Baffled People Share Their Most Embarrassing "Why Didn't Someone Tell Me Sooner" Moments

Vision Impaired

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I was suffering from conjunctivitis for almost 10 years. I was told by a couple of Doctors that it was because of my allergies.

So I would stop wearing contacts, treat my eyes with antibiotics drops or gel. My eyes would get better so I started putting my contacts again. A couple of weeks or months later another conjunctivitis! Treat them again etc... etc..

Finally a new Doctor looked at my eyes for 10 seconds and told me that I was probably allergic to my contact lenses solution and eye drops.

I just changed the solution for the one with peroxide in it and since then no more conjunctivitis... Someone should have told me this a long time ago... (Or I should have figured it out)

Something We All Take For Granted

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I never had a family growing up. Holidays were mostly just like every other day, I might get a few presents on Christmas or be served turkey on Thanksgiving but no big gatherings or parties. I didn't even know that people really did that, I thought it was just a thing in movies. When we were dating my wife invited me to have Thanksgiving with her family and I was fucking stunned to speechlessness. There were like 20 people, all gathered together to enjoy each other's company. They were welcoming, loving and just happy. It was the weirdest, most wonderful experience of my life. The food was amazing, no gravy from a giant institutional can, no rubbery turkey slices, I couldn't eat enough. Since then I go all in for holidays, all of them. I throw parties, decorate, send cards, wear stupid sweaters, and just generally make a complete fool of myself, because I've got lost time to make up for.

Stay Gold Ponyboy

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Ponies are not in fact, baby horses.

Skincare Lifestyle

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Coconut oil.

I have been struggling with really dry, flaky skin on my face - think light version Psoriasis. I tried a lot of expensive ointments, including various prescription drugs.

A colleague told me I should try coconut oil (literally the stuff you use for cooking), but I dismissed it due to his overall "alternative medicine" tendencies.

On a whim I bought a jar, because I saw a bunch of it stacked by the counter. I put some on in the evening, and I woke up with perfectly smooth and nice looking skin the next morning. It's been around a year, and I've spend roughly $1 worth of coconut oil to have a normal looking face, applying a small amount every evening.

Broil Me This

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Moved out of my childhood home with a double oven into my own which has a single oven with a broiler. "Oh," thought I, "a drawer for pans." 4 years later, my friend helping me in the kitchen finished off garlic bread in there and blew my mind.

Bare Necessities

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How to use a computer.

I grew up in a house without internet - during the 90's, when dial-up was coming in to fruition. My days were spent playing outside, or going to the library, or watching little league games, and so on. School work involved paper and pencil. As such, I didn't have a need to use a computer.

In High School, one of the classes involved doing some research (can't remember what). The class trudges to the computer lab. Everyone else plunks down and starts researching online, and I'm sitting there wondering how to use the dang thing.

Best part is that the teacher didn't believe that I didn't know what I was doing, and really didn't want to spend the 40 minute class period explaining how to use the computer and look stuff up on Britannica Online. No surprise that I failed that assignment.

This was early 2000's, for what it's worth.

Frozen Fractals

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In middle school, we had a separate math book for fractions. It just tried to learn all these rules on how they work and they never made sense to me.

2 years later, first year of highschool, a math teacher says fractions are just divisions. Suddenly, fractions made a lot more sense because I knew what they actually represented.

Still want to slap whoever made that middle school fractions book which made it way more complicated than it had to be. To this day I don't know why they would ignore the most important thing about fractions.


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I pronounced the silent P in everything (puhfone, raspuhberry) until high school, and for some reason nobody ever corrected me.

I'm pursuing the psychiatry training program now, and am worried someday I'll say 'puhsychiatry' in front of my colleagues.

Family Secrets

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I had a grandmother who I only saw once a year and talked on the phone to occasionally. Typical old lady but would sometimes go on tirades about people living in trees outside her apartment, or she'd call me by another name. I genuinely thought those were normal age things or that she was slightly eccentric.

