A smartphone catapults the navigational differences between men and women to a new level.
“Should we use our current location?” I ask my husband as we drive in a strange city on our way to visit friends at their new home for the first time. “Maybe I should use the city we just left as our starting location.”
“We’re on Ronald Reagan Highway,” he says. “Use that.
“That won’t work,” I say. “I’ll use the city we left. I-N-D-I-A-N-A-P-O-”
“Do I take this exit?” he says.
“Just a minute,” I say. “-L-I-S.”
“It’s exit 10 for 75 North,” he says.
“Wait a sec. It’s thinking,” I say.
“I’ll just take the next exit north,” he says. We zoom by exit 10 at 70 mph.
“Stay on this road until we get to the fork,” I say, “then veer left.”
“We’re taking the next exit.”
“At the fork?”
“No, the next exit north,” he says.
“It says, Continue on Ronald Reagan until the fork. Veer left.”
“Does it say north or south?”
“It says, Veer left.”
“North or south?”
“IS THE VEER LEFT AT THE FORK NORTH OR SOUTH?” I say to the iPhone.
My husband grew up on an 850 acre farm where every parcel of land, every watering hole, every homestead, every wayward blade of grass is due east, west, north or south as the crow flies. I grew up in the suburbs where every destination is triangulated in relation to the mall.
“Just pull up a map!” he says.
“Okay,” I say.
“Wait a sec. It’s thinking.” We zoom by exit 11 clocking 80 mph.
“The map’s not coming up,” I say. “Maybe we should stop and ask for directions.”
Exits 12 through 14 disappear in a blur.
“Give me the phone,” he says.
“Not while you’re driving!”
“We’re taking the next exit north,” he says.
Suddenly the speed limit slows to a 45 mph crawl. We enter a residential area.
“Hey, I think that’s the fork!” I say. We veer left-north at about 50 mph.
Soon, by the grace of God, we come to our friends’ subdivision. “What’s their address again?” he says.
“Um, I think it’s 7911 or something,” I say. “Wait a sec and I’ll pull it up. Oh, look, there’s a house for sale! Cheryl didn’t tell me they have a house waiting for us next door to theirs. It’s beautiful. It’s 7909, so I’m sure the one next door must be theirs. Pull in here.”
We pull in the driveway. We smile at each other. Love fills the cab where tension once stifled our patience. We’ve arrived. My husband unlocks the doors with a sweet click. A woman steps out from behind the house.
“That’s not Cheryl!”
My husband revs the engine and engages reverse thrusters. We escape by the hair of our chinny-chin-chins to our friends’ house across the street.
“How could 7911 be on this side of the street?” I say.
“Their address is 7912,” he says.
A minor detail. This time, we really have arrived. Next time, I’m driving.
Love is patient, love is kind… 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
What to say here? What else, but I Drove All Night by the unimitable Cyndi Lauper? While researching this song, I discovered this music video was the first to be closed captioned for the hearing impaired. Warning: it’s a little risqué and Lauper’s sporting Cruella de Vil hair, but oh, that voice…