Last Friday was one of our semi-annual events for the Ohio District of Kiwanis. I had the tubs of registration materials, merchandise, recognitions and workshop materials all packed up and ready to be loaded into vehicles like they were pieces of a conference style game of Jenga.
My boss and I were doing a walk through of board materials when it happened. The start of what I call the phone calls of dread. Every single conference, there are a dozen people who have a misguided notion that I am capable of giving directions to the event. It’s not that I don’t know how to get to the venue, heck, I can take three different routes to the facility – it’s just that I seem unable to verbalize them. Road names completely escape me, landmarks disappear in my head and the best I can seem to do is wave in the general direction. Sometimes, I even screw that up.
This directional incapacitation is not limited to just work either. A relatively new friend asked me how to get to our neighbor’s house so she could buy honey. My brain sputtered, went blank and I stood there trying to give directions by mimicking turns on the road and giving obscure references. I am certain she had absolutely no idea where the spot our school bus hit the skunk in 1978 was located. It was; however, the only reference point I could come up with. I felt like an idiot and sounded like one, too.
The Hubs is capable of giving directions – complicated ones. They include multiple turns, road names, including route numbers, and everything; it’s really annoying because he is relatively new to the area.
Not too long ago, he was talking about someone’s new house on a certain road. I asked him where it was, and he just gaped at me. Admittedly, the address was literally just two roads over from where we live, but for him to be aghast was a bit much.
If he had simply said, it’s the same road where that girl you didn’t like in middle school lived – you know, the one whose mailbox mysteriously was packed full of cow manure that night you went to a slumber party at your friend’s home; those are directions completely comprehensible to me.
If he had mentioned the proximity of the oak tree that had fallen across the road 30 years ago, I would have been able to pinpoint the exact location. When I mentioned this, he asked how on earth that detail could have stuck in my mind. When I explained that it was a really, big tree, and a lot of people worked to get it cut up and off the road so the tractors could get down that road, he just shook his head in disbelief.
Thankfully, there are any number of applications on the Internet that can provide useful directions, but a few of my friends absolutely understand my skewed explanations. In fact, the other day, one of them told me to take the exit right after the spot where the semi-truck hit that bull several years ago. I knew exactly where she was talking about, just don’t ask either of us the name of the road.