6 songs that seem romantic but aren't, and one that seems like it isn't but is. – Upworthy

Love songs are where we get our passion, our soul — and most of our worst ideas.

Throughout human history, oceans have been crossed, mountains have been scaled, and great families have blossomed — all because of a few simple chords and a melody that inflamed a heart and propelled it on a noble, romantic mission.
On the other hand, that time you told that girl you just started seeing that you would "catch a grenade" for her? You did that because of a love song. And it wasn't exactly a coincidence that she suddenly decided to "lose your number" and move back to Milwaukee to "figure some stuff out."


Nothing good can come of this. Photo by Achim Voss/Flickr.

That time you held that boom box over your head outside your ex's house? You did that because of a love song. And 50 hours of community service later, you're still not back together.

Love songs are great. They make our hearts beat faster. They inspire us to take risks and put our feelings on the line. And they give us terrible, terrible ideas about how actual, real-life human relationships should work.
They're amazing. So amazing. And also terrible.
Here are six love songs that sound romantic but aren't, and one song that doesn't sound romantic but totally is:
You can keep your "Surfin' Safaris," your "I Get Arounds," and your "Help me Rhondas."
When it comes to The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows" is where it's at. A lush garden of soft horns and breezy melody. A tie-dye swirl of sound. A landscape of haunted innocence with some of the most heartrending lyrics ever committed to the back of a surfboard.


Youth! Youth! Youth! Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
Here's why it sounds romantic:

If you're traipsing through a meadow in a sundress with your beloved and not playing "God Only Knows" on your iPod, you should really stop and start over.
If you're lazily bumping a beach ball over a volleyball net and "God Only Knows" isn't playing somewhere in the back of your mind, you need to rethink the choices that got you to this point.
If you're a video editor compiling footage of grainy hippies frolicking in the mud and you're not underscoring it with the opening chords of "God Only Knows," you are doing it wrong.
It's a song that just feels like love. Pure love. Young love. Love with a chill, kelp-y vibe.

What could be wrong with that?
Here's why it's actually really, really unromantic:

There's nothing wrong with loving someone. Sending them flowers. Leaving over-the-top notes in their P.O. boxes. Stroking their hair as they fall asleep while you whisper the complete works of Nicholas Sparks into their ear.
"Miles Ryan stood on the back porch of his house, smoking a cigarette…" Photo by hatchettebookgroup.biz.
But there is such a thing as loving someone a skosh too much.

Look, I get it. Breakups suck. There's no getting around that. But good God.
There's a huge difference between saying: "Hey babe, you are my first and foremost everything and I'll be bummed if you go." And saying: "Welp, you accepted that job in Seattle, so I'm just gonna chug a bunch of nightshade and call it a life."
But that's pretty much the gist here. Which makes this line…
…horror-movie creepy. Because the answer, apparently, is: "I'd be a corpse!"

That's not love. That's codependency (to put it mildly). Oh, and hey! Threatening to kill yourself if your partner leaves isn't loving. It's a form of emotional abuse.

Investing all your happiness and sense of self-worth in any relationship — one that, by definition, might one day end — is putting a lot of eggs in one basket. Sure, God may only know what you'd be without her, but God probably also hopes you have, I don't know, some hobbies. Take a yoga class. Google some woodworking videos. Try kite surfing.
"Yeah! Hell yeah! What was her name again?" Photo by Jim Semlor/Federal Highway Administration.
One person cannot be anyone's be-all and end-all. It's too stressful. And it prevents you from doing you, which is a thing that's gotta be done before you can do anything else.

No wonder she took that job in Seattle.
Sure, it's a blatant rip off of every Michael Jackson song you've ever heard. But, we don't have Michael Jackson anymore, and as tribute acts go, you could do a lot worse than Bruno Mars.
Look at that face. That face! Photo by Brothers Le/Flickr.
Here's why the song sounds romantic:

Pass those lyrics to anyone on a used napkin at an eighth-grade make-out party and you'll likely get an instant toll pass on the highway to tongue-town (ew).

