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50 Psycho Girlfriends Talk About The Craziest Things They Have Ever Done

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Cataloged in Romance

50 ‘Psycho Girlfriends’ Talk About The Craziest Things They Have Ever Done

These women from Ask Reddit admit to being the ‘crazy girlfriend.’

1. I burned his stuff and posted the picture of the fire on Facebook, then tagged him right in the center of the fire.

2. Went through his phone and caught him cheating as a result. It felt crazy to me because I am 100% NOT the type of person that does this.

3. Searched “photos liked by ” on Facebook.

4. My ex didn’t come home one too many times so I just snapped and ripped up photos and sprinkled the photo bits all over the bed and tore apart a little teddy he gave me and left it on the bed to come home to. I felt like a crazy bitch the next day. And I’ve never actually admitted that to anyone

5. Turned on the read receipts on his phone when he asked me to fix something else in his settings.

6. Texted him for 3 weeks after we broke up basically telling him how much I love him and how much he’s changed the standard in future men and constantly apologizing for being so bad to him even though I wasn’t really.

I don’t know why I did that to be honest. I wanted to break up with him and kept brining it up so one day he agreed. I think it was my way of closure by saying all those things to him.

7. He was going to the mall with his one female friend he spent way too much time with (in my jealous opinion). She was going to be shopping for/ trying on bathing suits and I totally freaked out and “forbid” him from going. He made up some dumb excuse not to go and looking back I feel so bad about it.

8. Secretly followed my ex around on his campus to see how he spends his day. Turns out he was cheating on me the whole time so I don’t regret it.

9. Angry and long text messages that ranged anywhere from “why don’t you initiate plans with me” to “why are you liking all these girls’ pictures on Facebook?!?”

I was crazy with him but I found out he did do things behind my back… not sure if I drove him to it though.

When my current boyfriend and I got together 2 years ago, I still had these jealous tendencies and when we were doing long-distance for a few months I made a fake Instagram account and started following/watching stories of the girls he worked with at the time just to see if he was around in their lives. I would also freak out if he became friends with new women on Facebook, always wondering who they were.

I’ve mellowed out a lot now and have definitely realized that my current boyfriend is such an angel compared to the dicks I used to date. I’m probably known as batshit crazy by my past flings but oh well!

10. I’d convince myself we weren’t right for each other during panic attacks and in the moment break up with him. Then later apologize and hope he takes me back. This happened multiple times.

11. I would check my boyfriend’s location on snapchat maps every minute to see where he was and when the last time he opened snapchat was to see if he was purposely not opening my snapchats — he was, and he ended up being at a sorority house.

12. Ran behind his moving car, howling, in the middle of traffic.

13. He didn’t want to hang out that day so I took the train to his neighborhood. He brought his friends to the train station after their band rehearsal like he always did. He saw me walking around and I told him that I just like take walks in his area. It worked and I got to hang out with him because you know since I’m already there… I cringe just thinking about it because he definitively knew.

14. Found his ex-girlfriend on facebook using only her first name and the city he lived in when they were dating. He still doesn’t know how I did it, luckily he found it more impressive than creepy.

15. With my ex-boyfriend I always insisted on helping him with his laundry. He thought I was being sweet; really I was training him pavlov-style. That way if he ever screwed things up with me (he did) he would have to think about what he lost every time he had to do his own laundry.

16. Shameful to say this but when I was in my early 20s I didn’t talk to my date and berated him all evening because he walked ahead of me into the restaurant and didn’t wait for me.

17. When he cheated on me and then gaslit me about it I paid $30 to have 500 “Ex’s Name Sucks” stickers made and put them in all the bars downtown.

People judge me hard but I still think it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever done.

18. When we were on a break, I constantly got drunk and rang his doorbell instead of texting/calling like a normal person. When he didn’t answer the door, I’d peek through the letter slot and would usually see him in the kitchen, trying to ignore me.

19. Made him delete any attractive girls from Facebook.

20. I sent an ex several nude pictures hoping he would get back with me. After he told me to stop and we got in an argument about it. So I hooked up with a guy from Tinder and sent my ex a couple videos of me giving him a blowjob to try to make him jealous.

No good reason for this I was just in a bad place at the time and was definitely the crazy girlfriend.

21. Found a hair bobbin on the floor and became convinced he was cheating on me.

Turns out it was mine.

I do not take that birth control pill anymore.

22. Thought I saw a Tinder notification on my ex’s phone so I redownloaded the app and made a new account then set my radius to 1 mile and the age to his age and went looking for him rather than actually ask about it.

I mean I was right but still.

23. I returned a fleece to this guy I stopped seeing but before I did I sprayed it with my perfume. At the time, I thought it might be kinda subtle (just like a hint of my smell on there) but in hindsight, it probably smelt like I sprayed it!

24. “Hacked” into my (now ex’s) Laptop and email. His passwords were the same and really easy to guess.

But I did find out he was telling everyone I was crazy and he was only with me out of pity along with emails from swinger and hook up sites so I guess it was kind of justified…..

25. I was positive he was still on Tinder after we’d been dating for 7 months, so while he was sleeping next to me, I downloaded the app, set my distance to one mile, and swiped through every single guy on there to see if I could find him while I cried about it.

26. Smashed a plate on the floor at like 3am after I found my ex cheating on me sexting someone for the second time.

27. My ex was applying for a coveted spot in a university. I emailed the dean with all of his cheating when we went to school together. So he wouldn’t be accepted.

28. I built a steel clamp (yes I went to the machine shop and spent time designing a solid model, cutting, lathing, boring, sanding the damn thing) just so i could crush our 3 year anniversary ring. You may wonder at some point, polancomodanco, why didn’t you just use an already built clamp? Because I wanted to crush it in my own hands, and since i wasn’t strong enough to do that, I figured a clamp made by my hands, was good enough to feel like I was crushing it in my hands.

29. My man cheated on my while I was pregnant, told me he was gonna leave me. Told him to GTFO, proceeded by me crying hysterically. He comes back, myself being a dumb crazy bitch let him stay. Has been cheating on me and lying constantly ever since, suicide is sounding more and more like an appropriate option. Took a good bite out of his arm after his most current offense. Will update when the crazy fully takes over my broken bipolar brain.

30. When we would fight I would run off. I would head down the road no matter the weather. My now husband would have to chase me down and convince me to come back. I grew up in an abusive family and I was so afraid I was not enough and that I was not worth loving that I believed I should leave first. I hate that I was that way. I didn’t accept how abusive my parents are until recently.

I stopped doing this years ago, but I still need space after an argument sometimes. Luckily, we really don’t argue much because we have good communication skills that we have developed over our 16 years together (10 married). I know he isn’t going to leave me because we had a disagreement. He is a kind, patient man and our relationship helped me to grow as a person.

Recognizing something is wrong and working on it is important. We all make mistakes. We were all dumb kids once. Learning from our mistakes is important. My relationship with my husband is my safe place. We have been through things that tear couples apart, losing friends, family, even our oldest daughter to trisomy 18. We support each other. We went to grief counseling after losing our daughter, and it was mostly to learn how to deal with everyone else. I am in therapy right now because of the abuse I suffered and it helps. We cut my parents out of our lives about 7 months ago and they have been harassing us constantly. I won’t do what they did to me. My parents fought constantly. Life was never stable. I never saw a really healthy relationship. Now, my husband and I are in a healthy relationship. We model good behaviors so our daughters will know what a healthy relationship looks like. We would have never gotten to thithis point if we hadn’t put the work into our relationship.

31. I found a girl’s wallet in my boyfriend’s car after he said he was sick at home and I threw all of the contents out of the window on the freeway… I felt bad about it but not after I found out he was cheating on me.

32. Ah fuck…. when my boyfriend and I first got together I was fucking insane honestly and idk why he’s still with me after 3 years (plus we broke up before and then got back together). I used to just spam him all the time if he wasn’t answering me and then flip out on him for not answering, along with obsessively checking when he was online. I didn’t even want him talking to other girls, regardless of who they were (unless it was family obviously). I would beg him to hangout with me even if he wasn’t in the mood and then flip out when I went over and he was in a bad mood. I’ve obsessively stalked every single ex gf of his and even girls that he’s had sex with. Would flip out about him liking other girls photos. I went through his phone once and found nothing then convinced myself that he must be deleting messages. Sometimes when I was feeling super crazy and he wasn’t answering me id tell him to “have fun with whoever you’re with”. I don’t like thinking about those times because of the shame and embarrassment. Thankfully i’ve got on the right meds and went to a psychiatrist and am waaaaay less controlling now. I’m grateful for him staying with me cause fuck I would’ve dropped my ass. I’m not even sure where all the trust issues came from as well because he’s never been dishonest to me and he’s my first relationship.

33. That’s a tough one to answer, it’s either crying for 6 hours straight, breaking into his house, stealing his car, punching him in the head over pizza, breaking up with him and then getting back together with him.

Most of those were separate events.

I was not a nice person.

34. Checked his messages without him knowing.

We had a very hard moment in our relationship two years back that broke my trust (emotional cheating), which led to the sneakiness. Never thought I’d be that person, but I was. Things weren’t great for a couple months but we managed to get things back on track and I haven’t done so in months. (And yes, he’s now aware of me going through his phone).

35. A few days after losing my virginity to some random dude I met online (consensually, to be clear) I called an ex that I had dated for THREE WEEKS and hysterically cried telling him I should have lost it to him. Poor guy had no fucking clue what was happening. I suppose that’s more of a crazy ex-girlfriend thing.

