Friday, September 24, 2010

Excuse Me, but Uranus Is Tilted

I have been accused of having a loud speaker attached to my brain. My family tells me I commentate life in real time. Like when you watch a movie and the director is talking the whole time. Words just tumble out of my mouth. Many times they aren't the right words, or even real words. I admire those people who are quiet. They only talk when they have something really great to say. Those are the kind of people who you really need to listen to. They are accused of being shy, but really they are just wise. I am not a shy person. But at times I feel nervous around new people. Usually it is because I am worried I will start to babble. Some people are good at following me, others look at me like I am crazy. I know a kindred spirit instantly. If we are laughing within the first ten minutes of meeting, then it's a friendship in the making.

The kids recently started at a new home school program. Have you spent any time around home school moms? They are so nice. But they are usually so darn perfect. And you stand there looking at them thinking..."Please have just one flaw." Then you say out loud to them, "Are you serious?! You constructed Ancient Rome out of PRETZELS and LINT this morning??"

Yesterday I found myself in the family room surrounded by new home school moms. We don't have to hang out there while the kids have classes, but I thought I would just mingle for a few minutes. They were talking about how sad they were that Winter was arriving. We didn't get much of a Summer. When that happens in the Pacific NW, we all get a little panicky. They were so bummed about it, so I decided to give them a little bit if information I had read  to the kids the night before. I was reading about the planets. I found out that the Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees. That is why we have seasons. The axle of Uranus is tilted at an angle of 98 degrees compared to the sun's orbital plane. So while the other planets are like spinning tops, Uranus is like a rolling ball going around the sun. Uranus' poles experience 42 years of darkness, then 42 years of sunlight. I was amazed at that. Can you imagine a 42 year span of darkness? Suddenly it didn't seem like we have it so bad. (For those of you who live in parts of the country where you see the sun during the winter, you won't relate to this post at all.)

SO, I say all of this to set up why I said the following sentence to these Moms. I wanted them to feel better about Winter coming. I wanted to give them a little perspective, because sometimes all we need is a little perspective to make us feel better, right?

I held my hands up as if I had a big ball in my hands. And I said to the Mom closest to me,

"You know how Uranus is tilted?"


Well, it was as if all of the air was sucked out of the room. I stood there thinking to myself,

"That did NOT just come out of my mouth."

They had NO idea I was talking about planets. They thought I was speaking about some medical term. I didn't even know how to recover that one.

I quickly said, "I mean the planet! They have 42 years of darkness at a time!"

 I then said, "THEY? I don't know why I said they, I know there are no people living on Uranus,"

They were trying to listen. Nodding and smiling. Then one Mom said,

"Aren't you Beau's Mom?" 

I nodded. I asked what time classes ended. I left. I got into the van and laughed so hard. When I told my sister, Jodi what I said I could barely get it all out. Go ahead, walk up to someone and ask them if they are aware that Uranus is tilted.

I dare you.


  1. MAN I wish I had been there for that one.

  2. I'm one of those way too quiet people. I agonize over finding something, anything to say and I've always admired those who can just chatter away!

    I do have the bad habit of relating a thought plucked randomly out of my stream of consciousness, continuing the internal conversation that no one else has had the benefit of hearing. Awkward.

    You crack me up.

  3. found the exact words I was looking for. Thank you!

  4. Only YOU Michelle!
    You know what though, I love you and your crazy not thought out words! YOU are an amazing woman full of so much to offer, don't compare yourself to others. Be happy with who YOU are-and your uncontrolled words! Besides,who would entertain us?

  5. By the way - you have no trouble with writing....

  6. Wow I guess I am not alone. I call it verbally throwing up! I do it all of the time and then think to myself “OMG, did I just say that out loud?” Wonderful story!

  7. I would have totally gotten it.

  8. Oh I love you... you are my kind of girl :) I would be more then happy to listen to you babble on... I do the same thing when I am nervous...

  9. Well, that is going to have me laughing all day!