Pass them to your spouse and, chances are, date night is going to culminate in 47 minutes of chaste-yet-passionate frenching.
Pass them to a cop who pulls you over for running a stop sign, and they will think you're weird — but probably still make out with you.
In fact, Bruno Mars basically has a lifetime pass to make out with America because of this song.
And I'm OK with that.

But, here's why "Treasure" isn't as romantic as it seems:
Everything about "Treasure" is retro. Everything.
Including its attitudes about gender.
Things start to go south right from the very beginning:

Ah yes. Nothing screams "respect" quite like a man lecturing a strange woman on the street about something she "doesn't know about herself."
What could it be? Could it be that her jokes are funny? Could it be that she's got something in her teeth? Could it be that her nonfiction book about early modern German history is extremely detailed and informative?

"Thanks for teaching me all about Martin Luther's bible!" Photo by Torsten Schleese/Wikimedia Commons.
Spoiler Alert: It's none of those.

Oh. It's that she's sexy. Cool, bro. Very original.
Word of advice? Regardless of how she's walking, the lady knows she's sexy. Even if she doesn't, it really doesn't affect her day-to-day so much that you, a complete stranger, need to shout it at her (even over a funky disco snare).
So what if she does want to be someone else? I'd love to be someone else! I think being Ryan Gosling would be quite nice. A good way to spend a three-day weekend.
And then later, of course, the narrator can't help himself:

He respects her so much, he's actually straight-up telling her to smile! Much like Mars' character "Uptown Funk," who appears to get off on angrily exhorting girls to "hit [their] hallelujah." Which, you know, I guess everybody's got a thing.
Yes, in the world of "Treasure," a healthy relationship is an unending stream of a man complimenting a strange woman and said woman being so totally flattered that she immediately dispenses "the sex."
He then proceeds to talk to his potential lover like the world's creepiest pirate:

By this point, in his mind, she's a literal thing. An object. Which is fitting.
I suppose it could be worse, though. At least she's not just any thing.
GIF from "The Two Towers."

That's … something, right?
For as long as humans have been dating each other, humans have been breaking up with each other. And "Don't Think Twice" is a portrait of a relationship going down in flames. Glorious, poetic, acoustic flames.
File:Joan Baez Bob Dylan crop.jpg – Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Here's why it sounds romantic:

Boom. Strummed on out of that friends-with-benefits situation like whoa.
"Don't Think Twice" is a raw song. An honest song. A powerful song. It's the song your older sister played on continuous loop for six months after her boyfriend left for college. The song that convinced your Aunt Roslyn to leave her bank-teller job, load her four Australian shepherds into the van, and open a wind chime store in Mendocino. The song your friend's cool dad always wants to play when he invited your high school band over to his apartment to jam.
Sure, it's about the end of a relationship, but it sounds romantic. And at the end of the day, shouldn't that be enough?

Here's why it's actually sooooo messed up:
Relationships end. For a lot of reasons. And while there is no right way to call it quits with someone, when the dust settles, both parties can certainly benefit from a difficult, honest discussion about what went wrong.
In "Don't Think Twice," that discussion basically boils down to: "It's your fault."

Let's review the reasons the dude in "Don't Think Twice" is splitting with his lady friend:
Ugh, women, right? You're all like, "Babe, I just have so much unspecified love to give," and she's like, "Take out the trash!" And you're like, "But baaaaaaabe, shouldn't my heart be enough?" And she's like, "No, seriously. I already did the laundry, cleaned the whole house, fed the dog, did the dishes, and made both of our lunches for the week. All I need you to do is take out the trash." And you're like, "You're bumming me out. I'm gonna go play guitar." And then she gets all mad! What did you do? Why is she trying to change you? UGH!
Yes. You do mind! You mind! You wrote a song about it, you passive-aggressive prick.
Ah yes. Your time is so precious! Think about all the hours you wasted plumbing the ocean-deep, ecstatic mysteries of human partnership when you could have been futzing around with that home-brew kit.
Yes, this was worth it.Photo by Bill Bradford/Flickr.
The minute you start breaking it down, the message of "Don't Think Twice" suddenly starts to seem a lot less romantic. Like your sister's ex-boyfriend, who worked at the Bass Pro Shop in town for a while and now might be in jail. Like your aunt's wind chime store, which would have closed forever ago had she not received that inheritance from her mom in the '80s. Like your friend's cool dad, who wasn't exactly, technically, paying child support.
Oh yeah, and the song's narrator also point-blank refers woman he's leaving as:

