A guy could not, for the life of him, understand how his 21-year-old girlfriend couldn't locate Florida on a map.
With Florida frequently being notorious as a punchline on social media, you would think its whereabouts would be a no-brainer.
The Original Poster (OP) was passing the time on a plane by perusing maps to spark a conversation.
There wasn't much of a spark.
"While sitting next to my girlfriend on a plane I was bored as f'k and looking at the maps are that are found in the back of the airline magazines."
"A conversation led to her revealing that she did not know where Florida was on the map."
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The OP provided context, but it didn't benefit her cause much.
"Keep in mind she had graduated a private high school and is currently going into her senior year of college."
He didn't know what was up when she couldn't locate the land down under.
"Conversation progressed further into me finding out she could not point out AUSTRALIA either."
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"I was visibly astonished at this revelation and essentially said '...are you kidding.'"
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"She immediately got defensive calling me an a**hole for making her feel stupid."
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The OP admitted to feeling horrible but was astonished about what this private school was or wasn't teaching her.
"I do feel bad for making her feel stupid, although I feel as if my reaction to her not being educated on such elementary sh*t was warranted and may even be a wake up call for her to learn some basic geography... AITA?"
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to weigh in with:
NTA - Not The A**hole
YTA - You're The A**hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
NAH - No A**holes Here
"NAH. My husband did the same to me. So I realized how straight up dumb it was."
"I downloaded an app for kids to learn basic geography."
"Now I know where more countries are than he does! Learning and realizing the need to learn things is so important."
"Edit: I'm so glad so many people wanted the app! I use StudyGe." – SarahSunShineDoh0
"NAH - If you had rubbed it in and continued to press or make fun, you'd be the asshole, but that's a pretty normal reaction." – KyrinLee
"Agreed. You can't really control being suprised, but you can control what you do and say after. Be supportive and let her know you would be happy to help IF she wants to educate herself." – Floridaman1974
"NTA. That's pretty unfortunate, Florida is the iconic dongle of the US."
mostmany people are stupid dumb and they don't know things and they don't bother nor care to know things."
"It sucks but you can't make people learn. Very recently I saw a video where some people didn't know what dinosaurs were, completely blew my mind away." – SnailTheAnarchist
"NAH I mean understandably she's upset. But you weren't trying to be rude or make her seem stupid, just seems you were legit shocked she couldn't find two of the most recognizable land masses."
"I mean Utah I could understand a little more, it's hardly got any shape to it."
"Points for not laughing at her, cause I sure would have." – [deleted]
This person admitted their embarrassing moment.
"Straight up learned that Egypt was in Africa when I was like 28 years old. Geography wasn't ever important to me growing up, and I never had reason to learn it as an adult until a fateful conversation with the wife, who mocked me relentlessly."
"Kinda stung, but for everything she knew that I didnt, there were things that I knew that she didnt." – Iheartmypupper
The following readers offered up ways for people to improve their geographical knowledge.
"Not OP but when I wanted to brush up, no reason...just because."
"I used this quiz app [World Geography Quiz Game] (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.age.wgg.appspot) that allows you to retry, offers different difficulty levels, has a lot of information on each Country if desired, etc, etc."
"it's a more of a learning tool than a quiz (although shows you your progress) and honestly could be easily used by children or adults." – therealmrsbrady
"NAH- it makes sense to be surprised- it isn't like she couldn't point out which square state was South Dakota; Florida is one of the hallmark parts of the US outline. She can't help her school's poor teaching, though."
"If she wants to play around while learning more geography, I found this website earlier this year when I was trying to improve my own skillz: https://online.seterra.com/en" – cellblock2187
The thread inspired a discussion about ignorance and intelligence.
"Ignorance is not stupidity. Once pointed out, denying/defending that ignorance is stupid." – CHAOS_RULER400
"Intelligence isn't defined by what you do know, but by what you CAN know."
"She's not stupid, her school failed her and she never cared enough to make up for it. Ignorant maybe, but you can't claim stupid off of individual facts known or unknown." – SamForestBH
Is her education entirely to blame?
This Redditor didn't think so.
"While i agree with this in general... There is a line, and in a case like this it's hard for me to fathom the blame being SOLEY on the school."
"Is the total sum of your knowlege just what you learned in school? I know mine isnt. How can someone living in America reach adulthood without ONCE learning what is likely the most recognizable state in this country?"
"I was never 'taught' the difference between a motorcycle and a helicopter."
"But I've never pointed to the sky and said 'Ooh! Cool Harley!'" – Twisted_Wrench
For those who can relate to the girlfriend, look no further than this description to identify Florida on a map.
"Florida is just the penis hanging off the side. It really is the easiest one because you don't need borders to find it." – definitelyher
In an unrelated subReddit thread, this Redditor best summed up the wacky and troubled reputation that put Florida on the map.
"It's a big, diverse warm-weather state with a lot of weird news and laws that give the media easy access to police reports. Thus, it's kind of standard to look for weird news in Florida and make it a national story."
"Weird stuff happens everywhere, it just seems to happen more often in Florida."
"It also has a bad reputation among some because it's a swing state with elections closely divided between the parties, and in 2000 and 2018 that resulted in controversies over how voting was run and ballots were counted."
"And then among gun control advocates it has a bad reputation because it has lax gun laws and highly publicized mass shooting have happened there."
"Because it's a swing state, this created controversy that we did not see in Texas or Nevada when mass shootings happened there."
"All that said, it's not all bad. Florida is still a very popular vacation and retirement destination for people all over the most populous half of the United States."
"In some ways it has a better reputation than, say, Mississippi or Alabama. It's just that most of the time people outside of Mississippi and Alabama don't have any reason to pay attention to those states." – wjbc
People are known to weirdly break laws or cause head-scratching scenes in Florida.
But which is the bigger offense: Floridians shooting down Hurricane Irma with guns or not knowing where Florida is on a map?
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
The book The Great Book of Florida: The Crazy History of Florida with Amazing Random Facts & Trivia is available here.