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upworthy
Family

This son sent his mom a life-size cutout of himself. She got the last laugh.

Amazing work, mom.

picturesque, life-size cutout, gifts
All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

A collage of Dalton Ross .


Dalton Ross wanted to make sure his family didn't miss him too badly while he was studying abroad in London.

To help them cope, the 22-year-old Tennessee native did what any selfless college student would do...


He sent his mom a life-size cutout of himself.

art, imaginative, artistic, family dynamics

The life-size cutout of Dalton Ross.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

"I thought maybe they'd put it in the living room corner until I got back to remember I exist," he explained about the cutout, which came with a short note: "You're welcome.”

But like any clever mom, Susan Talley couldn't just stash this amazing piece of work away when it arrived about two months ago.

tomfoolery, family tradition, clowning

Guess who’s coming to dinner.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

No, no — she had better plans in mind.

Talley decided the cardboard version of her son could be a great companion "while the real one is in Europe." So she brought him along with her to events, like basketball games ...

Can you spot cardboard Dalton in the stands?

farce, levity, witticism

Defense! Defense!

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... trips to the doctor's office ...

doctor visit, hilarious gags, connection

Hello doc.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... and sub sandwich runs.

sub sandwich, family pranks, photography

One meatball sub please.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Fake Dalton celebrated Valentine's Day with a fellow inanimate object.

Valentine\u2019s Day, inanimate object, dating

The strange and uncomfortable.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

He enjoyed playing with a furry, four-legged friend in the sunshine.

dogs, parks, family pets

Some complicated fetching.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

And he appreciated a good bedtime story, just like the rest of us.

Dr. Seuess, bedtime story, community

Reading Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!"

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

The photos of fake Dalton are spreading like wildfire.

sons, Facebook, Imgur

Out and about for lunch.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Without showing her son the photos first, Talley went ahead and uploaded them to Facebook. And after Dalton shared them on Imgur — explaining his mom "seems to be entertaining herself" while he's gone — the story sent the Internet into a buzzy frenzy.

"The attention is crazy," Ross told Upworthy, noting the story has gained so much traction that a restaurant featured in one of the photos, O'Charley's, sent the family a gift card.

"I hope my mom's holding up all right," he said. "It's awesome though.”

Fake Dalton has been hitting the batting cages...

batting cages, unique travel, fun activities

Batter up.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... taking in some nightlife...

entertaining, Dalton Ross, family love

Out on the town.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... and celebrated Easter with his family.

Easter, connections, life abroad

Easter with the Ross family.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Although the viral reaction to the photos has been a bit nuts, Ross isn't all that surprised his mom was up for a good laugh.

mom, life-size, humor

Out and about.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

"Oh yeah, my mom is very funny," he explained to Upworthy. And it's a good thing, too: Laughter can be a great tool in improving the quality of family dynamics and boosting a loved one's emotional health. (A student studying abroad should especially keep that in mind, considering being away from loved ones and familiarity can be tough.)

"We're a big family of jokesters."

Bravo, mom, for setting the bar very high ahead of April Fools' Day.

uplifting, parents, laughter

Let’s clean it up.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

This article originally appeared on 03.30.16

A young mom with her kids in the ER.

Sage Pasch’s unique family situation has attracted a lot of attention recently. The 20-something mother of 2 shared a 6-second TikTok video on September 29 that has been viewed over 33 million times because it shows how hard it can be for young moms to be taken seriously.

In the video, the young-looking Pasch took her son Nick to the ER after he injured his leg at school. But when the family got to the hospital, the doctor couldn’t believe Pasch was his mother. “POV, we’re at the ER, and the doctor didn’t believe I was the parent,” she captioned the post.


Pasch and her fiancé , Luke Faircloth, adopted the teen in 2022 after his parents tragically died two years apart. “Nick was already spending so much time with us, so it made sense that we would continue raising him,” Pasch told Today.com.

The couple also has a 17-month-old daughter named Lilith.

@coffee4lifesage

He really thought i was lying😭

Pasch says that people are often taken aback by her family when they are out in public. "Everybody gets a little confused because my fiancé and I are definitely younger to have a teenager," she said. "It can be very frustrating."

It may be hard for the young parents to be taken seriously, but their story has made a lot of people in a similar situation feel seen. "Omg, I feel this. I took my son to the ER, and they asked for the guardian. Yes, hi, that's me," Brittany wrote in the comments. "Meee with my teenager at a parent-teacher conference. They think I’m her older sister and say we need to talk with your parents," KatMonroy added.


This article originally appeared on 10.24.23

Sometimes you see something so mind-boggling you have to take a minute to digest what just happened in your brain. Be prepared to take that moment while watching these videos.