36. Phoned him several dozen times because he wasn’t answering in less than half an hour on MULTIPLE occasions.

37. According to the guy I was seeing, I was crazy for following through on our established plans to meet at the lake in spite of his not having confirmed it the morning-of. I sent him a couple messages asking if we were still on and figured maybe he’d had a problem with his phone, so I’d just go ahead and enjoy the sunshine and meet him there. Reliable people keep their plans unless something’s wrong, right?

Turns out he’s not reliable. Apparently expecting him to keep his commitments and being a little annoyed that he “just woke up and didn’t feel like it” makes me crazy. Got a ticket driving there, too.

38. …I kept his Xbox. I figured he would contact me since he left it at my house. I ended up playing halo and got super competitive with it.

39. Found out (by snooping, since he’d cheated before and I wasn’t a good person) he’d joined an adult dating site and used it to set up a threesome one weekend when I was out of town. Set up my own account, messaged the couple pretending to be someone interested in a threesome and that the (now ex) BF has said he’d had a good night with them, to confirm it had actually happened and he couldn’t deny it. They confirmed it, he still adamantly denied it and said it was my fault that he’d cheated because he “lost the spark”

After the inevitable split a little while later I printed out the screenshots I’d taken from his profile/messages, plus some other texts and sent them to his ultra conservative family

40. My high school boyfriend ditched me on the night of my prom (just didn’t come to pick me up, after I was all dressed up and ready to go) so he could go to his ex girlfriend’s house and hang out with her. My friends and their boyfriends all chipped in for my dinner so I could go out with them before the dance, but then I went home because I couldn’t handle going to prom alone, knowing I’d been ditched.

After prom was over, my friends showed back up at my house with several cartons of eggs. We drove to the ex girlfriend’s house, found my boyfriend’s prized Mustang, and egged the shit out of it. Oh, it was also a convertible and had the roof down, so the eggs got all in the upholstery and stuff too. My best friend’s boyfriend also apparently knifed the tires, though I didn’t find out about that until later.

Looking back, it was a childish, mean thing to do. But man it felt good that night.

41. Called his work crying and told them it was an emergency and he needed to call home asap. I was having a panic attack and my anxiety had convinced me that his depression was extra bad that day and the incident from a year or two before (disappeared after I found what looked like a suicide note – later changed his mind and came home) was happening again. I knew it was irrational, but the more I tried to fight it, the more my anxiety plucked random details of the morning out of the air and attached significance to them until I finally had to call. Two hours of panic attacks later, he called back and I explained and he explained each of the details until I was done panicking. Definitely still dissolved into tears when he came home at the end of his work day and held me close, though. Due to the aforementioned incident, I’ve also been the “crazy” wife who left multiple missed calls on his phone because I got really worried a couple of times when he lost track of time while he was out.

For what it’s worth, I’m finally on some meds that sort of work for my anxiety, he’s back on meds, and we talk about each other’s mental states all the time now. And I only called his work the one time except for when it was an actual health emergency for a beloved pet.

42. Sent him a video of myself crying as a way to “reason” with him after he broke up with me.

43. Messaged the girl who slept in my bed with my fiancé (at the time) on Facebook and let her know I found the video she sent him of her riding her hairbrush handle. He saved the video to my laptop. Like an idiot. She was an ass about it, by the way.

44. Hid on his roof while the cops were looking for me. We had a fight and he thought I was going to hurt myself.

45. Found out my husband was cheating went to his girlfriend’s house with 2 trash bags of his shredded clothes, smashed cologne bottles in side, and a copy of our marriage certificate and dropped it at her door step with a note saying, “He’s your problem now enjoy” with a “P.S. the return policy is expired you’re stuck with him.”

46. I made us on the sims and made us have a bunch of kids.

47. A friend of mine flew across the US, pretending to want to reconcile with her recent ex, in order to lock herself in the bathroom with his laptop and wipe the hard drive.

(In her defense, he was trying to send her parents and college professors her nudes and get her expelled and in trouble.)

48. I was hormonal and PMSing and so m BF brought me take out from my favorite sub shop. I cried when I opened it because it was my favorite sub, but I didn’t want my favorite – I wanted my second favorite sub.

49. Paid money to access my boyfriend’s court records because my mom had somehow convinced me he was lying about a certain court case that involved his ex. It turns out he was actually telling the truth. I was only skeptical because he has been known to embellish stories to make them more entertaining. This was while we were broken up for about two weeks, and I feel guilty about it all the time for even doubting him.

50. Found out my ex of 3 years had been cheating on me and had stolen money from my savings and my mother’s safe jewelry to make presents to this other girl for months… Went out with my friends the following night. We all got a bit drunk and for some reason had to poop at the same time. We though it was a good idea to poop on his car. So we walked to his house at 3 am and we all left a little poop on different parts of the car. I AM NOT PROUD. But I don’t regret it either.

Image Credit: Sean Stratton

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2018/12/50-psycho-girlfriends-talk-about-the-craziest-things-they-have-ever-done

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Don’t eat raw cookie dough this holiday season, CDC warns

The CDC has warned that raw cookie dough may not be safe to eat. (iStock)

Holiday baking season is in full swing and many people will begin baking cookies for Santa, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you may want to think twice before you start snacking in the kitchen.

The CDC wants to remind all the bakers that eating or tasting unbaked products can make you sick, according to their website.

Raw cookie dough reportedly can contain bacteria that cause disease.

Flour and raw eggs especially can contain bacteria and salmonella respectively.

9 WAYS TO HANDLE HOLIDAY FOOD WHEN YOU HAVE DIABETES

Since flour is typically a raw agricultural product it usually hasn’t been treated to kill germs like E. coli, according to the CDC. They say this is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t taste your dough before it’s baked.

Additionally, raw eggs can contain salmonella which can make you sick if eaten raw or undercooked.  The CDC reminds bakers, though, that eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.

Click for more from Fox 8.

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/health/dont-eat-raw-cookie-dough-this-holiday-season-cdc-warns

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4 Little Ways To Cope On A Bad Anxiety Day

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Cataloged in Psychology / Anxiety

4 Little Ways To Cope On A Bad Anxiety Day

Days can feel like years when we can’t seem to move with ease. Walking around with a lump of overwhelming emotions is as motioning through life beyond the force of gravity; it will drag us down into the darkness of the underground. Those days are hard. It feels like we can’t seem to escape the fear within us. Fortunately, our anxiety doesn’t define us. It’s only an overpowering glitch in our daily lives that we need to find ways to cope to stay sane. What works for me, may not work for you, but let me give it a shot by sharing my ways of coping on a bad anxiety day.

1. Give aromatherapy a try

The right kind of aroma works healing in a way that it calms you down and reduces stress and fatigue, thus in the end, boosting your overall mood. Tip: purchase an aroma humidifier to use at home or even at work (if you have an office job) to get a daily mini aromatherapy to unwind yourselves. There are tons of aroma oils available, so just choose any scent of aroma oil that you like. Start afresh in the morning or let the aura of relaxing scent rocking you to falling in a deep sleep if you have troubles with sleeping.

2. Immerse yourself in a book, movie or game

Distance yourself from the chaos of your mind and give it a break by immersing into another world. How? By shifting the focus from yourself to another persona that’s not you, even if it’s just for a little while. There are some active and less active ways to immerse. The least active way is to watch a movie. Important here is to focus on how the character develops while the story little by little will unfold towards the end of the story. This will help you to see that ups and downs are essential to growing in life and that you are not alone in this. Even if it’s a movie, there are always some realistic aspects that you can take from it.

Do you have some energy left? Grab a book and color the world of the story. Let yourself carry away into another dimension where you hold in your breath as the story gets more complex as you read away the black on white. Without much thinking about it, you will develop emotions towards the persona in the book, which can declutter your anxiety for the time being because of the fact that you are concerned with someone else.

Last but not at least, take the lead from a different perspective in a game. Boost your confidence by unlocking each level to advance to another challenge.

3. Bake, bake and bake

There is something magical behind the art of baking, almost therapeutic in a way. Unlike cooking in general, baking requires more than combining some ingredients together in the hope it will turn out delicious. Just pick any recipe you like on the internet or from a cookbook that you already have, clear the kitchen station and get all your ingredients and baking tools ready. Start from scratch, watch how a block of cream cheese gets smooth out by eggs with the right amount of swirls of the mixer. A sniff of salt here and a tablespoon of sugar there; baking is strictly following a formula that is still able to awake your sense of wonder and give you a feeling of fulfillment after you take out your own freshly baked creation out of the piping hot oven.

4. Take regular walks in nature

In the end, all we need is already provided for us for free to cope or heal. If you live in a big city, go to the nearest park and leave your smartphone either at home or in your bag. Look at the lush greenery around you and really take in what you see. On less cold days, bring a rug with you and choose a spot to lay down on. Sit against a tree, take out your sketchbook and let your imagination run wild as you get inspired by the environment. Taking regular walks in nature also helps to get enough Vitamin D if you are feeling gloomy and dull by sitting inside at home. The best timing to go around the block is after dinner time because of the tiredness that suddenly hits you after eating. Instead of letting your body and mind crash into hibernation far before your regular sleeping routine, go out to let it slap you awake and to process the food well by keep moving instead of sleeping right away.

Image Credit: Drew Wilson

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/kimberley-chung/2018/12/4-little-ways-to-cope-on-a-bad-anxiety-day

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In pictures: Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley

Pete Shelley, lead singer of influential 70s punk band Buzzcocks, has died aged 63 of a suspected heart attack. The band are best known for their hit, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).

