I have always been one who follows the rules. To a fault. I think it is a little bit of the autism gene that runs through my family, because I get very stressed out about breaking the rules or knowing that others are doing it. In the autism world we call it perseverating. In other worlds we call it obsessing.  I cannot let it go. But at the same time I don’t do anything about it either. Because that’s tattling. And we don’t tattle.  And I don’t confront the person because that’s just terrifying. I don’t do terrifying.

Here is a list of things that bug me that people do. Some of them are merely annoying. Some are dangerous. All are against the rules:

Rolling stops at stop signs. Yes, there isn’t anyone else at the intersection. And yes, a lot of people do it.  But it becomes such a habit that the person automatically rolls through without thinking anymore. And my daughters and I in the crosswalk become easy targets for your sloppiness.

Flash photography at live shows. The rest of us would like pictures too. What makes you so special?

Texting or talking on the phone while driving. I don’t care how busy or talented you think you are.  Stop it. It’s against the law in Ontario, and it’s just plain dangerous.

Parking in no-parking zones or handicapped spaces.  Parking in a handicapped space if you are not eligible is just morally reprehensible.  Full stop.  The long list of people that park in the staff lot at school when they shouldn’t makes me stabby.  I didn’t park there until I was explicitly told to park there as part of Maggie’s safety plan, and I even feel like a douche when I pass the other parents who probably think I am just lazy.  I can’t imagine parking there without permission.

Smoking (anywhere), but especially in no-smoking areas.

The delightful people who combine 4 and 5 – smoking in the back lot at school while they wait for their kids where they shouldn’t be parked.  The one with the anti-gay marriage bumper sticker really makes a case for why I should have his car towed.

Talking during a class or presentation. It’s rude.  I can’t hear what’s being said.  And even if I could still hear, I can’t absorb any of it due to the fact that my brain feels the need to do an in-depth research study on why you are so rude.  I leave the class knowing absolutely nothing about the topic being discussed, but able to write a PhD dissertation on why the person behind me is an asshole.

The neighbours’ love of burning toxic wood in their fire pit and of banned lawn chemicals.  If I had any desire to kill myself I would just do homework with my children – the brain aneurism would be swift and effective.  The asthma attacks and certain cancer brought about by your love for toxic chemicals are just a little more drawn out than I would like, and pretty much negate the $11 million I spent on organic produce and hemp seeds.

Those are just 8 in a long list of rules being broken that I can’t ignore, and may eventually kill me.  My eldest daughter is exactly the same way, and so is my husband.  When he was a child, he used to hand out tickets to the other kids on his street when he thought they were riding too fast on their bikes.   We’re not much fun at cocktail parties, but if you ever need a hall monitor, you know where to find us.

Comment below and let me know if you’re a rule follower or if you think rules are made to be broken.  Just don’t comment while you’re driving.  My husband will give you a ticket.



Tara is gainfully employed by the toughest 3 female bosses she has ever had (well except for that one accounting manager who hated her). The pay sucks, but the cuddles are awesome. She drinks a lot of coffee, uses humour as a defense mechanism, and lives in fear of what lurks in her backyard. Keep Tara company on her unfortunately-named blog Don’t Lick the Deck, where she talks about her husband Nerdguy; her 10 year old and twin 8 year old girls; parenting autism and ADHD; and her inability to shop without creating disaster. She is regular contributor to Parentdish.ca who have not yet filed a restraining order.


  1. I follow the rules most of the time.

    I must have the autism gene in my family too because while I’ve been known to break a few of the rules you list above (I like to talk, all the time, everywhere), they totally make sense to me.

    I live out in the country so a lot of rule breaking goes on. Especially #8, and it includes burning of garbage. I don’t report it because otherwise, they just throw it in the ditch and the animals get into it. Disaster.

    P.S. As long as your husband isn’t a real cop, I’m fine with the ticket.

  2. I mostly follow the rules. Mostly, doesn’t mean always. But I think we’d have a bigger respect of rules if we understood that they’re because of other people- smoking (I get sick of smoke and then my children smell of smoke, and I get even more sick), or flashing while taking pictures are good examples of this.Others are there becasue of safety (such as street signs). However, there are so many stupid rules that following them is even sillier. But yes, mostly observing rules is a sensible, reasonable thing to do.

  3. I am mostly a rule follower get intense guilt when I don’t follow them. The rule that gets me is snacking from the bulk bin. I made a toddler cry the other day because I wouldn’t walk by and let it go. I told him to stop and just stood there while he figured out that I wasn’t going to walk away and let him do it again.

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