A couple of weeks ago my husband was out west on his annual ski trip with his dad, and one evening I received the following text:
“Dad and I are playing a game where you look at Google street pictures and guess where on earth the photo is. Don’t worry, we can play it when I get home.”
To which I replied, “Oh goodie,” which in reality of course means, “Not a bat’s chance in hell, you weirdo!” (You can see how over the past 21 years of marriage we’ve really gotten this whole communication thing down.)
I thought he was just joking, for reasons you will see below. But no-this is An Actual Thing that some people do in their free time. No, even more incredible than that: An Actual Thing that people will pay for, to do in their precious, limited, un-get-back-able free time.
And even though being forced to participate in that so-called “game” would for me pretty much be the equivalent of Adult Detention, I can kind of relate to the experience it creates.
For the past twenty years the contours and textures of our lives in Georgia were so familiar we never had to think about them. Then for eight mega-intensely-packed weeks last summer we uprooted all of that to move back to North Carolina, but we had a very clear plan of what we had to do to get from there to here. So we’re here, have been here for half a year, and now…well, now what?
We moved here for my husband’s job so he has a fairly defined structure to his days. But I’m still feeling into the new edges and grooves of mine. I love it here, AND, I’m only at the beginning of figuring here out.
(I mean, we’ve obviously addressed our most urgent priorities, like finding a dealer source store that will sell us some Diet Code Red Mountain Dew. Everyone is more than happy to sell us Regular Code Red, but the diet version is nowhere to be found. So we went directly to the source and learned, much to our dismay, that despite Pepsi being “The taste born in the Carolinas”, they do not sell this one particular product ANYWHERE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE STATE. They sell it in South Carolina. They sell it in Georgia. They sell it in Virginia. They pretty much sell it in every single state that touches here, but they don’t sell it here. So we’ve had to set up a distribution line that involves a grocery store in South Carolina, my husband’s sister, my parents, and occasional trips back to Atlanta. We are nothing if not addicted resourceful.)
Adding to this sense of dislocation is that after dealing with all that’s involved in moving, I haven’t had much creative thought or energy left to write. And I’m not sure what I even feel like writing about these days. I can sense that the next evolution of my blog is beginning to swirl around in the ethers, but it’s not here yet.
So in honor of the fact that I’m sort of metaphorically groping my way through the dark and figuring out my next creative steps, I’ve decided to rerun some of my old posts about maps, directions, and finding my way. Starting here.
Here There Be Dragons
Originally published 9/1/09
So last week I got my new Blackberry Flip phone, and as I’ve been figuring out what all the different buttons do, my husband has been helping me find cool applications to download. I’ve pretty much been on board with things like Facebook and Google, but then one day our honeymoon period came to an abrupt end as my husband excitedly told me, “Just wait until I show you this cool program called ‘Latitude’.” And then I began to whimper.
Now it’s not that my husband’s love of all things map-related suddenly came as a big surprise to me. I’ve known all about that since the early days of our relationship. As a matter of fact, I vividly remember one evening back when he and I had just started dating when, after a nice family dinner, he and his dad pulled out a couple of atlases and began to investigate them closely. I sat and watched for while as they carefully planned out routes from Butte, Montana to Salt Lake City, Utah, thinking that perhaps they were making plans for an upcoming trip.
But as the plotting continued between more and more random cities, cities that they could not possibly ever need to visit, it suddenly dawned on me that THIS WAS THE EVENING’S ENTERTAINMENT. And that my husband and his dad were actually competing to see who could come up with the best theoretical route to get from theoretical city one to theoretical city two. And then I cried a little.
And of course, mere words cannot describe the love he has in his heart for Google Earth. So since I won’t even go NEAR his office if there’s any possibility that this program is in use, he’s forever calling up his dad and having conversations like this:
My Husband: “Hey. You know that house we lived in when I was five? Well I’m looking at it on satellite view right now. And you know that tree we had in the front yard? Yeah, they cut it down.”
By the same token, I should also add that the extent to which I break out in hives whenever I have to deal with maps and directions is also NOT ANYTHING NEW. So I was kind of worried that maybe my husband had suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury while I wasn’t looking, and then consequently had forgotten who I am, when he offered to install what sounded suspiciously like an application devoted to the love of maps on my phone.
I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but ever since I got sick I have completely lost all ability to pretend about my feelings. And what I was feeling now was, “Noooo0000!”
But it actually turned out to be kind of cool, something about GPS and being able to tell where the other person is at any moment. And I’m not at all thinking that the installation of this application has Anything Whatsoever to do with the spy shows we’ve been watching lately, like “Chuck” and “MI-5”.
Although, I’m always at home these days. So it’s not like it’s really difficult to find me. And if anyone ever did have to spy on me I would feel really bad for them, because this would be The Most Boring Assignment In The Entire History Of Intelligence Work:
“Subject is wearing same green pajamas for the 87th day in a row. Dear God, please KILL ME NOW!”
So the next time you and your loved ones pull out your atlases to plan your theoretical trips, be on the lookout for the symbol on the map marking our house which indicates that, “cranky, frequenly homebound, crazy-cat lady lives HERE”. For best results, and for the winning entry in The Best Theoretical Navigational Route Competition, just go ahead and plan to pass us right on by.