Old Rules. They just need to be said again.

May 18, 2012

in random

I don’t have any new rules to share with the world like Bill Maher and his team of writers. What I have though is a list of OLD rules that I just want to humbly scream out loud into the abyss of the Internet.

  • Old rule: Don’t say that you do your own laundry if you do NOT fold the clothes. Throwing in the dirty laundry into the washer and then moving the clothes from the washer into the dryer is like you accidentally getting a girl pregnant in the back of a Chevy. The real work is in carrying the baby to term and giving birth.
  • Old rule: It does not count as doing the dishes if all you do is rinsing the dishes and stacking them on the kitchen counter.
  • Old rule: Please stop telling people you enjoy cooking. Try cleaning up the kitchen next time and we will discuss how much you still like cooking afterwards.
  • Old rule: Turning on the turn signal AS you are making the turn is the same as NOT using the turn signal, and it makes you a law-breaking d-bag.
  • Old rule: If you drive a sporty car, DRIVE it like a sporty car. Don’t go under the speed limit. It is not Cruise Night. Listen. Your car is crying.
  • Old rule: Just because you can see me, it does not mean I can see you. You can see me because I am driving in a car with its headlights on; I cannot see you because you are effing riding a bike wearing dark clothing at night.
  • Old rule: Just because you can see me, does not mean I can see you. You can see me because your back is towards the sun; I cannot see you because I am driving dead west at five o’clock and the sun is attacking my eyes with its giant laser beams.
  • Old rule: Adding a smilie face at the end of your curt email only highlights the passive aggressiveness of it.
  • Old rule: If you don’t know the back story, don’t tell someone, “Don’t be a bitch.”
  • Old rule: You ask me to have coffee and catch up. Please refrain from scanning the room the whole time seeing who else comes and goes. I don’t know about you, but the whole networking approach taught in B school is really getting on my nerves. You’ve climbed far, more power to you. Next time, please feel free to fail to contact me. It will save us both time.
  • Old rule: It is extremely rude to make that “hurry up” gesture when someone is talking no matter how long that person has been droning on.
  • Old rule: Be nice to people who do not matter, e.g. servers, doormen, delivery people. Your true character shall be judged on this.
  • Old rule: It makes you an asshat if you do not hold the door open for the next person if they are within “the courtesy zone”.


Whenever I find myself in the awkward zone, I hurry up so I could get into the courtesy zone asap


  • Old rule: When you find yourself in the awkward zone, DO hurry up so the person that’s holding the door for you can 1. stop feeling awkward, 2. move on with their life. He’s not your doorman. You are not god’s gift to men. And for goodness sake, thank them!
  • Old rule: When someone says “Thank you”, the proper response is “You are welcome” and not “uh huh”. It makes you sound bitter.
  • Old rule: Use Please. Thank you. Excuse me. It is really that simple.


I know there are a lot more. It’s 4 am. Old rule: Stop telling people what time it is when you are banging out gibberish on your keyboard. Just go to bed already. Anyhoo, would LOVE it if y’all wouldn’t mind adding your own in the comment section.


alonewithcats June 4, 2012 at 1:43 am

I’m awesome at doing laundry, and then folding it into a basket, and then letting my cats sit on top of it until a week later when I’m ready to do laundry again, only to find that my previously clean clothes now have been smushed and wrinkled by 25 pounds of cats.

Old rule: If you are 23 years old, have recently graduated college and now work in an accounting firm where you wear a suit and tie each day and make more money than your sister who is nine years older, move the fuck out of your parents’ house. You are slowly killing them with your leechiness. (This is definitely not about my brother. Not at all.)
alonewithcats´s last blog post…Jenny Lawson’s book, I AM IN YOU

Absence Alternatives June 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Was kind of disappointed to find out it is not you that wears a tie to work every day…

naptimewriting May 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Old rule: you did not do the dishes if you left the pots, pans, counters, and sink unwashed. You *started* the dishes.

Old rule: do not tell a pregnant woman that she looks a)small, b)ready any day now, c)tired, or d)in need of advice. Move along, people. Move along.

Old rule: wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Don’t care where you work…germs are germs.

Absence Alternatives June 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Right on! In general, do not assume a woman is pregnant unless you are specifically told so. That’s a mistake you cannot get out of no matter how you spin it.

vanilla north May 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

“Old rule: It does not count as doing the dishes if all you do is rinsing the dishes and stacking them on the kitchen counter.”

So agree! i hate when i hear “but i clean the kitchen!”
vanilla north´s last blog post…North is West – come back to me

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

High five sister!

Merrilymarylee May 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Oh Wise Woman, I am awed by your pithiness!

How ’bout a rule that says Don’t sit in the inside lane and wait until the traffic light changes to turn on your left turn signal so that the line of cars behind you–all planning to go straight–has to sit through another light cycle. Wasn’t there one of those? A turn signal bulb isn’t that pricey.
Merrilymarylee´s last blog post…Stoned

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yes yes yes! I am so scared about keeping people behind me I often turn on the left turn signal WAY before. Then my husband told me that’s probably just as annoying…

BigLittleWolf May 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

I’m a little late to this post, but no less appreciative of its wisdom.


Excuse me (for being so late).

And thank you for these reminders!

(Sometimes the “old rules” are pretty damn good. They’ve been around a long time for good reason.)
BigLittleWolf´s last blog post…Jane on Jane, and the Value of YES

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I see what you did there! 🙂

Justine May 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Oh you have so many good ones!

