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Posts Tagged ‘Global Positioning System’

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

My friend, Nancy, of Not Quite Old, just wrote another of her hilarious posts.  This one was about sacrificing  her own time to do something with her husband; something he loves.  If you haven’t already found her blog I personally guarantee it will make you laugh out loud.

Anyway, Nancy was the inspiration to relate my own huge sacrifice, which I make at least once a year for the sake of marital bliss (and for stocking up on spousal IOU’s).

What is this Supreme Sacrifice?

 Getting in a car with Bill when the destination route is untried and unfamiliar.

Together we set off to explore uncharted highways and byways, but even an unexplored side street will qualify.

“What fun,” you say, “you must have an adventuresome marriage!”

Well, maybe not.

I think Bill thinks he wants to explore new places and discover new destinations and see the world.   And he thinks he will be able to accomplish this in our car.   And  he thinks he will know how to get wherever he is going.  “No problem Babe.  It will be fun!”  However, I know he is practicing the art of self deception and dragging me along with him down the rabbit hole.

Hope Springs 

We begin each journey with good intentions and hearts filled with good cheer and high hopes for a happy outcome.  After many years of marriage, however, I do have some mild concerns and downright jitters.

Sometimes I even break out in a rash.

My hero, Bill, is always the driver.  He is a wonderful driver.

There is only one problem though.

My hero gets LOST! 

And he does not get lost like normal heroes get lost. 

Sometimes he can actually see where he is going, but he still can’t get there. 

Other times, he is lost in a parking lot and goes around in circles, grumbling all the way.

He is even lost on routes once taken, like would you believe yesterday?

He inevitably overshoots turnoffs and winds up driving quite out of the way to make U-turns.

The grumbling escalates and he eventually resorts to profanity to help him find his way. (Note: this means I am failing in my assigned duties to navigate).

To prevent the escalation of frustration, I say yell, “NO, TURN LEFT!”

but he inevitably turns Right.

Then I say yell, “NO, STAY IN THIS LANE,”

but he is drifting onto an off ramp and hollering,

“SH–!&$%Xx!@o!”

Ask directions?   Ha!

Maps?  Ha! Ha!

“Don’t you have a GPS system or a smart phone?” you ask.

Of course we have a GPS system and it helps occasionally with astute concentration on my part. And we even have a smart phone!  But Bill is still always LOST, especially if I get complacent and file a nail or read something, or “heaven forbid” relax, even for a second.  Because when I look up, we are miraculously in unintended territory, and there are frustrated cries from the driver’s seat.

The Navigator

They say phobias begin when you are young.  When I was a girl and we went on family trips, my Dad appointed me The Navigator.  This great honor created anxiety in the effort to please.

Now, when entering a car with Bill, I am once again transformed into the Travel Leader, the Spirit Guide, the Person in Charge – ugghh – The Navigator!  Once again, I must get us where we are going and return us to familiar roads leading home, or back to the motel, or wherever it is we can disembark and feel safe again.

This is my durned duty.

And this is my ultimate sacrifice for marital bliss.

The enormity of the responsibility leaves  imagined heart palpitations, indigestion, bouts of worry, fear, guilt (if I can’t find the way), and finally exhaustion.  Definition of a phobia?  You bet.  I am terrified of getting lost!

Sometimes I think Bill notices the rash or if I am about to faint, because he agreed we should always take the same road to town, the same streets while there, and the same road back.  People wonder why we need directions to their homes or places of business in such a small town.  It’s because we are one-road-in-one-road-out folks.  Familiarity breeds contentment.

Well, not always.

There are vacations – fun filled adventures via automobile.  Our next trip is in the fall to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where there are really only two main roads and if you go down a side street, you wind up in the ocean.  Chances are good for a peaceful trip too, because we have been there – in the ocean – before.

Can anyone recommend a non-drowsy tranquilizer for a self-sacrificing Reluctant Navigator?

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Lola

Nowadays there is no excuse for a driver to get lost – not with the wonderful Global Positioning Systems around.  The little gadget with a lady inside actually talks you through the twists and turns of life, and almost everyone I know has one or has tried one.   Our youngest granddaughter named ours “Lola.”

I LOVE LOLA!

Well, at t first I loved Lola.  She was so cute when she said, “Recalculating” or even when she consistently interrupted interesting conversations with “Turn Left in 1.6 miles” and “Continue on Highway 81 for 2.4 miles and then turn right on Gleason Street.”  Isn’t modern technology wonderful?

Lola always does her annoying best to get us there.  Even so, my husband and I still manage to get lost in strange cities.  Once, in New Jersey, we could actually see our destination but began to think it was a mirage. “Look!  There’s our hotel across the street!”  After infuriating ineffectual circling and extreme frustration (since Lola kept droning, “RECALCULATING!”), we finally gave up and called the hotel concierge.  “Help! We can see your place from here, but it looks like it is to the left of us and there’s no left turn and if we go right, we wind up in traffic going the wrong way.  No, I don’t know what street we are on because there’s no street sign.  A GPS?   Ha!”

I don’t know why we have so much trouble getting somewhere when the somewhere is in plain sight.  And although I would like to, I can’t really blame Lola for the New Jersey debacle.  Like I said, “In her somewhat annoying way, she tries.”  But, at least that particular time we wound up laughing.  It should be noted that we are not always so amicable in stressed traffic situations or other times when we get lost in parking garages.

RECALCULATING LOVE FOR LOLA

There was the time we were in the Hershey Park, Pennsylvania parking lot, ready to leave.  “Where did we come in?” Bill asked.  “Uh back behind those buildings over there I think.”  And off we went, heading for the back of the lot, which turned out to be the wrong way after all.  “I thought you said BEHIND THOSE BUILDINGS!”  “Uhhhh… where are we anyway?” I wonder as we aimlessly circle the parking lot.  Finally, we hit a spot where Miss Smarty Pants Lola kicked in and said, “RECALCULATING!”  Grrrrr.

I can hear her infuriating voice now, “Turn Right at XYZ Street in 1.6 miles.”  But OMG – Bill turned LEFT onto a freeway going nowhere with no turns to get back for the next 60 miles! “RECALCULATING.”   Oh, Lola – SHUT UP!  And “Why didn’t you tell me to turn LEFT?” hollers Bill.  “BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU WERE LISTENING TO LOLA!”   “WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO ANYWAY – LOLA?”   x*ja$#xxx”/X@#!!!  Now I am ready, really ready, to jump out the door onto the freeway.

We still take maps too, and plot our travel routes in strange cities the old way.   And I still try to balance everything on my lap and go from reading glasses to sunglasses and back trying to give supplemental directions to help Lola with her insurmountable tasks.

By the second day of our vacation I think I dislike Lola.  By the third day, I dislike her intensely and I wonder if she would stop talking if I stepped on her.

The fact is, we are getting ready for another vacation and I can guarantee we will be lost more often than not.  So guess who is coming along TO HELP?  LOLA!

WHATEVER LOLA WANTS, LOLA GETS

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