November 25, 2020

Mini and I in a truth telling drive

Mini decided to hop in the car and drive with me the hour and a half round trip to drop off the dreamy loaner car (that I will miss dearly) and pick up our car that I wasn't sure I would recognize since they had it for 2 entire months.

Mini swore she had a ton of reading to do for school. She'd read while I drove. Um, we talked most of the time. It was DE-light-FUL. Not gonna lie.

The car place had called the day before to say:  "I think we have your Kia." When I said, "Oh, do you? I was starting to wonder." The guy told my wiseass-self that if I decided to come late, the sales team would get me the car vs the service guys. He said the sales team was there till 8. 

The sales team acted as if I was asking to pick up my space ship. They were all: "Huh? Hey Mindy, where's Mork?" 

This was a nice car. It had some get-up-and-go. It also had satellite radio that was educating me, as in "Oh, that song was from the 70s" - while listening to the 70s station. Curly thought after all this time we should just keep this car.

Mini whispered something to me about how this was looking grim. I assured her I was armed with all of the car dealership brothers' cell numbers (I potty trained most of these brothers in my teenage babysitting years, so you can say I have an in) and these dudes were gonna hand over my car in a hurry or it was gonna get ugly. 

I spelled it out to those-who-never-saw-the-memo about customers coming late to pick up fixed cars:  "Last name Shenanigan. Kia Sorrento. 2012. You've had the car for 2 months. YES, I did receive a call that the car was done." SIGH.

They found our car, complete with the Costco cases of water and napkins I bought for the Aug. grad party - the things that no one ever unloaded. Plus half of Lad's wardrobe in the backseat and at least 3 of his chargers, or 3 of his family member's chargers seeing as he had sticky fingers when it came to chargers.

Somehow on our drive, Mini and I reviewed some of my not-so-finer moments that sort of makes my intelligence seem questionable. This probably started with me saying, don't you have to get your homework done (while mopping my sweaty brow thinking I had contributed to her academic delinquency by dragging her in the car)? 

Mini: OH, I GOT THIS (waves hand at the book/notes she brought but was now ignoring). WHAT KIND OF STUDENT WERE YOU?

Me: Um, early on I had a few academic hiccups. 

She wanted details. Mini is very bright and I only felt slightly dopey for admitting my shortcomings.

1.  It took me years to learn to tell time. I don't think my folks ever checked that I caught on to the concept in 2nd grade. They were probably busy praising the shit out of my brilliant siblings (brain-iacs Marie and Pat, the other two were more like me - smart, but regular smart. I was sandwiched between the two kids who might cry at dinner if they only got a 97% on their honors physics test. Please). Mini was like, HUH? Realizing I missed some major concept, I was super grateful for digital clocks.

I once got called on to tell the 2nd grade teacher the time from my 'I can see the clock, but she couldn't' vantage point. The whole class was gathered at her feet as she read us a story and I was sitting farthest back in the circle. It was the end of the day and she wondered if it was time to get our coats, etc. I told her something ridiculous like 6:25 instead of 2:55 - in front of the entire class. So, that wasn't embarrassing.

2. In third grade I still couldn't tell my right from my left. A girl named Monica tried to teach me one day. She showed me how to make an 'L' with my thumb and forefinger. I told Mini that even this hint still didn't always help me because I thought they both LOOKED like an 'L'. 

Mini convulsed here, slapping the dashboard gasping for air:  WAIT, SO YOU WERE DISLEXIC?

Me:  No, I wasn't. But I struggled.

3.  I was such a slow reader that the teachers were dumbfounded. The 6th grade teacher told my folks at conferences that she noticed that I moved my mouth during silent reading time. They asked me to stop doing that. Well, that was hard. Still slow at reading to this day. 

I was in the Great Books program. Anyone else do that at your school? It was enrichment reading, or gifted, etc. I couldn't have been included in it if I was illiterate, so that's a relief because I think it offers some context to my reading issues. Certainly not extreme.

