questionswhat's the biggest thing you've ever broken at…


-- and it goes on --

When the crashing (and the screaming) finally stopped, the curio itself was intact, but only the 4 items on the top shelf were untouched. The bottom 18" or so were filled with the shattered remnants of my mother's collection, some in huge sharp chunks, some as nothing more than shiny dust. And, of course, the doors on one side had popped open just enough to shoot more broken glass all over her ancient deep pile carpet.

It took Nearly 3 hours to clean it all up. Thank God I had brought some heavy leather gloves to do some yard work for her.

The picture above was taken after I had removed some of the bigger pieces from the pile. I removed even more before I took this one.

Urgh! It was like a scene from a movie, but with REAL glass instead of that sugar glass stuff. Mom, of course, keeps telling me that she KNOWS it was an accident and it's ok, but I feel awful. Has anyone else ever broken so much stuff? Am I the only clutz?


OHMYGOD that's awful!

I broke a small tree at a neighbor's house years ago. Just a sapling, I guess, but I leaned against it without thinking and it snapped. Still, it was easier to replace than a curio full of crystal. You win!


I have a 4-letter word that you may use...

I feel for you. I know that I would have felt absolutely terrible.


Ouch! That is one major mishap.

I can't really think of anything I've broken, but my brother broke a stained glass lamp that my mother made. Those things take forever to make. He was moving the table it was on, and she told him to wait while she removed the lamp, but he was in a big hurry and assured her it would be fine. It wasn't.


I've broken a few hearts.....


Oh, my dear @belyndag! What a horrible thing to happen! I know you must feel plain & simply awful about this. You will never forget it, but your mom probably will. Thank you for the heartfelt tale. Note: I, too, would never let your vacuum (or much of anything else) again. <---Lame attempt to bring humor into a situation that is sad.

I broke a very small piece of crystal when helping my daughter unpack during a move. I was appalled. Not easily replaced. I offered. IIRC, we glued it.

My late husband dropped at least 2 Waterford glasses on the tile floor in our kitchen. The sound told me it was not glass. Crystal has a beautiful, distinct clear ring when it's broken. I laughed/shrugged/sighed. :-/ A few years ago, a house guest dropped a glass. Found out the next day when he told me he broke a wine glass & picked up all the shards. I mentioned that is was a Waterford. Deaf ears.

As the culprit; offer to replace. As the owner; ignore. Family/friends are more important..


I have never broken anything close to that big but I did dent a refrigerator once at a friends house when I pulled the car too far into the garage though.


I have seen something worse but thankfully I did not cause it. The movers put together a china/crystal cabinet and improvised the metal pegs that were supposed to hold up the solid wood shelves. the substitution was not immediately noticeable so the crystal and china was put on the shelves. Not much later one of the upper shelves failed and ... Most of the crystal and lots of the china broke. This was a very large cabinet with a collection that was old and irreplaceable. Insurance did not cover the actual value because the items could not be found to compare with.


Once I stopped screaming (Seriously! I couldn't seem to stop for ages!), I offered to replace everything (OMG! No one even remembers everything that was in there yet!). Of course, Mom declined. Both of my sisters independently joked that I SHOULD have demolished Mom's coffee mug collection (you just wouldn't believe that one!). We did all agree that at least this gives us all a new idea list for future gifts.


I returned home Monday evening (I live about 2.5 hours away). As soon as I can I will have to return and at least make arrangements to replace the shelves. I guess I will need to have them special made. I will CERTAINLY buy better brackets to hold them! Then, of course, I have to start shopping for "stuff" to put on the shelves!

Again, urgh! I still feel AWFUL!


I definitely feel for you.

My mother has 2 huge glass cases with stuff that she and my late father collected over the years. They have stuff from before they came to the US and met each other, stuff from trips around the country (they visited all 48 contiguous states), stuff from back home, stuff related to the kids, etc. I remember breaking 1 thing as a kid and I felt so bad because of how old it looked. And of course it had to be something from back home; irreplaceable. Bottom line, it's the sentimental value that makes the stuff worth anything.

As for a silver lining, perhaps it was a sign that the shelves were beginning to be pushed to their limit and you may have prevented a horrible accident in the future when you weren't there.

Have you tried to see if she will file an insurance claim? I am guessing there have been many pictures over the years, so receipts may not be necessary. I would offer to buy the first piece of the new collection and a sturdier, non-glass shelf case.


@curtisuxor: I am digging for photos today, and trying to find out about her homeowners insurance. Fingers are crossed!


