If you grew up surrounded by your immediate family, you may be surprised to find out that some of your habits and rituals are actually totally strange when you move out and start living in the real world.
Whether it's strange dietary habits or serious hygiene deficiencies, good friends never wait to let their buddies know that their little habits are completely strange when they see them happen in public, much to everyone's embarrassment.
"I've Never Had Spaghetti"
A coworker (mid 20’s, Midwest born and raised) sat down with spaghetti one day for lunch.
After twiddling the noodles around with the fork for a while, he looked and me and asked “How do you eat this”?
Thinking it was a joke, I laughed at him and kept eating. He looked at me with a straight face and said, “I’ve never had spaghetti.”
Our job had a cafeteria with different options, but this coworker normally got the same thing everyday (burger and fries) and I didn’t think anything of it.
Life is amazing.
Story credit: Reddit / missedthemarc
Odd Eating Habits
I lived with a girl that would eat baby powder that she had stashed in the drawer of the bathroom. She would walk by the bathroom and do quick shakes of the bottle right in her mouth. She would also buy whole frozen fish from walmart and take them out of the freezer bag and slap them hard against the brick kitchen floor before cooking them in a stew.
Story credit: Reddit / GrayBuffalo
Until my early twenties, I thought lucid dreams were the norm. I cringe thinking of all the times I heard someone describe a bad dream and I said something along the lines of “Why didn’t you just change the dream?”
Growing up, I said this to several close family members, and NOT ONE told me that was weird.
Story credit: Reddit / doesntsharefood
My friend thought that everyone was regularly taking worming tablets to stop getting worms. It wasn’t until she got married and told her husband she was going to go pick up their worming tablets that she found out it wasn’t normal.
Story credit: Reddit / happy_elephant3
He Was Super Clean and Utterly Disgusting
I had a college roommate who had two hampers. One for shirts and pants, and another for socks and underwear. If one wrong article made it into either hamper, the entire hamper was then considered contaminated and he would throw the entire thing away; he’d put on cleaning gloves, pick up the hamper, and take it down to the dumpster and in it went. Clothes and all.
We explained this wasn’t normal but he was convinced we were the ones who were abnormal. Remember that interview with the Roy Moore spokesperson where it looks like his brain shuts off for 10 seconds? That was basically his reaction when we pointed out his underwear touch his clothes while on his body. It was bizarre.
He also scrubbed the shower and toilet before every use, had no eating manners whatsoever (loud slurping, chewing with mouth open, etc.), would frequently yell at people for no reason, and he thought girls were, and I quote, “icky”. Oh and he loved to warm up KFC in the microwave and then keep the bones in a drawer in his desk. He was somehow both super clean and utterly disgusting at the same time.
Story credit: Reddit / Apocalyptic0n3
Ghosts Are Real
A family member thought that hallucinations were something everyone dealt with. They thought that monsters under the bed and other cultural tales of ghosts were real things which were further confirmed by their experience.
This led to later diagnosis of schizophrenia once they couldn’t cope well enough to deal with the symptoms and it became evident to family members.
Story credit: Reddit / Mettastorm
One of my friends genuinely cannot taste basil. He always thought that basil was some tasteless leaf that people liked to put on pizza. He once ate bowl of basil leaves like a salad.
Story credit: Reddit / king101well
My friend always thought “jerking it” was like “messing around.” Like, as in wasting time.
When she was in middle school a kid was commenting on how far along she was on an art project. In response, she said, “Maybe you’d be this far if you weren’t jerking it all the time.” In front of the whole class.
And yet, she still only learned that wasn’t what it meant her junior year in college.
Story credit: Reddit / collegebored1820
His Teeth Fell Out
My dad’s parents never told him to brush his teeth and he told me that he used to eat a whole can of condensed milk everyday as a kid! He still thinks it’s perfectly normal, I don’t know. And he just wondered why one day his teeth fell out. Only when he was in his 20s someone told him that brushing helps.