Real estate investor and TikTok user Tom Cruz shared two videos explaining the spreadsheets he and his friends use to plan vacations and it's...well...something. Watch the first one:

So "Broke Bobby" makes $125,000 a year. There's that.

How about the fact that his guy has more than zero friends who budget $80,000 for a 3-day getaway? Y'all. I wouldn't know how to spend $80,000 in three days if you paid me to. Especially if we're talking about a trip with friends where we're all splitting the cost. Like what does this even look like? Are they flying in private jets that burn dollar bills as fuel? Are they bathing in hot tubs full of cocaine? I genuinely don't get it.



To be crystal clear here, the top 5 friends on the Forbes list are willing to spend more than double what the guy at the bottom of the Welfare 10 list makes per year on a 3-day guy's trip. I don't know what to do with this information.


But that's not even the full spreadsheet. It might make sense if this guy was just rich, had always been rich, only knew rich people, and therefore having multiple millionnaire friends was his normal. Surely that's some people's reality who were born into the 1%.

That's not the case here, though, because Cruz also has a Welfare 10 list. He says this group of friends who make less than $100K a year call themselves that, and perhaps that's true. (If I were a part of this group, I might call myself a welfare case too because everything's relative and some of these dudes spend more in an hour of vacation than I spend on my mortgage each month.)

It's like we can see our society's wealth gap all laid out nice and neatly in a spreadsheet, only these people aren't even the uber-wealthy and uber-poor. This is just the range of this one guy's friends.

I have nothing against people who build success and wealth for themselves, and even $5 million per year is hardly obscenely wealthy by billionaire standards. But Cruz says he's known most of his "welfare" friends since college, which presumably means most of those guys have college degrees and are making pittance in comparison with the Forbes list. One could claim the guy making $5 million a year just works harder, but does he really work 100 times harder than the guy making $50,000? Doubt it.

Money makes money, and after a certain threshold of wealth or income, it's actually quite easy to get and stay rich without actually "earning" more money, assuming you're reasonably wise and responsible. So maybe the guys who are willing to shell out $125,000 for a week-long trip should offer to pay the travel expenses of the friends they "hang out with regardless of income" who don't even make that in a year, since that's probably just the interest they're making on their wealth anyway.

But what do I know? This is like an entirely different world to me and probably 99+% of Americans, as evidenced by some of the responses.

Naturally, there will be a range of incomes in any group of people, but 1) most of us don't actually know how much our friends make, and 2) even fewer of us make spreadsheets with that information in order to rank our friends and figure out who can go on which vacations.

People are just endlessly fascinating. That's all I've got.


This article originally appeared on 08.20.21

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?


As they so often do, Penn and Kim Holderness from The Holderness Family have captured the Gen X existential crisis in a video that has us both nodding a long and laughing out loud. Salt-n-Pepa in the waiting room at the doctor's office? Uh, no. That's a line we are not ready to cross yet. Nirvana being played on the Classic Rock station? Nope, not prepared for that, either.

Watch:

Hoo boy, the denial is real, isn't it? We grew up on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, for goodness sake, and it's starting to feel like we made a wrong choice a chapter or two back and suddenly landed our entire generation in a time warp. This isn't real, is it? Thirty years ago was the 1970s. That's just a Gen X fact. So what if we've lived long enough for our high school fashions to go out of style and then back into style and then back out of style again?

Seriously, though, we can either lament our age and stage in life or we can laugh about it, and people are grateful to the Holdernesses for assisting with the latter. Gen X fans are also thrilled to see their own experiences being validated, because at this point, we've all had that moment in the grocery store or the waiting room when one of our jams came on and we immediately went into a panic.

"They were playing The Cure in the grocery store and I almost started crying," wrote one commenter. "I mean, how 'alternative' can you be if you're being played in Krogers? You guys are great! Thanks for making us laugh."

"I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody being played in Walmart," shared another. "That was edgy in my day."

"I know!!! Bon Jovi at the grocery store!!! That was my clue in!!" added another.

"Long live Gen Xers! We have to be strong!! We can get through this together!! #NKOTBmeetsAARP" wrote on commenter.You can find more from the Holderness Family on their Facebook page, their podcast and their website, theholdernessfamily.com.


This article originally appeared on 1.28.24

Joy

Street artist creates delightful 3D scenes in walls and walkways for everyone to enjoy

David Zinn's characters bring joy to the lucky folks that happen to come upon them before they wash away.

David Zinn creates art from what he sees everywhere he goes.

Street artists are a special breed. While "the art world" can sometimes be a snooty, elite place for those with means, street art is made for everyone. Sometimes that means large public murals, but street art can be small, too. In fact, some of the best street art is so small you might miss it if you're not paying attention. But those who are can discover some delightful surprises.



