How come we all just sort of accept things that don't make sense?

When you're a kid, it seems like your parents' favorite answer when all else fails is, "because...". As an adult, we've been conditioned to live in that same mindset in a lot of ways. We've learned, often the hard way, it's usually just easier to do what's asked of you, rather than ask a lot of questions about why.

How can next-door neighbors have street numbers that are 8 or 10 numbers apart? It seems like black magic.

For instance, as a kid I just assumed a house number had something to do with the actual number of houses on the street. Like, if you lived at 58 Whatever Street, that was the number of houses up to that point. Obviously as you get older, that's ludicrous. The road I love on spans three towns over 10 miles, but there's definitely not 4000+ houses on it. Well, how the heck are those numbers decided?

It's not nearly as random as it appears.

So yeah, when you're a kid, the answer just seems so obvious. But as an adult, house numbers don't seem to make any sense. How can two houses right next to each other be so far apart in number. Obviously, there's an odd and even side to the road, so it will skip those. But how can next-door neighbors have street numbers that are 8 or 10 numbers apart? It seems like black magic.

So here's the deal... Yes, it sort of has to do with the size of your lot. Especially the frontage, but not as directly as you'd think. In a nutshell, starting at the beginning of a road, the number changes every 50ft. Wherever your front door or driveway faces, is where the number is determined. You could have multiple numbers on your property, but where the front door/driveway faces, seems to be where it's decided.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Why does this feel suspiciously like math?

If your address is 100 Whatever Road, and your neighbor is roughly 300 feet from you, they'd be 106. In more densely populated areas, it's reduced to every 25ft. And even more confusing, a multi-unit property can have multiple addresses. They actually spell it out pretty clearly over here at

Photo by Paula Hayes on Unsplash
Photo by Paula Hayes on Unsplash

On initial observation, it seems totally random, but not too bad. Once you lift the veil on it, it doesn't really seem random at all. Is it easy to follow? Not entirely. It still feels like I'm doing a certain amount of algebra, after I swore for years I'd never use it as an adult. I guess I should've just done what I was told.

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