Plenty of people growing up went to a friend's house and encountered a rule that they thought was strange in retrospect. However some of those strange rules can venture into outright bizarre territory. These are their stories, lightly edited for clarity.
Stingy Parents Are The Worst
“There was a weird kid in my neighborhood named Neal. He had a club foot. That’s not what was weird it’s just sort of memorable.
Anyway, we were invited to his birthday party down the street. His parents sent invites that we were to bring a present and ten dollars to cover the costs of hosting the party.
My mom was annoyed and confused but sent us with the presents and the money. We had to give the money to Neal’s parents before they let us in the house. We were each given one water balloon to throw, and exactly one slice of cake. Then we gave this kid his present and his parents sent everybody home after maybe half an hour.”
Why Would You Have Those?
“My family collected ‘dead people cards.’ When my grandparents would go to funerals, they would get those obituary cards with pictures and stuff and collect them. I think it started out as getting them for memory purposes, but then they’d get them for other people, and it became like a card game. My grandparents and their friends would ‘trade them’ and they coveted the ones that had misspellings or limited edition more. Like his one man’s name was ‘haze’ but they misspelled it as ‘hazel’ and the ones before the funeral home reprinted them were kind of showed off as a novelty.
I didn’t realize it was weird forever, and my mom is still in denial that it was weird. We had to throw out BOXES of dead people cards when my grandparents died and their stilling living friends actually got mad that we didn’t distribute them again.”
Invasion Of Privacy Much??
“I went to this guy’s house once after school. I wasn’t friends with him, but we were assigned to a project together. We’ll call him Gary. Anyways, we were working on this project when he excused himself to use the restroom. Fifteen minutes later he returned. A little while later, I decided to use the restroom while he was making snacks.
I walked into the bathroom and behold! Before my eyes, floating like a manatee through the brown estuaries of Florida, was the result of Gary’s earlier bathroom excursion. I shrugged it off – I mean, we all forget at least once, right? – flushed for him, took a leak, flushed again, and went to work on the project.
Gary’s mom got home from work a couple hours later. She nodded to us and said hello politely before heading towards the back of the house. A few seconds later she returned to the kitchen where we were working and screamed ‘WHERE IS IT?’ I jumped and was confused, so I shot a ‘what the heck?’ look to Gary. Gary muttered ‘It wasn’t me, it was My friend.’ His mom glared at me, huffed, and walked out.
Gary later explained that every day after school he would take a dump and was required to leave it in the toilet so his mom could check it. He wasn’t even sick or anything – she just wanted to check it to make sure he was healthy or something.
I never went back to Gary’s house.”
My Uncle, The Monster
“My senior year in high school, I lived a town over, so I would have to get a ride to and from school (didn’t have a license) that ride was always from my 50-year-old uncle that has been living off of my family since 2009.
One day on the way home, we are driving down a road that has like a 15mph speed limit. I glance over at my uncle, and he isn’t even watching the road, he’s looking somewhere off on the sidewalk. I notice we are about to drive past two girls that couldn’t have been older than 13. I think to myself, there is no way that this is what he is gawking at.
We start to pass them, and sure enough his head turns as we pass them, looking back at them.
I go ‘You’re a creep!’
This man says, ‘Not yet.'”
Calm Down Lady
“An old friend’s mum was completely paranoid that Al Qaeda would storm the small British town they lived in. Her solution? Have a massive bomb shelter built under their house. Not the weird part, though.
About five times a year, she would spend literally thousands and thousands of pounds on groceries to stock the shelter with. By this, I mean she would genuinely buy out the whole supermarket (it would take her about 20 trips over a week). Not just canned food, but perishables, too. I only found this out by sleeping over on one of her ‘shopping’ days, where food covered literally every single surface of their massive house. My friend just shrugged it off and was like ‘Oh, yeah, just restocking our bomb shelter! We always need to be ready for invasion.’
How Is That Your Business??
“When we were in high school, my best friend’s dad did some seriously creep stuff.
When we were 13, he gave her a large diamond engagement ring and told her she was forbidden to get married until she found a man who could buy her a nicer one. We were kids, we didn’t want to marry anyone. We spent most of our time playing N64 and riding bikes.
