Please Don't Ask Me For Directions - Girl of Cardigan

Yesterday I gave a very sweet lady terrible directions.

Not just terrible.  Wrong.  I sent her in the exact opposite direction than I should have.

She pulled up next to us in the Target parking lot as I was unbuckling Fabes from her carseat.  “Excuse me?” she asked kindly, “Can you help me?  I’m trying to get to this other Target…”

And I, who posses the world’s most unreliable sense of direction and the world’s most acute awareness of said unreliability, chose this moment to go rogue and give this woman directions without pulling out the smartphone in my pocket that holds within it all known knowledge in all of the known knowing.  If it were me trying to get somewhere, sure, I’d tap that sucker into Google, but for the world’s sweetest 70-something lady who has been driving around for an hour already, aw heck – let’s wing it.

I gave her directions.  We smiled, we laughed, and as Fable was hollering “GOODBYE!” at the white station wagon turning out of the parking lot, it occurred to me that I AM THE DEVIL.  Because I realized, in that hopeless little moment, that I had sent her quite literally in the exact opposite direction she needed to go, a mistake that would likely cause her at least another hour of confusion and being lost.  And it was too late, because she was gone.

“GOODBYYYYYYYYE” yelled Fable.

Folks stop and ask me for help and directions more often now that I have Fable with me.  I wonder if there is something that seems reliable or nurturing or safe or friendly about young mothers that inspires this phenomenon.  “Aw, she keeps a toddler alive!  I bet she knows how to get to the zoo.”

People.  Let me tell you, NOBODY IN ALL OF KNOWN KNOWINGNESS is a less reliable source of information than the parent of a child under ohletssay 5.  We don’t sleep.  We eat poorly.  We are distracted, and often frazzled, and usually late.  We are listening to you while simultaneously discovering half of a peanut butter sandwich from God-knows-when in our pants pocket.  We are surviving on coffee and community and Cheerios.

Please Don't Ask Me For Directions - Girl of Cardigan

I spent our entire shopping trip thinking of ways to save the woman I had led so terribly astray.  “Perhaps if I put it on the internet!” I thought, brilliantly, with a sudden and obvious total lack of understanding of how the internet actually works.  Because sweet senior citizens with no GPS or Mapquest access are clearly going to be checking my Instagram for regular updates on whose day I’ve completely effed up.

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOODBYE!” (my kid is the world’s most enthusiastic goodbyer.)

I’m imagining a scenario for this woman, because I have to live with myself.  So as far as we’re concerned, me and all of you fine folks, this sweet lady turned in to the parking lot of the completely wrong Target I sent her to, confused and annoyed, only to pull up next to her old high school sweetheart in the meet-cute of the century.  And they talked for hours and ate pretzels and Slurpees and they will be married and sit fireside and sigh over the sweetness of life and fate and love and absent minded young mothers with good intentions and horrible senses of direction.

Maybe if we all believe it.  It’s a good story, after all.

And they lived happily ever after.

Also, now my hair is blue.  (just thought I’d throw that in there)

Please Don't Ask Me For Directions - Girl of Cardigan

best hair ever by @heatherbsimon of @tribe_hair_studio

Here are three sweet things for your weekend:

I’ve been resisting Everlane for so long for no reason what so ever, but I finally caved, and folks – these just might be the perfect affordable tshirts.

These lovely thoughts on why so many members of our generation are drawn to homesteading from my lovely friend Kelly of Little Fall Creek.

This recipe for the ultimate in comfort food cookies.  Complete with teeny, tiny peanut butter cups.

May you all head in the direction that leads you home.

Girl of Cardigan

  • Kelly January 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Love this Karyn! A beautifully written story that made me smile. I’ve been plagued by those sorts of errors plenty of times. Thank you for sharing, and you’ll have to come visit the place sometime once we’re all up and settled if you’re ever in the area with your cute little fam! <3

    • karyn January 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      I cannot wait to visit! Our tiny urban homestead has been benefitting from your blog – you are inspiring me, lady, and I thank you for it. Except that now I desperately want a rabbit, though I need a rabbit not even a tiny bit. <3

  • Bethany M. January 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Ha ha! I laughed so hard as I read this post. I, too, have a terrible sense of direction. But I am also a believer in there being no coincidences, and a lover of all romantic stories. Perhaps she met her long lost sweetheart, or perhaps she avoided an accident she might have had if she had gone the right way, or maybe she came across a lovely little knitting shop hidden away that she will find the best community of friends she could have hoped for. All because of a harried mother in a parking lot. You never know! And I love your blue hair. 🙂

    • karyn January 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Bethany, darling, this comment makes me love you so very, very much.

  • Janice Christman January 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Ha, ha, this was so funny! I have done the same thing and I always think about what the person is saying about me! Well, I guess you can look at this way, you are broadening this person’s horizons and they will see places they have never been to. It could be a win after all!

  • Anne Marie Gee January 24, 2015 at 5:43 am

    After a dredful morning battling with my kids
    A) not to wake up at 6.30 to play the Wii
    B) to do the copiious amounts of homework wehad to catch up with froma week of avoidance .
    This made me smile and I have a dreadul sense of direction so bad in fact I cannot even follow the Sat Nav properly!!

  • Karen March 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Oh my gosh, I loved this! I am always, always, always giving well-intentioned but incredibly awful directions. When people stop me, I really want to help them and yet it never occurs to me to check my smartphone (I’m oldschool, I guess).

    Instead of spending the next hour feeling bad about how I led them astray, (because really, I’m not a bad person, right?) I need to start to make up lovely stories like this.

    Coffee and cheerios… all the way.