79 People Share How They Saw Someone Being Baffled By Basic Things That Most People Know How To Do

Sometimes we do not know what we do not know, and we have to learn it the hard way. For example, if a person doesn’t add water to the pot where they’re boiling pasta, chances are, it will burn. So, in an attempt to figure out what (vital) skills people grow up without, Reddit user arual_x submitted a question to the platform, asking “What’s the most horrifying ‘how do you not know how to do this?’ moment you’ve experienced with another person whilst adulting?” I know the last word is enough to make zoomers cringe but let’s not get into linguistics. It’s the answers that count. Continue scrolling and check out the most upvoted ones.


You know, when they said “Wear a facemask, make it cover both your mouth and nose, don’t touch it, wash your hands and stay home”?

Yeah, simple instructions, and a whole load of people can’t follow them properly. That is messed up.people share clueless adulting moments 32 6059c606c9324 700

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I was a drill sergeant in the US Army. The first time you have to show an adult man how to shave is a little shocking. The worst one was the 24 year old male that didn’t know how to tie his boots. He had gotten through reception and pick up day by tightly lacing his boots and tucking the laces in. As they would loosen up throughout the day, he would just pull them tight again. The first Sunday I noticed his boots were barely staying on as he was marching back from dinner. I asked him what was wrong with them as it’s common for privates to have the wrong size boots when they get to us. He didn’t know how to tie them. At all. Not a single knot. I spent an hour showing him how I tie my boots and different techniques if he gets hot spots or blisters. Then I assigned his bunkmate the task of making sure they were tied correctly when he left the bay.

I kind of understood it. He came from a super poor neighborhood, single mom that worked all the time, he didn’t have a lot of positive influences before joining the Army. I was a little worried about his comprehension skills since basic rifle marksmanship is kind of intense and takes some focus, but he did well. I was very happy that on family day he had his low quarters tied and was proud that he had learned so much.people share clueless adulting moments 33 6059c70b4a2c8 700

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My roommate was making brownies from a box. The instructions said to grease the bottom of the pan before pouring in the batter. You bet your ass they picked up the pan, flipped it over, greased the BOTTOM of it, flipped it back over and poured in the brownie batter.people share clueless adulting moments 5 60585a4d7dfb8 700 1

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I asked my husband to make some herbal tea for me the first year we were married. I walked into the kitchen to find him standing over the stove with a mug of water sitting directly on the burner.people share clueless adulting moments 21 605866af2f279 700 1

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Oh I have a really funny one, I hope it doesn’t get buried!

Years ago, I bought a friend an electric kettle as a gift. Her boyfriend (who I’m still friends with and who passed along this story) came home one night to find her running out the front door of their apartment with the flaming kettle, and she threw it into the street.

She was screaming about how it was a piece of junk because when she put it on the stove, over a flame, it caught fire and started to melt.

He was laughing uncontrollably when he asked, “what did you think the cord was for?”

They broke up soon after.people share clueless adulting moments 25 60589b414d66c 700 1

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My relative tried to put her son on the school bus his first day of kindergarten and got upset when the driver refused to let him on because he wasn’t on the list. She never registered him for school and just thought she could put him on the bus and send him.people share clueless adulting moments 6 60585ae1efd28 700 1

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My wonderful, selfless, beautiful younger brother asked me how to make ice last year. He’s 24.people share clueless adulting moments 9 60585d69de58e 700 1

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When my friend bought a house, a month into home ownership, she asked me when the city was coming to cut her lawn because it was starting to look like weeds. It was awkward when I had to explain that she needs to cut her own lawn or hire someone.people share clueless adulting moments 10 60585db64dadc 700 1

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Co-worker announced she was pregnant, then immediately said she was sad that she couldn’t take a bath until the baby was born. I stared, confused, and asked “Why can’t you take a bath?” She looked at me as though I was stupid and said, “Because the baby will drown!” I had to walk away.people share clueless adulting moments 31 60589eeb9fd2a 700 1

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My ex–best friend told me that she had needed to buy another new vacuum cleaner, which was the third that month. I asked her what was wrong with it and she said, ‘It’s not picking things up anymore!’ So I asked if she had dumped out the container. She didn’t know that was a thing.people share clueless adulting moments 15 605862e43257e 700 1

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Had a guy constantly asking what time it is…by the 6th time I said “bro,there is a clock right there” he said ” I don’t know how to read it…grown ass man..

Couple weeks later on facebook someone shared a picture of cursive writing he made fun of the people who couldn’t read it…I posted a picture of a clock and said what time does this say…he blocked mepeople share clueless adulting moments 34 6059c8cd2a56c 700

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My ex and I were cooking together and one of the pans got too hot, and we had a minor grease fire.

She grabbed a bag of flour.

As tempted as I was to slap it out of her hands, I didn’t want to aerate a bunch of flour next to a grease fire, so I grabbed it with both hands and forced it (and her, because she wouldn’t let go) over to the countertop, and then dropped the lid on the pan.

