One of the very popular programs on television these days is a show called “Lost.”
I’ve only seen the very first episode; it’s quite successful and, in fact, has won all kinds of awards.
The topic of being lost has no entertainment appeal to me. I’ve been there, done that, an embarrassing number of times, and choose not to experience it on purpose.
My husband and I have an amazing talent for getting lost. This past Saturday night we were invited to dinner in Putney at the home of friends who have lived in the same house for 31 years. We’ve been there a million times.
We got lost!
OK, it was inky dark outside and we were chatting; we missed the turnoff. There was that familiar sinking feeling of “This doesn’t look familiar.” That’s because we were on the road to Westminster.
We’ve been lost in some pretty cool places like Paris and Berlin. We’ve been lost in small towns and big cities, and the scariest neighborhoods of New York.
Although getting lost in Manhattan is a frightening ordeal, those numbered streets and avenues do make sense. You can usually dig yourself out of a snarl if you can just figure out where the heck you are. Boston? Forget about it.
Once, coming home from a trip to Montreal, we missed the turnoff and found our selves in a small town that was nowhere on our many maps. We stopped at a little store for directions which were cheerfully handed out, in French. When I got back in the car, I said, “I think they said ‘pont’ and I think that means bridge.” We found a little bridge, went over it and somehow found the right route.
Last year, driving home from holidays in Cincinnati, we got lost in Bennington. That was after 14 hours of hitting all the exits just right.
Is there a feeling worse than when you finally give in and agree to stop and ask somebody for directions, that person cocks his head, thinks for many minutes, and says, “No place like that around here.”
Our daughter has one of those gimmicks that tells you where to go. You get in the car, turn on the Global Positioning System and relax. “First you back out of the driveway.” It will scold you a little if you stray from its precise instructions. The voice takes on an annoyed tone as it attempts to straighten you out. “I told you to turn left. Now find a safe place to turn around.” I find myself yelling that maybe I didn’t want to turn left. But eventually. I will bow to the voice’s superior knowledge.
Sometime during this year’s holidays, we will take to the road and head for Virginia. We asked our son to print up the directions in minute detail. Then we enlarged them to an enormous type size. We’ve marked up maps of our journey and highlighted every twist and turn with day glo markers. The cell phone will be all charged up.
At the end of the right exit, we’ll go through three lights and take a left…or was it right.