A few days ago I decided to make a trip to a location in Oklahoma to pick up the camper shell for my truck. The trip is about three and half hours long and uses both interstate highways and state highways. I began my trip by using a GPS device that would advise me when and where to turn and how long it would take to finish my trip. The weather was clear and the directions to my destination were equally clear. But the trip home was neither clear nor fun.
One of the faults that I have, and I am told most men have, is a distaste of asking for directions. In earlier days that meant pulling over to some sort of store or gas station and asking someone for directions to my destination. For some unknown reason I always felt I had a good sense of direction as long as I went in the direction, North South East or West, I would get to my destination. I can remember one incident in Houston where I was headed to the airport to pick up my son. During that trip I took the wrong freeway many miles out-of-the-way. Upon realizing that I made a U-turn and spent a long time trying to work my way back to square one. The embarrassing part about this story is that I had a Chevy truck that had OnStar and all I had to do was push a button and asked for directions. But no, I decided that all I had to do was go east and in doing so I went to several areas where I wish I was still carry my gun. I made sure my doors were locked. Rather than stop at a stop sign I would roll through it thinking that if I was pulled over by the police it would be a good thing. I would feel safer with the police at my location.
But let’s get back to a few days ago. I picked up my camper shell, which was put on the truck at the store and my truck was looking good. I then headed south towards Dallas expecting to make a Western turn before actually getting to Dallas. Since I had driven to the location without any incident I figured I didn’t need a GPS and I would just drive home via my memory. After about a half an hour on the road I realized I probably should’ve already made a turn West and the scenery around me was looking more like a city, I should still be driving in the country. After driving a little further, as I was driving into the suburbs of Dallas, I decided to pull over and get my GPS device out and program it to get me home. The problem with that is that I have not used the device a lot. Usually when traveling, I travel with my wife and she programs the GPS device. So after setting on the side of the road for some 15 minutes in total frustration I finally found an icon that says” home”. So I selected that icon and the GPS device produced a route home. I got back on I-35 and followed his directions. The directions given by the GPS device had me driving south on I-35. It wasn’t long before I found myself in stop and go traffic in downtown Dallas on a holiday weekend, Friday night, at 5 PM. The traffic was heavy with stop and go pogression. The good part was that Dallas is beautiful as it turns from day to night with all its tall skyscrapers. I had already used the truck phone several times to call my wife to tell her I was going to be delayed because I’d gone the wrong way. The GPS device would also give an estimated time of arrival. As I look at it the arrival time was now another four hours before I got home. This is very disconcerting to me as it only took me 3 1/2 hours to get to my location to begin with. While sitting in stop and go traffic I wondered if the GPS device had been reprogram since my move from the Houston area to an area in North Texas. So once again I called my wife and asked her where the GPS device had programmed the home location. She answered that we had not reprogram the GPS device and the home location was still in the Houston area. So the GPS device was trying to take me back to Houston. And in a feeling of total frustration I turned off the device. I did not want to try to get off of the freeway again to reprogram the device as I was in downtown Dallas and would be even more lost if I got off the freeway. Luckily I spotted a freeway sign that told me I was coming up on Interstate 30 which I knew would take me in the direction of home. Once on Interstate 30 I felt calm again and that I was only a couple hours from the house.
All of that frustration could’ve been avoided if I’d just asked for directions in the beginning. And so once again in my life I vowed to be better prepared and asked for directions. I find that with today’s large stores I have to do the same thing. I do not ask for directions. In the past, I would walk from one side of the large store to another side. What I found out was that not all Sam’s clubs or Walmart’s, or Home Depots are set up the same. And instead of spending half an hour walking around lost I have to start asking for help from the employees in the stores. I do not know why I find it so hard to do. But it is been a weakness of mine for years, to ask for help. And I guess that goes from driving my car, shopping for items or handling life’s ups and downs. I believe that there a lot of men and women, just like me, who are uncomfortable asking for help. But if they are blessed like I am, they will have a life partner like my wife who will either ask for directions or help me ask for directions..
So as the title of this blog is. I do not like getting lost, I also do not like asking for help. But once again I will promise myself to do so. There is nothing wrong with a U-turn but it is frustrating when there are several U-turns in one trip.
2014 is but a day away. I will strive to be a better person by asking for help. But if you are around me and I appear to forgotten that promise please remind me.