People Explain Which Basic Tasks They Never Quite Mastered

Why can't I get this?!

Nobody is perfect. We can't all be great at everything. Even though we so desperately believe we can do it all, that is not the case. That realization can become a haunting issue when it pertains to life's simpler activities. For instance... I can't do math. After years of struggle and self doubt I realized... who cares? I hate math; hand me a calculator. No shame. We are just wired to intake info in different ways. And sometimes certain wires are just not meant to cross. Often times the deceptively simple alludes us and it's a mystery.

Redditor u/HarveySteakfries was hoping everyone was wiling to compare notes and admit to all the small things that so many of us just can't seem to conquer by asking.... What are some basic things that you can't do?


nicole byer chopsticks GIF by NailedItGiphy

Use a chopstick (I'm asian).


Try eating spaghetti, I'm Italian and I hate those pieces of crap, long live the mezze penne rigate.


Sorry. And you are?

Remember names and faces. Don't know what my deal is but unless my brain decides I should remember you for some reason, I will probably forget I've even met you. It's screwed up and embarrassing really.


Ugh, I feel you. It was a great night when I turned to my GF's friend and said "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" and she was like "It's Caitlin! I am literally your GF's best friend, we have met three times!"


1 + 1=.... UM?

Do basic math quickly. Like simple adding and subtracting math. I used to be a bartender, and one of the basic jobs of a bartender is surprisingly enough to check ids. Well whenever any handed me their id I couldn't do the math fast enough to actually be sure they were over 21. So I just said okay. Later they put up the sign with date that the birthday had to be after to be served. Made it slightly easier.



Baby Reaction GIFGiphy

Get to sleep at a reasonable hour.


I always go to sleep after midnight, have done for years now. It just feels natural to me now, any time before that and its too early for me. I've been told to go to bed earlier by a few people. Its definitely easier said than done - as I just lie in bed looking at the ceiling if I'm forced to go to bed before midnight.



Interact with someone that I don't know.


Like anything, it takes practice. I'll admit though, making conversation with strangers doesn't feel as natural as if it was to somebody you know.



Produce dopamine at an acceptable level.


It's serotonin you want if you'd like to feel content and happy not dopamine. Too much dopamine will make you miserably.

Edit: this is an oversimplification and there are many pathway signals in the brain that we still don't completely understand on the whole. Far from it. So please do not think this one thing will solve a complex issue.


Bad Bite

Bite into apples or an ear of corn.


I have to cut up apples and whatnot bc one of my front teeth is partially fake. If there was somehow only apples and corn on the cob available and no knives? You gotta come at it from the side and hope you have floss.


bad cycle

bike ride GIFGiphy

I'm 16 and I cant ride a bike.


A common mistake when beginning is trying to keep balance by moving the front wheel. Move your body slightly left or right instead. It is also much easier to keep balance at faster speeds.


Bodies are weird

Process dairy. Thanks for nothing, ancestors.


Yes, I have problems with this. However, when I was pregnant I craved ice cream so bad and ate it several times a day and my body was ok with it. Bodies are weird. Type of ice cream: just one kind, superman.


Don't Pucker.... Blow....

whistle whistling GIFGiphy

Whistle, snap my fingers, blow bubbles with gum.


From someone else on reddit:

As someone said, whisper 'Q'. (Elongate the Q, expel all of your air over 4 or 5 seconds of whispering a single Q. You should be close to a whistle if not whistling at the end of the exhale). The idea is that you want to direct a stream of air downwards, across the opening of your lips. It's like blowing across the top of a coke bottle, only you're doing it from the inside.

To do this, you push your tongue up to the roof of your mouth for a cat/lizard/vampire hiss: hhkhkhkkhhhhkkkkkhh.

When you make that noise, you should find yourself blowing on your lower front teeth.

The tip of your tongue should be neutral to start - not all the way forward as for yyyyyyyy, and not all the way back as for aaaawwww. Just a loose, neutral uuuhhh.

Last and least important, the lips. Starting out, keep it relaxed - position them for ooo, like you're going to mutter 'cool' under your breath. Don't pucker, it'll be harder to find the tone.

