managed to get lost today.
moving at all.
had an errand to run, involving a store I had never previously
visited. So, I looked the location up online before leaving the
house. Those of you that use GPS apps and occasionally check out
things like a search engine’s map feature will likely understand
immediately what I mean when I say that north isn’t always north.
general idea behind that compass not pointing the right way concept
is that your position on a map, or the way it depicts you traveling,
or any number of other assorted details, don’t always make perfect
sense. And more specifically than the generic joke of the direction
north, the reality is that what is directly ahead of you in real
life is not always directly ahead of you on the GPS.
some reason, I had it in my head that when I turned onto the street
of my final destination the store would be on the left. It wasn’t.
It was on the right. No harm though, as I spotted the sign and
pulled into a parking space.
it became funny was about ten minutes later when I got back in
my car. The direction home would have been a left onto the road.
I went right. I had slid immediately back into the way I had originally
thought I would be approaching and not the way I did approach.
Turned the wrong way to begin the drive home, and fortunately
the GPS recalculated and I listened.
really isn’t anything mind-boggling here. Heck, I find myself
getting lost in the kitchen these days. A lot. I mean, probably
enough that I should mention it to my doctor a lot. (No. Not really.
But I have been working on a cutting board in the kitchen, gone
to the fridge to grab something I needed, and suddenly realized
I was in a third spot getting something else entirely and having
never managed to stop at the fridge.)
lost at someplace brand new and fifteen miles from the house?
Not exactly hard to believe.
it is funny how we position ourselves at times. We can look things
up in street views of maps or on business web sites. Our GPS units
and apps tell us that our destination is up ahead and direct us
to the right or the left. The end result is that while we can
quickly find out exactly where we need to be, and have the materials
at our fingertips to get us there, but more and more often I find
myself losing track of all the steps in between.
know those moments where people get tossed in the car, and they’ve
been blindfolded or such so they can’t see where they’re going?
There are literally moments now where I wonder if the blindfold
is even necessary. Because in many cases, I do believe that if
the person doesn’t know the address or business name or whatever
to enter into the app, there is a really good chance they would
never be able to find that spot again anyway.
I was a kid, getting tossed around the back of our station wagon,
I could be delightfully distracted during a trip. Then, at any
point, could look out the windows and pretty much immediately
recognize where we were and how much further we had to go.
Church? The park? Didn’t matter what the destination was, I would
recognize the route from the scenes around me. Now, if you mention
that blue house we pass on the way to pick up pizza… well… there
isn’t a chance in heck I have any idea what house you are talking
about. None at all.
a joke about small town living. It’s based on the idea that everyone
living in the community knows everyone else and all of the landmarks.
And as a result, directions like this work:
out of this lot like you’re going to the Smith house. When you
reach the McGillicuddy barn, turn. Continue down that road a
piece, and you’ll spot it about a mile after where the Thompson
bridge was before the fire.”
in most small towns, skip everything else and just tell them to
go a mile past the Thompson bridge.)
days, it’s more of a magic trick. Enter the destination into the
GPS, click your heels together three times, spin in a circle and
then put the car back into park because you’ve arrived.
of the time, it all works out. I make it to the store. I make
it back home. But I have to say, I do miss the comfort and familiarity
of the McGillicuddy barn.