I used to believe
October 12, 2002 2:47 PM   Subscribe

I used to believe is a collection of ideas that adults thought were true when they were children. via fark
posted by Stan Chin (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to believe that pressing these little foam buttons on my tennis shoes made me run faster. Before the daily run, I enjoyed 'pumping' up my buttons with the other kids who had more expensive Reebok "Pumps."
posted by Stan Chin at 2:50 PM on October 12, 2002

My mum used to tell me that thunder was god re-arranging the furniture

posted by ginz at 3:07 PM on October 12, 2002

I asked my dad where the wind came from, and he said it was because of the trees waving their branches.


I know you're not supposed to post twice in a row, but I can't help myself
posted by ginz at 3:12 PM on October 12, 2002

Somehow, I thought Frederick Douglas was our first black president.
posted by jragon at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2002

When I was small (second grade), due to the presidential election all the kids in school were asking each other "What party are you?". For some inexplicable reason, they were also asking "What religion are you?".

I knew neither answer, so I asked my dad:
Me: Dad, what political party am I?
Dad: You're an anarchist.
Me: Ok, what religion am I?
Dad: You're a Neo-Olympian, you worship Zeus.

That's right, I was walking around in second grade saying I was Neo-Olympian Anarchist, and that's what I believed.

I'm guessing most of these other "I used to believe" items didn't come from sadist parents, but thats where mine came from. Thanks Dad.
posted by malphigian at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2002 [5 favorites]

Heh. A good portion of these people had evil relatives who planted their false beliefs. Reminds me of Calvin's Dad.

On preview: or malphigian's Dad...
posted by Galvatron at 3:20 PM on October 12, 2002

I used to think that there was a 'little man' inside cash machines

This one is true actually. And that little man is a cheap bastard who hates me.
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on October 12, 2002 [1 favorite]

I only hate you because you're the cheap bastard, jon!

First you hand me a paycheck, and then you expect change in return!

Gimmie a @#*% break!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2002

Bug 12042 - thought that "no circulars" on letterboxes meant you couldn't turn around in their driveway.
Severity: high. Yelled at dad once for making this social faux pas.
Status: unresolved.
posted by holloway at 4:19 PM on October 12, 2002 [1 favorite]

The 'little men' were everywhere when I was a kid. I still find myself yelling "wake the f**k up!" at them when I'm waiting at a traffic light. Old beliefs die hard.

I still believe that my presence at a sporting event determines the outcome.When I am at a game in person my team loses, always. I also know a woman who only occasionally goes to sporting events but was at both Dave Righetti and Jim Abbott's no-hitters. I've been watching baseball for over 20 years and have yet to even see a no-hitter on TV.The Yankees should be paying her to go to games, man.
posted by jonmc at 4:28 PM on October 12, 2002

I had geography/name disconnect forever: Walla Walla Washington, Timbuktu, and Fargo North Dakota were not real places (until I moved to Washington and realized, "Oh, there's Walla Walla!" Timbuktu never quite made itself real to me, and Fargo North Dakota was only a detective character on the "Electric Company").

Now I realize the error of my ways. Where's Sing Sing, again?
posted by readymade at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2002

jonmc, I am wondering if I can rent you out for a season to come and root for whatever team is playing against the Red Sox. I've tried just about every other superstition, maybe your mysterious powers will work.

Which gets me to one of my sill childish beliefs: I used to believe the Red Sox would win a world series in my life time. Kids, haha!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:35 PM on October 12, 2002

i used to think i had something to add. now i just talk to listen to myself.
posted by the aloha at 4:38 PM on October 12, 2002

My father told me holy water was the priest's bath water.
posted by filifera at 4:58 PM on October 12, 2002

Ya, but what did the priests tell you, filfera?
posted by madamjujujive at 5:00 PM on October 12, 2002

This reminds me of one of my favourite threads, posted by MintSauce last May. It's just as hilarious now as the day it was posted.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2002

Damn, jonmc...your comment is eerily reminiscent of the post that I submitted to the site in question...I used to believe that babies lived in traffic signals.
posted by davidmsc at 5:51 PM on October 12, 2002

Oi! malphigian, be grateful, you had very cool parents.
posted by Fat Buddha at 5:56 PM on October 12, 2002

Ya, but what did the priests tell you, filfera?

