Asking permission for even the most basic stuff seemed like a huge effort. You might have waited for them to be in a good mood, rehearsed the 'asking permission' drama about a 100 times. At times, you would've tried the puppy look to gain sympathy, and sometimes, would not have asked more than once, for you knew their reaction anyway.
You knew that asking permission for a night out with friends was futile, because your parents would obviously refuse, or take a week to think about it. Friends, fearing your parents, perhaps stopped inviting you at all. Once in a blue moon, when you were permitted to go out, you were definitely the first to leave the party.
Sleepovers? Definitely NOT. Because your parents didn't know your friends' family. So, getting permission meant promising not to drink/smoke, sleeping by 11 p.m., and mentioning every member of your friend's extended family along with their phone numbers. And when your friends gush about having cool sleepovers with their partners, you just want to weep.
No R-rated or PG-13 movies. If you were watching TV at home, you were possibly watching the news channel; if not, you immediately changed the channel when your parents walked in, especially if there was a kissing scene or anything inappropriate. And you felt completely out of place when your friends discussed pop shows or sitcoms.
With the numerous restrictions placed on you, your only way to have fun was to lie to your parents, even though you felt bad about it later. But if they did find out, they wielded their powerful weapon of being let down and ensured that you went on a long guilt trip. All through your teens, you dreamed about rebelling, yet you've never had the courage to disobey them.
No, the adult talk never happened. Your parents never openly discussed it, they left you to come to terms with your raging hormonal urges all on your own. And if the "s**" talk did come up, their immediate response would be, "If you have sex and get pregnant, you'll probably die or have no place in this house". Phew!
Your love/social life is definitely hidden from your parents, because they probably disapprove of everything you do. No dating, no drugs, no going out more than once a week. If and when you've been permitted to go out and your friend changes the plan, you have a panic attack, wondering how to explain it to your parents. And if you miss even one call, your parents definitely assume the worst.
You probably were the most conservatively dressed person back in high school and college. No matter how many layers you wore, according to your parents, your outfit was suggestive or revealing. Trying out a new fashion trend that was agreeable to your parents was beyond impossible. In fact, the fear is so deeply ingrained; you still think twice before wearing anything.
Manners, manners, manners! They were unbelievably important. Following social graces and behaving like a well-cultured, stuffed mannequin was a rule, not an expectation. You may have heard these sentences often - 'Is this what I taught you?', 'Where is your napkin?', or 'How dare you do something like this in public?'.
For conservative parents, the Fourth of July was an exceptionally important event, not just a holiday. Arch conservationism was rooted in their blood, and your liberal propaganda would have often met with staunch opposition and superior sarcasm. Like, they behaved that you would pass through this 'I am a liberal' phase. And accepting homosexuality? Sleeping together before marriage? No way.