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Old Wives' Tales People Still Believe For Some Reason

"Reddit user the_spring_goddess asked: 'What is an old wives tale that people still believe?'"

Close up of an owl tilting their head to side, looking bewildered
Photo by Josh Mills

The old wives' tales.

They are the stories of legend.

I think we all need a big DEEP Google dive though.

Where did they originate?

WHO ARE THE OLD WIVES!

You don't hear about them as much anymore.

It's like science and logic are suddenly a thing.

But they sure are a good way to keep your kids and their behavior in line.

Redditor the_spring_goddess wanted to discuss the tall tales we've all been fed through life, so they asked:

"What is an old wives tale that people still believe?"

"Wait an hour to swim after eating."

What a crock!

So many summer hours wasted.

I want revenge for that one.

Say Nothing

Giphy

"An undercover cop has to tell you he's a cop if you ask him."

LonelyMail5115

"Pretty much most advice when it comes to cops are old wives tales. I’m not even a cop but most of the advice you hear is pretty off."

I_AM_AN_A**HOLE_AMA

Say Something

"That you have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing."

Severe_Airport1426

"I really think this one is important and should be the top regardless. As it’s a piece of advice that needs to be relearned and the only way to do that is through awareness."

crappycurtains

"This used to be true. I think they changed it after some guy named Brandon went missing back in the '80s or '70s. You used to have to wait 24 hours if the missing person was an adult because they had 'a right to be missing' and then everyone realized that was stupid and stopped doing it."

AlbinoShavedGorilla

Body Temps

"That drinking ice cold water after eating oily foods will solidify the oil and permanently remain in your body. I informed my coworker that if your body temperature ever reached that point, you’d have bigger problems than weight gain."

chriseo22

"Oh, I have a cousin who 100% believed this. One of those guys who believed every early 2000s internet rumor and old wives tale. One night I chugged a big glass of ice water after dinner and he started freaking out and saying my guts were gonna harden."

"I sarcastically told him to drive me to the hospital if that happened. Obviously, nothing happened and the next morning I said something like 'Thanks for being on standby in case my guts filled with hardened oil.' He just walked off muttering under his breath."

apocalypticradish

Arms Down

"When I was pregnant, I was told by young and old alike that I should NOT raise my arms above my head or exert myself in such a manner because it could cause cord strangulation to my unborn sons and daughters."

Fatmouse84

10 Years Actually

Unimpressed Uh Huh GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy

"Chewing gum stays in your stomach for 7 years."

REDDIT

"I remember accidentally swallowing a piece of gum when I was a kid in like 1995 and just accepting my fate like welp, gonna have this in my stomach til high school I guess."

Gecko-911

I was so afraid to sallow my gum when I was young.

This tale is haunting.

High/Low

Hungry Debra Messing GIF by Will & GraceGiphy

"You can tell the sex of the baby by how you carry."

LeastFormal9366

"Pregnancy certainly wins awards for the most old wives tales. So much absolute BS was repeated to us by everyone we talked to."

IllIIIlIllIlIIlIllI

The Cursed

"If you’re a woman and you wear opal jewelry but opal is not your birthstone (October), you’ll never be able to have children, or will be widowed, or just generally have bad luck or something. You can counteract this by having a diamond in the same piece of jewelry as the opal, though."

"I have a nice opal ring that my parents gave me years ago, and I’ve had other women give me this 'advice' unprompted more than once when I’ve worn it. I have absolutely no idea where it started, but I’m pretty sure this little chunk of silicate rock has no concept of what month I was born in, let alone of how my reproductive organs work."

SmoreOfBabylon

Stay In

"Going outside with wet hair will make you get pneumonia. Or an earache. Or maybe arthritis. Depends on which old wife you listen to."

"Jokes on them - I haven't blow-dried my hair in decades and usually leave the house with wet hair in the morning. On winter mornings, the tips of my hair get frozen. No ear infections or pneumonia or arthritis yet."

worldbound0514

Dreams and Facts

"You never make anyone up in your dreams you've seen everyone in your dreams somewhere else before and never make anyone up entirely."

"How would you possibly prove that to be true? My partner adamantly believes this and tells me this 'fact' whenever I have a dream about someone I've never met before."

mattshonestreddit

"My late wife used to tell me that before she met me she would have dreams of standing at an alter on her wedding day but could never see the guy's face, no matter how hard she tried. After meeting me the face was filled in with mine. Don't know if it's true but one of those things I like thinking of every now and then when I miss her."

Darthdemented

Cracked

Getting Ready Episode 2 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"Some people still believe cracking knuckles causes arthritis."