I was 14 when she died and only at her funeral through talking to people did I realize she had pretty severe Alzheimer's which apparently everyone had known for years except me.


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I grew up a sickly child. When I was a baby/toddler, my parents would discover me with blue lips and they'd rush me to the ER for a breathing treatment. I would get sick often, and if I got a chest cold I had it for weeks. I would be so sick, I'd have to sleep sitting up because I'd cough too much to lay down and also I wouldn't be able to get enough O2 in my lungs. When I was in grade school, I was so amazed that all the other kids would keep running even though their lungs were on fire. Turns out, only MY lungs were on fire.

In my senior year of high school, I got extremely sick for 4 months. I was so sick that I'd have to walk at a very slow pace, and I'd have to pause halfway up a flight of 13 stairs (to get to my high school's entrance). On my fourth visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed with bronchitis. I was prescribed oral steroids, antibiotics, and an inhaler. It changed my life!! Now I just recognize how it feels and tell the doc that I have bronchitis and he/she listens to my lungs and gives me the drugs I need to heal me.

Finally, when I was 24, I was diagnosed with allergies. I now take a metric ton of allergy meds, but I can breathe. I've only had bronchitis twice since then (nearly 2 decades).

The Simple Things

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Was in the hospital for a stem cell transplant, being absolutely miserable during chemo and surviving on ice water and popsicles because hospital food is gross (even the call-to-order special stuff I could get).

Second to last day I was there, one of the nurses mentioned "you know you can order literally anything you want and we will make it right? Butter noodles, a quesadilla, whatever - as long as we have in the ingredients we can make it." Meanwhile, I've been struggling with gross soup, mashed potatoes, and the worst scrambled eggs thinking my only options were the "gourmet" dishes listed on the menu.

I pass that info along now to everyone I meet going in!

Temperature Change

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For my entire childhood, my father was incredibly stingy about heating and air conditioning. He'd always tell us we were spoiled and should dress warmer/colder and/or toughen up rather than using energy for heating/air conditioning.

Then, when I was in my early 20s, he started getting really weird about air conditioning. It would be turned up full blast all the time, and if I set the thermostat to a warmer temperature or even just mentioned that it doesn't need to be so cold, he'd scold me and tell me to put on a sweater - and this was on extremely hot summer days! He was still as stingy as ever about heat, but had become completely bizarre about air conditioning!

I just wrote it off my father being weird, moved out of my parents' house soon afterwards, and didn't give much thought to the whole thing apart from repeating it as an anecdote in conversations about parents being weird.

Fast-forward a decade. I'm now in my 30s, filling out a family medical history for a new doctor, who asks me at what age my mother reached menopause. I don't know, so I ask my mother. And she said in her early 50s.

Which is right when my father started getting weird about air conditioning!

Back in my early 20s, I knew menopause was a thing, I knew hot flashes were a symptom, but I hadn't put any thought or research into what age it happened. My grandmothers had reached menopause before I was born so I'd never seen anyone go through it before, and my mother never let on that anything was different with her, so it just wasn't on my radar.

If someone had told me my mother was having hot flashes I would have cheerfully put on a sweater and cranked up the air conditioning so my mother could be comfortable, and I would have perceived my father as a loving husband.

But instead, I obliviously ran around reseting thermostats for my own comfort, thereby inadvertently making my mother uncomfortable, and at the same time concluded that my father was being a contrary _*_hole.

Ear Buddies

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Like 4 years ago my friend got me a pair of these Shure earphones for Christmas. They were pretty good earphones, not the best, but they pretty good sound quality and decent noise cancellation.