I asked her what her logic was, and she said “well, you’re supposed to put baking soda on a grease fire and not water, right?”.

“Yes. Why did you try to use flour?”

“What’s the difference? They’re both white powder.”people share clueless adulting moments 24 6058992735745 700 1

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My roommate tried to make pasta by putting a pot on the stove, pouring the noodles in without adding water, and turning on the stove. Then she asked me, ‘How come these aren’t getting soft like when my mom makes them?people share clueless adulting moments 2 605858a6cc040 700 1

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My friend in college once lamented, ‘Ugh. I have to pee and I just put a tampon in like five minutes ago. I hate having to pull them out dry.’ Her mother taught her that there is only one hole down there and peeing with a tampon in isn’t possible.people share clueless adulting moments 22 6058677777557 700 1

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A girl I knew in college had her dad call to remind her to put oil in her truck. She did and then her truck started smelling like french fries and died. She couldn’t understand that this was directly related to the quart of vegetable oil she put in the motor.people share clueless adulting moments 12 605860751c9b3 700 1

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In my honors dorm at Purdue there was a Computer Science major named Jeffrey. He was well known because his parents would stop by every week to pick up his laundry and bring him a case of Fiji water with expensive groceries. His dad was a doctor. We commented on Jeffrey’s long gross toenails and how he needs to cut them. He told us they are long because his mom hasn’t visited in weeks and she was the one who cut them. His mother cut her 19 year old sons toenails. Disgusting. We had to give him a lesson on it.people share clueless adulting moments 36 6059dbefb6adc 700

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Ooohhh I got one. I work as an EMT for a private company, so we mostly deal with nursing homes and the elderly. One day when I was about 6-8 months in, I got assigned a partner who was in my orientation class. He was a little older than me at the time, like mid 20’s, but he seemed a little childish. “Maybe he’s just sheltered, I think to myself.”

Anyways, we got a patient I’ve had a few times before. She was a sweet, little old lady with COPD and CHF living at an assisted living. Call was for pneumonia. She’s prone to this stuff so it wasnt a huge deal, slap her on oxygen and keep her sitting up til we get to the hospital. The first red flag though, was this kid didn’t know anything. He didnt know how to take a blood pressure. He couldn’t find the medical history or medication on the paperwork (which is clearly labeled). He didn’t even push the stretcher, just walked next to it with a hand on it. When I asked him about all that, he said “My partners usually do that for me.”

So, I put her on an oxygen mask and sit her all the way up, mildly agitated. I tell myself it’s just one shift with this kid. He’s in the back with her and I tell him to just switch the oxygen from the bag (which is a small tank) to the main tank (which is huge) because with the amount of oxygen we’re giving her, the bag will run out not even halfway before the hospital. It’s about 25 minutes, which normally wouldn’t be a huge deal. But when we pull up to the hospital and I open the back doors, I’m fucking shook. The oxygen mask isnt inflated (meaning she isnt getting oxygen), shes pale as shit, I can literally see her accessory muscles moving, struggling to breathe. And this kid was sitting behind her, with a clueless half smile on his face, looks at me and says “The main tank is broken, so I left her on the bag.” This women, who needs oxygen without pneumonia, was barely breathing for at LEAST 15 minutes. And this fucking idiot didnt even check. We take her into the hospital. I ask him to find an oxygen tank while explain to this women’s daughter what happened. He says he doesn’t know where to look. I fucking find it and told him to talk to the daughter.

When it’s all said and done, I check to see what’s broken. He didn’t turn on the tank.

TL;DR EMT partner nearly kills a patient because he didn’t know he had to open the oxygen tank to get oxygen to come out.people share clueless adulting moments 37 6059df53c21f7 700

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My friend from college tried making burrito bowls for dinner and complained that some of the onions were weirdly chewy. She didn’t know onions need to be peeled.people share clueless adulting moments 17 605863e160057 700 1

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My best friend was sleeping with a new guy. She said she wasn’t sure of his sexual history but she was on birth control to prevent STDs. I was like, ‘Umm…’people share clueless adulting moments 3 605858f70a6e6 700 1

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Girl I went to HS with: “why do people say a quarter of an hour? Like what does that even mean?”

Me: “it’s 15 minutes. Because 15 is a fourth of 60, so that’s a quarter of an hour”

Her: looking at me like I’m a f**king idiot “But a quarter is 25…”

Me: …people share clueless adulting moments 35 6059d9ed5ee5f 700

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My Mom and I moved in with my Grandparents when I was 10 years old. You know, old enough to have learned how to do some basic chores, and certainly old enough to be taught more. Unfortunately my Grandmother, God bless her, was not only terrified of fire (her Mother had a problem with accidentally setting things on fire) but she was also a neat freak that insisted on doing everything herself so it was done right.