Choice-Grapefruit-44

"There's a doctor (Donald Unger) that cracked his knuckles a couple of times a day for 60 years, but only on one hand, just to prove it. Both hands remained exactly the same."

MacyTmcterry

I love my knuckles.

Do you have any tall tales to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

People Who Wouldn't Quit Their Job If They Won The Lottery Explain What They Do

Reddit user BITE_AU_CHOCOLAT asked: 'People who wouldn't quit their job even if you won the lottery, what's your job?'

lottery tickets
Erik Mclean on Unsplash

A lot of workers daydream about some day winning the lottery and being able to say goodbye to their job.

Far too many workers are unhappy with their job duties, workplace dynamics or company culture.

But with a taste for luxuries like housing and food, they keep plugging away, year after year.

However not everyone feels that way about their job.

So what are these compelling careers?

Keep reading...Show less
Therapist talking during session
Photo by Mark Williams on Unsplash

Some people stand firmly stand behind their beliefs that everyone would benefit from therapy and that therapy is life-changing.

It's because of the totally life-changing truth bombs their therapist had dropped during their sessions.

Curious, Redditor anonymiss0018 asked:

"What is a little bombshell your therapist dropped in one of your sessions that completely changed your outlook?"

Communication Issues

"'If you don’t have these problems with any other person in your life, why do you think you’re the problematic person in this one?'"

- maggiebear

"I love this. I have a 'friend' who I always seem to run into misunderstandings with. Every time we had a conversation, it somehow turned into a debate even if it was me talking about my day. The conversations were never easy."

"I always evaluate myself first and take into consideration his critiques. He was very good at convincing me that I was contradicting myself or wasn't good at communicating my thoughts."

"I NEVER had this issue with ANYONE else in my life. I kept trying to figure out where the miscommunication was coming from. In the end, I just minimized contact and now I don't run into this issue."

- chobani_yo

"I read this quote somewhere once (and probably have it a bit wrong): 'It's a waste of time arguing with someone who is determined to misunderstand you.'"

- Reddit

Emotional Regulation

"'You can’t control your emotions, but you can control what you do with them.'"

"At the time, I was a young adult who had learned zero healthy emotional regulation skills (only suppression and shaming) growing up, so this blew my mind."

- lil_mermaid

Tough Relationships

"'It sounds to me like you are trying to convince yourself to stay with your girlfriend. I'm not so sure it should be so difficult.'"

"At the time he said this, I remember it was like he said, 'The earth is flat.' I thought he was crazy when he suggested relationships don't need to be difficult. But eventually, I started to realize I was trying to change myself to stay with this person rather than just being who I am."

"It took me three more months to finally break up with her but from that day on, I vowed to never again abandon myself just to be with someone I had convinced myself was better than me."

- metric88

High-Stress Situation

"I was at a high-stress time, and I asked her how people live like this."

"She replied, 'Oftentimes they have cardiac events.' She said it as an urging to care for myself as much as possible."

- KittenGr8r

The End of Alcohol

"I was struggling with my alcoholism, and we were discussing how I had been cutting back."

"She asked what I would consider success, with regard to my drinking."

"I said I wanted to get to a point where it wasn't interfering with my daily life. I wanted to just be able to have a glass of wine at holiday dinners or family gatherings."

"She simply asked me why. Why was it important for me to drink at those times?"

"It was as if she'd turned on a light. Alcohol had always been a key ingredient in every family function, for my entire life. When I smell bourbon, I think of my uncle. When I smell vermouth, I think of my dad. Alcohol ran through almost every happy childhood memory."

"But, even more than that, I was very afraid of the explanation I'd have to give when family and friends asked why I wasn't having a drink. I had tried to quit before but failed. What if I admitted my problem, only to fall off the wagon?"

"When she asked why I didn't want to completely quit, it was the first time I saw that last part of the big picture. I'd be willing to drink myself to death in order to avoid being scrutinized, or judged for possible future failures."

"That was the day I quit. I've been sober since May 6th, 2017. 2,407 days."

- sophies_wish

Acceptance vs. Enjoyment

"'Accepting something doesn’t mean you have to like it.'"

"That took away a lot of my inner conflicts about situations because I could accept a situation without expending energy internally fighting against the injustice of it."

- alibelloc

Emotionally Immature Parents

"You are not responsible for your parents' emotional wellbeing. They are independent adults who have been on this earth for many more years than you."

- SmokedPears

Not So Lazy

"'Why do you think you're lazy?' Then she listed off all the things she knows I'm doing for my family, my job, and my life."

"It kind of blew my mind when I struggled to come up with an example."