Heh. The religious beliefs practiced by my male parental unit were entirely self-concocted, but mainly concerned a great deal of superstition about what Catholics believed, did and even looked like. He would not knowingly speak to a Catholic person. And he was even weirder about Jews.

Asking a real Catholic for the truth about holy water would have been out of the question. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea where to even find one.
posted by filifera at 6:12 PM on October 12, 2002

My close friends are all having a bumber crop of "neices" and "nephews," so this site is gonna be a gold mind. The oldest one is almost old enough (close to two) for me to tell him he was born with a tail.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:23 PM on October 12, 2002

My Dad, who was a fireman before he retired, used to tell me that cold water would put fires out and hot water would make it worse. I think I was 17 when I let that one go...
posted by vbfg at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2002

I used to believe that I was part of my family but it turns out thnat i am adopted, and now i have no contact with my "mum" or "dad"!

Geez, some people really know how to bring a site down.
posted by Salmonberry at 6:51 PM on October 12, 2002

I used to think you get pregnant from a banana because it had little black seeds.

That is All.
posted by pips at 7:41 PM on October 12, 2002

I used to believe money didn't grow on trees like all parents would say. Not until I took a trip to the Milwaukee domes among other items to take part in, did I realize that there is such a thing as a money tree. I haven't seen any actual currency on these trees, but proof that a money tree changed the world.
posted by brent at 7:55 PM on October 12, 2002

My parents are devout Christians. You wouldn't believe the shit that I used to believe.
posted by Optamystic at 8:06 PM on October 12, 2002

Optamystic: try me. Just try me.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:22 PM on October 12, 2002

I used to believe the people on the radio singing "i love my baby" and "my baby and me" and "hey baby" were talking about infants. I was quite troubled by "my baby left me."

I believed this until I was at least 11.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:44 PM on October 12, 2002

Back before cable, when a TV station unexpectedly went off the air, my mom would tell us it was because we weren't being quiet.
posted by troybob at 8:45 PM on October 12, 2002 [1 favorite]

I used to believe the stars in the sky were all tiny little teeth, put there by the ancients to give the Round Ones teeth to step on, on their Journey from the place of youth to place of the Immortals, that the moon was the ghost of a giant turbot hooked by the sun that was so big and strong that it threatened to pull the sun into the water, so the sun raced around the seas so fast that the turbot ran out of breath and died stuck on the line, and the sun ate the turbot and dropped the turbot's bones to the ground, which is why our landscape is littered with giant turbot bones.
posted by dfowler at 9:01 PM on October 12, 2002 [1 favorite]

When I learned that one half of the baby-making equation came from the daddy, I secretly deduced to myself that when men went to pee-pee, and flushed the toilet, the half-babies swam to the ocean, and ultimately became fish.

I also truly believed that driving on the freeway was an all-year-long, worldwide, governmentally sanctioned RACE. Home was just a pitstop. For about a year, every time we drove on the freeway, I jumped up and down in the back seat urging my dad to "step on it" and race past the slow wusses.
posted by Fofer at 9:12 PM on October 12, 2002

i'm of irish/english heritage. i thought that i could become black like my closest friend if i spent enough time in the sun. needless to say, i spent much of my childhood dreadfully sunburnt.
posted by zegooober at 9:21 PM on October 12, 2002

In 1st grade (Catholic school), my teacher who was a nun explained to our class how Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to the baby Jesus. She further explained that "virgin" meant "not knowing a man" so that Jesus being born this way was extra-special.

This created some confusion. She didn't know any men? She knew Joseph, right? And what about her dad, she must have known her dad! My entire class was confounded by this "knowing-a-man" thing. So the teacher clarified what she meant "knowing" in the sense of, say, kissing a man. Or holding hands. Romanting stuff. That sort of knowing.

This firmly imbedded in my brain that hugging or kissing a boy equalled losing one's virginity. Therefore I strove to get this done ASAP. Finally I cornered a boy in my class and I kissed him. I went home from school rather smug and satisfied with myself. My mom noticed I was happier than normal and asked me if anything good had happened at school that day, and I proclaimed, "Yes, I lost my virginity today!"

My mom nearly fell over in a dead faint.

Then she asked me if I knew what that meant, and I told her that it means I had kissed a boy. Much relief on my mother's part -- mild disappointment on mine.
posted by contessa at 10:35 PM on October 12, 2002 [3 favorites]

Paul's Mother teaching him right from left: "We drive on the right side of the street."

