You're in my house, you follow my rules. Well, okay....as long as your rules aren't TOTALLY inane.
We all had a friend growing up whose house we dreaded hanging out at. Why? ...Because their parents had some crazy rules. And if you didn't have that friend...you were that friend.
Here were some of the answers.
Major MIL Drama
My MIL has some major issues.
- There is a room just as you walk in the house that is completely off limits. It's vacuumed constantly and is a picturesque pink frilly sitting room, pink carpets, etc. Think Dolores Umbrage. My parents brought their dog over once (who is a fantastic chill dog) and she put a paw on the carpet and my MIL almost had an aneurysm.
- When my husband was growing up, he and his 2 brothers had 1 hour of screen time a day. TV, video games, whatever, 1 hour.
- 1 bath a week. If you had more than that you got screamed at. The brothers would end up showering at a friend's house. I had to basically train my husband out of that one.
- If you had too much fun doing something, they wouldn't let you do it anymore. It made my husband very good at lying and also very obsessive about things he enjoyed. Or, if you had too much fun in a weekend you weren't allowed to do something fun later in the weekend. I.e. visiting a friend's house on Saturday, weren't allowed to do anything on Sunday except clean or do yard work.
- Not allowed to argue with parents. Mom has a personality disorder and constantly lies. Dad always backs her up. She will lie about what the boys were doing and say they were breaking a rule when they weren't and they couldn't argue. (This rule is literally pinned to their wall)
- They have to get the parents cards for birthdays etc. But the cards are not allowed to be hand made because it's "cheap." This rule persists.
- Have to take pictures every Sunday before going to church, in the church outfits. There are hundreds of pictures of this, in the same spot in the house.
There are other rules I literally can't remember/pick out of the piles of abuse.
My husband and his brothers have grown up very well adjusted and sane based on this mess.
My friend David was a tough guy... which was all the more cool that he chose to hang out with a scrawny nerd like me.
We went back to his house, once (and only once)... which was literally 4 houses down the street from me.
It was a small, normal house, with a small comfortable living room.
When I plopped into the big easy chair, David went white as a ghost.
"that's my dad's chair." (pause)
"no one's allowed to sit there." (pause)
"if he sees you in his chair, he'll bring the belt."
Well, I was a small kid, but even I knew that some other person's parent wasn't going to be allowed to beat the shit out of ME with his belt. So I said, nonchalantly, "so what? He can't hit me."
My tough guy friend (and, truth be told, a bit of a bully to other kids) just got paler and paler.
Then he said (very quietly)
"he might not wallop you. but he'll wallop me instead."
I hopped off that chair like a shot.
And learned a sh*tload that day.
One of my friends mother had some borderline obsessive rules. No walking on the carpets. You must remain on the strips of clear plastic carpet protectors instead, which were arranged to create walkways round the house. Guests must wear slippers, there were spares if you didn't bring your own. The leather sofas must remain completely covered in sheets to protect them. Even the dog was expected to follow these carpet protector paths and was constantly being told off for stepping off them.
I understand wanting to keep your carpets and furniture nice but this was crazy. You couldn't even see them under all this ugly protective stuff. Plus I nearly fell down the stairs wearing oversized slippers and tripping on this protective plastic mat that was draped down the staircase. I was also constantly getting in trouble for not following the correct route around the room and instead walking straight to where I wanted to be. She would literally check for footprints on the carpet.
It's Rude To Stair
Had a babysitter when I was about 8 and my sister was 5. The rule was all day we had to sit on the stairs. No couch, no kitchen table, nothing literally had to stay on the stairs the whole day (which was pretty f*cking uncomfortable even to my 8 year old body) and me and my sister were pretty well behaved so we did it without much question. When my mom would come pick us up and started talking for what seemed like forever, of course, we would get to sit on the couch. only years later did I realize how weird and sh*tty that was.
I'm a medic, so we go into people's homes every day. We had a cardiac arrest, so we were working a man, and the wife was having a fit about the mess we were making.
Yes, there was some garbage from the pads, needles, meds, but we put all of it into our jump bag.
She was screaming at us about it. I told her that her husband was very sick and we were doing everything we could to help. She said she didn't care if he died as long as we didn't make a mess.
My grandparents had a very specific order that food should be eaten. We're a big English family and tea would be served at 5pm or so, after lunch at 1pm. Plates and dishes would be placed on the dining room table all at once, but, could only be consumed in the correct order. Sandwiches first, then sausage rolls/assorted savouries, then sweet foods. It's only so strange, because after my generation (16 of us) my grandmother now couldn't give less of a shit, and all the rules are out of the window, especially for great grandchildren and our spouses. We're just pretty bitter that we would get such a telling off for eating a sausage roll before a sandwich, since now apparently you can have chocolate biscuits before 2pm. Anarchy.
Sheets And Incidents
So a few years back I was at a party and they home owner had a list of house rules on a chalk board. The one that sort of made me doubletake was "Overnight guests are asked not to masturbate."
I was a little confused, I mean nobody wants to think of someone else jerking it in their home, in their sheets, but that seems a little weird. Was there an incident that incited this?
Rules Rules Rules
I was in a foster home from ages 5 to 7. They were religious and the rules were as follows: women couldn't cut their hair, wear short sleeves after 5 years of age, could only wear dresses and nightgowns (even when swimming on vacation), and nobody could enter the home if wearing shorts. Pants were fine. The upside was the whole family ate dinner together every night and there was always dessert. As a kid coming from a home where food was not aplenty, I thought it was wonderful. I've stayed in touch over the years and went to the moms 80th birthday party last summer. Lots of people were there in shorts, so the rules have obviously been relaxed over the years. One daughter even had hair a little below her shoulders, so that rule isn't enforced, either.
