I really do have the worst sense of direction although it’s improved over time. I recall when I moved from Philadelphia to the suburbs years ago, I took the kids for a car ride to a local playground. It was five minutes away but it took 45 minutes to get home. The return trip included tears. Mine. I was accustomed to visual clues from living in a city, navigating by recognizing stores on corners or asking for directions. Out here, all I saw were trees. I was continually lost in the forest with nobody around to help.
My navigation skills improved through the years and it’s never as frustrating now as it was the first few months as a suburbanite. Back then, I dreamed of a helper navigation system. I imagined just saying the address and boom, it would take me there like magic (or like a taxi.) When GPS became available in most cars, including mine, I thought a version of my idea had finally come to fruition and the days of being lost were gone forever. I was wrong. My car has GPS. I program it. It directs me. But sometimes, it takes me on a road that’s been closed for years or has me circling the same streets over and over in a maddening loop. I can do that by myself thank you very much.
I recall a PBS show that presented a gender-based theory for internal navigation. It suggested that for generations men went hunting and over time developed a kind of grid in their heads to find their way home. Women on the other hand stayed closer to camp and didn’t need to navigate. So no grid for me. Frankly, I have nothing remotely resembling a grid in my head. According to this idea, I conclude that my female ancestors never left home. This descendant would have appreciated if they went on an occasional hunt. Maybe that would have helped.
My husband on the other hand has a great sense of direction, proving the ancestor hunting theory at least in our family. He also has complete confidence in GPS. Even if I state absolutely that it’s leading him in the wrong direction (it does happen) he will defer to the GPS. He’s a GPS devotee, possibly with a gender determined grid in his head. I find GPS is helpful while not being 100% reliable. But hey. I get around okay these days and even help other directionally challenged individuals from time to time. It could be worse.
Finding my way,