I’m one of those people who will get lost driving home on a route that I’ve taken 100 times, so the advent of the GPS was a groundbreaking day in my opinion. Sliced bread? It ain’t got nuttin’ on the geographical tracking device.
Of course, the next thing I knew, I had a smartphone with a ton of cool apps and my GPS went the way of the VCR and the boombox, but the concept (and its ingenuity) is the same.
I’ll never forget the time I got lost driving to the Trenton train station, on my way to New York City.
I was running late (as usual; I operate on what I fondly call Jo-Lynne Standard Time) and didn’t bother setting up my GPS because I thought I knew the way. It’s well marked, and I’d driven there before several times. Plus I just seem to live under this illogical assumption that I’ll get there (there being where ever I’m going) eventually, like I can follow my nose or something. (Thus my propensity for getting lost, you see.)
SO. There I was, driving along, likely jamming out to some raucous 80’s glam band, and somehow I missed the exit. Or I got off on the right exit and missed signs for the train station. Either way, I found myself driving deeper and deeper into the heart of Trenton with no train station in sight.
If you’re not from around here, you may not know this. But Trenton? NOT where you want to get lost, if you know what I mean.
I knew that I was not in the safest part of town, plus I had a train to catch in order to get to the event I was attending in NYC on time. I drove around and around, getting more anxious by the second.
My Pollyanna facade — based on the assumption that if I drove around long enough, the train station would miraculously appear — was slowly crumbling. I scanned the streets for possible knights in shining armor to come to my rescue, but my prospects were grim.
I got up the nerve twice to roll down my window and ask a passerby for directions, and neither one was of any help.
Just before I was about to call my husband and beg him to come bail me out, the miracle happened. I noticed an itty bitty sign for the Trenton Transit Center just ahead. I still managed to get in the wrong lane and had to drive around and try again, but somehow I managed to pull into the parking lot just in time to grab a latte and catch my train.
See that? I DO always find my way. Eventually. If I’m not mugged or run out of gas first. But the stress I endured? So not worth it.
I am SO grateful for the GPS app on my new smartphone. Now I can safely get anywhere I want to go, and if I’m late, it’s only because I didn’t allow enough time to get there.
photo credit: Jeremiah Cox