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Reddit user DontMicrowaveCats asked:
What basic life skill were you surprised to find your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse didn't have when you first started dating?
and the internet had some surprising and hilarious answers.
Wife can't swim.
She said her mother wouldn't let her learn because she was afraid of her drowning. THAT'S THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT SWIMMING IS FOR! lothartheunkind
This is a "what she has taught me" post. I grew up in a hoarder/squalor house (like on TV), so when I first moved out and got a place with my girlfriend at the time, I had to basically be taught every domestic skill (apart from cooking, which I had already taught myself). That was like 11 or 12 years ago, and I STILL learn things every now and then from my wife. An upbringing like that isn't something you just overcome at the drop of a hat. After being out of that environment for so long, visiting home now sometimes feels like visiting an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon where I observe primitive behaviors that I evolved out of, but are still prevalent within the family. B_Squad_Captain
Had to file 7 years back taxes for a girl, she'd simply never done them and didn't know that after university and working minimum and low wage jobs since high school that it meant she'd be getting back thousands of dollars, like $21,000. EnderSword
Back To Basics
Basic life skills. He (an ex from long ago) couldn't comprehend certain daily tasks. He thought any kind of soap could be put in the dish washer, he would leave things in the oven and forget about them for hours, thought you only needed to shower or brush your teeth every few weeks?! I once witnessed him make a milkshake and not put the lid on the blender... (stuff) went everywhere and he was genuinely perplexed at the outcome. If he didn't feel like working 1 day he'd just quit and apply for another job. The worst part was he truly believed I was an idiot for thinking him wrong or suggesting he change his habits. I felt like a wrangler at the zoo... or a parent to a 25 year old man baby. Bebeshark
How to use a broom. Not like lazy, but literally has never handled a broom before and doesn't have the motor memory for a sweeping motion. I actually kind of have to work hard not to laugh as its adorably watching a grown human being handling a broom like a toddler. natha105
Money management. She used to think, "Oh, I have $500 in my account, which means I can buy that $500 item!" She's since learned how to appreciate saving. aggressive_napkins
Dental care. She nearly dumped me when I pointed out that it's not normal for teeth to be brown on the edges. I didn't notice it initially because the brown was eternally covered by white, fossilized food residue.
Eventually, I was able to make it clear that I just care about her health, and she's been working through about $5000 in fillings, root canals, and gum treatments as quickly as her insurance will let her. TBSchemer
What a Gas
My biggest smack my head moment with my wife was when she called me and told me that she had just met with the road service guy due to running out of gas. I asked where she had run out and she told me the location.
It was in the same parking lot that contained a Shell Gas station about 50 yards away from where she was parked. Sigh.... Goblue5891x2
Being able to determine whether my hands are free or not. Like I'll be carrying a two handed tote and she wants to hand me the glass of water she just poured. Like yes please balance it on my shoulder. thatdudecole
Cleaning. Specifically, dude had no idea where dust came from. Thought that if he didn't go over to that part of the room, it wouldn't get dusty, and therefore didn't need to be cleaned. graciewindkloppel
One at a Time
When texting I have to write a sentence and wait an answer.
If I write more than one, she only reads the last one.
Better Than Sliced Bread
My dad likes to make bread, and I gave my boyfriend (who I'd been dating for a year at that point) a loaf.
We decide to have a slice and he just cuts the entire loaf in half,
He wasn't sure where to go from there. I suppose a lot of people just buy sliced bread and never make their own! SaskatoonDream
The Hinges Go in Both Directions
The ability to close cabinet doors. Snauzberries
In His Best Interest
Compounding interest. My ex had maxed out a $500 limit credit card ten years earlier, just ignored it, and had been paying about $25/month in interest ever since.
I explained to him that the single easiest way for him to earn money was to pay it off and terminate the card -- that would be like earning $25/month for doing nothing!
He slammed his fists on the table and yelled, "No! I'm not earning anything, they're just taking my money! I'm not giving them any more!" a3wagner
How not to drive like a jackhole.
