Every game has rules. (Even Calvinball has one rule: you can’t use the same rules twice.) But I’ve found that most people have rules – written or unwritten – for life in general. For instance, I’ve encountered several people this week (guys, if you want to know) who have a general list of dating rules (for instance, a significant other must be the same age or within 3 years). Some people have food rules (e.g. they won’t eat a food that still looks like an animal). And usually, I laugh at these rules.

But lately, I’ve been noticing similar behavior in myself, and I’ve realized I’m not immune. We all have rules. I was at work the other day, complaining about my homework, when my boss told me I should take an extra hour on break and work on it. I would have to walk across campus to clock off, and I asked him if the office was still unlocked. He told me to stay on the clock. I told him to find me some work to do. I won’t be paid not to work. Apparently, that’s my rule. (Who knew?)

So here are a few of my rules, discovered quite recently:

  1. If the leaf is crunchy, step on it.
  2. If the scissors can’t cut through pants, you shouldn’t buy them. Read into it what you will.
  3. You should never go perfume shopping without a man. If you don’t have a significant other, borrow a man with a sensitive sniffer.
  4. If you ask someone on a date, you should specify that it is a date. You don’t have to make it a big deal: just make sure you either say “will you go out with me…” or “…on a date…” somewhere in there. It clarifies.
  5. Women may ask men on dates, but I personally don’t ask guys out on second dates. For some reason, I think the man should take it from there.
  6. If the guy says he has an extra ticket, he just wants to go out on Friday. If he asks you when you’d be available – and then buys the tickets – he wants to go out with you on Friday.
  7. Dating casually is fine, but if you go on more than one date with two guys who are roommates, you are begging to have darts thrown at your picture.
  8. There is always at least $500 in Free Parking. If you land on the space and there’s nothing there, you get the money anyway.
  9. If I sleep in past 9, I’m lazy. (I’ve been lazy lately, I’m afraid.)
  10. Sunshine makes you happy, and sunblock causes skin cancer. No amount of science will convince me otherwise.
  11. If a guy asks a girl’s bra size, he deserves to be slapped.
  12. If you’re funny enough, people may forgive you for being irritating.
  13. Hang up your cell phone and talk with the cashier. Even if they’re being surly, hang up the phone.
  14. If you’re going to eavesdrop, pitch in once in a while to let people know you’re eavesdropping. Unless you think it would creep them out. In which case, keep a straight face so they don’t think you’re laughing at them.
  15. If a guy holds the door for me, I thank him. If he doesn’t, that’s fine. If I reach the door first, I open the door, walk through, and then hold it behind me for the guy. (I’ve tried holding the door and letting the guy go through, and he always seems to find it awkward.) The hold-it-open-behind-you trick works for nearly any situation.
  16. If somebody’s making a mad dash for the elevator doors, sticks their foot in between to get the doors to open again, and they’re obviously losing the battle – push “door open.”
  17. Pregnant women always get to sit down. If you’re in the last seat, move.
  18. Apostrophes matter.
  19. Homestar Runner toons can only be quoted among Homestar Runner fans. Otherwise, you just end up saying weird stuff for no reason.
  20. Conversation can only be as crude as the least crude person in the room.
  21. If you have enough food to share, share.
  22. Food that is found on the floor of a classroom should be thrown away. If said food is packaged, it may be eaten, but with great care and noticeable disgust and the excuse, “What? I’m poor!” If, however, said food is packaged and is a bag of Sun Chips, it’s clearly a gift from God, and should be celebrated as such.
  23. If I’m eating food and I’m not doing a silly little dance, it’s not worth eating. Food should taste good. And good food makes me happy. and when I’m happy, I dance. I find myself humming a happy little tune and bobbing back and forth when I’m eating something even as simple as graham crackers.
  24. You cannot eat graham crackers without milk.
  25. Sooner or later, all games turn into Calvinball.

4 thoughts on “Rules

  1. Same applies to British TV shows. Quote Monte Python, Red Dwarf, or Red Green (I know, it’s Canadian) out of context and prepare for odd looks. Quote Top Gear and people ask you to leave, or call Homeland Security.

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