exploration, Humor

A controversial discussion with tongue firmly in cheek

So my dearly beloved husband and I were having a discussion. It centered partly around the upcoming trip, as I’m packing and listing everything I needed. Since I was working long shifts Monday and Tuesday, the plan was to be all packed by Sunday rather than run around at the last minute and get even less sleep… since we’re going down to the airport at oh’dark thirty. However, as we were talking through what I must have, since the trip is two legged and each leg requires different pants, we came to a point where we disagreed.

Look, I could talk controversial topics on this blog if I really just wanted to boost hit rate. People love to argue, and in order to spark arguments I could talk about, say, the midterm elections, or Dumb Things lib’ruls say, or what sportsball teams sucks the hardest. The midterm elections went about as expected – elections always shift at this time. Voter fraud? Look, since the first cavemen picked who got the comfy rocks to sleep on, and who slept out with the Sabretooth by casting white rocks and black rocks, someone is gaming the system. Human nature ain’t pretty, but it’s also not controversial. Just something to anticipate, and constantly tweak the systems while watching the watchers. Tireless vigilance is the only way to govern the governors. We live in a pretty good system, overall.

No, this is true controversy. The ultimate in heat-of-the-moment decisions. The One Big Argument since the day the cavemen set out toward their summer cave from the winter cave, and Thog made a wrong term, which made Onna start yelling at him, and it all went downhill from there while the Sabretooth picked off the weaklings from the back of the pack because Thog wasn’t going to stop and figure out where the wooly mammoth spoor was directing him.

And there’s where the gender divide breaks down in our house. Most of the time, I’m wearing pants, but I do enjoy a swishy skirt. I’ve been happily barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, and would be again if I weren’t too old and building a career. In our house? He brews the coffee. He brings home the bacon, and I cook it up for the family. But there’s one thing where he does what our culture seems to think is the sole domain of women drivers. He’ll stop and ask for directions.

Actually, he’s even more likely to stop and just buy a map. That’s what the discussion was about. I’m planning on taking my GPS (I don’t trust my phone to have signal at all times, so I won’t rely on it as a GPS even if the live traffic is handy in urban travel). He suggested that I just follow my nose, and maybe call when I’m close to a destination for more explicit directions. I… I have a terrible sense of direction. On a good day, I can tell my left from my right, but I had a little pebble I was handed by an exasperated drill instructor back in my cadet days that was a constant companion when we were trying to look smooth and suave in competition drills or color guard. And while you can probably drop me in the wilderness with a map, compass, and minimal gear, and I’ll come out where I’m supposed to, it’s been a long time since orienteering, and I find driving through twisty city streets leaves me with no sense of north, south, west and sometimes up or down. Don’t even get me started on parking garages and losing my car in a crowded parking lot. The GPS is my friend, curse it’s sudden but inevitable betrayal…

Even though I’m packing as lightly as possible (not taking a checked bag. Carryon and purse. ‘Tis sufficient space) I’m still tucking the GPS in there. I don’t have the right (or any) maps, would need several for the amount of ground I’m covering, and can’t trust my cell phone. Can’t entirely trust the geeps, but at least it’s more likely to maintain satellite connection. And if it tells me to drive into a cliff again, I’ll just ignore it and use the Mark One Eyeball to keep myself on the road until it gets over it’s sudden fit of homicidal tendencies. And yes, if I really must, I will stop and ask for directions!


16 thoughts on “A controversial discussion with tongue firmly in cheek

  1. I’m good at orienteering, but every now and then, I have to haul out the soothing phrase, “You’re not lost if you still have gas …”

    1. And I get teased for nervously looking for gas stations when I’m at a half-tankful. But I grew up where gas stations weren’t on every corner. Or maybe they were, just you only have corners every hundred-odd miles.

  2. I’m not lost. I might be confused as to my precise location at the moment, but, As long as I know where I’m going, I am not lost.

  3. “Men don’t have to stop and ask directions. We know how to read a map.” 😈

    Of course, IMO in many cases, it is the woman (side seat driver) who is lost not the man. He really knows where he is. πŸ˜€

    By the way, my Dad loved to take the back-roads when driving (especially when it was known territory for him). Mom did get a little annoyed at that habit. πŸ˜‰

    Of course, when driving long distances, he (and I got the habit from him) would plot out (via maps) the route he would take on the main highways.

    1. I love back roads, as does the First Reader. This trip I won’t have the time for much of that, sadly. But while he can point himself in the right direction and just keep going until he winds up where he wanted to be, I get, erm, snarled up.

  4. Sometimes it’s comforting to have the GPS as a crutch. I like the Here Wego phone app as well. Otherwise, a map is sufficient. I still have a US Atlas in the car.

  5. I tend to be skeptical of GPS (too many news stories about people getting stuck on forest roads in winter…), but am carefully checking out the system in a new vehicle. The map has surprisingly good detail, including the nearby private road that’s more of a driveway.

    My last major road trip (Oregon to Great Lakes) entailed a Rand-McNally road atlas. Most of the time, I don’t know when/where I’ll stop at night, so an up-to-date map is helpful. We keep sets of AAA maps (freebies to members) in the cars, limited to a few states and local counties. Cell and even satellite service can be spotty here.

    Looks like AAA has an online map setup. Haven’t tried it, but one option is printable at 8.5 x 11″. Paper maps are at the regional offices, and you can order them otherwise.

    A family friend got a AAA Trip-Tik for me when I moved to California years ago (R. Reagan was governor…) Worked all right, but no provision for wandering, as I recall.

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