Talk about playing hard to get.
A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.
The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.
“Call me! 512-3*1-2*04,” the message read, along with "I'm worth it." The 512 is an area code in Austin, Texas.
After congratulating his cousin on meeting his “dream girl,” he asked: "Did you get her number." The cousin replied, “most of it.” The Tweet also attached a photo of a list of phone numbers the cousin called to try and get in touch with the elusive Jackie.
The tweet has gone insanely viral, racking up nearly 60,000 retweets, 85.6 million views and 776,000 likes.
The next day, Hal revealed that the woman reached out to him. In the screenshot of her message, she wrote: “Heeeyyy, so you likely won’t see this but I’m Jackie from the tweet!”
"Tell your cousin that next time I see him I'm going to...” she continued, but Hal blurred out the rest of the message to conceal her identity.
“I just talked to him! WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER????” Hal replied. “He said he’s halfway through the list, which means he’s actually like 10 per cent of the way through it.”
Update 1/3: WE FUCKING DID IT! pic.twitter.com/ccQ1puS8OJ— Henpecked Hal (@HenpeckedHal) January 18, 2023
“He may not be as clever as he thinks,” Jackie responded, “give me HIS number, I’m taking over this operation.”
A lot of people in the comments said they thought Jackie was cold or arrogant for playing hard to get and making poor Hal’s cousin try 100 different numbers to find out which one was her. But Hal says that it’s all an extension of the conversation the two had at the bar.
"For the people saying she's arrogant, high maintenance or whatever: these kids talked for an hour about a shared interest in true crime, mysteries, etc,” Hal tweeted. “My cousin bragged that he always solves the case before the show ends (editor's note: not this time). I think she's awesome."
So, all Jackie did was give him another mystery to solve. If he’s such a great amateur detective then he should be able to reach her, right?
Some people in the comments have suggested that the story is fake. One person noted that the notebook page with the phone numbers on it had an indentation at the top which could be the “5” in Jackie’s phone number from the napkin. The implication is that Hal wrote on the napkin while it was on top of the notebook, leaving an indentation. But other people pointed out that the writing didn’t match.
Yikes! Forgot to take your napkin off your notepad first… pic.twitter.com/0gCKeSxz12— Tommy Balloons (@franchise193747) January 18, 2023
Through everything, Hal has received a ton of support from people on Twitter trying to help his cousin’s love life.
The cousin could use ChatGPT to create a Python script that could automate much of this 😂— Amir Salihefendić (@amix3k) January 18, 2023
There are only 100 permutations here (10^2), so it's not that bad. pic.twitter.com/Wl2drylf1F
“The programmers who sent scripts and code, the excel junkies who sent me docs to share with my cousin, y’all are wild,” Hal tweeted. “I couldn’t come close to getting back to everyone, but I appreciate it.”
Nearly 90 million people have followed the story of Hal’s cousin and Jackie. Let’s hope there’s a happy ending or at least they get to meet up and see each other again to talk about the mystery that brought them both together.
"And when the night falls, my Squishmallow calls…"
There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.
Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.
While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.
That's why a parody of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is being claimed as a personal theme song by introverts everywhere.
The video from indie pop band Sub-Radio has raked in over a million views on their TikTok channel and gone similarly viral on Facebook—and for good reason. With band members clad in comfy-looking PJs, the video opens with the caption, "When someone asks me if I'm going out tonight." Then comes an introvert anthem that is all too relatable.
send this to your favorite introvert #fypp #indieband #alternativeband
First of all, has anyone ever told the lead singer he looks like Rob McElhenney? Second, "I've done alright up til now, but I'd kill someone not to go downtown," is the most accurate reflection of an introvert's internal evening monologue I've ever seen. Third, "My Squishmallow calls"? So accurate. 10/10. No notes.
If you're someone who loves the nightlife, this song may not be relatable at all, but this is exactly how a good portion of the population feels. You know that person you see at the club who seems bored and aloof and maybe somewhat annoyed? There's a very good chance they'd rather be sitting at home, listening to this song with a cup of tea and their cat. Genuinely.
"I have never felt so seen in my life," wrote one commenter.
"I need to send this to people trying to make plans with me," wrote another.
"This be my soundtrack on Friday nights 🥰," shared another person.
One commenter dubbed those who relate to the video as "The 'stay home club' 😻🙌😻🙌😻."
With so many pop hits about clubbing and partying, it's refreshing to see those of us who aren't about that life celebrated in song. We and our Squishmallows salute you, Sub-Radio.
'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'
This article originally appeared on 06.15.16
To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:
My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.
I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Los Angeles in 2011, and I decided to walk my then 3-month-old daughter to the corner Starbucks. That's when I met you — a stylish older white woman who happened to be ahead of me in line.
