Monday, December 03, 2007

GPS, Maps or Asking

There are a couple of interesting holiday commercials on now. I have to laugh at both of them. One shows a man driving around lost going through bad neighborhoods or around places he'd been before. Even the moose knew he was lost. Then there is the one where the woman is seen buying a GPS device at a store and then getting into the car. She then sets up the device for the man telling him it is an early present. After all we all know men don't ask directions. Then I remembered some occasions from years ago.

When I was a kid I remember being in the car with my parents on various trips. Some of these were just short little junkets, others were longer. My dear father was notorious for getting lost. It was kind of a joke between my parents. When ever we went somewhere new it seemed that he always ended up in the wrong side of town or going in circles. My mother kept asking him to stop and ask someone for directions. Nope. Eventually he always found his way out. Better later than not at all, I guess.

Then there was my ex-husband. He was the type who was "always right". He would never ask for help. He always knew where he was going. Going anywhere with him was an adventure into a black hole. Even the kids realized we were lost. Just imagine a 5 year old telling daddy, "We saw that McDonalds already, Daddy". Of course this would really set of fireworks. Just imagine.

"Daddy are we lost?" says the 8 year old.

"Of course not", snorts Daddy.

"But Daddy, we have been going in circles", one of the 5 year old twins says.

Not to be told anything by a child, he would continue on while grousing at us all. I would ask him to please stop and ask someone for directions. But of course he was never wrong and thus never lost. That would of course start the war. Soon the kids would be crying and he and I would sit silently while he tried to find his way to where we needed to go. Then the inevitable would happen. From the back seat came those dreaded words no lost parent wants to hear. "I have to go to the bathroom." It didn't matter who said it.

"Come on," I would say. "Just find a gas station and ask for directions."

"I know where I am going." he would roar.

"Mommy, I'm hungry" pleaded at least one kid every five minutes. This was in addition to the incessant reminders that bathroom breaks were needed by someone.

Finally I would see a convenience store. "Just stop here so I can take the kids to the bathroom," I would plead. Finally he relented and sat in the car pouting while I took the kids inside. Then after the kids had their breaks, We got back into the car.

"Ok, let's just go up to the next stop light" I said.

"Why" Mr Know It All said.

I retorted, "Just do it!"

We get to the stop light and I suggest he turn left. He wants to know why. I tell him to just give it a try. Crabbing all the way he makes the turn. Then what do we see at the end of the street? The place we had been trying to find for the last three hours.

"Well, here we are kids, told you I'd find it" he says as he puffs out his chest with pride.

"Thanks Mom", the kids say in unison.

"What did they mean by that", he said, none too happy with me.

"Oh, when I took the kids to the bathroom at the store, I asked for directions." I didn't say what I was really thinking. Smiling at him, I resisted the urge to be smug.

At least now, with the aid of GPS men can save their pride.


Margaret said...

Great post and yes, thank heavens for GPS. Maybe it's me but it seems every man that I've ever knew or driven with - got us lost at one time or another. LOL.

cube said...

There's no shame in getting lost. The shame lies in making everyone in the car miserable while you deny that you're lost. No wonder he's an ex ;-)

pineapple said...

that is why i drive. i never get lost because i know how to read a map and i will ask for directions if i need to. so simple, yet so difficult for some.

Dr.John said...

Just when I learned to ask directions they came out with these wonderful GPS things.

bettygram said...

We always get lost so we now plan for it.When you get lost you see new places and meet new people as they try to help you.