50 Things People Considered ‘Normal’ While Growing Up, Only To Find Out They’re Actually Weird
For this post we'd like to rephrase the common saying 'It runs in the family' into one more fitting - 'Weird runs in the family,' and we have some solid proof, thanks to some funny kids, for that below.
During our early childhoods, we've picked up most of our day-to-day habits and even some weird things 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 you were the only crazy kid in the world to eat bananas whole, skin and all.
Did you have any mind-blowing weird stories from your childhood? Share your revelations with other bored pandas to feel less kooky about being lied to or told a plethora of funny things that you firmly believed in your whole life!
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,
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.
Growing up, whenever I would eat bananas my mouth would always hurt and sometimes go numb. Kind of similar to how it feels if you eat too much sour candy. It wasn't until I was 18 years old that I say to my mom 'Man, I hate the way bananas make your mouth hurt.' She then brought me to understand THAT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. So yeah, turns out I'm allergic to bananas.
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.
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!
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.
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.
On long road trips, my parents would tell my brother and I that if we closed our eyes, we'd get there faster. Believing them, we would close our eyes and eventually fall alseep. Magically, when we woke up we were almost there, and parents got a nice quiet drive with no kids fighting! Well played parents. Well played.
Also used to think the windshield wipers magically knew when it was time to clear the windshield. Wasn't til I started driving that I learned about intermittent wipers.
My family poops big. Maybe it's genetic, maybe it's our diet, but everyone births giant logs of crap. If anyone has laid a mega-poop, you know that sometimes it won't flush. Growing up, this was a common enough occurrence that our family had a poop knife. It was an old rusty kitchen knife that hung on a nail in the laundry room, only to be used for that purpose. It was normal to walk through the hallway and have someone call out "hey, can you get me the poop knife"?
I thought it was standard kit. You have your plunger, your toilet brush, and your poop knife.
We used to lift up our table and say "hrrrmp" every day before dinner as a family. I though everyone did it.... I found out it was only us a a friends place for dinner...
I grew up in the country and firmly believed that ice cream trucks were myths and that they only existed on TV shows.
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!
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.
We lived right outside NYC when I was young and whenever I'd be watching a movie or TV where they can see stars in the sky at night I thought it was fake because, Duh, you can't see stars from the Earth!
We moved to North Carolina when I was 9 and it blew me away that you can actually see stars there. Another fun consequence of NYC light pollution was that I also thought rain and snow clouds were brown at night - because of the orange street lights.
I thought every person who get's killed in TV actually dies on set. I thought people, who weren't happy with their lives, would volunteer to die for the movie.
I always wondered, how they could find so many suicidal people who were also good actors.
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.
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.
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.
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 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...
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.
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 :-)
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 grew up with people that I called grandpa _____ and aunt _____ ani I didn’t realize until early into my school life that other kids didn’t have three or four grandpas. My family was just big hearted. (The “extra” family members were friends of our actual family that had lost everyone else so we “adopted” them into our family)
My parents and I used to play a game where I had to stop, drop and roll every time they say the word 'time', so I thought everyone does it until I was 12. I once went to my friend's house and they asked me what the time was so I stopped, dropped and rolled and hit my head on their bed.
I am of European descent. My next-door neighbors were of African-descent (family here for 100s of years, mine for less than 100). Close by, there was a large community of Hmong, Vietnamese, and Laotian refugees from the Vietnam war (many of whom fought for the US, just fyi). In my teens, we also started having refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia. To me, growing up, this was just how all neighborhoods were. I was really shocked in my late teens to learn that the mother of my sister's roommate in college (from far up north in North Dakota) had almost never seen in person a person of African descent. I had to make my sister swear to me that it was true. And now, I realize that St. Paul, MN is unusual in that it has taken in a large number of refugees. (We are a very strong community, with generally much higher standard of living than the rest of the country.) But as a kid, I just thought it was how things were. When I am in a store and see people of all European descent, I feel out of place, even now at aged 50.
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...
My dad never used to eat at normal times. It's been like that since I was little so I always thought it was weird when I went to a friend's house and their dad ate with them. Like, 'your dad eats?? Dads don't eat.
I was rather sick as a little girl and after trying a lot of different options, my mom heard about the healing powers of garlic. So each morning we would start with a tea spoon of freshly squeezed garlic juice. I somehow thought that this was a normal thing people do, but turns out no one else does it...
It did do the trick though, so I can second garlic's healing power :)
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!!
We always hid a pickle on a Christmas three, and whoever found it first gon an extra present.
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.
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.
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..
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."
Apparently it's pretty uncommon to like eating raw potatoes, but I kind of like it. Although, I've never tried to eat a whole potato (like an apple), but I've been eating little chunks of raw potato since childhood.
I get pins and needles REALLY bad. Agony. Excruciating. Exhilarating? Bad. Only when I was in my mid-20s did I discover I have Raynaud's syndrome - a circulatory issue. Whenever I got cold I would always turn purple/blue/white but I had no idea that for other people losing circulation somewhere was just a funny feeling and that's it.
Ranynaud's also makes for really painful breastfeeding as well, apparently :/
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?
As a child, I couldn't stand a taste or smell of fish, so the only way of making me eat it was to let me have candies and cookies with it. Now imagine the eyes of my friends when I asked for cookies to go with a bowl of fish soup...
When I was a child my parents were active members Social Democratic party of Finland. They also helped many different people. When Jehova's Witnesses built a new Kingdom Hall near my home my parents also helped them and talked very much about the Jehova's Witnesses. So for a long time I for some weird reason believed that also Jehova's Witnesses were a political party. I was over 15 years old when I finally realized that Jehova's Witnesses were actually a religion that is neutral to any political parties, they don't vote.
Up until I was about 7, whenever my family went to the beach, we brought snacks. Normal, right? Well, I used to pick out those cheddar and sour cream ruffle chips. Guess what I did with them? I didn't use dip, but i also didn't eat them plain. I would grab my chips, plop down on a very dry area of sand, and opened the bag. I grab a chip, scoop a huge pile of sand onto the chip, and eat it. For some reason, I thought this was normal. Wasn't until I was 7 years old that I realized nobody else did this...
When I was younger (about 5) I would bite my toes because I thought it tasted good. When I went to my first day of preschool, I took off my shoes and started to do this. Obviously everyone was confused there and grossed out, but I learned not to do that because it was (obviously) disgusting.
Apparently sour cream and cottage cheese dip is not the top choice for fried potatoes, but I've been eating them that way since I was a kid and will continue to do so, despite what people tell me.
When I was a kid, my Mom would make us peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. The two combine as well as toothpaste and orange juice, but we thought this was a "thing" and would actually request it at times. I cringe just thinking about it now.
My family has always put cottage cheese on store bought pizza. It’s really good but imagine the look on my best friends face when I asked her for cottage cheese while we were eating pizza. Priceless!
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...
This is super stupid but once when I was like 7 or 8 my sister took me to a baseball game between the Orioles and the Phillies. I thought that the Orioles and Phillies always played each other and no other teams.
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.
I thought everyone owned fish as an addition to any pet they have. I mean, I grew up always having a tank of 15+ fish by my side and if anyone asked me if I had a pet I just said "Nah, I only have some fish." At the age of 5, this belief was broken. Somehow it didn't fit, ever since some people thought it's cute but said they didn't have fish. Now I have other pets as well. But the emblematic fish are permanent residents in our household.
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.