Tuesday, July 13, 2010

American Roads

I just found out that in the United States of America, roads that run east to west are even numbered and those that run north and south are odd numbered. Wow! "Information I could have used yesterday!" (Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer.) In my case, I could have enjoyed awareness of this tidbit for the decades I've been driving. Wonder why nobody ever mentioned it to me?

In an informal poll of three women, two did not know this and the third, when grilled, admitted that her husband told her. Every man I queried knew this and appeared stunned that I did not.

It's no secret that I am directionally handicapped. Not only do I not know north from south, I have to look at my wedding ring to determine left from right. Even clockwise/counter-clockwise have been known to give me grief, especially when playing games.

Once, in seventh grade, our school band went on a bus trip to a solo and ensemble festival. It was on this outing that I first realized I am directionally deficient. We had a couple of hours between when we performed and when we were to leave for home so we walked downtown to explore. We went into a store and when we emerged from it, I had no idea - none - which way to turn to go back to the school. Panic!! Lucky for me my friends knew. (Note to self: Always shop with a friend.)

To this day, when faced with a decision to turn left or right, I almost always will choose the wrong direction. It would be funny if it weren't so frustrating. I make the correct choice just often enough that I can't say "I think I should go right, so I probably should go left." I do better with the landmark system. "Go to the red barn and turn right. When you get to the lake, turn right again."

The best way by far for me to get from Point A to Point B is to let my husband drive. He never, never gets lost. If he goes to a city once, he will know how to navigate it sixteen years later. He is gifted, I am handicapped.

Opposites really do attract.


Jennifer said...

North and south I have down - no problem. East and west - that is another story. Everything is east to me. I have to really stop and think about it when giving directions. I will invariably say to turn east, no matter if it is east or west. I can picture turning the correct way. I just can't say it!

I also do best with the landmark navigation system. Thank goodness we have a GPS now. It speaks to me, over and over to make sure it knows I need to turn and tells me what lane I need to be in.

I did know about the numbering system on highways. I suppose it is from taking so many road trips.

Unknown said...

My husband told me last year about the roads (east to west are even, north to south are odd)! Wow, I was amazed and angry too, I guess they told the guys this when they split us up for sex ed class (after they talked about cars).