Monday, December 6, 2010

I am so directionally challenged

Yesterday, the older 3 kids and I went to the MSU women’s Basketball game. Kate is playing basketball this year and she was so excited for the chance to go. We planned on arriving 30 minutes early. Things were looking great; we were right on schedule until I accidentally passed the road that the Breslin Center was on. So I followed the curve to the right going onto the campus. I figured we would turn around there and let Kate see a little bit of the campus. Problem is once you go in; there is no getting out. Not for the directionally challenged like me anyway. The road I was driving down was named Circle Drive. And I found out exactly why that is its name. It goes in a circle with no end, so it seemed. Finally, I saw a busy road with lights ahead. I will take it, I thought. So there I was driving all over East Lansing trying to find Harrison again. Finally I found it and took a guess and turned left. As we kept driving I saw Grand River and thought I went too far, so I turned around only to end up at Lake Lansing Rd. At this point Kate pulled out the Garmin, and I called my Dad. Turns out that I was originally going the correct way on Harrison, and if I would have gone just another block or so further we would have been there. Oh well, we finally made it. I followed some orange signs that said, “Event Parking”, which lead me to a parking lot by the football stadium. It was a long cold walk from there, so it seemed, in the freezing cold air. I was already dreading the walk back and thought to myself, “Yeah, I prefer to have Michael drop me off at the door.” About half way there I realized I had left my cell phone in the van and there was no way I was going back. Finally, we were in the Breslin Center Just as the game was starting and Kate was in awe. All the kids seemed to enjoy the game.

When it was time to leave I couldn’t remember which door I came in, so I asked someone the best way to get to the parking by the football stadium. As we stepped outside I realized things looked a lot different in the dark. So I just followed the crowd. Eventually the crowd was splitting in two different directions and I had no idea which path to take. “Um, are you going to the “event parking” I said. But no one answered. “Hello, anyone, is anyone going to “event parking?” I said a little louder. An older gentleman heard me and pointed me toward the stadium. Off we went, things still not looking familiar. We kept walking and again I picked someone out of the crowd and asked, “Did you park in the “event parking”. The man gave me a puzzled look and he said, “We parked in the lot on the South side of the football stadium.” “Oh good, I did too.” I responded. Really I had no idea about the direction, I just knew I was by the stadium but how many lots by the stadium could there be. We reached the lot and it still didn’t look familiar. I pulled out the keys and started pushing the lock button hoping to hear a horn or see some flashing lights, but nothing. At this time I am beginning to realize that there were probably quite a few orange signs, leading to quite a few different “event” parking lots. We came to the end of the lot and the crowd was disappearing toward their cars. So the kids and I turned around. We were all freezing by this point and had absolutely no idea where the van was and no phone on me. I was getting really nervous inside just trying not to cry. Partially because I didn’t want to upset the kids and partially because if I did cry my tears would turn into ice and freeze my face. I kept wishing I had my cell phone to call Michael, but it wasn’t like he could tell me where I parked either. What I really needed was a homing device on me, so I could call Onstar and ask them where my car was in relation to me. And this would actually be a great investment for me, I am sure I would use it again and again. The longer we were walking the more I kept imagining myself back at the Breslin Center, crying to some worker about how I couldn’t find my car. Seriously, what is wrong with me? How many people spend 30 minutes in the freezing cold wondering the parking lots of the MSU campus looking for a gray Dodge mini-van. As if there aren’t a million of them. On our way back I ran into two guys that looked the “college” age. I asked them if they attended MSU. When they answered yes I said, “Oh good, cause I am soooooooo lost. I parked in the “event parking” by the football stadium.” I said pointing to the stadium we were standing next to. “But this isn’t the right lot. Is there another lot on the other side, perhaps? When we were walking in we went up a hill and through some pretty trees.” I said. Ya see, I was paying attention to land marks on the way in because I am very much aware of my directional inabilities. Problem was I walked out a different door of the Breslin Center than when I went in. The boys sent me all the way around the other side of the stadium. We were now freezing as we began running down the sidewalk between two buildings with the wind racing through biting out faces. Finally at the other end of the stadium there was another parking lot. Only we were entering it from another side then the one we left, so once again I didn’t know which way to go. I just hoped this was at least the right one. I looked out over the massive parking lot and recognized the gate I drove through to get in. I then knew which direction to head. So once again I pulled out my keys and started hitting the lock button. The further down we went the more things began to look familiar until in the distance I could see flashing lights. “Yeah!” I said to the kids, “We made it!!!” Then they began jumping and running with me, all of us saying very ecstatically, “we made it, we made it, we made it.” Fortunately I found my way out easier than my way in.

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