I was in Arlington on Saturday. I rarely go to Virginia, for two reasons: 1. I grew up in Virginia and that's plenty, and, 2. I get hopelessly lost whenever I leave D.C.
I navigate like a guy. Don't tell me to turn left where the old church used to be, and don't offer landmarks. I require grids, alphabets, and navigational logic. I want an address, a cross street, and cardinal directions.
The nonlinearity of the suburbs often proves to be my undoing. On Saturday, I had a birthday party to attend. (January is my Cavalcade of Birthdays, I have seven to remember.) It took me almost an hour to find my friend's apartment, because I was thinking as a Grid Girl. I had the street address, which should have been plenty. OK, I'm on Army-Navy Drive, the numbers are going up, I must be in the right place! Until I climbed so far up a hill that I was fresh out of civilization. I went down the hill, and got as far as Macy's until I realized that probably wasn't right, either.
Finally, I gave in and called the hostess. As it turns out, her address is Army-Navy Drive, but the entrance to her building was on a different street entirely. Now, why in heck would any self-respecting human being set things up that way?
She even offered a landmark: across the street from Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I'd navigated like a girl, I would have gotten there in four minutes. Instead, it took me an hour.
I need to be a girly girl, if only from a time management perspective.