Lost and (not) found

I have confessed earlier that I am severely directionally challenged. But yesterday’s direction disaster may have made its way to the coveted number one spot.

I left my house at 7:30 for an estimated 11-minute, 4 mile long drive. I was supposed to be at the school that I where was subbing at 8:00. However, I always plan for a wrong turn (or four) and usually leave 15 minutes early for anywhere.

Mapquest’s directions seemed so simple. 4 miles. 4 turns total. This supposedly simple trip ended up taking me 1 hr and 15 minutes, and was 50 miles long.

It all started so well. I made the first 3 rights with ease, and was even confident enough to slow down for every red light and smile to my fellow morning commuters as we stopped.

Little did I know the 4th turn was waiting and ready for revenge.

The direction was “Turn Right on Boone Drive.” Although I’ve lived in Iowa (on and off) for the past 6 years, I’ve never heard of such a street. I kept my eyes peeled…and…nothing.

Did I go to a gas station to put me back on track when I had clearly gone farther than the 2 miles it said to go until I hit Boone? Of course not.

Did I do the wise thing and pull over, or even ponder the fact that driving 10 miles in the same direction was not going to make “Boone” magically appear? Of course not.

Did I think, hmm, maybe taking random streets through surrounding cities is not going to all of a sudden make “Boone” appear? Of course not.

The problem? I had no way to call the school to say I was stuck and have worse navigational skills than a five-year old. I eventually called 4-1-1 to get the number. The secretary was really nice about it, and asked where I was. I said “Meredith Dr.” [I actually almost said near “Casey’s General Store,” which appear on nearly every corner.] She explained that I will need to go “North” or “South” on something until I hit something else.

I obviously forgot the directions as soon as she said them.

Did I ask her to repeat them? Of course not.

I ended up in the middle of gravelled, country roads, asking a man riding a small tractor for help. He was kind, and also looked at me as if I was absolutely crazy.

The school was (far too) nice about my 45 minute late arrival. The students had just started to arrive when I came, and I was able to start the day slightly frantic but fine. The use of the word “but” (which the fourth graders thought was you-know-what and caused them to laugh so hard I thought that a few were going to hyperventilate) lessened the mood instantly.

Are you as horrible at directions as I am? How do I learn my North from my South? How can I realize that I will never “find” my way out of a situation without some serious help?


10 thoughts on “Lost and (not) found

  1. In the nicest manner possible, I want to remind you about the time you got lost going to my (now your) apartment complex. I won’t go into embarrassing detail, since I’m sure you remember it.

    You are amazing. šŸ™‚

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