Salt Was For Guests Only And Other Weird Rules People Had In Their House Growing Up
Please read the rules upon entering....
Rules aren't always made to broken, in fact in certain households breaking the rules can have some pretty severe consequences. And when you're growing you don't ask why, you just do. Who knows how parents come or heads of house come up with some ideas, hopefully it's to keep things in order and have no malicious intent. You have to wonder though how you made it all the way to college without going nuts.
Redditor u/alfred_the_whale wanted to know what odd things were required in certain homes in life by asking.... What's the weirdest rule you had in your home growing up?
50. False RepresentationGiphy
Wasn't allowed to wear pants (only skirts and dresses), wasn't allowed to listen to music, was told kissing before marriage was a sin, wasn't allowed to play video games. And before you ask, we were not Christian. We were Jewish (and not Hasidic). None of this was standard at our conservative synagogue. These were just the rules my parents enforced for some reason. Neither was raised this way at all.
Not mine, my wife's in fact, but her now deceased mother wouldn't let her or her siblings have any kind of sauce. Yeah no ketchup, mayo, mustard, fish sauce, gravy etc. Turning down all the meals at friends houses that included any kind of sauce. And an explanation was never given
48. I Don't Even Know Who I Am
I wasn't allowed to have friends outside my "season." I was born in the season of Buffalo, according to some Lakota Sioux spiritual beliefs. (There's Eagle, Coyote, Buffalo and Bear.) My mother would always inquire about my friends birthdays, and if their season wasn't compatible with mine, I wasn't allowed to be friends with them. This went on until I graduated high school and moved out.
20 years later, I found out she lied my whole life about (us) being part Lakota Sioux. That part of my genetic line is actually Creole.
47. War Never Changes
I wasn't allowed to have G.I. Joe action figures.
This was weird to me because my parents allowed me to have most other 80's toys (He-Man, Transformers, Battle Beasts, M.A.S.K., etc.), which all had various weapons and whatnot to go with them. I was also allowed to have toy swords and guns, and one of those guns was realistic enough to have gotten me in trouble at school when I brought it as part of my Terminator costume. But no G.I. Joes.
I think I asked why once, because I was allowed to watch the cartoon and DID ask for them. I think my mom's response was "I don't want you having them because they promote war."
46. Slang Ban
We weren't allowed to use the phrase "spin out" or any variation of it. This was the number one slang expression for our city in the mid-late 80s and we used it constantly. My mother banned it because "it doesn't mean anything". I remember being outraged by this great injustice, but now I have a 12 year old in my house saying "yeet" and "skrt skrt" constantly and I see where my mother was coming from.
We also weren't allowed to eat Kentucky Fried chicken because apparently it was made from diseased chickens with the diseased parts cut off. Couldn't go to birthday parties there or anything. I still feel weird and guilty if I have KFC. MacDonald's, Pizza Hut etc were fine though so it wasn't a tactic to try to turn us off fast food.
45. It's For Show
In our house growing up we weren't allowed to eat something that my mum had just bought from the shops, there was an unspecified cooling off time where you weren't allowed to touch it. If you did, she would say "I've just bought that, you can't eat it!"
Only now typing that out do I realise that's pretty weird.
44. Wicked Stepcarpet
Step mom wouldn't allow my brother and I to go into the living room no matter what because that's where the "nice carpeting" was. Her kids were allowed to go into the living room, just not my brother and I because "we were older and dirtier so we would easily stain the carpet". Only took our Dad two years to convince her to let us in the living room, under supervision.
That rule then changed to my brother and I not being able to sit on the leather couch because we would put holes in the leather by sitting on it. What made this rule hilarious to me is that the big screen TV they had was that kind of projector big screen TV where you had to be eye level with the screen to see anything otherwise you couldn't see anything. If my brother and I wanted to watch the "Family Night" movie, we had two options. We could either stand in the living room and watch it, or sit on the dinning room chairs IN THE DINNING ROOM because the chairs would ruin the carpet if they were in the living room.
43. Ahead Of Schedule
My mom demanded all clocks had to be set ahead by fifteen minutes in our household. So if a clock showed 12:15, the real time would be 12:00.
I have never understood the reason for that, but we got some weird looks from guests because of it.
42. Euphemistic Life And Death
I wasn't allowed to say I died in a video game. I had to say I "lost a turn," instead.
I remember being baffled by the idea that Mario could literally drown in front of my eyes, but I wasn't allowed to say what obviously just happened.
41. A Swear Jar, But Crueler
My mom had something she called the Saturday Box. If we ever left our stuff out in the common areas, she would confiscate it and put it in the Box, where it had to stay until Saturday. When Saturday finally rolled around, we had to pay to get each item out.
