Thursday, September 17, 2009

calculator freak

Last night Tony told me he needed a calculator for morning....I only had like a million other things to do....
So after I dropped him off at soccer practice I headed over to Office-Max or maybe it was Office-Depot.
Actually it was Office-Hades, yeah I'm pretty sure it was.

Tony wrote down on a piece of paper the type of calculator that he needed. He tried to just tell me, but the name of it contained numbers and I'm SO not good with numbers (if there's a number in it, I won't remember it- it's a curse).
I don't know why I have an issue when it comes to numbers. It's like my brain just says "Oh! there's a number! shutting down for now. don't really care so I'm not engaged. lalalala. Wake me up when you see something really interesting like a word." This seems to happen with any and all things that pertain to numbers. For example

*any kind of math-duh! (I don't remember any of my high school/ college math-if my kids need help then they go to dad)

*numbers on highways (living in Chicago helps their highways also have names like "The Eisenhower" and "The Ronald Reagan"-Nice!)

*phone numbers (not such a big deal with cells phone now a days except when you have to state your home phone number for someone and your mind goes blank)

*remembering birthdays....there's numbers in that too. (hey it's my learning handicap thingie and I'm sure that has something to do with me always missing people bdays!)

So I get to Office Hades and I can't find the calculators anywhere. Because I'm in a bit of a hurry I decide to ask one of the guys working there.
I'm thinking he will just point a finger and say something like "Isle 666" (it's Office Hades after all) but instead he lifts his chin and looks at the "imaginary something" over my right shoulder and asks "what kind are you looking for?"

Oh no. I know immediately this is not a good sign and that I won't be getting out of there anytime soon.

This man likes his calculators and there are two reasons why I know this.

1. Instead of directing me over to choose one myself, he just stands there and wants to talk about it first. I pull out my sheet of paper from Tony and read off "TI30X".
"Ahhh, good choice! (like I just selected a fine wine or something) would you be looking for an 'a' or 'II' ?" he asks. Then he pivots and begins to walk to where I 'm guessing they keep the calculators.
But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I need to tell you the second reason why I know he likes his calculators.

2. By the way he looked at the "imaginary something" over my shoulder while talking to me. As the mom of a math and science geek (Nae) who attended a special school filled with a bunch of other math and science geeks, you can spot that look a mile away. That is what I call "the almost corrected way of conversing with another human being" look.
See a lot of these kids who have gifts for numbers have a difficult time communicating with people. They spend a lot of time looking down when they talk to you. Us mom's at the school Nae went to used to have a joke "how can you spot an extrovert at the Math and Science Center?" "He looks at your shoes when he talks to you".
Many of these moms of geeks spent years nagging their kids (and I'm saying really pushing them) to look up when they are talking to someone. And so the next step in the geek rehab is when they look at the "imaginary something" over your shoulder, almost correct but not quite there.

As this guy is talking to me, the first thing I think is "ohhh... your mama was so close..." and then "Ughh! I'm never getting outta here quick."

We get over to the calculator isle and he immediately grabs one off the hook and starts jabbing at the numbers through the plastic covering. I answer his earlier question with "I'm pretty sure my son just wants the "a" model". So the guys starts telling me about all the different features on the calculator and all the "mathie" things that it can do. And guess what my brain starts doing? lalalalala..... and I'm thinking (or trying to mentally slap my brain) 'pay attention! Or at least pretend to pay attention and then grab the calculator and get out of there!'

Then he starts talking all this "math gibberish" about signs and co-signs and co-efficients and I'm just about to say "gesundheit!" and I'm smiling a little cuz my brain is going in about a thousand different directions and yeah what he's saying could sound a little like a sneeze. And then I realize he isn't talking anymore and that I totally tuned him out. He looks at me and pauses, like he's waiting for an answer to something. And I just smile and say "sorry, I don't really know what your talking about" and he rolls his eyes (did I mention that I'm guessing this guy is in his early 30's) and I'm thinking this guy is way to old to rolling his eyes at me. And then he says "it's the formula for the speed of sound" in this 'well-duhhhh' tone.

So then I'm thinking "lookie here you calculator freak I just want to buy a stinkin' calculator not take a math test!" but of course I don't say that. Instead I just smile and say "sorry" again. And Mr.-I-can't-look-you-in-the-eyes-when-I'm-talking-to-you says "well how about this one. (then he start speaking like he talking to a 5 year old deaf person who doesn't understand English very well) If you're driving 60 mph and you want to figure out how far you'd go in a minute..."he jabs at the plastic some more"you get one mile. You. get.that.don'"

"Yes I get that one. Thank you. Ok then. I'll take that one. Thanks." is what I said next instead of grabbing the nearest calculator and shoving it.....oh never mind.

I was pretty proud of myself. I may not know the formula for the speed of sound off the top of my head and I may suck at numbers but at least I know how to be polite. His mama needs to work on that with him when she working on teaching him to look someone in the eye when you talk to them.


Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

this is a story to me, about life with children. Buying calculators for school. AAAh. I can not deal.

Deborah said...

I hate that when people don't look at you in the eyes, I always figure they are lying about something when they do that. I have to remind my husband to look at people in the eyes when his is meeting someone new.. I Hate That!
Have a great day!

Michelle said...

LOL...that totally cracked me up. YOu see, my husband is an engineer...while he is NORMAL, the people around him are not. LOL. Well mostly not. his boss seems fine anyway.

I'm with you on the numbers. I was at the doctors office the other day (only second time for my son) and the nurse asked me how much he weighed when he was born. And how long he was. And how long the labor was. (It's a DO.)

And I didnt really know the answers to those questions so I blamed it on having 6 kids and that my hsuband remembers all that stuff for me.

I also like my kids birthdays to follow a pattern. So I can REMEMBER THEM.

Phillip Madrid said...

The ultimate SNL sketch about how awesome a calculator can be.

Anonymous said...

Tori. That was hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I have no math geeks at my house so it's funny to hear about them.