Sunday, August 31, 2008

Natural GPS vs TMI

When my beloved spouse and I first traveled together on our honeymoon, he quickly surmised that I was not a map reader. North, south, east west, I couldn’t give directions that way at that point. My directions were more like, “We turn left on Such and Such street.”

“When is such and such street?”

“It’s after this and that street and I think it’s on your left. You can’t miss it.”

“North or East?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where are we on the map?”

I’d be silent for a moment, trying to ensure accuracy, but this would rattle him as he felt my lack of instant response indicated I didn’t know where we were. He’d reach over and amazingly touch the exact spot where we were on the map without taking his eyes off the road.

“If you knew where we were, why did you ask?”

“I’m verifying. You’re the navigator.” At that point, I volunteered to drive.

Since then, I have gotten better, but he’s also stopped asking me to read the maps.

For the record, he’s never been lost. I cannot say the same thing, even within the friendly confines of this county where I have lived the past 13 years. I cannot even say it is true for the past four months, but I blame pregnancy, not my innate navigational compass which seems permanently wired to “guess wrong.”

My husband’s natural GPS has been passed down to our posterity. Some of our children can always tell when I’ve made a wrong turn and will ask suspiciously, “Mom? Where are we going?” I’ve tried dodging that question, ”Don’t worry, I know where we are…” but they don’t buy it anymore. They know, if I suddenly stop at a gas station for a “Diet Coke” and fuel, that really, I’m getting directions.

Sometimes, they’ve even checked the gas gage to see if we “really” needed gasoline. Whenever they’ve seen a discrepancy between perceived need and actual stopping, Dad gets a full report. “I think Mommy got lost over near Quince Orchard when we were coming back from the Orthodontist.”

Now I believe in plausible deniability. It’s good for marriage. It’s good for the ego. It’s good for the children to not be able to entirely embarrass their mother.

My husband will give a raised eyebrow and look, but he too has mellowed over the years. Knowing that knowing too much might mean I ask him to do the scheduled errands out to softball practice and the orthodontist, he doesn't ask even when they tell. And since he doesn’t know where the practice field is, or which dentist takes care of our daughter’s braces, he’d have to put up with my directions.

“It’s on such and such street just past this and that. You can’t miss it.”

Communication and non communication, it's what makes a marriage work.

Don't get lost on your way to the forum, funny things are available at!

1 comment:

JimmyV said...

Very nice. I have the orienteering merit badge and I give the same directions as you. Meanwhile, my wife can give directions like, "North about ten miles."

I drive.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!