Ali at Bibliomama DID recently point out that I used debauchery in place of debacle  though. Proving, always room for improvement.

My good friend, Chris's mom was the Great Books leader in like 7th and maybe even 8th grade. There were about 10 of us who left regular reading to meet Chris's mom in the Annex. Chris always scurried ahead so she could get the seat next to her mom in our little circle, as if anyone else was dying to sit next to her mom. Chris was all ass-kissy and goodie-two-shoes-ish about having her mom there. 

She was my friend, but at this point in junior high it was uncool to be excited when your mom volunteered at school. I know this, my mom was a substitute teacher. I opted to keep my enthusiasm in check. I mean we WERE the goodie-goodie girls and all, but let's not live up to our title or anything. 

4. Even now:  I am going to confess right here that my adult self CANNOT spell the word 'exercise'. I just can't. Thank you spell check.

I dreaded having to drive to the middle of nowhere to get that dang Kia with it's new engine but weak-ass breaks. Having Mini there to laugh her ass off at my ineptness was seriously pure joy. Now that you get our frame of mind, you might grasp the post from the other day a bit better. We could NOT stop laughing at poor Coach. 

What academic concepts did you struggle with? Don't leave me hanging out here feeling like the only dummy. 


Beth Cotell said...

Glad you had a fun time with Mini. Isn't it great when we can enjoy our kids?!

Anonymous said...

That is so great that you and Mini have such a great relationship, at that age I would have never voluntarily gone anywhere with my mom so go you. I struggled with Math.... I failed algebra 3 times, I breezed though English and Accounting was fine but algebra was just a hard no for me.

Kari said...

OMG, THIS IS ME! For real. You and I are so alike. I was reading along, going, OMG I couldn't tell time for such an embarrassing amount of time (see what I did there?) that I lied to everyone, including my parents. I also didn't know money and its value until high school. YES.

I love that you two got that time alone to talk like that! It's so good that our kids get to hear these things about us. Such a sweet time with her that she won't ever forget. It's moments like this that she will hold onto. :)

Anonymous said...

I had trouble with left in right, mainly because teacher who taught us which was which told us that "you write with your right hand." I'm a lefty. I still have trouble with it--I frequently have to take a beat to remember left vs right.

I was a very strong reader but weaker on math, which I think was made worse by my parent's approach. They did flashcard drills with me in which I had to get a certain number in a row right before we'd stop, no counting on my fingers allowed. Doing math felt like such a punishment as a result, because I simply couldn't do it. I ended up coming up with a way to cheat, and I still feel like they pushed me into it because they were so inflexible on their method and it just didn't work for me. I'm trying to bring a different spirit with my kid.

Kara said...

I can't tell my left from my right, even at the age of 42. My husband and kids (and people I associate with on the regular) know to point the direction for me that they mean. It's called Left-Right Confusion, and the inability to read an analog clock is another thing that this effects, along with being unable to tie shoes (or taking a really long time to learn and still doing bunny ears like I do).

Ernie said...

Beth - So very true. Many steps before getting to that point.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - It is fun, but it does get a little sticky when she gets into trouble . . doesn't happen often, but when it does - well, it's icky.

And I hated accounting, I'd take algebra all day long, any day.

Ernie said...

Kari - I got busted once racing out to the kitchen (not open concept!) to peek at the digital clock on the stove when someone asked me what time it was. I think I manage to fly under the radar most of the time, cushioned by the really smart siblings.

It was such a funny conversation and so unexpected.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I'm a lefty TOO. That must have something to do with it. It was so dang confusing. I started to have to pretend to pick up a pencil so I would know which was my left.

Math is ALREADY a punishment in general, why add the pressure? I remember asking my dad to quiz me on my spelling words and if I got one wrong he'd get upset and tell me to go study more. I hated that. How can you study spelling words when they are on the page staring at you? I needed to have them hidden and then see if I knew them or not. I do not miss school.

Ernie said...

