accuser was a fairly minor member of the wedding party–the boyfriend of the groom’s sister.
The groom’s whole family were trying to keep us apart the rest of the night, and there were evil looks and snide comments going around. We were all staying at the same country house, which didn’t help.
He’d gone to tie his shoelace on a low wall by the lake, missed his footing (it was a very merry wedding) and plunged in. The lake was maybe 10′ deep, and he was wearing a rented dinner suit.
As he pulled himself over the wall and was confronted by the groom’s parents, the best option at that point seemed to be to make up a story…. Blaming me seemed easier than confessing he was so inebriated as to have missed his footing…
In the cold light of day, wisdom prevailed, and he confessed all.
I was invited to his wedding too–and it was near a lake. We both stayed some distance from the lake shore.”
“As weird as it sounds, there was a rumor about me that I’m Croatian.
I didn’t know about the rumor for years, but once I heard it, certain things started to make sense.
I remember one time, some random Eastern-European guys being bizarrely friendly and offering me a drink in the quad at my college, saying that we were going to get one of them elected and run the school. At the time I was like, ‘Uh, OK.. Cool, I guess?’
There were other signs. People being weirdly nice to me every once a while, one of the RAs acting like he knew me. I thought people mistook me for someone else. The whole thing was strange.
Then one day, I was talking to a group of friends from my dorm, and they mentioned me being Croatian. And I was like…
‘Haha… You know that I’m half-Venezuelan, right?’
And they were like, ‘Wait… You’re not Croatian?’
‘Well, we’ve told people that you are.’
‘How many people?’
At this point they started half laughing, ‘I dunno, like a lot of people.’
After a good laugh, eventually I pieced it together. I had mentioned that I was studying Romanian at the time, as I was going to visit Moldova and Romania again. That, plus I occasionally wore a Moldovan soccer shirt. Somehow they’d put that together and assumed, and readily spread around, that I was Croatian.
“Many people have the misconception about me that Im an adult film star.
In all fairness, I understand why:
I worked as an online ‘bedroom advice’ writer for an instructional adult film company that ran its own blog. Ive been VERY vocal about by explaining to people, ‘I work in adult film.’
However, what ‘working in adult film’ was like for ME consisted of nerding out on my laptop in the corner of a cafe, surrounded by other people who were also on computers, all of us typing away in complete silence. I was giving tips and attaching pictures of a blonde-haired, big-chested girl, which I am not, under the guise that it was her advising all these men.
So people positing that I may very well have ended up filming pornographic videos of myself thereafter isnt too farfetched. But I can say I never get tired of hearing, ‘OMG, so I heard you do adult film now…’ and having flashbacks to how NOT scandalous my life and job actually were at the time.”
(1/2) “I believe this one is not that uncommon, but when it happened to me it felt like a lightning strike–I never saw it coming. One morning during my last year of undergraduate studies, I was waiting for a tram and saw a friend waiting as well. He was on his second year of studies back then, and as far as I could tell he was struggling a bit.
I approached him and we immediately started talking. We were talking about the usual things (mostly about school of course) and he was asking a lot of questions. He was curious how to improve his studies without influencing his personal life a lot, and how I manage to balance everything. The tram arrived and we continued talking inside. Then, all of a sudden he asked me:
‘Is it true that you take a little, you know, special medicine to help you study more and concentrate better? Everyone is talking about it, and it makes perfect sense.'”
(2/2) “This really got me off-balance. I didn’t know what to say, the first question was ‘Wh-what? Where did you hear that?’ followed by, ‘I have never done “special medicine” in my life. For goodness sake, I don’t even drink.’ At first I felt really bad, as if everything I had worked so hard for had been reduced to one thing–a form of cheating. I felt ashamed, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.
When I think about it today, it feels good in a way. I did always do my best to do things right. I came to university equipped with a solid high school knowledge and healthy working habits obtained from science competitions. This helped me a lot during my studies, and I managed to keep a balance of good grades and extracurricular activities. Now I am certain that the gossip came from people who depreciate other peoples’ effort in order to justify their own laziness.”
(1/2) “When I was in my early twenties, I left a job working at a piano store under less-than-friendly circumstances. My then-manager was doing some unsavory stuff and trying to shift the blame for it onto me, and I couldn’t make the owner see that. I wasted a considerable amount of time in fighting that losing battle, then quit to take another job.