That's right. In addition to being a run-of-the-mill passive-aggressive jerk — turns out, he's also possibly a pedophile.
Even if we are to accept that this is a metaphor and she's not actually a child — which there's no indication it is, but OK, Bob Dylan — the fact that Commitmentphobe Gunderson here would willingly choose an immature partner reflects way more poorly on him than it does on her.
Breaking up with anyone in such a cruel, dismissive way is a recipe for sticking them with years of therapy bills.
Which, I suppose, may be the point.
Who has two thumbs and wrote a bittersweet folk song about hurtling through the stratosphere in a giant aluminum tube at 600 miles per hour?
This guy.Photo by Hughes Television Network/Wikimedia Commons.
Here's why it sounds romantic:
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" is a lovely song. And impressive in its loveliness because jet planes were still kind of new at the time it was written.
To a modern ear, this would be sort of like singing, "I'm a scoooting away on my hoverboooooard," but in a way that's somehow still folksy and heartbreaking and singable by 9-year-olds at summer camp. Not easy to do!
You see — he hates to go! He just hates it! We know this, because he tells us he hates it. And why would he hate to go if he didn't love his partner just that much?
Photo by Altair78/Wikimedia Commons.
Why indeed?

Here's why it's actually not that romantic at all:
All the plaintive guitar, loping bass line, and twangy, melancholy warbling in the world can only distract so much from the fact that the song's main character is well, kind of a jerkweed.
And in reality — surprise surprise! — it doesn't actually seem like he hates being away all that much:

"Babe, I promise! All the movies I watched alone while you were home nursing the quadruplets. All the times I drained our life savings on Zoo Zillionaire. All the random sex I had with other women. Totally meaningless. Certainly fun to do! Really fun. Like, I had a fantastic time. But rest assured — completely empty, in an ontological sense."
Yes, when you break it down, "Leaving on a Jet Plane," is less of a passionate tribute to love overcoming distance and more the deluded ramblings of a guy who needs to convince himself he's "good" despite all evidence to the contrary.

And for all he claims to be broken up about having to part from his one and only, the dude seems pretty excited about the flight. Oh, you're leaving on a jet plane, are you? Are you Zone 1? Gonna humblebrag on Twitter about the "terrible" Cibo express salad you were forced to choke down as you sat waiting to embark on your fun, mysterious adventure?

"Life so hard @ LGA #missingmybabe." Photo by Gesalbte/Wikimedia Commons.
He continues:

Ah cool. He'll think about her while strumming and making "my love is delicate as the morning dew" eyes at a waif-y grad student in the front row. That pretty much makes up for it all.
Then he demands:

After all the betrayal and heartbreak, after basically revealing himself to be a grade-A sleaze who can't be trusted, he still has the gall to tell her to wait? To wait for him?
And here's the kicker:
Ah yes. He'll put a ring on it. Finally.
Unlike all the previous trips, where he's cheated a billion times, drained the family bank account, and just been a general screwup and disappointment.

But yeah. This time he says he'll bring back a wedding ring.
I hope she joins a polyamorous octad and never looks back.
When you look up "soul" in the dictionary, the book plays you a recording of this song.

Percy Sledge, having a few thoughts. Photo by Gene Pugh/Flickr.
Specifically, it plays you the very first line.
Here's why it sound very romantic:
Sure, you can write the lyrics down, but it doesn't even come close to capturing the heartache. The yearning. The delicious, delicious pain-belting:
Closer … but still no.
Yes! Sing it, Percy Sledge!
It's an elemental lyric.
It's a heart-shattering lyric.
It's a lyric that demands you put your back into it.
It's perfection.
As long as you don't keep listening.
Here's why the song is actually pretty horrifying:
From the opening lines of "When a Man Loves a Woman," we know that, at least on occasion, a man loves a woman.
Which raises the question: What happens when said man loves said woman?

