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Top of the list of things that ENRAGE me is Getting Lost. Mufasa and I are EXPERTS at this practice and have the whole thing down to a fine art, managing without fail to screw up the simplest set of instructions on moving from A to B in any new place we visit. I really don't understand how two relatively intelligent people armed with the latest technology can become so UTTERLY CONFUSED by a few intersections but there you have it. I blame him and of course he blames me.

Rockstar and Genius are incredulous that their normally street-smart parents turn into a pair of bumbling fools the minute the Google Maps App is activated. They have NEVER been lost in their lives as they are so comfortable with using technology to locate their whereabouts that they don’t even recognize the word LOST as an adjective. For them it is nothing more than the name of their favorite TV show. They have made it crystal clear to us that getting lost in this day and age is UNACCEPTABLE. Our boys maintain that armed with our iPhones we should be able to find our way home from the most REMOTE spot on the planet without ANY trouble.

Some of my worst travel memories involve desperate attempts to find important landmarks that appear (on paper) to be a stone’s throw away from where we are standing if we could just orientate ourselves and proceed in the correct direction. Case in point was the day we spent in Montreal. A word of advice about Montreal – don’t bother going there if your French is less than fluent. It’s worse than Paris, all the signs are in French and the locals take great delight in pretending not to understand you and then deliberately sending you off in the wrong direction when asked to help.

It pains me to resort to calling either Rockstar or Genius for help in these lost situations because I know how ridiculous I sound. “Hi Darling yes it’s Mama, yes I know we are only 3 blocks from your apartment but we’re on the junction of Rector and Washington and I’m not sure whether to turn left or right because the Google Map is showing us the driving route which is completely different!”

Part of the lost problem is that my eyesight has deteriorated and I’m not quite ready to admit that I need reading glasses. The other part of the problem is psychological; I’m so traumatized by my potential ability to go north instead of south that my entire brain freezes the second I have to make that first choice.  Add to this the fact that I truly believe my own parents got divorced because they spent FAR too much of their marriage getting seriously lost in Europe. In those days the husband drove the car and the wife struggled with an impossibly large paper map (usually out of date) fielding horrible insults from grumpy husband every time they ended up in the middle of nowhere. The kids fought continually in the back seat adding to the tension by asking ‘Are we there yet?” every five minutes.

Although I dread getting lost on foot with Mufasa, getting lost in the car on my own is ten times worse. I have my GPS set and SHE is talking to me and life is perfect until suddenly it is NOT and I find myself SCREAMING back at the ‘voice’ “ I CAN’T TURN LEFT HERE YOU STUPID F**$@**  IDIOT THE ROAD IS CLOSED THERE HAS BEEN AN ACCIDENT I DON’T WANT TO GO THAT WAY” and of course she just responds over and over and over with “ When possible make a legal U-turn, when possible make a legal U-turn.”

BIG revelation yesterday in NYC when our boys gave us the crash course Google Maps 101. We didn’t KNOW about the walking man symbol or the compass feature, apparently we’ve been using the program all WRONG!!!

I can’t help but wonder if they deliberately withheld some of this information from us to demonstrate their superior intellect and competence? A subtle reminder that they are not in any need of advice from us on how to run their lives in a world that is so obviously geared towards THEIR generation.  I feel duty bound to point out that they should probably not show too much impatience when we fail to master simple tasks with new technology, after all WE are the people that taught THEM to use a toilet.

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