When everyone started dating, she wasn’t allowed. Finally, she was very excited and said her dad had had a vision from God that she was allowed to date now. I’m religious, so I’m not knocking religion, but dude, that didn’t happen.
He came to a school dance and pinned the boy she was dancing with against the wall. Police were called. Dad was banned from school campus and all school functions. Even graduation.
Her mom never said a word. My friend was embarrassed by it, but more in a ‘OMG, dads! LOL’ way rather than a ‘This is creepy’ way.
She had two brothers, and they were allowed to do whatever they wanted.”
Thats…Not What Thats For
“Not sure if this is creepy or just…flat out disgusting.
When I was about 14 or 15, I would go over to this girl’s house (I am also female) and we would hang out. One day, she came out of her parents’ room with something in her mouth. At first, I didn’t realize what it was but once she sat back down on the couch, I saw that it was her mom’s adult toy vibrating. In her mouth. On. I kind of flipped out and asked her what the heck she was doing. She said her gums hurt, so she was massaging them.
The bad/sad/disgusting/weird thing was that she didn’t even know it was for. She found it in her parents’ room one day and thought it was for your teeth/gums. On top of that, her parents knew she used it for that purpose because they walked in and talked to her while she had it in her mouth. I didn’t go back.”
What A Silly Thing To Get Mad About
“Was just beginning to see this girl in high school, we’ll call her Sara. After a few weeks she invited me over to her house for dinner. Classic valley family, pretty Christian, all blonde, dad’s a construction worker, mom’s a hairdresser, live on a dirt road.
Anyway so my mom dropped me off at their place all the way out of town. I met them, we chatted, everything was going well as we talked about current events. Since it was early November 2012, I started joking about how stupid it is that people think the world is going to end next month.
You could hear a pin drop after that comment. Total silence. Sara was just glaring at me, her sister staring at her dad who was also staring at me. And I mean the angry dad stare. Then her mom started bawling and left the table.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.
‘SHUT UP’ her sister yelled again.
I excused myself to the washroom. I knew I had messed up and should have just gone home but teenage me was trying to think what I could do to recover this night and turn it into getting laid. When I came out, Sara was waiting for me, explained that her mom was just sensitive to the idea of big depressing death stories like those and didn’t like how sometimes she felt like she couldn’t get away from it, even when the tv was off.
Okay, makes sense… I told Sara I was sorry, she said it was okay and that we should just go downstairs and watch I movie in the basement. Booyaa, night recovered.
Until I went to said basement. THE ENTIRE PLACE WAS STOCKED FOR THE END OF THE WORLD. SURVIVAL GEAR, FOOD, RAFTS, MAPS, EVERYTHING. I tried to play it off and ask what they were for, hoping a sane answer. ‘For when God will wash the wrong. We’re just being prepared’ She replied.
I walked 20 miles home down the highway that night.”
Obsessed With Trivial Things
“I went to a friend’s house, and his mom took us to McDonald’s. When we got back, I found out that my order was wrong [completely different sandwich]. I decided to be polite and just eat it anyways, but removed the parts I didn’t like.
My friend’s mom was having none of that. At first, she quietly, but firmly, said that no one in their house wasted food. I explained that the order was wrong, but that I would eat it anyways and remove what I didn’t like. She grabbed the sandwich out of my hand and put the stuff I scraped off back into the sandwich! She then said that she wouldn’t let my friend and I go out, until I ate it.
I was freaked out. I didn’t feel like eating anything by that point, and just wanted to go home. She proceeded to bang her fist repeatedly on the table and started bawling telling me to eat it. She had to be consoled by her husband who had come into the room because of the banging and crying. He told my friend and I to get in the car and that he’d take me home. That incident still sticks with me and makes me uneasy to think about it. I was eight, at the time.”
She’s Your Own Child!
“I had a classmate from sixth through eighth grade who had a childhood that I view as terrible. She’s really successful now and just graduated law school and everything that she posts on Facebook seems to indicate a happy, full and interesting life, but jeez Louise was it weird to see her family mistreat her back in the day. I barely know where to start, but her mom was absolutely determined to make her this weird sort of Victorian prim and proper lady. One day, she came in with bruises on her arms and she told everyone it was from volleyball practice but I didn’t buy it. She asked me to dance with her at the school dance a few months later and I just flat out asked her what happened to her arm that day. I think she wouldn’t have told me at all had she not been flustered by my direct way of asking but she told me she forgot her math book at school and her mother knocked her around a bit. She once told me she got grounded for a month because she had written the name of the cute guy of our class and her mother found it when she had gone through her notebooks.