Whoa! OK. No. Back up. A man, no matter how devoted, no matter how selfless, no matter how in love, needs shelter. Otherwise, a man will die of exposure and hypothermia.
No! Jeez. No. A man can't put up with that kind of isolating behavior. A man needs friends! Once a man's whole support system erodes out from under him, a man will be bitter, ungrounded, and alone. And a man's mental health will deteriorate.

This is not what happens "when a man loves a woman." It's what happens when a man loves a controlling, manipulative woman. An abusive woman. A woman who, in truth, only loves a woman. Herself.

"It's Chris or me." Photo by geralt/Pixabay.
And that's not healthy.
Run, Percy Sledge, run! We're here for you.
(Side note: Lest it go unsaid, there is way more than one way for a man to love a woman. Maybe they spend every waking moment cuddling and bopping each other on the nose. Maybe they sleep in separate bedrooms. Maybe they dress up in large, plush cat costumes and refer to each other Mr. and Mrs. Kittyhawk. And when a man loves a man, I imagine it feels much the same. Or when a woman loves a woman. Or when a gender nonconforming person loves a gender nonconforming person.)
Regardless of the depth of commitment, living situation, or combination of genders or sexual orientations, there's no one-size-fits-all love solution. Every relationship is a unique snowflake. Variety is the spice of life. Necessity is the mother of invention. There's more than one way to skin a cat. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

It doesn't matter if it's the right metaphor, as long as it's a metaphor. Photo by Rosmarie Voegtli/Flickr.

Point being: Generalize at your peril, Sledge. And please, seek help! You can do this! And if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, please give these people a call.
Honestly, Heart could sing a list of the most popular AllRecipes ("Jaaaamie's Cranberry Spinach Saaaaalad/World's Best Lasaaaaagna/Sour Creeeeeam Cutouts") and it would make me want to bawl my eyes out in the arms of a tall, dark stranger at the end of a pier.
This song is perfect. You should always be listening to it. If you're not listening to it now, smack yourself in the face and Google it. It's just that important.

I am singing the phone book. You are weeping like a tiny baby. Photo by FatCat125/Wikimedia Commons.
So much passion. So much pain. So much hair.
Here's why it sounds romantic:
Over pounding drums and a soaring melody, Heart sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson deliver a primal tribute to the one true romantic fantasy shared by every living being on Earth: picking up an unnervingly attractive man for one night of mind-blowing sex and then releasing him back into the wild to bone — but never quite as compellingly ever again.
They sing:

I don't have to go on because you know what happens next, and it's awesome.
Now, here's why this song is not romantic at all:

The relationship in "All I Wanna Do" seems too good to be true. And it is. Because it's not an equally loving ,or even equally lusty, pairing at all.

It's a…
It's a…
Well. You know what it is:

Good at recognizing no-win situations and delicious with lemon?! Photo by Pikawil/Flickr.

For a while, things are humming along just fine, like any wholesome, illicit, anonymous affair should:

Sure, many of us might hesitate to pick up a strange leather-jacket-clad man standing on the side of the road for a no-strings-attached screw, but our narrator just has a feeling about this guy, and sometimes, you gotta go with your gut.
I can respect that.

Great! Seems like it was a good decision. Bonking the hitchhiker is payin' off big time.
But then, without warning, the song starts to sound less like an all-time great romance and more like a story men's rights activists tell each other as they vape around a campfire:

I'm not a poet. Symbolic language often eludes me. But unless "flower," "seed," "garden," and "tree," suddenly mean wildly different things in the context of human reproduction than they have since sex was first invented in the early-1970s, we're talking about a surprise, non-mutually-consensual pregnancy!

