Saturday, April 28, 2012

Will My Husband Ever Ask For Directions?

Dear Madame L,

My husband says, mostly, but not totally, jokingly, that he has an innate sense of direction so he never gets lost. He says it's related to some masculine spatial orientation capacity that women don't have.

I'll admit that he has a good sense of direction, but obviously it's not enough. And he will admit, grudgingly, sometimes, that he's on the wrong road, and sometimes he makes a wrong turn, but that's not because he's lost. It's because of bad signage. (Yes, Madame L, he says "signage.")

I wish he would just someday ask for directions. He won't even let ME ask! What can you suggest for me to help convince him that his masculine pride won't be damaged by asking for help once in awhile?


Lost Too Many Times

Dear Lost,

Madame L feels your pain and admits that she herself often has trouble asking for directions. Madame L has been known to drive around an area many more times than necessary in order to find a location which would have been much easier to find if she'd only asked for help. 

Madame L ventures to speculate that, even if men may have evolved have better spatial awareness and navigation skills than women because of their hunting prowess (or whatever)---just Google "spatial awareness and gender" to get a feel for the research and pseudo-research and commentary on this subject---this capacity, even if real, may not have transferred well to the modern road systems of America. 

Madame L notes, too, that very recent research shows that birds (males and females) have "GPS neurons" in their brains that help them navigate. If humans also have such magnetic navigational aids, they may be next to useless, given the magnetic interference at ground level.

Madame L wonders if you'd like to buy your husband a GPS navigation device for his vehicle. Many smart phones now have GPS navigation apps, too. If these don't seem like good options, perhaps you can use an online map service to map out your destination and route before you and your husband embark on future road trips.

Madame L invites suggestions from other Dear Readers.


Madame L

P.S. Madame L also sympathizes with you over your husband's use of the word "signage." It's a real word, but so are "megalomania," "absquatulate," and "footle," words which Madame L bets your husband isn't throwing around on road trips.

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