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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Yes--sadly, I am serious

     So, I may very well be the most directionally and geographically challenged person I know.  Really.  One night, at the places call, I went up to Colt with a question that I knew would be humbling, but needed to be asked.  Oh, and my character, Kristine, is from St. Louis.  You need to know that.  


 Me:     Uh, Colt? I am gonna ask you something that may sound stupid, but I would really                      appreciate it if you just answered me without making fun of me.  
Colt:    What's up, Jess?
Me:      Well...St. Louis is in Minnesota...right?
Colt:     Are you...serious?
Me:      Sadly, I am.  And I can't quite remember where St. Louis is and it's one of my lines, and              well,  I just need your help.
Colt:     Sure, it's in Missouri.  
Me:      For sure, Missouri--I mean, you know this positively?
Colt:    Yep, for sure.  St. Louis is definitely in Missouri. 

     And to his credit, Colt didn't make fun of me once for that little conversation.  Though, he could have.  Actually, I did think it was too good to keep to myself and so recounted it to my friend Ian.  After laughing about it, the subject got around to where we were going next, which was Portland.  And I was like, At least I know where Portland is!  Pretty soon we'll be in Portland, Washington! I said this with great gusto and confidence.  Ian stopped in his tracks and said, Jessica, are you serious?  Well, yeah...He looked at me and kindly told me that Portland is in Oregon.  Has it uh, always been in Washington, Ian? Yep, always, he said. Oh shoot.    

    And right now I am at a hotel that is about a 7 minute walk to the theater.  It's really not that far, and I think there are a whopping 2 turns you have to make in total from here to the theater.  Anyway, after dinner at a restaurant by the theater last night, Ian offered to drive me to my hotel so I didn't have to walk alone.  We got in the car, and I figured I could just sense where we were supposed to go.  You know, hoping my spidey-skills would kick in, or something.  Well, ten minutes later we were still not there...I was so lost and making my friends who were only doing a good deed for me in the first place lost too.  I finally turned on the GPS that Drew had clairvoyantly purchased for my phone, and we got there in no time.  You see, I have no spidey-senses.

   I really don't understand people who just know which way to go.  Honestly, I am so bad that I could seriously go the exact opposite of my instinct and it will be right most of the time.  One more example for you: Me, Drew, my pop, and a few brothers thrown in for good measure are walking along the beach in Delaware.  Drew offhandedly says, I wonder--if we just kept going this direction, would we eventually walk to Maine? I mean, is it possible to walk it?  I thought about this for a second and then incredulously said, Drew--how do you just know which direction Maine is? How can anyone know that?! Again, I was asked if I was serious--this time by my family--and again, I was.  So Drew kindly broke it down for me as he answered, Okay, picture a U.S. map (doing it).  Picture the east coast and the Atlantic ocean (doing that, too). Now, which side would the ocean be on if you are walking north, towards Maine (enter, epiphany)?  OHHHHHHHHH!  I got it, I said--you really can know which way Maine is--and Florida, too, I added, just to show how very thoroughly I grasped the concept.  

    Who knew that playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and geosafari wasn't going to give me a comprehensive understanding of the world and where everything is in it?  Oh, and if I happen to ask you a stupid question or make a remark that reveals my lack of knowledge in this area, rather than going through the are-you-serious?-part, how about just skipping to the you-just-educating-me-part.  Just assume I am serious. 

15 comments:

Peaj said...

That's pretty funny. My guess is that as a dancer your sense of position is filled up with knowing where your own body is, and your brain would overload and explode if it tried to grasp where St Louis is, too.

Most people have a good grasp of direction because of the iron filings in their head that always point toward magnetic north. They hand them out in public school. Didn't you get yours? ;-)

josh said...

that is so funny...now i am not saying that i don't know where maine is, but sometimes i get lost going to the mall. Seriously-something doesnt make sense to me and i have to try to map out the route. I don't know the route by rote so to speak. wilmington especially is confusing with its stanton and newports and suchlike...

Jamie S. said...

My husband bought me a GPS for our car for our anniversary. He says that it will help our marriage because I won't call horribly lost just a few miles from our house. Oh and I just accept my directionally challenged mind and decide that whichever way I am facing is North - egocentric I know but I am right some of the time!! You should try it, when I am right I blow his mind until I admit that I was just using my "whichever way is directly in front of me is north" guess!

Mom said...

Portland is also in Maine.

It's not your fault that you are directionally challenged. I got a "d" in 7th grade in geography and since I normally was a really good student, I made a vow that I would NEVER learn where any city, state, or country was in the world. Well, that vow must have been passed on subconsciously. So sorry :)!

kathiek said...

If you don't believe Colt, Jess, take it from me, St. Louis is in Missouri! I happen to be in St. Louis, Missouri at this very moment. When we arrived here yesterday, I took 3 pictures of the arch, which I will happily show you as proof.

Jess, I completely understand, I am directionally challenged, as well. However, for the record, I do know that St. Louis is in Missouri (and not just because I am here), and that there is a Portland in Oregon (John has been there for work) and in Maine. Just don't ask me how to get there!

Jessica Latshaw said...

I know--mom, though your skills at teaching aregreat, you really left geography up to the geosafari!!!!! This is why I don't know where anything is...:-(

And Josh--I have gotten lost going to the mall,too--I especially hate when I accidently get on 95 the wrong way and have to pay that stupid toll!

And Jamie--a GPS is a great idea!!!! Although, I think it makes me think even less, so that I am absolutely dependent on it now...

Lady Leth said...

Thats hilarious!!!

erin said...

Jess! That is hilarious! Listen, what you may lack in geography skills you more than make up for in your ability to WRITE about these little mishaps! And I have absolutely zero spidey senses--just like you!! But I have quick ninja reflexes so that has to count for something!!!!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Oh, Erin--your ninja reflexes are famous! I know I wouldn't want to try to sneak up on you...

Susan Marie said...

Jess, my friend Carrie, also a dancer, has a notoriously bad sense of direction. I have learned, over the 20-some years that we've been friends not to harangue her about it because it truly distresses her.
I lucked out in the direction department, but Jason puts me to shame. My nickname for him is "the Master of Time and Distance" because he can usually guess within 5 minutes what time it is, he can tell you exactly how long it will take to drive pretty nearly anywhere, and he literally is NEVER lost.
On one of our first dates, we competed to fill in a blank map with all of the states and their capitals. He won.

Pop said...

My cousin Pam, who is a medical doctor and so hopefully pretty smart, told me recently that a sense of direction is genetically based! I thought she was joking but no, supposedly they've mapped the genes that control it. So there you go.

jason j said...

Susan is right, however, I now go officially by the title of Doctor of Time and Distance.

Jessica Latshaw said...

wow, pop--so it's really not my fault!

and Dr. of Time and Distance--hilarious.

Pop said...

Yeah, ultimately not your fault. But probably even things we're not genetically wired for we can get a little bit skilled at with some work at learning them. But you'll never be the "Dr. of Time and Distance," sorry. Then again, the good doctor will probably never dance in ACL.

kathiek said...

I would like to think that the things I am good at would make up for my terrible sense of direction. Unfortunately, my ability to teach, write, cross-stitch, or whatever, does not help me when I am trying to find my way somewhere!! :-) All I can do is pray that I can remember and follow the directions and not panic!