Such was the case today as I headed for an innocuous appointment.
I was well acquainted with route to the general vicinity of the office, and that particular portion of the drive was easy enough, but I soon became very lost in the veritable maze of the office complex.
I consulted my navigation device, again and again, as I drove through the sprawling multiplex of narrow streets and detached buildings, and ended up even more hopelessly lost. I asked someone walking by for directions, but they had no idea where that office was.
Then it hit me, as I ran further and further behind schedule: call the office and ask for their help. I was instructed to, "Go South to the main street and then hang a right." Hmm ... "I don't can't tell which way is South," I mumbled. A momentary silence ...
"You know, towards the coast," she said softly. The coast happens to be well and gone beyond a range of the tall mountains that ring this valley, hence hidden from view. Breathe deep, I thought, and try again. "I'm sorry, but I just don't know ..."
The receptionist, a paragon of patience, eventually asked me to get back into my car, and she would direct me. With my blue tooth live in my ear, she began to guide me thusly: "Okay, what do you see? Good, now turn right. That's it, Now turn left," and so on.
A few minutes later, and now twenty minutes late, I managed to park right in front of the correct office, with my navigation device now indicating that I should drive around the building, again.
At last, entering the cozy lobby, I gave a deep, cathartic sigh and alternately thanked and apologized to the gracious lady behind the counter. Her unfazed smile gave me hope that I might not be the only one to ever need such exorbitant help.
After my appointment, I approached the counter and handed her a copy of Echoes. "I'd like you to keep it as a Christmas gift." I told her. She was delighted, looked it through a bit, and offered to purchase another copy for her coworker. I smiled, pointed at Echoes, and said, "I can't tell North from South, but I can do this!"
We shared a wonderful laugh that just seemed to wash away all of my remaining embarrassment. On my way to the front door, I promised to return with another copy of my book ... and she patiently gave me detailed instructions for exiting the labyrinthine parking lot.