In honor of #tbt, I thought I would throw out a few details of days long ago, aka childhood. Growing up usually comes with a fair amount of rules, some are truly “for our own good” and others are completely arbitrary based on the rule maker. Nonetheless, if you were / are like me, you follow the rules, because in general they are for your own good.
Sometimes my brains works a little bit like the Facebook “On This Day” function, and the other day a real doosey popped up. I suddenly remembered that when I was growing up, for some reason unbeknownst to me, we were not allowed to use the word “cool”. It seemed too crazy to be true so I consulted with my older sister who confirmed it. That got me thinking, what other completely ridiculous rules have I followed not because the were:
- the law (more on that later)
- for my own personal safety
- good manners / proper etiquette
- for the betterment of my health
We also weren’t allowed to say that anything “sucked”, which I KIND OF understand. We couldn’t wear wind shorts that said NIKE across them. We couldn’t watch TV except for Little House on the Prairie, to this day I LOATH that show and all of Michael Landon’s unnecessary crying. Ree Drummond is more of a pioneer than that titty baby will ever be. If we were home alone we couldn’t go outside to play, even in the backyard. I’m sure there are more.
In 7th grade I went to “real school” aka public school for the first time after being “home-schooled” my whole life. Everything seemed fairly normal, there was a disciplinary system in place: Tardies, Detentions and Incompletes. I understand the need to regulate a student’s tardiness, it is disruptive and rude to be late. Incompletes seemed a little like safety net for kid who just didn’t do the homework assignments, which was more annoying to me than anything else.
Some of the reasons for detention made sense to me: 3 tardies = a detention, being overly disruptive or disrespectful… those I understood. Some that I didn’t understand: chewing gum = detention, boys with untucked shirttails = detention… the powers that were SAID it was because boys to tuck a gun into the tops of their pants and hide it with an untucked shirttails (this did not apply to girls, still not sure why… girls can wear baggy clothes and be mentally unstable as well). Girls couldn’t show mid-drift, shorts / skirts could only be 3 inches above the knee or less. This was especially to all of the Lizzie McGuire fans…
Boys also couldn’t have hair that touched their collars or covered the tops of their ears if they played on a sports team. No one was allowed to have hair that was an “unnatural color”.. not unnatural to them just unnatural, so basically 50 shades of bland were fine.
I can also remember having a track coach in high school who was potentially the grouchiest man alive. He was like if Ron Swanson were a track coach, and I was definitely not a favorite. My junior year the seniors picked out our new uniforms. they were cute, but they were not exactly Olympic quality and neither were our physiques. Also, there was really no reason for distance runners to wear them… two miles is a LONG time to ask cheaply made spandex to NOT ride up.
As I would THINK is the case in most small East Texas towns, where I grew up was VERY conservative, but not as conservative as my parents. So imagine their reaction to our new uniforms.
So I had that weighing on one side of the scale, and a cantankerous defensive football coordinator track coach who was tired of hearing about how everyone’s parents thought the uniforms were inappropriate on the other. It was basically a no win situation, and when I wore black running shorts over my spanks at the meet before district it pushed someone over the edge.
He put me on JV and I had to wear an awful, ill-fitting and unflattering uniform to run all the races I hated – and I never ran track again.
What are some of the arbitrary “rules” you remember from growing up??