Story credit: Reddit / forthevic
I had a friend whose parents would buy a gallon of whole milk and pour half the gallon in another jug, then mix water into both to dilute it. She always just thought that other people got a different brand of milk because drinking milk at a friend’s house always tasted different. Her grandparents did it too. Really weirded me out when I saw her mom just pour milk into an empty jug, and mixing water with it.
I 100% guarantee you that their grandparents learned that in the great depression.
Story credit: Reddit / Tibbersbear
Q-Tips Aren't Necessary
A guy I know finishes wiping his butt with a q-tip. He gets it as clean as possible with TP and then uses a q-tip to go up a little further and get the last little bits of poop.
Now I challenge someone to make a sign for ESPN’s College Game Day that says “[Rival Coach] finishes wiping with a q-tip.”
Story credit: Reddit / randallstevens65
He Should Really See a Doctor
Okay, so my old roommate did a lot of substances and drank a lot. One time I had a friend over and we were gonna smoke from my roommate’s paraphernalia and when my friend took a hit he threw up due to an extremely unpleasant taste and smell. We poured out the water and my roommate said he had never changed it out and the water was very very dark. I wanna say it was almost black but it was at least just very very dark. My roommate then said, “That looks like pee.”
We all looked at him in disbelief and asked if that’s what his pee looked like and he looked very concerned when we pressed him on it and when we said that that’s not how pee should look.
I also would like to add that we did tell him that he should go and see a doctor about that to which he replied “yeah” and then changed the subject.
Story credit: Reddit / Talibumm
Take Out the Plastic Applicator
A friend of mine didn’t know that after you insert the tampon, you pull out the applicator. Found this out in college after being dumbfounded why everyone preferred tampons over pads. She was walking around with that terrible piece of plastic up there all this time.
Maybe I’ll get her a card or something.
Story credit: Reddit / sinner_in_the_house
The Washing Machine Takes Forever
My roommate in college thought you washed clothes on every single cycle on the washing machine. Our machine had a delicate cycle, a cotton cycle, a solo rinse cycle, a permanent press cycle, etc.
He always complained about the washer taking forever… It’s because he was washing his clothes 4-5 times every time he did laundry.
Story credit: Reddit / sooner_or_later
The Pizza Box Incident
This dude carried a pizza box sideways under his arm… It’s totally unforgivable.
I have to say, I’m so glad it made other people as uneasy as it made me. It was a neighbor at a neighborhood pizza party who was kinda strange already. Every time someone talks about him I’m like, “I knew he was strange since the pizza box incident.”
Story credit: Reddit / lrichard225
Cornflakes with Orange Juice
My neighbours ate their Cornflakes with orange juice instead of milk. Their parents had conditioned them all to think this was normal and acceptable behavior. I’m calling child protective services as I type this.
Story credit: Reddit / Fruitloops_for_B
And Then Your Hands Go Numb
My friend last night was like “you know when you think you’re starting to get sick and you’re super tired, your nose is runny, and your throat is phlegmy…” and we’re all like “yeah?” and she says “and then your hands go completely numb?” And we’re all like nope, that’s definitely just you. We told her she probably needs to see a doctor.
Story credit: Reddit / regan-omics
Bragging About It
Guy had three nuts. Thought he just had an extra ball. We told him it was probably a tumor. It turned out that’s exactly what it was.
By the way, this happened because he was bragging about it and showing everyone in a rec league hockey locker room like he thought he was king of the world.
Story credit: Reddit / Shutout69
One time my best friend and I were on a voice chat as it was getting pretty late. At one point he said that he should probably head to bed because he was starting to see gory and otherwise disturbing things. Apparently he has hypnagogic hallucinations every so often and just assumed that it was normal to start hallucinating incredibly violent imagery whenever you get tired.
Story credit: Reddit / Palycat
A Cheat Code
I have a friend who has lost an immense amount of weight, yet eats and drinks like crap all the time. It had been revealed to me by him that, “he often feels so full sometimes, that he just makes himself puke to feel better.”