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Born Peter Campbell McNeish in Leigh, near Wigan, Shelley formed Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto while studying in Bolton. Impressed by the Sex Pistols’ high-energy performances, they brought the band to Manchester.

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The Manchester gigs inspired a generation of bands from the city and Buzzcocks went on to support the Pistols on their 1976 Anarchy tour. The band’s debut EP, Spiral Scratch – which they raised cash to record – is credited with being the first independently-funded punk record.

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The record proved hugely popular and Buzzcocks’ stock rose even as Devoto quit the group, leaving Shelley to take over lead vocals. The band was signed by United Artists Records, releasing debut album Another Music in a Different Kitchen in 1977 and coming to the attention of TV audiences on Top of the Pops a year later.

Buzzcocks performed and recorded prolifically and by 1979 had racked up enough singles for a collection to be released in the US. The band toured the US and Canada but, despite impressing critics, were met by underwhelming record sales. Finding himself in dispute with EMI, which bought out Buzzcocks’ label, Shelley broke up the band.

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Shelley pursued a solo career, introducing more experimental electronic music into his repertoire, and had a club hit with Homosapien. But by the end of the 80s, Buzzcocks had reformed. They went on to win over a new generation of fans when joining Nirvana on the grunge act’s final tour in 1994.

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The band had released its final LP, The Way, in 2014. Through various line-up changes, Shelley continued to perform with Buzzcocks and is pictured below at Sounds of the City, at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl, in July.

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46477697

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50 Things People Considered Normal While Growing Up, Only To Find Out Theyre Actually Weird

Growing up, we’ve picked up most of our day-to-day habits from our parents and guardians, learning to adapt to the world by observing and mimicking our surroundings. Most of the time, those routine practices are universal, so it’s small wonder that people just assume them to be normal and expect everyone to be on the same page. However, there are times when your world suddenly collapses as you realize you’re the only person in the room to call slippers ‘fuzzy-footsers’ or that no one in the world eats bananas whole, skin and all.

Did you have any mind-blowing revelations of your own? Share your stories with other bored pandas to feel less weird about being lied to your whole life!

#1

When I was little I was terrified spiders would eat me while I was sleeping on the top bunk, so my parents had this cool contraption that was a ‘spider-trap-setter’. They’d bring it in at bedtime, I’d point it around the room, and click the handle to set a ton of spider traps each night so I could sleep.
Fast forward to my fiancé and I registering for wedding gifts – he scanned a wine bottle opener (with the corkscrew and the arms that go up and down) and I immediately recognized it as a spider-trap-setter. It only then dawned on me that I’d been LIED TO,

#2

When I was a kid I had a tiny Sony stereo for cassettes. I really loved listening to music – and still do – and children’s stories. I would however only listen for like an hour or so a day, because I thought people inside the cassettes would become to tired and upset with me.

#3

I was probably 12 or so before I realized that not all kids spend their entire summer vacation farming. I spent my summer days weeding, picking veggies, tending hogs, cattle, chickens and I enjoyed every minute of it!

#4

My mom and aunt were identical twins. My aunt lived with us from the time I was born until first grade. I never realized until I started Kindergarten that not everyone had two moms that looked exactly the same and one dad. What a shocker.

#5

Growing up, whenever I would eat bananas my mouth would always hurt and sometimes go numb. Kind of similar to how it feels if you eat too much sour candy. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I say to my mom ‘Man, I hate the way bananas make your mouth hurt.’ She then brought me to understand THAT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. So yeah, turns out I’m allergic to bananas.

#6

In my family, it is a tradition that if somebody bends over they are going to get a swat on the behind. I figured out pretty young that this wasn’t “normal” but continued the tradition anyway. At least until my son was about 4 or 5, and we were at the grocery store. A lady in the aisle in front of us dropped her can of pears, and I’ll be damned if my lil’ rascal didn’t run up all excited and swat her on the butt. She spun around with a shocked expression while I made apology after mortified apology. She was cool though. She laughed and said, “It’s okay, honey. That’s the cutest guy that’s swatted me on the butt in a long time.” Props to her, but we still discontinued the practice at home after that.

#7

For the first two or three years after I was potty trained, I thought that everyone peed standing up. So there I was, a little girl with impeccable aim.

#8

My family poops big. Maybe it’s genetic, maybe it’s our diet, but everyone births giant logs of crap. If anyone has laid a mega-poop, you know that sometimes it won’t flush. Growing up, this was a common enough occurrence that our family had a poop knife. It was an old rusty kitchen knife that hung on a nail in the laundry room, only to be used for that purpose. It was normal to walk through the hallway and have someone call out “hey, can you get me the poop knife”?
I thought it was standard kit. You have your plunger, your toilet brush, and your poop knife.

#9

I grew up in the country and firmly believed that ice cream trucks were myths and that they only existed on TV shows.

#10

When I was in kindergarten, I wore my Batman costume to school EVERY DAY! Under clothes, over clothes, rain or shine. Since my mom wasn’t the type to crush my dreams of saving Gotham City or to enforce gender roles on me, I was free to be Batman(without judgement) until the middle of first grade when the other girls stopped wanting to play with me.

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/strange-weird-childhood-habits-considered-normal/

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Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian Human Rights Icon, Dies At 91

MOSCOW (AP) — Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a human rights pioneer and dissident who challenged the Soviet and Russian regimes for decades, demanding that they free political prisoners and establish democratic rights, died Saturday in a Moscow hospital, a Russian official said. She was 91.

“She remained a human rights activist to the very end,” said Mikhail Fedotov, head of Russia’s Human Rights Council. “This is a loss for the entire human rights movement in Russia.”

The gentle but courageous activist was born under dictator Josef Stalin’s regime. She risked her own freedom to protest the plight of political prisoners in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s and co-founded the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human rights organization, in 1976.

Alexeyeva faced death threats throughout her career and was forced into exile by Soviet authorities in 1977.

She returned to Russia in 1993 after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and continued her work energetically, but suspicion of non-governmental organizations under President Vladimir Putin’s rule increasingly impeded her activities.

In 2014, she announced that the Moscow Helsinki Group had laid off most of its staff and cut pay for the remainder. The move followed declining foreign donations in the wake of legislation requiring groups receiving such funding to register as “foreign agents.”

Alexeyeva relentlessly pressed Soviet authorities to improve human rights, through times of crushing repression and those of relative tolerance, a job that required enormous patience.

“In Soviet times, we couldn’t do anything to defend human rights,” she told The Associated Press in a 2009 interview. “We couldn’t even defend ourselves. Our activity was confined to proclaiming that the state should respect human rights and defend them.”

After the Soviet collapse, she turned into a respectful but insistent voice urging that Russia’s newly elected leadership live up to its rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law.

Despite Putin’s early patronage, including his naming her to an advisory council, Alexeyeva was a leading critic of Russia’s second war in Chechnya, launched in 1999 during Putin’s first term as prime minister, and of Putin’s weakening of Russia’s democratic institutions.

Government officials later accused nongovernment organizations like the Moscow Helsinki Group of spying on Russia for the West, and Alexeyeva became the target of death threats by nationalist groups. Still, she remained determined and optimistic, maintaining her ties to the Kremlin.

“I don’t accuse, I explain,” she said. “I say, ‘You don’t agree? We will speak some more.’”

While she was certain that Russia would one day embrace Western-style democracy, she did not expect that it would happen soon.

“I won’t live to see Russia become a democratic state with the rule of law,” she told the AP.

Still, Putin made a house call to Alexeyeva on her 90th birthday last year, complete with a champagne toast.

In the early 2000s, Alexeyeva privately urged Putin to halt plans to expel thousands of Chechen refugees from camps in the neighboring region of Ingushetia and force them to return to their war-ravaged homeland.

“He agreed, the camps existed for two years after that and the people lived in camps rather than under bombs,” she said.

In December 2008, Putin proposed legislation that would have significantly broadened the definition of treason. Rights activists said the law would make anyone critical of the government liable to prosecution as an enemy of the state. After an outcry by Alexeyeva and others, the proposal was withdrawn.

But Alexeyeva and her allies lost at least as many battles as they won.

After the December 2003 parliamentary election — a watershed vote that saw most of Russia’s liberal opposition leadership driven from parliament — Alexeyeva recalled bluntly telling Putin: “We don’t have elections anymore, because the results are decided by the bosses and not the people.”

Born in Crimea on July 20, 1927, Alexeyeva studied archaeology at Moscow State University. She was drawn into the dissident movement during the Khrushchev thaw, the period of relaxed censorship under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s and early 1960s.

She was part of the small but determined circle of Moscow dissidents that included Sergei Kovalyov, a biologist who survived a gulag labor camp, and physicist Andrei Sakharov, who won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. The dissidents often met but seldom talked about their illegal political activities, working in secret cells to deter arrests.

In the early 1970s, Alexeyeva worked on the Chronicle of Current Events, the most important of the dissident underground journals typed up on onionskin sheets backed by carbon copy paper and circulated hand-to-hand.

One night Alexeyeva grew worried as she waited in a friend’s apartment for a courier to deliver the latest edition of the Chronicle for retyping. When a knock came at the door, she hid, certain it was the KGB, before hearing the voice of fellow dissident Kovalyov. Until that moment, she said, she didn’t know he was one of the journal’s editors.

Kovalyov later spent seven years in a Soviet labor camp for his role in the publication.

Like other dissidents, including author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexeyeva was threatened with arrest unless she left the Soviet Union. The mother of two fled with her younger son, Mikhail, in 1977, eventually settling in the United States. There, she co-wrote about her life in “The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era” and also wrote a book called “Soviet Dissent.”