My Mom married my (step)Dad when I was 14 years old, and we moved in to a house together as a family. He was horrified to learn that, at nearly 15 years old, I did not know how to wash and dry my own clothes, iron, load a dishwasher, or even use the stove. I could use the oven because I baked with my other Grandmother when I visited, but I had never used the stove top. There are many more things he had to teach me, but those were the things that really had him worried about my ability to care for myself as an adult. It wasn’t that my Grandmother didn’t want me to be able to care for myself. Her fears were just so intense that she didn’t think about how not knowing these basic skills would effect me later in life. I am forever grateful to my Dad for being the Dad I needed because God knows the biological one couldn’t be bothered. Mom couldn’t overrule her own Mother when we lived with her and by the time she married Dad she was sleeping at the hospital five nights a week because her schedule was so insane. I dont even want to think about who I would be if I hadn’t had him to teach me, but I’m pretty sure I would have had to live off of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and take out through my 20s if it weren’t for him. I probably would’ve smelled pretty bad from the lack of clean clothes too.people share clueless adulting moments 38 6059e0a0e9a26 700

  School Answering Machine

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I had to ask my roommate to please wash his hands after touching raw chicken. He thought it was fine to just go about his day before I asked.people share clueless adulting moments 8 60585c18431f2 700 1

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My friend who was almost 40 had never paid a bill before. When she got divorced and lived on her own for the first time, I got a text from her asking if my power was out too. She realized it was just her and her excuse was she never paid attention to the bills because she thought they were receipts and that the cost was included in her rent.people share clueless adulting moments 7 60585bb28d9d7 700 1

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I had a roommate at university who’s “cooking” method was put baked beans in a Tupperware, seal the lid, turn on microwave, when lid pops and explodes beans everywhere they’re cooked.people share clueless adulting moments 23 60589895a33b6 700 1

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This 19-year-old guy asked me how to cook a fried egg. I gave him instructions and when he came back, he said it took a few attempts because the yolk kept breaking and he thought breaking the yolk made the egg poisonous.people share clueless adulting moments 13 605861c8eee65 700 1

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When I first met my Ex he didn’t know how to cook. 40 something year old at the time I met him. He only knew how to use a microwave and the best thing he thought of cooking was chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs cooked in the microwave, everything was cooked in the microwave. Wet, soggy, colorless flesh with no flavoring, that’s not how it works, that not how any cooking should be done.people share clueless adulting moments 28 60589cd3ada0d 700 1

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I remember when I first started dating my now husband, I was hanging out at his apartment waiting for him to get out of work. His place was a bit messy so I decided I’d tidy up for him a bit.

Fast forward to the next morning and he comes in a little shocked.

“Why would you load the dishwasher like…that”

I had never had a dishwasher before in my life lmao. We’re talking cups facing up, big ass pans shoved in, the whole nine yards. Thank god he stuck with me lolpeople share clueless adulting moments 39 6059e12077814 700

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I took a food safety course and someone asked if they could wash a turkey with dish soap.people share clueless adulting moments 11 60585f4aef479 700 1

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One of my roommates in college would melt plastic spatulas like crazy. She’d always say it was due to the spatula being made of cheap plastic, but I finally caught her one day. She’d be cooking something and would walk away LEAVING THE PLASTIC SPATULA IN THE PAN WHILE IT WAS STILL ON!people share clueless adulting moments 16 60586367eee4b 700 1

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I had to jump a friend’s car that wouldn’t start. After we finally got it running, she immediately turns off the car and said, ‘Thanks so much, I’ll call you later!’people share clueless adulting moments 4 605859db581a9 700 1

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I had spent the night at my ex boyfriend’s place and stayed a bit longer in the morning to help clean the house. I was folding some clothes when I noticed him go from one side of the bed to another without actually doing anything. I looked at him and he looked clueless. He said “can you please make the bed? I’ve never done this, no idea where to start”. I didn’t mean to have a strong reaction to it but man did it leave me speechless… he was 26 at the time. That day I realized his mother often visited his house to make the bed and clean… Yeah…people share clueless adulting moments 40 6059e1ecb461e 700

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Don’t think this aligns with your question, but while visiting my friend I found out he preheat his microwave.people share clueless adulting moments 41 6059e278a6dc4 700

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My dad couldn’t spread butter on his toast when he met my mom.

PhD in neuroscience? No problem.

Building a successful business? Piece of cake.

Spreading butter on a bagel? Talk about unrealistic expectations.people share clueless adulting moments 42 6059e307c1104 700

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Every few weeks, I catch my roommate trying to put his metal tea strainer in the microwave in spite of the fact that our first week living in this apartment, he destroyed the microwave doing this.people share clueless adulting moments 18 6058649e2ce71 700 1

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Someone told me that their husband would put shampoo in their hair and not rinse after applying. The husband for his entire life wondered why his hair was always greasy.people share clueless adulting moments 43 6059e4589df19 700

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Oh gosh, I have a few from when I first went to university, living in halls and realising some people literally did not know how to cook a THING.

There was one girl who bought chicken and kept it in the cupboard, despite being told by pretty much everyone else in the flat that it was meant to go in the fridge or freezer. Flat out refused to listen, kept putting it in the cupboard. Don’t know how she didn’t get sick.

