Story Submitted by Gary:
Long before the age of smartphones and GPS devices, I met Allison. She had a great sense of humor and the good looks to match. We arranged our first date so that I'd pick her up from her workplace on a Friday night, we'd go out to dinner, and then I'd drive her home.
Dinner went well, we took a quick walk afterward, and then the time came to drop her off at her place. She told me that she lived off of the interstate, so I pulled onto it and went west, as she instructed.
We were talking about her penchant for making charcoal-based artwork when she said, "Oops!" and looked out the window, "That was it."
"We passed your exit?" I asked. We were in the middle of a conversation, so it made sense that she'd be distracted. I said, "Do you know how to make it back from the next one?"
She said that she did, but the next exit was another interstate. I asked, "You sure we should take it?"
"No," she replied, "Take the one after this."
I did, and I asked her where to go from there. She gave me all manner of directions for the following 20 minutes, correcting and second-guessing herself the whole time.
We had hit our fifth dead end when I asked her, "Should I just go back onto the highway?"
I found my way back and took the route in the other direction. When we made it to the first exit we had passed, I put my signal on.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
I replied, "This is the exit we passed before, the one you said to take."
She said, "That was on the other side of the highway! I have no idea where this one lets out."
I took the exit and said, "Regardless of the side of the highway, the same numbered exit on both sides typically lets off around the same area."
We stopped at a light at the end of the exit ramp and I asked her which way I should go.
"Beats me," she said, "I've never been here before."
"This is the exit you told me to take before!" I said, frustrated, then I actually drove us under the interstate bridge to where the exit let out on the other side. "Okay, here we are. Where to from here?"
She said, "How should I know? I've never been here before."
"This is the exit you told me to take!" I said.
She looked around and said, "My bad. I probably meant another exit."
I asked her, "Do you know how to make it home from here or don't you?"
She said, "No clue. Sorry."
I offered to drive her back to where she worked so that she could work it out from there. She agreed.
I drove us back there and I asked her to start directing me. She started out confidently at first, then we ended up, once more, in a tangle of streets.
"I usually carpool to and from work," she explained, "Why would I pay attention to the route?"
I pulled into a gas station and checked a map. I found her street off the interstate, wrote down directions, and returned to the car.
As I followed the directions, the entire time, she said, "I don't think this is the right way. Where are you taking us?"
I pulled onto her street and asked her which house was hers. She replied, "I guess this is my street. Wow. Thanks," then stepped out of the car and walked off.
I called to her, "I'll drive you to your house, or at least a bit closer."
She waved at me and continued on. I drove home. She never returned my calls after that, so I have no idea what went wrong there.