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Directionally Challenged

So, I was supposed to attend a coworker’s Christams party last night. Before I left school on Friday he called me from his classroom and offered me a map to his home. I am not normally directionally challenged. “I’ve been there already, remember? Don’t worry. I’ll find it.”

He said, “That was a couple of months ago. My sub-division is pretty tricky. You’d better come get the map just in case.” I declined.

I don’t suppose I even have to finish this story. You already know …. I drove around in the subdivision maze for an hour and a half. The streets twist, wind, dead-end, double back and turn one-around-the-other so much that it is impossible to tell north, south, east and west. Every house looks the same. They are all beige, have identical red tile roofs, and manicured postage stamp yards. The only way to tell one home from another is by the SUV’s in their driveways.

I called my friend — nobody answered the phone. Then I called a friend I knew would be attending. Of course, she was too polite to take her cell phone to the party. So I drove in circles hoping I would come across a home surrounded by familiar cars. Instead, I rediscovered the main road out and took it like an Indy driver on the last lap of 500. I had a desperate need to be where the streets were straight and rolled toward home.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I lived in a subdivision like that a couple of years ago. Whenever we anticipated a guest who’d turned down directions, my roommies and I would go sit on the porch and wait for them to make it to a point where they might see us waiving. It was funny because you could see their vehicle roaming back and forth between houses, but always at least a block away. So close… lol. Many of them made the same decision that you did and just drove off eventually, only later they’d deny that they even tried to find it.

  2. I can so relate, Quilly. I once got trapped on the outerbelt around Indianapolis, two hours I went round and round, all the exits looking the same. I don’t go anywhere without a map any more.

  3. You’re lucky you got out, Q. Half the folks who live there probably ran out of gas, gave up, and bought a house.

  4. Rob — I should have known you’d laugh at me. May I suggest you go sit on your roof?

    Kat — Gets kind of scary after a bit, doesn’t it?

    Al — I thought I was coming to that. Luckily, I seldom let my gas tank get too low. I couldn’t call a friend for help, because I didn’t know where I was! I did, after about an hour, contemplate pulling into the driveway of one of the homes for sale and calling a cab.

  5. Quill I feel your pain, but perhaps you’d better steer clear of Cape Coral. The second largest (geographically) city in Florida, it’s interwoven with a frightening network of canals. They lure unsuspecting cars into their murky depths on a regular basis. (Yes, they are pretty). You can count with your fingers the number of arteries that proceed, uninterrupted by a canal, for more than a few blocks. To add to the mischief, every numbered street has several variations: street, terrace, lane, court, avenue, boulevard… and the houses look alike. They all have SUVs in their driveways. People move here in their early fifties to forestall senility with just the challenge of driving to the supermarket.

  6. I thought only men turned down direc tions. Sin ce we moved I am getting used to being lost a lot. My new mantra is “Lets ask somebody for help”.

  7. Joe — Okay, I’ll stay away. Lost is one of my least favorite places.

    Dr. John — the only way I could have asked somebody for help was to get out of my car and knock on a door. I was saving that for a last resort.

  8. So, Quilly, will you be directing your coworker to this post by way of explanation tomorrow? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Btw, I love the sparkling Christmas Tree in your sidebar.

  9. Sar — my co-worker has already discovered my “wandering lost” messages on his voice mail. And more than enough of my colleagues read my blog as it is.

    The Christmas tree is my only one. I don’t decoate my house for Christmas since I don’t spend Christmas here.

  10. Quilly – I wasn’t laughing AT you, but with you… lol

    btw, I must’ve lost the email link in my profile when I switched to beta, but I just put it back there.

  11. Rob — I knew you were teasing me. Just like I knew you still aren’t ready to climb back up on your roof!

    Lori — it doesn’t happen to me often, but I can tell you, I hate it, too!

  12. Quilly-Sister, I always smile when I see those developments with the homes that all look exactly alike -I can’t help but think about trying to come home drunk and figure out which one is yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. party’s are much over-rated in any case :o) and perhaps you will piyt this poor foreigner who was in your contry recently trying to find my way around places like that. Nightmare!

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