Yesterday Isaac rode the bus home with a new friend from school to spend some time at his house. I was supposed to pick him up at 4:30. He told me the friend lived near another of his friends, and I had him write down the address and phone number for me. At 4:10 I headed far west and a little south, got to the right neighborhood, looked at the address, and saw that the address was nowhere near where I was–it was much farther south and not so far west. I thought, “Wow, Isaac really doesn’t know how to read a map,” and cursed myself for not looking up the address myself before I’d left.
I headed south on a main road, missed a turn, then had to go much too far south since I couldn’t find another place to turn. Finally I made a U-turn after waiting a long time for a break in traffic. I found another place to turn, but it didn’t go through to where I needed to get. I tried the next road and it also didn’t go through. Finally a third road took me back east–too far. I found a way to turn around and headed back.
By now it was 4:35, so I pulled over and called and asked for Isaac. I read him the address and said, “Is this right?” and he said yes. I said, “Well, I’m kind of close, so wait out front and I’ll be there soon.” Then I continued hunting for the address. I found a cluster of townhomes near where it should be, but I knew it was a house with a yard, and anyway the town homes were too far east. I crossed the road to the west and found only warehouses and businesses.
I stopped again, called again, and this time talked to Ike’s friend’s mom. She asked me where I was and I said, “South of Walmart.” She said, “Well, we’re by Geneva Road.” “What’s your address?” She told me and I said, “Oh. My. Gosh.” [Yes, my Utah roots show up in the expressions I use when I’m frustrated.] “Isaac mixed up the south and west on the address. I’ve been looking and looking for the address he gave me, and it just didn’t exist. I’ll try to get there as soon as I can.”
So I headed back to the original neighborhood, but I couldn’t easily double back the way I’d come, and there was now a freeway and a local university between me and the right address, and it was rush hour on a Friday. I made a big loop, passing within a couple of blocks of my home and heading west on the same road I’d started out on. Meanwhile Isaac called me again to give me exact directions, and I got there and picked him up about forty minutes later than planned. By the time we made it home, I’d been in the car for over an hour, and we had a babysitter coming in a few minutes, and I’d left the house with my hair wet and makeup not done. It was a lucky thing for my mood and for Isaac’s survival that I was about to leave on a date with Dean.
So now Isaac knows that two little letters transposed in an address can make a huge difference. And I’m very glad at least I had at least made him write down the phone number along with the address.