January 22, 2014

Life before GPS was like an episode of The Wire.

When I was a teenager, I didn't have GPS or Google Maps. Heck, they didn't even have MapQuest then. I had to ask my parents for directions and write them out on a piece of paper. If they didn't know how to get somewhere, they would have to look the street up in their map book. What is a map book, you say? It was a book FULL OF MAPS. The city streets were alphabetized in an index. You'd search for the street you needed and map it out. Sometimes, if the streets were really long, you had to flip through several pages to find your ultimate destination. CRAZINESS!

I was never any good with North, South, East, and West.

"Take the North loop of the interstate."
"Do I turn left or right?"

I also wasn't great with mileage.

"It'll be about ten miles before you turn off to get to so-and-so's house."
"So, about how many minutes is that?"

Once, when I got lost coming home, I called my step-dad to help me find my way back. Do you want to know what he did? He told me the only way I'd learn was to figure it out myself and then hung up on me. WHAT?!

And then there's this one time my best friend and I were leaving a bar in downtown Memphis. {Should I mention we'd been underage drinking at said bar? Surprisingly enough, it's not relevant.} We thought we knew how to get back to the interstate. We turned left instead of right. We ended up in a really bad neighborhood. We went to turn around in a school parking lot when... Lights. Sirens. Cops. Yes, that's right. We got pulled over because the police officers thought we were there to buy drugs.

You won't have any fun driving stories to tell if you always know where you're going.
So, kids, if you're reading this... Throw your navigation systems out the window and just drive around.


Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

You want to laugh - I still have a map book in my Jeep. It's a bit old, I need a new one but I will always and forever rely on maps if needed.

We have TomTom (so annoying) and we have GPS in our phones to use - but we still rely on good ole' Google Directions - printed out old school and used for long trips or trips to the unknown location.

We used the hubby's phone to find places to eat with his GPS system when we were in ATL it was very helpful.

I've been lost in the wrong part of town, in the snow and SCURRED out of my mind. But I did what any rational teen would do, I stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant for directions. Thankfully he was a kind person, and aside from his accent I would barely understand he helped me back to the interstate.

It took me a while to get used to driving here locally in AL. Not knowing where to go is one thing, but then you start factoring in the quickest way to get somewhere - I still sometimes have to ask Mike's opinion - I know what way I want to go, but he has his methods of ways to drive to get there faster and w/out traffic. I sort of miss the long rides I used to take in Maryland to get from A to B - sure they were long, and consumed gas but sometimes I just like to drive, and purposely get lost to find my way out again. Stupid, I know ;)

The Peanut Program said...

lol the good old days of writing directions on a piece of notebook paper!!!!

TLF said...

C SWEARS by a map book! It's the only thing he'll use if he even needs it. You can pretty much give him any address and he knows exactly where it is and cross streets. He gets SO MAD at the newer guys that can't ever get anywhere. And he HATES GPS! lol

Meghan said...

THIS. I totally remember getting lost in the NEXT TOWN OVER looking for the library. Life before GPS was the stone age, that's for sure!

Karen M. Peterson said...

You called your step-dad? When I was in high school, I had to find a payphone to call home!

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I'm so bad at directions, when I'm in Hawaii I don't get island fever, because I don't even realize it's an island! I never have any idea where I am. It's part of the adventure of my life.

Whitney Alison said...

THIS THIS THIS. I can't tell you how many times my friends and I got lost. Lol especially on 270 because its a loop; so sometimes you're going north, but the same direction is also west, or south and then suddenly it's east. CRAZY.

I remember back in the day getting those trip tic things from AAA. i still kind of like them. They highlight for construction and possible detours. Screw you apple maps you can't do that!

There is also something to be said for developing a sense of direction. I've lived in Cbus forever, but there are areas of the city I just don't know that well. I always know the general direction I need to go, and that helps me get back on track. Boomer and my ex husband are amazed by this skill. My mom taught me, she once found her way out a the little roads between corn fields. That woman is a genius.

Michele said...

So it's my 11th grade year and I've just moved to Collierville. My parents only allowed me and my sister to drive down Winchester to the Hickory Ridge Mall and back...no deviating. So homecomings coming up and my best friend and I decide we want to go dress shopping...but her boyfriend lives in Millington and as my boyfriend is going, she HAS to have her go too...so we're able to make it to Millington no problem...we even get him back home safely...but then, everything got a little fuzzy and way turned around. All of a sudden-my best friend yells "GUYS! I see the bridge!?!?!?!" Ummm yea. We had to stop at a hotel and call my dad. Thankfully, the full blown terror of being lost and scared was enough punishment. I quickly learned my way around town from that point forward.

Brittany SSP said...

I actually need to buy a map (book). Hubby got a motorcycle a few months ago, and we have dreams of just hitting the road this summer. Kinda takes the magic out of it to hear "turn right now." So it'll probably just be a map in the saddle bags that we check at stops!

Christina said...

Haha! We used to look at our atlas all the time! We also had maps in our phone book and since my mom worked at AAA she brought home state, county, and city maps all the time. I think I still have some in my car. We couldn't use our phones last month Vancouver (roaming is expensive!) and we were in Jacob's car, so we had to just wing it when leaving the city. We eventually found our way back to America. Good thing Jacob knows how to look at the North star. Ha!