One of my friends is directionally challenged! Now, you all know by now that the only way I can explain what I mean is by telling you her story.
The other day, I was waiting for my friend to come over. Waiting, waiting and then waiting some more. I tried calling her cell phone but I didn’t get an answer. I even texted. Who would answer a text even though they weren’t answering a phone call? She was supposed to come over at 10 am, it was now 1130 am and the thunderstorm Gunther had called for had begun 15 minutes ago.
After trying to get a hold of her for the 6th time and getting the answering machine, I decided to start a search party of 1. Frightened and extremely worried for her safety, I put on my rubber boots, picked up my umbrella and reached for the front door. As I whipped the door open, there she was, standing in front of me. Ushering her in, I rambled on and on about how I had been trying to reach her for the past hour. Then I chastised her for not calling me and stressing me out. Noticing how soaked she was because her teeth were chattering, I paused to get her a towel so she could dry off. I made her a cup of tea. (Do me a favour? substitute the words cup and tea, for shot and gin throughout this one blog!). So, I gave her a cup of tea and took one for myself as well, you know, to calm her nerves?
Place judgment here, ok enough of that! It was 430 pm somewhere in the world! After a few minutes of sitting on the couch sipping the gin I mean tea, I asked her to explain what had happened. This is what she told me in her own words. “I got off the bus and saw a building that looked like yours, and started walking towards it.” Immediately, I was alarmed why hadn’t she realized that there were plenty of buildings that looked just like mine in this area? I had lived here for 3 years and she was always over. But I shouldn’t have been judging her. Continuing on she said, “when I finally got to the building, I realized that it wasn’t the right building. I had to keep walking. Then, it began raining and then it began to thunder! I was in a panic! I tried to find a phone booth because I had forgotten my cell phone and my umbrella.” Oh man! If I had known that she was so badly directionally challenged I could have met her at the bus stop.
As we sipped our tea and she tearfully told me about how she had ended up completely lost, a moment of clarity appeared before us both! This was not the first time this had happened to her. It had been happened before. We would go to the mall together and into a store. When we finished shopping we would leave through the same door we had entered through. I would always have to turn her around to go in the right direction. She would never recall which way we were headed before we had gone into the store. Then when we were trying to leave the mall, it was difficult for her to figure out which exit to use in order to get back to the bus stop.
She then reminded me that sometimes she does very well at navigating her way around. Once, she successfully found her way out of a smaller mall and got into the family car. Sitting down on the passenger’s side of the car, she proceeded to speak in her language to her hubby. She told him all about her wonderful mall adventures. Followed by, and still, in their language, she told him about what she had bought and the deals she’d found. Finally, she ended her rant with where they needed to go next…no response. Her hubby was quiet but not this quiet! She looked over at the driver side of the car and noticed size 5 feet.
Her husband’s feet were a size 12 wide. The man was wearing a t-shirt so, next she noticed his red hairy arms as well. She quickly looked around the car and then at the driver she had sat beside. You know as if to say…WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY HUSBAND! Then the smell of the pine scented thingy dangling off the rear-view mirror swiftly infiltrated her nostrils. She recalled forbidding him from buying those, since, in her opinion, “the smell was the most un-pine like scent she had ever smelled.” This man was not her hubby! He was a totally confused by this situation, stranger! She looked over at the car parked beside the stranger’s car and saw her husband laughing and waving. Apologizing, first in her language and then in English she quickly vacated the stranger’s car.
When we finished laughing she said to me, “it’s clear to me that I am directionally challenged.” We both began to laugh again, then wondered, is this really a “thing?” She struggles every time she goes to a mall or any crowded place, but is it a “thing?”. Is it even possible to have no compass, no GPS, no reference of how to get back to where you started? We remedied her problem by making sure she always has her cell phone. Any time she calls I give her directions or help her relax by reminding her of the morning of gin. Oops, I mean tea!
I told this story because she thinks she’s alone in the world in her directionally challenged-ness. Actually, what really happened was, she requested that I share her story and ask…if there any others or if she is indeed the only one?
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