"A virtual waterfall of broken glass that seemed to go one forever in slow-mo while I screamed like a fool and just couldn't seem to stop!" Sorry, but that image just made me bust out laughing. I have damaged a few things at other people's homes and there's nothing like that sick feeling of having in a second done something you can't undo. My worst to date wasn't at someone's home, but I was out with a friend at a charity walk a little over a week ago. She had her two dogs and I had my big guy. He's always had a dog aggression problem but we have worked for years on it. She sat out and he and I walked the 5k, and we were sitting on a couple of catty-corner benches deciding what to do with the rest of the day. Simba has been interacting with her dogs just fine, but he was tired and probably in some pain from a recent surgery. He was standing pressed up against me and my friend's dog came over and was sniffing at him. I sensed the problem a second to late and he laid into (tbc)


cont'd: my friend's dog. Simba's a 140lb Great Dane and Max is a 50lb Blue Heeler. I had Simba by the collar and off his feet in a heartbeat and after a second he released Max, but he'd bitten him pretty badly, fortunately on the shoulders where dogs are well protected. But the injury abscessed and Max is having to have a fair amount o treatment. I've offered to pay a share of the vet bills but my friend won't hear of it. She says it was partly her fault because she wasn't paying attention and she knew she needed to make sure Max wasn't pressing Simba. She also says it's basically "dogs will be dogs". But it makes me heartsick that her dog was hurt. It's also upsetting to see Simba go off like that with no warning after six years of very hard obedience work. An alpha male will always bear watching, but he is supposedly under control these days. Maybe he was in more pain than I thought but my trust in his training has been severely compromised.


When I was about 10 years old I was across the street at my neighbor's house in the summer, having squirt gun wars. At the time his dad was getting ready to repaint their siding. Paying no attention to what we were doing I decided my squirt gun wasn't good enough so I grabbed their garden hose and went all out just soaking about 5 other kids. In the process I sprayed about a gallon worth of water into a 5 gallon bucket of paint that his dad had sitting on the side of the house. I found out the hard way that I had ruined about $200 worth of paint. The worst part was that my friend was the one who got his butt beat for it. And this was the 90s, right before Dr. Phil told parents that disciplining your children was bad, so his dad must have decided to take out his entire life worth of disciplining right then and there.

Needless to say it was a good year before I went back to his house to play.

@moondrake I deleted and resubmitted my comment so it wasn't in the middle of your two.


I broke a fishing rod that belonged to a friend of my brother-in-law, I offered to replace it but he declined. I found out later that rod was very expensive. I'm told it wasn't expensive to him (he is very well off) but that doesn't really make me feel one tiny bit better about it.


I never did anything that bad at someone's house but at a wedding I slipped with my knife and shot brown juice ALL over the guy next to me that had on a complete white suit he just bought. I felt probablly as horrible as you did breaking all your mom's stuff. I didn't know ANYONE at the wedding beside my (now) wife.


I was at a party at a friend's house after he graduated high school (way back when). The room was noisy and loud with people talking, music playing, and video cameras rolling. At the same moment I leaned over to my wife-at-the-time to tell her I had to go "poop," there was one of those rare moments when the music stopped playing and all conversations lulled, resulting in my confession being the only audible sound. And of course it was on video. I sheepishly went off to the bathroom with everyone watching and laughing at me. After doing my business, I flushed. Only it didn't flush. Instead, the toilet overflowed. Water and my business ran all over the bathroom floor and down the hallway. I was mortified. They had to pull up and replace all the carpet in the hallway.

I hope that old VHS tape was destroyed or never converted to digital. Otherwise I may be the next viral youtube.


i dont think i've broken anything other than a random plate or glass, but i have a story about my buddy breaking something of mine. My mom use to work for an auction company. the company she worked for would auction off estate's and take a cut of the the final profit. At some point, the company was working to sell the estate of a relative of the one and only Burt Reynolds. i dont remember exactly how she was related, i think maybe an aunt or cousin but i cant remember. either way, apparently Burt came to visit from time to time, and liked to play cards. he had a nice card table at the house, as well as a bunch of random "man cave" type goodies. i play poker, so my mom wanted to get me the card table, but it went for way more than she could spend. but she did end up getting me a nice crystal whiskey decanter, with a really cool crystal glass that fit over the top. according to the relative, it belonged to Burt and he used it when at the house. Cont....


cont... so my idiot friend comes over one night and we're in my room trying to decide what to do for the night. i tell him about my decanter, and he picks it up to inspect it. he throws it up in the air, intending to freak me out and catch it last minute. he misses it. it shatters. i yell and cuss and force him to vacuum it up. when everything is said and done he looks at me and goes "well, at least you still have the glass" and as he says that he tosses it up and goes to catch it..... and misses. the glass shatters. this time i dont even say anything, i just go get the vacuum again, watch him vacuum my floor....again.... and have given him a hard time ever since. it really sucked losing a cool decanter that Burt Reynolds may or may not have used, but having something to hold over your best friend for the rest of his life probably makes it worth it..... maybe....


Oh wow, these stories range from down right hilarious to horrifying! When I was very little my cousin and I drew with crayons all over the outside of someone's RV, and our moms spent hours trying to scrub it off. Nothing worse than that has happened to me yet (although I'm sure now it will!), but I did have a friend screw up pretty bad. When we were in high school we were at a house party, and of course the kids throwing the party didn't own the house. She hops up on a sink (who knows why - maybe limited seating) and the sink completely falls out of the wall! Spraying water everywhere, it was horrible. I am ashamed to stay that we didn't stick around to see what happened, and to this day I bet no one really knows she did it since it was such chaos. Kids will be kids, right?


