Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day gadget~

I just got the perfect Mother's Day gift: A gadget-- a man's gift-- or at least the kind of gift men like to give: a GPS for my car.

Yes! Forget diamonds, flowers, and shrubs to be planted on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Forget breakfast in bed.

I need a GPS.

With my left/right confusion, and inability to visualize directions, I've been lost more times than I care to admit, closer to home than I care to admit.

I have trouble with lefts and rights. If you tell me to go left, I'll invariably head right. It's a glitch in my directional wiring. I've worked around it by excessive use of reverse gear and U-turns.

Add to that my tendency to "zone out," only to discover miles and miles later when I come out of my reverie, that I missed a turn and have no clue where I am.

I once drove by my own driveway, so engrossed in the book on tape I was listening to, that I failed to notice I was home.

My husband has come to expect my phone calls when I'm off on a jaunt somewhere. "Bruce? I'm on 95 S and it says Providence? Now where do I go?"

He always knows where I went wrong and redirects me. Except for the time that I asked, "Should I take Exit 11 S? Hurry!"

Too late. Traveling 75 mph I passed the exit before he could answer.

Today Bruce gave me the GPS before I headed off to visit my mother. She lives an hour and a half away in an assisted living home. I've driven there several times, but that means nothing. I've relied on Google-map directions on the seat beside me.

Today with my Garmin GPS suctioned to the windshield, and my destination programmed, I drove with confidence. I'd traveled .9 miles when I realized I'd left my cell phone at home.

I U-turned. The sweet GPS voice began. "Recalibrating! Turn left. Recalibrating. Turn right." She was anxious to get me to my destination.

I got nervous. I didn't want her to blow some of her digital innards, but her voice stayed calm, and I figured she needed to get used to my foibles.

She has some foibles, too, my little GPS chick. On the way home I stopped at Wrentham Village, a shopping center the size of a small town. She had trouble getting me out of a parking lot full of twists and turns, stop signs and traffic lights. "I trusted her when she said, "Turn left," even though it didn't look promising.

She tried for a while, then went silent, just a gray arrow on a blank screen. I followed my gut and got us both out, and soon she was confidently guiding me home.

Maybe between the two of us, we'll get where we need to go. She'll remind me to turn, and I'll get her out of the tough parking lots.


Dawn said...

Oh Ruth! Happy Mothers Day. I can so relate to the getting lost syndrome. And I have a husband similar to yours! We're lucky ladies.

And I loved your parking lot twist!

Thanks for your comment on my blog.

Willow said...

Ruth, you're not alone! Your blogpost reminded me of an incident many years ago, when my teacher at driving school told me to pull right. When I did, he told me I should have pulled to the other right, meaning left... A GPS sounds lovely!

Gary said...

Holy Chris Columbus, woman, you must be related to the glamorous but directionally-challenged Belinda Denise Presley. Once while living 45 miles south of Springfield in the little town of Monett, she drove 35 miles due north, pulled into a service station, and asked "How much further is Monett?"

And she's part Italian. Of course, so was Mr Columbus, and he found himself lost too.