rules to live by.

When I was growing up my parents were.... strict. Once my brother hit college they became more lax and then Matt came around and brought with him his inappropriate sense of humor and all bets were off. I thought it could be kind of funny to go back into time a bit with some of the rules we lived by. You know other than the obvious no sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

- no nail polish unless it was clear. My aunt got married when I was in sixth grade and I remember her asking my father permission in order to paint my nails the lightest shade of baby pink. I was sitting at my Grandma's kitchen table practically bouncing up and down with anticipation. He reneged. 

- no makeup. My first piece of makeup was mascara, and it was clear. It came to me in my Easter basket and I was in high school. I learned how to apply the rest of my makeup from friends before going to dances and have literally not changed it since. This, to me, is a downfall on my part. Teen Beat makeup should never be every day make up.

- no popular radio until you were 13. And this was before some of the more wonderful songs have graced popular radio. Meredith Brooks man... You ruined it for us. 13 was also the magic number in that it opened the doors to MTV. I waited so long to be able to watch My So Called Life and Daria. Well worth the wait. And along the same lines as television and what we could and couldn't watch.... No Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No Butthead either, MTV allowances or not.

- no R rated movies. No movies about witches for that matter regardless of rating system. I went to a Halloween themed sleepover when I was in middle school where The Craft would be viewed. I, ever the honest daughter, informed my mother. In order to be allowed to go I had to promise not only to not watch, but to not listen. I brought my Walkman and magazines and turned my back during the movie. I still haven't seen it. Devil's work that one. 

- no two piece bathing suits. When I was 14 I was asked to go to The Outerbanks with my girlfriend and I desperately wanted to wear a two piece and be a big girl. My mother told me she would "talk to my father" and that she would need to approve the final purchase. I came home with a sports bra and a pair of shorts. Thattttttttt was my first two piece. 

- no pierced ears until you were ten. I think it was ten anyways. I was a real jerk and made my sister wait until she was ten too even though my parents no longer cared. I really revolted against this as soon as I could. I fooled those OCMD Boardwalk people, I sure did. When all was said and done I had 17 holes in my ears. That one backfired didn't it parents? Remember when John pierced his ears and he was forbidden to have them in when dad was in the house? And I used to have to re-pierce his poor ears every time he left? Blood? Everywhere? Yup. That.

- church every Sunday. If the roads of Maine were impassable we held church in the formal living room, with me botching up a version of Christ the Lord Has Risen Today on the piano and my dad reading from The Daily Bread. 

- eat all your peas. Okay this rule I never ever abided by come hell or high water. And you knew that wretched thing kids say? "When I'm a mommy I'll never make my daughter eat her peas!" Well folks. I don't. Nor will I ever. I hate those foul creatures. I would rather sit in the dark sobbing into my plate of cold peas and warm milk than suffer that horribleness. Or I would rather receive a spanking times three than eat just one offensive bean. To bed with no dessert? Sign this stubborn girl up. And for the record yes Letty takes after me. 

Sometimes we tease them, my parents. When the discussion around the dinner table hasn't left bathroom humor or sexual puns for an hour someone sighs and says look how far we've fallen. When my dad pours me a glass of wine that he has purchased himself (always Matt's favorite kind too). When all of us have a tattoo here or there. They were strict, yes... But they were perfect and I wouldn't change a thing. 

Except maybe the earrings thing. 

So instead of "I'm All About That Bass" I'll teach my three all about The Beatles or Jay and The Americans, followed by a side of Neil Diamond. 

Oh and might I add two of my own rules kids of mine??
- no Stephen King books until you can drive, at least. 
- you are never ever I mean never allowed to date your brother's best friend. Ever. 

The end.



  1. I can relate to some of these.. No make up, no additional piercings (we had our ears pierced as babies) and definitely no tattoos.

