Finding the way there

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A friend dropped a book off on my doorstep yesterday morning with a note saying how much she liked it. My computer was moving slowly, so as I sat and waited, I read the author's note at the beginning of the book. And there I came across a perfect description of my life, right down to the detail about the author's sister:

"A hopeless navigator, I regularly got lost trying to find birthday parties and doctors' offices, exiting the highway at the wrong place and driving around for ten minutes without recognizing anything. After a while my children would begin shouting from the backseat, 'You're lost, aren't you? You're lost again! Call Aunt Bridget!' My sister, Bridget, would navigate me back to our town after I called her on my cellphone, my heart pounding with the stress of being late, being a wretched driver, risking a citation, being lost."

This is me. I remember driving a carful of girls to a birthday party and becoming utterly lost with no idea where to go next. The GPS was no help because apparently - as I remember - there there two streets with the same name in the same town. I called my sister, trying to sound calm for the listening ears in the backseat, and sure enough, she got us there.

I love the author's description of this state of being - being late, being a wretched driver, being lost. I once told my children I don't panic when I'm lost because I'm so accustomed to it, but that's not true. Being lost in a car is a terrible feeling. The GPS (usually) helps, to be sure. And of course my sister.

The book, by the way, is Paris in Love by Eloisa James. It's about the author's decision to take a sabbatical from her job, sell her house, and move with her family to Paris, where she continues to get lost, but this time on foot and - most important - with much greater pleasure.


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