In the 2009 interview, Alexeyeva recalled how Russia had changed since her dissident days. One major watershed, she said, was the 1976 Helsinki agreement, which introduced the concept of human rights to the world.

“Now every policeman knows what human rights means,” Alexeyeva said. “He doesn’t enforce them, but he knows. That is why I think that today is much easier for us than in the Soviet times.”

Many liberal Russian have blamed the country’s leaders for steering Russia toward authoritarianism. But Alexeyeva said Russia’s problem wasn’t its leaders, it was its weak society, which she said was incapable of holding leaders to account.

“I don’t think the leaders of Western democracies are really such strong democrats,” she said, but added that Western leaders have to support human rights and the rule of law or risk being voted out.

Alexeyeva said she often received death threats — and sometimes wondered if she dismissed them too lightly.

She recalled having tea in her kitchen in 2008 with Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who represented Chechen families with grievances against the government. Markelov said someone was threatening his life, but Alexeyeva tried to be reassuring.

“I told him we all get them,” she said, her eyes misting.

Markelov, however, was shot and killed on a snowy Moscow street in January 2009 along with Anastasia Baburova, a young journalist.

Still, Alexeyeva said neither she nor her colleagues would give up their human rights cause.

“I don’t know of a single person who works with me who would stop doing what they are doing because of threats,” she said. “If I stopped what I am doing now, life wouldn’t be interesting to me.”

She is survived by her two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lyudmila-alexeyeva-obituary-russian-human-rights_us_5c0cd73ee4b035a7bf5beee1

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Banuba raises $7M to supercharge any app or device with the ability to really see you

Walking into the office of Viktor Prokopenya — which overlooks a central London park — you would perhaps be forgiven for missing the significance of this unassuming location, just south of Victoria Station in London. While giant firms battle globally to make augmented reality a “real industry,” this jovial businessman from Belarus is poised to launch a revolutionary new technology for just this space. This is the kind of technology some of the biggest companies in the world are snapping up right now, and yet, scuttling off to make me a coffee in the kitchen is someone who could be sitting on just such a company.

Regardless of whether its immediate future is obvious or not, AR has a future if the amount of investment pouring into the space is anything to go by.

In 2016 AR and VR attracted $2.3 billion worth of investments (a 300 percent jump from 2015) and is expected to reach $108 billion by 2021 — 25 percent of which will be aimed at the AR sector. But, according to numerous forecasts, AR will overtake VR in 5-10 years.

Apple is clearly making headway in its AR developments, having recently acquired AR lens company Akonia Holographics and in releasing iOS 12 this month, it enables developers to fully utilize ARKit 2, no doubt prompting the release of a new wave of camera-centric apps. This year Sequoia Capital China, SoftBank invested $50 million in AR camera app Snow. Samsung recently introduced its version of the AR cloud and a partnership with Wacom that turns Samsung’s S-Pen into an augmented reality magic wand.

The IBM/Unity partnership allows developers to integrate into their Unity applications Watson cloud services such as visual recognition, speech to text and more.

So there is no question that AR is becoming increasingly important, given the sheer amount of funding and M&A activity.

Joining the field is Prokopenya’s “Banuba” project. For although you can download a Snapchat-like app called “Banuba” from the App Store right now, underlying this is a suite of tools of which Prokopenya is the founding investor, and who is working closely to realize a very big vision with the founding team of AI/AR experts behind it.

The key to Banuba’s pitch is the idea that its technology could equip not only apps but even hardware devices with “vision.” This is a perfect marriage of both AI and AR. What if, for instance, Amazon’s Alexa couldn’t just hear you? What if it could see you and interpret your facial expressions or perhaps even your mood? That’s the tantalizing strategy at the heart of this growing company.

Better known for its consumer apps, which have been effectively testing their concepts in the consumer field for the last year, Banuba is about to move heavily into the world of developer tools with the release of its new Banuba 3.0 mobile SDK. (Available to download now in the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play Store for Android.) It’s also now secured a further $7 million in funding from Larnabel Ventures, the fund of Russian entrepreneur Said Gutseriev, and Prokopenya’s VP Capital.

This move will take its total funding to $12 million. In the world of AR, this is like a Romulan warbird de-cloaking in a scene from Star Trek.

Banuba hopes that its SDK will enable brands and apps to utilise 3D Face AR inside their own apps, meaning users can benefit from cutting-edge face motion tracking, facial analysis, skin smoothing and tone adjustment. Banuba’s SDK also enables app developers to utilise background subtraction, which is similar to “green screen” technology regularly used in movies and TV shows, enabling end-users to create a range of AR scenarios. Thus, like magic, you can remove that unsightly office surrounding and place yourself on a beach in the Bahamas…

Because Banuba’s technology equips devices with “vision,” meaning they can “see” human faces in 3D and extract meaningful subject analysis based on neural networks, including age and gender, it can do things that other apps just cannot do. It can even monitor your heart rate via spectral analysis of the time-varying color tones in your face.

It has already been incorporated into an app called Facemetrix, which can track a child’s eyes to ascertain whether they are reading something on a phone or tablet or not. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to not just “track” a person’s gaze, but also to control a smartphone’s function with a gaze. To that end, the SDK can detect micro-movements of the eye with subpixel accuracy in real time, and also detects certain points of the eye. The idea behind this is to “Gamify education,” rewarding a child with games and entertainment apps if the Facemetrix app has duly checked that they really did read the e-book they told their parents they’d read.

If that makes you think of a parallel with a certain Black Mirror episode where a young girl is prevented from seeing certain things via a brain implant, then you wouldn’t be a million miles away. At least this is a more benign version…

Banuba’s SDK also includes “Avatar AR,” empowering developers to get creative with digital communication by giving users the ability to interact with — and create personalized — avatars using any iOS or Android device.Prokopenya says: “We are in the midst of a critical transformation between our existing smartphones and future of AR devices, such as advanced glasses and lenses. Camera-centric apps have never been more important because of this.” He says that while developers using ARKit and ARCore are able to build experiences primarily for top-of-the-range smartphones, Banuba’s SDK can work on even low-range smartphones.

The SDK will also feature Avatar AR, which allows users to interact with fun avatars or create personalised ones for all iOS and Android devices. Why should users of Apple’s iPhone X be the only people to enjoy Animoji?

Banuba is also likely to take advantage of the news that Facebook recently announced it was testing AR ads in its newsfeed, following trials for businesses to show off products within Messenger.

Banuba’s technology won’t simply be for fun apps, however. Inside two years, the company has filed 25 patent applications with the U.S. patent office, and of six of those were processed in record time compared with the average. Its R&D center, staffed by 50 people and based in Minsk, is focused on developing a portfolio of technologies.

Interestingly, Belarus has become famous for AI and facial recognition technologies.

For instance, cast your mind back to early 2016, when Facebook bought Masquerade, a Minsk-based developer of a video filter app, MSQRD, which at one point was one of the most popular apps in the App Store. And in 2017, another Belarusian company, AIMatter, was acquired by Google, only months after raising $2 million. It too took an SDK approach, releasing a platform for real-time photo and video editing on mobile, dubbed Fabby. This was built upon a neural network-based AI platform. But Prokopenya has much bolder plans for Banuba.

In early 2017, he and Banuba launched a “technology-for-equity” program to enroll app developers and publishers across the world. This signed up Inventain, another startup from Belarus, to develop AR-based mobile games.

Prokopenya says the technologies associated with AR will be “leveraged by virtually every kind of app. Any app can recognize its user through the camera: male or female, age, ethnicity, level of stress, etc.” He says the app could then respond to the user in any number of ways. Literally, your apps could be watching you.

So, for instance, a fitness app could see how much weight you’d lost just by using the Banuba SDK to look at your face. Games apps could personalize the game based on what it knows about your face, such as reading your facial cues.

Back in his London office, overlooking a small park, Prokopenya waxes lyrical about the “incredible concentration of diversity, energy and opportunity” of London. “Living in London is fantastic,” he says. “The only thing I am upset about, however, is the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and what it might mean for business in the U.K. in the future.”

London may be great (and will always be), but sitting on his desk is a laptop with direct links back to Minsk, a place where the facial recognition technologies of the future are only now just emerging.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/26/banuba-raises-7m-to-supercharge-any-app-or-device-with-the-ability-to-really-see-you/

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Bad News Men – Something In Your Kitchen May Have Made Your Penis Smaller

Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are a class of chemicals whose unique atomic properties have been exploited to make numerous everyday products more convenient. Most notably PFCs make up the nonstick coating on cookware, provide water-, oil-, and stain-repellant surfaces for fabrics and carpeting, and are used to make grease-proof packaging for greasy foods. Yet, like so many ‘miracle’ chemicals discovered or created in the 20th century, PFCs have some seriously sinister effects that we have only recently begun to document and understand.

A growing pile of evidence has already quite convincingly established that PFCs may harm the human reproductive system by interfering with hormone signaling, and in the latest – and definitely most tangible – investigation into the chemicals’ impact, a team from the University of Padua, Italy, has found that young men who grew up in an area with PFC-contaminated drinking water have significantly smaller penises and less mobile sperm than those who grew up with clean water.

