In my previous blog, I confessed to a serious shortcoming. I am chronically directionally challenged. My disorder is so severe that if my instinct tells me to take a left, the correct direction is to the right. Eventually after too many years of doing the same thing and getting lost EVERY SINGLE TIME, I started doing the exact opposite of what that little voice told me. All of this occurred before those handy dandy GPS gadgets were available in cars.
The first opportunity I had to purchase a GPS for my car, I did it. I forked out the extra four thousand dollars when I purchased my 2003 Toyota Prius and was darned glad I did. Not too many years later, I discovered you could purchase a GPS specifically for bicycles. As an avid cyclist, I had to have that doohickey.
Of course now we have smartphones equipped with map apps and specific turn-by-turn instructions, just like my handy dandy GPS. Finally, I have all the tools I need to get from point A to point B without turning into a hot mess. I love that term. I just learned it from a colleague who described someone blubbering away because apparently we were so mean in union negotiations. That, however, is a whole other story.
Anyway, I promised to share my story about getting lost on Whidbey Island before I had all that wonderful technology at my fingertips. I’d moved to the island in 1993 and my house looked out on the main road, HWY 20. The highway cut through the island and was a direct route to the hospital I worked at.
The turn off to my house was a road named Ft. Nugent road. Ft. Nugent intersected with another road that was spitting distance from my house. This road was Swantown road. I’m sure you are wondering what this background information has to do with getting lost. I have a very good reason to share how germane this is to the story because it will reveal how utterly pathetic I am. Hang on because the story just gets better and better.
One morning I am making my daily trek on the main highway and there is a major accident cutting off my only known path to work. The police force a detour and I get horribly lost. I’m driving around for twenty minutes before I come across a road (Swantown) that is vaguely familiar to me. I say to myself, “Hmmm, that’s looks familiar.” I still don’t know where I am and continue to follow Swantown traveling from the opposite direction that I’ve normally gone every single day to get to my house. Finally, I manage to drive by the Safeway and now I know how to get back to my house because I can manage to find my way to and from the Safeway.
Ironically, when I first approached the intersection of Swantown and Ft Nugent road, I wasn’t able to decipher where I was because I’d traveled there from a different angle. I only knew that it was vaguely familiar to me. This may seem completely outrageous and you are all probably saying, “Annette, you are just making that shit up to make this blog entertaining.” I swear this is the honest to God truth.
I proceed to go back to my house and tell my partner that she has to drive me to work because I can’t find my way. After laughing for ten minutes, she agrees to take me. She knows all the back roads and does not share my affliction.
I finally arrive at work (an hour late) and my staff laugh for another ten minutes, and then ask the infamous question, “It’s an island. How could you possibly get lost?”
“Yeah, it’s an island which means the water is on both sides, how can anyone possibly navigate that?” I fire back with just a little bit of attitude.
One of my staff interjects, “Don’t you know the difference between North, South, East and West?”
In all seriousness I state, “No, I do not. It’s not like I have a compass mounted on my dashboard and I wish people would stop giving directions like head North about two miles…it’s hard enough for me to grasp when I should turn left versus right.” At this point, I am huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf.
I still have to discern between my right and my left when Priscilla, that’s the voice of my GPS, gives a vocal command and thank God she doesn’t tell me to turn West on 42nd street…
If you are directionally challenged like me and can’t seem to find your way to my books, let me help you out. Ain’t technology grand? Click on one of the links below and I know you’ll find everything you need! Happy traveling!