Another flatmate who didn’t eat potato for almost a year because he didn’t know how to peel them and didn’t want to try (I tried to teach him ??‍♀️). Then he realised he could buy pre-prepared.

One guy who decided to take a nap whilst cooking sausages for dinner, just left them in the grill and only woke up when the fire alarms were going off and the whole building was being evacuated.

Finally two girls who again almost caused a fire if I hadn’t found them… These two were actually my friends and I was looking for them, found them in one of the kitchens about to “cook” a stir fry. They had a wok with about an inch depth of oil in the bottom, SHIMMERING because it was so hot, and they weren’t sure if it was hot enough to cook with yet. They were really glad I found them because they couldn’t tell that it was boiling oil and were worried the food wouldn’t cook. I was really glad I found them because if they had thrown their stir fry veg in there it would have probably caused a fire, or at least spat boiling oil all over them. I turned it off and tossed one piece of veg in there – turned black almost instantly.

Honestly I was just shocked and appalled that so many 18 year olds had never cooked for themselves before, and even worse that their parents had sent them off to fend for themselves not having taught them. It’s actually scary thinking back!


My wife’s entire family did not grasp that you need to put water in a steam iron.people share clueless adulting moments 19 60586538e41c6 700 1

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My housemate (24 year old postgrad student) not realising that

You needed to preheat an oven.

You needed to defrost frozen meat before cooking it.

You need to use a baking tray.

After I caught her lining the bottom of our oven with frozen chicken drumsticks.people share clueless adulting moments 27 60589c206739f 700 1

Image credits: rabbles-of-roses


First year at uni, a girl in my hall was microwaving some food and left it in the metal foil container. It took three fire engines to put out the fire and we had to have a new kitchen installed.people share clueless adulting moments 14 6058626c2b485 700 1

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Not sure if I’d call it “horrifying,” but pretty ridiculous, nonetheless. It’s about me. I just moved into my first home in February of this year. I live alone and am single. Earlier this month I mowed my lawn for the first time. I have never mowed a lawn before, but I’m thinking, how hard can it be? (The answer: not hard at all). Prior to that, I had roped my brother into coming over and doing it for me, but this time I figured I need to actually learn. The lawnmower is an old push mower of my dad’s that he had brought over about a month ago, and he quickly gave me the rundown on how to use it, but I was half paying attention, plus..it’s a lawnmower.

So anyway, I go to start it up, takes me at least 10 tries of pulling the cord as hard as I can with no luck until finally it fires up. I then proceed to begin mowing, and I KNOW this thing is self-propelling – it says so right on it, but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why it’s so hard to push. The wheels aren’t locked or anything, so I just figure it’s a combination of me not having much upper body strength and my lawn having a lot of uneven spots/divots that prevented the mower from moving smoothly. I finally finish, sweating my ass off like I had just finished seriously working out (my yard is very small…even I finished the front and back in about a half hour-40 mins). Upon reflection, I’m still not convinced that the mower was self-propelling. I mean I know I’m not strong and am somewhat petite, but STILL. So I’m sharing this story with friends and co-workers like wtf did I do wrong and they’re all asking me about this lever, and I’m like yeah, obviously I had to hold the lever down or the motor kills. Well, turns out there’s a SECOND lever that you have to squeeze in order to propel the lawnmower.

I manually pushed that MFer around my whole yard, divots, hills and all, ended up with a blister on my thumb, and sweating profusely through my shirt. Not to mention the few times I stopped it and had to re-start it, I pulled the cord literally at least 20 times to get it to start again; I was waiting for one of my neighbors to come over and ask me if I needed help, the struggle was THAT obvious (I also learned about the little button that you push a few times to make starting easier).

So yeah, mowed today, and let’s just say that things went SIGNIFICANTLY better than last time. Growing up, my dad or brother would mow, and in college up until now, I have always lived in apartments or duplexes, nothing that requires residents to do any lawn care. So, at the age of 32, I have finally learned to use a lawnmower.


I guess we were still in high school, but we were 18. Me and my buddy Ferris were just getting into going to the gym. We went with Ferris’s friend Tom. After working out, in the changing room during some small talk I saw Tom putting on a shirt. Tom put the shirt over his head, but didn’t put his arms through the sleeves. He managed to pull the shirt over his torso so that it was adequately on before wiggling all about and bending his arms in odd ways to get them into the sleeves. I didn’t take much notice to it the first few times. But after a few months it was apparent he did this every single time. Tom didn’t know how to put on a shirt. At least efficiently. Eventually we asked Tom why he put his shirt on like that, and he said something along the lines of “Wait what, don’t I do it the same way you guys do?” I guess he had never really thought about it before then.


I had to teach my boss how to go down to the next line by hitting ‘Enter’ on his computer keyboard.people share clueless adulting moments 20 605866017d069 700 1

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College roommate did not know how to wash his body.

Yes. The SMELL.

After a week we threatened him. He took a “shower”.

We sent him back again. With soap.

Three days later he stank again. We told him to shower every day.