She tailgated, stopped late, swerved randomly because she wasn't paying attention, and... It has taken a lot of patience to get her to the point where i am cool with her driving the kids around. Her sister is still a horrible driver. deathtastic
Guess Where Vegetables Come From?
An ex-GF was from a wealthy family and I'd get calls about everyday life stuff all the time:
"How do I choose which head of lettuce at the grocery store?"
"How do I use a ___ (gas pump, clothes iron, sandpaper...)?"
" Why are there so many kinds of shovels and which one should I buy?"
My favorite was her fuming about the farmers market that sold her a bag of veggies that were dirty, they had ACTUAL DIRT on them. picksandchooses
It Says Disposable
The ability to understand how a lint roller works.
He didn't know that the sheets peel off the roll, just thought when the top sheet was covered you threw it out and got a new one. industrial_craze
ANYTHING that requires maintenance.
I mean anything. Like, she will listen to a fire alarm beep for hours before I come home and swap the batteries. She will try and change a light bulb while the switch is on. She does not understand the concept of circuit breakers. Every time she has a computer problem, I ask her "Did you turn it off and on" and invariably, she hasn't.
She went ~8 years between moving out of her parents home, then living with me. I don't know how she survived.
BUT she is super smart. Like, so very good with money, deans list when she went to Uni, excellent mother, reads and understands contracts. Pretty much everything I'm dumb at she's good at and vice versa. We make a really good team. KarmaAerospace
Beep, Beep, Beep...
My friends sister secretly taught herself Korean, announced as a total surprise to everyone (including her family) that she was moving to Korea, alone, and worked there for a couple of years as an English teacher. We live in England and she had no previous connection with Korea, so this was pretty incredible.
In her mid- to late 20s she came home and moved back in with her dad, and one day the smoke alarm was beeping because the battery had run down. She wasn't sure what to do, so she rang her dad for help, despite knowing he was at work. On a ship. Fifty miles away. After he got understandably annoyed and asked what the hell she expected him to do about it, she left it beeping for about six hours until her brother got back and changed the batteries.
It still boggles my mind that someone so clearly intelligent, adventurous and apparently independent could have so little common sense when it comes to everyday life. She isn't the only person I know who can be like that though, so maybe it's a totally different part of your brain that's involved or something. EuphemiaPhoenix
Dated a girl who called me one night asking me if it was safe to put plastic in the oven. When I said no, she laughed nervously and said she might have set her house on fire. (She did)
I was confused by much in that conversation, but the main thing was why she was calling me and not the fire department.
She also couldn't tell her lefts from her rights.
It was odd because other than that she was a generally intelligent human being. Monochrome21
I had a roomie who, three months into living together, told me she'd let the gas stove run a while and use a Bic to light it.
Because she was "afraid of the clicking noise."
There were a lot of reasons I wanted to hit her in the back of the head to knock some blockage loose, but that was the time I came the closest. LittleSadEyes
Cooking....like at all...she would burn pasta...
"BOIL water?? What am I...a chemist???"
My ex was a hot mess in that regard (life skills).
He didn't know how to do anything in terms of taking care of himself. I asked him to mind the pasta that was cooking for five minutes while I went to grab something, and when I came back he was just standing there watching it boil over without doing anything. He tried to run the dishwasher, but filled it with just rinse aid instead of detergent because, "they're basically the same thing, right?". When he did laundry, he would leave the wet clothes in the washer for 3-4 days and then be surprised when they mildewed literally every time. He never budgeted, just spent whatever he felt like (mostly on expensive sports equipment, etc) and then would call his parents in a panic if he got an overdraft fee before his next payday.
He'd clearly been babied all to hell, and I would've had a lot more sympathy except that a) most of these things were pretty easy to just Google if you didn't know how to do them, and b) whenever I tried to gently correct him on how to do something, he'd fly off the handle and accuse me of being condescending and nagging. So, yeah, by the end of our relationship I'd kinda lost all respect for the guy. pdxemf
Soap IS Soap, Right?
