18 December 2008

Incredibly Typical

The summer before last, when I went in for my we-give-you-Valium-then-hack-at-the-roof-of-your-mouth surgery, I was asking my mom if she knew where the office was, because it was a specialist that I'd never seen before. I'm sharing this conversation because it's pretty typical; my mom is unbelievably observant of her surroundings, and is consistently surprised that I don't navigate my way through life via vagrant hangouts, yard sculptures, or botanical oddities. Anyways, it went something like this:

Me: Do you know where my gum graft appointment is?

Mom: Yeah, it's in the same complex where Laura got her wisdom teeth out.

Me: ....

Mom: You know that Jetsonian medical complex on Water?

Me: ..... Jetsonian?

Mom: Yeah! You know, it's looks like it was built by someone in the 70s imagining the 21st Century. You've never noticed it?

Me: No.

Mom: Well, you will now. It's across the street from that Monkey Puzzle tree?

Me: Across from the what now?

Mom: You know that really big Monkey Puzzle tree on Water Street? The entrance for that complex is right across from it.

Me: What's a Monkey Puzzle tree?

Mom: You know what they are. There's one downtown, caddy-corner to that pink Victorian with the gingerbread molding?

Me: ...

Mom: (With a tone of disbelief) They're the only conifer native to South America?

Me: ...

Mom: They're called Monkey Puzzle trees because it would be a puzzle for a monkey to climb?

Me: ...

Mom: It's just past Washington Mutual, same side of the street.

Me: OH. Okay.


  1. While monkey puzzles and pink victorians have me TOTALLY confused, I WOULD have gotten it on the Jetsonian reference. Also, that's where my childhood dentist was.

  2. Hilarious conversation! It's funny how people notice different things.

  3. well... I cannot wait to see the Monkey Puzzle Tree, someday ... hopefully when I am visiting because I have been accepted...

    My mother is constantly wondering why I don't know everything she knows about how to get somewhere... I told her, I don't pay attention when I am not the one who is driving.

  4. I am totally digging your mama and I also would have noticed the monkey puzzle tree which I also knew was native to SA...but then I am a total geek.

  5. Now I am just terrified of having to have that surgery. I think I would just go for dentures. I am terrified of the dentist.

  6. That's funny. I would have been reduced to begging for a street number.

  7. To pick apart one little thing that jumped out at me, let me just tell you that when I read it, I thought, "catty corner???!??"

    I have never heard that in my life-- it's always been "kitty corner", though I've never gotten around to tracking down the meaning, like I do for most things.

    So I checked Wikipedia just now, and I found out that as a matter of fact, we are all idiots.

  8. I can't quit laughing...because that's exactly how I give directions. Not a street name to be had, but every single possible odd landmark is mentioned!!

  9. I am strictly a street and cross street person. If they give me landmarks, I'm lost.

  10. My brother and I speak in this cryptic manner. It really pisses people off when we play games like Taboo, because we can say the most obscure thing and know exactly what the other person is talking about.

  11. @Molly, I will say that once I went there, I can think of no better adjective than "Jetsonian."