This has been going on for quite a few years now. He’s straight up bulimic and thinks it’s just a neat little way to get rid of all the bad foods and drinks he gorges himself with. He’s gotten so good at making himself puke, it’s almost silent. No gagging sounds no messy puke splatter. Just a stream of chewed up food and drinks. I’m quite sure that even his wife is oblivious to this.
People have tried telling him he needs to stop doing this and offered to get him help but he thinks it’s like… a cheat code rather than an eating disorder that he’s sleepwalked into.
Story credit: Reddit / LeFrizzleFry
A friend told me about her roommate who keeps a large bin full of bread under her bed. Every week, she buys a new loaf and adds it to the bin. She doesn’t actually eat that much bread, but has a huge bin full.
The only thing I can think is my friend’s roommate might have been either starved as a child or grew up really poor. Hoarding/hiding food like that is usually an indicator. It basically serves as a psychological comfort thing — she won’t go hungry because she always has the bread, so she keeps it there just in case.
Story credit: Reddit / sarah_the_intern
I had one college roommate who put on a clean pair of underwear every time she used the bathroom.
For those of you wanting more details:
She had Aspergers.
She only went twice a day, and never in public restrooms.
She couldn’t stand to wear any pads or liners.
She didn’t leak or anything, but otherwise had TERRIBLE hygiene.
We were at college in Bumblefrigging Nowhere, USA, where probably 99% of the student body had never seen nor heard of a bidet.
Story credit: Reddit / Tiny_Parfait
Dude, I caught an old roommate using my toothbrush once. I was all like, “WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, DUDE?!” But he was baffled as to why I was disgusted.
Apparently he’d been doing it for awhile. He thought it was normal for people who lived together to just share toothbrushes for some reason.
Story credit: Reddit / NintendoDestroyer89
One of my friends in college would clip his nails when he was out in public. One time he took the clippers out in a restaurant and the rest of us were like “wtf?”
Story credit: Reddit / Sundaydinobot1
Her Parents Were Big Drinkers
My friend didn’t know martinis weren’t normally served in giant water pitcher sized glasses and thought she was getting ripped off when she ordered one at a bar. Her parents were big drinkers apparently.
Story credit: Reddit / ceecee1791
What's a Leprechaun?
My friend genuinely believed that ‘Leprechaun’ was just a term for indigenous Irish little people.
Story credit: Reddit / RumHamHavoc
The Damage Was Already Done
I worked with a guy who had some kind of gut problem and he’d be sitting at his desk, and vomit into a cup. Not a lot, but like a vurp. A few times a day, even in meetings. Finally, his boss talked to him and said that was not cool, and he should see a doctor.
His response was a surprised, “Really? You think I should see a doctor about this?”
“Yes. Yes you should. That’s not normal at all.”
“Wow. Huh, okay boss!” He apparently had been doing this all his life.
And he did.
He went to a doctor, and waddya know! They had medicine for his condition! The guy grew up in some country where his condition was never addressed, either because of poverty or neglect. Probably both. Which is really a shame.
But the damage was already done; everyone avoided the “vomit guy.” He was eventually let go. I just hope that wasn’t the reason why.
Story credit: Reddit / punkwalrus
Clothes Over the Stall Door
I was talking to my husband on the phone and he told me to hang on, he had to put his clothes back on. He was at work. I asked what the heck he was doing and apparently he always takes all his clothes off to take a dump. Even at work. I knew he did it at home but he always would then get in the shower after so I figured it was just a preface to showering.
He said he balances them over the stall door so they don’t get “poop particles” on them. I told him no one else does this. He didn’t notice because in the men’s room he’s used for the last 10 years there’s only one stall. I’m not sure why no colleague ever asked him why he’s hanging clothes over the stall door…
Story credit: Reddit / imhappysteven
Shared Bathroom Problems
There was this guy I went to college with – when he was in the shower, if the urge hit him, he would just take a dump in the shower instead of getting out to use the toilet. He did this the whole time he was a kid apparently, and it wasn’t till he got to college and had to share bathroom facilities that he found out other people showering in adjacent stalls weren’t cool with smelling poo as he waffle-stomped a log down the drain.
