Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do you know how to get to.... Why yes, I do.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a horrific sense of direction. As I have also mentioned, I do not get through a single day without being asked directions by SOMEONE. Why does this irony arise daily? Ah the mysteries of life.

The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how often I can actually give the correct directions. I get lost the minute I cross to the West Side of Manhattan - ask anyone who I have been late meeting. But if someone else needs directin' - I have the answer! I guess it's like psychics not being able to pick lottery numbers for themselves.

Since I had one this morning I thought I'd try to recount some of my direction encounters.

At the doctor this morning. I'm waiting for the interminably slow elevator to arrive when a woman comes up behind me looking very lost. She asks the concierge sitting across from the elevators where the medical group is located. They have 5 floors in this building. "which doctor, he asks her. She tells him. Turns out it is one of my many doctors, so I happen to know what floor she needs. The concierge looks stymied. *sigh* Instead of letting the poor woman suffer while he tried to find her doctor's floor I piped in with "fifth floor".

On the No. 1 train (that's the subway). It's a west side train. I have plotted my course with great care with the help of as I am seriously at a loss with west side transportation (see above). So here I am on this train - I know ONLY where I'm going and yet a couple with a baby and a toddler feel that I am the person who can help them. They need to get to Radio City Music Hall. Somehow it just comes to me... get off at 50th Street, I tell them. They thank me, and yet moments later I hear them asking someone else. Someone equipped with a subway map. Someone who tells them "get off at 50th Street". Uh. Yeah. I felt betrayed. Yet as they exited the train I told them that the traffic on 50th runs East, the direction they need to go, so they should just follow the traffic... I felt bad they had the little kids and had a significant stroll ahead, it seemed right to steer them in the right direction so they wouldn't have to backtrack.

Here's the kicker: My directions were all correct, yet I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how I knew this!!!

Honestly. I get LOST. Yet here I was directing these people as if I actually knew where I was sending them. Is there such a thing as being an idiot savant about directions... and yet able to get lost going somewhere you've been many times?

One of my favorites was the maternity wear store.

I was walking down the street when a woman with a stroller asks me where the maternity store is. Um... yes, I need to drop a few pounds but... okay. The thing is, I knew immediately what store she meant. And I knew that it had moved locations over 6 months previous. HOW THE F DO I KNOW THAT? It's not as if I shopped there - I had never set foot inside (I wouldn't want to jinx myself... that mommy stuff... it's scares me!) Yet, I knew exactly where to send her. Could I tell you now? No. But it was like a directory of maternity wear shops opened in my mind and I sent her off.

And, of course, the best have been when I've been asked in other countries. At the Cancun airport in Mexico (on my first trip): do you know how to get to the American Airlines gates?

On the London subway (many, many years ago): Do you know how to get to Piccadilly Circus? (again, on my first visit).

The sick thing? I actually knew.

This could qualify as one of my most boring entries to date. But people, I got nothing else today. c'est la vie.

1 comment:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LOL! Great post!

"Why does this irony arise daily?"
Because God has a really warped sense of humor.

"Is there such a thing as being an idiot savant about directions... and yet able to get lost going somewhere you've been many times?"
I've never thought about it but I think that you've made me believe that there is. ;-)