Directionally Challenged

Elizabeth Willis Barrett………April 2019

I have had some disappointing confirmations through the years that I am directionally challenged.  Along with so many other things I have learned about myself, this adds to my slight (at some times extreme) insecurity. 

It would help if my car told me if I were going north, south, east or west.  But it doesn’t.  Why wouldn’t that have been an early requirement of car manufacturing along with steering wheels and brake pedals?  When you are in a vehicle that is taking you swiftly in a direction, wouldn’t it be wise to tell the driver of that vehicle which direction she was going?  That just seems so obvious.  We all weren’t blessed with an unflawed sense of direction.  Just like not everyone has been gifted with perfect pitch.  I don’t have that gift either.

Siri has been a great help getting me where I need to go, but when she says head south on Recker and it’s dark and I am turned around, that isn’t helpful.  A simple compass in my car’s mechanism would solve the problem—at least, part of the problem.  

One thing that hinders my progress is when I think I know exactly where I’m going and I don’t ask Siri for help.  

The other evening I had two of my grandkids at a football game one was playing in.  He had two games that night with an hour in between and I needed to make sure they got something to eat before the next game started.  Easy, I thought.  I’d just drive up the road to Cafe Rio, grab some take-out and get back in plenty of time. 

After the first game, I hustled the boys into our Sequoia.  Brad should have been the one hustling the boys and getting the food.  But he had brought Cash, the St. Bernard, to the game and he wanted to stay on the field for the intervening hour letting kids and parents google over Cash. Cash never lacks for admirers.  

I drove out of the Crossroads Park parking lot and headed north on Greenfield.  Those of you from out this way will realize immediately that north is not where I should have been headed if I was planning on going to the Cafe Rio next to the Deseret Book Store on San Tan Village Parkway.  I discovered that fact after I had gone a block or two.  I didn’t want to scare the boys by admitting that I had no idea what I was doing so I made a U-turn as nonchalantly as possible and went south.  

Then I had to think where to go from there.  Since Greenfield turns into Santan Village Parkway, I always get confused  Add the darkness and a car that doesn’t state clearly what direction I’m going in and a recipe for total frustration is about to be written.  

I must have thought that I was at the GYSA field which is south of the Mormon Temple and just to the west of Greenfield.  Then it would have made sense for me to turn to the left when I came out of that parking lot.  But it wasn’t the GYSA parking lot.  It was the Crossroads Park parking lot. 

I finally found my way to Cafe Rio.  Unfortunately it was much too crowded and finding a place to park in that area that services so many restaurants would have been fruitless.   On to Costa Vida.  

Parking the big Sequoia in a tight space at nighttime let me know that I would have to change my dream car.  I have been wanting an Infinity QX 80, but like Brad has been telling me, it is just as big as the Sequoia.  Not that I will be getting a new car soon, but I put lots of merit in dreaming.  I’m not sure what I’ll change my dream car to, but an Infinity QX 80, I decided at that moment, is too big. 

I got the boys out of the car without whacking the car next to us and we got our order and got back in.  Time was running out on us.  As usual it doesn’t wait for me to make any errors.  Time is so impatient.

I drove past Costco and turned to the right onto San Tan Village Parkway.  Wait a minute!  I got clear to the Mormon Temple when I realized that I had stupidly gone the wrong direction.  AGAIN! 

Ever since we moved out to this area, which has been about three years now, I feel like I have entered the Bermuda Triangle.  Greenfield turns into San Tan Village Parkway and then back to Greenfield and makes a huge jog in the process.  Then somewhere it crosses Market Street and I am totally confused and can’t see my way clearly enough to make good directional decisions. 

Once again I had to U-turn.  Sheesh!!  We made it back to Crossroads Park just a little behind schedule, safe but rattled.

I would hate to have to turn in the car keys to my children early in the aging game, but that’s looking like a possibility.