When we go on vacation, Roy and I can usually agree on what it is we want to see. The problem always comes in when we try to figure out how to get there. This year is proving to be a prime example of our problem.
I have always found Roy’s sense of direction to be both admirable and annoying. It’s admirable from the point of view that he always knows his sense of direction and he has an uncanny knack of knowing exactly what way is correct and when he is not headed in the correct direction. I find it annoying because I do not have a sense of direction at all and have been known to get lost coming back to the table at a restaurant after using the restroom!
The real difficulty with this is when we are taking a driving tour anywhere. In most cases Roy is a much steadier and much more certain driver. That means he is the obvious one to take the wheel. That leaves me, his wife with no sense of direction, in the hysterically ironic role of the navigator. Although I have used the word hysterical, I can assure you that Roy seldom finds my lack of skill with a map to be funny.
“Okay, now when you get to Highway 45, you are going to want to turn to the right,” I will tell him, holding down the unfolded map with every limb of my body and squinting at the incomprehensible little lines on it.
“Are you sure I turn right?” he will question, gripping the steering wheel and dodging traffic like a racecar driver.
“Yes, of course I’m sure you turn left,” I answer, angry to be questioned.
“So I turn left, you are saying I should turn left when I get to Highway 45?”
“I clearly told you to turn right on Highway 44. What part of this are you having difficulty understanding?”
You get the point. The man has to deal with my split second changes of mind about how I should be reading the map and it has caused him to do some pretty interesting maneuvers on the road. We get honked at a lot and I don’t think it’s because I’m such a beauty�!
The GPS has increased our efficiency, but we still run into problems. I’m always trying to jump in ahead of the GPS intoning, “In .3 miles, turn left onto Christopher Columbus Boulevard.” Because I am directionally challenged, I will frequently say, “You’re going to be going right! Get in the right lane!” He does so, and the GPS intones, “Recalculating.”
Why do I get the right and left arrows mixed up? Well, I have a whole theory about it involving those directional hand signals we used as kids on bikes, but since my theory is about as sound as my navigational skills, I won’t bore you with it today.
Today, we decided to wing it without the GPS as we headed for Hyde Park, NY to visit Franklin Roosevelt’s home. We turned off the directions and I manned the map. We were a little tense since we were skirting New York City and traffic was heavy. We were in a ten mile traffic jam so that half of New Jersey could go to Six Flags. After that, we had to do some tricky maneuvers to keep from accidentally exiting the freeway we were on, as it kept dividing off suddenly. I had given Roy two or three directions, all of which had been wrong when suddenly, we needed to exit onto the freeway which would take us further north.
“No, don’t turn there, we’re already on the right spot to get on 287,” I exclaimed as Roy attempted to exit the freeway.
“Oh, we are?” he said, speeding up to re-enter the flow of traffic. “I didn’t even see the sign for Exit 60. When did we exit?”
“You know, I’m not all that interested in Franklin Roosevelt,” I said as Exit 60 disappeared in my rear-view mirror. “Who needs to go on 287 anyway? Let’s see where this road leads us.”
“Get out the GPS,” he sighed, searching for a place to turn around. “And this time, let HER give the directions.”
A directional difference of opinion