Then we taught him how to do laundry. And bought him a coat because he did not own one. In cleveland. In the winter.

Full genius dude, invented a WiFi security standard later on. But no idea how to care for himself.


Worked at an on campus store that sold a lot of essentials for students living at dorms. I had one girl ask me what laundry detergent was because she never did laundry. She asked if I could help her do her laundry but I declined as I couldn’t leave the register, which of course she was mad about. Sorry I have to actually do my job lady.


I had to teach my friend how to tie his shoes, he either wore velcro or tucked the laces into the shoe up until that point.people share clueless adulting moments 26 60589bd0ae065 700 1

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There’s a scary amount of people that apparently don’t know A.M. from P.M. and try to schedule car service at or after midnight.people share clueless adulting moments 30 60589e5f14ef5 700 1

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Freshman year in college. Had a roommate who was older, 20, because he went to a junior college for 2 years first. He started dating this girl and after a few months they decided to have sex. He asked if we could talk because the night had come for this planned encounter. He was a virgin and had questions. Pretty normal conversation until he asked, “How do I know when to stop?”.


This is like 10 years ago. I was dating a 32 year old and he asked me if I wanted to get together to watch a TV show. I said sure, what time is it on. He looks it up and says to me “8 Pacific 9 Central…?”

  Funny Definitions of English Words

I asked what was confusing him and he told me he wasn’t sure if the show was on at 8 or 9. My man did not know what timezone we lived in.

So I was like “Ok, well you know what ocean we’re near, right?” cuz I was trying to get him to think about the Pacific timezone in terms of the giant body of water for which it was named and he immediately got defensive and for real said “Why would I know that? I’m from Texas.”

He’d been living in San Francisco for 5 years and could see the Pacific Ocean out his window.


I had a friend who I noticed took Mucinex A LOT. I’ve used it occasionally, when I’ve been congested, but it seemed abnormal how often I saw him taking it. I finally asked him why he was taking it one time, because he didn’t seem sick at all, and he looked puzzled and said “well, I think I’m getting sick”. I pressed further and he said “because it’s an expectorant”. It turns out he thought “you take an expectorant when you are EXPECTING to get sick”.


Three months into our freshman year of college a friend of mine developed a rash. I suggested he look into hypoallergenic sheets and swap out his others. His response: “I’ve used the same sheets since we moved in, it’s not the sheets.” Mind you, not the same of sheets, but the same exact sheets unchanged and slept/eaten upon/etc. for three months.


This is in part due to being rich enough to be out of touch and in part a general lack of general adult skills.

In college, I had a friend named Mally, She was a couple years younger than the rest of the people in our group and still lived at home with her parents due to their very strict culture and beliefs about how an unmarried woman should not live away from home. But her dad was a doctor and also had family money so they were quite wealthy for our area. The sort of wealthy where for her 16th birthday, they bought her a porsche and when they didn’t think she thanked them adequately for it, they returned it.

Anyway, I remember when the group of us were at some of the guys’ on-campus apartment, their toilet clogged. Mally, without really blinking, said we should call our plumber to get it fixed. Of course the guys were like “Uh, no? It’s just clogged. Why would we call a plumber?” to which Mally, who was very confused replied, “Because that’s what plumbers do? Why would you do it yourself?”

So we then explained first, how expensive plumbers are, and second, how the average person does not call a plumber for a slightly clogged toilet.

Mally was confused and then asked, “Well, what do you do when a light bulb burns out? Change it yourself?” and obviously, we were all nodding and saying “Yeah, absolutely.”

So that was when we discovered just how sheltered and out of touch Mally was with how normal people do things. We specifically learned that she didn’t know how to do laundry, change a light bulb, plunge a toilet, cook literally anything, put gas in her car all because either their maids did it for her (also worth noting: having maids is extremely rare in our area) or her dad did. It blew her mind when we explained that those are very normal things to know how to do and ended up showing her how to do all those things. She really hated it but it did a lot to make her a more self-reliant adult. Her parents really sheltered her so much so it wasn’t totally her fault.


my girlfriend refuses to accept how stds work and believes they randomly appear out of nowhere and even when i tell her they spread from person to person, she says, “that’s not possible, where did the first person get it” so i explain it, in detail, and she just goes, you’re only making me feel stupid, you always do this and then doesn’t talk to me for ages.

TL;DR my gf refuses to accept scientific fact about stds and then blames me for making her feel stupid


I had to explain and show to my older brother that you can and should clean your Philips beard trimmer from inside the little bits as well.

We both got the same exact model as a gift on christmas I think, and ye turns out he hadnt opened up and cleaned the little rotary bits the entire time he had it (years, literally years, at least 5), and was complaining how it’s very slow and probably needs to be replaced with a new one. I thought ”thats weird, mine is around the same age and is still perfectly fine”, so I turn it on and it makes this very gritty sound like the machine is so slow as if its dying and stuff even though it’s fully charged. I open it up and goddam the little rotary blades were so clogged up with years old dust and hairs it was a miracle the thing was still working at all. Turns out he didnt even know you can open them. I cleaned it all nice and clean and the thing started working good again (as much as it can) afterwards.

