Togetherness Is an Old Worn Out Atlas and a First-Rate Parking Space

Learn how navigating quality time with one’s spouse has its own set of challenges before you even get where you’re going.

A while back, my husband, Harvin & I decided to take a much needed get-away in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  We drove my car, which is equipped with the On-Star Navigational system.

As we prepared to leave, Harvin threw a worn-out atlas into the backseat.

“Hey, you don’t need that. I have On-Star”, I reminded him.  

He replied, “I really don’t want to ride all the way to Carolina, with ‘those’ people in the car with us. I’ll just use the atlas, if I need it.”   

We made it to Savannah, without incident.  

He said, “Start looking for a sign because I need to cross that big bridge.”  

I asked, “What’s the name of it?”  

He answered, “I can’t remember, but, it’s that big bridge. You know the one I’m talking about.”

As we approach the intersection, a quick decision must be made, because there are no bridges in sight.  So, Captain Kirk takes a sharp right and turns the Starship Enterprise into the old downtown section of Savannah. No bridge in sight.  

” We need to be on the other side of town, to cross the bridge.  And, I need to find a gas station. How far will this car go on empty?”

We found an undesirable convenience store and he pumps the gas.   “Lock the doors, while I go in and pay.”

As he gets back into the car, he reaches for the atlas from the backseat.

“What about On-Star?” I suggest.

No answer. He begins flipping pages.   After several more failed attempts, we cross “The Bridge”, which he knew was there.  

I never doubted the bridge existed, we just couldn’t find it.

As we see the sign for Hilton Head, Harvin says, “None of this looks familiar.”  

I don’t bother to comment.  I’m saving my breath for something important, like screaming in frustration.  I suggest we call On-Star for directions to the hotel.

His response, “Just give me a few minutes to get my bearings. I’m pretty sure I can find it.”  

And, he did.  Nearly an hour later and several wrong turns, circling around numerous blocks, and pulling over to read the atlas, we see the hotel.    

“Who lays out roads, like this anyway?”, he asks.  

“The Department of Transportation,” I answer.   

“Well,” he says, “they don’t know what they’re doing. It looks like they could have put a little thought into the construction of these highways. Nobody wants to think, anymore. That’s the problem.”

Then, he asks in frustration, “Can I move over to the next lane?”

When we arrived at the hotel, Harvin remarks, “I thought I remembered how to get here.”  

Sure, you did, Daniel Boone.  

We check in and order room service, because we’re both exhausted.  Plus, we parked near the building and he really doesn’t want to leave and relinquish the prime parking space.

The next day, Harvin decides to relax in the room.  I spend the day at the beach, where no one recognizes me in my bathing suit. The following day, he lounges in the room, I return to the beach.  Instead of going out for dinner, we choose the hotel restaurant, so we don’t have to move the car and loose our first-rate parking space.

“No telling how far we would have to walk to get back to the car, when we check out in the morning,” he says.

Inwardly, I scream.

The third morning, the trip is over.  We walk the short distance to our car. As we cross the big bridge, without the atlas, he said, “I have it now.”  

Finally, we arrive home.  

Maybe, it was a good thing we didn’t use On-Star.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have spent all that time together… in the car.