Thursday, January 31, 2008

He looks like he knows where he's going! -- jcarolek

When I was 19, home from college on a school break, my three youngest brothers and I took a trip into Washington, DC to visit my mom who had moved to an apartment there. I hated driving in DC, and so, in a pathetic attempt to get my brother Dan to drive, I declared I was trying to strengthen my bad eye, and put the patch over my good eye. Now, understand, this was an exercise I was SUPPOSED to do many times over the years, but never liked doing because it made me feel so sick to my stomach....but driving in DC was worse, so, on the patch went.

Dan begrudgingly took the wheel and one of my younger brothers rode shotgun. My other brother and I rode in the back seat. All went well for the first 15 miles or so, until we actually got into the city limits, and began that most aggravating process of trying to navigate unfamiliar roads teaming with buses, cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Every time we thought we were getting close, we found we were just more lost. The younger boys were teasing Dan, who was not known for his cool head and even temper. I was trying to keep a low profile, because I was already feeling nauseated with the patch over my good eye, and I really couldn't see to help with directions anyway.

Dan was getting more and more steamed with even failed maneuver. Finally, Ted announced that we were on the right road and needed only to find J Street and we'd be back on track. At the time of this announcement, we were stuck in traffic at a traffic signal. When the light turned green, the car in ahead of us made a hard left. Without hesitation, Dan followed suit.

"What are you doing?" Ted asked. "You were supposed to go to J Street."
Dan replied, as if it was common sense, "I'm following that guy! He looks like he knows where he's going!"

And with that, we were off on another wild goose chase.

Apparently what Dan failed to comprehend in his moment of unbridled frustration was that while it might be true the other driver knew where HE was going, where HE was going was NOT where we were going!

When I watch the debates for the presidential nominations, I feel that frustration. I feel that NEED to just throw my hands in the air and follow "that guy" because HE knows where HE is going....and I have to remind myself of the consequences of following someone down their path, rather than my own.

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