Thursday, August 21, 2008

On-Board Navigation

NO!!! She's not going there! I will NOT use my new Tom-Tom navigation system as a metaphor.

Life is a journey. Show me the way. Chart a course. Plot your path.

Oh, just gag me with a spoon.

Stop bossing me the #($* around, that's what I think. But... the truth is, along with one of my sisters, I have a SPECTACULAR ability to get lost. Huge. Knows no limits. Truly a thing of astounding power. That's my ability to get lost. I ended up in Battle Creek, Michigan once when I was supposed to be in Milwaukee. Wrong state. Yeah, I know. In a tragic marital moment, I took us across the same bridge in Montreal THREE times, because I was reading the map rather than driving. That wasn't a good day. And then there was the day when the similarly-impaired sister and I were wandering around Philadelphia, looking for each other. We found each other because her son was with her and my phone had a fairly primitive navigation service. And even then, we almost missed each other because we were on opposite sides of the street. Viewed from the sky, it was probably hilarious. Not so much, when viewed at street level!

When one has an impairment, it is not weakness to ask for help. It's just plain sensible to use assisting devices and assistants when, otherwise, life would be smaller and more limited.

I use mapquest a lot. It has saved my backside more than once. There are several things that mapquest won't do for me, however. If, you know, just for the sake of argument, I turn left when it says right -and then completely screw up the correction and become hopelessly turned around- mapquest doesn't know what to do. It knows how to get me from where I started to where I said I wanted to go, assuming I do what I'm told to do. Ask my mother how likely that last bit is.

Tom-Tom will at least figure out where I am and allow for mid-point corrections. So far, she hasn't said "For the love of God, I SAID turn LEFT." I work in a town I don't live in -a town there's really no point in being in, except for work or living. It's not as though one seeks out Aurora, Illinois as a destination. People live there because it's close to Chicago. People work there, because....well, in my case, because poor people live there and someone was willing to pay me to help them.

I've worked there eight months and I've figured out a few different ways to get to work and back, how to get to the Panera for coffee, and how to get to the gym. That's it. But I could, hypothetically, go from work to the city (meaning Chicago) and THEN go home. Except my brain starts to melt at the navigational challenge. Or I could go rock climbing with my son and boy buddies and then go to Panera and then go to work. After I breathe into this paper bag because I'm sure I'll end up in Indianapolis by accident.

Tom-Tom was on sale. It's a bargain, even if the navigator is a little snotty. My life will get a little bigger -and all for under $200. I'm good with that.

And life actually is a journey.


Lisa :-] said...

Panera??? :( You flat-landers just don't know about coffee. Or pastries... LOL! use whatever works!

jill said...

Well, if you don't like the snotty Tomtom voice, you can have Eddie Izzard instead:

Renee said...

Congratulations! But be careful, sometimes those things will get you. My friend had hers accidentally set to "no toll bridges" in the Bay Area and it took her two hours out of her way!!

Loretta_S said...

We had one in a rental car last year and my husband took great joy in trying to make the thing blow a gasket by intentionally ignoring it's orders. We found that after a certain number of wrong turns it panics and stridently requests that you make a U-turn as soon as possible.

In real life I think the thing would drive me insane. In a short period of time it made me want to throw it through a window. I also don't like the bossy, annoying voice at the self-checkout at the grocery store. I wish she had a mute function. I know how to scan my dang groceries.