Mapnesia

January 10, 2019 at 5:56 pm 3 comments

map maps american book

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

I suffer from a condition I call Geographic Dyslexia. Very seldom can I tell you whether I’m driving north, south, east, or west on a given route. The day after I had moved into it, I couldn’t make my way back to my own townhouse after running a close-to-home errand. Had to flag down the UPS guy and ask him to guide me home. (I know this sounds crazy, I blurted, but I just moved in, and I am in a panic, and they all look alike, and blah, blah, blah.)

Granted, there are dozens of identical clusters of these structures in my new neighborhood, but still. Talk about humiliating.
After trying in vain to get the hang of the mapping device on my ancient smart phone, I rationalized that the phone’s battery isn’t that reliable, anyway. So for Christmas, I bought myself a Garmin GPS. Best $80.00 investment I ever made.
I now venture out with confidence. No more declining invitations because I’m afraid I’ll never make it to my destination. No more staying in after dark because it’s oh-so-much more terrifying getting lost at nighttime than in broad daylight. No more tears as I berate myself for being so dumb, dumb, dumb. This feeling of freedom from Fear of Driving is a wonderful thing indeed.
Okay, okay: In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that—although I regularly and vocally declare my love for the voice that now guides me—I have actually gotten lost twice since I started plugging this little miracle machine into my car’s idle cigarette lighter socket.
The first time, the wrong destination address got entered. (I should have double-checked it.)
The second time, I was trekking clear across town to Bloomington, City of No Through-Streets Whatsoever. Not Garmin’s fault, this. I blame the blasted roundabouts. A pox on the pretentious city planners who decided these quaint approaches to traffic control would serve drivers well in a country 75 times the size of England, their birthplace!

I say they should show a bit more respect for the directionally challenged, don’t you think?

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Keith  |  January 11, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    This used to be me years ago and it was real problem for me when we lived in Cook County, IL. Ended up having several different highly detailed maps in the car at all times.

    I am very thankful for Magellan GPS and smartphone GPS now, even though they aren’t perfect or up to date. Makes things much easier overall.

    But how will the almost universal use of GPS by our young whippersnappers affect them? If they aren’t taught how to read a map and practice it regularly what might happen? Gonna find out eventually.

    Reply
  • 2. kirkhams  |  January 11, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    My very thoughts, in considering the generations who grew up with high tech assistance for virtually everything. If we never correct our own spelling errors, how will we ever learn to spell? And there are so many other examples. A mixed blessing, for sure.

    Reply
  • 3. Mary  |  January 14, 2019 at 2:35 am

    I suffer from the same handicapping condition! Love your writing about it.

    Reply

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