Some people do their best thinking in the shower. When I’m in the shower my mind is usually blank, or singing Christina Aguilera songs at the top of my lungs like I’m the winner of American Idol. And in between songs, I could be thinking really excellent thoughts, like MmmMMM! Shampoo smells yummy OMG I need a band-aid why is shaving my legs so hard!? DAMN IT!

When do I do my my best thinking? When I’m driving.

One minute I’ll be blasting *NSYNC and singing along obnoxiously (Laaaance, Joey, Justin, JC, Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis!!!)* and the next I’ll have an idea pop in my head that makes me wonder something.

This very thing happened the other day. Only it wasn’t *NSYNC, it was John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift (OMG love love love!). And it wasn’t so much of a great idea as it was that I realized yet another thing in this world I just don’t understand.

Item # 58,492: The Compass

I don’t get how they work. The only way I know what direction I’m going is by the little green letter on my rear-view mirror. And even that means nothing to me. I forget it’s there because I never, ever use it. N, S, E, and W mean nothing to me. Nor does NE, NW, SE, SW, or any other combination of those letters that is actually possible that I may be forgetting. (I don’t think you can have EW or WE or NS or SN?? Baha!)

One time or another, when I was asked by a boy which direction he needed to be driving, I used my hand to point. It wasn’t really the answer he was looking for.  Communication fail. He was asking a NSEW type of question while I was answering in a(n) (almost) Left or Right type of way. But I was mostly thinking “that way” or “this way” or “over there.”  So, yeah, obviously, it went well.

Exasperation ensued. I explained that NSEW meant nothing to me and it really shouldn’t exist anymore since L and R tend to suffice. He explained that it has something to do with how our brains are wired (men and women, that is. Not he and I, specifically.) Apparently, men are wired to understand NSEW while women …. aren’t?

Perhaps it goes back to evolution and how men left the nest to hunt?

That makes me wonder, though, about those tribes or areas where women are the “breadwinners” and the huntresses for their villages. In those places, women are the ones that go on a quest for food while the men sit home and do jack shit except get fat and talk shit about how the women are never there to take care of them. Even now, women do the grocery shopping. That’s today’s “hunting and gathering” and you don’t need NSEW at the grocery store!

Penguins = Love

AND PENGUINS!  THE LADY PENGUINS LEAVE THEIR LITTLE FRAGILE BABY EGG WITH THE MAN PENGUINS TO GO FIND FOOD WAY THE FUCK OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE IN ANTARCTICA AND THAT PLACE IS FUCKING FREEZING. THEY JUST GO TO FIND THE FOOD AND THE MEN SIT THERE ALL HUDDLED UP TO KEEP WARM WITH THE UNHATCHED BABY PENGUINS AND SING ABOUT THE SAFE RETURN OF THEIR LADY PENGUINS.

(This is clearly very professionally researched.)

My point is, in these cultures (yes, penguins included), do those women understand NSEW or do they go by landmarks? Because that’s what I do. Give me a landmark and I will direct the shit out of it.

Maybe in those cultures, the lady penguins are like, “Oh, giiiiiiirl, I REMEMBER that glacier! It’s this way! We’ll be home and ready to vomit into our freshly hatched baby’s mouth in, like, twenty minutes! Let’s get waddling!”

Maybe I don’t feel bad about not understanding compasses. It’s not like I’m outdoorsy and enjoy going places where there isn’t a starbucks and a sushi place within ten minutes of wherever I am. I probably won’t ever require the use of a compass. It’s not like I’m a pirate. I don’t even like boats! I have terrible motion sickness. No open seas for me.

I’m sure this lack of understanding of direction has nothing to do with the fact I get lost all the fucking time.

*Oh, I’m sure you were wondering why I made a little note for this footnote about *NSYNC. Here’s the deal: if you do not understand why I typed out the guys in *NSYNC’s names like that, click the link. Watch that video. And around 2:10, you will know why I did that. Whenever I listen to that song, I sing their names in that order at that part because it’s fun.  Also, at 1:25, Chris looks like a chimp.

That is all.

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