Kara - Well this is eye-opening. I did not know that my sluggish learning with the left and right had a NAME to it. I think I will keep this to myself because my family will have a field day if they find out I am officially CONFUSED. If I am giving Coach directions, I often mess up and then holler: I meant left, go left, sorry.

Bibliomama said...

My daughter, who has my languages proficiency AND my husband's science and math smarts, took forever to learn the months in the right order, and my extremely intelligent high-up-in-high-tech husband has to do the L with the thumbs thing to tell left from right (and can't spell his way out of a paper bag). Everybody's got their stuff. I was a good student, but I sometimes fail at the most basic of common sense conclusions, and I got through high school math but I am just not comfortable with numbers. At the paint store yesterday I asked for a litre of paint and when the guy looked at me strangely I said "whatever the big pail is! A gallon? Fine - yes, I realize a litre is like milk, that was dumb, let's move on."
Did you give any thought to just keeping the loaner car until they drove yours over and forcibly removed it from you? Seems like you might have gotten a fair stretch of time.
Oh, and I was not being judgy about the debacle/debauchery thing - once someone commented on my blog to point out that I had substituted "stewed hair" for "stewed hare". Once I almost barfed, I was grateful.

Ernie said...

Ali - Hilarious. Ed is a really good student and the day he pointed out to me that Mini was probably smarter than him, I was like "Ha - doubt it." Her ability to lose her phone in the front pocket of her hoodie on a regular basis is freaky. I feel I am risking my life when I enter her disaster of a room to put a baby to bed. She has pointed out to me that there is a correlation between messy people and being disorganized, and I'm starting to believe it. I don't really follow along on their standardized test scores or their report cards (once the grade school switched from letter grades to some nonsensical system that needed to be learned I gave up), so I really hadn't noticed that her grades were REALLY good. Growing up, my folks put a ton of weight on smarts and that sucked since my next youngest brother is brilliant. My folks STILL do that with grandchildren. Nauseating. Coach and I don't operate that way.

I acutally did consider saying since it took you so long to fix the car you come and swap it out, but they are family friends and Ed worked there in an accounting internship over the summer so I opted not to go that route.

I did not feel judged in the least on my misuse of the word debauchery. Hope it didn't come off that way. It made me laugh. Just don't ask me to spell exercize. See. ;)

Anonymous said...

It took me a long time to learn to spell license. I spelled it lisence into my 20’s probably. I was always an honor student but that one word got me.
Hope you and your family have a happy thanksgiving!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I could never do a foreign language. Hard enough time with the first language.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Just plopped on the couch after doing food prep for HOURS. And I can't even eat most of it.

Suz said...

"Huh? Hey Mindy, where's Mork?" DYING!

I remember all those car rides with one or both of my girls where we just caught up or learned so much about each other.
I giggled a little when you mentioned that you were a slow reader...I mean, girl we all know you can TALK a good bit, so maybe you're more verbally adept than reading?
It took me forever to learn my times' tables, then forever for fractions and division. I'm still pretty sucky at math and I don't even care anymore.
I mix up words all the time. Or forget a damn common word while speaking. "me talk pretty".
Oh, and I still say "Righty tighty, lefty loosely" when turning a dial or the hose bib.

I have a bit of ADHD. Self-diagnosed, but I know it's there. I think I walked away from reading this post at least 4 times and 3 times while commenting on it. It's a problem.

Ernie said...

Suz- the girls and I (and even the boys at times) have enjoyed those chatty car rides. Just got home tonight from our drive to Indianapolis for Curly's dance competition. Mini and Curly has some steam to blow off . . . after a hundred miles of venting though we got some giggles out of Olathe situation.

You don't miss a trick . . . much more of a talker than a reader.

I started writing stories about how I grew up a few years ago and now as I try to piece them together for a book, I have to refer back to my original word vomit stories because I gave forgotten parts. It's like my memory disappearing right before my eyes.

I could not think of the word enrichment a week ago to the point where it started to physically hurt being on the tip of my tongue and all.

Glad you found your way back to finish your comment eventually. ;)