Read instructions please before you disregard something as broken, like goddam.


In my early 20s I was really poor. I lived across from a dollar general and would frequent it for odds and ends, frequently. There was a 18-22 year old girl who worked the cash register who I assumed was on the spectrum of sorts. She couldn’t make eye contact, was very obviously socially awkward. She was also often very dirty and always smelled of BO. It was always weird to me because they sold deodorant. She also had one arm, hand that was much smaller and less mobile than the other. I was always kind to her, despite her being the slowest on the cash register, part to her physical speed capabilities, part to her painful customer interactions. She constantly over shared, uncomfortably. It was what it was. It didn’t bother me. I honestly felt bad for the girl, and would occasionally see bruises on her smaller hand/arm and wondered if she was abused. One day I walked into the good ol’ DG, looking to pick up some cleaning supplies and shampoo, and saw they had a clothing sale. Before you judge, I was pooooor, and they didn’t have the worst clothing. The sale was that certain color- stickered items were $1. I browsed and actually found 5 things that weren’t too terrible- some pajamas, some leggings, a piece of athletic wear. I brought up all my items, waited for a while as the girl was at the register, and brought up my 5- $1 clothing items, a spray cleaner, and a bottle of shampoo- both of which were also $1. She scanned them in and said “$53.” I kind of anticipated this, so I pointed to the literal three signs about the sale right around the register. There must have been 25 signs through the small store. I wasn’t angry. She looked at me, and I explained the sticker color matches the sale and they need to be discounted. She thinks for a good long while, looking at the register, clearly in pain and not knowing what to do. Eventually, she scans the 7 items again, hits a bunch of buttons, then says, “Ok! $24.” I was absolutely flabbergasted. I knew she was slower, but discovering that she couldn’t figure out 5+2 should be 7 (and tax), absolutely shocked me and truly bummed me out. Myself and the customer behind me just stared, not knowing what to do for far too long. I eventually asked if there was anyone else working who could help. She used the store phone to call in another coworker back in from their break. I stoped seeing her after a while, which was to be expected. I think of her often. I hope she’s ok.


Was making dinner with my ex and her mom. They were talking about how they forgot to put on a can of corn to go with the meal, but that’s ok, they can just microwave it right? First it took two of them to use the can opener, as in they took turns because “the cans are so strong”. Look over and they have the can cut almost all the way around…but not around the lid, its this weird, wavy, up and down the side of the can way, basically took the last fifth of the can right off. I stare at them, but dont say anything because, hey, not my house, they’ve gotten this far why point it out now and go back to what I’m doing. Moments later they congratulate themselves and move on to the next step…which apparently to BOTH of them was just sticking the can straight in the microwave. Seconds later lots of bright flashes, both of them leap away the microwave so I have to come around the table and do the oh so heroic task of hitting the open button and stop the potential meltdown. The rest of the dinner was them so shocked that metal reacts like that in a microwave, yes, even forks or spoons would do that and how amazed they were its never happened before. Flash forward a year and they’re buying a new microwave. Turns out they’ve bought ALL their microwaves from this one store and the owner was surprised it’s been so long. Turns out, hes a great guy, always helps them find the best deals and even jokes about how the extended warranty is for suckers.


Frying an egg.

He was in culinary school. When tasked with “egg day” where they just cook eggs multiple times in multiple styles to get the basis of the techniques involved; he had gently plopped an egg (shell and all) into a buttered pan. His reasoning was that the heat of the pan will melt away the shell.


Training a new girl at work and she told me she didn’t know how to sweep. I had to show her.

Training a new girl at work, her dishes often still greasy after being washed, I asked her about it and I asked her when she puts the soap on and she replied, straight faced, ‘oh… You use soap here?’ (we had raw meat on many of those dishes.)

My ex told me he ‘thought mixing dark and light loads of laundry was a myth’ after destroying a bunch of my clothes. He also told me soaking dishes had no affect…


I have a couple.

I once had my exes parents coming over, and needed some help cleaning the house up to get ready for their arrival. I asked my ex to clean the bathroom for me whilst I cleaned the kitchen, and left him to it. I went in about a half an hour later and the bathroom was somehow dirtier, but the ex was sitting on the couch chilling. When I asked him why he hadn’t cleaned the bathroom, he looked at me all confused and said he had. I asked him to come in and pointed out all the soap scum everywhere and how it was clearly not clean. He reiterated that he’d cleaned it. I asked him to show me how.

He proceeded to pick up a bar of soap, lather up his hands real good, and just… rub everything. He didn’t even rinse it after. Just rubbed everything with soapy hands. And couldn’t understand why I was staring at him open mouthed.

Same guy, a few months later. I asked him to mash some potatoes I’d boiled whilst I plated up dinner. He very literally did so, without draining out the water. Again, he didn’t think what he’d done was in any way wrong, despite the weird texture and look of the potatoes.


