Stupid People Tricks

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    Here's a slightly embarrassing story of what happens when a directionally dyslexic female gets lost in a big, big building and then goes out to find her car in a big, big parking lot......sees that it's not where she parked it......and calls the police to report it stolen.

    Here's how kooky Viva shows everyone she's koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs: She goes to an appointment in a big building, gets turned around in there but doesn't realize it, goes out to her car and can't find it.....then panics and calls the police to report it stolen.

    It was hilarious when my mother did the same thing way back when she was in HER mid-50s. Today, not so much. I'm a tad sensitive about my short-term memory deficits anyway, and this was a blunder of the highest magnitude. I mean, what fool loses her own car in a parking lot? Somehow, a nondescript medium-blue Ford Taurus of early 2000′s vintage doesn't seem like a car anyone with half a brain would want to steal....but the only other alternative was that it had been towed, quite possibly because I was parked between two disabled-parking stalls.

    My first call was to my husband: "I don't know where the ^%#*@&! car is," I told him, the first faint stirrings of anxiety beginning to bubble up beneath a protective layer of medication. "I'm calling the police. I think the people here thought I parked it in a handicapped space and had it towed by mistake." Well, it seemed plausible; I really couldn't imagine what any self-respecting car thief would want with my elderly vehicle.

    It never occurred to me that my directional dyslexia might have been to blame for the car's mysterious disappearance. I later recalled having gotten lost inside the three-story brick facility, but thought I'd made the proper course correction to find my way back out to the parking lot where my car awaited.

    Guess what? I was WRONG. And when I'm wrong, stupid crap like this happens.

    So I had the dispatcher checking to see if the car was in the impound yard, the building employees asking other employees if anyone had called for a tow, and while I was at it, I was taking pictures of the parking spot between the stalls that were clearly marked with the blue and white little-dude-in-the-wheelchair symbol. I'm not sure what that would've proved since there was obviously no car in the space, but it gave me something to do until the cops got there.

    Fortunately, the two who arrived on the scene were very nice and quite willing to assist me without making me feel like some silly hysterical female. I showed them my photos and went through another lengthy description of the aforementioned Ford, then one officer went one direction while the other stayed with me. A third unit arrived to assist and promptly found the car, which was parked around the corner....right where I'd left it.

    Have you ever felt about 17 kinds of ridiculous? Yeah, me too, and never more than I did at that moment, even as I was thanking the Lord above that my car hadn't been stolen OR towed. I was mortified. All I could think about was the time my mother had done this same thing and how embarrassed SHE'D been--that, and the fact that I felt like I really must be losing all my marbles now. What was my next move, I wondered--the Alzheimer's unit?

    I apologized over and over; I felt terrible that I'd taken three city police officers off the streets to deal with a scared ol' biddy and a missing car that wasn't missing after all. But they all told me not to worry, it happened all the time; they even told me some funny stories of similar incidents committed by other folks who made me look like a Rhodes scholar by comparison. These included a tale about a woman who denied that she'd parked her car elsewhere and insisted that "somebody else must have moved it", even though she had the keys and there were no signs of forced entry into the vehicle.

    That made me feel a bit better, and since this little drama made good fodder for a story, I figured I ought to use it. Considering the fact that between my aging brain and the medications I take to treat a mental-health issue, I can be QUITE the ditz at we might as well get a few laughs out of it, yes?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 25, '13
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    About VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide

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  3. by   CrufflerJJ
    I proudly call myself "directionally impaired", which sounds almost like a protected sub-class under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    I have a LOUSY sense of direction, but have found a few things that help me deal with this issue. I have a GPS in my car, and rely on it...a lot. My wife, on the other hand, always knows where she is, doesn't need anything like my GPS.

    My rearview mirror has a compass display...handy on occasion.

    When I pull into a big grocery store parking lot, I'll freqently write down the row number in which I parked on my shopping list. If they're not labeled, I'll make a note of what physical landmark is near my row.

    Sad, but true!
  4. by   herring_RN
    I went to a hospital to teach ACLS. When the class was over I went to the parking structure and couldn't find my car.
    I'd used the stairs for exercise.
    I walked all six levels but didn't find my little gold Saturn.
    A security guard came along in a golf cart. When I told him I couldn't find my car he laughed and told me to get in.
    The hospital has two identical parking structures and I'd been looking in the wrong one.

