Thursday, October 22, 2009

Direxia

lois greiman

Some people can eat at Noodles and Company once and find it five years later while concussed and narcoleptic. Not me. I have a little something I like to call direxia. It’s the inability to find a place even though I’ve been there a bazillion times and can probably see it from my porch. I am absolutely unable to ‘envision’ the roads in my mind ahead of time.

That’s why I love Mapquest. Even though it’ll sometimes take me around circles for hours, weaving toward my target like a drunken sailor, I truly appreciate the fact that it’s so exact: ‘Step out your front door. Turn left at the wilting begonia and go .001 miles toward your garage.’ That sort of precision is my friend because my direxia drives me crazy. I think of it as a deadly flaw, my personal Achilles heel. But I’m trying to be easier on myself. After all, everyone has their failings, or so I tell myself as I’m circling Macy’s parking lot for the fifth time while searching for an exit.

My oldest son, for instance, often can’t recognize people. And even if he can, he’s usually unable to come up with a single viable name. (Really, Travis, you think her name is Ralph?) And he’s in medical school so he can’t be too dense.

In fact, when pressed, which I am while circling that damned Macy’s lot, I can usually think of a host of intelligent people who have at least one Swiss cheesy spot in their brains. I know a super genius who is consistently unable to string together two intelligent sentences when in the company of strangers. I have a friend who was valedictorian of her class and couldn’t recite ten capital cities if you put a gun to her head. One of my smartest relatives had no idea you could drive to Alaska. I’m not sure where she thought it was located, but I only love her more for that little weakness. And math skills…well those elude tons of otherwise exceptional people.

So, in self defense, I’ve decided to believe there are many different kinds of intelligence. Some kinds we just haven’t figured out yet. Like mine, for instance. Perhaps my brain is so deep, so out of this world ammmazing, that it doesn’t have time to figure out directions. It’s busy doing other, more important things. Yep, I say as I circle the parking lot one more time, that’s probably it.

Now, how about you? Got any holes in your cerebellum you care to share with the rest of us mortals or are you perfectly secure about your brain’s prowess?

www.loisgreiman.com

25 comments:

Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

I tend to skip words sometimes, in my head it's a perfectly good sentence what comes out of my mouth is a different story. And math in a stressful situation is beyond me.

Betina Krahn said...

Occasionally I have trouble coming up with a word. . . have chalked it up to having used so many words for so long that I'm now scraping the bottom of the barrel. It may also be that I'm going senile and don't know it. But I can say for sure that everything is slowing down. . . including my reaction times and typing speed.

Lois, dear, you write better with your "holes" than most geniuses do with the "whole" gray matter! But it does seem to me that everybody's got a deficit lurking somewhere. And that only serves to make us more loveable.

lois greiman said...

CD-T--stress makes me just weird. I mean, I like math...usually, but if I have to make change for someone I can't subtract two from three. How does anyone think when they're being stared at?

lois greiman said...

Thank you, Betina!!

Last night at the movies I was trying to come up with actors' names as their faces popped up on the screen. It was terrifying. There was nothing up in my top floor at all. I couldn't have come up with Jude Law to save my soul. Then on the way home a whole bunch of their names just came waltzing into my brain. It's so weird how that happens.

GunDiva said...

Actors and musicians. Can't name 'em. Doesn't matter if I've seen their movies or listened to their songs a million times - it just doesn't stick. I can name just a handful of each, but that's because their names have been beat into my head by my family. But I wouldn't know 'em if I ran 'em over.

Michele Hauf said...

No wonder we get lost when we're out driving together! I have that inability to find the same place twice problem too. Good thing we know well enough to turn around and drive back once we start seeing signs for Wisconsin!

I forget everything lately. ANd my excuse? My brain is so full of stories, there's just no room for anything else. Like remembering I am married and must cook supper for the hungry hubby when he comes home.

Susan Shay said...

I have a good friend who has trouble envisioning the world. For instance, she thought Maine was near Asia.
After all, she explained when we told her it was at one end of the contiguous states, people always talk about Main Land China.
Oy.

Helen Brenna said...

Me? I'm perfect!

Cindy Gerard said...

We knew that Helen !!! :o)

Lois - I love you. I'm in the throes of revisions that make me feel like I'm attempting brain surgery with a hacksaw. I'm to the point where I can't remember what I just read, or revised or ... what the hell did I just do???

I thought I was the only on who had several holes in the old gray matter. Nice to have the reminder that I'm not alone out here searching ... searching ... always with the damn searching!!!

