Bitch On Board

I was a bit of a bitch today. To both my son and husband. I feel quite guilty about it but I am using the argument that it hardly ever happens and if it does happen it does not mean that I am morphing into my father. Which, incidentally, is one of my greatest fears. I am not perfect, only human.

Anyway, I had bought a lamp via Ebay and had to go and pick it up in a suburb about an hour away from where I live.

I cannot express to you how appalling my map reading skills are. I read maps upside down, back to front and inside out. If I have instructions given to me they enter my right ear and exit my left ear. It is a classic case of “I see your mouth move but all I hear is blah, blah, blah”. It is all made worse by the issue I have with my left and right. If you ask me to raise my left hand I have to say to myself “hmmm, left, the opposite of the hand I use the most” or something along those lines.

In 1994 when my husband and I went overseas we had the worst arguments about my map reading. One argument ended when I hit my husband over the head with a giant road atlas as we tried to make out way out of Bath and onto London. It was not until last year’s trip that he apologised to me for being so unsympathetic about what was obviously a problem I could not resolve. The fact remains, I could not find my way out of a paper bag without some level of stress.
So, last night my husband sat down with me with the street directory and outlined which way to go. I studied it closely and felt confident I would have no trouble getting there.

The is, of course, until I missed the sign that pointed the turn off I was meant to take.

So, naturally, as I turned left into nowhere land at the end of the freeway, a mobile phone call was made to my husband. It was my son who was the go between as far as the conversation went. After stopping by the side of the road I then spoke to K who, despite his efforts to help me, was rewarded with a screech and me hanging up the phone.

Once back on the freeway my husband called again and my son answered the phone. Husband offered to meet up with me and show me where to go. However, the conversation was translated by my son as “Dad is twenty minutes away so can he come and pick me up and you can go on your own….”. Chinese whispers starting here.

Without going into too much detail of the content of the heated conversation, it culminated with me ending up on a newly built freeway which put me out of my comfort zone and resulted in another hanging up of mobile phone.

By this stage I was totally out of control, and for me, that is a rare and horrible place to be. I yelled at my son. Whined about life. Said the “F” – spelt it out actually, did not say it in full. Got lost once more. Said I wished I was not married. Also said that if I fell off the face of the earth the only thing that they would miss would be my laundry efforts.

Also said that from now on I will ask nobody to help me ever and would do things on my own.

To which my son replied, “Mum, nobody can be that free. We all need each other”.

Sigh, nothing like a child to say the right thing. I calmed down. We both kept quiet and found the place where the lamp had to be picked up from.

I had to eat some humble pie when I got home.

It was this trip today that made me realise that I am the perfect candidate for a GPS thing in the car. So I went to the shop to have a look at one and get some information on them.

Unfortunately I was tempted instead by the lure of an iPod. The only one I have is a teeny one for jogging. That is my justification.

Came home and loaded up lots of songs. My son took a photo of me dancing to Jackson 5’s I Want You Back.

Everyone is happy in the house.

As for the lamp. It was made in the 1920’s roughly. The base is made from the root of a tree and has been fashioned to have a series of steps up to a lighthouse. I have wanted one of these for many, many years.

I think it was worth the stress of today to tell you the truth.

But I won’t let them know that….


19 thoughts on “Bitch On Board

  1. Those GPS things are great. My son (the one that just got married) has one. You can't get lost using them. They are perfect for the directionally challenged people of which I am a charter member.


  2. we must be related. i have gotten lost getting from the hairdresser to work. a short trip i make every six weeks.

    i don't know, but, i can get quite lost with a gps. they aren't 100% perfect, and couple their little errors with my sense of direction and we're in a very bad place, literally and figuratively. also, if you're depending on them and you lose satellite reception…. been there.

    iPod sounds much better than a yapping GPS unit (“recalculating” “relcalculating”.) i really think they have attitude..

    by the way, your son says the most amazing things. sounds like a cool guy.


