To say that I have a poor sense of direction is a massive understatement. Not only do I have trouble finding my way around in a car, but it took me years to develop a reasonable amount of confidence regarding which was my left hand and which was my right. (Hint: Hold up both hands in front of you with the thumbs parallel to the ground. The one that forms the letter "L" is left. You're welcome!) We won't even talk about how long it took me to learn to tell time.
I know I have bad directions genes because I clearly remember my grandmother driving around with a water-filled compass mounted next to the rear view mirror in her car. Still, I usually get around okay in the car, but that's mainly because I've lived all my life in the same town. However, I've gotten lost twice this week and driven around in circles trying to find my way back to a familiar road, all because I never have any idea which direction I'm headed at any given time.
On Wednesday night I attended an event at a college about 50 miles from home. I couldn't leave the auditorium parking lot the way I came in because of all the traffic, and consequently I got trapped within the campus for a good 15 minutes or so. I didn't know any of the street names and I couldn't even hazard a guess at the direction I should be heading, so there was a great deal of U-turning and doubling back before I finally reached a street with a name that meant something to me. Eventually, I made it to the street I needed to get home, but I wasted a lot of time in the process.
Clearly I'm having a multi-day bad direction spell because yesterday I got lost again. I was heading to my dad's house (which is less than five miles from my house), when I encountered a detour around some road construction. I followed the first sign but didn't see any further ones, so I turned left, which should have led straight back to the road I wanted. Except it didn't. I found myself wandering aimlessly through a neighborhood I don't know at all, vainly hoping to find a street I recognized. I finally encountered a main road less than two miles from my house, which meant that I'd ended up almost halfway back home as I meandered around. Sigh.
I don't know if the solution is a car compass, a GPS, a homing pigeon or what, but it certainly is awkward to try to explain how you got lost two miles from your own house. From now on, maybe I should hire a guide...