A friend’s home. Not on the way to her home, but inside of her home. It was the first time I had ever visited her. I asked where the bathroom was, but while she was answering, I became distracted by the cake she was decorating at the time (swirly white icing, perfect, concentric little circles…see? Distracted again!) I left her to go in what I figured was a bathroom-like direction and then could not believe length of the hallway and number of doors that were not bathrooms. After getting a glimpse behind door number one through seventeen, I would classify her decorating style as post-modern tornado. Clearly, taking me for a tour of the upstairs had not been on the agenda.
I got lost when we went camping. Taking the dog for a walk one minute, bush-whacking through weeds taller than myself the next. Finally coming to a large clearing that was just weirdly flat. Area 51? (how does anyone know it's not really in Canada?) The dog looked around, shrugged and settled down for a nap while I walked in circles, peering around squinty-eyed, looking for signs. Ideally ones that would say "This is the way back to the campsite, moron" It was beautiful in the solitude, don't get me wrong. Everyone should spend some time in nature daily. Well. At least once a week. Month? Okay, at least once a year, but take a compass. In fact, take mine - it's of no use to me. To me, the sky is north, the ground is south and the other two are a crap-shoot.
Finally the dog woke up, hungry, probably bored...and lead me directly back to the (embarrassingly close) campsite. I followed meekly, tossing my dignity along with my compass into the stupid tall weeds. Now I owe her one and she will not forget.
I got lost at the mall too. In my defense, it was not my usual mall and it was enormously gigantic because what is UP with malls these days, right? I used to think malls were pretty much just Old Navy and higher or lower scale versions thereof. In this mall, there is a store called Puce. Or is it Taupe? Maybe Burgundy. They sell bed linens with inconceivably high thread counts, each costing what it would take to decorate my whole bedroom, possibly my entire house. The lighting in there is so romantic that it is awkward walking around with other shoppers (who probably also wrongly thought this was Pottery Barn).
So I needed to go to the bathroom at this mall. It would probably be helpful to point out that I have to go to the bathroom at pretty much any given time. I won’t elaborate except to say that I wish health experts would quit telling me to drink water. The bathroom was also ultra-hip...really more of an "experience". When I came out of the bathroom, I was utterly lost (also maybe a little high on that lavender incense). The mall map was useless as most maps are to me, but I do like the "YOU ARE HERE" (it gives me a warm, happy feeling. Someone noticed me, aww...) In the end, it was the smell of French fries and Cinnabon that got me going back in the right direction.
I have been lost many more places, but as far as driving directions these days? I'm good. I met the woman who changed my life. Her name is not Siri, but she is like the poor man's Siri (my Android phone), aka my GPS, aka “my lady”. I affectionately call her Nav, because it is short for Navigation and because I am not very creative. I just say, okay Google and there she is.
Even though I might think it, I don't tell her she needs to get a life, because I selfishly like her there on my command (I do worry about her, though, I hope she'll meet someone nice one day) I don't bother saying hello, she doesn't do greetings, and I'm okay with that. I just yell a name or address at her. She calmly begins navigating. Unlike everyone else, she is super chill if I go wrong. She recalculates subtly...doesn’t even rub it in my face. She simply says, "take a u-turn at the next light" (in her no-nonsense, vaguely British way). She does other things besides navigate. She will tell you the height of Mount Everest and should you wish to (inexplicably) make mushroom soup, she is at the ready with a good recipe and no judgement.
She is usually all business and that's okay. We have an understanding, her and I. But I think if I come to her with the other "lost" (emptiness and/or despair), she will be pragmatic. Google, I will yelp sadly. How do I deal with life, I'll say. It's so haaaaaaard...
Get up and start walking, she will reply (calmly).
But I’m a mess, Navi.
Stop before the stairs. Open the front door.
But Navi...I want to lie face down here on the floor all day.
Open the front door, she will repeat, ignoring me. For lack of a better plan, I will listen.
Get in the car. I do it. Reluctantly. I don't put on shoes, though. But wait, what is this? I am being directed to the nearest McDonalds? I am being instructed to buy an Oreo McFlurry? What?! Not the snack-size?! (Navi insists).
I know she would never admit it, but she’s kind of my bestie.