Taking the study one step further, first author Andrea Di Nisio and his colleagues used a series of lab-based cellular experiments to provide the first direct evidence that two of the most common PFCs, compounds called PFOA and PFOS, will readily bind to the testosterone receptor and block its activation. Their full results are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“This study documents that PFCs have a substantial impact on human male health as they directly interfere with hormonal pathways potentially leading to male infertility,” they wrote. “We found that increased levels of PFCs in plasma and seminal fluid positively correlate with circulating testosterone and with a reduction of semen quality, testicular volume, penile length, and AGD [anogenital distance].” (Shortened AGD is a marker of abnormal male reproductive tract development.)

The Veneto region, which contains the province of Padua, is one of four locations in the world known to be heavily polluted with PFCs. The other members of this depressing club are the Dordrecht area of the Netherlands, the Shandong district in China, and the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia, where a DuPont plant dumped a bunch of waste into a river (while covering up evidence of PFCs’ danger).

“As the first report on water contamination of PFCs goes back to 1977, the magnitude of the problem is alarming as it affects an entire generation of young individuals, from 1978 onwards,” the researchers wrote. To make it even worse, all the PFCs that have been introduced into the environment continue to pose a threat – scientists estimate that these extremely stable chemicals will outlast human life on Earth.

So, what can we do to keep ourselves safe? Di Nisio believes the next priority is figuring out how to safely remove PFCs from the blood. Until we can do so, and until more PFCs are banned or phased out, the outlook is far from sunny.

“At least here in Italy, it is very difficult to know if a product contains these chemicals,” he told IFLScience. “In the case of a product where it is explicitly stated ‘PFOA-free’, I do not feel safe anyway, because PFOA is only one of hundreds of possible PFC compounds, and they can all be dangerous… therefore it is very hard to avoid any contact with any PFC.”

[H/T: The Intercept – for an excellent summary of PFCs’ known effects and how the chemical industry has tried to sweep such findings under the rug, check out their investigative series]  

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/chemicals-found-in-nonstick-pans-linked-to-smaller-penises-and-abnormal-sperm/

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50 Gifts You Should Not Think About Getting Anyone This Christmas

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50 Gifts You Should Not Think About Getting Anyone This Christmas 

This holiday season, make sure you don’t get any of your loved ones a present on this list from Ask Reddit.

1. Foundation (as in makeup) from my husband. Turns out he went to Sephora, pointed at a color and said, “that looks about right” (with his FEMALE friend who ALSO wears makeup AGREEING) and bought it for me!

I am a pasty white girl. Like I’m always the lightest shade, and sometimes the lightest shade is too dark.

The color they picked was from the middle-to-end range.

2. A bunch of random tools from my wife. Not tools I needed. Not tools I asked for. Not tools I could use for my hobbies. Just random tools she picked out from Lowes because “Guys like tools”.

I love my wife, she has a ton of amazing qualities, but she’s a really crappy gift-giver a lot of the time.

3. My wife and I got a wildlife painting from her mom for our wedding. Think of the wildlife paintings you would see in a dentist office.

Like, not anything that fit with our lifestyles, designs or interests at all.

Her mom forgot to take the $2 garage sale sticker off the back too.

4. My mother in-law gave my wife and I a book about surviving infidelity. Neither of us have ever cheated on the other in 20 years of marriage. Merry Christmas.

5. My mother and her friend came to stay with me last year for Christmas and I got them both standard stuff like scarves and bath bombs and stuff.

My mom’s friend got me one gift, which I opened on Christmas morning – it was a package of ground espresso, which I don’t like. I was nice about it and said thank you and then put it in my cabinet and went about celebrating the holiday.

The next day I woke up late and went to go make coffee – she had opened the espresso and made it for herself! I remain deeply offended.

6. My parents, for whatever reason, got me and my sister school supplies for Christmas one year when I was young. Every. Single. Gift. Notebooks, pencils, erasers, protractor, calculator, etc. And I wasn’t even mad. I truly thought my parents believed those gifts are what we wanted for Christmas and I couldn’t bear letting them see my disappointment. So I faked excitement with each gift unwrapped and thanked my parents. To this day, I don’t know if those gifts were some kind of punishment for something we did or if they truly were trying to make us happy. Either way, I just showed them I appreciated whatever they got me.

7. It wasn’t really the gift itself, but what my dad said after I opened it.

It was one of those ninja blenders that a lot of people starting using instead of juicers. I was 16 when my dad gave the blender to me, even though I had never expressed any interest in wanting or needing one.

After I opened it, he said he chose this gift because he wanted me to live a healthier lifestyle and hopefully lose a few pounds.

At the time, I was taking ballet classes 5 days a week, and I often performed with my dance troupe on the weekends, so I was pretty fit at the time.

It didn’t help that he said this in front of his entire side of the family.

8. I got a half of a box of chocolates for my birthday one year. Yep – I opened it and half of them had been eaten already. It wasn’t from a child – it was from adult family members. The reasoning was that they knew I would share them when I opened them, but I was away on a business trip on my actual birthday and they couldn’t wait to eat some.

9. My parents gave me obviously re-gifted dollar store schlock last year. That’s why this year I’m done putting thought into family gifts, I always go overboard anyway. I’d get them gift cards but they constantly lose those too!!

10. My grandfather would give as Christmas gifts free junky stuff he got from his bank or some other such place. Like, a cheesy plastic ornament with the name of some bank or insurance company on it. Then he’d be angry and offended if we did not treat this as the greatest and most generous gift ever.

11. My husband received his recently deceased grandfather’s used disposable razor as a Christmas gift from his grandmother. Complete with hair and all.

12. Had a friend that received a gift from another friend of ours. It was a McDonald’s gift card. When he went to use it there was nothing on it.

13. My extremely cheap uncle visited my family once for christmas and upon his arrival he gave me and my brother the chips that he had gotten on the airplane. This man is a Neurosurgeon.

14. A girl I dated for two years got me a blue Powerade for my birthday because “you like blue Powerade”. I don’t even drink Powerade. Plus it wasn’t even a big bottle, it was one of the smaller ones that come in the packs. That was the end of that relationship

15. My aunt gifted me a snow-scraper for my car. When I opened it she said “I bet you don’t have one of those! “

I was 21, living in northern Midwest and driving everyday. Including that day, which had 4″ of snow.

I gave it away to some fool clearing his widow with a credit card a few weeks later.

16. My grandma went to a paint and sip thing in which she got shmacked and painted the world’s worst flower. She then found a framed stitching of a bird in her closet. She wrapped both of these things and gave them to my sister and I, while she and my parents were pretending that she was losing her mind. My sister and I sat there pretending how great the gifts were and how talented a painter she was.

17. A Facebook points card.

18. My sister got me a rat as a gift. I’m fucking terrified of rats but I decided to let it be and see if it helped curb my fear of them. It did not.

Instead, while I was sleeping it got out of it’s cage, crawled up on my bed, and started chewing on my lip. Didn’t sleep for a week after that. Thoughtful gift in the sense she was trying to help but dear God it made my fear so much worse.

19. My grandmother got me a nightgown one year. I’m a guy.

20. An uncle once gave me a CD that was full of pictures of planes. I think it was called “Wings of Tomorrow” (not the music album by Europe) or something. This was in the mid-late 90s when selling a CD with pictures was a thing that existed, you could find them in like bargain bins at Walmart for a few bucks. I should mention i was like 16, and not into planes.

Also the Christmas card that came with it was a recycled card, as in they got it from someone else, CUT THE SIGNATURE off the bottom, put it in a different envelope, and gave it to me.

I wasn’t expecting anything so I didn’t really care but god, just don’t get anything if that’s what you’re going to do. It was basically saying “here, throw this away for me”.

21. A neon pink New Kids on the Block sweater nearly a decade after the band was popular. My aunt thought it looked “pretty.” I’m a boy.

22. Cousin gave me a picture of herself for Christmas.

23. My uncle got me a taxidermied dove.

24. My grandmother and her dolls! Most little girls love dolls, but that was never me. Probably because I had a grandmother who was a doll maker. I should preface this story with a little back story as to my trauma/fear of dolls being rooted in the fact I would have to stay in the room my grandmother used as a doll assembly room whenever I visiting this side of the family. The bed I slept in was across from a work station with unpainted doll heads, body parts, and eyes laying about like some sort of bad horror, movie minus the fake blood.

Now to the worst gift… My grandmother made a doll that was supposed to look like ME when I was ~6-7 years old! The doll was porcelain, so very fragile, and hand painted by my grandmother in a slightly off putting way. It also wore a frilly blue dress like the twin girls from The Shining wore. Because it was fragile, this doll was for display only. I was required to display this doll in a prominent place in my room for years. This doll stared down at me from my dresser with it’s creepy doll eyes that promised to murder me in my sleep.

25. My mom had a rule about making sure my sister and I had the same number of gifts, regardless of cost per child. To make sure that the number was equal, she gave me a 12 pack of Irish Spring Soap on Christmas.

26. My ex gifted me tickets to a big country music concert for some goofy relationship milestone (like 5 months?). I reminded him that I don’t like country music and he said, “Well, I do and I already bought the tickets so we’re gonna go so the money isn’t wasted.”

That was a dumb relationship.

27. Mom gave me a purse that was so hideous and obviously for herself because of the fact that I was like 10 and it was an oversized bag that I could never carry. I had to get this while I watched my cousins unwrapping all the presents that I actually wanted. I was so heartbroken that my mom didn’t think of me after I had been telling her how much she really doesn’t know me or care to know me and she just proves it again. Well I tried to seem thankful in front of everyone but I really couldn’t handle it at that age so I just said I was going to sit in the car for a while. After maybe 20 min my dad cane out and gave me a $100 bill. I was better after that but my feelings were still hurt and to this day she’ll never acknowledge that she really just didn’t care. The worst part was that my mom just got the purse for herself, knowing I wouldn’t want it. She wore it for a couple years which just made me feel even worse.