In October of this year we took a bus up to Minnesota to visit a friend for a few days. We chose the late bus so we could just sleep during the 8 hours it would take us to get there. We're getting settled and I see him pull out his earphones, which were the same as mine, and put them on like this over the ear. I never wore them like that. I just kind of jammed them in a way they fit. I asked him about wearing them like that and he said, "What do you mean? That's how you're supposed to wear them. How do you wear them?" I showed him how I typically wore them and he laughed and said, "Wearing them the right way gets a better seal for the sound."

I still wore them my way, until he fell asleep and then I decided to give his way a chance. HOLY SH*T it made such a huge difference. The sound was better, they felt more comfortable, and they were so much better at cancelling out noise. When we got to the first stop I told him, "Why the hell didn't you tell me I was wearing them wrong for so many years?! This is so much better!" He told me I should have read the manual, but in my defense I didn't think I had to read the manual for a pair of ear buds.

For My Sake

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During this time last year, I was happily going to work because I was told a raise/promotion was coming soon. on top of that, I was happy going to work because I actually cared about my co-workers and saw some of them as actual friends.

eventually, I got tired of being overworked/underpaid and I was mentally/physically exhausted. it also didn't help that a physical problem started to get worse, which was a result of me constantly working my ass off. if left untreated, I would've developed chronic lower back pain and I'm just now getting over it, nearly 2 years since it initially started.

it was towards the end of February when I realized that me busting my ass wasn't worth it, even if I did care about my co-workers and I knew they relied on me.

it was only after I quit my job that people started to let me know that they had a feeling that things would end up that way. I wish they would've said something to me while I was still working there, but I doubt I'll ever know why they didn't say something along the lines of "you're being played, look for a new job or try to figure something out".


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I was 19 when I left for college. My overprotective father was trying to drill any last minute life tips into my head that he could before I left, like "don't answer the door if you're home alone" and "never forget to turn off the stove", things like that.

I moved into an apartment a short bus ride from campus and on one of my first days living on my own I wanted to go to the school gym. The bus stop was right outside my apartment and I was told by my roommate any bus would take me right to the stop I needed. I had never taken public transportation before (because, you know, overprotective father) but hey, how hard could it be? So I march my happy ass down to the bus stop and get on the first bus that shows up. The bus stops at each of the stops between my apartment and the school gym and people get on and off, everything is seeming to go as planned.

The bus begins to approach the stop that I need and I prepare to end what was my first ride on public transportation. However, the bus isn't stopping at my stop the way it did at all the others. My anxiety starts to kick and as we pass the school gym I begin to panic. I'm looking around and no one else seems to be worried so I just sit there and wonder what the hell I'm going to do. A couple minutes later, a boy sitting a few rows ahead of me lifts up his arm and pulls a yellow cord running along the side of the bus. It makes a bell noise and the bus stops at the upcoming stop. I practically RUN off of the bus and immediately take out my phone to call my dad.

"I know how to lock my doors and turn off the stove Dad, but why the hell didn't anyone tell me to pull the cord if I needed to get off the bus?!"

Sugar Sugar

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Not shaving at all. All the time I wasted shaving...all of the awful razor burn....all of the money spent on shaving cream and a razor. Nope. Never again. I make my own sugar wax, it's cheap. It's long lasting and wax is more effective in terms of time and money. I just wax for Summer, and trim the rest of the year. This I will never change.

An End In Sight

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I knew since about age 7 that one day I would have a period and it would be one of the worst experiences of my life, and it would be repeated over and over and over again.

I dreaded it for years until one day at around age 11. My mom and I were visiting my grandparents at their beach condo. My mom unexpectedly got her period and sent me and my grandmother to the store for tampons. My grandmother was super embarrassed. She said that everyone would know I'm too young for the tampons she was buying and she was too old.

Too old?! You mean it stops?! I don't have to bleed until the day I die? It was a relief. I've been looking forward to menopause ever since. I'm worried about the hot flashes but it doesn't outweigh how excited I am to stop bleeding.

