Dear People Who Say “Where Are You?” When I Say I’m Lost
It’s past time for this communication. I usually don’t have too much trouble communicating3 So why is when I call you, sometimes frazzled and sometimes amused, and say, “I’m lost,” why do you always, without fail, say to me, “’Where are you?” Is this an ancient riddle I’ve never read?
What part of “I’m lost” is so hard to understand?
Now, to be fair, I can usually pinpoint that answer to a state. But sometimes not. Once I was lost somewhere that could have been New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. At one of y’all’s direction, I stood on top of my car to see if could see the lights of I-95. Nope. Lost. I told you so.
Yes, yes, I have a road atlas in my car. But riddle me this, if one does not know where they are, which page of the atlas should they turn to? And also note that this particular one cannot read a map to save her life. For a map to be usable, you must know where you are and where you are going. I’m often challenged on one of those factors and many times both. Nor do I have a sense of direction which may explain why I get lost so often. I keep the atlas in the car for kind souls who help me when I’m lost.
Now, granted, things are easier since I have a cell phone with GPS but again that only works if one has a reliable cell signal. I live in West Virginia where if you get more than 5 miles off an interstate, there are not enough bars to make a call much less pull-up maps.
“Where are you?”
It would make a good Adele song. Can’t you hear her singing it? That astounding voice lamenting the paradox?
Sometimes I laugh when you respond with this question. Sometimes I get curt. I’ve been known to cry. It all depends on where I’m supposed to be and how late I am.
In my defense, I do usually know where I’m going. That should help, right? Well, only to the Good Samaritans who stop to help. Sometimes I stand on the side of the road with the perplexing atlas and allow myself to reveal how befuddled I am. I live in West Virginia. Someone will stop to help. I’m more circumspect when out of state. I will drive until I find what looks like a safe place or person to ask for help.
No serious harm has ever come to me in my adventures. This is a blessing.
My adventures are fewer and fewer. I don’t get lost nearly as much as I used to perhaps because I now fly more often. But I have been known to bite the hand that is trying to feed me. I’m sorry. I am. I get crazed when I’m lost. I need sympathy and understanding. Not riddles.
So, for the love of all that is holy, if I call you and say, “I am lost,” please, please, please do not ask me where I am.