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!
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,
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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...
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.
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.
My mother's method of dealing with her errant daughter was to slap me around the face. I have literally been slapped by her hundreds and hundreds of times, from an early age, and I slapped her back when I was a teenager. I didn't realise this wan't normal until I found out that some people have literally never been slapped int their lives?! I mean, I knew she was a poor mother and over the top, but I didn't realise that most people have never been slapped until I was in my 30s!
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 called freckles ferckels- (FER-calls) And I would say it every time and my parents didn't mind. I said this until I was about 7 when my friends older brother told me (while laughing) it was freckles. I was so embarrassed I turned red and climbed a tree and started crying.
and then I fell out...
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.
Being chubby. I was always happy with my bigger frame. I was told not to care and it was normal to be bigger than everyone else. Well middle school told me I was a fat pig and I wasn’t normal. Now I’m happy and losing weight but it still haunts me...
Having lots of pets. I grew up with 2 Bernese mountain dogs, two cats, and sometimes a fish in a small suburban house. I was always baffled when my friends only had like a hamster or one dog. Obviously every person has their own pet, right?
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 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..
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 never stepped on red pavement tiles because they were "fire".
Also, my bff and I would always say "Parachutes forever!" and do a little jump when opening our umbrellas.
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.
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!!