She and I were choir kids and the only ones in the school who took voice lessons, so when we went to ISSMA, we sang level one songs at the local high school and I ran into her mother screaming at her in the hallway. Apparently, during her piano solo, she hit a wrong note and got a second place ribbon instead of a first place which meant she couldn’t go onto the next level of the competition. I tried to comfort her but she wouldn’t listen to me and would only congratulate me that I had gotten a first place on my vocal solo. The crazy thing is that she has three siblings. One older and two younger and they’re all the most down to earth people you could ever meet. I asked her younger sister what was up with all these crazy expectations for my classmate like being required to be fluent in French by fifth grade and taking ballerina classes three times a week but her face just went ashy and said ‘We don’t talk about that.’ She was the sweetest girl ever and I was convinced at the time that she didn’t know how to say anything mean against anyone. I think about her all the time.”
Trouble Of Titanic Proportions
“I unfortunately grew up in the ‘creepy’ family.
My mom was obsessed with Titanic to the point that almost every surface of the house was covered in something Titanic related. She would talk for hours about it, the movie, and how she was the reincarnation of a passenger to anyone who would listen. She cross-stitched Titanic things. She made those weird picture-carpet things that were Titanic themed. ‘My heart will go on’ was basically on repeat every day, every hour, every minute. She’d play Titanic video games, listen to the music, save pictures online and talk to people online about Titanic.
She once re-did my entire grade two speech to be about the Titanic, came into the class, handed me the new speech cards and sat there listening to me say the speech she wrote.
For my birthday she got me a Titanic t-shirt and a clock. She hung up both and I wasn’t allowed to touch them. Christmas was these weird Titanic dinner plate things. She got a Titanic tattoo.
At one point, I was allowed the rare chance to have someone sleep overnight. I invited my friend and he was immediately weirded out. So we hung out in my room which was pretty much free of Titanic stuff.
When we were trying to sleep, my Mom (who is mostly deaf) decided it would be a good idea to play ‘My Heart Will Go On’ at like, 2AM. Loudly. You could feel Celine Dion’s banshee-like voice vibrating through the walls and the floor and into your skull. Normally I’d just ignore it, it never crossed my mind as being weird. But my friend began asking me questions and I stopped for a second. ‘Wait. He’s right. Why was this okay?’ I thought.
We had no AC. It was summer. Hot, exhausted and annoyed, I decided for once to confront my mother about this. I just asked it straight up. ‘Why are you playing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ in the middle of the night?’
My friend then got a front-row seat to my Mom pulling me to the ground by my ear and managing to scream over the booming speakers about how she was the adult and how she makes the decisions in the house and that as a kid, I have no right to ask for anything. I’d like to note that if you’ve haven’t heard a mostly (or entirely deaf) person scream, you just can’t imagine how frightening it sounds.
After that, my friend quickly stopped being my friend and everyone made fun of me because my mom was ‘scary’. Unfortunately I couldn’t disagree–It opened my eyes. We were the weird ones.
I was also grounded for a week. No toys, no going outside, no TV or radio. No books. Just sit in your room or sleep.
The more I think about my past the more I realize how messed up it was. Whenever I visit my hometown I meet old friends or adults I knew while growing up and they always say ‘Oh, we almost called children’s aid…’
Don’t ‘almost’ call them. Just do it. Please. As comical as this sounds, spending 7 straight days with literally nothing to do but listen to Titanic being played from the other room could probably be considered child abuse.”
Ew, Don’t Reuse That
“I used to have to go overnight to my babysitter’s house since my dad worked the midnight shift. When it came time for a bath, they would run the water, the dad would have a bath, then mom, then the oldest girl, then the two little ones.
Without ever draining and running new water. They would just each bathe in each other’s dirty water.”
“Uhhhh, this is actually abuse, and my mom did call CPS on them, but I’ll say it anyway.