Me. Dawn dish soap in the dishwasher deal.
Cleaned the house, did the laundry mowed the lawn and bought flowers for the ex before she came back to her place. Final touch was having all dishes done and put away. Put dish soap in because, wtf, it's clearly soap for dishes so that'll work.
Turns out it floods the whole kitchen with bubbles.
I decided to mow while dishes were going, had to call and explain before she got back. Thankfully she thought it was hilarious and said thanks for cleaning the floors while calling me an idiot. gotbadnews
My GF is a Forensics Chemistry major with two minors and she's brilliant. But she has trouble telling which way to turn when giving directions and confuses her left and right. If she says "Go left" my safest bet is probably turning right because left would be me turning into oncoming traffic, a tree, a wall, or just the way we don't need to go. It's kind of cute now, but at the beginning it was confusing. Avinan
Spell My Name
He couldn't spell my name right. My name is Hazel. It's not exactly common, but it's not super rare either; English, five letters, not so bad.
And it wasn't that he was dyslexic either -- he was whip-smart, and had no problems with spelling anything else. His text messages were all perfectly punctuated. His grammar was on point. He'd proofread my work from time to time. It's not a thing I would have expected him to have a problem with.
But in the three months we dated, I was a Hazzle, a Hazle, a Hazzel, a Hayzel and a Hayzell. Not once do I recall him getting it right. It got to the point where I thought he might be doing it on purpose, either because he thought it was cute or to annoy me, but no -- it was just a complete blind spot for him.
It didn't last. (For other reasons, but... damn, I mean, is it too much to want your name spelled right?) Portarossa
Fundamentally, all of them. His mother basically anticipated that he would find a good woman to take care of him, so he was essentially treated as a child.
He couldn't cook, not even ramen. He didn't know how to repair a car, didn't understand how to clean, shop all. Not only did he fail to budget, he fundamentally had no clue how much stuff cost. I refused to live with him.
I know a woman raising a son like that. She has said that she's not bothering to teach him how to cook or clean because he'll find a wife to do that for him. When someone asked her what if he didn't get married, she said "he'll just make good enough money to be able to hire a maid". StyxRun GetLostYouPsycho
My husband can't ride a bike.
He was never taught. Bittysweens
Down the Drain
My wife did not know how to plunge a toilet. The first few times I was over at her place and her toilet was clogged when I entered the restroom I figured "hey, it happens, I'll just plunge it on the dl and save her the embarrassment." After a couple of years and countless low-key plunges we had to sit down and talk about checking the bowl, proper plunging technique, all that jazz. It's much better now but for a while it was this weird little secret that only I knew. pianoman616
How to use a can opener!
I was literally blown away. How can a grown man not know how to use a car opener? LauraIngallsWilder1
He was amazed with my sock folding skills.
You know, when you're folding laundry and pair up two matching socks side by side and then fold down the cuffs so that the socks stay paired up together.
His reaction was like he had watched me perform brain surgery. Literally mind blown. I should have taken it as a sign. pixiecut678
Her concept of time is so skewed it's mind boggling and it's caused her to be one of those people who "has their own time" (like people add an hour to whatever time she says she'll be anywhere).
I didn't understand it until I witnessed it first time when we were getting ready to leave somewhere together. She thinks "well I just have to throw clothes on and make up and I'm good, so leaving in half an hour is fine." However, she lets things distract her from her two main objectives and doesn't allot any extra time for such occurrences.
Example: Starts dressing and make up, then realizes she hasn't fed the dog, but also realizes she hasn't eaten so makes a quick snack, but while doing that she notices she hasn't taken the trash out and if she doesn't do it now it will attract flies, what was I doing again? Make up, oh yeah. Where's my coffee? Oh I hadn't made it yet. Better do that. What's this bowl of yogurt and granola doing here? Oh yeah, I need to eat this. Okay lets go. Wait, I need to bring this chair up to my mom on the way up to the car. Proceeds to have 5 minute argument with her mom about nothing in particular.
