Uncommon Sense

As I was walking around my neighborhood one afternoon last week, I was mentally calling out the names of the different streets – Adams, Madison, Monroe – when I came to a dead stop. OMG – they are named after presidents! Yup, I’ve lived in this part of town for years and never made that connection before, despite the fact that this is the view out my living room window:

Street Sign Saying "Monroe Avenue"

I guess I just take things at face value and don’t think about their significance. My curiosity is not always piqued by the various stimuli I encounter.

I remember being in college when I was at a friend’s house watching Adventures in Babysitting. The little girl in the movie was fascinated by Thor. I just figured it was some made up super hero, until at one point they mentioned “Valhalla”.

“Oh, Valhalla was our rival high school. What does that have to do with this?”

All the girls in the room looked at me. Someone hit “pause” on the VCR.

“Tammy, what was the nickname of their team?”

“Um … the fighting Norsemen.”

“And you don’t know what Valhalla was?”

(Teenaged eye roll) “It was the name of the high school in my district.”

Many deep sighs and head shaking. Finally someone spoke up and put me out of my misery: “That high school was named after the place where those who had died in battle went in Norse mythology. Thor, from the movie, is one of their gods.”

“Really? I always just thought they made it up.”

“Trust me.”

The strange thing is, it’s not that I don’t know how to find things out – I’m the one that is often tasked with finding out information for others – it’s just that it normally doesn’t even dawn on me that there is anything to look up or connections to be made.  Now if I’d grown up in age of “Google” and “Yahoo” and “eBay”, where made up company names were the norm, maybe there would be some excuse, but no. I can’t even play that card.

I think my brain just works differently. Normally the situations end up being mildly embarrassing for me (if I happen to mention one of these oddities – you know, like in this blog post), but lead to a great story. If there were a way that I monetize the weird way my brain works, I would be a millionaire. Maybe I just need to perceive this as a “feature” (instead of a “bug”) and wear it proudly… if only I could realize when it was happening!

6 thoughts on “Uncommon Sense”

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! It took years for me to figure that one out. I used to think that PB had their streets alphabetical in jewel names, but no, they just have a few streets with jewel names. Really confused people when I tried to reference it my way.

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  1. Too funny! I travel a lot and have noticed that it’s usually the things, sights, landmarks (maybe high schools and street names too) right around people that they look into the least. They’ll know more details about distant or obscure things more than what the tree is in their own back yard. You definitely have features – not bugs. I’m sure, ahem, I do too. And I learned about Valhalla this morning – look at that. Never would have thought that would cross my psyche when I woke up this morning.

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    1. Glad to know that having “features” seems to be universal. 🙂

      After I hit “publish” I thought of several more examples. I might have to do a follow up post!

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