This book gets you going in the right direction

After the mountain of books I’ve read in my lifetime, I’ve finally found the one-and-only written just for me: “I’ll Never Get Lost Again: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Sense of Direction” by Linda Grekin.
Not everyone knows that I don’t have any. I never make a “thing” of it until something happens. But there it is. My mother was bad, I’m worse, and my daughter is even “worser.” She believes it’s a sex-linked trait because her brother and her two sons are not similarly afflicted. Whatever: It’s a real handicap.
On a recent Friday, I was due at my hosts’ home for a synagogue-arranged group Shabbat dinner. I knew how to get to the house: straight north on Hillcrest (I do know that street’s direction), turn left on Beltline, turn right on Meadowcreek, turn again at the third street on the right. And I was right. But somehow, I got lost anyway. I did something wrong somewhere, wound up on Hillcrest again, drove around fairly frantically while not knowing where I was or which way I was headed, until I finally hit (not literally, thank the Good Lord) a gas station that gave me specific directions. When at last I arrived, the group was lighting the Sabbath candles – and praying for my safety.
If you’re thinking this must be an occasional happening, please think again. One evening, I tried to find a home on a street that runs west of Coit (yes, I know west for some areas I’ve been before) for a meeting. But when I couldn’t even find the right street, I decided to go back to Coit and try again. And then, I couldn’t even find Coit.
So, I just drove, randomly, not recognizing any street names, until I finally located a gas station (always my best bet) and went inside to ask directions. Already too late for the meeting, I thought I’d just head for home. When they asked where I wanted to go, I said to any main street in Dallas. Guess what? I was in Addison, a few short blocks north of Beltline. I reached my house an hour and 10 minutes after I’d left, having done nothing but drive the whole time.
To help me out, I consult maps before I go anywhere. But I have to turn them around to figure out in which direction I must travel. This book tells me that’s a common “solution” for people like me. It also tells me there are others who can sit in their own dining room and not be able to tell what room is directly above it on the second floor – even after having lived in the same house for years. Or why I’m a whiz at word puzzles but a dud at solving mental manipulation of what something would look like if it’s turned around to another angle.
But it doesn’t explain why my high school geometry teacher somehow figured out that I was drawing my graphs by the “squint and guess” method (the same way I still hang pictures on walls) and was so good at faking it that until his class, I’d managed to fool everyone else…
I go into buildings by one entrance, go out another and don’t know the difference until I’ve walked several blocks in the wrong direction. I ride DART frequently, but I’m always worried that I might be on the wrong side of the platform to catch the right train. And while all this may sound funny to you, for me, it has major costs in time, energy, frayed nerves and embarrassment.
Author Grekin hasn’t really solved my problem, but she has reassured me how not-alone I am, that some big names share my problem, including the original Ann Landers. I always knew she never drove, but until now, I didn’t know why.
Today, I’m sending a copy of this book to my daughter. Mine, I’ll never part with.

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