And suddenly we are 45 minutes late. DothrakAndRoll
Being street smart and book smart are two different forms of intelligence.
One acquires wisdom through life experiences while the other gains knowledge through reading books, articles, and from higher learning.
But sometimes there are certain situations where neither applies to a person–even though others may initially perceive them to be intelligent.
Curious to explore this further, Redditor Indianfattie asked:
'What is incorrectly perceived as a sign of intelligence?"
Status and credentials aren't necessarily strong indicators of intelligence.
"Edit: Thank you for the gold and silver! I am so rich. Therefore I am smart! S-M-R-T smart!"
Money And Brains
"People seem to think if you are rich with a good job you must be smart. Generally speaking I've only met one rich person I would consider smart. The rest? Ooooooof. I seriously wonder how some of them passed gradeschool."
"I was surprised when I learned that knowledge isn't necessarily correlated to intelligence. I met a lifelong academic who knew damn near everything about her topic .... but just the facts. It's like, she was a walking encyclopedia, could cough up any info about her field, but she couldn't really process it that well, or draw conclusions, or apply it to a different topic. It's hard to explain. She had a nice 2TB SSD drive full of info in her head but she had a substandard CPU. Since then I've met several people like that. All academics, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it."
Certain behaviors and personality traits can be misleading.
The Quiet Observer
"Silence. I’ve been told so many times that I’m thoughtful and a deep thinker but really I can’t figure out what to say lol"
The Saying Goes
"There's a very good saying about that, I may be paraphrasing but I've always heard it as: a wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something."
Way With Words
"A cromulent vocabulary."
"This embiggens me."
Judging By Appearance
"I’m living in China right now and everyone keeps calling me intelligent as I’m bald and left handed."
History has proven leaders don't always make the best decisions.
"Being in charge."
Capable Until Proven Incompetent
"Always maintain a healthy skepticism for anyone claiming to be authority, at least till they prove themselves capable."
Save The Compliments
"if someone’s in an authoritative position, it should be others that praise them and say how good they are, not themselves."
The Peter Principle
'The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to "a level of respective incompetence." Employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.'
"I once worked for a company where the VP was the living embodiment of the Peter principle. She had been with the company for 20+ years, and somehow got promoted to VP of marketing."
"She very clearly had no idea what she was doing and as a result would end up micromanaging to stay busy. And she loved to come around at 4:30 on the Friday before a holiday weekend to 'say hi,' aka make sure no one was leaving early (we were all salaried)."
"This woman was completely incompetent, had no business managing anyone and didn't understand her duties at all, yet somehow she was an executive and made close to $200K per year. Just by outlasting everyone else."
A person with a big vocabulary can be deceiving.
I knew someone from work who boasted a huge vocabulary and always sounded like an academic scholar when he spoke at meetings.
My view of him completely shattered when he came in for his shift one morning and seriously asked where he could get some "expresso," "expecially" since he was very tired and could use a pick-me-up.
My colleagues and I just blankly stared at each other since his statements at the time were so jarring.
In the US, teenagers technically become adults at 18, an age when they are presumably able to make decisions for themselves and establish independence.
But some teenagers feel they've emotionally and mentally reached maturity before being of legal age, and for some, long after.
Maybe it was a life-changing event or some kind of turning point that make these young adults feel like they are wise beyond their years.
Curious to explore anecdotes relating to coming of age, Redditor brokenbeanie asked:
"When is the first time you remember feeling like an adult?"
These Redditors experienced an epiphany when they realized trips to the grocery store was routine.
"When I got mad that they rearanged the grocery store."
"When I was buying my own groceries and had survived for two weeks on my own. I figured I must be doing it right since I wasn’t feeling hungry or diminished."