Terry Odell said...

No sense of direction. None. I get lost in elevators. At the mall, I park in the same place. I go in and walk in one direction. I will NOT cross the center aisle to get to an interesting store, because when I come out, I'll be going the wrong way.

I have a GPS. I panic when it doesn't know they've been doing construction, and the roads no longer match, especially with freeway on-ramps.

And I lose things. Things that have been front and center on my desk for days, weeks, months will disappear as soon as I need them.

lois greiman said...

Gun Diva, my daughter told me about a Saturday Night Live skit that made fun of moms because we can never remember actors' names. Such as, 'Who's that actor with the blond hair. You know the one, she wore a red sweatshirt in that movie that had that grassy scene." That is me exactly. I literally need an interpreter, and I LOVE movies.

Hauf, on the other hand, knows every actor, director, producer, singer that's ever lived. But we still can't find the Olive Garden together.

lois greiman said...

Terry, thank you!! That's me exactly. I mean, seriously, if you step out of a store and have the option of going right or left, you would think you'd have a fifty fifty chance of making the correct guess. But no. Seventy percent of the time I'm dead wrong. It defies statistics.

lois greiman said...

Susan, Main Land China!! I lovvvve that. I'm feeling better already, although I won't tell you how old I was before I realized there was a difference between Washington DC and Washington State.

catslady said...

I have that same no sense of direction - my dad was the same way so I say it's inherited lol. Actually driving is an ordeal for me. I didn't learn until my late 20's and didn't have a car available until years after that. So on top of no sense of direction I'm afraid of most large highways and merging although I've been forcing myself to do it lately. It's more that there are so many idiots out there - speeding and talking on their cell phones arghh.

lois greiman said...

It's so odd, my oldest son has an unusually good sense of direction and my youngest son's is maybe even worse than mine. Go figure, huh!

Debra Dixon said...

OMG! I have direxia. And now I know what to call it.

Lois, you are brilliant.

It drives my sister nuts. I can't count the times she's said, "How many times have you been THERE???" Said in complete disgust of course because she can find things she hasn't been to in 20 years.

Debra Dixon said...

And directions are something I waste no brain cells remembering. That's what phone books, maps and mapquest are for. I need those brain cells for other more important tasks.

susan said...

I have no sense of direction..hubby claims I could not get out of a wet paper bag. NoW REALLY I am not that bad!! ha ha I have trouble remembering names. susan L

lois greiman said...

I'm with you, Deb. Why bother trying to remember when you can just keep the directions on file. Which is what I do until I forget where I filed them. :)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Thanks for putting a name to my directional dysfunction, Lois. I need turn by turn, street by street directions. Clyde likes to think that if he's been there once, he knows the way. It usually works for him, or at least it gets him close. They say men use landmarks to go with their inner compass. They say most women are like us. I don't care who "they" are, they're right on this one. So take a left on Normal Ave.

lois greiman said...

I can't find Normal Ave. Kathy!!

But as much as I hate to admit it, I think THEY'RE right, too. I'm afraid men are generally inherently better at directions than woman. Good thing we're better at everything else. :)

Kathleen O said...

I have had a pretty good memory for names, dates, actor, directions, movies you name it. I could remember telephone numbers or customers without having to look them up, but since I have been afflicited with Fm/CF, i find my memory not so quick. But I think the age factor is in there too..
Now as to the male/female think with directions. My dad was the worst.. even when he was young they tell me.. But thank god we did not inhert this trait from him

lois greiman said...

I never can decide how much of my memory ummm deficiency is do to age. I mean, I don't remember if my memory was ever good. :)

Liza said...

I do remember how to find most places if I've ever been even once. However, I have to write down my isle number for Walmart or anywhere at the mall or I can never find my car. Don't really know why I have such trouble remembering where my car is parked.

KylieBrant said...

Howard Goldman has actually written at least one book theorizing that there are a minimum of 11-12 types of intelligence (IQ tests assess two). He includes things like inter and intra personal skills, position in space, etc. My oldest was not our best student but he's a person magnet. Everyone likes him. Guys like that get ahead, even if they aren't tops of the class.

Of course, having all those kinds of intelligences just makes it possible to be disabled in more areas, LOL. I am completely direction impaired. I will turn the wrong way out of a motel room every day for a week, count on it. I can travel to a spot a million times and when going alone need exact directions (which exit.) And I have *never* been able to recall people's names. Come to think of it, I'm also not that good with faces!