Old rule: When it’s a four-way stop, go when it’s your turn. Don’t try to be polite and wave others who came after you to move first. That just fucks up the system, and sometimes it can endanger others who’re not in on your “politeness”.

Old rule: Just because you’re a pedestrian doesn’t mean you have the right of way everywhere you are. When it’s not a crosswalk, you don’t get to just stroll across traffic and expect all cars to yield to you.

Old rule: I don’t care if there are 20 inches of snow and you removed all of it yourself. This is still public street parking, and you don’t get to put that couch on there to save your spot. You want a spot? Pay for one. Or go live in the suburbs (no offense)…

Rant over. As you can tell, stupid/inconsiderate drivers/pedestrians are one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s no wonder I turn into a sailor when I’m in the car. Also explains the only two times my daughter’s ever repeated a cuss word was when she was with me. In the car.
Justine´s last blog post…The village people

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

LOL. So you turn into a foul-mouthed monster behind the wheels too? 😉

It is VERY frustrating driving in downtown Chicago esp. when you want to make a turn.

Secret Agent Woman May 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Old rule: If you have your kids on your own for a weekend while your husband is out of town on a golf trip, don’t tell a real single mother how difficult life is as a single mother.

Is it okay when people say “Thank you” if I respond “Sure thing!”? Because I live in the South.

And hey! I suddenly wondered where the hell you were, and went back to my old reader. When I tried to transfer it over, it will only list posts from October of 2011. Don’t know why, but I have you bookmarked now.

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I think a Southern accent, at least for me, makes you sound instantly warm and friendly. I bumped into a woman in the office the other day (mind you, my office is overrun with 20/30 year old thin, good-looking, cosmopolitan women), and she said, “Y’r al’right sugar.” I almost said, “I love you. Can I be your friend?”

Absence Alternatives May 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

AND, LOVE your rule!!!!!

Meg at the Members Lounge May 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Could you make a video PSA for us to distribute? That way I won’t have to kill that the chick who sailed through a door like she was a reincarnation of Roger Vadim’s “And God Created Woman”.
Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog post…The Cowgirl Chronicles

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Did she glide through it?

Barnmaven May 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

1. Holding down the fort while your wife goes on a girl’s weekend is NOT the same as holding down the fort while you are gone for three months on the jobs. Please don’t compare the two.

2. Ordering pizza for dinner is not the same as cooking dinner for. You may expect my gratitude for not needing to be responsible for a meal but please don’t expect me to praise your industriousness.

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Agreed. Agreed! I laughed so hard. High five!!!

Velva May 21, 2012 at 8:04 am

I can live by these rules!

Velva´s last blog post…Glazed Citrus Doodles

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Rule abiding citizen for once. Lol

Kathy May 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

God, it’s sad that these would need repeating, but they SO DO! Thanks for the community service, Lin!
Kathy´s last blog post…Blog Readers: A Writer’s Focus Group

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

you are welcome. Any time. LOL.

tricia May 19, 2012 at 1:10 am

I agree with this list on all counts! 🙂 Especially the courtesy zone…. 🙂

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

I love that rule. 🙂

Heather May 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

When apologizing to me, if you say “I’m sorry”, those words mean nothing. How many times do we hear it or a form of it? I ran into you with my cart, Sorry. Sounds impersonal and fake. I always try to say “I apologize for …” It makes it sound more sincere. Just a personal pet peeve I guess.

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:48 am

This is a nice reminder!

Jack@TheJackB May 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Man oh man do I have things to add to this list. You on the cellphone, stop screaming into it. No one cares about your conversation.
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…Can You Build Community Without Comments?

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:48 am

Come on. I know you have many to add to this! LOL. Cellphone usage should have its own rule book.

Jack@TheJackB May 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

How about stop saying “no offense” when you talk about what you don’t like. You can’t walk into a house and say I decorate differently and then toss in “no offense” as if it removes the “stain.”
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…Can You Write a Funny Post

Elly Lou May 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

If you’re going to pee standing up, lift the seat – regardless of gender.
Elly Lou´s last blog post…You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:46 am

But if you are a dog, then OMG how did your person talk you into that?!

Micael Chadwick May 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

Yes. Yes. And yes.

We must have been the the same class, we learned the same rules.

Or, perhaps, we just have class?

Six one; half dozen another.

Micael Chadwick´s last blog post…‎”Enough Light to Shadow” by Jhon Baker

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:46 am

Let’s just say we have CLASS. I am fine with that. 😉

Vee May 18, 2012 at 7:30 am

Actually, I’d rewrite that rule about the awkward zone: don’t stand there and hold the door for someone who in the Awkward zone. It makes them feel obligated to sprint to the courtesy zone, and the thanks they offer you will be begrudging.

Here’s another one: When obliged to ride standing in a public transit vehicle, please remove your backpack/huge purse and put it at your feet. No one wants your stuff in his face.
Vee´s last blog post…Blurgh

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:45 am

I agree with #1. Though grateful, I often wish the person holding the door would just leave. It’s an awkward dance. When are we going to have force field instead?! THAT would solve THIS problem.

do2na May 18, 2012 at 5:56 am

Old rule: While driving, the person behind you might not be the a-hole, it could be you. If you see a long line of cars behind you and no one in front, you are in the wrong lane. Slower traffic should always move right. Period. Even if you think you are going the speed limit.
do2na´s last blog post…Dumbfounded

Absence Alternatives May 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

Yes! The FAST lane rule is often ignored. Ugh.

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