Last week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News; Date: Jan­u­ary 25, 2018; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A3

Won­der­ing where I am doesn’t make me Won­der Woman

I don’t tell many peo­ple this, but I do have a super­power. Like any super­hero, it is a bless­ing and a curse. I haven’t fig­ured out the bless­ing part of it, but it’s def­i­nitely a curse.

I have the uncanny tal­ent for get­ting lost.

Although I know how to fol­low a map, I have no sense of direc­tion, no inner bea­con that points me toward north, and no clue why I get dis­ori­ented. I have lost my car in so many park­ing lots, I now have a “Dude, where’s my car” app on my phone.

Unfor­tu­nately, I often for­get to use it.

When Dale and I went to Lon­don, he relied on me to call up the map on my cell phone and get direc­tions to what­ever land­mark we wanted to visit. I con­sider that extreme trust on his part. Mostly, I did man­age to find every place, although I often led us in the wrong direc­tion out of the under­ground, only to watch the blue dot on the phone move away from our destination.

It’s easy to flip a U-turn when you’re walking.

We got into a lit­tle trou­ble in Bath. The tour guide showed us sev­eral land­marks on our way from the bus, and reminded us, cheer­fully, that he would leave with­out us if we weren’t back on time. I made note of the route, con­fi­dent that we’d find our way.

What I didn’t count on was that the street fair would put up bar­ri­cades that led us off our intended path. As a result, Dale and I got lost. For­tu­nately, Mar­cus found us, led us to another bus, and we all returned to London.

Mar­cus’ super­power is sav­ing his parents.

I recently went to a horse show in Bur­bank. Nor­mally, I take the 57 free­way to the 210 and back again, which is longer than the I-5, but not as crowded. This time, I decided to let my phone tell me which way to come home. She insisted that the I-5 was the fastest route.

Who am I to argue with technology?

As I drove, I glanced at the phone’s dis­play, notic­ing the solid red line approach­ing. This indi­cated a major slow­down. The phone was cor­rect, and I saw a sea of brake lights ahead.

Liar,” I told the phone. “This is not the fastest route.”

She was not defeated. “In half a mile, take exit 131A.”

I thought she might be rerout­ing me to another free­way, but the exit led to a small street of mod­est homes and cor­ner stores. Sev­eral blocks and a left turn later, I was back on the I-5, with a lit­tle less traf­fic ahead of me.

I was happy to have avoided the jam, but won­dered about my phone’s detour. Surely I wasn’t the only recip­i­ent of her rerouting—I saw sev­eral cars get­ting off and back on the free­way the way I did. How many cars would it take before our diver­sion was as con­gested as the freeway?

In the end, I got home within her esti­mate, which wasn’t too bad for a Fri­day evening. I even trusted her enough to guide me again on Saturday’s trip from the show. She took me down the I-5 again, rerout­ing me on and off at a few loca­tions, but it didn’t bother me.

At least I wasn’t using my super­power. I’d have ended up in Bakersfield.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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