About Me

Rule Follower.

I went to dinner with a friend last night and we were discussing our propensity for rule following. It’s something I never really thought about until my sister-in-law asked me about it when I visited her in Denver. I can’t remember what we were doing, I think maybe we were trying to find a way behind a hotel by just going through it and I was obviously nervous about just trying doors to see what would open. She could tell it was making me nervous I guess, but since then? I’ve thought about it often. I AM A TOTAL RULE FOLLOWER.

And the more I think about it, the more I realized I’ve always have been this way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to sneak candy into a movie theater. BUT! I buy a drink or a popcorn to go with it so that I’ve bought SOMETHING. Before I bought the annual pass at our state park I always left money in the honor box. Sometimes, if I didn’t have the right amount of cash I would leave more and remember that next time.


If I go to a crowded event where parking is an issue, I don’t “make” a parking spot somewhere that looks like I could create one. Nope. I just park really far away. People who just park somewhere where it looks like their car might fit? MAKE ME INSANE. How do you do that and not panic the entire time you’re at the event that your car is blocking someone? DO THEY EVEN CARE?

If I miss my turn I don’t try to correct by popping a u-turn in an illegal area, I just drive further down the road and turn around the proper way.

I have friends who let their kids play on parked construction equipment. Not like, try to turn it on or anything, but they’ll let them get up close and look at it and I’m like BACK AWAY! WE DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION!

When I was in middle school a bunch of kids were sneaking beer from their parents houses and drinking it hiding at recess and I wouldn’t even go outside because I was terrified of being associated with that rule-breaking group.

Once I drove the getaway vehicle when some friends TP’d (or “rolled” depending on where you’re from) another friend’s house and I was terrified for WEEKS someone was going to find my car on a security camera somewhere. THEY ARE GOING TO COME FIND ME AND HUNT ME DOWN.

Part of my job when I’m shooting real estate properties is to sometimes shoot like, neighborhood pools or playgrounds, and if it’s gated/private I get SO NERVOUS that I’m going to get in trouble for taking pictures of it. I mean, I’m there to help sell a house in the subdivision, I have every right to take a picture of the neighborhood amenities, BUT IT SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

I never liked to “sneak up closer” at concerts. I didn’t like to stand up if people around me weren’t standing up too. I don’t like waiting at the stage door for performers. All of the “fun” stuff that people like to do makes me twitch like a crazy person. “I’ll just wait for you guys in the car, okay?”

What about you?

11 thoughts on “Rule Follower.”

  1. I’m pretty much a rule follower if I believe in the reason for the rule. So red lights – yeah. Red lights at 3 am with no other traffic? not so much. Opening doors in a hotel – I don’t think there’s a rule about that.

    I don’t block cars, but I do make places. At the holidays flying out of Hobby at the Park ‘n’ Ride garage we’ll park up on a curb if there are no spots. No sweat, a lot of other folks do too. Never got a ticket or towed and it’s an extra pay for them so win-win.

  2. Total rule follower.
    I remember being in the 6th grade and being allowed to ride bikes all over the neighborhood, as long as we were headed home before six. (The fire dept tested its horn at 12 and 6 every day.) The girls I was with wanted to ride to see some boys, but it was getting close to curfew. I did not want to go. To this DAY (I will be 44 next week) I get all embarassed and flustered because the girls called me “spoiled” for being such a stickler.

  3. My husband, my two sons and I are all rule followers. It can be very frustrating sometimes!

    My story is about rule following/honesty: my mother was working (she was the librarian in our tiny little town) and she sent me to the neighborhood “store” to get her something. I can’t remember what I was supposed to buy her, and when I brought it back she asked me to go return it, because it wasn’t what she had asked for (it cost a quarter). I was very shy, but I brought it back. The person at the register gave me back 30 cents. I tried to explain that I had only paid a quarter, but she insisted on giving me 30 cents change. I remember I took that extra nickel and hid it next to something in the store because I didn’t want to be accused of stealing!

    (And I realize I’m dating myself – can you buy anything for a quarter any more??)

  4. Yep, I am a voracious rule follower. I think it comes from being raised Catholic (RULES!) and the child of a naval officer (SO MANY RULES!). My entire education is in theatre, which is all about spontaneity and improvisation. I hate those parts. Give me a script to follow and I am golden. My job is in compliance, which makes perfect sense. The part that bothers me is that my kiddos are picking up on my issues–the create your own parking space thing drives me out of my mind, and now my kids comment on it too. My son gets VERY upset when rules are broken, which is 100% my fault. So I am trying to find flexibility within the rules, but it’s hard to break 43 years of habits now. Solidarity, my friend!

  5. Yup. Big rule follower. Which is why driving around here gets me really mad. All these people speeding and not getting stopped… Even on the Arsenal! (This is the first military base I’ve been on that doesn’t seem to care about speeders… the others had zero tolerance; 2 miles over the limit? Ticket for you!)

  6. I’m a rule follower too. Except I do tend to speed. My son gets really upset when others don’t follow the rules. My son will point out rules too me, including the speed limit! The creating a parking space thing bugs me – once in college, my sister’s boyfriend created his own parking space and his car was towed! We had to walk back to UTC from Riverbend through bad parts of Chattanooga (in 1988 it was a pretty rough place!) Growing up I tended to be the one who got caught the few times I broke the rules!

  7. Rules were made to be…..followed! I am all about the rules, and doing what you are supposed to do- though admittedly…speeding sometimes happens 🙁

  8. I used to be a huge rule follower but I’ve become more flexible as I’ve gotten older. I still get anal about people not “following the rules” but I’ve tried to chill about it. There are things I can’t change and I get tired of worrying about everyone else. When I turned 40, I decided to let go and just be happy with me. It has allowed me to be happier and not worry so much. Yes, I still have times where it eats at me and I get all spazzed out but overall it’s not as bad as it used to be.

  9. Add me to the rule follower list! My husband and kids are too. I am amazed, like flat out amazed when people aren’t. How were they raised? Lol

  10. I’ve gotten waaaaay better at it, but YES I was such a rule follower as a kid. There used to be signs on the trains that said “no eating or drinking” so I refused to open a bag of chips, even though the conductor would’ve never known and the adult with me said it was okay. (And of course those signs are no longer on the trains because apparently I was the only one following the damn rule.)

    I will break a rule if it’s a ridiculous one, there’s no way to enforce it, and I’m being sorely inconvenienced (like the time I zipped across a grassy median to get out of gridlock traffic) but OH MY DAMN I do that nervous twitching thing too when people are places they aren’t supposed to be.

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