Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You can't get there from here.....

I’ve learned that categorizing people tends to come back to bite you in the butt. Over the course of my life, I have tried really hard to refrain from doing it. I don’t like it myself when I hear sweeping generalizations:

Women drivers……

Those teachers……


And it’s not simply that I happen to fit into two of those groups, either. 


But once in a while, events and the subsequent temptation overwhelm me and I succumb. I fall right into the jaws of that trap faster than my “teacher” look can be activated in a classroom full of 13-year olds.

Men and directions.

What’s up with this, anyway? We have dashboard-mounted or handheld GPS tools, computer sites that will find our way for us before we even leave the house, complete with visuals AND text, PLUS the old standby, books of maps under the front seat. (For those under the age of about 30, that’s called an ATLAS.)

Let's take a hypothetical situation, told as if it's true:

I had occasion to ride with a male of my species (I think they’re the same species, although  sometimes I’m not certain) a week or so ago, and we got lost. I had gently asked early on if the driver knew how to get to this particular destination, and was assured with lots of male surety that it was so. I am a wiser woman than I was before aging has perfected me, so I kept quiet. He had printed out a map, just in case, so I thought this would be a piece of cake. Right?

Oops. There was only a map, with no text, so when the map took us to somewhere unrecognizable, we had no backup. There was a nice looking young man in a yard, but he didn’t know that street, either. We started driving in circles, so I retrieved the GPS from the glove box and programmed it as the car started circling the area yet again. Soon, the voice stuck in that box was telling us what to do. Whew! Saved.....

Not so fast. The driver decided he didn’t want to follow the voice. Was going to ignore it. Plus it was talking too loud, so turn the darn thing off, how about it?!

As a teacher, I learned the fine art of playing deaf, mainly to keep myself sane enough to move among the rest of the population at the end of each school day. Came in handy here, I can tell you. The GPS kept talking and I started gently pointing and speaking very softly, hoping that we would get back on track. And there it was, just as if we had never lost it to begin with.Turns out we COULD get there from here.

Technology is wonderful if you use it, isn’t it?

I guess the difference between men and women in this regard is that I always assume I don’t know where I’m going while men always assume they’ve got it under control. Therefore, I’m prepared for all alternatives.

Need I finish that sentence? Hypothetically, of course.....

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once
they have exhausted all other alternatives." ~ Abba Eban


  1. LOL! Love the Abba Eban quote at the end too!

    1. Thanks, Anna, for reading and commenting!

  2. So, you've had those hypothetical experiences, too?? Gosh, can't say I'm surprised, though!