Writer’s Workshop: A Woman In My Dashboard

4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: late

Remember back in the day when we used maps to help us get from point A to point B?

Me either.

I never used maps because getting me from point A to point B is what my mother was for.

I happen to be extremely bad with directions. To this day my mother will laugh about the various times I’ve called her completely out of my mind, on the brink of tears lost and with the most vague description of my whereabouts.

“Well I have a volleyball tournament in Everett and I think I’m in Everett, there’s a McDonald’s across the street with a gas station right next to it…my first game starts in 30 minutes HELP!”

One time she gave me careful instructions to my Uncles house for a babysitting job and had told me I would know when to get off the freeway because I would see blue Hospital signs and I wanted the hospital exit. I’m sure she gave me a number, but since I like to work with vague clues, I honed in for hospital signs. When I didn’t see one I did what any normal human would do…I kept driving. I drove for an additional 30 minutes outside of the actual city my uncle lived in and didn’t pull over until I was fairly certain I was leaving the state.

When I called my Mom she was all, “Wait you’re WHERE??? How is that even possible?” And I was all, “Wellll you said there would be a hospital sign!!”

I was late for another babysitting gig in college when I hopped on the freeway after a birthday party at my cousins house and after 45 minutes of driving and not recognizing ANYTHING I realized I was heading east toward the mountains instead of west towards everything else in my life. I wasn’t exactly sure which direction I was going when I got on the freeway in the first place, but figured I had about a 50% chance of getting it right.

I was late. To everything.

You can imagine the delight I feel with today’s technology. I’m not late anymore unless my kids hate me and I use GPS to get me to all the places. My kids think listening to a woman in my dashboard giving directions to the local library is normal, they do think it’s a little weird that I call her Mom though.

I just find her extremely comforting.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) A time you wish you had spoken up.
2.) Easter recap!
3.) 10 things you love about Spring.
4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: late
5.) The most exciting thing you purchased this month.


  1. says

    I’m obsessive about having perfect directions before I even leave home. I’ll google my destination, print out directions and maps and they never leave my hand. If I still had a car, I would definitely have GPS! Like you, I have no sense of direction……

  2. says

    My husband uses the GPS all the time. I on the other hand never do… I find it distracting and am afraid I’ll miss a turn anyway. I still use Google maps and make sure that I read them well before hand, keep it open on my phone, and just go.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could really customize the GPS voice to sound like our parents!

  3. says

    Hmmm, we seem to have the same sense of direction. As a new driver I would drive for miles in the wrong direction. One night I was driving with friends and we ended up being about ten minutes away from the state line and I called my parents from a payphone to let them know I would be a little late. They were not angry, only surprised that I could get so lost.

  4. says

    Ha ha ha! I love it!
    When I was first driving I didn’t know where anything was because up until then I never paid much attention. Now I’m pretty good with directions, but I must admit the gps “mom” has come in handy, and it’s way better than having the directions written down on a piece of paper.
    I’m glad it’s helping with lateness…I’m a nervous wreck if I’m running late!

  5. says

    I can empathize with you–late is my middle name. I too have found the woman’s voice in the dashboard a comforting thing. I love that you call her mom. Loved your story today.

  6. says

    Thank God for GPS systems now!! I am so bad at directions that I don’t know what I would do without my little GPS system on my phone. I would have been lost all the time if I had to use a Thomas Guide!! don’t EVEN ask me where North is …. I will take a guess and hope that I guessed right!

  7. says

    Oh my goodness I am glad I’m not the only one who is hopeless when it comes to directions. Even when I have been somewhere once or twice I still feel like I need directions. This weekend I even missed the turn (knowing it was soon!) to get to the girls Easter party. Awesome. And the girls (oldest only being 8) already tease me about getting lost. I’m hopeless!

  8. says

    I would love a GPS for my van! I use my phone when I’m traveling outside of my comfort zone, but would love it for everyday usage too, esp when there’s an accident or construction. We call my GPS app Gilda, cus she sounds like a Gilda :)
    Cinella @ The Mami Blog

  9. says

    I have a horrible sense of direction too. And yet, I believe I know where I’m going. I tend think my GPS is giving me the wrong directions because I don’t recognize anything. Mind you, I don’t recognize anything cos I don’t pay attention.

  10. says

    I have a terrible sense of direction and I’d be lost without my navigation system (ha!) or MapQuest or Google Maps. I just wish that it would correct itself quicker… I hate waiting for it to “recalculating route now”.

  11. says

    GPS is the only way to go when you have to locate a place that has a weird address, you are in a big city and you have no idea how to find it. The dashboard mom was the best invention ever made!

    I have to admit that I have spent most of my life reading maps. Now that I am traveling more, I couldn’t do it without the dashboard mom. That’s how the hubby and I are able to explore Europe like we have. You can’t get lost. Dashboard mom relentlessly harps on you until you correct your direction! One time we were trying to get to a small village in France. GPS kept taking us to a small dirt road that went through someones vineyard. Strange! We kept trying to get around the vineyard thinking we could find the right way. Well… It kept leading us back to the same place, a small dirt road to the vineyard. We decided to follow the directions, in spite of how uncomfortable we felt. We passed, I presume, the owner of the vineyard while on his 4-wheeler. Talk about uncomfortable! But, I couldn’t believe it when this small one lane dirt road met up with the road that took us to straight to the village!

  12. says

    I can so relate to this. I get lost alllll the time. I still don’t know if I could point Kentucky out the map and I think I’ve been living here for almost four years.

  13. says

    I’m good with direction but if my husband is in charge of driving.. Which hardly ever happens.. We have to send up smoke signals.. He too uses his GPS to find the library.. I lovingly ( not) refer to her as B#%%# ( his mistress :-)

  14. says

    One time we were staying over for a tournament in a city we were unfamiliar with. So my husband did a search for the beer store so he had some for at the hotel (in Ontario, Canada we actually have stores called The Beer Store lol) and so the GPS lady took us to a bar. It was so funny. Then when he re-did the request she took us like on this shady route to The Beer Store. We have a name for her but it probably isn’t blog appropriate. Whenever it recalculates I have visions of some poor little itty bitty woman in the GPS system turning in circles chanting re-calculate, re-calculate lol

  15. says

    When my then 3 year-old grandson heard my GPS (male voice, named Tom), he said, “Grandma, that’s not my daddy talking. I don’t like that man talking to us.”