How to Drive Me Crazy

I am not directionally challenged.
Okay, maybe sometimes, if there are too many doors in a bathroom, I have trouble reconciling which door was my entrance. And maybe I back out of our driveway and hit the television that was on the curb, but other than that, I’m good.

Since I began driving, more than twenty years ago, I’ve made countless road trips in the 500 mile range, and I’ve been lost three times. Once, I missed a junction sign in one of those small towns that leads only to other small towns. Another time I had the misfortune of finding out that the state of Georgia has State Road 16 as well as Highway 16, and those are not interchangeable. And then y’all know about the vet
*hangs head*


Anyway, I do not live and die by maps. I despise being asked where I am on a road trip. Usually my MIL calls me while I’m drivin, and asks me for a mile marker, so she can find me on the map. When MIL goes on road trips, she doesn’t drive, and therefore, can leisurely sit, tracing her route on the map in her lap. Clearly, this would be ill-advised for drivers. MIL always insists on knowing which podunk town I’m in, or worse, which towns I’ve already passed. Yeah. So while I drive, she sits with her map, and my inability to give her this crucial information is a sore subject.
I once drove from Indianapolis to the Chesapeake Bay, and I had nothing but disappointment for her, state after state.

This is the same woman who asked me if I knew where her son’s base was in Iraq. My answer, “Where the Tigris meets the Euphrates,” was too vague. Good enough for the Garden of Eden, but not good enough for deployed sons.
I never sought to understand the location, because honestly, knowing the latitude and longitude of him didn’t make it any closer or relevant.
Same kinda people write, “Afghanistan” on the packages they mail, and wonder why they come back…


Until our recent house shopping, I hadn’t realized this trait was a genetic issue, although I had been given a clue…

A few years ago, I drove from Fort Stewart, Georgia to Fort Lee, Virginia. A couple of hours into my trip, I called my husband to say, “We’re in Florence.” I tried to tell him how the kids were, and what the trip had been like. He kept askin me, “Florence?” and I kept sayin, “Yes, FLORENCE!”  He asked me, “Isn’t that in the northern part of the state?”  I had the urge to hurl my phone across the travel plaza, but I remembered how much my phone costs…so I said, “I dunno, am I lookin at a fuckin map right now? You wanna talk about where exactly Florence is? You can call yer mama, she can get out her atlas and y’all can just talk about it all you like!” Then he said, “You can listen to dial tone.”  (Which I didn’t think was smart, when the woman comin to get your ass is only three hours from home, and could turn around.)  I explained, “You know how I hate that! I’m just tryin to drive!” He tried to say somethin, but I yelled all loudly, like some crazy-ass bitch in the travel plaza, “I’m in Florence, South Carolina! Why isn’t that good enough? WHY ISN’T THAT GOOD ENOUGH?!?”  Then I told him I was sorry I had called and I would call him later. Click.


I didn’t call him again until I was about a mile away.

This last month, as we looked at properties, every house I’d comment on, he’d ask, “Where is it?” I would say somethin like, “Tenth and Vine.” This was never enough. He’d map it. Then when he tried to tell his parents where it was, they’d ask him to be more specific. “Which side of the street?” So for five to ten minutes, they’d all discuss where it was in relation to the big church or the Shell station or whatever, while I rolled my eyes and raged inside.
Saying it’s in a specific neighborhood wasn’t of any help, either. Also not recommended? Screaming, “It’s in the same neighborhood as the last four houses we’ve mapped!”

Over and over, we’d do this, and over and over, I would walk the laptop over to my in-laws.
They do this with everything. Directions and locations are extremely important to them. They can spend considerable amounts of time arguing about whether something is at 28th, 29th, or 30th and Meridian.
Me? I’m all, “Let’s drive down Meridian Street until we see it.”
I am an irrational, useless twat.


I don’t know why it bothers me. I feel like they are making something out of nothing, but then there’s me, shaking with violent thoughts, obviously making something out of nothing, myself.

So I have to find acceptance.

The truth is that my husband is terrible with giving directions, following directions, and finding his way around without street maps. You give him a land navigation topographical map and he can capture the flag, find all the bad guys, or get a platoon from point A to B, but don’t ask him to head west on County Road and turn left after the Safeway. If you do, you’ll wanna map that out, note nearby landmarks, give him time to talk to his parents about it, etc, etc.


