Recently my father scoffed at me for complaining about Salt Lake traffic, noting that my years living in Utah must have tricked me into forgetting what SoCal traffic is like. At the time, I dismissed his comments, thinking: traffic is traffic. Wrong. I was reminded this weekend that SoCal traffic is a breed apart; a stench-filled bog of car exhaust and honking, which decided to plant its noxious self in my path at the most inopportune time-- on the way to two wedding receptions I had flown down to attend. Two of my good friends were getting married, but not to each other, although that would have been funny, since they've never met.
After spending the first hour of Reception #1 checking out the fine rear-ends of other cars, my mother, my sister and I decided we had to get off the freeway and try to make it via side streets. Luckily we had one of those new cell phone contraptions and were able to patch through to my brother-in-law who used the in-ter-net to guide us as we drove.
This worked well getting to reception #1, but on the way to reception #2, this system inexplicably collapsed. My mother (the driver) somehow developed a whole new way of interpreting language. Now, phrases like "turn around, you're going the wrong way," actually meant, "keep driving in whatever direction you want because it's obvious that all map makers are crack babies."
Despite the fact my brother-in-law pointed out (via cell phone) that the road we were taking went nowhere except to some dusty old ranch miles and miles away, my mother chose to ignore his advice in the hopes that the road would instead "zig zag" us to the freeway. You see, some of us believe in simple make-believe things like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the integrity of the Bush Family. My mother, on the other hand, believes in Magical Zigzag Wonder Roads. These roads are magic indeed, as they have the ability to transport you wherever you want to go, no matter how far off course you happen to be.
So at this point we had three options: 1) Call up my friend and tell her to relocate her reception to the ranch. 2) wait for the Zigzag roads to come and teleport us away, or 3) convince my mother to turn around.
To make a long story short, the crack babies were right and we reached Reception #2, albeit unfashionably late. The important thing was that we made it to both receptions, even if we only had enough time to toss a gift on the table, blab-it-up for a few minutes and stuff some cake in our mouths. It was worth it. After all, marriages are special and whatnot. That's why I'm taking my time, carefully researching my matrimony options. I already sent for another one of them Russian catalogs. Look out ranch, here I come.
In defense of my mother, she really does have a great sense of direction. She usually gets around quite well. I, on the other hand, have the navigation skills of a stunned mole. I can, and have, gotten lost in a walk-in closet.
In MY defense, it was a large closet with many turns and such. Anyone could have lost their way in that labyrinth. Yes, even you, you smug non-directionally-impaired on-looker, you.