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10 People Share the Bizarre Rules They’ve Encountered in Other People’s Homes

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People are weird. And they’re especially weird when they’re in the comfort of their own homes. That’s when the most bizarre habits really kick in.

Have you ever experienced strange house rules? In this AskReddit installment, people confess the weirdest rules they’ve had to deal with in someone else’s house.

1. Footprints

“One of my friends mother had some borderline obsessive rules. No walking on the carpets. You must remain on the strips of clear plastic carpet protectors instead, which were arranged to create walkways round the house. Guests must wear slippers, there were spares if you didn’t bring your own. The leather sofas must remain completely covered in sheets to protect them. Even the dog was expected to follow these carpet protector paths and was constantly being told off for stepping off them.

I understand wanting to keep your carpets and furniture nice but this was crazy. You couldn’t even see them under all this ugly protective stuff. Plus I nearly fell down the stairs wearing oversized slippers and tripping on this protective plastic mat that was draped down the staircase. I was also constantly getting in trouble for not following the correct route around the room and instead walking straight to where I wanted to be. She would literally check for footprints on the carpet.”

2. Don’t sit there

“My friend David was a tough guy… which was all the more cool that he chose to hang out with a scrawny nerd like me.

We went back to his house, once (and only once)… which was literally 4 houses down the street from me.

It was a small, normal house, with a small comfortable living room.

When I plopped into the big easy chair, David went white as a ghost.

“that’s my dad’s chair.” (pause)

“no one’s allowed to sit there.” (pause)

“ever.”

“if he sees you in his chair, he’ll bring the belt.”

Well, I was a small kid, but even I knew that some other person’s parent wasn’t going to be allowed to beat the shit out of ME with his belt. So I said, nonchalantly, “so what? He can’t hit me.”

My tough guy friend (and, truth be told, a bit of a bully to other kids) just got paler and paler.

Then he said (very quietly)

“he might not wallop you. but he’ll wallop me instead.”

I hopped off that chair like a shot.

And learned a sh*tload that day.”

3. Mother-in-law

“My MIL has some major issues.

There is a room just as you walk in the house that is completely off limits. It’s vacuumed constantly and is a picturesque pink frilly sitting room, pink carpets, etc. Think Dolores Umbrage. My parents brought their dog over once (who is a fantastic chill dog) and she put a paw on the carpet and my MIL almost had an aneurysm.
When my husband was growing up, he and his 2 brothers had 1 hour of screen time a day. TV, video games, whatever, 1 hour.
1 bath a week. If you had more than that you got screamed at. The brothers would end up showering at a friend’s house. I had to basically train my husband out of that one.
If you had too much fun doing something, they wouldn’t let you do it anymore. It made my husband very good at lying and also very obsessive about things he enjoyed. Or, if you had too much fun in a weekend you weren’t allowed to do something fun later in the weekend. I.e. visiting a friend’s house on Saturday, weren’t allowed to do anything on Sunday except clean or do yard work.
Not allowed to argue with parents. Mom has a personality disorder and constantly lies. Dad always backs her up. She will lie about what the boys were doing and say they were breaking a rule when they weren’t and they couldn’t argue. (This rule is literally pinned to their wall)
They have to get the parents cards for birthdays etc. But the cards are not allowed to be hand made because it’s “cheap.” This rule persists.
Have to take pictures every Sunday before going to church, in the church outfits. There are hundreds of pictures of this, in the same spot in the house.
There are other rules I literally can’t remember/pick out of the piles of abuse.

My husband and his brothers have grown up very well adjusted and sane based on this mess.”

4. On the stairs

“Had a babysitter when I was about 8 and my sister was 5. The rule was all day we had to sit on the stairs. No couch, no kitchen table, nothing literally had to stay on the stairs the whole day (which was pretty f*cking uncomfortable even to my 8 year old body) and me and my sister were pretty well behaved so we did it without much question. When my mom would come pick us up and started talking for what seemed like forever, of course, we would get to sit on the couch. only years later did I realize how weird and sh*tty that was.”

5. Locked in the garage

“She wouldn’t actually let us into the house.

She threw a housewarming party and we were all excited about attending, but instead she herded us all into her garage and locked us in there. There was a door in the garage that led into the kitchen that she would only unlock if someone wanted the bathroom. She would then escort the person to the toilet and stand outside the door until they were done, take them back to the garage and lock the door again. The garage was empty as well. Not even so much as a deck chair or box to sit on.

The guests did not stay long. I left in under an hour and the rest not long after. She was offended after she put so much “effort” into having us over.”

6. The correct order

“My grandparents had a very specific order that food should be eaten. We’re a big English family and tea would be served at 5pm or so, after lunch at 1pm. Plates and dishes would be placed on the dining room table all at once, but, could only be consumed in the correct order. Sandwiches first, then sausage rolls/assorted savouries, then sweet foods.

It’s only so strange, because after my generation (16 of us) my grandmother now couldn’t give less of a shit, and all the rules are out of the window, especially for great grandchildren and our spouses. We’re just pretty bitter that we would get such a telling off for eating a sausage roll before a sandwich, since now apparently you can have chocolate biscuits before 2pm. Anarchy.”

7. Double-take

“So a few years back I was at a party and they home owner had a list of house rules on a chalk board. The one that sort of made me double take was “Overnight guests are asked not to masturbate.”

I was a little confused, I mean nobody wants to think of someone else jerking it in their home, in their sheets, but that seems a little weird. Was there an incident that incited this?”

8. Them’s the rules

“I was in a foster home from ages 5 to 7. They were religious and the rules were as follows: women couldn’t cut their hair, wear short sleeves after 5 years of age, could only wear dresses and nightgowns (even when swimming on vacation), and nobody could enter the home if wearing shorts. Pants were fine. The upside was the whole family ate dinner together every night and there was always dessert.

As a kid coming from a home where food was not aplenty, I thought it was wonderful. I’ve stayed in touch over the years and went to the moms 80th birthday party last summer. Lots of people were there in shorts, so the rules have obviously been relaxed over the years. One daughter even had hair a little below her shoulders, so that rule isn’t enforced, either.”

9. Priorities

“I’m a medic, so we go into people’s homes every day. We had a cardiac arrest, so we were working a man, and the wife was having a fit about the mess we were making.

Yes, there was some garbage from the pads, needles, meds, but we put all of it into our jump bag.

She was screaming at us about it. I told her that her husband was very sick and we were doing everything we could to help. She said she didn’t care if he died as long as we didn’t make a mess.”

10. Knock knock

“Anytime I was over at their house and we would go outside and play, I would have to knock on the door each time to come back in, even if I had been there for a while or if I had just walked in with their kid.

Their mother kept tabs on exactly how much I ate or drank while I was there and expected me to work for whatever they had given me.

I had accidentally left something by the door and I realized after I got a few steps away from their porch so I just opened the door and reached in to grab it. Her mother grabbed my arm and jerked me back into the house and screamed how I was a guest at their house and that I was to always knock before entering, how I was a rude child, she didn’t care that I was just there and what I grabbed was mine etc. I had known this woman my entire life. We lived in the same neighborhood, she knew all of my extended family and treated me like I was some stranger.

That was my last day playing over there.”