Raising A Pet
"It took me a few years. I had a cat for a year and that's when I was like 'holy sh*t I've somehow managed to keep us both alive for an entire year.' That's when I felt like an adult. That was mid to late 20s. I am also a late bloomer."
Accomplishments without the supervision of another adult were common indicators for people who felt grown-ish.
Learn As You Go
"My first summer in college, my roommate and I housesat for a couple who were out of town all summer. Paying rent and bills, buying groceries. We were both working, thank God, but we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Lived on boiled eggs, raisin bran, bologna and cheese sandwiches, and ten cent ramen."
No Approval Necessary
"The first time I didn’t have to ask for permission to go out."
Tasked With Responsibility
"In college, I was with some friends at a party and one of them fell and busted his face so badly, he started bleeding badly. I went looking for someone to do something when I realized I was the only sober one there. Not a fun night or feeling."
Regarding making purchases, these Redditors realized they could afford luxuries previously not granted to them.
"Honestly, the first time I bought a car without mentioning it ahead of time to my parents. I was 27 or 28, married (no kids, though), and it was at that point that I realized 'I didn't really run this past anyone............hmm....' All of the college loans without a cosigner, my careers (firefighter/paramedic and nurse),my marriage, vacations... Etc...All the stuff I did as an adult and it took a $32,000 purchase to really feel like an adult"
Answer To No One
"I wanted to buy a box of fruit roll-ups. But was feeling weird about it because as a kid we were not allowed to get it. It was too expensive and my parents didn’t want to buy it. At some point, while I was thinking about putting it down, it dawned on me that I was a grown man with my own income. I bought like 20 boxes."
Remember your first job? That was a defining moment for these Redditors.
Joining The Daily Grind
"Starting my first full-time 9-5 job."
"Same. It was weird not having to clock in or out and being allowed to leave work to go run an errand etc."
"I relate to this so hard. I remember when I got my first big boy job I'd pop my head into the bosses office and be like 'cool if I go to lunch?' Or something along those lines and she'd give me a weird look. After like two weeks she let me know that she did not care about lunch breaks, doctors appointments, or even leaving a little early, so long as the work got done. One of my earliest memories of that adulty feeling."
I remember buying my first movie ticket to an R-rated movie was extremely satisfying.
I conveniently forget what movie it was, but it was most likely for a horror film.
Not that the restriction for those under 17 has ever prevented me from sneaking into another theater after having purchased a ticket for a PG-13 film.
Hey, I never claimed to be a model teenager.
No joke, I will never forget the old Sock'em Boppers commercials. I am well past the age group that plays with these things but that theme song is often in my head. What can I say? I watched a ton of TV as a kid and saw that commercial a million times.
They're now known as Socker Boppers and it's just not the same. Remember that video jingle, "it's more fun than a pillow fight?" Those were the days. Alas, everything good must end.
There are a host of other commercials that have left an impression on people. These people shared their thoughts with us after Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 asked the online community,
"What's a commercial you'll never forget?"
"I still giggle..."
"I still giggle at the LifeAlert "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials. They even have a newer batch of them out."
There's a criminal in my house!
"Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
The world may never know.
"I tried to collect..."
"Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
"I tried to collect all those stuffed Taco Bell dogs they did in promotion around this time. I had almost all of them, but never got my favourite one, with the military hat that says, "Viva gordita!""
I remember those! There were so many. I swear, I had at least one or two but they've now been lost to time.
"This is your brain."
"The "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs" egg commercial."
Oh, but remember the old Rachel Leigh Cook commercial where she destroyed the entire kitchen and not just the egg?
"The dancing old man..."
"The dancing old man from the Six Flags commercials."
Now this one really takes me back.
The Venga bus is coming!!!
And everybody's jumping!!!
"That mid 2000s..."
"That mid 2000s Chef Boyardee commercial where the can follows the family and rolls home with them."
You mean the one where the can is clearly stalking the family and people are too shy to say otherwise?
At least that's how I like to play it out in my head.