Story credit: Reddit / VictorBlimpmuscle
Friend of mine will absentmindedly start putting more and more of her shirt into her mouth until she chokes/gags. She enjoys the feeling and does it while doing things like browsing reddit or sitting on the toilet for a long time.
A lot of people seem to think this is a “chewing” issue. I assure you, it’s a gagging thing. Was kind of odd the first time I saw her do it so casually and she thought I was weird for not liking the feeling of almost puking.
Story credit: Reddit / AnxietyExit
"Sweep the Floor"
My family was raised saying “Sweep the floor” when referencing vacuuming.
My husband was very confused when I asked him to sweep the floor.
“Like the kitchen?”
“No the living room, the carpet”
“Do you mean vaccuum?”
I still say it because I grew up saying it. Now he’s sarcastic about it.
Story credit: Reddit / Dingo-thatate-urbaby
Didn't You Hate That?
In college, a bunch of friends and I were sitting around talking about things we did as a kid. One of the guys in the group said “didn’t you hate when you got a cold and your mom would give you an enema?” He soon found out that he was the only one.
Story credit: Reddit / Dammit_MoonMoon
A Word So Sweet
In grade 5, our teacher was running a discussion about words, and why it’s important to choose the right words to express yourself during writing assignments. He asked what some of our favourite/least favourite words were and why, so we could expand our vocabularies.
We’re all taking turns until it gets to be my friend Paige’s turn. She gives her favourite word and explains it’s her favourite because of how sweet it is. We all just assumed she meant how nice it was. She then gives her least favourite word, explaining she hates how sour it is. At this point, the class is looking at each other going… “She just said ‘sour’, right?”
Turns out she has a type of synesthesia, which is a rare condition that causes a person to taste certain tastes when speaking or even thinking certain words. She had lived her whole life thinking it was completely normal to taste words, because it’s such a unique and strange thing that nobody would ever talk about it being a condition. She had tests done later that year, and there were actual chemical changes in her brain and saliva when certain words were said. Pretty fascinating!
For people who are curious as to what her favourite/least favourite words were, I contacted her to ask! She believes her favourite word at the time was cradle, as she found/still finds it very sweet. Her least favourite word was definitely harmonica, as it is so sour she can feel her tongue cramping in the back of her mouth.
Since then, she’s discovered her love of the word “chartreuse” which is a colour. She said it’s a rich, chocolatey-vanilla, almost like a Lindor chocolate. She didn’t realize until she tried wine in high school that she was tasting wine every time she said “guinea,” but only when she’s referring to the animal. She said her least favourite word is definitely still harmonica, but funnily she also never liked her own name, as she would compare the taste to kale, or some other dry, bitter lettuce!
Story credit: Reddit / Knockturnill
A randomly paired suite-mate my sophomore year of college. He took the bus from wherever he lives (I never talked to him he was a really weird kid) and I guess on the way from his house, he forgot to grab his bags off one of the busses. In said bags were an assortment of things including his towels. Now any normal person would simply go get more towels, right?
Not this guy. He found it perfectly natural to get out of the shower, while still soaking wet he would put on his boxer briefs, get into his bed and let himself air dry. He did this every day he was there and when he moved out the rest of us walked over to his the mattress and sure enough there was a large, green, human sized circle from where he had been laying all year.
Story credit: Reddit / thedailywumbo16
I was roommates with a guy for several months and I began to notice he was a picky eater. I would always offer him food and he always declined, sometimes looking at the food in disgust. Admittedly, I’m an adventurous eater, often eating a lot of various ethnic foods and unusual stuff.
After a while, I got curious enough to ask him about his diet and he opened up. The dude ate plain cheeseburgers, cheese pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, ice cream, and pretty much nothing else. He was about 25 at the time, and had the diet of an 8 year old. He openly admitted that he hated all vegetables and only ate bread, meat, cheese. He hated Mexican food, Chinese food, salads, and anything even slightly spicy. He thought I was the weird one and that I was just trying to be different by eating all this weird stuff.
