Monday, March 7, 2011

Really? This is something we're doing?

One of the greatest things about living with someone who grew up in a different culture is they bring along all of their absolutely insane cultural quirks.  I've lived with my wife for about five years, and I've learned to deal with more than a few ridiculous quotidian practices that are steeped in the superstitious, or just backwards culture.

  • We are not to whistle in the house.  This is quite possibly the most heavily enforced rule in our relationship.  Cleanliness, fidelity, or honor could all fall by the wayside, as long as no one was whistling in the house.  Apparently, committing this heinous act means that the family will not have any money.  More specifically, that you will frivolously spend all of your excess cash and not be able to save.  It is also the most broken rule.  I love to sing/hum and dance around the house, but I can't reach the really high notes in a lot of songs, and don't feel like starting over in a lower key. So I substitute whistling for voice.  (note: we have trouble saving)
  • We are to completely overhaul the house at the most inopportune times.  More than once, dinner has been served, we are ready to sit down to eat, and she demands that the pantry be reorganized.  I don't believe this is a cultural thing, but it is probably the most annoying idiosyncrasy besides the whistling. It is routine that on a Saturday morning, before anyone is allowed coffee or breakfast, mopping must be done.
  • Do not sit on the corner of a table, only at the side.  This was probably the craziest thing I had ever heard, and thankfully, it only applied before we were married.  Apparently, this would prevent you from being able to get married.  All old maids and bachelors had fallen victim to sitting so that the plane of one of the ends of a table intersected their body.  Thankfully, this is no longer a concern for her.
  • We are not to go back into a house to retrieve something we've forgotten if we've already left.  So if you forgot your car keys once you've stepped out of your house, you're walking.  Thankfully, there is one saving grace.  The bravest among you CAN go back inside, provided you look at yourself in a mirror and say, "Hello".  This one is not a joke.
  • Just before leaving on a long trip, everyone must sit down and be absolutely silent for around ten seconds.  Don't ask me why, because I never did.  In addition, the people whose house you left are not allowed to take out their trash until you call to let them know you made it home safely.  Hopefully, it's not a long trip.
  • When someone is taking a test, we must think bad thoughts about them.  This is counter-intuitive, but it has to do with spirits.  Bad spirits need to be distracted, and it seems that the best way to do that is to badmouth someone you love.
  • This one is probably my favorite. When you make a large purchase, you must be the one to purchase a bottle of vodka to celebrate with friends and family.  It's more along the lines of etiquette rather than superstition, but still a fun one.  Whenever vodka is involved, I'm on board.  
The only reason the man on the floor will not be married: bad seating choice


  1. Am married to a Russian and YES! No whistling in the house. Also -- we not only sit silently before we leave for a trip, WE SIT ON THE LUGGAGE.

  2. my wife cannot produce a reason why they did this, valid or otherwise. could you investigate with The Russian?


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