Saturday, September 17, 2011
I have a poor sense of direction. Actually I have no sense of direction. If a trip involves more than three turns or takes longer than 20 minutes, you can bet I’ll get lost.
When I’m lost I always call someone (usually my poor dad) and when I call someone when I’m lost I tend to get snippy. My pissiness is largely a result of my frustration with not being able to tell which way is north or south or east or west. “I don’t know if I’m going north, dad! I told you: my butt is facing McDonald’s and my eyes are facing Chipotle. So whatever direction that is.”
“That would be north,” my dad would say.
“Okay, well sorry I’m not MacGuyver,” I’d retort.
I also don’t get why people expect me to remember a route I never drove – being a passenger is a whole different horse.
“We’ve been to that mall at least twenty times together!” my mom once exclaimed.
“Yeah, but I never drove there,” I countered. When I’m passengering, I’m focused on my passengerly duties such as keeping the driver entertained, tweezing my eyebrows (can’t beat the lighting), and searching the seat cracks and glove compartment for candy.
“You need to pay attention,” she said.
“You need to pay attention. Last time you almost hit that old lady.”
Aside from calling my dad and expecting accurate, instantaneous directions out of the blue, do you know what I like to do when I’m driving around lost and angry? I like to blame Google directions.
“Oh man,” I’ll bitch. “This is the last time I’m using Google directions. They suck. They said I should turn right on Forester. You can’t turn right on Forester. This is bogus. They’re getting a letter when I get home.” (That’s my signature threat, by the way: I always threaten to write letters.)
I also have the tendency to day dream or get distracted while in the car. Sure, everyone does, you might say. But for me, it never fails to elicit a missed turn. There’s a route I take at least once a month (from my place to my parent’s place) that I have driven dozens upon dozens of times. I know the way well yet 70% of the time (according to a 2011 independent survey conducted by myself and consisting mostly of me closing my eyes and going, “Hmmm 70% sounds about right”) I will miss the fork to stay on 290 (the right way) and accidentally merge onto 88 (the wrong way).
My dad cherishes retelling the story of the time I got lost in a Hyatt parking lot. Ironically, I was there to complete a driver’s education class that I’d been court ordered to attend. I tried to find an exit for at least 15 minutes on my own before calling my dad, who testifies that he was on the phone with me for another 30 minutes before I managed to find a road.
I can only imagine what my dad was thinking as he tried to give me directions out of a parking lot. It’s not like we kept a map in the kitchen of the Schaumburg Hyatt parking lot. After some dramatic panicking and yelling, my dad was able to coach me out of that nightmare some under-talented civil engineer called a parking lot – but I was hopping mad. I damn near wrote a letter.
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