You were very friendly and offered up many compliments about how cute my daughter was, and I agreed wholeheartedly with you. She's cute.
But after you picked up your drink, you delivered this parting shot:
"No offense, but it's not often that I see black guys out with their kids, but it's such a wonderful thing," she said. "No matter what happens, I hope you stay involved in her life."
And then you put on your designer sunglasses and left.
Meanwhile, I was like...
That was unexpected.
GIF from "Live with Kelly and Michael."
Here's the thing: I'm not angry with you, but I want you to understand the impact you had on my life.
Do I think you're a mean-spirited racist? No, I don't. Actually, I bet you're a really nice lady.
But let's be real for a second: Your view on black dads was tough for me to stomach, and I want you to know a few things about what it's really like to be me.
1. I want you to know that we have challenges that other dads don't experience.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh boy — let me brace myself while he 'blacksplains' how hard his life is while shaming me for ignoring my white privilege."
But that would be missing the point. We all have our challenges in life, and I'm not about to bring a big bottle of whine to a pity party.
Instead, as you probably know, today's dads are trying to shed the stigma of being clueless buffoons.
Kid, you're gonna love this! Wheeeee ... uh oh.
But black dads have an additional obstacle to hurdle in that we're often seen as completely disinterested in fatherhood. Trust me, it gets old when people automatically assume you're not good at something because of the color of your skin.
Our encounter was the first of many examples of this that I've witnessed, directly or indirectly, in my five and a half years of fatherhood, and I'm sure there will be more to come.
2. I want you to know that I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men just like me who love fatherhood.
During the months that followed our brief meeting, I felt a need to prove that you — a complete stranger — were wrong. I needed to prove there were plenty of black men just like me who loved being dads.
I knew a lot of these great men personally: My dad, my two brothers, and many others embraced fatherhood. But could any data back up how much black dads embraced fatherhood? Because the examples in mainstream media were few and far between.
Thankfully, the answer is yes.
A few years after I met you, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 70% of black dads are likely to engage in common child-rearing activities such as diaper changing, bathing, toilet training, etc., on a daily basis. That's a higher percentage than white or Hispanic fathers.
This isn't about black dads being "the best" because parenthood isn't a competition. It's about showing that we're not even remotely as bad as society makes us out to be.
And outside of the CDC study, I saw firsthand how hands-on black dads are when I was thrust into the public eye, too, because a lot of them reached out to me to tell their stories.
We nurture our kids.
Getting close to the twins.
Photo taken from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed and used with permission.
We're affectionate with our kids.
Love is universal.
Photo taken from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed and used with permission.
And we do whatever our kids need us to do.
Dad takes a deserved nap.
Photo taken from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed and used with permission.
And none of that should come as a surprise to anyone.
3. I want you to know that I believe you meant well when you praised me for being involved in my daughter's life, but that's what I'm programmed to do.
Princess dresses at Disneyland? You bet.
Photo taken from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed and used with permission.
I will always be there for her and her baby sister.
Even though I just described how black dads are different from many dads, I hope the takeaway you have from this is that we have a lot of similarities, too.
Please don't fall into the trap of saying that you want to live in a colorblind world because it makes it harder to identify with inequality when it happens. Instead, I hope you can recognize that we have the same hopes, dreams, and fears as other parents, but the roads we travel may not be the same.
And no, I don't want an apology.
But I hope when you pick up your next latte and see a dad who looks like me that you'll smile knowing he's the rule rather than the exception.
“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”
However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.
A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."
Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”
Placing a quarter in the man’s hand, Li performed a trick that relied on touch and imagination, rather than eyesight.
“Imagine this coin is made out of rubber, and it’s getting warmer,” Li instructed. From the man’s clasped hands smoke suddenly appeared, followed by gasps from onlookers.
“Do you feel it warming up?”
“It’s warming up!” the man replied.
The man was then encouraged to feel the quarter get “softer and softer.” Grinning ear to ear, the man opened his hands to reveal that, indeed, the quarter has magically transformed into bendy rubber.
“That’s yours to keep forever,” Li told the man.
@magickevinli One of my most memorable performances. There’s always a way to experience magic ❤️ Thanks for having me @Google #magician#kevinlimagic#google♬ original sound - Kevin Li
“There’s always a way to experience magic,” Li wrote in the video's caption.
The heartwarming exchange quickly went viral as people applauded how Li effortlessly made a traditionally visual medium more inclusive.
“This real magic is how quickly you pivoted and figured out how to do this for him. Amazing,” one person wrote.
A fellow magician added, “I’ve been doing magic for a long time, this is hands down my favorite thing I’ve ever seen in the magic community. Beautiful.”