"She also described family dysfunction as water. Some families are messed up in a way that everyone can see the huge waves across the surface. Others are better at hiding it, but there's still a riptide that you can't see unless you're also in the water."

"It made me realize that trying to keep the surface from ever rippling doesn't erase what is happening underneath."

- flybyknight665

The Harm in People-Pleasing

"'Why do you make people more comfortable when you are uncomfortable?' when talking about people pleasing and fawning."

- ERsandwich

Agree to Disagree

"'Stop trying to get everyone to agree. When you need everyone to agree, the least agreeable person has all the power.'"

This really changed my outlook on planning family events."

- freef

Grieve and Start Anew

"For context, I had a major TBI (traumatic brain injury), seizures, strokes, and all around not a fun brain time when I was 28."

"They said, 'You have to grieve the loss of yourself.'"

"Most people wanted me to go back to how I was. The f**ked up truth is that part of my brain is dead. The person everyone (including myself) knew died. I needed to grieve the loss of myself."

- squeaktoy_la

Multifaceted Identity

"They told me that my job and career is just a way to make money; it's not my life or identity. That took a lot of pressure off me."

- unfairpegasus

Breaking the Cycle

"They validated me."

"'You always talk about not wanting to do to your daughters what your mom did to you. You worry about it so much in every interaction you have ever had with them."

"But your children are 19 and 21 now. They are happy and healthy and they trust you because you’ve never abused them in any way. So I just want to validate for you that you really have broken that cycle of violence."

"You did that. And you should be proud of it. I’m proud of you for it.'"

- puppsmcgee74

The Grieving Process

"I was constantly bringing up how I felt like a completely different person after my mom died... like there was a marked difference between before and after her death."

"But once, she was asking about my hobbies, I got really into describing all the things I loved to do or at least used to do before I got into a deep depression."

"She was like, 'Wow, you seem very passionate.'"

"And I just sat there like, 'Well, I mean, I can't change what I like to do, they're still fun to do.'"

"And it's like she knew when to take a step back, because it was like, wow, I may be super depressed about my mom passing, but I'm still me. I'm still my passions and those don't go away."

"I don't know, maybe it only makes sense to be, but it really started getting me back on track."

- Hannibal680

Sharing the Load

"I've never really had friends. I've had colleagues and classmates and housemates and people who have hung out with me, but I never really felt close to any of them."

"And I did that thing you see on here sometimes; I stopped reaching out to see if I would be reached out to, and I wasn't, which I took as confirmation that they didn't really want me around, or at the very least, that they wouldn't mind my absence."

"I was talking to my therapist about people I'd been close to in college, and she told me to pick one and talk about him. So I did. After I shared some basic stuff like his name and his major etc., and a couple of anecdotes, she asked me what else I knew about him."

"And I couldn't answer. It wasn't really a broadly applicable bombshell, but she said, 'What else?' and I started crying because I realized that for as simple as the question was, my inability to answer spoke volumes."

"I've never had good friends because I've never been a good friend. I'm withdrawn and reserved and I always made others do the work to drag me out, without ever extending my own friendship in a meaningful way in return. If I wanted to have meaningful relationships with other people, I would have to build them."

"I'm still working on this, but I'm trying to make more offers and extend more friendliness to others in my daily life."

- Backupusername

The discoveries in this thread were incredibly touching and profound; it's no wonder these were lasting concepts for these Redditors.

It's important to keep ourselves open to inspiration and insights from others, as we have no idea how their experiences could help us, or how we could help them.

Aerial view of a church in a small town
Sander Weeteling/Unsplash

There's something comforting about living in a small town.

It's characterized by close communities where neighbors know each other by name and there is an abundance of kindness extended to others.

Gift-giving is a commonality, as is the sharing of recipes, and people going out of their way to help each other in a time of need.

The pace of living in small towns is also a striking contradiction to city life, where crowds of people go about their busy lives without much interaction.

Curious to hear more examples of what small town living is like, Redditor official_biz asked:

"What's the most 'small town' thing you've witnessed?"

These are positive examples of a tight-knit community.

Live Updates

"We have a village Facebook page. Every time the ice cream man drives into the village, the entire page goes ballistic. People send live updates of where the van is and which direction he's heading. The ice cream man has started accepting DMs so he knows which streets to go down."

– PyrrhuraMolinae

Brush With The Law

"I’m from a town of less than 2,000 people. When I worked at the grocery store there people would often drop off stuff for my family members because they didn’t want to drive all the way down to our house. I no longer live there but recently got a call from my daughter. She had been stopped for speeding and handed over her license and insurance which happens to be in my mother’s name. The officer goes 'Hey, you’re Donnie’s granddaughter! I ain’t gonna write you a ticket but I’m telling Donnie when I see him tomorrow cause we’re going fishing.' She replied 'I think I’d rather have the ticket.'”