Years passed, and I found myself planning my wedding with my current husband. I decided I wanted to hire one of my piano-teacher coworkers to play at the reception. When I finally tracked him down, he seemed inordinately surprised to hear from me. Turns out that my former boss used my departure to tell my coworkers that I was going home to die.
He knew I was a childhood cancer survivor, so he concocted a story about how the cancer had returned and really fleshed out the whole thing. My new job took me into an entirely different sphere where I didn’t really have contact with my former coworkers, so they saw no reason not to believe him.”
(2/2) “After a while, he broke the news to them that I was dead, and they believed that too… until I returned from the Other Side to email my former coworker and scared him half to death himself.
I’m not sure why the owner did that, other than to convey he had the upper hand when I left (unnecessary–I didn’t spread tales or try to recruit any of them to my side). Or maybe he was just a compulsive liar. Who knows? I do know, with utter certainty, that I was not really dead. The store closed not long after I left, probably due in no small part to the managerial shadiness I mentioned.
In a bizarre twist of fate, when I went to look up the address of the former location while filling out some paperwork, I stumbled across the former owner’s obituary. He had died of cancer.”
“When I was in my final year of college, our hostel warden allotted a new girl to our room. She had dropped out the previous year, and now had taken re-admission. We didn’t like her at first. She had a bit of an air of aloofness because she was older than me. Nevertheless, we got along well.
In fact, she ended up being my best friend in the coming months. We became really close. We arranged our cots together, and slept in the same bed sometimes. I used to put my arm around hers when we were walking to class. I do that with everyone actually. We were together all the time.
In my final semester, on our project presentation day, it somehow slipped out of my classmates’ mouth that there was gossip about me being a lesbian. I was like ‘whaaat!?’ She told me it was because I and Neethu were spending a lot of time together, so people thought we were ‘together-together.’
I laughed my heart out that day.”
“I dropped out of high school about three-quarters of the way through my last year. Those who weren’t paying too close attention may not have seen it coming: I was a smart kid, in advanced classes, scoring well on tests, and so on. I didn’t love school, but very few people did. One day, I just stopped showing up. I had moved out of my native Las Vegas, to go find my fortune in Indianapolis where my older brother was living, with a very promising $5.50/hr job lined up for me.
I moved back to Vegas about a year later, with the goal of starting college. That goal was easier to achieve than I thought it would be, so now here I am as a student at UNLV.
From time to time I would run into high school classmates. I would hear a lot of stuff about what happened to me, none of which was true. Some people heard I was accepted early to MIT. (I didn’t apply.) Some people heard I was working for the FBI, doing some kind of consulting. Some people heard I was in jail. All very amusing, but unfortunately all more interesting than the truth.”
I’ve heard from multiple sources that people think I’m a ‘player’ in terms of getting girls. As in, someone who gets girls and quickly leaves them behind to go sleep with someone else.
Hearing that just made me laugh. Not that much, just a slight internal chuckle. I had just started dating my now-wife when I was hearing these rumors, and it turned out that her ex, who happened to have mutual friends with me, had spread this rumor out of resentment.
Unfortunately for him, most of the people he mentioned it to knew me well enough to know that I could barely make conversation, much less woo legions of women into falling for me.
I currently serve as the Ambassador of India to Venezuela. A few days ago, I went on an official visit to the Dutch Islands in the Caribbean, to which I am concurrently an ambassador. On returning to Caracas, I found that multiple journalists had tweeted that I had been shifted to the Netherlands Antilles (earlier nomenclature of the Dutch Islands). Far from true!
Someone might have seen reports of my official meetings in the Dutch Islands and decided that I had shifted for good because of political reasons.
The tweets are from well known Spanish-language journalists who have over 300k and 700k followers respectively. I wish they had checked before making the tweets. One phone call to the Embassy or an email would have sufficed.
(1/2) “The format of my law school, like many American law schools, is that there would be some assigned reading (say, 3-4 cases) that was expected to be discussed during class. Then the professor would engage the students and ask them questions–endless questions –about the cases they read. This is called ‘the Socratic method.’ Some professors stay with one student for the entire case, some professors move around.
Some professors, generously, let students know that they’ll be on the ‘hot seat’ in advance, to give the students an opportunity to prepare thoroughly. I was in one such class. However, this professor had a reputation for really delving into a case with a student, and it could be painful for those who squirm easily.
