GPS is bad for your marriage.

I am not exaggerating to say that my husband and I have a harmonious relationship. We rarely get to the point of raising our voices with one another or driving each other insane. We are pretty laid back and get along great.

However, there is a formula that we’ve discovered in our thirteen years of marriage that sets us up for spousal frustration. It’s not complicated. But it is somewhat dangerous.

 Kraig driving + Christy using iPhone GPS = Uh oh.

And I’m telling you, it’s not all my fault. Sometimes I think the GPS lady and Kraig have schemed against me to set us all up for failure, but no one else is buying it.

I will admit, that I am directionally challenged. When receiving directions from someone I don’t like to hear terms such as; “head east,” or “It’s on the southwest corner,” or “go north on the highway,” etc. These terms are confusing to me. If instead the GPS lady would say things like, “Turn right when you are beside Wal-Mart,” or “Do you see that Applebee’s up there? Great! You’re going to want to slow down and make a left there,” I’d be all over it. But the GPS lady never uses landmarks.

What’s her deal?

But anyway, I want to help Kraig out, and more importantly, I want to live and not have him get us all killed while looking at his iPhone while driving. So I take it from him and then I pass on to him what the GPS lady tells me.

And somewhere in this step of the process is where things begin to break down. Sometimes that thing is me. But most the time I don’t cry. I just get us lost.

For example, we recently drove to visit my cousin who lives out of state. We had never been to her home before and so I put her address into the phone and we happily followed the little voice until it told us we had arrived at our destination. However, since my cousin doesn’t live in a tanning bed called, Sun Your Buns we were actually not at our destination.

The GPS people are out to get me.

Kraig says that I didn’t put the correct address into the phone, but I think I did.

Maybe you’re beginning to see our problem.

The Sun Your Buns debacle is unfortunately not the only time my skin’s gotten hot with embarrassment and frustration. In fact, it was in the beautiful, sunny state of Florida where our Spousal Frustration Formula was really in full swing while on a family vacation.

We were headed from Orlando to Daytona Beach. It was a nice day. Kraig could sit back, relax and just drive. I had the phone in my hand and I had the address of our destination correctly entered into the phone. All was well.

I began to tell Kraig each and every turn he was to make on our 90-minute trip to Daytona Beach.

And we made a lot of turns.

We turned into a mall parking lot and followed it around the perimeter of the mall where we came out and then entered a subdivision. We made several turns in the subdivision before entering another parking lot… and another subdivision.

Kraig was beginning to sweat.

He was trying not to rip the phone out of my hand because I kept telling him that I was watching the GPS and this was EXACTLY what the lady was telling us to do. AND I had the address inputted correctly. SO JUST FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS!

Kraig was really getting antsy now and telling me that he understood I was following the directions, but when did we get on the highway that connected Orlando and Daytona Beach? “There is a highway!” he stated. “I can see the highway over there!!” “When do we get on it?!” “Pleeeeeassse tell me we get on the highway!!!!”

So I checked the phone.

“Nope. We never get on the highway.”

“WHAT??!! How can we not get on the highway?! This is going to take us forever to get there on back roads! Why is it taking us on back roads? How long does it say this is going to take?!”

This is when I knew we might have a problem.

I looked at the estimated time of arrival and it said we’d be in Daytona Beach in a mere 2 days and 14 hours.

Maybe we should get on the highway.

Suddenly I realized the GPS was giving me walking directions from Orlando to Daytona Beach. Therefore, the GPS lady with the monotone voice was apparently kindly keeping us far away from dangerous highways to walk beside and busy roads where we could get hit and instead was directing us around mall parking lot perimeters where we’d have a nice cozy sidewalk.

Uh oh.

And so I switched it over to driving directions and told Kraig to get on the highway.

I hate GPS.

But, I love my husband, and he loves me and he even still lets me ride shotgun in the car. And sometimes he even lets me hold the iPhone.

We have a pretty harmonious relationship, Kraig and me.

If only the GPS lady would stay out of it.




My Bermuda Triangle

I’m fairly confident that if you blindfolded me, put me in your car (preferably not the trunk) took me to a shopping mall that I’d been in at least one time, dropped me in the center of the mall and asked me to direct you to the food court, The Gap, or the nearest restroom, I’d be able to give you clear directions. However, if you stood me outside and asked me to point North, there is only a 25% chance that I’d point in the correct direction.

What can I say, outside of shopping malls, I’m directionally challenged.

I drive about 50 minutes once a year to go see my eye doctor. You may wonder why I drive so far to have my eyes checked, but it’s because my eye doctor and his family have been friends of ours for years and I enjoy visiting with them after my appointments. I’ve gone to see this eye doctor, who has an office in a quaint little town, since I was probably in middle school. Many years have I traveled to this quaint little town nearly an hour away from my  home. And many years have I gotten lost.

The thing is, you can basically take two roads from my house and drive directly to the quaint little town. It’s not complicated, but it’s mysteriously difficult for me. I call it my “Bermuda Triangle.” You know that place in the Atlantic Ocean where people have mysteriously disappeared. Yeah, that’s what happens to me on my way to have my eyes examined.

One year, before I had children (so about 9 years ago) I got particularly lost and called my husband in a panic. I was so lost that I think I may have left the Midwest and may actually have been near the Atlantic Ocean. When my husband finally answered his phone during a meeting because he saw I’d called so many times, he incredulously asked how I could possibly be in a city close to an hour away from where I was supposed to be.

I’m telling you, it’s not my fault. Bermuda Triangle, people.

That day I was an hour and a half late for my appointment. Yes you read that right. As in ninety minutes late. They still squeezed me in that afternoon mostly because I think they felt sorry for me and didn’t know if I’d ever make it back again.

Last week I had to go back to have not only my eyes checked but two of my kiddo’s eyes as well (well, technically 4 eyes on two kids…anyway). With all three kids in the car we set out through the treacherous triangle with very specific instructions from my eye doctor’s wife (who has pretty much given up on my directional abilities at this point) as well as a map on my iPhone. My eight-year-old son has found the blue bouncy ball on the iPhone maps program to be marvelous. He therefore sat behind me telling me exactly where to go including helpful information he could glean from the phone such as “we are now passing a field,” or “there is a pond on our right.”

But I still missed our turn.

So now, the list of those who mock me about my Bermuda Triangle pain has grown from just my husband and Mrs. Eye Doctor to now my son saying, “Mom you missed it!”, “Mom you missed it!”, “Mom you missed it!”, “Mom you missed it!” …”Mom,  how did you not see that road?!”, “Mom, the BLUE DOT IS GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!”

Maybe those people in the Atlantic Ocean disappeared on purpose because of backseat drivers like this?

So seriously, who wants to go to the mall?!