Oh, the good old days of childhood. It's wild to think there was a time before 9-to-5's, bills and the other daily annoyances of being a grown-up. Once upon a time, life just consisted of occasional homework, summer vacation, and having your parents pay for your existence. Those were the glorious days.
But then there were those not-so-nostalgic parts of growing up, like when homework went from simple worksheets to hours and hours of essays and papers. Or curfews, which were like — why can't I just hang out with my friends forever? Everyone had their own house rules, no matter how bizarre their families were.
And breaking those rules often resulted in punishment, another part of childhood I really don't miss. It seemed sometimes like parents just wanted to find any reason to discipline us, no matter how arbitrary those reasons might have been.
People banded together on reddit to share their stories of times their parents got mad at them for the dumbest reason. This list will make you laugh, and might even make you grateful you didn't grow up in houses like these.
1. What did you— look that up or something?
Me and my dad were talking about something — I can't remember what — and for some reason the names of Obama's daughters came up. I could remember one (Sasha), but not the other, so when we'd finished chatting I looked it up. Next time the conversation went that way, a day or so later, I said "Sasha and Malia," and his face just dropped.
"Did you look that up?" he asked.
Well, he was outraged at the idea. It was like he took personal offense at the idea that someone who didn't know something might go out of their way to learn it for no reason other than to know it. His logic seems to be that only the stuff he already knows is important, because if it was important and he didn't know it, he'd have looked it up already, so anything he doesn't know is obviously pointless and dumb.
He's not fun when it comes to Trivial Pursuit.
2. Welcome to the house I grew up in.
Mom: “Do the dishes.”
Me: “Okay.” starts doing dishes
Mom (5 minutes later): “Vacuum the living room.”
Me: “I will as soon as I’m done with the dishes.”
Mom (angry): “No, you’ll do it now! When I tell you to do something I expect you to do it as soon as I tell you!”
Me: “...yes ma’am.” leaves dishes to go vacuum
Mom (ten minutes later): “WHY AREN’T THESE DISHES DONE YET?! When I tell you to do something you better finish it before you go do something else!” grounds me
3. But Mom, these are YOURS!
I had a little mesh bag full of laundry scent booster crystal things in my sock drawer to keep my socks smelling fresh. My mom went through all of my [stuff] one day because she was pissed at me, found it, and accused me of smoking meth. She didn't let me leave the house for a month, despite me showing her the bottle of scent crystals that SHE bought sitting in our laundry room, and offering numerous times to take a full drug panel. She said I was lying. Lol.
4. Don't you love household misogyny?
Refusing to clean my older brother's room. I actually got thrown out of the house for the day, which was great because I hung out with the dog and my dad sneaked me food. Overall a good day except for my mom being extremely angry at me for no reason.
5. "That's impossible!"
[I] broke a window on the house with a wiffle ball. Dad came home and said, 'why were you hitting rocks at the window?' I said I wasn't, we were playing wiffle ball and it hit and broke the window. He said, 'you can't break a window with a wiffle ball.'
He picked up the bat and the ball, hit it at the window, and broke it... never wanted to laugh so hard in my life but was too scared too. He just said I guess you can and walked away.
6. Oh no, these are just tragic.
For spending my paper route money — I wasn't the one who spent it, my mom was, but when the newspaper told them I didn't turn in their portion of the money, my mom got mad at me and acted like I was the one who had done it, then made me get another job to pay back the paper for the money she'd kept, but she kept that money, too. That's how my parents were.
[I'll] trade you for the adult version where your mom opens credit cards in your name and then rings them up to the tune of 60k. Promises to pay you back, never does and you wind up losing your house and filing for bankruptcy. Then everybody else in the family is mad at you for ruining family holidays by not coming to be with the family.
7. No boys allowed!
My South Asian mom was furious when she found me texting a boy from school. She gave me this whole lecture about how this is against our values, I’m not allowed to date, etc. The second I protest that this is just a friend and I’m not interested in him at all, she immediately does a 180 and goes “Why not?! Are you a gay?!”
[It] gave me whiplash trying to keep up.
A couple of my friends and I still ask each other “are you a gay?” when someone thinks some guy is hot but someone else doesn’t.
8. Ugh, I remember getting yelled at for a 97.
98 percent on a test, highest grade in the class, out on my desk for parent night? "Well what'd you do wrong? Why isn't that a 100%?"
Cue learning to never give actual grade numbers, just a letter grade.
9. Because: pregnancy.
I used to have all these crazy rules. I didn’t have a cell phone cause my mom was worried I would text boys but whenever I was out with my friends I had to call by 5:00 no matter what. And if I forgot or wasn’t with a friend that had a cell phone I was screwed.
I started working at a smoothie place after school my sophomore AND junior year of high school. I decided to quit for my senior year to focus on graduating and hanging with my friends and my mom was FURIOUS at me.
My mom would pick me up from hanging out with my friends and for about six months she’d smell my fingers randomly to see if I was smoking weed or cigarettes and sometimes ask if I was pregnant. She’d also check my movie tickets and ask me about the movie I saw to make sure we weren’t sneaking into different theaters.
She always said she was hard on me because I can get pregnant.
10. Nope, you didn't hurt your foot.
Breaking my foot at like 12-13.
My mom thought I was faking it to miss school and stomped on my broken foot and hit with a broom, funny thing I heard my foot crack and called her right when it happened and from her tone I got scared and dragged my foot to school that afternoon. It got swollen after two minutes so every step hurt and was worse on the trip back but, you know, turns out the X-RAY showed I was right, she also blames a friend of mine and says he pushed me at school for my foot to break but I called her five minutes after I left home when it happened.... Still haven't heard a sorry.
11. Pepsi? On the ... roof? What an accusation!
My dad thought me and my friends were spraying Pepsi on the roof of the bathroom. I was like 14 and seriously dumbfounded by how stupid he thought I was. Turns out the contractor he hired didn’t put a sealant on when he painted the roof.
12. People, do your research!
I was grounded when I was 16 because I was mistaken for being a robber in my ex-boyfriend’s neighborhood. Some old person tipped them off saying they thought they saw me leap a 10 foot wall. I’m 5’2”, so this is highly improbable.
Before I knew it, there were six cop cars following me and when they stopped to investigate my car, they asked me, 'Did you happen to jump a ten foot wall and steal some stuff from this house? Do you have any weapons, TVs, couches, whatever, in your car?'
All I had was a bunch of paintings and art supplies in my back seat. Dumbest night of my life.
13. Classic pre-internet mom.
I happen to look a lot like a certain actress. When I was in high school, I was in the year book two years running as her look-alike. One day while browsing the internet, I searched her because I thought it was a funny coincidence. This was back when homes often just had one shared computer in a common area. My mom came up behind me to tell me something, saw a picture of said actress on my screen and proceeded to lose her damn mind because she “always TOLD (me) to NEVER PUT YOUR PICTURE ON THE INTERNET!!”
This was pre-Facebook, obvi. Seeing her face when I politely said “That’s not me, it’s (actress)” was totally worth it.
14. I *swear* I was looking for the cat.
I was under the deck, looking for our cat. There was a dirt ramp that opened wide at the bottom, and the car sprinted up there, and I was trying to get him out. He disappeared, going too deep. I come out from under the deck, and my dad pulled in the driveway.
"What were you doing?"
"Looking for the cat."
"That's stupid. What were you really doing? Don't lie."
"The cat just..."
"Seriously. If you don't tell me what you were doing, you're going to be grounded."
"The... I.. cat..."
Grounded two weeks. I mentioned this many, many years later, and he had no recollection whatsoever. I was just playing with the cat, damn it.