Sunday, August 12, 2007
said the man in the moon
"what's with you men? would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?"
- erma bombeck (u.s. humorist, 1927-1996)
i am the navigator in the family, by necessity and by choice, and i excel at it, if i do say so myself. hand me a map - a good map, i do like michelin - and tell me where we need to be, and i'll get us there, with very little fuss and, if possible, some scenic - read photogenic - detours along the way.
a map, though, is essential.
when my husband and i picked up our rental car at toronto airport in may, after a
flight that had been delayed a tiresome eight hours, it was past midnight, and we had no map, just a little piece of paper with a few hastily scrawled directions, and those directions (if i remember correctly, they went something like this: hwy.401, hwy.115, cr 21, pontypool rd.) were somehow supposed to get us from toronto to the little hamlet of millbrook (middle of nowhere) ontario.
in the dark.
i was aghast. "no lefts? no rights? no straight aheads? how on earth am i supposed to work with this?" i demanded.
my husband shrugged apologetically; he'd been short of time in the panic of packing, and, to be fair, he'd counted on a drive in the bright light of daytime.
two hours later - we'd been awake for 26 hours at this point, and were as close to a domestic rift as only ikea, as a rule, can nudge us - he grumbled: "tsk! we've gone too far!
i can see the lights of peterborough!"
i bit my lip, about to tell him precisely what he could do with his poor excuse for
a travel planner, and at that very moment a pretty sign announced our entry into exactly the historic little town we were heading for.
within moments, even as we hugged our sister-in-law in the glow of her veranda,
even as we professed our longing for a cup of tea before turning in, the terrible tale of our trip shifted into positivity, became an anecdote for times to come, became a story-with-a-smile.
it's the way of the world.