Just to clear something up – I completely understand this is not a healthy diet for anyone. When I said “diet of an 8 year old”, I meant it’s the diet that a lot of American 8 year olds would choose for themselves if their parents didn’t make them eat healthier. Also, the roommate did not grow up impoverished. His parents are actually fairly wealthy.
Story credit: Reddit / DarthCorleone
A Unique Definition
My college roommate thought it wasn’t intercourse if they didn’t finish inside of you.
We were 18.
And when I told her it was actually penetration, she got this horrified look on her face and I was so uncomfortable I had to leave the dorm room.
The reason we had this discussion was I had been telling her I had never done it before. She was like, “Cool, neither have I.” Which made me raise my eyebrows, because the previous weekend she had brought a guy back to our very small dorm room and while I was 3 feet away from them had what sounded like intercourse.
So, I questioned her about it, like, “um, what about last weekend?” She said, “Oh, that didn’t count! He didn’t finish inside of me!”
I really think her look of horror was because she truly thought she was pure, but it all became very clear to her in that moment she was mistaken.
We remained friendly for the rest of our freshman year and she made a few jokes about it, but for the most part we didn’t talk about our love lives ever again.
Story credit: Reddit / olive_green_spatula
I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends
I’m in college and I’m lucky enough to be able to rent a house, but I do have housemates, one of which we will call Cade. Cade is 6’4″, somewhat portly, kinda a quiet guy most of the time but a pretty sassy gay dude once you get past the first barrier.
Anyway, one day I came into the kitchen and I see him washing the dishes. Cool, no big deal, we don’t have an automatic dishwasher and it was his turn. I’m about to leave when I see him pick something up off the counter, bite into it, then set it back down. I only stop to look because I notice oddly the thing is bright yellow, and usually people don’t just eat bright yellow things.
Turns out Cade eats lemons. Like apples. With the peel still on. I confronted him about it and he thinks it’s the funniest thing ever that I’m freaked out by it, so now once or twice a week I get a snapchat of him aggressively eating a lemon at me. I think we’re gonna be friends for a long time.
Story credit: Reddit / YellowCladKing
You Can Buy Corn Dogs Year Round?
So it was a random day with nothing special about it. My fiancée and I are at the local grocery store shopping for the usual staple items. We usually keep some form of frozen chicken and veggies for a quick meal on the event I’m to tried or lazy to cook anything for the week.
Well, we’re walking down the aisle that has ice cream on one side and all of the convenience items like hot pockets, pizza rolls, stuff like that.
My fiancé is talking about something and comes to a full halt with a stomp of her foot and does a hard triple take and goes, “Shut. the. [Bleep]. UP! YOU CAN BUY CORN DOGS!?”
I was like, “Pffft. Haha. … Wait, is that not a joke!?”
She thought you could only buy corn dogs at the regional carnival/fair that comes around here in October.
Story credit: Reddit / Azrolicious
You Don't Have to Suffer
Me: “Don’t you hate getting hit by those first few seconds of icy water when you turn on the shower?”
Roommate: “…what do you mean?”
M: “Like in the morning when you’re standing in the shower and you have to turn it on for the first time and its really cold on your skin.”
R: “Wait, do you turn the shower on AFTER getting in?”
That was the day my mind was blown by the fact that you could turn tbe shower on BEFORE getting in. I was like 23 when I learned this.
Story credit: Reddit / ObiWanUrHomie
My ex husband has reflux really bad. Once I saw him chewing something while we were out shopping and so I asked for a piece of what I thought was gum. NOPE. It was food that we had eaten about an hour earlier. He told me his food would always come back up all the time and he would just rechew it and swallow it back down. I was like WTF. NOOO.
Story credit: Reddit / sweetsweetdingo
Never Waste Any Food
My grandma fed me hot dog water in the form of hot cocoa with the recycled boiled hot dog water. She thought it was okay to do and just told me years later.