“I’ve never considered that the blind are missing out on magic. Are there blind magicians?” asked one commenter. Li was quick to mention the legendary Richard Turner, one of the world’s most highly regarded card mechanics, who had also been legally blind since he was 9 years old. Yes, there are blind magicians. And in Turner’s case, there are extraordinary ones. No missing out necessary.
Being swept away by feelings of true wonder is arguably one of the biggest highlights of the human experience. It’s lovely that artists like Li work to provide that joy to everyone—because everyone needs it once in a while. Seeing quarters turn to rubber is undoubtedly cool, but sometimes kindness is the best kind of magic there is.
Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.
Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.
One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.
“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”
A story out of Hope Hull, Alabama, originally reported by WSFA, shows that when companies give deaf people the opportunity to excel at their jobs, beautiful things can happen.
Pookie White, who is deaf, was a dishwasher at the Hope Hull Waffle House and wanted to get promoted to cook. But management was worried that it would be difficult for him and the staff because he wouldn’t be able to hear the orders.
However, management gave him a shot and he’s been doing a fantastic job on the grill. “I wondered how it was going to work,” Waffle House area manager Michael Clements told WSFA. To bridge the communication gap, White taught his co-workers some sign language and they enthusiastically picked it up.
“He’s half deaf and I’m wearing a mask, so I have to use sign language,” server Jessie Simmons said.
But Simmons learned sign language on the fly and now they’re a great team. “She’s slow sometimes,” White jokes, knowing the effort his fellow employees have made to make their arrangement work. “It gets on my nerves.”
Clements credits White’s co-workers for helping him succeed. “They could have just not wanted to do that and consequently, he probably would have failed at cooking,” he said.
The deaf chef has become a hit with people in the Hope Hull community. “He has regular customers who come just to see him,” Clements said. “They love the show. That’s part of the thing about Waffle House, we are right in front of everybody on center stage. He eats the center stage up.”
White likes to give customers a hard time when they’re placing orders and he breaks into the chicken dance when someone orders chicken.
"Pookie is the sweetest soul. He loves to joke with the waitresses, they give each other a hard time and it’s so funny. He knows when we walk through the door exactly what we are getting too," Chelsea Milstead wrote on WSFA’s Facebook page. "I love him! He’s amazing and always makes sure the food is cooked to perfection!!" Jessica Beasley added.
"He is the best he knows our order when we walk through the door." Mary Push Norman wrote.
Pookie White’s story is a great lesson for business owners and managers everywhere. People with disabilities shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to being given opportunities in the workplace. When things may seem like a challenge at first, never underestimate a group of co-workers’ ability to step up and create an environment where everyone can thrive.
It's hard to imagine that something so fun could help them succeed at the more serious life stuff. But that is exactly what playtime is doing.
This article originally appeared on 06.21.18
If you've ever watched kids on a playground running around and laughing, you might think they’re just having a great time.
It's hard to imagine that something so fun could help them succeed at the more serious life stuff. But that is, in fact, exactly what playtime is doing.
So the next time you see kids giggling while they hang on jungle gyms or dig around in a sandbox, you might not want to just write it off as silliness — they're actually learning the fundamentals of adult behavior.
Here are 21 reasons you should encourage the kids in your life to play more all year long.
1. Kids aren't made to sit still. They're made to play.
Human kids are born with a natural desire to play, and it helps them learn important skills. That said, today's kids are way less active than their parents and generations were before them. However, if you give the kids in your life the opportunity to play, you're doing your part to help reverse this unhealthy trend.
2. Playing helps kids stay active, and active kids do better in school.
Active kids tend to have increased concentration, go to school more regularly, and are usually better behaved once they get there. In fact, studies suggest that they’re noticeably more attentive and less distracted right after an active play session.
So in a way, encouraging play is just as useful as paying extra for a tutor, if not more so.
3. They’re also more well-adjusted overall.
Kids who play regularly tend to have healthier eating habits and more confidence than inactive kids because they’re running on endorphins that boost mood and improve behavior.
Imagine, just by letting them go hog wild outside once a day, you might have the most well-adjusted kids on the block!
A group of children pulling a rope in a game of tug-o-war.Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash
4. And play can give them a major mood boost.
Research suggests that being more physically active can improve a kid’s self-esteem, mood, and social interactions all at once. If your kid mopes around the house, complaining that they have nothing to do, why not seize the opportunity and send them outside?
5. Play encourages healthy brain development, especially in younger kids.
You know how little kids seem to create fantastical worlds every time they play? All that creative thinking is helping them expand their imaginations in a super productive way. It's like cognitive strength training — not only are they building up their dexterity and physical strength, but by interacting with other kids in this way, they're also establishing emotional strength.