About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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14 Responses to How to Drive Me Crazy

  1. Shay Newell says:

    I’m with you on this. And not just cause I love you so. 😉


  2. Rob Roberts says:

    People out here travel by landmarks, and it drives me crazy. “Turn left at the turkey farm, go past the alpaca farm, and if youve gone over the hill, you went to far. Oh, and mind that cemetery out in the field, thats about the half way mark.” Its like, Seriously?? Rolling hills and barns all look the same. Some barns are big, and some are small, but they all look the same. The only saving grace is that turkey farms are quite fragrant in the summer..theres nothing quite like that smell..
    And if its winter…UGH. Rolling hills and trees ARE ALL THE SAME WHEN COVERED IN SNOW. Give me road names and such, and Ill figure it out. Even if “Just down the road” is a 45 minute drive…


  3. Hollie says:

    I thought I was the only one to get lost in a multi-door bathroom! I’m hopeless. I have no idea where I am in relationship to anything else at any given time! I feel your pain!


  4. Sounds like you’d like a trip I took many, many, many years ago. In era of the First Wife, not to be confused with the Good Wife, the family was traveling on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, from New Haven, CT to somewhere in New Hampshire (I can’t remember the name of the town), where First Wife’s brother Alan, and his family lived. I always enjoyed visiting Alan. He owned 120 acres out in the middle of nowhere, and I could feel all the tension and issues from day-to-day life flowing out of me as we traveled.

    So, it was pouring rain in CT, but I figured it’s only rain, so let’s get going! Some 60 miles or so later we crossed into Massachusetts, and the rain turned to sleet and freezing rain. Cars were spinning out all around us, and many ended up in the ditches on either side of the road. But I kept plugging on. After 60 Miles of MA we entered Vermont, and the sleet and freezing rain turned to snow. We got off I91 at exit 3 (if my memory is correct), crossed a bridge, and stopped at a diner in New Hampshire. This being time before cell phones (that was sometime after the dinosaurs), we called Alan from a pay phone in the diner and told him we were in New Hampshire and would get there when we get there.

    We get back on the state highway, and I followed a plow for many miles. The snow kept coming and I kept driving. Eventually, the plow turned off the road I needed to take, so I was on my own, with over 1 foot of snow already on the ground, and more still coming. A little while later I turned off this main road to a side road.

    Now the trip got interesting! The directions were to take the second paved road on the right. Second paved road??? I couldn’t see ANY roads. I made an executive decision and took a road that I thought was the second paved road (I later learned it was the FIRST paved road). After driving a little while I realized this wasn’t right, so I turned around, went back to the earlier road, and found a house with lights on.

    We stopped, I knocked, and explained my situation, and asked to use the phone. I called Alan and he came down with his truck (and plow), and I followed him to his driveway. When the snow was too deep for me to make it up his driveway, he towed me up.

    I had one of the nicest vacations I had ever had!!

    So, don’t forget: second paved road on the right with 18″ of snow on the ground and no idea where any road was!!!


  5. meANXIETYme says:

    OMG this made me laugh so much! 😀


  6. Sherry says:

    I am beginning to thing that directional issues is a MAJOR item to be discussed before determining that this or that dude is suitable marriage material. My husband used to rag on me constantly because Iowa and Cedar Rapids particularly are idiotic in their mapping. Cedar Rapids has quadrants and is bisected by a river so not all roads go through, and you always have to know whether you are in the SW or the NE and then roads don’t run north and south east and west anyhow and it’s all a mess. Here in NM, my husband has no clue where he is 90% of the time, and I tool around like I’ve lived here all my life. “Look for the jagged mountains dear, those are the Organs, when you are driving toward them you are going East,” I tease. He is not amused. You and I are much alike Joey, and that kinda scares me somehow.


    • *nods* I tell you, I’m a tooler-arounder. I always know the shortcuts, etc. I don’t know that it’s a required quality in a spouse, but it certainly beats a guy who will drive 45 minutes out of his way because he’s in denial about bein lost! No regrets about the marriage, but it does drive me crazy.


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