HELLO! Photo by Avsar Aras/Wikimedia Commons.
Of course, metaphors are opaque, interpretations vary, etc., etc., etc. You might be tempted to think, "Maybe Heart meant something else by that."
To that I say, no, they definitely meant it:

There are two possibilities here.
One: The narrator of the song is recently-deceased Jerry Orbach from this creepy New York City subway ad from nine years ago:

Photo by eyedonation.org.
Or two: She totally conned a dude into whipping up a baby on the sly.
Ah, sure. Yeah. No worries.
Cool, so this all makes sense and is in no way the nightmarish scheme of a deranged sociopath who has now wrecked not one but two lives.

A HUMAN LIFE! A REAL SENTIENT HUMAN LIFE THAT IS NOT INCIDENTAL TO ALL OF THIS!
The best you can say about that is that it's not technically illegal, and that leather-jacket man probably should have been responsible for his own birth control. Or, at the very least, asked more questions .
But … it's not cute. It's not romantic (even the Wilson sisters themselves agree).
And at the end of the day, the shadiest character in this song is somehow not the rain-soaked hitchhiker wandering to nowhere in the night.
Which… is saying something.
A song that does everything right.
A song that paints a portrait of a healthy partnership built to last.
A song that can double as a manual for the ideal human romantic relationship.

And that song is…
Here's why you might be — OK, almost definitely are — skeptical:
As catchy as "Candy Shop" is, as fun it is to dance to, and as cathartic as it can be to scream in the middle of a crowded fraternity house at 2 a.m., there's no getting around the fact that the song begins like this:

I'll post that again, in case you missed some of the nuance:

Way to take one for the team, narrator of "Candy Shop"!
At first glance, "Candy Shop" is nobody's idea of a classic love song.
The lyrics are … unusually forward. The beat is kinda basic. The hook is like the music they play when Abu Nazir sidles scarily by in "Homeland."

OooooOOOOoooooOOOo. GIF from "Homeland."

It doesn't get played much anymore. When it does resurface, it feels … kinda dated. Like watching that DVD of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" on your new Xbox 360.
It's not a song you'd put on a mixtape for your crush. It's not a song you'd play for your spouse when the kids are at home with the babysitter and you've got nine hours to tear up the Piscataway Hampton Inn. It's certainly not a song you'd include on the video photo montage you made for your grandparents' silver anniversary.
It's just not.
But it should be.
The bass drum hits. The MIDI violins whine. The singer starts filling out his fellatio permission slip. It's only been 20 seconds, and you're already getting ready to hang it up with "Candy Shop."

But then … over the square thrum and the mewling strings, a miracle occurs — in the form of a female voice joining the track, cutting through the din like a clarion call.
She sings:

It's mutual! It's mutual! They're performing oral sex oneach other!
Ring the bells! Bang the drums! Release the doves!

Go, cunnilingus doves, go! Photo by liz west/Flickr.
50 Cent himself may not be the world's greatest partner — for example, according to one of his exes, he's done some pretty unforgivable things.
But the narrator of "Candy Shop"? He gets it:
Rather than simply imposing his desires on the person he's with — a la the dude in "God Only Knows ("I'm going to invest my entire sense of self-worth in you!") or the street heckler in "Treasure" ("I'm going to treat you like a chest full of gold doubloons!") or the sociopath in "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You," ("I'm going to trick you into knocking me up!") — the "Candy Shop" guy actually asks his partner what she wants.
Which, in the world of popular music, is good for about 50,000 trillion points.
And where are they going to do it? The hotel? Back of the rental? The beach? The park?
'Cause consent is sexy!
The narrator of "Candy Shop" is certainly … assertive about his desires.
But here's the key thing: the lady on the receiving end of those desires? She's clearly into it. And we know this because she says so.
The lines of consent in "Candy Shop" are bright red, highlighted, and soldered into the weirdly sticky club floor.

Meanwhile, Robin Thicke is outside trying to convince the bouncer that his uncle is a lawyer. Photo by Grim23/Wikimedia Commons.