We knew a family growing up that the father would time their showers, literally 15 seconds under cold water, he would stand there and watch and then grab them out, one after the other.
They were not allowed to poop in the house. He had toilet paper for emergencies and guests. If they HAD to poop, he would pass them 5 squares of TP total, and watch them wipe. They trained themselves to only poop at school and church.
Summer would get to be 100 and still not air or fans in their bedroom, no open windows.
Probably about 20 more insane rules. Weird food rules. Very very very sad.”
They’re Going To Have Separation Anxiety
“Definitely has to be my neighbors when I was younger.
I hung out and played with these 3 siblings. They were all pretty normal kids, but the mom seemed kind of clingy.
During the summer we would play outside a lot. Baseball. Hockey. Go carts. Swimming. The norm.
Every single day at about 12, the mom would call the kids back to the house, one at a time. They would have to go inside for about a half hour, then come out and the next kid would go in. Never thought too much about it, until one day I was actually in their house with them and found out why she called them.
She had mandatory cuddle time with each of the kids. They would lay on the couch, and she would spoon them, in the quiet, for about 30 minutes each. Weirdest thing I’ve ever encountered.”
What Is Wrong With You People?
“I remember it was when Euro 2004 happened. I went to a friend’s house for a sleepover. I was 12 years old then. So we go to his house where his and my mom dropped us there and left. His dad was there though. I never liked this man. Anyway, he welcomed us with the most unwelcoming manner, like he hated to have me for sleepover. We proceeded to his room, and played on his PS2. After half an hour, his dad enters the room and says ‘ok I think its about time Michael’ (my friend)
So Michael sits up and unplugs the PS2 and hands it to his father, who takes it and places it on top of a high shelf. Then, the dad makes a hug gesture, like welcoming Michael to hug him, saying ‘speak the words’ and Michael hugs his father saying ‘thanks father for reminding me to be moderate with distractions from the real life.’
The hug ends, he nods us to go to sleep. I went to sleep totally weirded out due to the happening, and cause my child brain back then felt bad for playing PS2 like it was bad.
The next morning we wake up, eat and greet his mother who was there. Michael goes to his father and knees before him and says ‘please father can I be distracted for a while?’ His mother was making coffee like it was totally normal to have her son knee in front of her husband and beg for his joy as if it was a sin. His father looks at me, then to Michael and goes and brings down the PS2 like it was the worst thing he had to do.
I didn’t even touch the controller. I was totally uncomfortable in there.
Never slept over there again.
She Had To Hide Some Scars
“I had a classmate from sixth through eighth grade who had a childhood that I view as terrible. She’s really successful now and just graduated from law school. Everything that she posts on Facebook seems to indicate a happy, full and interesting life, but it was weird to see her family mistreat her back in the day. I barely know where to start, but her mom was absolutely determined to make her this weird sort of Victorian prim and proper lady. One day, she came in with bruises on her arms, and she told everyone it was from volleyball practice but I didn’t buy it. She asked me to dance with her at the school dance a few months later and I just flat out asked her what happened to her arm that day. I think she wouldn’t have told me at all had she not been flustered by my direct way of asking, but she told me she forgot her math book at school and her mother knocked her around a bit. She once told me she got grounded for a month because she had written the name of the cute guy of our class and her mother found it when she had gone through her notebooks.
We were choir kids and the only ones in the school who took voice lessons, so when we went to ISSMA, we sang level-one songs at the local high school and I ran into her mother screaming at her in the hallway. Apparently, during her piano solo, she hit a wrong note and got a second place ribbon instead of a first place which meant she couldn’t go onto the next level of the competition. I tried to comfort her, but she wouldn’t listen to me and would only congratulate me that I had gotten a first place on my vocal solo. The crazy thing is that she has three siblings. One older and two younger, and they’re all the most down to earth people you could ever meet. I asked her younger sister what was up with all these crazy expectations for my classmate like being required to be fluent in French by fifth grade and taking ballerina classes three times a week but her face just went ashy and said ‘We don’t talk about that.’ She was the sweetest girl ever, and I was convinced at the time that she didn’t know how to say anything mean against anyone. I think about her all the time.”