Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I found this lovely compass rose here:
Which, I must add is an interesting blog post.

Being a person who gets lost easily...
and still dares to venture out,
I have come upon an observation that I'm not sure it true or false.
So here it is right or wrong.

When I ask a female how to get somewhere,
they give me suggestions of landmarks along the way
and trust that my address and the landmarks will show me the path.

Males will also give me landmarks sometimes,
but they add in actual "directions".
By this I mean
North, South, East, West, etc.

I know that they mean well and feel that this will clarify things for me.
If I had a compass in my head...
and I'm sure that many people do, yet I do not...
it would make things easier.
Yes, I can find the sun and I know it rises in the East and sets in the West.
But I don't always know where that is in relation to where I am at
when I need to know it.
(Noon, clouds, night...)

(BTW... moss grows on many sides of a tree, so forget that old saw about it only growing on the North side of a tree!)

I had an interview with a nice man about a job.
He said
"The building complex is very large, so you'll want the building in the North-most 
corner of the complex."
Not wanting him to know that I don't know North from a hole in the ground,
I said 

I have actually been lost there before...
it was the big red brick building complex that I ended up at
the very first time I came to visit the man here.
I had to call him to come and lead me to his, now our, home.
I could find my way to the complex blindfolded in a snow storm now.

I asked the man how to find North here.
He pointed across the street.
But this street is not that street.
Later I got the bright idea to ask him for his compass.

I am picturing the sort of compass one would have gotten in a Cracker Jack Box.
What he brought me wasn't.

It does things.
He promptly launched into a lesson about how to use its 
marvelous functions.
He may as well have been Charlie Brown's teacher.
Way too complex for my purpose.
But I listened and tried to understand it
because he obviously delighted in his directional machine.

All I cared about was the Cracker Jack Box prize part.
When he handed it to me,
I held it and pointed in the direction I thought it was pointing North.
The swell gizmo is very sensitive and you must hold it level.
Who knew I couldn't tell level any more than I could find North?

The man looked crestfallen.
He sighed.
He said
"Baby, when you are facing the front doors of the main building...
North is on your Left."

I do know my Right from my Left.
No one had to mark the toes of my Red Ball Jets
with a big "R" or "L".
That was a direction that I could not only take,
but successfully follow.

Now wasn't that sooo much easier?


  1. Just don't assume North is always on your left. Unless it is of course.

  2. 3GirlKnight- Ha! The only assumption that I am willing to make about North is that I'm probably wrong about where I think it is. =;]

  3. I really need to learn how to use a compass. I also get confused when streets change direction as they do in SF area. Once N/S and then W/E. Ack! But generally a good sense of direction. I hope your interview went well!

  4. When I started driving, I memorized two major streets that go north/south and east/west. It has always helped me navigate my area.

    As you know I have two daughters. One we've called "Anjin" (Japanese for navigator) because from a young age, she picked up on directions very easily. Her younger sister wants a GPS.

    BTW just as an aside, one of my favorite scientists, Richard Feynman, a brilliant man couldn't remember which hand was left and which was right when he was a boy. Go figure.

  5. Pamela- I know those crazy streets! Its good that you have a good sense of direction. You do need it there.
    P'land has a habit of changing the street names while you are on them. Here its this, next block its another and it hasn't even changed direction.
    The man loves his compass. His eyes glow when he looks at it. He uses it in the woods. I'd still get lost with his. I need my Cracker Jack prize model.

  6. Cube- That's smart. I should do that here. I'll try that. I'm admit that I would like a GPS too.

    We had trouble with Max and his right and left. He didn't worry about those things. In fact his shoes could go on either foot if it was left up to him. Meanwhile his younger brother had to have his socks on exactly right or he couldn't put his shoes on, but he was very careful about right and left. I think that Max and your scientist had bigger fish to fry in their heads at that point in their lives. Too much wonder was around them maybe.

  7. It's amazing how kids from the same litter ;-) can be so different. Infinite diversions in infinite combinations. The crap shoot that is genetics.

  8. lol, it's so true. i', all about landmarks and left/right. the spousal unit is all about north/south. i do like maps so fortunately he is willing to draw them for me.

  9. Compass directions are meaningless to me. If someone asks me about the South-facing side of my house, say, and I have no idea which one that would be.