I am afflicted with directional dyslexia. Geographically, I never know exactly where I am. This is true whether I am standing somewhere in the great outdoors, riding inside a moving vehicle, or seated in a theater. I can’t find my location in a mall when I look at a directory declaring in big red letters, “You are here.”
Friends and family members know better than to give me driving directions containing the words north, south, east, or west. In my world, only six directions exist: right, left, up, down, forward and backward.
When my husband tried to direct me to a business not far from our house, he instructed me to turn right on Southport Road. I asked, “Is that the intersection with the billboard advertising Doritos?”
My husband replied, “I have no idea what is pictured on the billboard at that intersection or whether or not there even is a billboard at that intersection. Just turn right on Southport Road.” A lot of help he was.
When directing me to the house of a friend who lives on the south side of Indianapolis, my husband again used language that confused me. I asked for clarification.
“Are you saying I should turn left at the intersection where that woman driving an old junky car cut you off in traffic and you said that word I almost never hear you say?”
“What?” he asked, as if he weren’t even there when the event occurred. “What woman? What old junky car? What word?”
Recently, I pulled into a gas station at the intersection of two main roads. After I filled my gas tank and was ready to resume my travels, I could not remember on which of the two roads I had been driving.
I called my adult son and asked for his help. He said, “Mom, first of all, where are you trying to go?” I said I was trying to go home. He then asked, “Where are you?” I told him I was at the gas station that sells Noble Roman’s pizzas.
He said, “Go to the front door of the convenience store at that gas station, stand in front of that door, look straight ahead of you, and tell me what you see.”
I stepped to the front of the store, looked directly in front of me and said, “I see gas pumps.”
My son is no better than his dad at giving directions.
Over the Christmas holidays, my husband and I left home early one morning to make a 400-mile road trip to Arkansas to visit my mother. About midday, our daughter called to check on our progress. She asked, “Where are you?”
I answered, “In the car.”
She said what she always says, “Let me talk to Dad.”
Please don’t insult me with jokes about finding my way out of a phone booth or a paper bag. Just hand me a club and lead me to the numbskull who decided that roundabouts were a good idea.
Debbie Scales February 28, 2016 499 Words