Friday, January 2, 2009

geography lessons

more information about one of my personal vampires, rich, who of course i love and adore--he is something of a compulsive princess:
  • he HAS to have specific princess-y water (only italian, only lightly carbonated)
  • he HAS to have a specific type of tire pump for each and every bike (and only a handful of them can be shared with my, gus or sophie's bikes)
  • he HAS to have illy espresso made specifically in his rancillio machine (that he calls "miss silvia")
  • all of his socks HAVE to be exactly the same (so he doesn't have to decide between them) 
  • and he HAS to take every single vitamin and every single supplement every single day in exactly the same order and quantity or he might actually die. really. 
he also has a coterie of women who completely manage his life in every respect (me, nicole, audrey, pearl, other nicole...among others; in iowa it was me, teresa, sherrie, liz...among others). so it wasn't much of a surprise when he told me, last night, that he would be driving to el paso at 6:00 a.m. this morning to buy himself some boots. he HAS to wear lucchese boots or he can't function properly at work. granted, they are nice boots, but he has four pairs of them already in excellent condition lined up perfectly in his closet. whatever. fine. i know him well enough to know that if this is what he has decided to do, then it isn't worth arguing.

so this morning, as planned, off he went to el paso to buy some boots. he wanted to be back in albuquerque for a late lunch. el paso isn't very big, so i didn't worry about him too much--i usually drive him/us everywhere, but i figured he could handle just going south on I-25 until it ended into I-10, and then he could follow the signs to the lucchese store, which is even conveniently located on I-10. piece of cake. what i didn't anticipate was his not being able to find his way home.

at 2:00, about the time i expected him to walk through the door, i get this phone call, "hey, missy? i'm coming up on this town called 'separ' and i totally don't remember it. there's all this ocotillo all over the place. i crossed the continental divide a while ago. i think i might be on the wrong road..." and i'm like yeah, pull the other one. i figured he was coming in the driveway and calling me from the front. "could you look at a map online for me and tell me where i am?" he was actually serious. he was just shy of the arizona border. my brilliant, semi-idiot savant husband had driven over 100 miles off course and it took him that long to figure it out.

so, i'm annoyed for several reasons now: first, he didn't bring a map. second, he was going to be at least three hours later than he thought and i needed to go to the grocery store without the kids. third, did he not realize the continental divide runs north-south, so he had to be traveling east to cross it? fourth, ocotillo is my favorite goddamned cactus in the world and i can't even tell you how many times i have explained to him that as much as i want to plant it here it only thrives in the chihuahuan desert (far southwest texas, southern new mexico and southern arizona). so, he knew enough to recognize the plant but not to know that if he was seeing it, he's probably not headed north. without trying to sound too judgmental (unlike here), i told him to tuuuuurn around, go the other direction back towards el paso, and find I-25. it is not bloody inconspicuous. but it was over 100 miles away.

long story short: he found his way home. and he remembered to bring the boots home with him rather than leaving them behind in the store (also a possibility). the end.

can you believe this man has so many letters after his name?

(if you look in the far lower left-hand corner, you can see separ)

UPDATE: i received this comment about my post, and i thought it would be better served in the main section instead. i'm fairly certain you can guess the author before you get to the end...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "geography lessons":

"OK, first of all, just because I have a refined taste, does not mean that I am a princess. With respect to driving off course, I think it was easier to do than you are giving me credit for. It is the desert, and the desert is known to be disorienting. I was deep in thought during the drive and just going what I thought was straight ahead. I did get up at 5:30 am, so I was probably not quite as aware as I should have been. On top of that, there was a helicopter over-head around Las Cruces, and I distinctly remember looking up at it at the time of an intersection.

"As I plodded along, to get home to my loving family, I thought that the geography looked a bit different, but I thought that it was due to my driving early in the morning and then later in the afternoon. As I crossed the continental divide, I began to suspect something was not quite right. Then I noticed that the mileage signs were listing towns in Arizona, which again gave me pause. Then, I finally noticed a interstate sign with a big "10" on it, rather than a "25".

"Having never lost my way previously, I thought there must be some mistake. I then called my caring wife to check a map, since she doesn't seem to believe she should keep one in her car. She gave me directions to get back on course, which I did with haste.

"As I was driving back toward my original course, I was pulled over for going 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. The crazy part was that I had the cruise control set at 72. I told the officer that his machine must not be calibrated correctly, since my fine Japanese machine is engineered to perfection. He told me I was still speeding at 72. I told him that I agreed with that statement. I gave him my license and insurance, but again my wife does not believe in carrying her registration in the car (see "map" above). Amazingly, he let me off with a written warning for the whole thing. This is the second time I have gotten off with a warning for speeding in the last couple of months. It is either related to my honest face or the fact that I still have a Texas license (I haven't lived in Texas since 2002). That license doesn't expire until my birthday in 2010, and don't think that I'm going to change it before then.

"Anyway, to get back to the issue at hand. I eventually made it home about 4 hours later than originally planned. I have 2 new pairs of boots (Lucchese, of course). I had an interesting little side trip, and have the satisfaction of avoiding another ticket.

"They say that Einstein used to get lost on his home as well ...

"CV available upon request."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A comment was posted that claimed I had been lost before in Houston. Actually, the author of that comment was mistaken. I had gone for a run on Thanksgiving day. It was two miles to Memorial Park. I then went two times around the park (3 miles each loop), which brought me to eight miles. Of course, my long departure caused dismay in my loving wife. She came searching for me in a car and saw me walking back. I thought eight miles was enough for the day and that I would walk the rest of the way home. She was convinced that I was "lost" and wandering around Houston. She was mistaken, although I appreciated her concern for me.

  3. liar--oops, sorry PREVARICATOR--you were lost. you're not fooling anyone, you know...but i will give you props for the impressively long run in 80 degree/100 % humidity (welcome to thanksgiving in houston).