I neither believe in nor like sure things. There is nothing good that can come from a sure thing. If the task is accomplished – well, big deal – it was supposed to have occurred anyway. No glory there. However, if the task is not accomplished, it is a big embarrassing zero.
I have a mediocre sense of direction. I don’t like to go into gas stations to ask for directions. You may now fill in your joke about men asking for directions. I seem to do better when people tell me how to get somewhere, and I write it down. It doesn’t even matter if I remember the paper with the directions on it. The important thing is for me to be able to envision where I am going. I think in pictures. So, occasionally I surprise myself and find something without a problem. However, there are times when I have directions and if things are not exactly how they are written, I struggle. I can follow directions with the expectation that they are exactly correct. Don’t tell me something is .2 miles when it is .3 miles. Changes, surprises – no thanks, not when I am driving.
You might think that I am the perfect candidate for the GPS. However, I have held out. My wife (you think I’m bad with directions – next to her, I’m a compass) and I have neither the time nor the money to go to marriage counseling. So, we test our communication skills (and sometimes our vocabulary) when we travel somewhere unfamiliar. If we can talk nicely and calmly while navigating – well, then, damn it – we can handle the daily rigors of family life.
When I recently got my 4G phone, I quickly noted that GPS was one of the apps. I figured I might as well use it (my wife and I would have to develop another way to work on our communication skills). It has come in handy, I must say. But there is something I must confess. I don’t feel good about what I am about to say: I have still gotten lost – multiple times. Am I an idiot? Does this ever happen to anyone else? I print out Mapquest directions, have the GPS and still get it wrong sometimes. What the hell is wrong with me? This afternoon my son had a birthday party to attend. The party was only about 15 minutes from our house. At least, I think it was – I never found it. I twice went past where the GPS instructions led me and did not find the place. I had to take my disappointed son home and explain to him the meaning of ‘frustration.’ Luckily, he took it well, “I understand, Daddy.” Did he understand – really? Did he know what it meant to feel like a fool? You can see why I hate when people say “you can’t miss it” because yes, I can miss it – damn it!