For the longest time (until age 10 or 12) I believed that people were issued permits (at random, I thought) by some govt. entity that told them what side of the street to drive on.

Both my mother and my stepfather happened to get assigned the "right" side of the highway. I remember consciously hoping that I would get assigned the "right" side when I was old enough... because I had spent so much time riding on the right side, that a switch to the left side would be confusing.

(turns out that the people over there on the left are going the opposite direction... and are on the right side of the street from their perspective).

I also have a memory of knowing what bread, toast, and the machine "the toaster" were individually, without having any way to make these objects related to one another. (When I figured that one out... I thought I was the smartest kid in the world).
posted by cadastral at 11:00 PM on October 12, 2002

i used to think that the light inside of the over is what produced the heat to bake things.

our oven light burned out when i was 16. i was horrified since i didn't think we could cook anymore. i went and told my mom in a panic, and she laughed for about 15 minutes.
posted by mabelcolby at 11:31 PM on October 12, 2002

over = oven
posted by mabelcolby at 11:32 PM on October 12, 2002

Thought I could dig to the other side of the world. Got 10 feet and quit/got in trouble. Often wondered if the people in the TV could see me as well. And for some reason, I thought rape meant attacking someone with a rake. Don't know why I thought that, but I always wondered why they made such a big deal about it on TV. I mean, it was just a rake.

Oh, and I thought the Gong Show was the funniest thing ever.
posted by Ron at 11:36 PM on October 12, 2002

i also thought that if i left my Barbies naked at night, they'd get really mad at me and try to kill me
posted by mabelcolby at 11:57 PM on October 12, 2002

a jewish friend of mine was coming to my parents' house for her first thanksgiving. i told her that my parents had never met a jew before and that they were worried about offending her so they went to the store and bought some Kosher Powder to sprinkle on the turkey so she could eat it. she believed me and told her own parents who, as i understand it, looked at her like she was an idiot and then burst out laughing. :) Kosher Powder is now a synonym for gullible around these parts.
posted by dobbs at 12:49 AM on October 13, 2002 [1 favorite]

My mom used to tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. Lies! Thanks a lot, Mom.

(I've posted almost this same comment before)
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:01 AM on October 13, 2002

Until she was about 7, my sister thought that giraffes were so tall because they needed to be able to reach their nests. Likewise, rabbits came from eggs (Easter?).

Also, my uncle told me that those flakes of mother-of-pearl you sometimes find on the beach were whale toenails.
posted by hippugeek at 1:02 AM on October 13, 2002

Oh, and another uncle spent the first five years of his life convinced black people were "green," before anyone noticed he was colorblind.
posted by hippugeek at 1:07 AM on October 13, 2002

Upon spinning and spinning and getting really dizzy, I announced to my mom that I finally understood "how the world spins", you could only detect it though once you'd spun sufficiently yourself, experiencing then the world as a whole revolving. Like the peyote needed to reach religious inspiration, getting dizzy was the bridge to comprehending Newtonian physics. I still get drunk to this day.

We, in our upper 20's and on are probably the last of this breed as color photography has been the mainstay for 30 or more years, but I believed that everything was in black and white before I was born. Don't believe me? Look at your parents' baby pictures.

And what's up with this one (from the site)?:

I used to think that when a man came it was the wax coming off his penis. My older cousin used to tell me that a man could have babies as soon as he could get an erection. Imagine my fright when my wee brother had one when he was 2 months old

Yikes. A touch too much to be thinking about as a mere chile. Penis wax and ejaculation. WTF is penis wax?
posted by crasspastor at 1:40 AM on October 13, 2002

WTF is penis wax?

Maybe it's this.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2002

crasspastor, I think that's a question for dong_resin.

Thanks, Miguel, for posting that old thread, which made me laugh out loud.

My cousin was notorious for convincing kids in our extended family that unless you were careful, a toilet could suck you down into the bowl when you flush. To this day I won't flush sitting down, and sometimes experience panic when one of those automatic flushers surprises me before I'm done.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:46 AM on October 13, 2002

Yeah thanks Miguel, for showing me my first almost word for word double post.
posted by vbfg at 10:37 AM on October 13, 2002

i used to think...
[but it was too painful so i stopped]
posted by quonsar at 11:04 AM on October 13, 2002

I used to believe that those people running the country were the best and the brightest and new what was good for us. Then I turned 8.
posted by Postroad at 11:42 AM on October 13, 2002

I was born with very blonde hair, that began to darken during kindergarten. I used to think my hair was getting darker because I ate too many hamburgers.
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:47 AM on October 13, 2002

I used to believe that the “Ed Sulivan Show” was called “The Ed’s Elephant Show,” because they always had circus acts...