Some people–particularly first-year students–get very nervous when they’re on the hot seat. They don’t really know how to figure out what’s important about a case and what’s not, so the discussion is often fragmented. There are endless dead ends, etc. But for some reason, I got the hang of it very early.”
(2/2) “So when the professor asks me about the case, I go through the whole thing. These were the facts, this was the dispute, this was the prior precedent, this is what the court did to resolve the dispute. All at a pretty brisk pace, all somewhat coherent. It took, say, 5 minutes.
At the end of my spiel, the professor said, ‘Nice summary, thank you. Any questions?’
A success, to be sure. The next day I was walking around, and at least three people came up to me on separate occasions with increasingly ridiculous re-tellings of what happened.
‘Dude, I heard you basically taught the whole class yesterday. Right onnnn!’
‘Dude, I heard Professor So-and-so thought you might have been the re-incarnation of Daniel Webster.’ [Daniel Webster was a noted US lawyer/congressman from the mid-1800s.]
You get the idea.'”
“A few years ago my neighbor introduced me to a friend of hers that I had never met before. The girl said, ‘I know you. You used to live in that apartment.’
She pointed to an apartment across the street that I had rented about 10 years prior. I said yes, and she replied, ‘You were arrested for having a meth lab and CPS placed your kids in foster care.’
Whoa! That escalated quickly! I denied it repeatedly but she was not swayed at all.
I think she had me mixed up with the tenant who lived there before me. The last renter was arrested on assault charges, and had her children taken into government custody. I often wonder if this rumor is the reason I have a difficult time finding decent employment in my small town.”
(1/2) “I am a PhD student to a professor who didnt have many PhD students before. I have been his pupil since my undergrad, which is notably longer than any student before. Apparently that has led to some ‘legends’ being woven around me too among people in the department. They include:
That I am a genius. Nope, aside of English, in most subjects I am a quite average or below average student.
That I work non-stop without ever sleeping. Actually, my asleep and awake times are often highly irregular, so I can indeed be found in the middle of night at work completely alert despite never drinking coffee. However, the total amount of time I spend asleep is a healthy 8 hours per night on average, and many people here work longer total hours than I.”
(2/2) “That I got it on with my PhD advisor. Nope, he is very happily married and adores his wife, and I am not really interested in getting it on with anyone, especially men.
That I am being mistreated by my PhD advisor. On the contrary, he is very nice and treating me very well. This one is the most shocking and hurtful to me.
Nope… my sticking around is just due to a complicated combination of circumstances and a good personality fit. Luckily, as the other students are getting to know me they are realizing that although I am a strange one, the legends arent true and I am still human, and a decent one.”
Perhaps this isn’t really gossip, but it’s just as ‘bad.’ My first job after graduating from The University of Texas was as band director in a small school district in Texas. Over 35 years later, I one day Googled myself on the internet one day, and came across the front page of the local newspaper for that town.
There was an article on the front page about me being hired by the school district, and it included a photo of me. It made me feel kind of proud, as I hadn’t known that article had been published. As I read further into the article, though, I was shocked to see that it had me graduating from a different university than I graduated from.
It would seem unlikely for that to have happened, as the district superintendent who hired me would have had my transcript. My best guess is that he remembered me mentioning something about the other school, where I had attended during the summer to take a course I needed to graduate and play in the summer band program, and I transferred four hours credit from that school to UT. Perhaps he relayed the information of my hiring verbally to a secretary, who made an honest mistake.
Anyway, no harm was done, but it’s kind of a shame that after working for six years to earn two degrees from my university, the one known public newspaper record of this got it wrong.
After I had been dating my now-wife for about six months, she confessed to me that she had initially been very nervous about going out with me. Before we started dating, I had gone on maybe 2 dates with one of her sorority sisters. My now-wife finally confessed to me that her sorority sister had spread tales about us having wild escapades both inside and outside the bedroom.
The truth was pretty much nothing ever happened between us, but it seems I had quite a reputation within their sorority.
Once I was out shopping and ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. He promptly said, ‘Hey! Nice to see you! When did you get out?’
‘Didn’t know I was inside,’ I replied.
There was a rumor I had been in prison.
I never had any issue with the law, always had a pretty normal, boring life. It blows my mind that a rumor started, and even more so that someone actually believed it.