  2. oooh these are good!!! haha! i had a lot of these... like the tv, we couldn't watch any MTV ever [except once i got into high school i turned on "appropriate" mtv shows with no argument, i guess!], no teenage mutant ninja turtles or power rangers or the simpsons and i can agree with those. i guess. teenage mutant ninja turtles, i'm pretty sure, were harmless in hindsight, weren't they? i never cared, anyway, since i'm a girl. :) i do remember horrible blue eyeshadow decisions in middle school. oh! two piece bathing suits!! i do nottt remember my first one but it was probably pretty late in the game. my mom is serious about that one, and to this day i do not like seeing babies in two pieces, myself. plenty of time for that business. and our ear piercing rule was 18. EIGHTEEN! but i finally got them done at 11. haha. and then i begggggged for double holes and the answer was always no. ended up with a couple of cartilage piercings in high school that i thought were cute but then they got HORRIBLY infected when my entire ear got an ear infection from swimming too much or something, so, backfire on me! haha! and your peas = my lima beans. i will never eat them and i probably will never make them for my family because i believe them to be cruelty. anyway!!! i love these! parents just trying to figure it all out. :)

  3. This was such fun to read. One of my favorite Laurie posts ever. So much nostalgia. So much Maine. So much resemblance to their mom, those kids of yours have.

    It's funny because my parents were the exact opposite. I was watching Poltergeist and Pet Sematary before I was in Kindergarten. Heck. Creepshow was the first spooky movie I remember. I think I was 2 or 3.
    We could read whatever we wanted, and watch whatever we wanted - with one exception: my mom flat out refused to let us watch Basic Instinct. I guess Sharon Stone Wardrobe Malfunction was way more offensive to them than long dead corpses climbing out of their graves for revenge.

    MTV? I missed the premier which was the year before I was born, but my dad filled me in later and as long as I can remember, MTV was playing on our TV. A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran was the first music video I think. That or Video Killed the Radio Star. Beavis and Butthead? Yep.

    I think I'm going to be a lot more strict with my kids though. And by god they WILL eat their peas!

  4. This had me rolling!! Growing up my mom was a no rules, anything goes, find your independence kind of mom. my dad was insanely strict. Which is probably why those two got divorced, real opposites. So it was a hard balance, my dad thought I was completely out of control (I was) but my mom would chalk it up to, oh she is just finding herself. LOL. I think I have a happy medium going on so far, but I definitely know way too many tricks, so good luck to my children. haha! Oh and my kids favorite veggie is peas, no lie, they eat a whole bag between the three of them.

  5. This is the best! So much fun, I am still laughing. Although, I bet at the time they were not funny at all. " Blood? Everywhere?" = Me dying of laughter. I totally agree no dating of any brothers best friends ever. Solid rule. No exceptions. These pictures are a post all of their own too. Priceless!

    I remember performing little services for my family. My grandparents were sure I was going to grow up and be a missionary. Well, they must be disappointed for sure. My sister wasn't allowed to watch Simpsons or Married with Children till after I moved out of the house I am sure. Which would of put her in high school some time. Although, it didn't stop her once my mom went to bed. haha

  6. I remember the no mtv rule and no dawsons creek rule. But I never wanted to watch them anyways. I loved I Love Lucy and whatever else was on old. I went to a private school so they tacked on the no nail polish and no jewelry rule. But other than that I always felt my parents were pretty lax. But what about hocus pocus? I mean it just isn't Halloween without it.

  7. ha i love this. i always forget about the strict childhood but good memories nonetheless. i think i had minimal rules. like please don't do drugs, etc. drive before having a permit. just be good. not murder my brother :) the usual. i guess i turned out ok :)

  8. Love these old pictures! me and my sisters had a list a mile long of TV shows we were forbidden from watching...Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles being one of them! Mandy and I...the rebels that we were...would sometimes secretly watch the show. That and Power Rangers. It will be interesting to see what kind of rules we set for how the tables have turned! Ha

  9. I relate to so many of these! The not listening to the radio one (except for our local christian radio station) was tough for me. I got to high school not knowing who The Beatles, Rolling Stones, et al were. I did have a pretty comprehensive classical music knowledge but that doesn't get you much street cred.
    I also remember not being allowed to go to some sleepovers because Mum had requested the movie choice in advance and it didn't meet her standards. I learnt to lie pretty quickly. This was around the time when horror movies like 'I know what you did last summer' and 'scream' had just been released so I was desperate to watch them.
    Being in Australia we never celebrated Halloween but my parents didn't want me to read Harry Potter because of the witchcraft aspect (this is at a time when I was reading Anne Rice novels, but they weren't part of the church lecture series so I don't think they knew about them).
    It's strange now because i don't talk to anyone from that time in my life and sometime's i'll say something from vegietales, or remember a sunday school song and I just get weird looks because they just don't understand.


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