Yes... I'm a geezer.
posted by jpburns at 1:30 PM on October 13, 2002

When I was about seven, I read a book that described where babies came from, albeit in somewhat vague terms.

A few days later I was in the car with my parents, and I bragged about my newfound knowledge. So they asked me to tell them what I knew.

"Babies come out of their mother's vagina!", I proudly declared.

"But how does the mommy become pregnant?", my mother asked.

"The daddy puts his penis in her behind, and nine months later the baby comes out of her front."

They couldn't stop laughing long enough to set me straight. I still bear the shame.
posted by Devils Slide at 4:41 PM on October 13, 2002

Manual Trackback [selflink]
posted by ZachsMind at 5:23 PM on October 13, 2002

I used to believe that the steering wheel on cars was locked to go straight. I thought turn signals unlocked the wheel in order to make the turn.
posted by pfuller at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2002

I used to think there was a "first" or "lead" car on a given Interstate highway early each morning.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:49 PM on October 13, 2002

I used to believe.

Then I grew up.
posted by dg at 12:23 AM on October 14, 2002

When I was little I thought that the days of the week were Saturday, Today and Tomorrow.

Little Huey: Mom! Is it Saturday, Today or Tomorrow?
Mom: Hugh, It's Thursday.
Little Huey: It's Today!

Also, was I the only one who thought that Drinking and Driving applied to any drink one might consume while driving?

Little Hugh: MOM! You're Drinking!
Mom: Umm..Yes..?
Little Huey: And DRIVING!

Finally, did anyone else think that to fly, Superman had to be wearing his cape?
posted by hughbot at 7:20 AM on October 14, 2002

I used to think that you could tell the age of a chicken by counting the layers of meat like you'd count the rings of a tree.

This may sound kind of mean, but... My sister is mentally retarded and hates drinking anything. She loves chocolate. Mom has convinced her that she must have milk every time she eats chocolate so the chocolate police don't come and give her a ticket.

The day Mom told Jenn this, she was joking and Jenn was clueing in until a sheriff's car drove by. You guessed it. The sheriff's car and his uniform are chocolate brown. Jenn then asked for confirmation from our uncle who she knows would never lie to her. He confirmed the chocolate police story. Still not sure about the whole thing, Jenn asked the priest and Monsignor who performed my grandmother's funeral. They confirmed the chocolate police story too. She now drinks her milk every time she has something chocolate.
posted by onhazier at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2002 [2 favorites]

i'm of irish/english heritage. i thought that i could become black like my closest friend if i spent enough time in the sun. needless to say, i spent much of my childhood dreadfully sunburnt. - zegooober

Strange. When I was a kid I thought that if I wanted to be black later on, I could. I never really thought about how I could go about bringing this change on, but figured I could be black if I decided to be black. I'm irish/italian heritage. Still.
posted by hellinskira at 12:39 PM on October 14, 2002

And until my mom corrected me in second grade, I called my friend Sean "Seen". There's no way S-e-a-n sounds like 'Shawn'!!!
posted by hellinskira at 3:12 PM on October 14, 2002

I used to believe that the steering wheel on cars was locked to go straight. I thought turn signals unlocked the wheel in order to make the turn.

That would be nice. Might make people use them more frequently. :-)

Finally, did anyone else think that to fly, Superman had to be wearing his cape?

Yes. In fact, I don't think it has ever occurred to me that this is not true.
posted by quarantine at 5:43 PM on October 14, 2002

Along the lines of humorous parental farces, I believed for the longest time (embarassingly long) that my father was telling me the truth when he said "Defending the Mexican border" in response to "What did you do in the Army during Vietnam?" I was about 12 before it occurred to me to say "There was no Mexican border in teh Vietnam war," to which my psychologist father responded, "Then what was I doing there?"
Also for some unfathomable reason believed that the street signs that had arrows pointing up meant they launched space shuttles from that spot. I did grow up close enough to Cape Canaveral to see shuttles launch though so it's not quite as wacky as it seems.
posted by anyasar at 3:04 PM on October 16, 2002

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