Blog Post

Why my family won’t let me navigate

Y’all my family has diagnosed me with a terrible affliction: directional dyslexia. I’ve mentioned this problem before in my writings but it seems to get worse with age.

I have no difficulty determining N, S, E or W, as long as I know which direction I’m standing. It’s “left” and “right” that give me trouble. These days instead of telling the person driving to turn left, I simply point. Otherwise, I’m likely to say right while pointing left. It’s been known to happen.

Baby Girl realized I had this problem when she was only eight years old. She would have taken the car keys if she were old enough to drive, but instead she took the map (one of those folded papers covered with numbered lines that we used in the olden days). From then on, Baby Girl navigated on our road trips. Then a few years ago, along came Sweetums, who is great with directions. He bought me a GPS for the car and the world has been a kinder, gentler place since then. I even erased the “L” and “R” painted on my shoes.

But from time to time, my affliction rears its spinning head. Last year, I drove down to Auburn (a route I really can’t screw up) to pick up Baby Girl for a family baby shower in Georgia. Baby Girl wanted to know my route intentions before we left, knowing from experience to be on her guard for relapses. I told her not to worry, I had the GPS and the route only required a couple of exits, one of which was early in the drive and one near the end.

So Baby Girl and I relaxed and began laughing and reminiscing. Before long, I looked at the GPS, which was drawing red lines all over the place, frantically trying to get me to turn around.

Ooops. I’d missed the exit by about five miles. Baby Girl started to tease that I could even get lost using a GPS (I like to remind her I wasn’t lost, merely misdirected. There’s a difference). I reminded her she was the one who was supposed to be watching me. She knows I should never think and drive. So really it’s her fault, am I right?

Since then, Sweetums has done most of the navigating, by which I mean all of the navigating, which is fine with me. I prop my feet on my little inflatable car footstool (yes, it’s a thing and yes I own one), wrap myself in my blankie, fluff my pillow and take a nap. Although I try not to nap so long that I miss something of importance because Sweetums and I sometimes differ on what sights are of importance. We learned that lesson on our honeymoon when he let me sleep right past Mansfield, Missouri, and the house where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived.

It’s OK though. We got past it. Basically he told me if I wanted to stop somewhere, I should drive. And I told him…nothing. I shut up.

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