Human beings can be hard. We’re gruff, caught up in our own crap, or sometimes just having a bad day. Which makes it all the sweeter when you magically bond with a random person over a shared interest, moment of need, or common experience.
#15. Dying together
“One of my best friends took me out for “proper” Caribbean food, the place was legit. Looked like somebody just took out most of the walls on the ground floor of their house and started serving people food. It smelled amazing. It looked amazing. I had my friend order for me because how the hell was I going to know what was good?
It was hot. Spicy like I wasn’t ready for. It was like a punch in the throat… and then being kicked repeatedly in the mouth as you were trying to recover. The heat kept growing every time you thought it had to plateau. My head started leaking. My eyes watered. My nose ran. It felt like smoke should have been coming from my ears or lava from my mouth.
I glance up and there’s the one other not-Caribbean-looking person going through the same thing a few tables over. Bright red and glistening with sweat, snot, tears, saliva just panting and looking helpless.
We never exchanged a word but we were together in that moment. The split second I caught his eye was sublime. Everything I wanted to say but couldn’t was reflected back at me. All I wanted was to be understood and I was.”
#14. Language barrier
“I was on a two week work rotation at a automotive plant down by Mexico city. My job was setting up some high precision measurement devices. One of the local interns came up to me and started asking all kinds of questions about my company’s equipment ( I think). Now, I dont speak a bit of Spanish beyond a few words and he did not speak English. He started to get real discouraged. Wanting to figure out what he was talking about, I got my phone and used Google Translate to ask him to use the phone. We sat in silence for the next two hours while I continued to work, passing my phone back and forth useing Google Translate to text each other. It was an odd experience and he was an awesome guy full of intelligent questions. I never went back to that plant but my coworker said he ended up doing his senior project on what my company was working on.”
#13. A moment of brilliance, witnessed
“I have a standing coffee date with my friend at this tiny boutique coffee shop in NYC. The line can get pretty crazy, but we get there early enough to get seats most of the time. He and I are enjoying our lavender lattes and chatting about life, and I am watching the line grow longer and longer.
The clientele at this coffee shop ranges from tourists to midtown office workers in their business formal/business casual wear. One of the office workers in line opens up his wallet before his turn so he can pay quickly. He drops his credit card and sticks out his foot to soften the blow.
His credit card falls and gets stuck in the seam of his leather shoe at a perfect right angle. He is standing there with his leg still sticking out, his jaw open as he stares at this card quivering. He looks around to see if anyone else witnessed this, and our eyes meet.
His eyebrows shoot up and he points at his shoe. I nod furiously and give him the thumbs up. It’s his turn at the register so he pulls the card out reluctantly and pays. After he gets his coffee he comes over.
“Oh my gosh did you see that?!”
“IT WAS AMAZING! YOU ARE A NINJA!”
“BEST START TO THE MORNING EVER!”
We high five, and he leaves with his large iced caramel bourbon latte.”
#12. There’s friendship in truth
“Dude was trying to sell me his mix tape every night as I’m walking into work for a solid week. After awhile I started ragging on him like “DAMN BRUH YOU STILL TRYIN TO SELL THAT SHITTY ASS MIX TAPE?!?!”
So for the past month when we pass each other in the parking lot we talk shit to each other to see who has the best insult of the night.”
#11. Joint laughter
“A few couples, gf and I included, were waiting to be seated at a restaurant, when a woman comes in with three or four small children. One couple had just finished eating and was walking toward the door to leave, when the smallest of the children walks right in front of the man and just stops directly in his path, maybe a foot in front of him, so he has to awkwardly stop and move around the kid. The kid’s mother snaps, “Say excuse me!” and the poor, shy woman who was with the man sheepishly let out an, “excuse me,” while looking at her feet, to which the mother just says, “not you.” As soon as that couple was out the door, everyone who had heard the whole exchange was cracking up over it.”
#10. Basically family
“I helped a guy on the bus figure out where to stop and told him what bus to catch next to get to his destination and he gave me a beer from his backpack. another guy recognized that it wasn’t a twist off so he whipped out his keychain bottle opener and opened it for me.
I never saw either of them again but they’re basically family.”
#9. Just go with it
“This took place years ago. I was 17, flying on board a DC-9. I was sitting on a window seat, the middle seat empty. Some guy of about 40 I think, who I later realised was a very nervous flyer (1st time?) sitting on the aisle seat. Anyway, coming in for landing, this guy grabs my hand. I turn in shock and look at him. The fear and shame I saw in his eyes really shook me. Well, we held hands till we landed and he left without a word. I’m a guy.”
