It was a true hallelujah moment when GPS systems for the car were invented. For directionally challenged and anxious drivers like me, having a satellite tracking my movement so as to give me turn by turn directions wasn’t the least bit creepy. Just the opposite – it was heaven sent. Something that allowed me to concentrate on the road around me instead of splitting focus between traffic, written directions, and any fun travel surprises along the way.
Traveling old school was a lot more stressful.
First I had to get directions, but not just any directions; they had to be ones that made sense to me. Don’t tell me to drive a mile – I’m bad at measuring distances so that just meant my eyes would be plastered to the odometer as I drive. Don’t tell me to turn where the old sock mill used to be – I didn’t grow up here and have no idea what you’re talking about. Don’t tell me to head west on 40 because, for real, there are days when I have no idea what’s west of me.
But the absolute worst was The Shortcut. As in, “You’re heading to ___? I’ve got the greatest shortcut for you, it’ll take 30 minutes off your trip.” Or “Well, if the interstate’s backed up just take the shortcut that puts you behind Northwestern Elementary, brings you out at the Exxon, and from there it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to the mall.”
It’s not that I’m against the shortcut. I love to save time as much as the next person, and there are few things I despise as much as sitting S-T-I-L-L in traffic. But I’ve found the problem with shortcuts lie in the fact that I’m rarely as intimately familiar with the traffic area as the person speaking, which leaves me with two choices: Nod enthusiastically, agreeing with what a great route it is, while not having a single clue what they’re talking about. Alternatively, stare blankly at my helpful direction giver and finally admit that they’re basically speaking Latin. This inevitably leads to their trying at least three more ways to get me to understand their shortcut, with each explanation sending me further down the shame spiral because what kind of adult drives around like this?!
These days my GPS is so advanced that I can get it to reroute me through a shortcut. Save time and get step by step directions while I drive? Yes, please.
Linda’s weekly Stream of Consciousness prompt is open to one and all. Click the link to check out its rules and participating blogs. This week’s prompt was to use a word with “ho” in it. My word is “shortcut.”