Toilets. Though only temporarily.


@eraten: Thanks, that was exceptionally kind. I am the host for our social group so I have had a lot of friends damage stuff at my house. It only annoys me when they think nothing of it. While I was at the grill cooking, one let her completely uncontrolled kids use my punching bag as a swing 2 or 3 at a time till the seam tore out and spilled the contents all over my then gravel yard. She didn't apologize or offer to help with the exhausting cleanup. She also let her kids destroy a portable DVD player she'd begged me to lend her for a trip to a dying relative's bedside. Another friend who shall never again be allowed to play with fire stoked my charcoal grill super hot and then closed it to keep in the heat and it melted the hinges. No apology, in fact he is proud of his manly fire-building skills. I tell him anyone can break stuff, the friend that fixed it is the one with manly skills. I tend to remember unapologetic destruction and forget the ones when people were sorry.


@belyndag: Give your mom a hug from me, and you take one, too. I have a house filled with breakable glass, including five (that's right, I said FIVE) display cases, and I wish you lived nearby. I could just give you some of the things. I have clear glass, of the type I see at the bottom of the case, and was just planning to put it on eBay (I've been planning to sell things on eBay since 2007, so don't hold your breath).


@shrdlu: Not all glass is created equal. I have a glass coffee table, and the week I got it I was hanging a picture and dropped a hammer from shoulder height on it and it just bounced off. I have a long, thin sheet of commercial window glass discarded when they were building a local Walmart (a friend who worked for Walmart claimed it for me from the construction trash heap) and I spent considerable effort trying to break it in half. I scored it with a glass cutter and then beat on it with a hammer, with a cinder block, then propped it against a cinder block and jumped up and down on it. It's still intact. Of course it and the table glass is tempered. But supposedly new glass is as hard as steel, but the older if gets and the more it's handled the more brittle it gets.


@moondrake: There are any number of kinds of glass, including the crystal that was broken in the picture above. Leaded crystal is very tough; normal may or may not be. I have pieces of very old glass that are fairly resistant to rough treatment, and others that would shatter with a breath.

Even within depression glass, there are varying grades. I only collect what is referred to as "elegant" glass, and it is often etched glass, so paper thin you wonder how it was even handled, much less etched. I've dropped carnival glass before, and not had even a nick on it (but I wouldn't like to try that as an experiment).

Tempered glass is tougher, yes, but I don't think I've ever seen that outside of flat panes of glass. Even new glass, when molded, shaped, or otherwise formed into art works, is still fragile.


@shrdlu: My Mom has three glass fronted curios in this room, along with a wall of built in bookcases. She doesn't read, so the "books" include an ancient set of 1960s encyclopedias and a shelf of kids books. The rest is what she calls "What Nots." One of the remaining curios houses her collection of angels, the other has some pretty figurines that seem to be related (an interesting shade of blue on each). In her breakfast area she has an old curio with odds and ends that came from family, including a lot of old Eastern Star items.

Then there is the (closed off) living room. I know that there is at least one open curio in there (it was mine I "loaned" to her about 30 years ago and can't get back). It is full of bells of all sorts and more assorted figurines. The worst collection is the huge set of coffee mugs of every kind taking up shelves along a long stretch of dining room wall. My sisters and I argue over who will HAVE to take these as an inheritance. Should have crashed THOSE!


My cousin's kid.

We were goofing around, I was in college and she was about 6, I reached out and she went down then she went to the ER with a large bleeding head wound. In the end nothing much other than some blood and a headache for her and nerves and heartache for me.


My 10 y.o. son knocked over a very heavy 18" cyrstal replica of a golf ball at a NYC "art gallery" (really an upscale store that called itself a gallery).........CRASH.....staff gathered around, all upset, waving their hands.....demanding payment of $2500. Hysteria. Owner comes out from back....."Things happen. Don't worry about it."


Cousins bed on our honeymoon.


@belyndag: It's not your fault.. it's the wood paneling's. There was only 1 factory that made that wood paneling that we've all seen.. the stuff you see in our Grandparent's house, our weird aunt's house, in the old library/Dr's office.. and every double- and single-wide trailer made from 1876 on.

The company that made the paneling was built on an ancient Indian burial ground - needless to say it's cursed. So don't blame yourself. Blame the paneling.


@drchops: LOL! This explains SOOOO much! I think I love you!


A huge antique mirror that my friends mom had brought over from Italy.
It was beautiful and MASSIVE with smoked beveled glass and a curly gold frame. It was easily 5 ft high and had been in her family for generations. It survived wars and being shipped thousands of miles across land and sea.
I was messing around with my friends pellet gun and shot it dead center. My friend covered for me and said he broke it whilie moving a chair, but I still feel terible about it and that was 30 + years ago.