When my wife returned from the new building our doctors moved to, I wanted her to fill me in on all the driving details while they were fresh in her mind.
She refused to give me driving directions. She dislikes giving me directions because I want to know everything when I travel to a new place.
Am I traveling north? How far do I travel? What landmarks (restaurants are my favorite) will I pass on the way?
My wife is a minimalist when it comes to driving directions. For her, good directions are given without mentioning landmarks, cardinal directions, and any mention of distance traveled.
She prefers to know street names, left or right turns and nothing else. She says focusing on those other details only adds to the confusion of traveling somewhere for the first time.
“If you will not give me directions, is it too much to ask for a detailed description of the office building?” I ask her.
“It’s an office building,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.
“Am I looking for a low-slung building or a building with multiple stories?”
“Are you expecting to see a skyscraper, Vince?”
“No, but I don’t want surprises.”
When we first moved to Belmont last year, we had intense driving direction arguments all the time. One of the joys of moving to a new place is that you must find your way to stores, restaurants, doctors, movie theaters, car repair, etc.
Then like everyone, you fall into a routine. You go to the same places enough to get around without worry.
But lately, however, it’s been one new place after another. In addition to our doctors betraying us, school activities have taken us throughout San Mateo County.
“The kids are going to Gunn on Friday,” my wife said. “Do you know where it is?”
“I know where PALY is,” I said. “PALY is right near Stanford. Remember when we went to the basketball game at Stanford? Well, PALY sits near where you turn off El Camino to head to the basketball arena at Stanford.”
“Vince, we’re talking about Gunn. Stay focused.”
“I’ll find it . . . eventually,” I said.
“Well, they need to be there at 4. So you’ll need to get there without getting lost,” she said.
I was forced to look at satellite views of the area to figure out just where it was. Once I did, I wanted to share this information with my wife, just in case she needed to go to Gunn one day.
“Gunn is near the Fry’s Electronics we go to,” I said. “Remember?”
“I don’t remember, Vince.”
“How could you forget? It’s the Fry’s with the western theme. It looks like it was built in an old western clothing store. There’s all that kooky western stuff in the store,” I said.
“I don’t remember,” she said, shaking her head.
“How could you forget?”
“What does this have to do with Gunn?”
“It has to do with the fact that it is on the way to Gunn. It has to do with our shared history. A history you obviously care nothing about,” I said.
“Okay, but I don’t know where Fry’s Electronics is,” she said. “Why do you insist on telling me all this stuff that doesn’t matter?”
“It does matter,” I said. “It’s just that you don’t want to know.”
“I don’t want to know because it doesn’t matter,” my wife said.
She upset me. So I had to knock her about her directions.
“You never finished telling me about the doctor’s office. Is parking free? What floor is the doctor office on? Do I walk or take an elevator?”
“Here, I took a picture of the building,” my wife said showing me her cell phone. “Are you happy now?”
I still need to know if there’s a restaurant near the doctor’s office.