The Garage PartyGiphy
She wouldn't actually let us into the house.
She threw a housewarming party and we were all excited about attending, but instead she herded us all into her garage and locked us in there. There was a door in the garage that led into the kitchen that she would only unlock if someone wanted the bathroom. She would then escort the person to the toilet and stand outside the door until they were done, take them back to the garage and lock the door again. The garage was empty as well. Not even so much as a deck chair or box to sit on.
The guests did not stay long. I left in under an hour and the rest not long after. She was offended after she put so much "effort" into having us over.
Chores For Play
Anytime I was over at their house and we would go outside and play, I would have to knock on the door each time to come back in, even if I had been there for a while or if I had just walked in with their kid.
Their mother kept tabs on exactly how much I ate or drank while I was there and expected me to work for whatever they had given me.
I had accidentally left something by the door and I realized after I got a few steps away from their porch so I just opened the door and reached in to grab it. Her mother grabbed my arm and jerked me back into the house and screamed how I was a guest at their house and that I was to always knock before entering, how I was a rude child, she didn't care that I was just there and what I grabbed was mine etc. I had known this woman my entire life. We lived in the same neighborhood, she knew all of my extended family and treated me like I was some stranger.
That was my last day playing over there.
Not The Nirvana Tape!
I went to a private Christian school, which was actually a pretty great place for me and much better than the public schools I attended before that. But there were always a couple of super strict parents around school.
I never went to his house or talked to his parents, but this one kid came to school super tired one day with a horrible case of bed-head, wearing the same clothes he wore the day before. He said his parents found the Nirvana tape (this was the late 90's) he borrowed from one of the potheads at school and made him sleep in the back yard in a tent. He had to dig a hole to pis/shit in and he had to eat back there as well (they did bring him food, though). They weren't going to have their son listening to that devil music. I think he was in the back yard for a couple of weeks.
Really, Brenda? A Fire Drill?Giphy
I had a friend who's mother ran a daycare when we were 6 or 7. On having a play date at the house - she made us enact a fire drill. We had to crawl down the stairs on our bellies, with a wet towel over our heads while she screamed at us. There was some other stuff too. His older brother got wrapped in a duvet and dropped out of a first floor window. At the time I though it was awesome, but I told my Mother on returning home and wasn't allowed to play there again.
Modern Family, But Without The Modern
I was dating a girl just after high school, her family was one of those families, Modern Family type get-together-seven-nights-a-week families.
Went to her house for a weekend, I wasn't allowed to go smoke, because that would mean I'd be away from the group for too long.
I went to the toilet and I had been gone for like 4 minutes when I heard a little search party looking for me.
Wasn't allowed to go to bed when I was tired, it was like 2am.
Wasn't allowed to go into town (to wander around alone) on Saturday morning.
We spent the whole weekend together, like every minute.
Just Call Her Lady Tremaine
A friend of mine had a SUPER mean and strict step mother. Here are a few "rules" I can remember from her house.
She had to make her bed everyday, but the dust ruffle had to be so many inches from the floor and even around the bed. The sheets and comforter had to be done just so. If it wasn't she would come in and rip them all off the bed and make my friend redo it.
We were only allowed to play with one item at a time. For instance, if we wanted to play Barbies, we each were only allowed to take one out of the box at a time. If we wanted to switch out-say a child doll or a Ken doll, the Barbie had to get put back into the box.
They had phones in every room. The only phone I was ever allowed to use was in the creepy basement. Also we were only allowed to use the bathroom in the creepy basement which sucked since there was one right next to my friends room.
Last i can remember is that she was only allowed to have 1 friend allowed to play in the house. She was allowed to have 2 friends play in the backyard. Never anymore than two.
I AM The Island Of Misfit ToysGiphy
At one of my ex-girlfriend's house on Christmas day, both myself and my girlfriend's sister's boyfriend were told to go down into the basement while the rest of their (extended and immediate) family opened presents. I had never met this guy before and we were the only two people down there, all because the older members of the family didn't want "outsiders" to see what they had bought their relatives (did they think we were going to steal something?). There were something like 35 people in the house, so while I thought we would only be shunned for a few minutes, we ended up staying in the basement for TWO HOURS before my girlfriend called us back upstairs. Apparently the guy I was stranded with had been there for multiple Christmas celebrations, and was usually told to just go sit by himself. This was a normal thing for this family.
Joke's on them, though - I had a much better time playing pool with the guy than I ever would have interacting with their family, who I came to discover over time were really bitter, uncaring people.
The TP Struggle
A friend I visited a few times when I was a kid had really strange parents. One weird thing was when my mum called his mum to arrange a time, his mum said that she'd like it if I brought a shirt I'd already worn to their house. She said they had a rescue dog that lost its sh*t around new people and would keep it in the bathroom for my first visit, then put my shirt in its bed so it got used to my scent for next time. I f*cking did it too. Dog still went nuts.
There were wacky bathroom rules, like if I had to go she'd say "one or two?" Then she would carefully count the number of squares and hand it to me. This was particularly embarrassing since I had a little crush on my friend and he was always there to see me say what I had to do. It was never enough, I always, always ended up poking a finger through the TP and they never had soap! I had to wash my fucking hands with shampoo, once it was dog shampoo.
Lol I hated it there.