Growing up, we've picked up most of our day-to-day habits from our parents and guardians, learning to adapt to the world by observing and mimicking our surroundings. Most of the time, those routine practices are universal, so it's small wonder that people just assume them to be normal and expect everyone to be on the same page. However, there are times when your world suddenly collapses as you realize you're the only person in the room to call slippers 'fuzzy-footsers' or that no one in the world eats bananas whole, skin and all.
Did you have any mind-blowing revelations of your own? Share your stories with other bored pandas to feel less weird about being lied to your whole life!
When I was a kid I had a tiny Sony stereo for cassettes. I really loved listening to music - and still do - and children's stories. I would however only listen for like an hour or so a day, because I thought people inside the cassettes would become to tired and upset with me.
In my family, it is a tradition that if somebody bends over they are going to get a swat on the behind. I figured out pretty young that this wasn't "normal" but continued the tradition anyway. At least until my son was about 4 or 5, and we were at the grocery store. A lady in the aisle in front of us dropped her can of pears, and I'll be damned if my lil' rascal didn't run up all excited and swat her on the butt. She spun around with a shocked expression while I made apology after mortified apology. She was cool though. She laughed and said, "It's okay, honey. That's the cutest guy that's swatted me on the butt in a long time." Props to her, but we still discontinued the practice at home after that.
I was probably 12 or so before I realized that not all kids spend their entire summer vacation farming. I spent my summer days weeding, picking veggies, tending hogs, cattle, chickens and I enjoyed every minute of it!
As a kid of nursery school age, I got tired of dressing the same all the time, so I put my arms through my pant legs, wearing my jeans like a bolero vest, and I put my legs through my shirt sleeves and belted my shirt around my waist. I was so impressed with my newly invented way of dressing that I told mom I was going to teach everybody to dress that way when I went to class. She tried to talk me out of it, but finally gave in figuring I'd be embarrassed and change back.
Come the end of the day, she picked me up and there I was still wearing topsy turvy clothes, grinning and happy as a clam.
When I was little I was terrified spiders would eat me while I was sleeping on the top bunk, so my parents had this cool contraption that was a 'spider-trap-setter'. They’d bring it in at bedtime, I’d point it around the room, and click the handle to set a ton of spider traps each night so I could sleep.
Fast forward to my fiancé and I registering for wedding gifts – he scanned a wine bottle opener (with the corkscrew and the arms that go up and down) and I immediately recognized it as a spider-trap-setter. It only then dawned on me that I’d been LIED TO,
For the first two or three years after I was potty trained, I thought that everyone peed standing up. So there I was, a little girl with impeccable aim.
When I was in kindergarten, I wore my Batman costume to school EVERY DAY! Under clothes, over clothes, rain or shine. Since my mom wasn't the type to crush my dreams of saving Gotham City or to enforce gender roles on me, I was free to be Batman(without judgement) until the middle of first grade when the other girls stopped wanting to play with me.
I have Cerebral Palsy, so I grew up with excruciating leg pain, leg casts, speech therapists, and physical therapists. When you are a kid and have to be shuttled around by various doctors, see guidance teachers to assess your development stages, and take regular medication- you think EVERY kid also goes through it- until you finally realize that your normal ISN'T normal. And that was an eye opener. As a well functioning adult I never bring my CP up, because it makes some people weirdly uncomfortable.
I grew up in the country and firmly believed that ice cream trucks were myths and that they only existed on TV shows.
When I was little, about 2-3, I had a rubber snake. It was one of the ones you'd get from a zoo gift shop. I bit off pieces of the tail, thinking it was normal, and ate it. I did this until I was about 5 when I realized it didn't taste that good. Now the snake has some of its tail chopped off.
My whole family drank pickle juice out of the jar after all of the pickles were gone. When I did it at a party, people gave me dirty looks and made rude comments. Apparently, what my family did isn’t normal...
when I was younger my mother and I used to eat onion and blackberry sandwiches. I didn’t figure out this wasn’t normal until a 5th grade sleep over with a couple friends. Imagine their surprise when I asked for an onion-blackberry sandwich.
I used to gather all the kids together to play a game I made up. We had to pass through the branches of this v shaped tree in our front yard. This was the passage to the afterlife. When you went through you laid down like you were dead and then you woke up in a new world. We would play the rest of the time like we were living in the afterlife. We all had fun and no one thought it strange. Thinking about it now that was a weird game.
Growing up, my Dad did almost every repair and upgrade to the cars, house, etc. I'm talking remodelling, car repairs, plumbing, installing appliances, rewiring the house. He build his own central cooling AC. (He put it in the old dog house....don't ask.)
So, I actually, quite literally, thought that plumbers, electricians, handymen, and the like in the movies were a combination of made-up occupations and relics of the "old days".
When I bought my own house and was too tiny and unskilled to do all that my Dad did, I was baffled. People at work ended up telling me there was such a thing as a plumber I could call. And I was thrilled to learn there were handymen!
