Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You Can Go Your Own Way

I remember scoring a near-idiot level on spatial awareness on a high school intelligence test. As they suggest occurs with girls and math scores, I gave up on all things spatial after seeing my results.

I justified everything from how often I bang into things (desks, doorframes, other people while walking) to being horribly off when guessing how many dollars were in a jar of quarters (I said $15 when it was in fact $80. My boyfriend of the time’s mother was horrified and asked him later if I was “just not too smart”). If it involved spatial awareness of any kind, I allowed myself a pass.

This especially extends to driving directions. I am a Point A to Point B driver. Never along the route do I think things like, “Oh, if I turned left I’d be at XX in 3 blocks”. It’s problematic, but I’ve learned that I don’t get frustrated if I: a) am by myself, b) have a lot of gas, and c) I’m not running late. When I was driving a car full of semi-drunk non-Mpls residents to a house on New Year’s a few years ago and got lost in Midtown, I came pretty close to a panic attack. It’s not that being lost freaks me out, it’s that once I’m lost I am 100% incapable of finding my way back unless I turn around and start over. Try explaining that to a bunch of engineers who were born with more logic than they know what to do with.

J once asked how it was possible that I was so flighty and directionally impaired, stating that I was one of the most observant people she knows. The key to this is that I’m only observant about things I care about. For the record, I care about things like my relationships, my next cup of coffee, and crappy celebrity gossip. This means that I’m likely to notice things like email tone, new caf├ęs popping up, and articles about Kate Winslet leaving her seemingly charming husband. I am not likely to notice where an exit is in comparison to another freeway. (This is why I have become a master at driving a full four-leaf clover every time I take 169 anywhere.)

The whole point of this? I got an iPhone a few days ago. Its fabulous mapping capability has ended the days of crossing my fingers and using oak trees and McDonalds’ as my reference points.

“Great!” a friend said when I told them how much I was using this feature.

Yes, I suppose it will be nice to get places on the first try. But secretly, at the back of my brain, I just keep thinking... If I’m not the girl who gets lost going everywhere, WHO AM I?

For now, I am comforted (?) that I have a giant purple bruise on my thigh from our immobile production table that I bump into every time I print anything. And with Easter around the corner, I’ll be forced to lose to my 7-year old cousin in the “Guess the Jelly Beans in the Jar” contest. So I guess I have that going for me, even though I’ll make it to our Easter celebration with nary a U-turn to be seen.