Aug 18, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 2

Lesson 2: Add 30 minutes to every Mapquest travel time.

Adam and I are pretty good communicators. However, when we embark on a car journey and are forced to navigate together, all of that goes out the window. Let's face it, men and women were just not meant to coexist in a car. Men think they know everything and women really do - it creates problems. I kid, I kid. In reality I think we are all born with a road trip alter ego that can't help but surface in times of great navigational stress. One minute you are holding hands singing "the wheels on the bus" in attempts to quiet your screaming two year old, and the next you are screaming even louder than the two year old because we all know the louder you talk, the more likely the other is to understand that they are a complete moron.

We have learned in our short time here that they should've just named Charlotte's highway system "divorce court". Which is where lesson number two arises - you must factor in "lost time" to every single Mapquest travel time. Now, you might be wondering to yourself, "how is it that if you guys have a GPS you still end up lost?" Well, its simple. I am directionally retarded and Adam can't follow a GPS....

Now, that's not to say that Adam isn't a good navigator. He was an Army ranger. The man could find his way out of anything; I've come the conclusion that he just harbors a deep set, psychological resentment for the GPS (affectionately known as "Victoria" - yes, we have our GPS set to the British accent). Maybe he doesn't like a woman telling him what to do. Maybe its the fact that Victoria's bossy and doesn't say "please" {Adam has brought up the fact that all GPS models should be equiped with a "polite" setting...} Either way, it's the enemy and can't be trusted.

Take our recent trip to Wal-Mart. There is a Wal-Mart a few exits down, however we learned another valuable lesson - if a Wal-Mart is equipped with 50 parking lot survelience cameras and a police watch tower with an actual cop standing post, its probably not worth the close proximity. That means that we have to drive a longer distance to the devil store and that means we have to navigate highways. Not good. Here's how it all went down

{All extremely chipper and excited to get out of the house}

(good wife): ok, I put the Wal-Mart in the GPS
(grouchy husband, hehe): K, where are we going?
GW: I dunno. Follow the GPS.
GH: Well Jess I kinda like knowing where I'm going. I don't rely on a stupid woman machinery to tell me where to go.

GW: Honey, its not hard, you just follow the red line

GH: Whatever, this thing is retarded and it tells you like 2 seconds before you're supposed to do something!

Victoria: Turn right

GH: SEE!!!!

GW: Um, Adam that red line showed us turning for like 5 minutes. Just watch the red line.

GH: I am not watching some stinking tiny TV Jessica, I am watching the road

Victoria: recalculating...

GH: (as he misses his exit) DAMN IT!

GW: laughing hysterically

GH: NOT funny Jessica...where the hell is this thing telling me to go???

GW: Honey, just watch the red line - why are you getting off at this exit?

GH: It's telling me to!!!!

GW: No, its not Adam. It just told you to stay straight

GH: What the ^%&!!!! This thing is an idiot!!!

GW: (slight laughter) Adam, I think maybe its the operator - not the machine.

Victoria: Recalculating...

GH: OH JESSICA! I know you didn't just say that... Do you not think that after Ranger school and 4 tours to Iraq and Afghanistan I don't know anything about navigation??!! Huh??!!!

GW: (mumbling) .... and after all that you can't even follow a red line....

Oops. That was obviously stated much more loudly than anticipated because after getting lost and on and off the interstate about 3 times, Adam did the pull over. That is never good. And then the question that makes all women cringe in their passenger seat... "Do YOU just want to drive??!"

As a woman, I can't say that I ever really know how to answer this question. Do you say "yes, I would like that very much considering we almost died, like, 5 times on this 3 mile road trip" or do you play the complacent 1950's housewife and lie and say "no, honey, you're doing a great job" and then vent your frustration by blogging about it to the entire world when you get home? Hm, wonder which I chose.....

When all was said and done, it took us 45 minutes to arrive at our destination. It was 4.6 miles away from our apartment. Needless to say it wasn't the most pleasant 45 minutes of either of our lives. However, that's what marriage is. A fantastically awesome road trip spotted here and there by wrong turns, flat tires, and the like. The most important thing is that we survived. We didn't kill each other (although I'm sure both of us thought about it) and we learned a valuable lesson - If Adam drives, Victoria is off. We rely on shadows and which side of the tree the moss is growing on to determine our route. Lesson learned.

***Disclaimer: I, by no means, attempt to claim complete innocence in this ordeal. I am fully aware of the fact that being directionally retarded in no way aids us in reaching our destination and only serves to hinder any efforts sweet Adam puts forth at rectifying the situation. I have a dear and intelligent husband and I can understand that questions such as "how do you know you need to go north?" and "how do you know which way is north?" might fall into the category of special needs" and will only further frustrate an already desperate man ;) Bless his heart for putting up with me.


Marlee said...

This post made me laugh! I'm always lost, so I'm pretty used to it. Ha and my brother has a GPS, but he just puts it on "Italian" so he can listen to the lady talk in a sexy voice :).

Katharine said...

Wow I have been there a hundred times. When we were dating I tried to use the GPS until I was told sweetly that "What the hell are you going to do when that thing breaks and you don't have a f***ing machine telling you which way to go. Those things make you stupid." At that point whenever we went anywhere new I found it on google maps and told him to memorize the route...I would chill in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride. If we got lost, I would just sit there and pretend not to notice...all the while knowing that the GPS was just one click away from leading us there quickly and hassle free :)


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