Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Directionally Speaking

I’m a little stubborn when it comes to asking for directions.

In the past, I would happily drive in circles, or drive 40 miles in the wrong direction, before I’d finally give in, turn the car around and get myself back to where I started…only to drive 40 miles in the other direction.

But maybe that’s just a guy thing.

Or maybe just this guy’s thing.

Not sure.

What I am sure about is, I don’t like to ask for directions…and Z tends to frown on that...a lot...among the various other things she does to express her displeasure with this behavior…like jumping out of the car and calling for a cab.

But, ever since I downloaded my GPS, Michele, to my phone, those types of problems are pretty much behind us.

Plus Michelle is a cheap date on road trips.

She always orders from the Prix Fixe menu.

On the other hand, it might surprise you to learn that if someone stops and asks me for directions, I’m very cordial and considerate—to a fault—towards any and all wayward travelers that happen to cross my path.

And I get stopped A LOT…mostly because I’m out on the road walking once or twice a day…and for some reason people think walkers are the towns Sherpa’s.

So I take my responsibility very seriously…mapping out in my head, not just the quickest route, but the easiest route as well.

If I’ve learned anything from Michelle, I’ve learned that the best route is not always the easiest…especially if it involves driving under water.

I take my responsibility so seriously, in fact, that at first there’s always a short brain freeze period, where I’m not even sure what street I’m standing on.

Then…panicked, I start to spew out the names of any street and locale I can think of, trying desperately to get my bearings.

However, sometimes these streets and locales might not even be located in this country, let alone this town, so it can instill a little doubt in the misdirected driver’s eye.

“Are you sure I turn east at the Berlin Wall?”

Usually, after a few uncomfortable seconds, I’m able to right myself.  Plus, I find if I offer them coffee and a nice selection of donuts—which I always carry in a fanny pack, just for this reason—I’m able to regain their confidence, pretty quickly.

Of course, once I pass along my directional wisdom and send them on their way, I immediately start to doubt myself and begin to worry that maybe I wasn’t as clear as I could’ve been.

Did I tell them two lights or three?

Will they count the light at the corner as one, or ignore it and start at the next light?

If they turn at the second light instead of the third, will they know enough to bear right at the stop sign?

Or will they think the third light is really the second light and stop at the bear?

Did I tell them to make a U turn before they start?

If they do get lost, will they think poorly of me and mock me to the bear…again?

So you can see why I don’t like to ask for directions.

Besides…who am I to put that kind of pressure on a person….

Now if I can only remember where I left Michelle.



  1. I'm a walker too, and I give out free directions. When I instruct them to turn at the next right, guess what! I watch them while they turn left.
    My husband never asked directions. We were on our way to the Chicago airport, and I saw we were on a dirt road heading toward some water. I said:" This is a good place to hide a body. Are we lost?" He said:" NO. I just don't know where we are."

    1. Your hubs sounds like he was a man of great discernment.

      Since you are ex CIA I am wondering about that body you were unloading….


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