  3. Deborah: Good idea. I think there was a bit of car drifting going on yesterday. I do need to get out more, I only drive 20kms per day. I wonder if there is map reading courses available.

    dbcooper: You have just dispelled the myth that men are born knowing how to read maps. Just as well you and I are not married – we would be roaming around town all the time.

    Lissy: I got lost going to a yoga class one evening. And I had been there at least five times beforehand. My husband could not believe it.

    I just realised I have a GPS on my mobile phone. Except I think it keeps putting me living in another state and I don't know how to fixe it and cannot stand the thought of ringing customer service to talk about it.

    I used the iPod today in the car – fantastic. As long as I don't touch it when driving…..

    I wonder what the girls with think of him when he is older….they won't be able to tell him much. He will have the answer for it all!


  4. I'm so sorry! I understand, as I am the queen of U-turns. But it sounds as if you are blessed with patient family members who realize you are worth more than laundry.

    I have two thoughts:
    -Hold your left hand up, palm facing away from you, thumb extended. Your left hand makes an “L”
    -Get a Garmin GPS. My youngest lives in a city of over one million people and she moves about confidently with this handy tool on a daily basis.


  5. I have horrible trouble with my right vs. left. I blame the fact that I've been talking through mirrors most of my life (25 years)when in reality most have said that it is just one of those things that I just have trouble with. I don't like to admit to such things, so I blame the mirrors.

    Also have a terrible sense of direction, although if someone gives me directions on the phone, and I write them down, and then forget the directions (happens most of the time) I can call upon my subconscious to help me remember. Somehow. For long trips though…? I stress and panic when I don't see familiar landmarks anymore. I'm thinking of driving to NY in the future… God help me if I actually attempt it.


  6. Karen: I feel like the village idiot when I get directions. I just zone out. Landmarks? I need to see them fifty times before I realise they are landmarks.

    I wonder if a chauffer is the way to go? Then I could just read a magazine and tell him where to take me.


  7. Linda,

    That entry almost brought tears to my eyes. I have been there soooo many times. When this happens, I feel so misunderstood and taken for granted. I totally sympathize and emphathize with you.

    As a result, I try not to say anything to anyone which only causes me to go into a depression. Whatever I become upset about still has to be dealt with from the daycare, to the laundry, to car repairs, to whatever.

    Unfortunately, after a spell of throwing a tantrum, I have to get it together somehow because I have no one to help. Eventually, I make my boys help, but that's after I go on a little more in my tantrum. Sometimes, it is just not worth it. Again, I still have to deal with it.

    Don't beat yourself up. Sometimes, you are entitled to it. I do go back and apologize.


  8. I don't have patience to fiddle with those GPS gadgets. I get very flustered. I usually mapquest the address. Most of the time it is quite effective.

    I am horrible at directions. I too could have been there a 100 times and still get lost!…lol!…literally! I have resorted to taking my most calmest (if this is a word) boy. Kids are really good with stuff like that which is why your son said that most cool statement :).

    I get anxiety quite easily. My third child, second son, is the best. He seems to see my anxiety and will act without me even knowing.

    Kids are so cool!


  9. Presious: I also think I would fiddle and faddle with a GPS. And drive up someone's car!

    Anxiety is just such a dreary burden for me, hence the reason I exercise so much. That kind of reduces it enough that I don't react to it too much. My son handles his anxiety well. He just says “if there is no reason for it, it will pass”.

    I think kids take a while to be helpful and if they have a doting mother (ie,like you),they will need a bit of a push to help. But it sounds like your children are pretty good for you and help you out.

    Sometimes being a mother is a bit hard, I love it, but it is kind of full on. For ever and ever I realise.


  10. Strangely the most stunning thing about this post was the comment that Linda had “always wanted one of these.”

    You mean there's more than one? This is an incredibly strange contraption that seems to be the product of a deranged sculptor, a cross between some Lord of the Rings dungeon-cave and a lighthouse. That there would be more than one is…(Cow is speechless)



  11. Ding ding ding…

    The fact that these are apparently made in Australia but so far COMPLETELY unknown and unheard of in USA means Linda has a chance to corner the export business and become a huge millionaress (or something)



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