28. A gun rack… I don’t even own A gun let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.

29. I got a spray that you use against foot-odor by my Sister last Christmas, she had packed in a box for a power tool I wanted so I went from excited to disappointed.

She got a quite expensive set of fancy soaps and body products + a gift card from me.

Apparently she gave the power tool to some friend and gave me the box.

30. My mom is always cold. One day she and dad were at a friend’s house, she complained she was cold and friend went and got her a hot water bag thing. She LOVED it. Gushed on and on about how great it was (my mom is a weirdo and loudly overreacts to evvverrrything) My dad paid attention. Come Christmas time, he was SO proud of himself because he had taken note of the stupid hot water bag thing and was gonna get get one for Christmas.

Christmas morning: Mom dad, teenage me and my brother are all sitting around Christmas tree, my mom opens her gift. My dad is smiling bc he FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT (mom is always mad because his gifts suck). Mom opens… A douche kit. He had purchased her a fucking douchebag. I lost my mind.

31. I have a few, all from my husband’s wonderful family. One year, his step-dad’s mother gave me a pair of dirty socks, all wrapped up in pretty paper. I knew they were dirty because they were stained and I could smell the stench the second I unwrapped them.

Another year, MIL was so excited to gift me a fancy cake decorating set. I opened it up when I got home & it was very obviously used-she must have used it for her deviled eggs, and didn’t clean it well enough.

I have never used it because I have no idea who had it before her.

32. A box of Hillshire Farms sausages from my wife’s grandparents. I’m a vegetarian, they had known me for 10 years at this point.

I regifted it to my dad.

33. I’m gonna speak on my husbands behalf here. We don’t speak to his family or see them at all, there’s a history of abuse and just a lot of toxicity so we cut them out of our lives. It’s been almost 3 years of radio silence, which is amazing and it was absolutely the right choice for us. Whelp, unfortunately my husbands parents live in the same city as us and they know where we go to church. So this year, on my husband’s birthday, my MIL dropped off a gift at our church for him because she doesn’t know where we live and can’t contact us any other way.

The gift was the DVD of the movie I Can Only Imagine. If you’re not familiar with the premise of the movie, let me fill you in. It’s about a man who was abused by his father as a boy. He leaves home and stops having a relationship with his dad. Years go by and the man decides to reconcile and rebuild a relationship with his dad, who was previously abusive but because he found God, he isn’t anymore.

It was really fucked up to get that movie from someone who manipulated and abused my husband until his early twenties. So that gift absolutely takes the cake. And in the event MIL or the family finds this comment and reads it (though I doubt they use reddit), the only thing I’ll say directly to you in 3 years is “Shame on you.”

34. On my birthday when I was around 10 my parents got me this adorable pink and yellow bird. At some point during my birthday party all my friends were standing around the table and I’m taking the bird out to show him to everyone and he just dies. Right then.

He was acting a little weird. He must have been stressed with all the people? I don’t know. But he just collapsed and hit the bottom of the cage with a tiny thud. Of course I cried like a little baby. Anyway, my parents went out and got me a new bird that day because it’s safe to say that ruined the party.

35. When I was twelve my grandmother gave me a one-foot tall statue of a frog playing the flute for Christmas. She gave my brother bananas and a granola bar.

36. Before I went to college, my dad gave me a shirt with his face on it to remember him by and said it would help me meet some ladies.

It did not.

37. Ex bf gave me a strap-on for my bday. His reasoning was so I could play with it. Truth was , of course he wanted me to peg him. I had no problem with that. But as a bday gift for me? Not so much.

38. I was living in Korea and we did a gift exchange at work. A female co-worker got me shoe lifts (kkalchang). It is, or was, rather common for shorter men to wear them. I’m only 5’8″ and, naturally, some people assumed I was shorter and was just wearing kkalchang. I opened the box and the look on my face said it all. Her expression went from joy to terror thinking she had insulted me. I threw on a nice face and slid them on, I was almost 5’11”. It was at that moment that I realized a good deal of people assumed I was 5’5″ / 5’6″ pretending to be 5’8″. I was not super happy.

39. When I was about 11 years old I woke up one random morning a few weeks before Christmas to find a brand new Super Nintendo on my kitchen table. Just sitting there. I started freaking out. My mom wakes up and informs me that the night before was her work holiday party and she won the SNES as a door prize.

But you see, there was this really cool leather jacket she had her eyes on so she was going to return it to the store and keep the cash. But if I really wanted it I could buy it from her. She convinced me to sell my original NES and all my games/accessories and give her all the money. Then I was allowed to have the SNES.

At the time I was too young and stupid to think much about it. But only years later did I realize how shitty this was. Personally, if I were the parent, I don’t think I would’ve just given the SNES to my kid right away. But I would probably have thrown it in the closet and said, “Sweet. Christmas shopping is done for little Otto this year.”

40. This is kind of a shitty/hilarious gift. Around Christmas in college, my fraternity would do a Secret Santa exchange (draw a name out of a hat and buy that person a gift). We had a $20 limit on the gifts, and we would exchange them at our annual Christmas party. The first year, my fraternity brother got me a framed picture of him sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall. Not one from his childhood, but one he went to the mall to get earlier that week. It was a terrible gift, but it was hilarious.

41. A 1kg box of dried milk for babies from my uncle

We don’t have any kids and they knew….

42. One year for Christmas I go to open an unusually large present from my grandma. Inside there was a slightly smaller but also large wrapped present and after about 10 more unwrapped presents later I get down to hopefully the last one which is the size of a shoebox. Unwrap it and yep it’s a shoebox but what’s inside I wonder? It’s got to be something good right? …. It was one woman’s shoe. I looked at her confused and then looked down at her feet, she was wearing the other matching shoe with one bare foot I had not noticed before. She kind of giggled, and put the shoe on.

43. Worst gift I ever got was last year from a friend from school. I was 3 weeks post partum with my first kid and in a motel alone for Christmas and she came by with a bunch of JuicePlus tablets and an ItWorks wraps. Then she told me since I’m “doing nothing” I could help her sell it. I was cordial at the time but afterwards I thought it was pretty shitty thing to do.

44. My wife used to give me things that were intended for herself.

This was a win-win for her and a lose-lose for me. She could give me something, then get mad at me for being unappreciative. One time, she gave me a frilly picture frame, thinking I would never use it. I thanked her and took it to work.

45. A bottle of gatorade for my 11th birthday. And on that day my mom dragged me to the store and went ALL out for my cousin in front of me, who was born the next day.

46. My parents renovated my bathroom at their house. It was a “surprise”. Thing is, I didn’t live at home anymore – I had been living in a different state for 4 years. I was visiting for Christmas with my fiancé. Bathroom is connected to my room and everyday for the five days we were visiting we were woken up at 8am and had to leave so the construction guys could work. When I sort of complained about being woken up she called me ungrateful and screamed at me. We didn’t speak for four months.

47. Ex boyfriend gave me a pack of cigarettes after I had quit for 3 months to “celebrate my progress”.

Most memorable thing he gave me was chlamydia though.

48. About 10 years ago my uncle was giving out Christmas gifts to everyone in the family. He’s mentally handicapped but he makes sure to go to the dollar store to buy everyone something, typically mugs. Now my uncle doesn’t really put much thought into who gets what mug. He just wraps the mug and puts someone’s name on it. Sometimes people get multiple mugs and other times you get none because he doesn’t keep track of who has already been assigned a mug. Well my cousin was married to a Muslim (it’s relevant, I promise) and her gift was a mug that said, “Jesus loves you.” It was the only religious themed mug out of probably 50 and she got it. The entire family was laughing, including her. She thought it was great.

49. My older sister got me a Veggie Tales coloring book for my 19th birthday, and it wasn’t meant to be a joke gift.

50. It wasn’t shitty because the gift was that bad, but more because of the context of it. My little brother is the definition of a spoiled asshole. He has been his entire life. One year when I was maybe 13 or 14 and he was 8 or 9 we both asked for dirt bikes for Christmas. I had several friends who went out with their dads on the weekend to the track or out to the desert and I wanted my own bike to go with them. I wasn’t necessarily expecting a dirt bike, but I asked for one anyways. Christmas day comes, little brother, who didn’t want a dirt bike half as bad as I did, got a brand new Kawasaki KX65 dirt bike. I got a $40 remote control dirt bike, he also got the same remote control dirt bike. I remember coming out to the living room that morning and seeing his dirtbike and almost crying. I thought they were playing a joke on me so much to the point that I went and checked the garage and side yard to see if there was another dirt bike. I rode his bike more than he did as he really never had much interest, but it was way too small for me so it wasn’t very useful for me either other than cruising it around the neighborhood once in a while, the thing sat with hardly any hours on it for years and years before my parents basically gave it away.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2018/12/50-gifts-you-should-not-think-about-getting-anyone-this-christmas

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Russia’s most famous human rights activist dies at 91

Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a human rights pioneer and dissident who challenged the Soviet and Russian regimes for decades, demanding that they free political prisoners and establish democratic rights, died Saturday in a Moscow hospital, a Russian official said. She was 91.

“She remained a human rights activist to the very end,” said Mikhail Fedotov, head of Russia’s Human Rights Council. “This is a loss for the entire human rights movement in Russia.”

The gentle but courageous activist was born under dictator Josef Stalin’s regime. She risked her own freedom to protest the plight of political prisoners in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s and co-founded the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human rights organization, in 1976.