#8. All you need is love
“Concerts. I’ve put my arms around people I’ve never spoken to and treated as if we’ve been friends forever
Edit. Reading your comments makes me happy. Lots of good memories at concerts”
#7. Pokemon love
“During Pokemon Go craze… saw this dude running towards my direction and I pointed to him where this Snorlax had appeared… he’s staying near my block so we exchange numbers and whatsapp each other when rare pokemon appears…. it’s crazy bonding with a random stranger for both 30+ guys playing pokemon lol”
#6. You can call me Camille
“I was waiting for a bus at, like, 6:30 in the morning and there was a homeless lady at the stop, just kind of hanging out. My experience with homeless people and public transportation hasn’t been the best so I was immediately hyperaware of my surroundings and her presence. She came over and started making small talk and I didn’t get the sense that she was dangerous (a stereotype, I know) and so I tried to keep the conversation going because I didn’t want to be rude or upset her.
She ends up telling me how she used to live in the area and how she used to be an actress but got into drugs and pretty much lost everything. She started telling me about her experience as a homeless person. She said she was reluctant to accept clothes from strangers because other homeless people have beaten her up and robbed her for having nice jackets or shoes. She mentioned that she prefers sleeping on concrete because when she would sleep on grass in public parks, she could feel bugs crawling on her at night. She mentioned that she once saw a fatal car accident, and saw how people left flowers and candles at the site, and how lucky the victim must have been to have so many people love them.
My bus arrived and I said, “Well, it was nice to meet you. I hope you have a good day! What was your name again?” And I will never forget the look of surprise on her face as she said, with tears welling in her eyes, “I…don’t…remember. But you can call me Camille.”
I never knew what this meant but I interpreted it to mean that nobody had asked her name in a long time or that nobody had taken the time to have a conversation with her in a long time. Maybe she just needed to be heard. I have never seen her again but I will always remember that experience, as uncomfortable as it made me at first.”
#5. The extra mile
“Truck driver ran out of fuel a mile from the truck stop I worked at with his young daughter in the truck. He walked to our store and I told the only other person working I was going to load up a five gallon bucket of diesel in my truck to get him to the pumps. We get to his truck and put the fuel in, won’t start of course because I was an idiot and didn’t think about needing to prime the filter. Go back for ten more gallons, prime it, finally get it started and he gets to the pumps to fill up. While he’s fueling I remembered I’d been killing our claw machine on my break earlier and I picked out a cute stuffed animal so when his daughter came in with him after fueling I could give it to her to make it seem like not such a big deal(she seemed very worried while we tried to get the truck going). It has been twelve years or so and I still have him on my Facebook and occasionally get to see updates on him and his lovely little girl ❤️”
#4. That escalated quickly
“Ripped open a strict Muslim girl’s dress in public. She was in front of me on an escalator and got it stuck at the landing. I couldn’t pull her loose and she was freaking the fuck out, so I went the desperate measures route. We had a good laugh about it after!”
#3. Life changing encounter
“Years ago I took the train home late at night and right as I stepped into the train I saw/heard a girl crying in the seat-section next to me. I sat down but went to gave her a tissue after a while and asked her if she wouldn’t mind me sitting with her.
The minute I sat down she broke down completely and told me why she was crying. In our 24 minutes ride I knew about her situation – she was a foster-kid in her third family and the foster-dad kept hitting her and flirting with her. I called my mum who called child services and when we got to the train-station there was already someone who picked her up.
We stayed in contact for a few years and one day she messaged me that if I wouldn’t have talked to her, she would have killed herself that night.
We lost contact but I hope, she is safe.”
#2. In over your head
“Happened 4 days ago. i was on my scooter at the red light next to a guy on a motorcycle. I was looking at him, he was looking at me. I gave a bit of gas, he did the same. When the light turned green, i gave as much gas as possible and he did as well. Though in his case his motorcycle was far more powerful and he lifted of with his front wheel driving solely on his back one. He laughed, I laughed and drove away.”
#1. Not her date
“I was on a disaster date with another woman a while back. Before the date, she was super late to the bar and I struck up a conversation with the dude sitting next to me. We chatted for like an hour (she was SUPER late).
When she finally did arrive, my duderino at the bar was all ears. She went to the bathroom at one point; he leans over and says “I’m a straight man and I don’t think I’ve ever blundered as hard with a girl as she is with you.” And we proceeded to commiserate for a while till she got back. Even offered to buy my next round.
edit: for those asking, the date itself didn’t really go anywhere.”