Just imagine walking down a sidewalk and seeing this little fella at your feet:

Or this young lady:

Or this creature:

That would make your day, wouldn't it? Or at least bring a smile to your face for a while?

Public art is an act of love to strangers, a way of connecting to people without saying a word. It says, "Hey there, fellow human. Here's a little something to make you smile, just because."

That's the beauty of David Zinn's street art. It's meant for the public—just average passers-by—to enjoy, individually and collectively.

Zinn has created an entire world of characters who pop up in unexpected places. For instance, meet Gerald the otter, who is waiting for a blind date in this tree stump.

Zinn uses chalk and charcoal to make his cast of characters come to life in cracks and crevasses, sidewalks and tree trunks. His creations aren't meant to last forever; in fact, as Zinn points out, the temporary nature of them adds value to them.

"Famous works of art hanging in museums get seen by thousands of people every day. But this? You could be among the dozens of people who get to see this while it exists," he told CBS Mornings. "That's pretty special."

Watch how he takes something he finds in the sidewalk and transforms it into a sweet little duo.

Sometimes he uses natural things he finds as inspiration for a piece.

Other times, he uses something human-made, like this upside down terra cotta pot:

Or this manhole cover:

Sometimes the shape of a rock lends itself to a character, like Keith and his emotional support chick here:

Or the space itself serves as inspiration.

Nadine the mouse features in many of Zinn's pieces, probably due to her small size making it easy for her to fit into small spaces.

Usually his pieces use what's already there—like a crack in the sidewalk—to tell a story.

The 3D nature of his drawings make it feel as if his characters are truly there.

"Looks like another long day of things stubbornly refusing to be impossible," he writes in a caption of one of his "pigasuses."

(Speaking of having wings, Nadine found a pair for herself.)

Watch Zinn turn a simple pot into a character with personality in a matter of minutes:

His entire Instagram page, Facebook page and TikTok channel are filled with endless delight. It was nearly impossible to decide what to include in this article because I wanted to include everything.

This is all well and good, you might say to yourself, but how does Zinn make a living if he's not selling this art?

He sells books and prints of photos of his artwork on his online store. He also gets invited to schools and events. He has created a career for himself by rejecting blank canvases, putting his imagination out on the street for everyone to see for a while, then selling versions that will actually last. Pretty brilliant, really.

Zinn gave a fascinating TEDx Talk explaining how he found his own artistic niche. You'll never look at a parking meter or sidewalk the same way again.

This article originally appeared on 02.12.22

Carsten Vollrath/Canva

Imagine watching your four-tier wedding cake hitting the ground before you even get a bite.

It's quite common for people to fantasize about their wedding day—the ceremony, the bridal party, the dress, the cake—and some people spend months or even years meticulously planning every detail. People even spend thousands of dollars hiring wedding planners to make sure that the big day stays fully organized and all the moving parts come together without a hitch.

But no matter how well you plan, sometimes things that simply can't be predicted happen. And how you and your beloved handle the hitches and glitches on your wedding day can say a lot.

Especially when that hitch or glitch is something major…like watching the beautiful, four-tier wedding cake—the one you spent time choosing and lots of money creating to share with your wedding guests—come crashing to the ground right in front of you.


That's what happened to one couple who eagerly watched as the caterers who were carrying their wedding cake tripped on their way into the room, sending their cake to an untimely demise in spectacular fashion.

The video, shared by @the.sarik on Instagram, is only about 10 seconds long, but it tells a whole beautiful love story in the reactions of both the groom and the bride.

Watch:

First of all, hope those waiters are OK. But secondly, staying calm and making the most of a bad situation is a huge character plus, and this groom clearly has those qualities in spades. You can see in the bride's face that she knows it, too.

"Her eyes show that she knows she got the right guy," wrote one commenter.

"The way he just called her to eat is just phenomenal," shared another.

"'Cake is still cake.' Yelling at those waiters won't solve anything, but it can ruin their whole lives," wrote another. "They know their mistake, and they can be corrected privately. May the reaction of this man be an inspiration to us all, to care for the feelings of other people more than material things."

"Of all the things that could ruin a wedding day, I'm glad the husband knew this didn't have to be one of them," shared another.

When unpredictable things do happen, it's largely the reaction of the people involved that determines whether they become tragic tales or entertaining stories. If what we saw in the video is any indicator, this couple will be telling their grandkids someday about how the guys carrying their wedding cake tripped and ruined it, and how Grandpa's response won Grandma's heart all over again.


This article originally appeared on 7.27.23