Tuesday, April 12, 2011

After Three Miles, Start Crying: The Art of Getting Lost

Morning Readers,

     She'd sounded like that girl. The one trying to steal your boyfriend. The minute we'd flipped the little switch and hit "Go", she'd purred to life and begun seductively telling us what streets to turn down, highways to avoid and how much better looking than me she was. Ok, that last part may be an exaggeration, but it didn't stop me from shutting off the "Tart" function and enjoying the quiet, purple line as it guided me from destination to destination. You hear that lady? This Eagle's gonna tell me where to go, so you can retire to your brothel.  Although it's a total hussy, our GPS is reliable and delivers us to our destination more often than not. This weekend, however, I was brought to question that reliability and wonder if it  had finally turned on me.

     Again it'd been time to pull out the "special outfit", the one with no drool, teeth marks, food remnants or rips. Garbed in matching, black top, black leggings, and hair pulled back into a respectable bun, I looked more like I'd missed the Black Swan tryouts rather than the fact that I was headed to a bridal shower. My only saving grace, the jade sandals my little sister had forced me to wear in place of the black flats I'd previously picked out.

"Paige, you like you're going to a funeral."

"But it's chic."

"No it's not. It's morbid."

So my jade sandals and I fired-up the car, powered the GPS to life, typed in our destination and headed out on our merry way.
     My mother always warned me that my ability to "trust" would get me in to trouble. I don't think she meant to apply this bit of advice to mapping systems, but it didn't stop me from believing the tiny, grey box when it told me I had time to stop for gas, jump on the highway, and arrive sixty seconds ahead of schedule. How did it know I even had time to chug a Red Bull? "I love you GPS." I whispered, fondly.

"I hate you GPS."

     Hands gripping the wheel in cliched, white-knuckle fashion, I scanned the expanse in front of me.  Through my giant sunglasses, it was apparent I was definitely in the middle of nowhere. My stomach'd dropped when I'd seen the detour, the grey box happily telling me to drive right through the construction, scraping the workers off my bumper as I went.
     And here I was, in the middle of the forsaken Midwest, a big question mark on the screen where the arrow should be. Maybe John Donne was right, perhaps no one really is an island, but that doesn't stop unsuspecting, woman drivers from becoming suv's afloat in a sea of purple lines telling them that they're totally screw-pa-looped.
     But I "trusted". Doing so possibly meant taking a wrong turn into a Stephen King story and never making it back to my family, but as the arrow miraculously popped back onto the screen, I had no choice.  I headed into the afternoon sun, twisting and turning, puttering up hills and around unfamiliar corners. This was it. "Sexy GPS Lady" had succeeded in luring me to my doom, finally getting the chance to move in on Husband and replace me.
     Eventually, however, Knight Rider scooted me into a neighborhood. A nice one. I comforted myself with the thought that if worse came to worse, I'd be able to knock on a door and frighten some luxurious housewife into giving me a glass of water and some Goldfish crackers. It wouldn't come to starvation. Not today. Not with my neatly packaged Bed, Bath and Beyond gift rattling in the back seat, ready to be ripped open.
     Four minutes. As I put it in park, I had to marvel just a little bit. After being sent through the bristly unknown, I was still only four minutes late. If a GPS has the ability to look smug, it shows it by stating in black and white, "Thanks for doubting me, but even with the detours, you're still only four minutes late you ungrateful, little..."
     Either or, I arrived just in time for the shower and an opportunity to gather enough material for a whole other story entirely. An expose on quiche, anyone?

Until Next Time Readers!