"The Wilford Brimley..."
"The Wilford Brimley diabeetus commercial."
At this point, diabetes should just be called Wilford Brimley syndrome.
"The Budweiser Wassup Commercial refuses to exit my brain to this day."
WAZZZUUUUUPPP!? Any kids watching Scary Movie will not understand that reference in the movie sadly.
"Five eight eiiight, two-three hundred... ...Empiiiiire!"
Good choice. This one is always living rent-free inside my head.
"My bologna has a first name. It's O-s-c-a-r. My bologna has a second name. It's M-a-y-e-r. Oh, I love to eat it every day and if you ask my why, I'll say. Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with b-o-l-o-g-n-a."
This commercial is likely singlehandedly responsible for teaching children how to spell "bologna."
Apologies if you now have relentless commercial jingles rattling inside your brain right now. You should have known we'd awake some long buried childhood memories!
Have some commercials you remember? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you're not familiar with the phrase "you are what you eat," it is not a literal statement.
Instead, the line suggests that it is important to eat better quality foods in order to stay healthy and fit.
But the notion that we can go through a transformation of some sort based on our behavior or surroundings can still be a thing depending on certain discussions within context.
Curious to hear examples of what this might be, Redditor standardgenre45 asked:
"What’s something that people turn into their whole personality?"
We can lose sight of ourselves when heavily influenced by another individual or a group of people.
Influenced By Devotion
"Politicians they follow."
Era-Specific Like-Minded Individuals
"The generation they're born in."
We Like, We Follow
"‘Girl bosses’/MLM cult engagers"
"And social media."
People can take on the characteristics that apply to their environments.
"Here in the Netherlands people who live in Amsterdam base their personality on Amsterdam."
When In Colorado
"People move to Colorado and Colorado becomes their personality. They buy a jeep or Subaru and start wearing Chaco’s, and plaster Mountain Life all over everything they own."
Claiming Ownership Of The State
"Not only that, but 'Colorado native' is a whole thing too. I've met many people who have nothing to talk about except how bitter they are that people keep moving in and how much better it was when they were kids."
What The Canadian Said
"It’s that way for a lot of major cities around the world. Here in Canada each province’s capital city has a bunch of people basing their personality off of it."
The Thing About Major American Cities
"Lots of New Yorkers (City not state) guilty of this too. But it’s not just them. Los Angelinos, San Francisans, Chicago and DC are guilty too. Texans are probably the worst about it, especially the further they get away from Texas, then you’ve got people from Austin who are like the elitist Texans, they’re like the oddest mix of hippie and redneck. They often pride themselves on the hippie and denounce the redneck while still obviously being one."
Things having to do with money can be an obsession and really take over the essence of a person.
Living Work Or Work For A Living?
Value Of Conversation
"Or just money in general. I worked with a guy who only ever talked about what things were worth, mostly vehicles. What he was thinking about buying. How much he could sell something for. The trades he wanted to make. How much our customers made. What motorbike he bought before from a guy on the street we happened to be on and what it's worth. That's all. It was annoying as f'k. Any conversation at all, you could be talking about your grandma, and he immediately tries to change the subject to value. It was literally the only small talk he knew. The fact he was poor just made it sad."
Just Cut The Pricetag
"Omg my husband is kind of like this and as much as I love him, it's so frustrating. I'm just not all about money. We don't need to tell the kids how much their gifts cost. Idk. It makes me a little nuts."
Power Of Money
"True, I lived it twice. First time I was a young, driven, ladder climber. Second I was a greedy, grab All the Cheeto’s before everything goes to pot… then when it did in 2008, financial collapse happened, I became lost. I’d let 95% of my identity become my job when it disappeared so did I. Took over a year to get my head right."
Ever been told that you're turning into one of your parents?
That's another phrase often uttered, especially by a sibling who sees that you have slowly taken on the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of your mom or dad.
Learned behavior or genes?
Could be either or both. What do you think?