No matter how nasty they freak, it will be intimate. It will be private. There will be no revenge porn (the epilogue to "Blurred Lines," to wit, would definitely be a protracted, emotionally devastating lawsuit).
Sexual compatibility is key to the survival of any relationship, whether years, weeks, or (very possibly in the case of "Candy Shop") minutes long.
She may have a high sex drive, but dude is graciously offering to accommodate her. What a gentleman! These crazy kids just might go the distance after all.
And at the end of the day, what is a relationship but two nymphos, sharing health insurance?

Thanks, Obamacare! Photo by Wonderlane/Flickr.
Again, everybody is having a great time. And, critically, an equally great time.
Of course, it wouldn't be a pop/hip-hop hit without a spot of random braggadocio, but if we're to take him at his word, "Candy Shop" guy is at least as good at "doing everything right" as the anonymous hitchhiker from "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You" — except without all the creepy surprise baby nonsense.
The "Candy Shop" guy is a keeper. Because he's not a hero or a stranger in the night or a funky, shimmering love god. He's a good partner.
"Candy Shop" is raunchy. It's dirty. It's not your grandmother's love song.
But when you strip away the swagger, the back beat, and the weird strings from "Best of Public Domain Middle Eastern Music 1993," by the end of the song, both people are satisfied. And at the end of the day, isn't that what a healthy relationship is all about?
Yeah.
Uh-huh.
So seductive.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.
Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question
Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.
It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.
The World Cup is being played in Qatar and Iran's soccer team is in attendance. There have been reports that the Iranian players were threatened with their family members facing "violence and torture" after the team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem. But there was tension with the Iranian government and the American players after the US soccer team displayed the Iranian flag without the Iranian Republic emblem.
Maybe the flag mishap spurred the reporters loaded questions. When the Iranian reporter first addresses Adams, he immediately chastises him for not knowing the correct pronunciation of Iran before moving on to an interesting question choice.
The reporter asked Adams, "are you ok to be representing a country that has so much discrimination against Black people in its own boarders and you saw the Black Lives Matter Movement over the past few years. Are you OK the US meanwhile there's so much discrimination happening against Black people in America"
Adams, did not get defensive about the correction but responded by apologizing about mispronouncing the name of the country. The player's response to the rest of the question proves the young captain's emotional maturity and why he's captain of the US soccer team.
Watch his entire response below:
Holiday presents that continue to give back long after they’re opened.
SeaVees SeaChange Slippers
The holiday season is all about the spirit of giving. So Upworthy is embracing it by sharing gift ideas that won’t just bring joy to those who receive them, but also work to make the world a better place. 'Joy-Worthy' gifts support important causes, promote education and help share positivity through love. We’re sure your loved ones will enjoy these gifts and their positive impact on the world as much as you enjoy giving them.

To make things even merrier, 10% of all sales made through this gift guide will go to Guiding Eyes for the Blind (or in the case of our first partner SeaVees, every pair sold will lead to one foot of coastal kelp forest being regenerated through a partnership with SeaTrees).


Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like incredibly cozy slippers. Whether you’re curled up next to the fire or stuck outside collecting the firewood, these slippers made with supersoft fleece will leave your feet feeling as toasty as the marshmallows on your roasting sticks. The slippers are vegan, with the fleece fully made from PET recycled plastic—so Rudolph and his eight reindeer coworkers would approve. Plus, you’ll be supporting a company that loves spreading holiday cheer. Last Giving Tuesday, SeaVees donated thousands of new shoes to families in underserved communities through their partnership with The Conscious Alliance.

For the child who spends the holidays pondering how Santa’s sleigh actually functions, this box set of fun, educational projects that teach engineering and mechanics is a perfect gift. After building a spinning Christmas Candle Carousel, a hand-cranked automaton of Santa’s sleigh, and a light-up Santa’s Workshop, the lucky kid in your family will be ready for any engineering challenge that comes their way.


Some people like to play with their new toys on Christmas morning, while others are just fine relaxing and watching the festivities. Help them sit back in style with a pair of Warby Parker Janelle sunglasses that have oversized lenses big enough to block all the morning sunshine reflecting off the snow. Plus, for every pair purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to someone in need, helping people around the world see how beautiful the holidays can really be.