40. And The Word Is "No"Giphy
A few. Was not allowed to eat between meals. My sister and I were not allowed to take naps. Parents could though.
Also no breakfast foods for lunch or dinner unless it was a night my mom made pancakes for dinner. Which I couldn't eat. I was made too and then would not be able to leave the bathroom the whole night.
Trust me when I got to college I LOVED eating cereal at 10pm. I used to sneak in the pantry and eat in the dark but you cant sneak a bowl of cereal.
My kids will definitely not have these rules.
39. Peace ALL The Way Out
When I was eight years old and went to visit my dad and stepmother during summer break, I had to be out of the house before my stepmother woke up and was not allowed to return until after lunch on the days my dad worked. I would instead leave all day, so be gone from 8:00 until 5:00 when I knew my dad would be home.
38. Emotions Like Mariah
Forbidden to make any noise whatsoever or show any emotion. If we asked to listen to a different radio station in the car -- threat of violence. If we asked to roll down a window while two adults chainsmoked in the car -- threat of violence. If we voiced an opinion about what to watch on the family's one TV set -- threat of violence. Opinion on what's for supper? Threat of violence.
I learned to never speak or give any opinions, ever. The only way to avoid being screamed at and struck was to behave as if I didn't exist. Adult life has been rather unsuccessful as a result. Sorry. Guess I needed to get that off my chest.
It wasn't all bad. There were two exceptions to the above, Xmas and birthday. The parents must have known they couldn't totally oppress children on those days.
What my parents got for making it clear they didn't want a son, was to lose the son. I was about 22 when I realized I didn't have to spend any time with them. It has been a long time since they've heard from me. I found out my mom died by doing a routine google search and finding her obituary. My reaction ... wait for it ... no reaction, as taught.
37. This Is what We Call A Phobia, Kids
Couldn't leave the house until mom made sure everything was powered off. Literally checking anything with a power cord or wall socket. & most of the appliances & sockets hadn't been used in years, yet she still had to check. Usually took us 30 minutes to leave because of it.
36. Sometimes Rules Need Conditions
My mom saw some TV psychologist talk about limiting children's screen time, so for about 6 months I was not allowed to use a TV, game boy, computer, or anything electronic between the hours of 3 and 8 on weekdays. I was about 11 or 12 at the time
She gave up on this eventually because this made me have to stay up until 1 am to get my work done because I needed the computer to work.
35. Cherish This
There were a few movies that we were only allowed to watch once per year. We watched them at Christmas time, and would get in trouble if we watched them at any other time of year. They weren't even Christmas movies (example, one was The Wizard Of Oz), my dad just didn't want us to get sick of them, so they had to stay "special."
34. Sing A Song Of Sixpence
No singing at the dinner table was our big one. My sister and I would never stop singing, we thought that was a rule everyone had at their house until pretty late in our childhoods.
33. But I Have A Home
My mom wouldn't let me wear anything camouflage. I asked her why and she said it was "too aggressive". She also wouldn't let me wear anything with even a slight stain on it, because she said it made me look homeless.
32. Late Dinner And A Movie
No TV. This was the '80s. We finally got a terrible, tiny black and white TV when i was maybe, 12 ish. The only thing I could watch without ruthless mocking was the original Star Trek if there happened to be reruns. I can recite them by heart to this day. I was sooooo pop culture illiterate, it was unreal. I had no idea what Saturday Night Live was, or MTV or anything.
In retrospect I think my dad just hated everything and especially loud noises. I did learn to love reading tho.
Oh, and also dinner was between 10 PM to midnight. I was a night owl also, from babyhood, so this wasn't the worst thing for me but I do remember being woken up to come eat many times. My father just preferred it that way so that's how it was.
31. LARPed Myself Into A Hole
1. My parents listened to a guy in Sunday school who told them about the evils of D&D and all RPG's. They came home and made us get rid of Might and Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum. They actually bought us another game to replace it. This was around 1988 and the guy actually told them about LARPing destroying his life.
2. We had to answer the phone with our last name followed by residence. Pretend our last name was Mahaloth. We picked up the phone "Mahaloth Residence".
30. Always In The DarkGiphy
No lights. My mother suffered from migraines and couldn't tolerate light so the house was shrouded in darkness. We used candles and kerosene lanterns.
Now I literally turn on every single light in my house every morning just to get my day started. I still crave light after all this time. It hurts me not to have it.
29. Morbid Caution
In order to go anywhere overnight, rather it be a sleepover, or camping trip. I had to have my mother's name, address, and phone number written in permanent marker on my back.... in case my body showed up somewhere.
