33 Signs You Were Raised By Immigrant Parents

Michael Constantine holding a bottle

A lot of you won’t be able to relate to this, but I hope you enjoy a look into the upbringing of someone raised by immigrant parents…

Regardless of culture, there’s a common bond among us first generation folks.  Growing up is different, to say the least, but looking back, it taught me a lot.

Here are 33 signs you were raised by immigrant parents.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

33. Windex was like Holy Water.

32. The coffee was as strong as gasoline, and crunchy.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

31. Guests didn’t know what knocking or a doorbell was. They simply walked into your house, saying “hello” repeatedly until someone greeted them.

30. There was no such thing as “expired” in the medicine cabinet. Take whatever, you will be OK. 

29. Slippers. Your mom had slippers for everyone coming over, and everyone not coming over, just in case. All the guests get slippers.

28. You went to more weddings by age 12 than most people go to in a lifetime.

A group of people in the snow

27. If you went out to eat, you never got dessert because “we have that at home.”

26. You had your first sip of alcohol at a very, very, young age.

A group of people in the snow

25. Vegetarians might as well be lepers to your parents.

24. When it came to junk mail and other shit like wires and batteries: “keep that, I may need it.”

23. You didn’t know what “grounded” meant. You simply became a workhorse around the house.

A group of people in the snow

22. You never threw away empty sour cream containers, those were Tupperware.

A group of people in the snow

21. You were ordering takeout at age 7.

20. They also made you order at the fast food drive-thru.

19. You were expected to get straight A’s – always.

A group of people in the snow

18. If your mom wasn’t cleaning something, she found something to clean. Then cleaned what she just cleaned, and cleaned something else.

17. She also force-fed you and any guests to the point of unconsciousness.

16. Old shirts became new rags for cleaning.

A group of people in the snow

15. You guys grew some sort of food in the backyard, and would kill any critter messing with it. Antifreeze on bologna.

14. If you’re a guy, your dad expected you to build a 3-car garage at age 8, maybe 9.

13. If you’re a girl, your mom expected you to be famous for something by middle school.

12. Your parents hated Halloween, so they gave out the worst treats. Or just shut the lights off and watched TV in silence.

A group of people in the snow

11. You never took PB & J for school lunch – veal scallopini anyone? Anybody want to try my mom’s stuffed peppers?

10. No teacher could ever pronounce your name correctly.

9. Sore throat? Raw onions and a hot cloth soaked in homemade whiskey will do the trick. Thanks mama.

Graphical user interface, text

8. Your parents made you sign their name for school forms because they didn’t feel like reading them.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

7. You didn’t vacation to the Caribbean, you went to the motherland.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

6. You were a professional interpreter early on.

5. And you had some weird after school activities.

A group of people in the snow

4. You watched HBO at age 10.

3. One of your childhood friends, or all of them, said “your parents talk funny.”

2. Yelling and talking over each other is totally chill.

A group of people in the snow

1.  At a young age, you were told “if you don’t get an education you will wind up like him…” as your parents pointed to a homeless man in the park covered in pigeons.