How do we learn so much of the academic basics so quickly up front, but learn life lessons so slow and so late?

It's a mystery.

And it can be an embarrassing mystery.

But life is learning.

So keep a pad and pen close and acquire things as you go.


A deleted Redditor wanted to discuss the most shockingly simple knowledge we acquire later in life. So they asked everyone:

"What basic, children's-age-level fact did you only find out embarrassingly later in life?"

I'm still processing the fact that Elton John isn't singing to young Tony Danza.

The more you know.

Smorn

Sorry Good Morning GIF by PEEKASSOGiphy

"Not me, but in college my buddy asked me how to spell 'smorning' because his phone didn't recognize it as a word. He then goes on to say 'you know, like 'the smorning.' I ask, "do you mean 'this morning??'"

InfernoCBR

Dirty Snow

"I lived in a desert most of my life. No snow. Before my recent experience, I had spent maybe a total of 5 days of my life in snow, and the snow I was in was incredibly light. Because of this I always pictured snow as eternally white and ethereal, like in all the cartoons I'd watched as a kid."

"Went to spend time with my partner's family back in the Midwest in early February. I was absolutely enchanted on my first day of the two week stint. Then I watched what happened as the snow stayed around. And I got to see black ice and the nasty gray/brown snow blocks on the side of the road."

"I suppose I should have KNOWN snow got dirty and tracked over and nasty but I didn't. Robbed the childhood wonder and whimsy right from under my nose."

REDDIT

Happy 19TH!!

"I was baking a cake in my dorm for my 19th birthday. My friends were running around and being loud so I yelled at them to stop because I didn’t want them to ruin the cake. They looked at me like I had two heads so I had to explain that my siblings and I were always taught that making loud noises or running around a kitchen when something was baking would make it fall. I was surprised they had never learned that baking rule."

"Yeah turns out that was made up to stop kids from running and being loud for a couple hours when baking was being done. I called my mom up to ask her about it and both she and my grandma were just as shocked as I was to find out it’s a myth, so apparently at least 3 generations have believed and followed that rule."

rakedleaves

Damn Ma!

"My mother used to feed me 'dark green lettuce' as salads, I loved it even when I was a kid."

"I think I was 17 and I had a friend over for dinner, asked my mom for seconds of dark green lettuce."

"Friend looks at me, 'Uh, you mean spinach?'"

"Moms had been fooling me my whole life."

Marutar

Pecking Order

"I thought Robins (the birds) came out of hibernation at Christmas time because that's when you see them on cards and stuff in the UK. I did not realise for an verrrry long time that you in fact see them all the time, like normal birds."

bos_well_

I can't recall ever seeing a Robin. I may not be looking hard enough.

Get a Dill

Dance Dancing GIF by WoodblockGiphy

"One day I had a lightbulb moment. 'Pickling is a process! You can pickle anything. SO WHAT ARE PICKLES?!?' I was gonna blow so many minds with this question. Turns out, it’s cucumbers. And everyone on the planet knew that, except me."

Goatpuppy

'Turn your head'

"I was in my mid 30s before I realized that the 'turn your head' part of 'turn your head and cough' was so that you didn't cough on the damned doctor. I always thought it must've flexed some particular muscle or something, I don't know. To my credit, I am a man and I don't think I've ever had to do that."

RaceCeeDeeCee

The Half Left

"My great-grandfather had half a pinkie on his left hand and always said it was because he liked to use it to sop up leftover pancake syrup and had worn it down to a nub. This made sense to me because I'd seen him do that plenty of times."

"I was so embarrassed to be in college before I realized that was ridiculous and finally asked him what really happened."

"In reality, he and my uncle had been working in their blacksmith shop, and my uncle accidentally brought a sledgehammer down on his pinkie. He didn't want to traumatize me with the truth as a kid, but by the time I asked, I was more than old enough to handle it."

EducatedOwlAthena

Balloons...

"When I was 4 or 5 my mother brought me home a balloon one day. Plain blue balloon with helium. I accidentally let it go and it flew away. Being little, I was devastated. Later that night she comes back from somewhere and tells me she was at the gas station and miraculously, my balloon just came floating by."

"Being a kid I was thrilled and totally believed it. So fast forward 20+ years. I’m on a date and we stop to get gas and we see a balloon floating by the gas station. Probably hadn’t thought of that story again in all that time."

"So I start telling my date the story about how I had a balloon fly away and then my mother found the very same balloon at a gas station and then as I’m saying it out loud I realize (too late to not look like an idiot) that of course it wasn’t the same freaking balloon. I’ve never seen someone laugh so hard."

Bonzi777

Shocked

Idiot Facepalm GIFGiphy

"For years I had been removing toast from the toaster by sticking a butter knife in and picking it out. It wasn't until I was 20 that my girlfriend freaked out when I started doing it that I learned metal in toaster = bad. Guess I'd been pretty lucky."

shallowwaters

Ok. To be fair, I've done that toaster trick before.

But now I have a toaster oven. All good.