Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Sense of Direction Is Hereditary


Waiting for daughter to arrive at a meeting I get a call from her in near panic. I know this sound. She's lost again.

Me? I'm descended from homing pigeons. I'm not above getting lost or a little turned around, but with a little diligence and a few choice words I manage to get to my destination albeit a little late. But those moments are rare. More often than not, I know exactly where I am geographically. I definitely got this trait from my mother, the AAA Queen. She will proudly tell you that she can whip up a trip-tik with the map laid out on the counter facing the customer, upside-down to her, and perfectly wiggle that orange highlighter across the entire US of A!

The geography trait was passed down to my youngest son. I recall him chirping up from the backseat, barely able to talk, pointing out familiar landmarks. His siblings staring at him awestruck because THEY had no idea where they were. When Amanda finally had her drivers license I would send her youngest brother along for the ride just to make sure she could find her way home. And no, I am not kidding.

Amanda inherited her lack of direction from her father. I used to joke that he would get turned around in a cardboard box. It never failed to amuse me how he would be completely lost in a shopping mall - me totally secure, willing to place money, which end was anchored by Sears.

Keith got a mix of the two. He needs solid directions, but has managed his way around town. Only once have I received a frantic call as he took a wrong exit off the highway and landed in downtown St. Louis. And to be honest, I've made that mistake and it's not an easy one to undo. Between Google Maps and him rattling off street signs I finally got him to terra firma.

Amanda read street signs to me and while the streets were familiar, they weren't so familiar that I knew their intersections and I certainly couldn't discern which direction she was headed. She was following MapQuest which had directed her some fucked up way into the neighborhood. Had she called me to begin with I would have had her there in a total of three turns. Finally I asked, "is the sun on your left?"


"turn left." I told her major streets to look for and gave her right/left directions.

I really have NO clue where she was. It's too bad I've finished her Christmas Shopping because she really needs GPS.

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