I have always been amused by people who do not have a sense of direction. My mother was notorious; she once got lost on a trail that was a loop. We found her at last in the middle of the trail. Apparently, she would start one way and would find it unfamiliar and turn back only to turn back again when she found the ground unfamiliar. She had traveled back and forth over the same quarter of the mile path for over an hour. You would have thought by that time something in that quarter mile would have seemed familiar. And it did as several people in our rather large group passed her.
My wife is another one with a terrible sense of direction. I was tired, and she was driving. I told her to wake me up before we enter Macon and I would guide her through the highway connections to get us to Atlanta. From Savannah to Macon is only one highway: I 16. So it was with confidence that I went to sleep. And I did sleep for about forty-five minutes. When I awoke nothing seemed right. I asked her if she had gotten off I 16. And she said with a question in her voice ‘I do not think so’. Finally, a highway sign appeared and indeed she had managed to exit I 16 going west and was on I 95 going north. We were not headed to Macon but instead Walterboro.
Of course I have my own story of losing my sense of direction and showing I have no sense at all. My brother and sister-in-law had been married ten years, this I knew. But what I did not know was that my nephew was coming up on his eleventh birthday. So I in total confidence told my sister-in-law she must be mistaken and they had been either married twelve years or my nephew was only ten. I saw no other way forward. My sister-in-law looked at me totally bemused and said no what she said was right. As I continued to argue my case she gave me looks of befuddlement, bewilderment, puzzlement and bafflement as I continue to declare her wrong. My older brother, her husband who was in the room the whole time but watching a football game, turned and looked at me with total disgust in his eyes and his words dripping with disdain said, “Shut up Mike and think real hard how that could be.”
I stopped and thought very carefully about the birth of my nephew and the wedding of my brother. I remembered my father said it was not a shotgun wedding but might as well have been. And then gradually the light of truth fell upon me. I looked at the two of them. My face was red. I bowed my head down and looked at the floor. I was a freaking seminary student in my twenties and could not figure this puzzle out. My older brother shook his head and puffed out a sigh of dismay. My sister-in-law was looking over at my nephew to see if he had been listening. He had not.
I started to explain myself and realized this was not the time. I apologized meekly and left the room. Some people have no sense of direction and others of us have no sense at all. I leave it to you to decide which category I fell in that day.
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