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E is for Epiphanies

In the Encyclopedia of Me, E is for Epiphanies. “Epiphany” is the term Neil uses to describe the moment when I realize something that is common knowledge to the rest of the world. The most famous epiphany that I had – the one that started it all – occurred oh, eight or nine years ago now.

Upside Down Map of the world with interesting world projections at the bottom

We were dining at The Outback, when Neil noticed the map on the wall behind me. “Can you tell what’s wrong with that map?” he asked. I took one look at it and, thinking myself quite clever to have figured it out so quickly, said “yeah, Alaska isn’t an island.”

Silence for several seconds.

“What?” he said.

“Alaska. It’s supposed to be an island, but on that map it’s connected to Canada.”

Well, needless to say, I was wrong, and have since found myself the butt of many geography-related jokes at family gatherings Smile In my own defense, just look at a map of the United States sometime – Alaska is always off in a little box by itself, and usually it’s drawn without the connecting land to the East – just one impossibly-straight coastline Rolling Eyes) At least I knew it was to the North, and didn’t think it was really hanging out there with Hawaii!

There have been many more of these so-called epiphanies over the years. On the spot, I am having trouble remembering any others except the most recent: A few months ago, while teaching son #1 the words to “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” I suddenly realized that the line “Robin lays an egg” has a double meaning – there’s Batman’s sidekick Robin, but also there’s the bird, robin, which really could lay an egg. I was so tickled to figure that out. And yes, I know you probably realized the double-meaning when you were 12. Congratulations.

E is for Epiphanies.

Lisa

8 thoughts on “E is for Epiphanies

  1. You think that’s bad? I was LIVING IN MANHATTAN about a week before I figured out that it’s an ISLAND… honest and truly, I had zero sense of NYC before I lived there. Was I a midwest yokel or what?

    I can totally see how you thought Alaska was an island — everytime you see the weather, there it is!

  2. I think it took me a while to catch on to that, too, but I wasn’t living there, LOL!

  3. An epiphany like that is much better if you experience it without someone there to laugh at you for not knowing it in the first place. Heh.

  4. You know, I never thought about the Robin thing. So it’s new for me too. 🙂 I know there have been other similar things like that, things that everyone knows and I was a bit slow to pick up on, though I can’t think of any at the moment. (I did spot the problem with the map on first glance, though!)

    My most embarrassing one (which you may even remember) was in college, when I wrote a rot13 program and then an UN-rot13 program. I don’t think I lived that one down until I graduated!

    (For the non-computer-geeks out there — rot13 is a very simple encoding scheme where all the letters in a message are shifted by 13 characters, so that “a” becomes “n”, “b” is “o” and so on, and the resulting message looks like gibberish. It’s usually used to obscure content that some people might find objectionable, because it puts the responsibility on the user to decode it using a simple script. Anyway, because it’s a 13-character shift and the alphabet has 26 letters, to reverse the encoding you use the same program — a separate one is not necessary. This totally did not occur to me when I thought I was being so smart to come up with a decryption script, and boy did I get made fun of for it!)

  5. Lisa – thank you so much for swinging by my blog ~ I appreciate your sentiments, and I am sorry that you have gone through this as well. Also ~ thank you for the kind words you posted for Rachael – I know she is so grateful for all the on-line support she has received!

  6. Alison – exactly! Neil always seems to be around when I have one of those moments…

    Tina, I vaguely remember that. Funny! I was probably too busy making my own not-to-be-lived-down mistakes to have noticed 😉

    Jen – It’s one of those things that more people than you realize have gone through, I think. My situation wasn’t exactly the same as yours, but I think a lot of the feelings are the same. And while it’s gotten easier for me in the 5 months since it’s happened, it’s still difficult sometimes. Hope the healing process isn’t too hard for you! (And I’m glad we’ve reconnected a bit – it’s always fun to cross paths with someone you used to know and see how their lives are going)

  7. Love the words you have come up with—esp. the e, g and h! I’ll read the others. So funny.

  8. Thanks, Jeanne. And guess what – you’re my 500th comment! Can that be possible? 500 comments in 2.5 months of blog posts? I may have to go back and check that, but it does have you listed as #500.

    Oh! I just figured it out – it probably is counting the spam comments, of which there have been over 300 at this point. That makes more sense. Still, 500 is a nice milestone, and if I wasn’t on vacation this week, I might have sent you a prize 😉

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