Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I’m Lost

I don’t mean I’m metaphorically lost. I mean I’m literally lost. Okay, not right now. I know where I am right now. I’m at home. But should I leave that home, there is at least a 75% chance that I’ll get lost, and that holds true even if I’m going somewhere I’ve been before.  I’ve been noticing it more and more lately, and I don’t know if it’s a brain tumor or if I just don’t know my way around very well. I’m sure I probably should know my way around by now, since I’ve lived in this town for almost a year, but I work from home and that means I don’t get out much and it’s kind of embarrassing when I have to admit to somebody that I don’t really know where something is, especially when they get all, “Well do you know where [other thing] is?” and I’ll be like, “No,” and then they’ll kinda sigh and be like, “Well, do you know where [yet another thing] is?” and I’ll be like “No,” and then they’ll kinda huff and look me square in the eye and go, “Well you’ve got to know where [thing everybody knows where it is] is?” and I’ll throw up my hands and squeal “I DON’T KNOW WHERE ANYTHING IS!” and they’ll just kinda roll their eyes and sigh because I’m obviously a dumbass.

I have GPS in my phone but it doesn’t help much because I live in West Virginia, which is the Land That GPS Forgot. It keeps telling me to take a right turn into a cow and at one point, it actually asked me to get out of my car and swim across a lake.

Whenever I go anywhere I spend a lot of time driving around trying to figure out where the hell I am. Even when the GPS does tell me to turn onto actual roads and stuff, it often waits until I’ve actually passed them before it says anything. The motherfucker reads maps like my ex-boyfriend, ha ha ha ha ha. No but seriously, once we tried to go from Kalamazoo to Ann Arbor and we ended up in Detroit.

Here's a map if you're not familiar with Michigan.

The best time I ever got lost was when I was in college, and my then-partner and I were trying to go to a Halloween party. She was dressed as a “housewife,” which to her meant wearing pajamas and a bathrobe and half-assedly sticking some curlers in her hair, because we were 20 and figured no one gets dressed if they don’t have to. I was dressed as a pregnant nun.1 We were trying to find this off-campus house party, and in my day, kids, we didn’t have GPS. We had to rely on directions people gave us, and half the time those directions would include lines like, “Yer gunna take a right where the old school house used ta be,” or “Now yer gunna pass a McDonald’s and after it there’s gunna be a left turn. DON’T GO THAT WAY.”

So, we got lost. After an interminable time trying to figure out where the hell we were, we stopped at a McDonald’s, despondent. I wanted to go in and ask for directions, but the gf was embarrassed because we looked ridiculous. We stood in the parking lot and had a little argument about it.

A man sitting in a nearby car overheard us. “You girls lost?” he asked.

“Yeah!” one of us, probably me, announced and I approached the strange man’s car with too much enthusiasm. It was kind of a beat-up car and he was kind of a beat-up man, but I was a young and from the sticks. “We’re trying to get to 5555 Maple Drive, do you know where that is?”

“Of course I know where it is, I’m the Orkin man!” And “Boom!” the strange man pulled out a detailed city map – it was one of those maps that’s so detailed it’s printed in a book of 200 pages. This was Roanoke, VA, by the way – not exactly a major metropolitan center.2

The Orkin man flipped to the relevant page of his map and pointed. “You’re here,” he said, “And you want to go on down this way, take a right here, and then go on to your destination, here.” I’m proud to say that, thanks to that serendipitous encounter with the Orkin man, we made it that house party, and the gf bragged for months about how we got directions from the Orkin man.

Of course, she doesn’t remember it now. 

1 Not really. I can't remember what I was dressed as and neither can anyone else, so "pregnant nun" it is.
2 Don't tell them I said that.