I have the directional sense of a fruit fly in a windstorm. There have been times in my life when finding my way to an unfamiliar place have resulted in tears. Not always mine. Not shocking when you consider the time I placed numerous phone calls for assistance one of which may have been to 911, stopped at two separate gas stations and slowly followed a kid on a bike asking if he knew where Shelly lived? I don’t think he did though, because he just started yelling “stranger danger”and sped off into a park.
My husband on the other hand could find his way out of a jungle with nothing more than a leaf and paper clip. He used to ask me to read the map for him when we were travelling. The reason he doesn’t anymore is because I have threatened to charge him with spousal abuse if it ever happens again. I just looked that up, and as of today it is not actually considered abuse, but laws can be changed and he knows how motivated I am to be right about stuff.
Sometimes people ask me for directions to places I am or I have been in the past. Usually we are speaking on the phone at the time and I find myself gesturing and pointing, when indicating where they they should turn left and or right. Surprisingly signing on a cellular device does not translate well and they usually just change the subject or become awkwardly silent as if waiting for me to speak or something. You can’t help everyone I guess.
Recently I got lost at a mall. Not a strip mall obviously,but one of those big crazy labyrinths of endless stores, food courts, and kiosks . I called home and told them I wouldn’t be home for dinner, It was 9:30 in the morning. I know when to be pragmatic and the kids need to eat. It’s not that the mall design folks don’t try to be helpful. They do have those “YOU ARE HERE” signs posted at regular intervals. However they are about as helpful to me as a bag of cats, because generally I don’t know where “here” is to begin with, so finding out my way to “there” is pretty much a non starter.
My mapping skills or that whole east west north south geography thing are about as honed as a dead pigeon too. When someone tells me to head north, I feel compelled to find a tree with moss on it. I was a girl guide and I learned that moss only grows on the north side of a tree. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a tree with moss on it at the mall? Well let’s just say if it’s out there I haven’t found it yet.
Not long ago someone suggested I purchase a navigational unit that is designed to verbally instruct the driver on how to get from point A to point B. This was one of the greatest days of my life followed shortly thereafter by a near death experience.
It started out so well. I programmed my unit to help me get to my brothers house in maple ridge Which is about a 5 hour drive from my home. Off I went with the nice British fellow I had selected on the device to guide me giving me helpful instructions at pivotal points along my journey.
After awhile it was nighttime and the weather turned to rain and fog. I wasn’t too worried as I was pretty close to my final destination. Looking back on how literal that last part could have been, just gave me goosebumps. I was driving down a very dark narrow road with mist as thick as glue and my visibility was limited to about two car lengths in front of me. Still felt pretty confident with Charles (I named him that because he seemed quite regal and perhaps the tiniest bit bald)
Then out of the darkness, I found myself a mere three feet away from driving directly into a lake. I was at a ferry crossing that had long since closed. I braked hard and turned the car around feeling a deep sense of shock. Charles did not like my new course and he kept telling me he was “re calculating route” and instructing me to make a u-turn as soon as possible. It became clear to me that Charles was trying to kill me.
I pulled over and called my brother. He was able to figure out where I was calling from, not sure how, because I am almost certain all I kept saying was ” I can’t believe Charles wants me to drive off a pier.”
After that happened I made peace with myself, and decided I’ll just have to be okay with getting lost from time to time. Its probably not the worst skill to not have. I can make an awesome lasagna and you can’t be great at everything, it’s obnoxious. As for Charles he is no longer a part of my life. He has been re routed back from whence he came because I am not going to reside with a homicidal machine. I have seen Transformers and the Terminator and I recognize a bad seed when I see one.