What is it about us humans that makes us feel obligated -- nay, COMPELLED -- to report stupid things we've done? Especially stupid things that NO ONE IN THE WORLD might otherwise get wind of? Things that have to make our listeners (or, in this case, readers) question not only how the hell we managed to get through graduate school, but how we get our shoes tied?
Here's my theory:
It's a form of purging. We think that if we get rid of these ridiculous errors by retelling them, they are thereby cleansed from our systems. And there's no chance of them lying around in there, fermenting and fornicating and multiplying.
Allow me to purge. Please. It's necessary.
Rozmo and I registered for a bike ride that took place today, one we've done numerous times before. It is a relatively short drive (**ahem**) and in a rural, picturesque part of the state. It overlaps several other rides we do in the same general vicinity. None of that information is really vital to this paragraph, except the part where I said I've BEEN THERE BEFORE.
I got up at 5:00 this morning (my DAY OFF, remember?) to drive to the bike ride, giving myself plenty of time to get there, register, get my t-shirt, etc. I started getting frustrated because my GPS didn't agree with the printed directions (they never do), but I didn't want to take the interstate this time anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. I thought.
Rozmo called me about 30 minutes before the ride was supposed to start, and I told her I was STILL 15 miles away. I don't know what caused the epiphany (is there a better word than "epiphany" when what you really mean is "OH HOLY CRAP"?) as soon as we hung up the phone, and it was too stupid an idea for it to sink into my brain.
I was indeed 15 miles from Cochran, Georgia. Here, let me show you on the map how far that is from my town.
|My town to Cochran, Georgia.|
Only the ride was taking place in Concord, Georgia.
|My town to Concord, Georgia.|
That's a difference of about 98 miles. I therefore drove 83 more miles THAN I HAD TO for a bike ride that I DIDN'T GET TO DO.
|The distance from Cochran, Georgia to Concord, Georgia.|
I had so many opportunities to prevent this debacle. I'm embarrassed to say (but I'm going to say it ANYWAY, in the interest of purging and all) that I had printed directions IN MY HAND that clearly showed the correct name of the town I should have been going to. When I typed the town into my GPS, however, I was confident that I knew where I was going. Concord...Cochran. There are some similarities there.
When I entered the information into the GPS, it was readily apparent that the trip was going to take every bit of 3 hours (or more) instead of the 2 hours I knew it was supposed to take (because I DID read THAT part of the printed directions). That would have been an excellent opportunity to ... oh, I don't know ... check to make sure I entered the address correctly?
When I finally gave up and decided to allow the GPS to take me to my "destination" and stop "recalculating," she took me down I-75 and then EAST on I-16. I knew very well that the little town of Concord sits smack between I-85 and I-75, and going east of I-75 should never have been in the picture.
On what may be the most beautiful day of 2012 so far, I spent the rest of the day (other than the 5-hour part I was in my car) alternately sleeping and beating myself up for being so STUPID. I feel bad for letting Rozmo down and making her not only ride alone, but be the last one to leave and potentially the last one to get back. (But I know her better than that.)
I also feel bad because I wasted money. That's a relatively new emotion for me, guilt about wasting money. I registered for the ride online ahead of time, so that was about $30. (Rozmo did get my t-shirt for me, so there's that, although I don't know that I will ever wear it, not having done the actual ride.) I wasted almost an entire tank of gas driving to the town-where-the-bike-ride-was-NOT-being-held, so that's an additional $70. Not to mention 5 hours of my life.
Damn. I thought purging would make me feel better. Not so much.
**The preceding post has been brought to you by my new best friend, Lortab.**