Meeting New People

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I came to America about 5 years ago. Where I come from it is kinda hard to talk to people. Walking up to strangers is considered weird and even rude. I believe it is like that in the rest of the world actually. Well while I was in college here in America, I was shy most of the time, except during my senior thing where I actually decided to be "weird" and tried walking up to people and saying "hi". For the most part, people were great, friendly, welcoming. I wish someone had told me. I wish I had been able to do this since my sophomore year, I would have made many more friends.__

Who Wears Short Shorts?

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Shorts feel great in the summer. I'm 27 and my entire life I wore nothing but long pants. I never understood why anyone would ever wear shorts. I thought they were impractical, they don't cover anything up, if you bump you leg while you work you're going to get scraped. If you work outside you'll get your legs all scratched up by small bushes and plants. Then my mom gave me a nice pair of cargo shorts on a whim. When I walked outside... It changed my life. It was a hot summer day and I was actually comfortable. In 27 years I never realised shorts could make such a huge difference.

Slurs Will Be Slurs

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That the n-word was as big of no no as it is. I'm a white guy that grew up in a mostly white rural community. I grew up watching classic comedians that I really looked up to. People like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock. These guys were my heroes and they used it for humor, and I saw no difference between them and myself. I never used the word in a hateful way, and always knew it was offensive, but I'd only ever say it to make jokes. Not even racist jokes, more to try to take some of the racist power away from it. Didn't figure just how wrong my thinking was until I was 25 and lost a permanant Federal job because of it. Lesson learned. I never meant to hurt anyone, and I think that point was conveyed, but policy is policy.

Success Is Malleable

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I struggled with reading in grade/high school but did well enough in math to try out junior college. During the first two weeks of college my English 060 professor identified me as having dyslexia. She taught me strategies and showed me the free resources on campus. Today I'm working on my PhD dissertation.

Baby Mama

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All women I talked to said it was so calming to the baby, natural, helped them bond, and that overall it was a beautiful experience. The first 2 weeks were the worst of my life. It felt like glass on my nipples and the baby never seemed to be full. But there was this weird pressure from women I've never met, the lactation consultants, and even some family members that breastfeeding was the only option. The moment I introduced the bottle was this weird sense of guilt and relief, but I feel like it made me a better mom because I wasn't so fearful of ever time she was hungry.A month into it, it wasn't torture, but it remained a chore. Then, when I told other women about how much I disliked it, they would suddenly remember how much of a chore it was too! It is a great experience and I do love the way my daughter will turn to my breast for comfort. At the same time, though, it takes a lot of time, energy, and even sometimes tears, to get it right.

As Simple As FloNase

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Nasal spray. I spent my whole childhood being sick and was never given any medicine except Tylenol for fever, or when I hit mid teens, some mucinex. My immune system is still a wet paper bag to this day and colds are hell. At 21 years old, I was sick, and my husband brought home nasal spray for me to try. I figured it couldn't hurt, so why not?

Oh. My. God. I could breathe! Through my NOSE! I was taking actual breaths! I wasn't gasping, it wasn't hurting! I could even sleep like this! My mind was blown, and I was so relieved I legit started crying. Why didn't anyone ever give me this?! All the wasted years-!!!


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We wear these horrible ugly uniforms at work. (I try not to complain, as they're fairly comfortable and hide my body from the many perverts on site) We were due to get new uniforms, with our names stitched and all that fancy stuff. I noticed a rack of uniforms sitting in the break room for a few days, but didn't think much of it. The day after the uniforms were removed, a coworker asked if I had tried on the uniform sizes. Cue my look of confusion and a roundabout conversation, leading to the realization that I was supposed to figure out what size my 16 uniforms needed to be. Nobody mentioned anything about it to me, including my supervisor. The uniforms where supposed to arrive yesterday, but I wasn't working so I don't know what is waiting for me next time I go in. Anyway, that's my "Why did nobody tell me until AFTER the trial uniforms were gone?!" moment.__

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Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.

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