12 Wrong Ways to Guide the Directionally Challenged

84kb cropped versionAre you lost?  Most of the time yes or confused of where to go.

If you don’t know by now that I have issues with directions, then obviously you do NOT, I repeat, NOT know me at all. I would probably get lost in a paper bag.

Many of you have been in the car with me when I have gotten lost and know I do not do well under pressure. When I’m lost by myself, it’s a breeze. I am a pro at U-Turns, but with someone else, I panic and it’s not pretty. Over time, I have compensated for my lack of directional sense by giving myself plenty of time to go places.

Sanam (A) checks up on me all the time when I take longer than usual to get somewhere…she’ll always be like are you lost?

So the other day, Savoy asked me to walk to her building to get free coffee at Au Bon Pain. She was like it’s a straight shot when I walk out of the building. Well, she learned her lesson…Straight can mean a lot of ways for me and I took the longest route ever to get to her.  Her words not mine, “Boo boo, you had quite an adventurous walk here.”

Here is a quick guide to direct the directionally challenged:

  1. Don’t say point left and say the word “right” anywhere in a sentence.
  2. Don’t say it’s easy. In our minds, having to find a location is like coding a program.
  3. Use multiple landmarks.  One landmark is not enough. Think of Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail…you need to leave a trail of landmarks to follow. For example, you will pass Starbucks on your right, and then you will see the post office on your left a block down and Hilton Garden on your right.
  4. Time versus miles. Please don’t say 10 miles to my house, say your house is 15 minutes away.
  5. Be the compass. North, South, East and, West…that’s pretty much like Mandarin. I don’t understand. Where do I even start to figure out which way North is?
  6. No sudden turns.   If you know a turn is coming up, let the driver know. Don’t ever say “turn right here.” We’ll miss it for sure.
  7. Give me an address. Don’t give street names. Give an exact address because it can go in a GPS.
  8. GPS. This is our BEST FRIEND and savior. And if I have it blasting on Bluetooth, don’t tell me to mute the directions.
  9. Never raise your voice. If you yell, we think we need to avoid something, a deer, person, curb, pothole… Just calmly say, “Hey, make sure to take the next right.”
  10. Keep calm and guide. Don’t ever get angry. If the driver feels some steam coming, it makes them feel bad and then it’s a downward spiral and we’ll be lost forever and maybe some crying.
  11. No rush. Let us mosey at our speed. When we get lost, we slow down, don’t yell. Just enjoy the ride.
  12. The best thing you can do is drive on our behalf. That way, there is no chance of us getting lost.  It will be better for your blood pressure and mine.


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