Before the shutdown happened, I was working in a bar. We had this kid who got hired as a barback and he apparently just couldn’t keep up. It was a pretty busy place, especially on the weekends, and barbacks had to be on top of shit constantly. After about three weeks, management decides he isn’t gonna cut it as a barback and pushes him into the kitchen with me. I was glad to have help because we always had issues with keeping cooks on for some reason.

Holy shit. This kid could not do anything. He lacked basic common sense for practically everything. We started him on fry station but he would fuck up the most basic of tasks; he didn’t even know how to make fries. I told him how to do our catfish (3 planks tossed in corn mill and flour), he tossed the first two but then dropped the third in completely bare. I asked him why he did that and he had no answer. Then we tried putting him on grill – he couldn’t make toast or toast buns; he would always burn them! Last we tried having him run center and call out tickets but it seemed like he could barely read. There were multiple times I had to kick him out of the kitchen because he was so slow or just completely zone out.

  We’ve got two options with this current COVID-19 pandemic

One of the servers was his cousin and she told me that both his dad and brother had to fire him from separate jobs because he wouldn’t do his shit or wouldn’t show up. Then of course one night, he was still out back after he clocked out and was talking to someone at length about doing mushrooms and acid; guess we know why he can’t hold down a job.

Told him to do something one night while I ran to the restroom; came back and he was gone. Good riddance. Brandon, if you’re reading this, I hate your guts.


My mother in law still doesnt know the difference between right and left. When giving her directions i have to say “like the hand you write with” if she needs to go right. She also doesnt know the difference between north, south, east and west even though we live on an island where there are different elements (mountains and volcanoes) in each directionpeople share clueless adulting moments 29 60589dd9010c3 700 1

Image credits: Papa_Smjordeig


60 year old woman was shocked that I bought 12 cans at once.

Then she was shocked again to find out buying in bulk is cheaper.

She has always been a stay-at-home mom and aggressively identifies as frugal.


My coworker: “My laptop dies every weekend and has no charge on monday morning even though it is always plugged in. I shut it down every friday night and then turn off the power strip. It has to be broken!! Give me a new one!”

Me: *checking system info* “this computer hasn’t been rebooted in 36 hrs. You left it on all weekend with the powerstrip off, so that is why the battery died.”

My coworker: “i don’t think that’s right”

Me: *facedesk*


Okay this is not quite a whilst adulting but…

For as long as I can remember, my father had red eyes after showering. I didn’t even think about it. One day as a teenager a friend slept over and in the morning she saw my dad dressed and ready for work, freshly showered, red-eyed. She asked him why his eyes were red and he simply said “shampoo.” She then very carefully and as respectfully as she could muster asked him why he didn’t close his eyes, and he laughed and said “what do you think, I’m an idiot? Closing my eyes in the shower! Sheesh!”

My dad did a lot of things that embarrassed me… But that one was prettttty high up there.


A friend of mine kept his ssc and birth certificate in his wallet and lost it. Luckily nothing ever came off it and he replaced them but you’d be surprised how many people think it’s okay to keep their sensitive documents in their wallet rather than in a safe location at home


This is going to sound weird, but manage a budget. Or just in general being money smart.

One of my old roommates was really bright academically, but he was terrible with money. Each semester he would start off with a pile of cash from his parents and proceed to blow through it in about two months.

I first noticed it with his dining dollars on campus. Every day it seemed like he would buy the most expensive sushi option on campus everyday. We’re talking maybe $18.00 which isn’t terrible if it’s once in a while, but this was every day. It’s also college dining hall sushi, so the quality was also just okay without even considering the money spent. Of course around midterms when his dining dollars would run out and he’d sort of panic and whine that he couldn’t afford anything. But what was so strange, is that when he would start to run low, he’s sort of laugh about not knowing anyway we could avoid going broke while continuing to buy only the most expensive option. But he’d also get really defensive when people wanted to talk to him about this.

Eventually when he moved off campus it was the same thing. For the first two months he’d feast. He’d get delivery constantly, ordering just way too much food, and of course he’d never share it. But then once he’d nearly run out of cash, he’d buy like an emergency 50 pack of hot dogs and only eat that for the rest of the semester, while telling everyone else that they were lucky they had money to spend, and how not everyone had it so easy when it comes to money. He’d never directly say it, but there were always a lot of implied insults.


An older friend of mine didn’t know what a wireless mouse was or how to use it , he was holding it in his hand and waving it in the air, trying to get information on screen like Tom Cruise in Minority Report .


As someone in IT, we get a lot of this. I don’t know what it is about machines, but when a perfectly intelligent but non IT person is in front of one, their brains just seem to turn off.

“I tried to close the window and it’s asking me if I’m sure if I want to close it! What do I do?”


“I have this green cable and have plugged it into the blue port. Why isn’t it working?”

and finally.

“The laptop doesn’t work anymore! It’s just blank, no matter what buttons I push.” A minute later of me fiddling with the machine and ‘fixing’ it. “Wait, there’s a power button?”


