What’s your greatest, “you can cut the tension in the room with a butter knife” story?

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Graduation day at the college where I work. The commencement speaker, a famous journalist, is giving her inspiring speech, working in little bits of trivia about our school. But something seems off. And as she starts listing our famous graduates, we realize she’s Googled the wrong college, and is talking about the hyper-conservative Christian school a thousand miles away that happens to have the same name. But the speech goes on and on, fifteen minutes more, with more awkward details she looked up on the wrong Wikipedia. And nobody wants to tell her while she’s onstage. A murmur goes around, even the graduates’ parents have figured it out by now, and several thousand people slowly cringe themselves to death. To her credit she graciously apologized on her TV show and gave the college a nice promo.


I was on a sail racing team in college, and the “me too” movement was in full swing. After practice, our coach decided to tell our entire team about the time he was raped as a kid. I’m not saying it was wrong of him to do so, but he kept going on about it in detail and everyone was getting very uncomfortable.


I bartended in college. The new manager, during the club rockin, at midnight, proceeded to cut off the music and tell 200 drunk college kids about how he was 120 days sober and showed everyone his coin. Then he preached about sobriety and him not having custody of his kids for about 4 minutes before putting Lil John back on so girls can twerk. No one twerked


I was eight. My father had suddenly shown back up out of nowhere wanting a relationship with me after no contact since I was six months old. My mom let it happen as long as I was comfortable but her lawyer suggested she fight for him to pay child support (he was supposed to, never did, etc.) Well, we were all at a restaurant- me, my mom, her bf, my grandparents, my dad, his parents, and my half sister (same dad who did the exact same shit to her and her mom five years prior to me) and things were alright at first… I was uncomfortable, as was my sister, but it was eh. The plan was that my grandparents and my sisters mom would take us both out of the restaurant when everyone was done eating, lawyer would serve my dad with papers in the parking lot after we were long gone, and the inevitable fight that would ensue would either be a) softened by the fact that they were in public or b) even if they didn’t have enough tact not to pitch a fit in the parking lot, us kids wouldn’t be around to witness it… Yeah, well, my dads parents kept yanking me and my sister back for photos and the lawyer ended up serving the papers while we were still there and the ten seconds of silence as my dad and his parents realized what was happening is still one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever experienced in my entire life. My mom and my sisters mom were trying their best to get us into a car before the blowup but- yeah… that’s when I learned the real reason my dad and his family weren’t in my life lmao. I can’t go back to this restaurant anymore. It causes me major anxiety. Edit: OMG I JUST REMEMBERED ANOTHER INCIDENT INVOLVING MY MOM’S BF’S SON THAT MIGHT BE EVEN WORST THAN THIS AND IT HAPPENED AT THE SAME DAMN RESTAURANT Now, for a little background: My mom and her bf (we’ll call him R) have been together since I was in first grade… I’ve known this man longer than I’ve known my biological father, and they have a son together. However, R also had a son (J) with another woman before he met my mom. His ex wife was a closeted lesbian (we live in the Deep South) who got married to a man to appease her parents and ended up trying to commit suicide. She was luckily unsuccessful and she and R split ways on decent terms and she now has a life partner. Now, this life partner is a piece of work. I have nothing against LGBT people (I am bisexual myself) this woman is just… a nightmare. When J graduated high school, his mom and her life partner were both invited to attend the graduation and the after party. Everything was going fine at the party until suddenly, J is handed a card from life partner and goes really pale and really quiet. People notice, but try to act like they hadn’t a move on with the conversation but it’s clear something is wrong. J pulls my mom aside and shows her the card and asks her if she thinks it’s appropriate. She’s confused as first, but then reads the text at the bottom and also goes quiet. At this point everyone can no longer ignore that somethings off and everyone goes silent while R asks to see the card. J’s mom’s life partner has written in this card “congratulations, love mom” this adult woman that had nothing to do with J had referred to herself as MOM in his card… it was stomach churningly awkward because she just sat there and said “what?” With this smug ass smile- We shouldn’t go to this restaurant anymore. EDIT 2: some clarifications for story #1 – My mom tried to do things the “proper” way multiple times but he would change his number, not show up, refuse to meet with her one on one, etc. This is why things were done in public with witnesses. – His parents weren’t supposed to be there, they showed up unannounced.


My mom died due to an overdose and without a will. At the funeral home, my stepdad, grandmother, aunt, brother and I were in the office to plan my mother’s funeral. My aunt and grandmother hated my stepdad. They said he enabled my mother, and didn’t take care of her. My stepdad also owed my grandmother money. My stepdad hated us all. My brother had stolen from him, he thought my grandmother and aunt were over-bearing, and he blamed me for my mother dying because I had cut off contact with her (it was for my own well-being). My brother was just plain angry at everyone but me. He thought my grandma hadn’t supported my mom. He also was in such denial that he thought my stepdad had murdered our mother. My grandma also partially blamed me for my mother’s death because of going no contact. My mother had been an addict for years, but apparently I was the reason she overdosed. I was fuming angry that all of these people blamed me for the actions of someone else and I was being scapegoated again for my mother’s actions. I was mad at my mom for not having a will, and for dying when I was 25. I cannot imagine the tension that funeral director felt in that room, as all these people who detested one another tried to agree on funeral arrangements.