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.
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?
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?
Mom: (With a tone of disbelief) They're the only conifer native to South America?
Mom: They're called Monkey Puzzle trees because it would be a puzzle for a monkey to climb?
Mom: It's just past Washington Mutual, same side of the street.
Me: OH. Okay.