Rant with Randi: For the directionally challenged


For all the directionally-challenged people out there, this one’s for you. I’ve never been good with directions. In fact, I’m so bad with directions that oftentimes I can get turned around in Carmel Valley and have no idea how to get home. This is not something you understand unless you, too, are directionally challenged.

It’s always been something that my family has laughed about, but they truly don’t understand me. When Navigations systems first came out, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to use it. But, quickly, it drove me crazy because I’d have to pull over on the side of a road, type in an address, and 75 percent of the time the voice would tell me that the address didn’t exist. I would go nuts because the system in my car was never up to date with address changes and, therefore, it messed me up, far more than it helped me. Whenever anyone at my husband’s office takes my call, the first thing they ask is whether or not I need directions because that happens all the time.

And then one day I discovered OnStar and my life changed. I can actually push a button, and speak with someone directly on speakerphone while I’m driving. It’s hands-free and they will never tell me, “That address doesn’t exist.” And if I’m downtown and streets are closed off, or there’s a detour, they stay on the phone with me until I know where I’m going, and then they download the rest of the route. This service is worth its weight in gold to me.

So why did I have one of my worst directions episodes last night, you ask? Because I was actually lost in a parking lot. I know, it’s a horrible thing to admit, but I can’t leave the rest of my tribe hanging out to dry. You will never know this feeling, until you are one of us. It all started when my daughter and her friend asked to be taken to the movies at 9:30 p.m. I agreed to take them and her friend’s mother was going to pick them up. The theater is in La Jolla and I’ve only been twice, but it seems like a fairly easy place to find so I didn’t even look up directions. After I made the main left to be in close proximity to the theater, I felt lost and had no idea where I was. My daughter was able to talk me through how to get there, but still, it didn’t feel right, as I was nowhere near where my husband and I usually park when we go to this theater.

But eventually I found it, dropped them off, and breathed a sigh of relief because my responsibility was over. I was happily heading home (after mapquesting how to find the freeway), and my daughter called to say the movie had been sold out and asked if I could come back and pick them up. No problem – I will turn around at the next exit, make a right, then a left, and then pick them up. I was actually feeling pretty confident with the whole situation. And then when I made that darn left turn, it all went blank. This is no joke. I had no idea where to go. This is something my husband will never, ever understand. He will ask, “Randi, didn’t you see the mall on your left?” And I will answer, “Yes, but I also saw the Mormon Church and I’m sure I didn’t see that the first time I came.”

So I’m driving around looking for this theater when my daughter’s friend calls me to ask where I am. Unfortunately, she could hear me asking people in the parking lot where I was and how to find the theater. She was in disbelief since I had only dropped them off 5 minutes ago and thought I had been drinking or that I had severe memory loss. By now, I’m laughing so hard that I can’t see and I’m panicked because I simply cannot find where I dropped them off. I eventually found the front of the theater, but they weren’t at the front and they couldn’t find me. And then I found a restaurant that they could see, so they told me to stay there and they ran like the wind to get in my car. My daughter laughed it off because this is the norm for me, but her friend was in a semi-state of shock that I had no idea where I was. I’m thinking she will never ride anywhere with me again. Here’s the truth: Unless you have zero sense of direction, this story will make absolutely no sense to you. It’s the worst feeling in the world. And even OnStar can’t help you to navigate a parking lot.

What say you? Email me at www.randiccrawford.com.