Alexeyeva faced death threats throughout her career and was forced into exile by Soviet authorities in 1977.

She returned to Russia in 1993 after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and continued her work energetically, but suspicion of non-governmental organizations under President Vladimir Putin’s rule increasingly impeded her activities.

In 2014, she announced that the Moscow Helsinki Group had laid off most of its staff and cut pay for the remainder. The move followed declining foreign donations in the wake of legislation requiring groups receiving such funding to register as “foreign agents.”

Alexeyeva relentlessly pressed Soviet authorities to improve human rights, through times of crushing repression and those of relative tolerance, a job that required enormous patience.

“In Soviet times, we couldn’t do anything to defend human rights,” she told The Associated Press in a 2009 interview. “We couldn’t even defend ourselves. Our activity was confined to proclaiming that the state should respect human rights and defend them.”

After the Soviet collapse, she turned into a respectful but insistent voice urging that Russia’s newly elected leadership live up to its rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law.

Despite Putin’s early patronage, including his naming her to an advisory council, Alexeyeva was a leading critic of Russia’s second war in Chechnya, launched in 1999 during Putin’s first term as prime minister, and of Putin’s weakening of Russia’s democratic institutions.

Government officials later accused nongovernment organizations like the Moscow Helsinki Group of spying on Russia for the West, and Alexeyeva became the target of death threats by nationalist groups. Still, she remained determined and optimistic, maintaining her ties to the Kremlin.

“I don’t accuse, I explain,” she said. “I say, ‘You don’t agree? We will speak some more.'”

While she was certain that Russia would one day embrace Western-style democracy, she did not expect that it would happen soon.

“I won’t live to see Russia become a democratic state with the rule of law,” she told the AP.

Still, Putin made a house call to Alexeyeva on her 90th birthday last year, complete with a champagne toast.

In the early 2000s, Alexeyeva privately urged Putin to halt plans to expel thousands of Chechen refugees from camps in the neighboring region of Ingushetia and force them to return to their war-ravaged homeland.

“He agreed, the camps existed for two years after that and the people lived in camps rather than under bombs,” she said.

In December 2008, Putin proposed legislation that would have significantly broadened the definition of treason. Rights activists said the law would make anyone critical of the government liable to prosecution as an enemy of the state. After an outcry by Alexeyeva and others, the proposal was withdrawn.

But Alexeyeva and her allies lost at least as many battles as they won.

After the December 2003 parliamentary election — a watershed vote that saw most of Russia’s liberal opposition leadership driven from parliament — Alexeyeva recalled bluntly telling Putin: “We don’t have elections anymore, because the results are decided by the bosses and not the people.”

Born in Crimea on July 20, 1927, Alexeyeva studied archaeology at Moscow State University. She was drawn into the dissident movement during the Khrushchev thaw, the period of relaxed censorship under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s and early 1960s.

She was part of the small but determined circle of Moscow dissidents that included Sergei Kovalyov, a biologist who survived a gulag labor camp, and physicist Andrei Sakharov, who won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. The dissidents often met but seldom talked about their illegal political activities, working in secret cells to deter arrests.

In the early 1970s, Alexeyeva worked on the Chronicle of Current Events, the most important of the dissident underground journals typed up on onionskin sheets backed by carbon copy paper and circulated hand-to-hand.

One night Alexeyeva grew worried as she waited in a friend’s apartment for a courier to deliver the latest edition of the Chronicle for retyping. When a knock came at the door, she hid, certain it was the KGB, before hearing the voice of fellow dissident Kovalyov. Until that moment, she said, she didn’t know he was one of the journal’s editors.

Kovalyov later spent seven years in a Soviet labor camp for his role in the publication.

Like other dissidents, including author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexeyeva was threatened with arrest unless she left the Soviet Union. The mother of two fled with her younger son, Mikhail, in 1977, eventually settling in the United States. There, she co-wrote about her life in “The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era” and also wrote a book called “Soviet Dissent.”

In the 2009 interview, Alexeyeva recalled how Russia had changed since her dissident days. One major watershed, she said, was the 1976 Helsinki agreement, which introduced the concept of human rights to the world.

“Now every policeman knows what human rights means,” Alexeyeva said. “He doesn’t enforce them, but he knows. That is why I think that today is much easier for us than in the Soviet times.”

Many liberal Russian have blamed the country’s leaders for steering Russia toward authoritarianism. But Alexeyeva said Russia’s problem wasn’t its leaders, it was its weak society, which she said was incapable of holding leaders to account.

“I don’t think the leaders of Western democracies are really such strong democrats,” she said, but added that Western leaders have to support human rights and the rule of law or risk being voted out.

Alexeyeva said she often received death threats — and sometimes wondered if she dismissed them too lightly.

She recalled having tea in her kitchen in 2008 with Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who represented Chechen families with grievances against the government. Markelov said someone was threatening his life, but Alexeyeva tried to be reassuring.

“I told him we all get them,” she said, her eyes misting.

Markelov, however, was shot and killed on a snowy Moscow street in January 2009 along with Anastasia Baburova, a young journalist.

Still, Alexeyeva said neither she nor her colleagues would give up their human rights cause.

“I don’t know of a single person who works with me who would stop doing what they are doing because of threats,” she said. “If I stopped what I am doing now, life wouldn’t be interesting to me.”

She is survived by her two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/world/russias-most-famous-human-rights-activist-dies-at-91

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10 Practical Measures Of Relationship Compatibility That Are Just As Important As Sexual Chemistry

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Cataloged in Romance / Long-Term Relationships

10 Practical Measures Of Relationship Compatibility That Are Just As Important As Sexual Chemistry

Everything you ever wanted to know about relationship compatibility…

1. Where do you fall on the cleanliness spectrum?

Love conquers all, except maybe the mounting resentment a clean freak harbors after months of living with a hygiene challenged individual. I don’t care how attracted you are to your partner. If you’re someone who color coordinates their cotton t-shirts, you’re not going to do very well with a person who doesn’t drop everything and start cleaning upon spotting a cockroach. People have very different levels of tolerance for crumbs, odors, and the crust that forms along the seal of a peanut butter jar. So figure out where your partner falls on the cleanliness spectrum stat, and take it into serious consideration.

2. What forms of entertainment do you prefer?

Unless you’re one of those miracle couples that works together and lives together and somehow avoids tearing each other’s hair out in the middle of the night, your downtime is when you’re most likely to focus on reconnecting. When you’re in a relationship and your quality time with the person you love is limited to the evenings and weekends, the ways in which you prefer to spend your precious free time matter . There’s a difference between finding your boyfriend or girlfriend’s obsession with graphic novels kind of cute, and agreeing to dress up and hit Comic-Con without feeling as if you have to sacrifice a considerable percentage of your dignity to do so. Sure, you can take turns choosing between a movie, a concert, and a night spent stargazing between reading aloud to each other. Long-term love requires making personal sacrifices. But life’s a lot less complicated if you genuinely prefer most of the same activities. Who wants to compromise when you can both get your way almost always?

3. What kind of vacations do you like best?

A healthy work-life balance demands vacationing once in a while, something you’re bound to do with your significant other as soon as you mature beyond the phase in which “girls’ trips” and “boys’ trips” are an acceptable excuse to travel. So the type of vacation you like becomes quite relevant. Some people don’t consider it a break unless they’re sunbathing and tearing through a stack of beach reads, pina colado in hand, others won’t consider a destination unless there are culturally enriching activities to pursue there, and still others are focused on scratching their itch for adventure through physical exertion while away. Guess what? If you want to climb Mount Everest and your boyfriend or girlfriend only ever wants to recline beside an infinity pool, you’re either going to take a lot of separate vacations, or one of you is never going to be satisfied while you’re on holiday.

4. How much bandwidth do you have for extended family?

For some, weekly family dinners are non-negotiable. There are people who genuinely love their parents, siblings, and cousins because blood is blood and spending time with them is priority number one. Then there are people who look forward to a family reunion like it’s the next Bird Flu pandemic. They’d rather spend time together as a couple, within the nuclear family unit, than reassure their mom-in-law that her tiramisu is truly delicious yet again, or play multi-generational charades. Since you can’t very well demand that someone spends more or less time with their own family, it’s helpful to get a sense early on as to how much time your significant other plans to devote to their relatives so you can assess whether or not you have whatever it takes to accommodate future requests to attend a lifetime’s worth of block parties, birthday barbecues, and holiday gatherings.

5. How do you feel about eating out versus cooking?

The act of mouthing anything is automatically sensual, and consuming food is pleasurable to almost everyone, so it’s not surprising that couples tend to bond through eating—from the beginning phase of booze heavy get-to-you you sessions to the memorable meals that mark anniversaries and birthdays over the years. But while some people treasure the process of going out and being served, others are perfectly content to raid the refrigerator and gorge on a mishmash of leftovers while standing over the kitchen sink. One person’s restaurant oasis is another person’s headache. Arguably, when it comes to a couple’s rapport, specific culinary tastes are secondary to each person’s preference for eating out versus preparing a home-cooked meal or ordering in.

6. What are your sleeping schedules?

Some people are early risers not because they’re disciplined or virtuous or hardworking, necessarily, but because their brains excel naturally in the early hours, while others tend to sleep late and stay up past midnight regularly simply because they perform better later in the day. The minimum amount of sleep people require to function at full capacity varies quite a bit too. While the “sleepless elite” can easily sustain themselves on five hours or less, some need nine-plus hours daily just to feel human. If you’re a night owl who falls for a morning person, you’re bound to face some logistical issues when planning pretty much everything. You can try setting two alarms and tiptoeing around each other, but it’s best to find someone whose sleeping patterns are at least somewhat aligned with yours, sleep is key to relationship compatibility.

