What is something that it seems that everyone learned except for you?

There are some things that everyone is expected to know well. But we all never got the memo for at least one of those things. Maybe you never you learned it. Maybe you tried to learn it later in life. Maybe you’re forced to use a mnemonic device to remember.

Admit it - there’s at least one thing that we were supposed to learn when we were young that we just couldn’t for whatever reason.

Now is the time to open up. What’s that thing for you?

For me, embarrassingly, it’s tying shoelaces. I can never get the laces secure, no matter what I do. I’m an adult and I still have to convince a friend to tie the darn things because I never learned!


I always thought Go Fish was Gold Fish haha If you just say go fish, it kind of sounds like gold fish. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner because there was nothing about gold in the card game! I literally learned about the right name when I was an adult haha

How to identify cars. It seems like everyone in the world can identify different cars instead of me. I never learned because there’s no good reason for me to, and I’m not all that interested in cars anyway.

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I can relate. Actually, I taught myself to tie my shoelaces in kindergarten, but I came up with a method that does not do a good job of keeping the laces tight, so they would constantly come undone. You might think having a noticeable quality in common with Einstein would be attractive to the opposite sex—alas, it is not. Eventually, in my later adulthood years, I managed to learn how to lace up the standard way, just like the smart 5-year old I have always aspired to be. So now, I can often go the better part of day without having to look down.

Even though I am proud of my recent accomplishment, the truth is it was a waste of brain cells because, by the time I restrained myself, some genius invented the solution that I could only fantasize about.

So, @Icosencephalic, I am sharing the solution with you, so you won’t have to repeat my folly:


Hope this makes up for all your years in the bewilderness.


Small talk. Never know what to talk about with people in everyday life situations :neutral_face:


Multiplication tables. Yeah, I know, but not quite how you think!

Up until middle school, I got away with calculating bits of it really fast compared to others who just knew it after trying to recall for four or five seconds. So teachers assumed I’d learned them, too. Then, suddenly, they all either had it from rote memory, or didn’t have a clue. I was still clumsily calculating every time. I somehow didn’t get how others had learnt it by rote, like they were somehow working it out faster than I was. I spent time trying to work it out even faster!

Then one maths teacher got annoyed that half the class didn’t know all their times tables (we were the top class in our year), and made us all stand up and answer questions rapidly or not sit down. He’d go round twice. Remaining standing at the end was embarrassing. Then I realised, after a couple of months, I knew 7x6 (his favourite) without calculating it and wow! I got it, suddenly.

Years later, my friends on my computer science degree knew I was “good at math” - and I was, especially algebra, and simpler math calculations - the latter from all this practice! Even now, years later again, I still haven’t rote learned some of the 8x table. 8x7 is 8x8 - 8, and 8x6 is 8x5 (=8 x10 /2) +8 in my head. But 7x6? 42, like a reflex!

If you have kids, make sure they can calculate and know those tables reflexively!

Oh, and shoelaces? If you have 3 minutes, this might solve the problem:


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