I missed another appointment today. I got lost. I get lost often. I suffer from dds - direction deficit syndrome.
I suppose I am not alone. I mean, that's why they created the GPS, right? This appointment was not serious. It was just a hair appointment at a new salon. Usually, I am not late. I am high maintenance, but prompt. If my husband drives, we sometimes arrive too early. I am only late if I am going somewhere without him. It is not because I am home with a curling iron stuck in my hair. It is because I am driving around and have no idea where I am. The last new hair salon I went to, I got lost. My first appointment with my therapist, I got lost. I was 30 minutes late. After I got to my destination, I realized I didn't have 2 shoes in the car that matched. The two different shoes took the emphasis off the 30 minutes I was late.
My first recollection of my struggle was when I was seven years old. We lived on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Our house was on base and a block away from school. In September, I left school with my friend MaryJane. I ended up on the far end of the base, away from my house. I had to stop at a stranger's house and ask to use the phone to call my mother. That weekend, my parents walked me up the street, across the street, to school and back. But, I realized quickly that my particular problem happens when there is more than one exit to a building. I knew my way home if I left through the right door. But, if I go out a different door...well...and I couldn't remember which door was the right door.
Since that day, I have gotten lost in hospitals, hotels and train stations. Let's take Penn Station for example. It is one thing when you can't find your way when you are new to the city. But, I traveled there once a week. One time, I was going straight to the Penn Hotel. So, I thought I would be fancy and go out a different door. No matter how I tried, I kept ending up in Madison Square Garden. Seriously, in Madison Square Garden. I felt that normal heat rise up to my face and the sheer panic set in.
My normal way out of Penn Station is the 8th Avenue Exit. My destination was our office on 9th Avenue. What could possibly be easier. I got lost every time. I went left when I should have gone right ..or was it right when I should have gone left? I still don't know. Fortunately, I have a friend that starting meeting me there and walking with me to the office.
Hospitals. Sure, a hospital like Albany Medical is like a giant maze to me. I have no hope and have never dared to try and find my way around there even with the color coded lines on the floor and walls. But, I once worked nights at the small Saratoga hospital. I had to cover for another secretary on a different floor. When I was finished, I decided to take the stairs. I ended up locked outside of the back of the hospital at 3:30am.
Hotels. First, I must say that I find the floor numbers in the elevators ambigous. I want one button that tells me how to get to the front desk and the door out. But, instead, they have main lobby, first floor and a star next to the number 2. Shouldn't they all mean the same thing? One time, I kept ending up in the restaurant, unable to find a door that led outside. And, again with hotels, why do they have so many doors to different parking lots. If you take the wrong exit out of a single room, you end up on the other side of the hotel in the wrong parking lot. And every floor of rooms looks the same. The agony and sheer panic overwhelms me.
So, if you see a middle aged woman walking around looking like she just got spun to play pin the tail on the donkey, it may very well be me...Please be kind and point me in the right direction!