Maybe next time I’ll tell you about when the same grandma gave everyone at Thanksgiving food poisoning.
Or the time she made me eat black and ash covered hot dogs. I’m starting to see a trend form. I still love hot dogs though. It just took me a long time to figure out that the way my grandma did things was not normal.
Story credit: Reddit / itchy136
An Ongoing Allergy Attack for 23 Years
This one is about me. In my early 20s I started having a lot of pain in my upper left jaw. My dentist said there was nothing wrong with my teeth and that I should go see a sinus specialist. Get to the ORL (ear nose and throat doctor) and they comment on how stuffed up I must be. I’m slightly baffled, and say that I’m actually breathing much easier that day than usual.
Aaand that was the day I found out that most people can breathe through their noses MOST of the time and not just on special occasions. Turns out I’m allergic to dust mites in a “how have you not had anaphylaxis and died” way, and had been experiencing an allergy attack for 23 straight years. That doctors visit legitimately changed my life. I no longer had to choose between breathing and eating.
Story credit: Reddit / PuckishPen
Passed Down Habits
This happened to me. Growing up, I was conditioned by my mother to not only use soap on my body while showering, but to use it in my hair too. Doing this made my hair feel insanely rough and dry, but I kept at it thinking it was the right thing to do.
On a trip to California to meet some friends I took a shower and they didn’t have a bar of soap. I confronted my friend about it, asking what they used in their hair as a substitute for soap. Everyone in the room gave me a strange look and told me that soap wasn’t supposed to be used for hair. I was around 18 years old when I found this out.
Story credit: Reddit / N1nja120
My friend thought that everyone ate cereal without milk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind eating dry cereal, but they thought it was weird that people would put milk in their cereal on TV commercials, shows, etc. They didn’t know that this was a thing people really did.
Story credit: Reddit / AGylime
That's Not Normal
Senior year, study hall. I’m sitting with a dude I knew. I don’t remember the context, but we were talking about growing up and he says “and it was around that time when I started to lactate” and I’m like “…what?” and he’s like “you know, when milk starts to come out?” And I’m like “dude… thats not normal.”
The face he made when he realized the reality of the situation was memorable. He goes “that.. that didn’t happen to you?” and I’m like “no.” Then he asks the rest of the guys in study hall “did any of y’all have milk come out you during puberty?” Unsurprisingly, they said no.
Story credit: Reddit / nickmcapone
Bottom to Top
One about myself that I thought was normal. I write the letter “S” from the bottom up. Someone in class saw me do it in college and called me out.
I started writing before everyone else did in preschool and I remember the teachers would help the kids still learning more often than me because they just assumed I had it down. So, that’s probably why I was never corrected.
I actually just sampled my handwriting and realized that I do all letters bottom to top. Never realized that it was something that teachers strongly discourage.
I used to have an issue not closing my lowercase “a” when I was a kid so it looked like a “u” that was probably from doing bottom-up. Never realized.
Story credit: Reddit / bonezillion
Med School Doesn't Teach You Everything
A little late here, but my ex didn’t think you needed to wash cutting boards. I was doing his dishes and started to wash it and he got upset. I thought that was a common sense thing that someone in med school should know.
Story credit: Reddit / isleeponcouches
My sister’s ex husband thought the moon was the sun but in “night mode” so it’s more dim.
The man was 43 years old. This is when my sister realized this was the final straw and needs to get a divorce.
Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
My friend couldn’t imagine/ visualize things in his head, like his family’s faces or anything. He thought it was normal for everyone until I told him that people actually can ‘see’ things in their head and even imagine things happening in their surroundings with their eyes open. He was pretty shocked and ended up talking about this condition he discovered he had, called aphantasia, for the next 2 days.
Story credit: Reddit / ChennypieX12
Who's Gonna Tell Him?
I worked with someone who didn’t realize women wipe every time after they pee.
It was a guy. He said, “Why do the women go through so much toilet paper? How much are they dumping?” And we all just looked at him… like uhhhh… who’s gonna tell him?
Story credit: Reddit / sed2017