Getting curled up in blankets and having a favorite book read to you is a wonderful holiday tradition, and now that favorite book can be your own personal story. LoveBook lets you create a completely unique and custom book that tells whatever tale you’d like, with fun LoveMoji characters designed to look like you and your loved ones. Now all your greatest holiday stories, from your mom cooking the perfect holiday meal to your dad cursing for six hours while putting together your new bicycle, can be immortalized and shared with those you love forever.


Santa’s reindeer do quite a lot of work on Christmas, so why not give a gift that helps preserve where they call home? This three-pack of super comfortable socks featuring polar bears, narwhals and reindeer will keep your toes warm all winter, and a portion of all sales help Conservation International protect wildlife and their Arctic habitats. They also come in both small and medium sizes, to fit both the elves and the Santas in your life.

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21

As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.
Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.

"We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!" they wrote. "For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!"
Arnold is a Canada goose that lives on a pond near the facility and is part of a mated pair of wild geese that have been together for several years. The center said the geese usually keep to themselves, but one of their staff noticed that Arnold was walking with a "significant limp" and kept falling over. They were able to capture him and bring him into the hospital for examination.

A goose visits its mate at the Cape Wildlife Center
Image Via Cape Wildlife Center/Facebook
"Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot," they wrote. "This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming."
To save his foot and help him survive, the staff knew they had to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. They gave him antibiotics and pain meds and prepped him for surgery the following morning.
Then his mate came knocking.
"Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door," the center wrote. "We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway."

Aww.
Surgery went well, and once Arnold woke up the staff decided to let him recover by the doorway so he and his mate could see each other.
"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other's presence."
AWWWW.
"Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild," they added. "He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him. ❤️"
While attempting not to anthropomorphize too much, it's so sweet to see animal partners show such genuine care for one another. Canada geese mate for life, and they are known to mourn in seclusion when they lose a mate. Seeing Arnold's mate coming to find him and comfort him during his treatment is just too lovely.
Feel good story of the day, indeed. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Arnold!

'Life shouldn't be this hard.'
Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.
In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.
Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard…" complete with a sad face emoji.
In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.
The retirement age in the United States in order to collect Social Security benefits is 66, or 67 if you were born in or after 1960. But early retirement starts at 62 for reduced benefits. How many years you worked is a deciding factor in how much financial benefit you will receive from Social Security, with the average amount expected to be $1,827 a month in January 2023.
WE LOVE YOU NOLA I HOPE THIS HELPS❤️🙏 #blowthisup #fyp #gofundme #nola #walmart #viralvideo
While that amount of money is nothing to scoff at, it's also not enough to live off of alone, especially for those who fall below the average amount. You also have to factor in Medicare premiums and tax withholdings that must come out of that figure. So it's no wonder that people over the age of 67 have to continue to work if they don't have adequate savings put away to retire on. The cost of living increases impact all age groups, including the elderly.
Thankfully for this elderly Walmart worker, the GoFundMe quickly exploded and raised $110,000 in just 24 hours. But when Bonagura went to give the money to Carpenter, she was grateful for the help but explained she would still need to work until the other $60,000 of her mortgage was paid off. This prompted users to give more to secure Carpenter's retirement.
In the end, the GoFundMe raised $186,000, which was enough to pay off the mortgage on the woman's house. Retirement is now on the horizon for the grandmother, who says she's set to retire on the first of the year. She wants to make sure she helps her co-workers get through the holiday season before hanging up her vest for good.
Update video with Nola ❤️ #nola #dbon #gofundme #viral #blowthisup #love #kindness #givingback
As for Bonagura, he's currently suspended with pay due to him filming at the store and posting it to TikTok. While he wasn't an employee of Walmart, he worked for a cellphone carrier that operated sales inside the store. Nevertheless, Bonagura feels he did the right thing and is focused solely on making sure Carpenter gets to retire.
It's amazing what people can accomplish when they work together. Happy retirement, Nola! Here's to hoping you enjoy every minute of it.

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