Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oh, The Shame...The Shame

I have documented my inability to discern directions before. It's nothing new. It's a well-known fact that I can't find my way around the block, much less around a city I don't know without a map or a GPS device.

Unfortunately, this weekend I had neither.

And Lo! The National Guard almost had to be called out to find me.

It happened thusly:

The Girl plays volleyball. She had a tournament in a city about an hour north of here. It's a city I've been to maybe three times in my entire life. Even though I've visited there very seldom, I could find any place you asked me to find.

Just so long as it was along either side of the freeway that runs through the city and I could keep that place in sight the whole time I was traveling to it.

Otherwise, I'm, you know, SUNK.

Luckily for me the motel we decided to stay in was just off the freeway. The Girl had to be at the tournament at zero-dawn-thirty, and there was no way I was getting up an hour prior to that to get her there, so we just stayed the night in town. Thankfully, the place where the tournament was held was also just off the freeway.

I was in like flint...or so I thought.

Usually at these type of events the host has some sort of refreshment stand where one can purchase lunch and snacks throughout the tournament. However, they decided not to do that this time, and since the tournament lasted ALL DAY LONG, I was in charge of sallying forth in search of sustenance for the hungry.

I took orders from my daughter and my pseudo-daughter (who sleeps across the street but lives most of the time at my house and plays volleyball on my daughter's team). They wanted sandwiches from Subway. I'd also seen other parents at the tournament with drinks from Starbucks, so I decided to stop there while I was out. And I thought I'd drop by a grocery store and get some healthy snacks for everyone as well.

Lofty goals, all.

I set out, armed with directions from one of the girls officiating the tournament. Subway was easy enough to find, but I had to ask a policeman in a parking lot how to get to the Starbucks. Having procured my beverage, I stopped at the grocery store across the street and picked up the rest of the items on my list, and realized I no idea how to get back to the tournament.

Oh yes, we've been around THIS block before.

So, I set off to the left. And I drove.

And I drove.

And I drove.

Did I ever tell you there's nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom and being lost in a town you don't know?


Picture old, fat lady, jiggling up and down in the seat of her car, searching frantically from side to side trying to find something that looks vaguely familiar. Some landmark, some sign from God, some GAS STATION, for cryin' out loud!

Finally, after about 45 minutes of aimless driving, I found myself back in familiar territory. Ahead was a gas station with a clean restroom and directions to where I needed to be! Never doubt that there is a God, children. Never doubt it.

I arrived fifteen minutes after the father of my pseudo-daughter, who left from home as I left to pick up lunch. The girls were starving, but alive.

Me? I kissed the ground and swore never to leave home again without The Girl because SHE inherited her Daddy's genes and can find the way home.


groovyoldlady said...

I'm pretty much worthless in the directional department, so I can REALLY identify!

Pat Kirk said...

I get lost in Walmart. We have one of the Super ones and I dread going in there. It will be hours before I stagger out.