So, put it all together, and you whisper khlhkhhkkkhkhkkheeeeeeoooooooo - and somewhere in there you should find a lick of tone. Keep practicing until you can home right in on it. It'll be kind of breathy, but we'll fix that in a minute.

You change the pitch by moving the tip of your tongue forward and back. You'll notice that high notes are a bit hard to reach.

Once you've got this down, and can find the tone every time - then you pucker your lips into a wwwww shape.

It's got much less tolerance for finding the tone, but the tone will clean up and lose the breathiness, and high notes will become a whole lot easier.

That's it, that's all you need.


Cereal Fails

I don't know if it's just me and God I hope it's not but for the life of me I cannot open a resealable package the correct way. You know the packaging that's like tear here along the lines to get to the resealable part? Without fail every time I tear it off and somehow there's just enough to not be able to get to the resealable part. My girlfriend watches me every time I open one with the same disappointed face. She has to watch the man she fell in love with paw at a bag of cereal like a seal wearing oven mitts.



season 10 friends GIFGiphy

My native language is Russian, and the phonetics of the letter 'r' are very different to those in English - you have to roll the letter, kind of like in French or Spanish. However, I still can't do this, even after years of practice and failed assistance to try and learn how to pronounce the letter; I replace it with an awkward "khhh."





Saaame. Maybe it's only in the US where it's a shame to not know to swim. I was fine in my home country bc a lot of people don't learn how to swim.


Muscle Movement

Raise only one eyebrow. How do people do that?


Yeah, I used to know how to do 1 but not the other without compressing muscles of the other one. Then i got face paralysis and couldn't move half my face for about 2 months until i began going to physical therapy where i had to learn to move my face again.

Now i can move both of them independently and without any need of using muscles from other side to keep it down. So basically a lot of looking in the mirror and just thinking about moving it and using imagination to picture it all while helping it with a finger and you can learn it... if you decide its worth your while.


learning life

johnny depp everything GIFGiphy

Pay taxes, drive a motorcycle, networking, flirting, create ties with people, fix stuff, go to places without a GPS and cooking.



I cant twist my tongue to the left, I encourage you to try this, idk why I cant, I can twist it to the right but no matter how hard I try I can't twist my tongue to the left.


It's genetic, same as the pattern in which you clasp your hands together with fingers interlaced. Whether it feels natural to have your left or right forefinger in the top position is genetic.


Lonely Still

Find a girlfriend.


Same, where do you even find them and how do people have the confidence to ask girls out, not something I could ever relate to lol.


52 Pickup

Shuffle cards. Embarrassing when I have to mix them all up in my hands. I'm 29.


Here is sexy card shuffle tutorial.


Side to Side

googly eyes GIFGiphy

I can't move my eyes to the left and right, only up and down! If I want to look to the side I have to move my whole head. If you see me reading it looks like I'm constantly shaking my head.


Licensed to Walk.... 

Drive a car (I'm in my early 30s).


I have a friend I went to high school with back in the 80's who was scared to learn to drive. Her mom thought it was because her dad was teaching her to drive and he was being a butt to her so she asked me if I could teach my friend to drive.

She had no interest in learning to drive and finally told me that she didn't want to learn and liked taking the bus and walking. She finally told her mom the same.

She is my age (50) and still has never driven. She lives in a city where she does not have to drive and is very happy there.

I drove as soon as I could but not everyone is in a hurry and some people just aren't interested. I worked with a guy at my last job who was 36 and didn't know how to drive. It's probably more common than you think.



Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Reaching 50 is a life goal.

Getting to that milestone is something we should all aim for.

So many years, so much life lived.

Which means there is so much story to tell.

Who can't help but look back and advise about how to do it better?

Keep reading...Show less
Grossed out woman sticking her tongue out
Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash

Dating can be pretty fun, but like anything else, there are going to be some bad or weird dates.

But sometimes the person we think we're really into will do something so repulsive, we know instantly that relationship is over.

Keep reading...Show less
Puerto Rico flag
Ana Toledo/Unsplash

This November, Puerto Ricans can vote on one of three options–including becoming the 51st state in the U.S.

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Puerto Rico Status Act last December.

The bill would grant the island commonwealth either U.S. statehood, independence, or independence while retaining some U.S. affiliations.

Keep reading...Show less