- Reddit

Roadside Catchup

"The traffic on the 'main street' of my town is so sparse, two drivers going opposite directions can stop and talk to each other for a few minutes without causing any problem."

– anon

When things go wrong, people take notice without incident.

Bank Robbery

"A guy robbed a bank and everyone knew immediately who he was and the teller got mad at him."

– AlexRyang

"A local bank was robbed and one of the tellers told the police to bring her a yearbook from about ten years earlier and she would be able to point the robber out. He had been in the grade before hers in school."

– Strict_Condition_632

Wise Woman

"When I worked at the bank in town there was an older lady that had worked there through 5 mergers."

"She knew everyone, there was a young guy yelling at me one day. She walked out of the back and he immediately quieted. She went off about telling his grandmother that he was treating young women like sh*t. She also said that if he didn’t straighten up not one girl in town would ever marry him she would make sure of it."

– ilurvekittens

Intoxicated Local

"Town drunk was paralyzed and used a motorized wheelchair to get around. I was driving home one Saturday night and said town drunk was passed out in his wheelchair doing circles almost directly in the town square. Had to call his brother who came and picked him up on a rollback truck. Strapped him down and drove off into the cold dark night."

– DoodooExplosion

Grazing Over To The Bar

"In my former small town, there was an older guy who'd lost his license after getting a few DUIs. Every day, he would ride his John Deere lawnmower to the corner bar around 3PM and sit around watching TV and sipping his beer well into the night. Then he'd head the couple miles back home on his mower. He even had a little canvass shell he put on when it rained or got too cold."

– brown_pleated_slacks

It's not surprising how small town people behave differently than those who are from metropolitan areas.

Welcoming Committee

"I lived in a small town. When I moved there, people would ask, 'Whose house did you buy?'"

–MoonieNine

"Move to a small town. 30 years later, you are still the new guy."

– impiousdrifter

"I lived in a small town for most of my childhood but I wasn't "from there" because my grandparents weren't from there."

– raisinghellwithtrees

"Worked with an older guy, relative of the owner of the business, he was 73. I asked him if he was a local, he said 'no his parents moved here when he was two.'"

– realneil

A Busy Day

"Lived in a town of about 5,000: A woman walked into the DMV on a Friday, saw that there were 3 people ahead of her and left to come back another time when they weren't so busy."

– KenmoreToast

Who Let The Dogs Out?

"My dogs got out while i was working. the police called my niece's elementary school (she was a 5th grader) to get her to round them up and take them back home."

– mediocrelpn

"There was a small kennel behind the police station for runaways. They called us saying they had our dog, and moments later our dog showed up home. He broke out of jail."

– Worried_Place_917

While life in a small town sounds appealing, I don't know if I can ever live in one.

I'm so used to life in big cities, I think it would be quite unnerving to adjust in a neighborhood where everyone literally knows your business.

I would be paranoid.

And I'm sure the same could be said of life in the big city.

Would you consider making the switch to life in a different setting?

Two women laughing
Photo by Dave George on Unsplash

Every now and then, a friend of ours might say something, or we might overhear a complete stranger say something that makes us stop in our tracks.

More often than not, what we can't believe we just heard is something so ridiculous, we can't help but put the person who said it in their place.

Other times, however, what we just heard might have stunned us silent because of how shockingly clever it was.

Resulting in our not wanting to scold or yell at someone, but rather give them a handshake.

Redditor SubmergingOriginal was curious to hear the sharpest and wittiest things they've ever heard, from friends and strangers alike, leading them to ask:

"Enough with the dumbest; what is the wittiest thing you've ever heard someone say?"

Don't Give Me So Much Credit...

'I was on a team at work that was on a project working insane overtime."

"One night after an 80-90 hour week, we were all sitting around the table trying to finish up so we could go home."

"Around 11, my buddy's wife called, dubious about the hours he'd been keeping."

"We heard her through the line - 'are you cheating on me?'"

"Exasperated, he looked at our boss, then replied 'honey, if I was cheating on you, I would have been home by now'."- lionbatcher

Eternal Optimism...

"Asked a blind guy if he'd been blind his whole life."

"He said 'Not yet'."- Feeling_Mode_6465

Free time Isn't The Only Thing He Has On His Hands...

"My brother got a vasectomy and when the doctor was releasing him and giving him instructions (with the nurse listening in), one of the orders was to 'come back and have a follow-up appointment after you’ve ejaculated 30 times'.”

"Without missing a beat my brother asked 'what time do you open tomorrow?'”

