Monday, September 15, 2008

Apropos of Nothing

Know what I love? Of course not. You’d have to be able to read my mind. I love it when someone blurts something out as though you could know what they were thinking right before their out-of-context utterance.

My daughter’s a champ at this. We’ll be driving along, fiddling with the AC and checking out scenery, and suddenly she’ll say something like, “What was the name of that villain again?”

So I’ll say, “You realize we weren’t just communicating telepathically or anything, right?”

My husband had an aunt who’d sit quietly, supposedly taking in delightful table conversation. At some point she might interject, apropos of absolutely nothing, “and the youngest one, how many children does she have now?”

I had an acquaintance who piped up in the middle of some talk about baseball or gas prices or hiking through Colorado with random comments like, “I believe Waffle King’s open all night!”

When I worked as a floral designer, one of my duties was to order flowers for big fancy events, a responsibility I shared with another designer. When it was her turn to order, she’d gaze up from her desk and ask, “What else is yellow?”

The part of that question I loved the most was, “What else…” As if I could know what she’d already listed. For that matter, aside from the fact that we were in a flower shop, she could’ve been talking about anything.

So I’d say, “Um…school buses? Tennis balls?” That would kick off a highly productive and entertaining game of Let’s-list-every-possible-thing-that’s-yellow, which would distract us from the task of having to order flowers for sixty sun-kissed centerpieces. That might explain why we often annoyed vendors by trying to order ten dozen yellow dahlias at the last possible minute. If only they had been able to read our minds, it would have saved a lot of trouble.

Still, I’m glad we can’t communicate telepathically. What would be the fun in that? There’d be no surprises.


Brenda said...

My mom does this! You can be sitting there talking about the blue sky and she will just blurt out, "yes, that woman at the store needed help finding the soap."...we stop...stare...and then realize this was a conversation we were having with her 3 weeks ago!

The sad part is...I see my sister doing this already, so I can't be far behind...grin...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love this. My kids do it all the time.
And what a great exercise for a writer! "What else is yellow?"
Or maybe not. But it sure sounds fun to me!

Carrie Harris said...

I have a friend who does this all the time, and for some reason, the rest of us have taken to screaming "popcorn!" whenever she does. I think the idea is to make it as surreal as possible. It works.

adrienne said...

Brenda - I belong to a family of daydreamers. Sometimes we get mixed up about what we've been thinking and what we say out loud...

Becky - I remember tough kindergarten homework assignments like that! Sometimes it was hard enough just getting them to think of something that begins with Y.

Carrie - LOL! Also "I am the walrus" works!

Rena said...

LOL -- great post!

We call these "senior moments" in our house. I have them a lot. ;)

adrienne said...

Rena - It makes me feel better that it happens to my kids, too!

Kim Kasch said...

My husband and sons think me and my sister do communicate telepathically - at least when we're playing Pictionary. I'll draw a squiggly line and she'll say "a wolf"! My son will say, "either you can read each other's minds or you have ESP." We let them think it's the ESP. Really, we just think amazingly alike. But "Shhh!" that's my little secret and it's kept them in line for years.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Mr. D and my kids do this ALL THE TIME. Amazingly, I'm in tune.