Too proud to ask for directions

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The old myth about men never stopping to ask for directions is still alive and well.

I personally made sure of that all weekend.

For some reason there is just some deep rooted pride gland in every man that tells them "we aren't lost," or "were just a turn away from where we need to be."

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It usually starts at a young age. I can remember many times playing in the woods with friends as kids and getting lost. If you asked each one of us at the time we knew exactly where we were.

But we were just too ashamed to admit we were lost.

The pride kicks in almost at birth.

It only gets worse from there. You would think that as we get older we would wise up to the whole thing.

Instead we just get drivers licenses so we can get lost on a much larger scale.

It only took me a couple of months after becoming a licensed driver before I found myself lost deep in the woods of Marengo County.

I decided to take a little trip across the river to celebrate my newfound independence and zigged when I should have zagged.

There were several gas stations around, but stopping would have been admitting defeat.

I finally found my way out of there…45 minutes after I probably would have had I stopped.

This weekend I did roughly the same thing. Actually it happened twice.

Saturday afternoon I rode into Alabaster with a friend to get his car and take it back to Birmingham.

We exited the interstate and began to look for the stop.

We drove and drove back and forth until we realized we didn't know where we were.

The funny thing is it never crossed either of our minds to stop and ask for directions.

We just kept making turns until we finally fell backwards into where we were supposed to be.

By combining our efforts we stretched a one-hour trip into two.

It didn't get any better for me the next day. Getting lost on the highway is one thing, but when you get lost for 30 minutes in a neighborhood. It is time to stop.

When I got ready to leave Matt and his fiancee were giving me directions to get out of the neighborhood. That's when I should have been paying attention.

Instead I was thinking to myself "How hard can it be to get out of a neighborhood?"

Obviously, a lot harder than I thought.

I found my way out of there 30 minutes and about three dead ends after leaving.

At any point I could have picked up the phone and asked Matt for directions.

Of course, that would be admitting defeat.

I finally found my way out and onto the Interstate so that means I win (the best thing about this little game is there are no time limits.)

Since I found my way out I have no reason to be discouraged from driving my way out of jams.

The fact that I made it home (eventually) means that I am still undefeated.

Even though I know it is dumb I see no end to my trial and error driving.

When you get down to it, it's my duty as a man.

So, until I decide it is time to put my pride aside and ask for directions the hunt continues.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick.