Don’t Confuse Me

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


8 thoughts on “Don’t Confuse Me”

  1. Hilarious, Debbie! Your directional dyslexia always makes me think of my mom who was challenged in exactly the same way! Thanks for making me laugh aloud.

    1. RaAnna, People who don’t have this condition have a hard time relating to those of us who do. I went to pick up our grandson from his sitter’s house in Greenwood yesterday, and not for the first time, got turned around and had to call and get redirected. Think how much I could accomplish if I weren’t always going around in circles!!

  2. You need to move to Colorado Springs where you can ALWAYS see the mountain range. It is west. I use the mountain range every day to help me with directions. In fact, when I am in another state and I don’t see the mountains to help me with my geographical status, I am not quite sure what to do–I feel disoriented and bewildered without the mountains! (Roundabouts in Colorado Springs are no problem, Debbie!) 🙂

    1. Becky, Colorado Springs should hire you to promote that lovely city. You certainly make it sound wonderful. I am glad you and your family made the move so many years ago. Your new home has been a blessing. If roundabouts are no problem there, that makes it even more appealing!

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