Walking across the street yesterday an oncoming driver slowed to a stop to ask me for directions. That is funny. Clearly she didn’t know me or else she would probably have chosen the next nearest pedestrian to mow down with her sedan and three sweaty children anxious to arrive at their destination strapped across the back seat.
Here’s the thing. I typically let people know up front two basic facts about myself:
- I don’t do numbers.
- I am directionally-challenged.
If you’re cool with that, the rest is easy. Clearly she hadn’t gotten that memo and I was it: her only shot at getting to the auditorium in time for the graduation. The pressure was on and I wasn’t going to let her down.
Thankfully, I knew the auditorium and on which college campus it is located. I also knew we were very close and I could get there on my own, but to give someone else directions? My pulse increased. My palms got a little sweaty. I doubted my ability. I forgot street names. I whipped out the Maps app and showed her how close she was and how easy it would be to get there.
I was a regular Dora with my trusty purple backpack (secretly disguised as an iPhone) and my ever-handy Map at my beck and call safely tucked inside! Feeling like I’d just conquered Mars, I ventured to ask her from where she’s visiting and she told me she recently moved here and is still learning her way around town.
Always the chatty conversationalist, because standing in the middle of the road is a good place for that, I next asked what brought her here and I smiled as she said it was to take care of her mother, but then her eyes teared up when she followed that with, “But mama didn’t make it.”
When I reached through the car window to squeeze her hand in sorrow, I hope she realized how much I wished I had an app to make it all better. But I’m so glad she stopped me in the middle of the street so I could be the one to welcome her to this beautiful city, where I hope she’ll find her own way very very soon.