6. And that emotional strength pays off down the line.
Did you know that emotionally intelligent people tend to be more successful? According to analysis by Egon Zehnder International, it’s one of the most common attributes of thriving senior executives. This is where that starts.
7. Meanwhile, not playing could actually shorten kids’ lives.
According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for death worldwide. However, so far, that stat doesn't seem to be scaring people enough to get kids moving. Hopefully this list will encourage some parents to start changing that!
8. The sitting epidemic is very real, especially in our country.
In America alone, physical activity in kids between the ages of 9 and 15 has dropped by 75%. What better reason is there to make use of the longest day of the year?
Kids have replaced physical activity with sedentary playing.
Photo from Pixabay
9. But American kids aren’t the only ones who are affected by inactivity.
According to the World Health Organization, 80% of 11- to 17-year-olds around the world fail to meet the minimum requirements of physical activity: 60 minutes a day. If the trend continues, your kids could live five years less than you.
10. And kids get a little less active every year.
Children are the most active at age 6, and then they tend to start slowing down. By the time they're 19, many kids are as sedentary as 60-year-olds, according to The Washington Post.
While this sounds scary, a little extra playtime now can reverse this trend.
11. That said, kids who start out active tend to stay active.
It’s pretty simple — starting such a habit at a young age is proven to help kids carry that habit with them into adulthood. And if they're active adults, odds are they'll encourage their kids to be active too — and just like that, you've started an extremely healthy chain reaction.
12. Child-driven play is also where kids learn skills they'll need as adults.
One of the biggest questions asked in job interviews is if you work well with others. That's not a skill you acquire in high school or college — it starts much earlier, on the playground. When left to their own devices, children develop the confidence they need to take control and make decisions. They also learn how to share, negotiate, and resolve conflicts in a diplomatic way.
13. Boys are twice as active as girls.
In fact, by the age of 14, girls drop out of team sports twice as often. Reasons for this include everything from a lack of athletic opportunities to social stigmas against sporty girls.
That’s why it’s so important to get girls moving early — so they’ll be more inclined to stay in the game down the road.
A young girl swings on the monkey bars.Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
14. But when girls do stay active, it makes a huge difference.
Those who keep playing usually get giant doses of confidence and coping and decision-making skills. Simultaneously, risks of depression, stress, and other dangerous behaviors like eating disorders tend to drop off.
15. Plus, active girls tend to become successful women.
A 2015 study of 400 female C-suite executives found that over half of them played sports at a university level. What's more, Fortune found that over 80% of female Fortune500 executives played a competitive sport at some time in their lives.
Can you see these powerhouses as little tikes on the blacktop during recess? They must've given every boy a run for their money.
16. That’s why it’s so important for them to have motivators they can look up to.
Research suggests that when girls have positive female role models in their lives, it sets them up for a better future. Unfortunately, in 2017 only 28% of youth coaches were female. If more women can be that role model for their kids, nieces, or kids in their neighborhood, they’ll be making a major impact on them.
17. Regardless of gender, though, when it comes to test scores, active kids set the curve.
When regular play is part of a child's life, it can help them stay attentive and put focused energy into their studies. And there are stats to prove it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are regularly active tend to have higher grade point averages and lower high school dropout rates. In fact, active kids have been shown to score up to 40% higher on tests than inactive kids.
18. Regular activity also gives your kid a better chance at a more successful career.
No matter what career path your 8-year-old chooses in the future, playing everyday now could give them the boost they need to land the job of their dreams. In fact, studies suggest physically active kids are 15% more likely to go to college and earn an average of 7-8% more money than an inactive kid.
A father at play with his daughter.Photo by lauren lulu taylor on Unsplash
19. What’s more, play is a great way for parents and kids to bond.
Kids learn games from their parents, and vice versa, which always makes for an incredibly adorable good time.
And, since school recess has been cut back, encouraging play is largely up to parents these days. Over the past two decades, schools across the country have cut down recess significantly — in some cases, entirely.
The more parents can motivate their kids to get moving outside of school, the more they'll counteract this unfortunate rollback.
20. But if parents get in the way of kid play too much, it can offset its benefits.
If you dictate how they should play, you might actually hinder all the positive effects playtime can have. Giving up that control might be hard, but it can also be a game changer in kids' development.
21. Play is so important that it is recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental human right.
Because the name suggests it's not productive time spent, it's easy to let playtime become a privilege or reward. But regular active play could be the difference between a happy, healthy, successful adult and one who struggles to get through the day.
If a prestigious, international organization like the U.N. understands that and puts its importance on par with food and shelter, it's time for parents and schools everywhere to pick up the play baton and run with it — and encourage their kids to do the same every day.