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When you don’t ask for directions

Your college years or the ‘glory days’, as most people call them, hold some of the most important and craziest memories for everyone who attended. It’s the time in your life when you’re given independence for the first time in your life and, suddenly, you’re parents aren’t exactly involved in every aspect of your life and you’re pretty much free to do whatever you choose. But for those things that parents are involved in, well, let’s just say the amount of pressure is doubled of what it was before. Making a mistake is crucial at this time, especially with the amount they’re paying for you to be in this institution, and screwing up your chances in life isn’t on the bank statement. With my mother, the expectations are completely escalated. With us being from New York and all, she expect that I still retain my “empire state” mentality, though hers was slipping a bit; that I stay focused and not get sidetracked, though she did a few times; and, most of all, use my common sense…we won’t get into that. And though I held up 80% of that bargain, there was still the common sense part to deal with. Naturally, I’m only 19, so I tend to mess up very frequently but the problem is I mess up on the smallest of things that end up having the biggest effect. This one incident was during the conclusion of fall break. It was the day before we were setting off when my roommate called me and asked if I could come and pick her up from the airport. Now seeing as how I am a native New Yorker, I can’t drive so, of course, the decision would have to come from my mother. But I asked her and she said was fine so it was left at that.

Finally arriving in the town where my university is located, not telling for privacy reasons, we decided to immediately go and pick up instead of wasting time. Now before I go anything further, let me give you a background history on my mother. She’s a fun loving, free spirited woman with patience of a temporary tattoo: it’ll stand as much as it can for a while but once the water hits it it’s gone. Not only that but she also has really back arthritis in her hands and her feet so the four and a half hours it takes for her to get there and back is very strenuous for her. She hadn’t eaten at all, it’s difficult for her to drive in the dark plus we were about half a tank on gas when we arrived. So, now that I set the background, let’s continue. So, her plan came in around six and we arrived around 5:30 so we were making good timing. Now, as we came to the intersection, she asked me one simple question that most people in the situation would have the answer to. She asked me: so where’s the airport. I was stumped. The only thing I knew about the airport was that it was five minutes away from campus but other than that I had no idea. So, I did what every 21st century young adult would do in this situation: I pulled out Siri. But Siri was no help. She took us ten minutes in the opposite direction to some sort of private jet site that had nothing to do with airport service. The tattoo had been grazed. Luckily the guy sort of knew where to go and gave us directions out of the area so we could start over so to speak but it was dark outside, leaving me to have to pay attention to signs. The tattoo started to fade. Once we arrived back in sight of the campus I called my roommate and asked her for directions, in which she barely knew herself, so she passed it on to someone who worked there who were able to give the directions. The tattoo began to peal. Though, in ten minutes, finally we’d arrived at the airport and picked her up. But, as I mentioned before, I was in charge of signs and ended up taking us in the opposite direction back towards home. At this point, picture a gallon of water being tossed over your head and the tattoo completely evaporating and then you’ll have an idea of the tension that was brought on by that. She yelled all the way back to campus and it wasn’t anything short of agonizing.

And though I’d love to go on and explain to you all the things that were said (I’m really lying here) I’d do better to just say that it didn’t end to well. All in all, I told myself that I had to pay way more attention to detail and specifics so that I could avoid repentance at all costs. Little details, no matter how small, hold the biggest of impacts. From ending marriages to punishing children, little mistakes are the ones that define us and are the exact reasons for why, we as humans fight so hard for perfection because it’s the little details that can change a lifetime.

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Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Jimi19


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