You might also like

Thursday, March 8, 2012

J (Joanne) PS

I live in the catbird seat.  In eight hours or less, driving, I could be in Chicago, New York City, Louisville; Washington DC, Virginia, at a show.  I started before there were cell phones.  Although we did have a friend with an early monster that filled up her purse.  And I did own a cell phone the instant they were practical.  Concerning the amount of cash I might wind up carrying, our accountant asked me if I carried a gun.  “No, Bob, I carry a cell phone.”

My directional dysfunction does not even rise to joke worthy.  I’m pathetic.  “She means the other right,” is heard standardly in my car.  I have a compass, and can tell what direction I’m going, but need to squeeze my eyes shut and mentally orient the compass in order to turn and go a different direction.  Not good at stop lights.  In order to drive four or five hundred miles and arrive at a specific location in order to set up a show, I needed a system.  Mine was an envelope.  Business size.  To get to New Paltz, for example, the first line on my envelope said I80E to exit XX, I84N.  Second line said I84N to exit XX, route 208 north to New Paltz.  Third line told me to turn left at the light in New Paltz.  Fourth line to turn left on the fairground road.  Then I had several lines to get me to the motel.  I did not deviate, even if other people said “We could probably get there if we took that road.”  I could tuck my envelope in my steering wheel cover and follow my instructions line by line and get there.  I took good care of my envelopes, added notations, noted when exits changed, occasionally found a better way around towns.  I was my own GPS.

When real GPS systems came along, I didn’t fall for it.  I road with friends who were always fiddling with theirs, then trying some road or another, saying their TomTom needed recalibrated because the route number had changed, things like that.  When Carol and I went to Pittsburgh last summer, fortunately she knew where we were because her GPS didn’t have a clue, going or coming. 

GPS just frustrate me; they don't even sound like someone riding shotgun and saying turn right up there where the red car just turned.  The last time TomTom rode in the car with me we circled a new doctor's office for half an hour.  I finally pulled into some parking lot and called.  "Oh, yes" said the nice receptionist.  "GPS puts you on the wrong side of the over pass.  You can see us from where you are.  Come on over."

MapQuest and I get along famously.  They even write out the instructions just like I used to put them on the envelope.  I should be collecting a royalty.


10 comments:

  1. Hahaha..I use yellow stickies!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  2. We start out using the GPS and my husband always ends up turning it off and letting me direct.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i JUST stop and ask someone!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. On top of it all, they said on the news that the solar storm is going to really knock out all the GPS systems! I'm also directionally impaired. When I had my kids around to help me I was doing OK, but I don't know how many times I heard, "No Mom, your OTHER right!" I still struggle with it and always allow time for getting lost when I drive to an unfamiliar place.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't like to drive in heavy traffic and I am hopeless at giving directions while my husband drives. No wonder we never go anywhere! If I ever had a system it would have to be something like yours.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A GPS can't be trusted at anytime because they lead you up the garden path most times. The envelope is a good idea as is a good map or street directory. I found it strange that an accountant of all people would ask whether you carried a gun??? :-).

    ReplyDelete
  7. My rotten father told me that your left hand is where your thumb is on the right. 'Thanks a lot Father' Surprisingly despite me right/left issues I do give good directions and have good directions sense. The driver needs to watch my hands as I tell them to turn left or right though. These days I am (mostly) pretty good, but if I am over tired ......

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am at my most dangerous on the days when I know I have got it right, or should that be left? It just doesn't seem to register with me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mapquest isn't always right. A couple of months ago I was out of town with a friend. We decided on a restaurant for dinner, but the directions we were given sent us down a dead-end residential street instead of a half mile to the north on the main street!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I throw the map into the back seat and just let my husby (Ol' Iron Boogers) find it. He's amazing. Hasn't missed once!

    ReplyDelete