Last weekend, Nathan and I had to go to Salem to volunteer at a track meet. In an attempt to avoid getting carsick, I volunteered to drive. That meant Nathan was in charge of Jill.
Disclaimer: Nathan hates Jill. So does my mom. I always thought they were just jealous of her (and therefore, my) superior navigational skills. Until Saturday.
I had Nathan set Jill’s destination to the University of Willamette, where we were heading, and away we went. I basically have no idea how to get anywhere in Salem (besides Michael’s Crafts, of course), so I was fully dependent on Jill.
I am driving along, minding my own business, when I realize that Jill says I am driving 10 miles an hour slower than my speedometer. My speedometer says I am going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. I am getting passed by everyone, so who the heck really knows? “Stop paying attention to your GPS and just drive,” instructed my husband. So I did.
Jill got me off of the freeway just fine, but this weird thing happened as I took the off ramp. Jill got confused, and seemed to be several hundred yards behind my car’s actual location. Nathan checked to see what was wrong, and found that Jill was not showing any satellite signal. Which was strange, since she was still managing to shout directions at me.
He reset her, and we got going again. Or so we thought. Apparently Jill had another brain malfunction, and this time got way AHEAD of us. She was telling me to turn several blocks before the actual turn. I was trying to remember all the directions she was giving me so that I could make the turns when I actually got there. If you have ever gone anywhere in a car with me, then you realize how difficult this is for someone as directionally challenged as myself.
Did I mention that Nathan hates Jill?
So right about the time that we start driving past the Willamette University buildings, and I start wondering where the heck the track is, I remember that Jill doesn’t take you to the track if your destination is Willamette University. I actually learned this getting lost on the way there last year, but magically forgot.
I have Nathan reset the destination to the city park that is right next to the track, but by that time I have entered downtown Salem. And the one way streets. And road construction. And this conversation ensued:
Me (panicking): “I think I’m lost. I have no idea where I am. Where do I go?”
Nathan: “Jill’s still thinking.”
Me (panicking more): "I don’t know what to do! Now we are really entering downtown, this is definitely not the right way. Should I go straight or turn?”
I turn. Then I drive some, and make a few other turns. I was attempting to make a large circle while Jill thought, but thanks to the stupid one ways and random closed roads, ended up somewhere completely different. I began approaching the end of a street where I had no option except turning left or right.
Me (full on panic mode): “OK, now I really have no idea where I am. I am totally lost. We are going to be late! What do I do?”
Right, I can stop and wait while Jill gets her act together! Why didn’t I think of that? I see a McDonalds to my right, and that seems like a perfect place to stop, so I turn right and head towards them.
Nathan: "You just ran a stop sign!”
For the record? I blame Jill. The least she could have done during all her useless babbling was mention the stop sign. Thanks to her, I had to explain to my husband that I didn’t stop because I didn’t SEE any stop signs. Shockingly, he didn’t seem to think that was a very good reason.
We learned three very important things that day. One, a basic word such as “stop” can have a very different meaning to different people. Two, apparently I disregard all the rules of the road when I get lost or panicked. And three, your spouse doesn’t appreciate bad driving any more than your parents do.
Needless to say, Nathan drove the car home. And managed to get out of Salem without Jill’s assistance, even though I gave him my own version of directions which took us (shocker) in the completely wrong direction.
SCORE: Husband, 5. Jill, 0. Megan, –10.