7. What are you willing to outsource?

If your partner would rather pay someone to do their laundry and clean the toilet and nurse their child in the middle of the night and you’re more of the DIY type, things might get sticky down the line as you manage your lives as a couple. Some people are simply more comfortable outsourcing certain tasks, while others feel guilty and/or weird about having someone else fluff and fold their underwear, or watch their kid more than a certain number of hours per week. When one person is committed to undertaking most tasks themselves but the other would rather hire a third party to get shit done, both are bound to end up pissed since we all like to do things our own way. If you can find someone whose penchant for outsourcing matches yours, you’re far ore likely to feel like you’re on the same team.

8. What’s your spending style?

Money is the kindle that lights many a lovers’ quarrel. So when you’re considering how compatible you are as a twosome, think long and hard about your partner’s approach to finances. Are they the type to save, or to squander half their life savings in a day under the guise of “seizing the day”? It can be helpful for someone who’s a little too careful to learn how to splurge once in a while, but in general, comparable spending styles and like financial goals foster peace within a relationship, especially in the context of a joint bank account.

9. How much alone time do you each need?

Introverts and extroverts can certainly harmonize romantically. In fact, an introvert might benefit greatly from dating an extrovert who pulls them out of their shell and into the world, while an extrovert might learn valuable lessons in how to have fun without going out from their introverted partner. That said, it can be tricky for an introvert-extrovert pair to manage their opposing needs on an ongoing basis. So be mindful of just how much solace you and your partner each require, and don’t be afraid to take the divide-and-conquer approach to meeting your needs by doing different things.

10. What are your political leanings?

Sometimes people spend lengthy stretches of their lives completely unaware of what’s going on in the world, politically speaking. The thing is, people tend to become more passionate about their political leanings over time. So while it might not irk you that you’re currently dating an NRA supporter or someone who takes Donald Trump’s White House aspirations at all seriously, you might not be able to handle your partner’s politics if the scale tips any further in a certain direction. If you’d rather avoid debating “the issues” with your significant other on repeat over the years, perhaps pay more attention to their voting history than might seem necessary while you’re both so young and open-minded.

Any other relationship compatibility tips? Leave your relationship compatibility experience and knowledge in the comments.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/melanie-berliet/2015/08/10-practical-measures-of-relationship-compatibility-that-are-just-as-important-as-sexual-chemistry

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Relationship Advice: The 50 Things You Need To Do For A Relationship To Last

1. Burn your blueprint.

Rid yourself of whatever fantasies you harbor about the bliss of coupled life. They’re not helping. There is no script, so don’t be disappointed when your fairytale gets hijacked.

2. Forgive.

Didn’t Jesus say something about forgiving someone not just seven times but seventy times seven? That would be 490 times….which should last you through your first 6 months. Jesus underestimated because, remember, he wasn’t married.

3. And forget.

If you forgive but don’t forget, did you really forgive? I know people who claim to have forgiven but still use every available opportunity to bring it up. And if you don’t want to forgive, forgetting works just as well.

4. Be a good teammate.

Life can come at you hard. One of the nice things about marriage and relationships is being able to have someone else in the bunker when you’re getting shelled.

5. Grow.

If you still have the same desires, opinions and beliefs at age 50 that you did at age 25, that’s your own damn fault. You will not, and should not, be the same person you were then.

6. And adapt.

Even if you stagnate, the person you’re in a relationship with will change. Don’t fight it. Embrace it, learn from it, be thankful for it.

7. Find your faith.

There is great comfort in believing in something or someone beyond our crude human existence. Explore this belief. Take this journey together.

8. Travel together.

Travel forces couples to rely on one another in unpredictable ways. It will also broaden your worldview and the way you value your relationship.

9. Travel separately.

I want to go to Australia and you want to go to Maine? Cool. Take lots of pictures. See you in a week.

10. Develop your own interests.

It seems counter-intuitive, but you will enhance your relationship when you pursue your separate interests.

11. Cultivate a wide, diverse circle of friends.

One of the greatest joys of living is meeting new people. And many of the people you meet will likely make you appreciate your mate even more.

12. Don’t keep score.

I know a couple who keeps track of the number of times each partner completes a household chore. Don’t do this. It’s exhausting. And childish.

13. Exercise.

You owe it to each other to be in the best physical health possible. The mental side effects from exercise will also be beneficial.

14. Practice self-awareness.

Take frequent looks in the mirror. Reflect on who you are and the contributions you are making to your relationship. Are you being judgmental? Unfair? Harsh? Hypercritical? Defensive?

15. Admit that you’re wrong (even, on occasion, when you aren’t).

This is both the easiest and hardest thing to do on this list. But this simple gesture will pay immeasurable dividends; it will help you grow and it’s just the right thing to do.

16. Celebrate accomplishments big and small.

Whether it’s a promotion at work or the police officer let you off with just a warning, find every occasion possible to toast your good fortune.

17. Surprise one another.

Fill up her car. Let him sleep alone in the bed once in a while. Buy some bacon.

18. It’s the good little things.

Holding the door, suggesting a movie night, paying attention. The reward for these is greater than the sum of the parts.

19. And it’s the bad little things.

Cracking your knuckles, spitting, clearing your throat, picking your nose, chewing ice. These are death by a thousand cuts to your relationship.

20. Cultivate your finer qualities.

When do you ever have an opportunity to really work on qualities that make you a better person? In a strong relationship, you can do it every single day. Qualities like patience, loyalty, compassion, trust.

21. The bathroom is private.

If you think it’s quaint to brush your teeth while I use the toilet, you’ll change your mind about that eventually. Trust me.

22. Talk about sex (but not just right before, during, or right after).

Sex is an important part of any relationship. But for some reason couples don’t want to discuss it unless they are in the throes of passion. Don’t make sex a taboo subject.

23. Encourage each other.

We all have insecurities. Your relationship is one place where you should be completely free to reveal these and your spouse should help you overcome them.

24. It’s okay to have secrets.

Even George Bailey slipped Violet Bick a $20 bill every now and then.

25. Avoid subtext.

This is a cowardly way to communicate. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hint about it.

26. Put it down.

The toilet seat. Her cell phone. The beat.

27. Pick it up.

Your dirty sock. Your used tissue. The pace.

28. Don’t over-romanticize past (or future) relationships.

You weren’t that great and your ex isn’t that hot.

29. Never use the “s” word.

Don’t call each other “stupid.” That’s just stu…. not wise.

30. Offer solutions, not criticism.

Anyone can criticize. A good teammate (See Rule 4) will offer a way out.

31. Read.

To escape or to expand. Either way, it helps.

32. You are equals.

It doesn’t matter which one of you makes the most money. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the better REO Speedwagon vinyl collection. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the best nickname. It doesn’t even matter which one of you has the coolest food allergy.

33. Compliment each other.

Sincerely and often.

34. Respect each other’s friends.

You know your wife’s loud mouthed, insane friend Cathy who thinks you have weak bullshit and can’t believe you married her BFF? See below.

35. Know when to keep your mouth shut.

No list would be complete without the “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” lesson.

36. Indulge each other’s passions.

Scrapbooking doesn’t count.

37. Lose your arbitrary moral code.

This list alone proves that I am the king of the double standard. When I want to spend money on a new set of golf clubs, it’s a good investment. When my wife wants to spend money on new kitchen countertops, she’s a profligate. It’s not exactly fair.

38. Respect space and time.

Have we not evolved as a species or watched enough Dr. Phil to realize our mate does not want to answer the question “How was your day?” the minute he/she walks in the door?

39. Take pride in your appearance.

Your marriage license doesn’t give you a free pass to always wear sweat pants and T-shirts.

40. Maintain good hygiene.

Could your big toenail puncture a snow tire? Could your breath peel wallpaper? Take care of that, please. I don’t want to have to tell you again.

41. Ask before you throw it away.

Don’t touch that broken, ceramic, animated cactus tequila shot glass holder. I’m serious.

42. Invite his/her family to special gatherings.

At least once. Thankfully, this may be all you need.

43. Speaking of family, everyone gets a holiday card and a birth announcement.

Even your creepy Uncle Steve and their psycho cousin Lisa.

44. Don’t be petty.

So I forgot to stop at the store to get your prescription. Did you have to throw away my ceramic cactus shot glass holder?

45. Be self-sufficient.

Learn to do your own laundry. Know how to cook a meal; how to navigate the grocery store; how to make an online purchase; how to turn off the water to the house; how to erect a Nerf basketball hoop; how to unclog a toilet.

46. Everything is fair game for a joke.

This should be at the heart of everything you do. I have not found a single thing that I have been unable to eventually laugh about. If you know this from the beginning, it makes things a lot more fun.

47. Have good manners.

Don’t yell. Open the door. Help carry the groceries. Cover your cough. Hold your gas.

48. Be responsible with money.

No one lives on love. You need money. If you earned it, you will almost certainly respect it. If you didn’t earn it, you must respect it even more.

49. Remember to say thank you.

Even and especially when things don’t seem like they need to be acknowledged.

50. Adapting beats abandoning.

There will be moments when you want to quit, walk out, give up. You can do that. But you will probably be doing so without giving due consideration to the new life that awaits you. Will you be better off in six months? 10 years?

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/tim-hoch/2014/01/the-50-things-you-need-to-do-for-a-relationship-to-last

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