    You really are a good writer.
    I write like nurses notes.
    Last edit by herring_RN on Jun 12, '13 : Reason: typo
  5. by   bell1962
    I have a bad sense of direction too. I rely on street names and my gps too! One of my daughters, age23 , is worse than me. One of my other daughters can find her way with no help no matter where she is..we call her the homing pidgeon.
  6. by   herring_RN
    My aunt always knew direction. When giving directions she would say, "Turn north when you get to the gravel road."
    I would ask, "Is that right or left?"

    She wouldn't drive when it was raining or overcast. She knew she would get lost. She knew by the sun without thinking about it.
  7. by   tewdles
    I like the north or west directions and I used to use the sun to try to stay oriented.
    Now I am in Alaska where the sun does not behave normally...I am chronically lost.
  8. by   nu2this
    Hey VivaLasViejas, I'm glad to see I'm in good company. I, too, share the directionally challenged nomer; in addition, i suffer from chronic blond moments. And like my other compadres that have shared in this post, I have no shame in admitting-can't get help if you're in denial(lol). Here's the story I'm going to share.
    there was this girl who went out drinkin, got home safely and the next morning "where's my car?". called the city, "have u guys towed vehicle xxx", no!!!, well then it MUST have been stolen!!! upon searching the neighborhood(ie around the corner from her house), lo and behold....vehicle xxx......i think that tops yours
  9. by   nrsang97
    I was convinced that my husband had my car keys. No he didn't give them to me. Lo and behold they were in my pocket the whole time we argued. I felt silly after that. He still doesn't let me live it down.
  10. by   nrsang97
    Oh my dad got lost coming home from work. He worked in Detroit at the time. They closed part of his way home and he messed up following the detour. He got totally lost and didn't get home for like 3 hours. He was beyond angry. He can't find anything.

    One trip to Indiana my brother was about 10 and kept telling my dad he got on the wrong freeway and my dad told him to shut up he knew where he was going. Of course he didn't. He was supposed to go to Lowell,In and ended up in Ft. Wayne. Not close to where he was supposed to be at all. My poor brother telling him he was going the wrong way and he just wouldn't listen. They ended up staying the night at a friend of my dad and going to where they were supposed to go the next day.

    I am glad I inherited my mom's sense of direction.
  11. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from bell1962
    ...One of my other daughters can find her way with no help no matter where she is..we call her the homing pidgeon.
    I proudly call my wife Navigator, and am not too proud to ask for her help....frequently!
  12. by   bagladyrn
    A friend and I went to the NM State Fair - which is huge and were very careful to note that we had parked right behind the giant ferris wheel (at least 2-3 stories high).
    Well as we were enjoying the fair we stayed to the very end, dark and they began shutting off lights. That's when we looked around and realized that there were 3(!) giant ferris wheels - on various corners of the many acres large fairground.
    We ended up wandering the perimeter of the grounds in the dark continually pushing the "emergency" button on her keys until the suv finally responded. Took us the better part of an hour!
    Oh, and my son swears that the only way I find my way back home to FL is that if I missed it I'd be wet!
  13. by   Liddle Noodnik
    All I can say is, mah hah hah hah haha......

  14. by   nursefrances
    Quote from VivaLasViejas

    That made me feel a bit better, and since this little drama made good fodder for a story, I figureso we might as well get a few laughs out of it, yes?
    Two stories: My daughter and I in the Disneyland parking lot. While we were parking, the tram came and we rushed away from the car to catch the tram. When we were done for the day I had NO idea where we parked I knew the general area but the Disneyland parking lot was huge. We took a ride in the security guard's golf cart and found the car after a while.

    About ten years ago I was helping my manager move some things into our office with my car. We were in a hurry for some reason I can't remember now. I parked my car in the front of the building in a loading area with my hazard lights on. I planned on dropping the things off and then I would move my car. When I walked back out to my car it wasn't there. There were people everywhere, could my car have been stolen? Then I saw the comotion....With all the rushing I didn't put my car in park and it rolled two car aisles down and was resting against a car. OMG! Luckily no one or nothing was hurt. I was soooo embarrased and felt like such a dufus.

    Oops lunch break over. sorry if typos. gotta go.
    Last edit by nursefrances on Jun 13, '13