I am the proud owner of a map of the Amana Colonies from Casey’s General Store. How did I end up with such an odd artifact? I was lost.
I have probably uttered the words “I was lost” well over 1,000 times in my life. I leave myself an extra 15 minutes when going anywhere, regardless if the mystfying Mapquest tells me that it will take 5 minutes.
The odd thing? I try so hard to be good at directions. I don’t text or talk on the phone when I drive. I keep my eyes peeled for any landmarks or road signs that will potentially (read: certainly) help me out in the future. I quiz myself on Mapquest in hopes that I’ll remember the way (if only the directions detailed someone’s birthday).
Yet regardless, I end up in the same place: Making small talk to a gas station attendant, stuck in a place which only contains cows and cornfields, or, even worse, going the wrong direction on a one-way street. Here are three of my most directionally dense decisions:
1.) I once got lost in Evergreen Park, where I have lived my entire life until college. This town also spans only a few square miles [Note: I actually have no idea what a square mile means, but I know my town is very small and I feel directionally savvy using the term ‘square mile’]. I went to Pappy’s to eat, and ended up stuck in a cul-de-sac and had no idea how to get out. I made circles around Circle Park and debated frantically calling someone to come find me, which would have taken anyone from any area of Evergreen, less than 5 minutes to do so.
2.) I had a date in Downtown Des Moines, and ended up 45 minutes late. All the one-way streets completely threw me off, and, this time, I decided it was worth a call (perhaps because I no longer had to pay for a prepaid phone?) to my friend Kathy. [A sidenote: I had previously visited Downtown Des Moines at least 45 times, and, for any non-Iowan readers, Downtown Des Moines does not = Downtown Chicago]. My date was forgiving after a few drinks, and, somehow, someway, there was a second one.
3.) I had classes at Moraine Valley, which, like the other two instances, I had visited numerous times in the past. It is usually a 15 minute drive home. I somehow took a wrong turn and ended up going through plenty of sketchy areas, then a Forest Preserve, the highway, and, finally a private golf course in Lemont (which is nowhere near my house). This detour lasted approximately 1.5 hours.
Are you street savvy, or directionally dense?