On the flip side, I did do a lot of stuff myself: Replaced a toilet tank, replaced toilet tank innards, stained many doors and baseboards in preparation for install, repainted my car, refinished my kitchen cabinets, and many other things, myself. Always cleaned my own gutters. I also fixed my car once with a good solid twist-tie :-)
My mom and aunt were identical twins. My aunt lived with us from the time I was born until first grade. I never realized until I started Kindergarten that not everyone had two moms that looked exactly the same and one dad. What a shocker.
When I was a kid, I didn't know the difference between perfume and spray-on deodorant. So guess what I was always giving to my mom as a Christmas present..
I was very lucky in that my Dad fixed all our cars himself, which made car repairs cheap. We always had a few cars around, though we were lower-middle-class. So, all of us kids (there were 5 of us) all had a car to drive once we got our licenses. Since we were poorer than most of my classmates, I thought all kids at school were like that. I was shocked in high school to learn that almost all my friends whose families were much better off had no car to drive, and that they generally had just two cars, one for their Mom and one for their Dad. I felt really lucky. The most expensive car my parents ever bought was maybe $2000. I drove hunks-of-junk, but was envied by many of my classmates. At one point, we had 5 cars, 2 vans, and a rickety old motorhome.
I could literally write a book on my dad. He wasn't "weird", but slightly eccentric looking back. As I was an only child until age 7/8 and lived a somewhat isolated semi-rural life, rarely going to anyone's house other than a few close relatives, there were many things normal to me which others would have found odd. For instance, my dad lived under the stairs - apart from work, gardening and going to bed. We had a big wide staircase, about 6ft wide, hence a large cupboard/small room underneath. This was his "Glory Hole" filled with a fascinating and well ordered array of things he used or had simply collected over the years.It was crammed full leaving only room for a chair and his bench/desk. The house itself was fairly spacious and there were loads of other spaces just full of interesting stuff, but under the stairs was my favourite place to be, either watching him and learning, or, when he was at work, in there by myself playing around with his stuff. He was a radio ham, and had an original and working Lancaster Bomber WW2 radio in there and spent most of his time in Dad's Gloryhole listening to it through original leather and suede WW2 headphones (soo wish I still had them).We could even pick up actual pilot radio frequencies. Had an original bakelite morse code transmitter connected, and i learned morse code aged 8. One of my favourite things to play with when he wasnt there were the jars of mercury - they were very heavy and when you tipped some out on the glass covered bench it was great fun making globs and chasing round the little beads, although not easy to get back in the jar, to say the least. He worked in maintenance for a pharmeceutical company and I think he must have collected the mercury from umpteen thermometers over time. He brought so many fascinating things home from work, not including all our cats which arrived as kittens in his haversack. I thought all dads had a "haversack"- another WW2 term (he was in the army mid/late 1940's). We also had a half built motorcycle in my bedroom for some time.
When I was growing up my dad would always yell out 'the phone’s leaking!' whenever the landline rang. I did not realise that this was not a common phrase until I yelled it across the room at work one day to a coworker. Everyone was so confused and worried about the phone.
My parents put out scotch and cookies for Santa instead of milk and cookies. They told me that they didn't put out milk so that Santa wouldn't get bloated. When I discovered Santa wasn't real I immediately put it together that my dad just wanted to drink scotch instead of milk.
I always thought that the menthol in cherry halls was what was making my mouth numb, but none of the other flavours did that. I am studying chemistry, and an instructor brought in a bunch of bottles of ketones and aldehydes for us to smell, all of which are used to flavour food like vanilla or mint. One of them was benzaldehyde, which is used for fake cherry flavoring. I took a whiff and my whole mouth went numb. I asked everyone else if it did the same thing to them and that's how I found out that it wasn't the menthol, I'm actually allergic to fake cherry flavour.
Just a little thing, but you know how when someone's, e.g., pouring milk in your tea, or dishing you a helping of food, they prompt you, "Say when." Well, both of my parents would always respond with, "When." I'm not sure how old I was before I finally realized that, Duh!, you're supposed to say, "Enough" or "Stop" or "Now."
For the longest time, my little sis had hearing problems. She always was pronouncing things wrong (hurch for church, swapple for apple) because without much hearing, she couldn't pronouce hard consnants. She thought this was normal- until we took her to speech therepy. "But it's hurch! It's Hurch!" When we got home, she complained to our mom about "da wean wady who teach me wong wowds". (The mean lady who teaches me wrong words). She was furious when she was told this was going to be a weekly occurance.
We had a lot of places: malls, parks, schools, etc. named after Native American terms and phrases where I grew up. My dad took me to Neshaminy park often and would tell me "Indians" (now called Native Americans) still lived there and if I was quick enough I might see one running by. He never told me he was messing with me. Then in grade school in history class I made a total fool of myself by proudly announcing I knew where the Native Americans were and my dad was an expert at spotting them in the local park. So embarrassing!!
As a child I really loved Green Mint Ice cream sauce. Me and my brother and two sisters couldn't get enough of it and would always ask for more. It wasn't until I was about 25 that I noticed it was always stocked in the alcohol section of the supermarket. When I bought this up with my partner he found it really funny. My beloved "ice cream topping" was in fact Crème de menthe, mint liquor. My parents had been giving us booze, Maybe it kept us four kids quite for 10 minutes!. It will aways be Green Mint ice cream sauce to me!