This isn’t just one person, but I’ve come to the realization that many adults no longer have the ability to read a map or follow simple driving directions to a new place as they’re completely reliant on GPS telling them when and where to turn. Two instances that stand out:

A person in my office building was standing at the door asking everyone coming and going if they’d seen a carmount GPS unit in the parking lot as they’d lost it bringing it in somehow. They were sobbing so I figured it must be an expensive model. I asked what it was but it was cheap and helped them look around under cars to see if we could find it during which we talked. They were crying over the price of losing it. They were crying because they didn’t know how they’d get home that night without it. Couldn’t drive home from their job they’d worked at for months with a GPS telling them how.

I was out with a friend doing some shopping in a part of a city we’d never been to before. We were in the parking lot of store A and wanted to get to store B which we could see but there wasn’t a connected road between the two. Friend punches in the store on their iphone to get directions and it gives of a 30 minute route that includes 2 toll roads. I thought there was no way it should take that much driving to get there so I looked google maps and saw we could do drive it in about 3 minutes by going two stores over and exiting from the back of that stores parking lot onto the road that leads to store B. They could not look at the map and then translate it to the real world, despite that we could literally see all the features we needed to follow. He ended up taking the 30 minutes route and paying the tolls because he didn’t trust the map.

I’ve seen a lot of other experiences similar to this but those are the two that always stand out to me.


My apartment neighbor:

-thought you had to pay for the ice in the ice maker in the fridge

-thought he could bake cookies on a wooden cutting board in the oven

-thought that raising the seat on his bike would make his legs longer and thus make him taller

-lived there for two weeks before realizing they had an oven


Our kitchen sink has one tap, two things (don’t know what they’re actually called) for hot and cold. I walked into the kitchen and my partner kept switching between hot and cold. Asked him why…. ” Well the hot gets too hot so I run the cold instead for a bit” HE DIDNT KNOW YOU COULD RUN THE HOT AND COLD WATER AT THE SAME TIME!?!?


Some teenagers that used to work for me didn’t know how tell time. They said why should they learn when everything is digital now. This was 10+ years ago


My friend getting ready to microwave leftover fish with tin foil covering the top. He was about to press start when I managed to get to him.


So some background info, my dad is a mechanic so I’ve been very lucky to have the importance of vehicle maintenance drilled into my head from a young age… when my now fiance and I were dating for about 6 months I needed to change the oil in my car so I asked when the last time she had changed her oil, she had never changed it after owning the car for 3 years.

I immediately brought it to my dad’s place as I wasn’t sure what to expect… we decided to add oil to properly flush it once we changed the oil a week later, it took 3.5 quarts of oil and the engine only holds 4 quarts total

Car still runs 2 years of regular oil changes later… to paraphrase my dad it speaks to the quality of Kia/Hyundai engines since most cars would have seized up given how low it was for so long


My ex- He didn’t know how to hold a fork properly. All utensils were used by grasping it in a fist

Also didn’t know how to open up baby wipes. He tore open the bag (it has a lid so they don’t dry out). He ignored the lid.

Didn’t know how to merge or change lanes. He wouldn’t check blind spots or accelerate. Would actually frequently slow down and turn into cars. I attribute his lack of accidents to other safe drivers on the road. He would, instead, use a blinker when backing out of parking spaces!!!?!! So people knew which way he was backing out at???

Didn’t know to rinse vegetables or fruits before eating. Basic shit. Like how!?!? Don’t get me started on any food prep…

I often felt like a parent more than a partner and it got old. Constantly having to teach him things he was never told or taught.


Worked in a restaurant with a revolving door of employees. Apparently, once when two of them were asked to sweep the dining room, one of them swept and the other held the dustpan. And yes, we had multiple brooms and dustpans. Oh and in college, some people would put tide pods in the detergent tray of the washing machines and/or put the dryer sheet in the lint tray of the dryers.


I asked a friend to put a pot of pasta on while I showered after a long day. Had to run out of the shower dripping wet when the smoke alarm went off. He didn’t know you put pasta in boiling water. He didn’t know you put pasta in water at all. He just threw hard raw pasta in a pot and put it on the stove. Guy was 23 and a computer scientist. Pretty sure he’s at Microsoft now.

Thinking about it now, maybe it was my fault for giving a programmer bad instructions


I came home from school one day and a roommate of mine is frantically fanning away smoke from the stove. Turns out he was trying to cook pasta and just heated up the stove with no water and put the pasta straight into a hot pot. I was utterly baffled


In third semester of SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, and quite a few in my class didn’t know Ctrl+C, Ctrl,+V, Ctrl+F and a lot of other very basic computer stuff. Blew my mind. Half a semester of online classes, assignments and exams later, everyone knows this shit now


Explaining to a 35 year old male friend that condoms aren’t 100% effective and means you could use one and the other person could get pregnant. Next was that condom means you can get lower chances of stds but herpes in another location could occur if they have an outbreak. I felt like I needed a slide show. It was like I butchered the Easter bunny and fed it to him as stew.