You can’t get there from here, the familiar saying goes. That is wrong.
You can, but only if you go here, there, and everywhere first. I know this from personal experience. Let me explain.
My friend, Velveeta, and I were headed the new mega mall where we planned to rub the numbers off our credit cards, as my love god is fond of saying. We are shopoholics on a mission.
Armed with three full-color maps in various levels of detail, and a Global Positioning System that follows us like Inspector Clouseau, we couldn’t go wrong. Besides, I had been to this mall before and managed to get there and back without a miscue on more than one occasion.
In fact I was pretty sure that if I adopted a keep-to-the-left policy as a driving rule-of-thumb, we would be there before you could say Southpoint.
Armed with optimism, off we went. Things looked very familiar for a little while, and then they didn’t. My keep-to-the-left ideology was not working all that well, and the road signs and buildings seemed to place us in the wrong county, though thankfully still in the right state.
I tried hard to remember my last mega mall trip. . . dang it, was it keep-to-the-right, avoid- the- left? . . . or left, right, left? My hands grew sweaty on the wheel as my navigator gave me that look.
Velveeta was feverishly pressing buttons on the unfamiliar GPS, hoping a picture of the mall would appear on the credit card -sized screen.
No picture, no mall, no way – we were lost.
The GPS demanded the address of the mall before it would tell us how to get there, as if any woman actually knows a mega mall’s exact address. We know crossroads and department stores . . period.
So I safely chose the middle of the range of street numbers that the GPS offered. Middle is good, I reckoned, just like being in the middle of the class in math was good at keeping me out of trouble with the folks.
We flew with abandon past farmhouses, rocking chairs and tired tobacco fields, looking anxiously for anything familiar. I tried to pretend that this lost-in-space detour was a chance to see the countryside and the quaint lifestyle of the local folk. Velveeta wasn’t buying my bunk – she knew “lost” from “scenic tour”.
Suddenly, over a hill, a vision appeared. There was Nordstrums, the mecca for all shoppers. We had made it, though like in the children’s ditty, we had to go over the river and through the woods past grandma’s place first.
There are lessons to be learned from this adventure.
First, read the GPS instructions before you need to use the blessed thing. It works much better that way.
Second, if you don’t have a GPS, then read the map before you have to choose between the forks in any road.
And third, if you find yourself saying ” I think I remember . . .”, give yourself a shake and go back to lesson one.