"The nurse couldn’t keep it together after hearing that."- UtahUtopia

Awkward Season 8 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

Double Whammy!

"My pal uses the phrase 'he doesn’t look strong enough to carry information' and it cracks me up every time."

"Calling someone stupid and weak in one fell swoop."- JennyW93

Can't Hide Your DNA...

'Whenever I jokingly insult my mum, she says 'that must be where you get it from'."

"She cracked the code."

"I can never offend her without offending myself."- JennyW93

Self-Sufficient!

"My brother was a line cook at a New Orleans restaurant."

"My mom was in town, staying at a fancy hotel, and he stopped by after work, still wearing his kitchen whites."

"He was reading a newspaper in the lobby waiting for her to come down when the shocked lobby manager sputtered at him, 'MAY I HELP YOU!?!?'

"He answered, 'thanks, but I know how to read',” and went back to his paper."- jobrody

Morph Current Affairs GIF by Aardman AnimationsGiphy

A Miracle!

"My brother-in-law’s comment."

"The entire family went out for my mother’s 80th birthday and after the meal we all went to a local park, largely occupied by the elderly, to rest."

"My mother needed crutches at this point, and they were resting against her bench."

"My 10-year-old niece, who looked like every starving waif image from Dickens, grabbed the crutches and started hobbling round the park."

"All the OAPs were following her progress with looks of pity until my brother ran up behind her, and kicked away the crutches."

"There was an audible gasp from round the park and then my niece picked the crutches back up and started chasing my brother, clearly intending to hit him."

"In the confused silence my brother-in-law’s voice rang out 'Praise be! She can walk again!'"

"We still think this was the highlight of the birthday celebrations."- DdraigGwyn

Still Legal, Whichever Way You Cut It...

"I picked up my pleasantly tipsy boyfriend from a nightclub."

"We were stopped by the Police for a random breath test."

"They asked me my age, and I said, 33."

"My bf blurted out '33? You told me you were 22'."

"Police just laughed and let me go."- Aggravating-Corgi379

Music Video Police GIF by Andrew W. K.Giphy

A Bit Too On The Nose?

"Business law class in college years ago, talking about the issues that black Americans had before the Civil Rights."

"Amendment, trying to travel through the south with the discrimination so rampant, trying to find restaurants to serve them and decent lodgings."

"My instructor was posing a hypothetical: 'So you pull up out front of this place, you're exhausted from driving for hours, and you see the sign out front says 'Ku Klux Klan Motel'."

"'What would you expect to find there?'"

"Without missing a beat, from the back of the room came this gem: "'Extra sheets in every room?'"- NedsAtomicDB

Not Yet, Anyway...

"I was working with my friend and his dad."

"My friend (26) heard an ice cream truck near where we were working."

"He asked his dad if he could have a couple dollars."

"His dad asked, 'what for?'"

"My friend told his dad that there was an ice cream truck in the neighborhood, and that they were playing music."

"My friends dad told him "'They don't charge anything to listen to the music'."- tatersalad1234567890

Words Escape You In The Literal "Heat" Of The Moment...

"A friend of mine is a teacher and her husband is known for his wit."

"She told this story to him:"

"One day at school a kid took the hall pass and returned reeking like smoke."

"She asked the kid if he’d been smoking and he denied it over and over."

"She was about to send him to the office when she noticed smoke coming from somewhere."

"She told the kid and he realized that he didn’t put his cig out completely and it was burning in his pants pocket."

"The kid noticed and frantically tried to put it out and someone finally poured water on it."

"Her husband sat listening to this with a weird look on his face."

"She asked him what was wrong."

“'What’s wrong???'"

"'This was probably the only chance you’ll have in your life to say literally, ‘liar,liar, pants on fire’ and you missed your chance'."- Luder714

On Fire No GIF by PEEKASSOGiphy

Amazing What You Might Say A Few Drinks In...

"When I went to a renaissance faire once, I went to a beer tent and ordered a Newcastle Brown Ale (seemed the most fitting for the surroundings)."

"The beer wench, without skipping a beat, said, 'Everyone wants a Newcastle - no one wants to remodel!'"- jayhof52

Read The Room People!

"My dad wiped out when skiing down a mountain and lost a ski."

"After a few minutes of hunting for it, he gives up, slings the one remaining ski over a shoulder and starts walking down the mountain in his ski boots."

"About half-way down, another skier stops and goes 'Gee! Did you lose a ski?'"

"My dad instantly replied 'No, I was out for a walk and found one!'"- PeterJoAl

There's a reason your mother always told you to "use your words".

As clever remarks can have a much more lasting effect on people than a push or shove.