I wasn't allowed to say "y'all". I was living in Arkansas, but my mom didn't want us to sound southern (I wasn't born in Arkansas and neither were my parents). She also thought it would make my sister and I sound uneducated.
We ended up living in Arkansas for 9 years and Texas for 5 years. My sister and I don't have a southern accent, but we do say "y'all" quite often now.
27. Car Mode: Elite
We all had to meticulously record in a ledger every penny spent on our family cars: gas, oil changes (which we did ourselves), alignments, etc. Each ledger was kept in the glove box. Each entry had to include the date, the mileage, price per gallon (gas) or price per quart (oil) or some other description of what was being purchased, total cost, and a few other things I'm sure I've forgotten.
This was super embarrassing if I had to get gas with HS or college friends in my car. I was teased about it. However, I always assumed my Dad had some impressive spreadsheet with which he was tracking...something. Years later, after I bought my own car, I asked my Dad what he did with all of that data, he said, "Not much, really. Occasionally, I'd look to see what kind of gas mileage the cars were getting." 🤦🏻♂️
26. Practice In The Shed
My dad insisted I take up a musical instrument when they were first offered in 4th grade, but then demanded that I never practice at home until I got better because he didn't want to hear bad music.
25. Good For Very Very Bad
Every last Friday of the month my mom would make us stay home from school and play video games as a family. Didn't matter what was happening at school, test or whatnot, it was a rule and a tradition. She'd watch us play Sega or Nintendo games and make us these extravagant lunches. As a kid I always thought it was awesome and I look back on those days fondly.
Unfortunately it was for a darker reason. My dad was overly strict and pretty abusive, although I love the man unconditionally, he was also abusive to my mom and very controlling. Thing was he had a good job and was off on the weekends, and us kids obviously were at school all week. My mom made the rule so that she could spend a day with us, having fun and being together without my dad there instigating a massive fight or beating us kids because there were vacuum lines on the carpet. It was the only real time my mom got to spend alone without my dad there, aside from summer vacations. I didn't realize it at the time but to this day I don't think we missed a single last Friday, she would have never allowed it.
24. Awww...But Wishbone!
My mom didn't let me watch Wishbone because in one episode she walked in and they were burning a witch and she didn't want me to watch a terribly violent and disgusting show while I was so young.
23. Spiritual Tones
Not allowed to whistle at night. Was told that you'd hear one back from someone who isn't there.
Clarification: My mother is Native American, so we have a few superstitions like that. House isn't haunted. Parents aren't schizo. Just mild superstition.
22. Nom Nom Nom
We were told to bite hands and arms at the dinner table if the person reached past or over your plate for something instead of asking for it to be passed to them. But...GET YOUR ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE!!
21. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
My mom had me believing the Great Pumpkin existed and I could only pick 10 candies and the rest had to be given to the Great Pumpkin. In reality, the Great Pumpkin was my dad's cubicle.
20. Keep it bland....Giphy
Salt was for guests only. The actual use of spices was very very looked down on and seen as a huge insult to my mom and dad even though they were absolutely horrid cooks. Ticliff
19. Every other dog....
My dad made up a rule to stop my big brother from asking about getting a dog every ten seconds. We had neighbors on both sides who had dogs, so the rule was that only every other house could have a dog. My brother believed it for a long time. TwinLinds
18. Stand Erect!
I couldn't recline or lay my body down AT ALL if my boyfriend was over. My mom thought that me laying down would give them "thoughts" so I couldn't do it. Once I put my feet up on the couch while my FIANCÉ was over and my mom got pissed and thought I was trying to turn him on.
I also changed into sweatpants from jeans once because I was going to watch a movie with my boyfriend and she thought I changed to give him "better access." I was just uncomfortable in jeans.
Also, no sailor moon, avatar, fairly odd parents, Harry Potter, anything with magic or witchcraft. Also never celebrated Halloween and never trick or treated. OverallDisaster
17. Only Unsweet Tea....
I wasn't allowed to put sugar in my tea because my mum told me that when you go to prison they don't let you have sugar, so it will makes prison that much harder.
- Thanks for having so much faith in me mum.
- I'm pretty sure you are allowed sugar for your tea in prison. Griff-Man17
16. Lightning Crashes....Giphy
My grandmother said not to poop during a lightning storm because a bolt of lightning might strike the pipe and electrocute me. pavlovs_bog
15. Eating Buns.
My dad had diverticulosis (pockets in the intestine) and couldn't eat sesame seeds (among other things). When we would eat fast food sandwiches, everyone had to give their bottom buns to Dad, in exchange for his top buns. So all my life I grew up eating burgers with 2 top, seeded buns.
