It sounds absurd, I know. How does one forget where they live? To answer this question, I will first reveal something highly embarrassing for this country girl to admit.
I am directionally challenged. Yes, me! The girl raised on a farm and made to drive old beater pick-ups at the ripe age of twelve cannot, for her life, follow a map. In truth, I’ve never been much of a driver. All the other vehicles and the road rage and the vast highway mazes just really freak me out.
So although I spent many days driving around our acreage illegally, I never got my driver’s license until I was 25 years old.
After moving out of my parent’s nest, I lived in small towns where it was easy to walk or bike to my intended destination, or I’d take public transit once moving to larger urban areas.
Although I’d receive the odd comment from my fellow Albertans that I needed to get my life together and take my driver’s test (apparently in Alberta, this is a prerequisite for having one’s life together), I’d never let it get to me. I liked not having the stress and not to mention added expenditures of owning a vehicle.
I had just moved to Red Deer, Alberta, a city 15 minutes away from my hometown of Sylvan Lake. And although it was relatively close to my previous stomping grounds, I had never spent much time in the city. Again, this was due to my inability to drive, therefore never having the chance to explore the place on my own.
I was living in a one-room bachelor pad and loving my life. I had never known so much freedom! No roommates or parents were telling me what to do — life was looking up for ol’ Lindsay.
To top things off, one of my supervisors at work had shown some interest and asked if I’d like to go out for ice cream later that day. I know it is highly unprofessional to date your work-superiors, but I was young and didn’t give a crapola about the rules.
Oh my goodness! A new city, a new teeny tiny apartment, and a new love interest. Things couldn’t have looked any better at that moment.
I had been hanging out with my friend Janelle, and as she was apt to do for my driver’s license-less ass, she gave me a lift to the ice cream shop where I was meeting Gil. I wish I could reveal that we hit it off immediately, and it was love at first date, but that’s not exactly what happened.
Gil was several years older than me and pretty much my exact opposite with his left-brained analytical thinking. He scoffed at my constant silliness and often asked me strange questions about the psychology of life. Things like if you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be?
What was this? A job interview?
Then in an unfortunate turn of events, I dropped my ice cream — which was of the triple scoop mint chip variety — onto Gil’s lap. Any normal guy would have been all like, oh, that’s fine, don’t worry about it, I’ll just go clean off.
Not Gil. He scolded me like I was a child.
“You need to be more careful, Lindsay! You’re always leaping before you look, and then accidents happen,” he said. “This is exactly like last week when you hung up on that customer who insulted the register of your voice!”
“Okay, Dad,” I replied jokingly.
“That’s disgusting,” He said coldly.
I should have called him out on his rude behaviour but in those early years of adulthood, it just hadn’t been my way.
I had a bad habit of diluting myself to be more palatable to men. At an early age, I found that my hyper-active personality and non-filtered thought process was a huge turn-off to most people in general. Have you heard? Apparently, wild women aren’t everyone’s taste!
Nowadays, I don’t change myself for anyone, but back when I was young and drowning in insecurity, I admit, I was often not myself. It makes me sad to think about that time simply because I wasted so many hours trying to fit into a box that wasn’t meant for me.
So things hadn’t started great with Gil, and there were no signs telling me that I’d be able to get this thing back on track.
As the man continued to loudly scold me in front of the other patrons of the ice cream shop, I found my thoughts drifting towards the half bag of crunchy Cheetos back at the apartment. They were calling my name. It was at that point I realized that this new love interest wasn’t any interest at all. So I asked him if he’d drive me home.
Gil seemed just as relieved to get rid of me, so as we hopped into his car, he asked, “Okay, what’s your address?”
Oh my God, what was my address? I had only lived there for a few weeks and hadn’t imprinted the numbers to memory yet.
“I can’t remember,” I said with as much grit as I could muster. I was bound and determined not to let him get me down again.
“What do you mean you can’t remember?”
“I honestly don’t know. I haven’t memorized it yet.”
“Okay.” I could tell he was trying to keep his annoyance at bay, “So just give me directions on how to get there then.”
“You do know how to get to your house, don’t you?” He asked.
Technically I did not.
He had brought me to some little hole-in-the-wall ice cream joint, and I had no clue where in the city we even were.
“Well, I think I can probably find it if we drive to the college,” I spat, trying to be fierce.
“Lindsay, the college is across the city. This is insane! You should know where you live.” His words burnt into my soul the way a hotdog sticks sears through a wiener on a hot summer’s night.
We proceeded to drive around fruitlessly for half an hour, silently stewing each other’s presence in the car and intermittently saying, “Is that the turn?”
Finally, I called Janelle on my ancient Nokia flip phone and asked her to direct us back to my apartment from the street address we were on.
It turns out we were only like a few blocks away from my house, so I’ve got to say I did alright in the end.
I never went on another date with Gil after that. And as it happened, working with him became extraordinarily awkward and uncomfortable. I guess this confirms why one shouldn’t date their superiors from work.
Also, as an added tip, always write down your address on the palm of your hand before setting out with a new love interest.
Lindsay Brown is a mother, wife and writer. She no longer makes a habit of forgetting her street address in the present day. Unless wine is involved, then all bets are off. You can find more of Lindsay’s work HERE.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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