It took me until I was sixteen to learn North, South, East and West on a map without looking. This is a clear indicator that I am not meant to find things on my own. I mean, I always knew North and South. But for some reason I was always incapable of distinguishing East from West.
Eventually I learned the NEWS thing. It goes kind of in the shape of a lightning bolt. And that helped me to remember it. My point is that navigation, along with math, is something I am very bad at.
One day, my friend and I went to the beach. Neither of us could drive yet, so her mom dropped us off and we hung out for a while just walking around. Eventually, I got really hungry and she began to realize that she really needed to find a bathroom. We had reached the end of that beach (there was a big ledge and we couldn’t go any farther in that direction without a tragic fall) so we decided to turn around and see if there was a food stand/bathroom that way.
This actually wasn’t my idea. She was fairly confident that there was something in the other direction. And there was. Except that something turned out to be a piping plover preserve.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the piping plover, it is an endangered bird that lays its eggs on the beach. Once they have made their nests, it is illegal to disturb them. In middle school we had been forced to learn about these birds. I don’t remember much of it. But I knew (mainly based on the signs and fence) that we could go no further in that direction. This was the opposite of a food stand.
At this point, my poor friend had to pee very badly. And my stomach was starting to get really pissed off.
So we walked away from the beach into some random, unknown neighborhood. I have lived in this town for most of my life, but I had never been to that beach before and I was highly unfamiliar with the area.
In fact, I’m unfamiliar with almost every area. It’s best not to ever call me for directions. Unless you really want an adventure, don’t do it. You’ll end up hopelessly lost.
Anyway, since my friend had been the one to get us to a piping plover preserve with no food and no bathroom, I decided I would call the shots. This was bad. Neither of us is well equipped for finding things, so it would have been bad no matter what. But I know my navigational capabilities. And they don’t exist.
We ended up following emergency evacuation signs. If I remember correctly, this was after several failed attempts of me picking random roads and trying to find something familiar. Eventually, we heard a beautiful sound.
An ice cream truck.
I thought that at the very least we could get food and then continue our search for a bathroom. However, we could only hear it. And we were in a neighborhood with a lot of fences, so it was almost impossible to figure out where this beautiful truck was.
We never did find it. It was heartbreaking. Plus, our failed attempts at finding the ice cream truck had gotten us even more lost.
Then we saw a faded sign on a tree. It had a town name faintly written on it.
It was not the town we started in.
We realized that if that sign was right, we would have walked the length of a town. Since neither of us was even familiar with our own town, this was very alarming for us and we had no idea where we were. We thought maybe the sign might be really old and inaccurate.
Our denial ended when we finally asked for directions. We probably should have done this sooner. But once my friend’s bladder started becoming a huge problem, we were forced to ask for help.
Unfortunately, all the help we got was confirmation of what town we were in.
Luckily, we found a road that was somewhat recognizable. I took this opportunity to call my mom and ask her to come get us.
We hadn’t called for help sooner because we had no idea where we were, and therefore had no idea where to get picked up from.
So I called my mom and was like “Hey, we’re on Old Post Road, can you come get us?”
And my mom was like “Uh…Which one? There are about twenty Old Post Roads around here…”
I told her I only knew what town we were in. Other than that I had no idea.
My mom said she’d head out and start looking for us. Even though there were a ton of Old Post Roads in that town. She told us not to go anywhere.
So we sat on the curb and waited.
It didn’t take long for my mom to get there. But after we got in the car, we went around a corner.
There was a pizza shop there.
If we had just gone around the corner we would have had food and a bathroom. That was pretty much all we had been looking for anyway.
Instead, my mom sped my friend back to her house so she could FINALLY pee. And she made me some food. The whole journey took about two hours and we had walked several miles.
SIDE STORY! :)
I mentioned earlier that you should never ask me for directions. Here’s why:
I don’t know street names. Ever. I also can’t give you the amount of traffic lights or stop signs. My directions pretty much sound like “Okay. You’ll go through some lights. Then there will be a stop sign and a house. Right after that house there will be a road. You want the next road after the tree with the white flowers. But it only has white flowers in the spring. The road is on your left. Then you drive a lot. Be careful not to hit any animals. Okay. Then you’ll see a fish mailbox. Shortly after that mailbox, the house you want is on the right. They have a black mailbox. You can’t miss it.”
I’m sad to say that I give directions almost exactly like this. I once told my friend the “address” of another friend of mine so he could go to her party. Except I told him the wrong town AND the wrong house number.
He called me from the town I had told him to go to and he was like “Hey, I just put the address into my GPS and it’s telling me that this road doesn’t exist in this town…”
I then told him he should have put in the address before he left his house.
I don’t know why people ever trust me with things like directions. It’s really not smart.
My friend eventually got to the party after I gave him the right address. I had to ask for it, though. I didn’t even know where I was.
I had also offered him a ride there. I thought it was wise for him to decline since he knows how bad I am at finding places. But when he asked me for the address he should have known better.
I really think it's something to do with the letter x. I can't find it in math and I can't find it on a map. Sorry, pirate fans.