Getting Found by Getting Lost

Posted on April 25, 2013



Just in case Life in the Boomer Lane hasn’t mentioned it enough, her entire life has been impacted by her inability to get from point A to point B without the aid of a brain transplant. The history of her dysfunction has resulted in, among other things,

1. The dissolution of her first marriage
2. Numerous neuroses, fears, anxieties, and hysterias that have dogged her since childhood
3. Her inadvertently voting for Ross Perot in 1992

This blog post is far too limited, and her ability to remain on task even less so, to get into the details. LBL will simply say that calling this malady a “bad sense of direction” is akin to describing life in North Korea as “quirky.”

The advent of the GPS has not helped. In spite of repeated attempts to change anything, mine is permanently on a secret default setting of “Most use of unpaved roads” and “Desire to inflict as many u turns as possible.”

At an age when the only people interested in LBL’s body are the manufacturers of comfort shoes and full support bras, science has found her. Enter Getting Lost, a research study out of Canada. LBL found them online and told them she thought she might be a good candidate for their study. They asked her a lot of questions, mostly about whether her parents and grandparents had the same malady as she did. Since no one in LBL’s family owned a car, she explained to them that getting lost was less of an issue for them. And, since her grandparents’ generation lived in villages in eastern Europe and their idea of a vacation was to have someone else stand in line at the communal water pump in the morning, she didn’t think it was an issue for them, either.

The test that Getting Lost sent LBL, placed a virtual LBL in a virtual city and asked her to find my way out. Long after she has exited this planet, her virtual LBL will still be wandering around that virtual city, cursing and believing that all of the virtual streets are changing direction every few minutes. In addition, the researchers had neglected to place any food establishments in the virtual city, not even a virtual Seven 11 selling long-expired baked goods wrapped in cellophane. This means that virtual LBL, in addition to being completely frustrated about being permanently lost, will also be pissed off about her inability to consume chocolate covered Donettes.

Having demonstrated an uncanny ability to get lost under even the simplest of circumstances involving only one dimension and a limited color palette, she is now officially in the study. The next step is to test her DNA, to see if those who have this disorder are genetically related. LBL suspect that they may all be members of the same small community in which they, for some reason, ended up here, while most of the others have been trying to figure a way out for the last 50000 years.

The results, when they come in, will be interesting but won’t really change anything. LBL will continue to live her life engaged in endless U-turns, and have difficulty recognizing people and remembering their names (two other characteristics of the disorder.) She will try to keep everyone informed, unless she gets stuck somewhere out in the Great Unknown, which could be someplace two blocks from her house. Hopefully, it will be in front of a Seven-11.