This was never explained, and it was from before I born, so it was literally when I was in college that I realized that it wasn't normal. I thought it was just Dad-Privilege TM to have 2 bottom buns. LtheDutch
14. Pizza What?
At my friend's house they had a "no pizza-balling" rule.
There were 3 teenage brothers and when they ordered pizzas (at least a couple larges), tempers flared quickly when people would try to grab as many slices as they could.
The first rule in place was that you couldn't have more than one slice at a time, and you could grab another once you had the last bite in your mouth. But one of the brothers quickly figured it out that if you ball up a slice he could fit it in his mouth and grab another one. Hence, no pizza-balling. tokyokish
13. But it's MY $$$!!
I could only buy things if I was buying them for a birthday or Christmas gift for somebody else. Mind you, this was my own money I earned from my job. My mom knew how long it took to get home from school, so if I stopped at the store, she knew and I'd be in trouble. melindseyme
12. Hush. I'm watching my stories!
Bedtime was 7pm until I was in my teens. I didn't realize other kids had much later bedtime until I was a teenager. I think it was mostly because my mum's favorite soapy comes on at 7pm. We were noisy kids. Daddyssillypuppy
"Dad, it's only 8pm"
"I didn't ask what time it was. Go to bed" jfox73
No pooping or peeing within the hours of 2:00 to 4:00 am, not sure if they had a reason, but it was always so random. They just always told me not too. ColesFinsta
10. So Severe....
My parents acted like referring to them as "he" or "she" while they were in the room was the equivalent of saying "f**k you." So referring to my parents with pronouns was effectively not allowed. gentrifiedavocado
9. Life Lessons....
No violent video games unless they were about history. therealmacter
I talked my mother into incorporating Age of Empires into my homeschool history class because it was "educational." Korncakes
8. Use the Side....
We were not allowed to use the front door. Ever. There was a metal screen on it with a deadbolt that needed a key for either side... my step dad kept the key and even visitors had to go to the back through the side gate.
Edit: My step dad told us only cops use the front door. Anyone who came to the front was automatically suspect to him. We were too NEVER answer the door to strangers for this reason. All of our friends/visitors were to go through the back. Alices-Nightmares
7. Sing Out Louise....Giphy
No singing at the dinner table. This rule was frequently broken. Our parents thought it detracted from meaningful conversation and family bonding time, but I think it ended up actually enhancing my relationships with my siblings. lightlySaltedGuy
6. Feed Me....
I should never ask what's for lunch/ dinner. Elviikk
That's actually quite funny, whenever my parents asked me what I wanted for dinner I would always say food. They stopped asking me what I wanted to eat when I said it in front of some guests, which made it seem like they didn't feed me. Squady97
5. Finding Comfort.
Wasn't me but my neighbor. When my dad would would come home from work my friend would have to go home. His parents told him that because that meant it was dinnertime and therefore he should come home. Him being a child, didn't grasp that portion of the rule, he only understood come home when my dad gets home. This translated in my friend being terrified of my father. If he saw my dad turning into the driveway, he would drop whatever we we're doing and sprint home. If my dad would make it home and get out of the car, he would cry and run home. Somehow in his head, my father was bad.
It took some time before my friend was comfortable around my father. Not_all_aware
4. Stay Out!
My father woke up at anywhere between 10 and 12 every day. Immediately upon waking, he would stumble to the bathroom, where he would spend 45 to 75 minutes coughing mucus out of his lungs and spitting it into the sink. He had advanced emphysema because of his decades-long smoking habit. During this time, no one was to talk to him, look at him, or interact with him in any way beyond bringing him crappy instant coffee.
I learned this lesson the hard way the first week after my mother married him, because I had to pee, so I opened the door and was immediately confronted with a 38 year-old 400 lb man in nothing but his underwear, red-faced and screaming at me to get the hell out of the bathroom. Ourobius
3. Knock... Knock...Giphy
"Don't lock the bathroom door!"
... "why not?"
"Because you don't need to!"
... "Lady, I need my privacy." DEPRESSED_RAINBOW
2. Just 1!
We were only allowed 1 towel a week. We could do whatever we wanted with it, but we didn't get another until next week. Reddit
This was a test. You were supposed to weaponize your towel and take your siblings towels, becoming the towel god. How do you live with being such a disappointment? KJBenson
1. Stay Humble.
We weren't allowed to say "I am the best" or "I am the greatest!" My dad grew up in a competitive household. SomeCrazyGarbage
I went to private Christian school and some kids told me they got in trouble at home if they said something was awesome. "Only God is awesome," they'd be told. Mahaloth
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.