Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Faulty Wiring



This isn’t another blog about my husband trying his hand at home repairs. No, after a couple of heart-jolting near misses, he now hires an electrician.

Of course, one of those heart-stopping near misses included the time he fried my hot tub’s motor and shot himself half way across the backyard. But like I said, this isn’t about that kind of wiring, I’m talking brain wiring.

And my own faulty connections. However, I am gonna mess with my husband. (Hey, he deserves it. It’s his fault that I’m sitting here at two in the morning with a strange man snoring in my ear, his bald head now resting on my shoulder, and one of his hands tucked inside the front of his pants, all the while my husband is sleeping on the other side of me as I write this blog.)

Okay, back to my wiring. I’m dyslexic. Seriously. Dyslexia basically means faulty wiring in the brain. And mine is faulty. My husband says that this explains a lot. I let him say it, too. However, I occasionally get even by blogging about him. Paybacks are hell, especially now as I see the bald guy has begun to drool as well as snore!

The severity of dyslexia and the symptoms of this condition vary from person to person, and usually depend on how badly the wiring is screwed up. I know a lot of people whose wiring is trickier than mine. I’m an avid reader, but I didn’t learn to read until the third grade. Even today, pronouncing some words can be a challenge. And there’s the issue with the written word.

The evidence of my condition is apparent in my writing mishaps. You’ve probably seen a few symptoms in my blogs--missing words, typos, and wrong word choices. Yup, I know the difference between two and too, you’re and your, but my right side of the brain can’t see the difference. And to jump start my left side of the brain takes a lot of juice. Probably as much as my husband felt when he fried my hot tub and shot across the yard.

Unfortunately, butchering words isn’t the only dyslexic symptom. You’ve heard of directionally impaired, right? Well, I’m directionally broken. The whole left/right stuff doesn’t make sense to me. Honest, I pick up a pen and start writing with my left hand, see it’s a little messy and realize that I’m using the wrong hand. Oh, addressing an envelope always gives me pause. Which side does the stamp go on?

When in school, I dreaded doing the pledge of allegiance because I could never figure out where my heart was or which hand to place over it.

My directional impairment doesn’t stop with left and right, it involves the whole north, east, south and west thing.

Seriously, who came up with this concept? I mean, okay, when the sun rises, (like I’ve been up a lot at that time) I know that it’s the east. And thanks to my son for teaching me the whole “never eat slimy worms” trick, I can use the big fire ball in the sky to figure out what direction is what. Why? Because, unlike the heart, you can see it! And when the big fire ball in the sky sets, I can tell you where west is. But how the hell do you know on a cloudy day or at night? Or midday when you don’t know which direction the sun traveled to get where it is. It’s not as if it leaves little arrows pointing its way.

All this directional left/right impairment makes getting around hard. Like when I’m driving and first pull out on the street. It takes me a while to know which side of the road I’m supposed to be driving on. I did find a trick for that one. If a car is coming straight at me, I usually know I’m on the wrong side. However, I’m in bad shape if I meet another dyslexic while driving.

Getting around, I use a lot of landmarks. Like a pink mailbox or a vasectomy billboard. (God help me if someone decides to paint their mail box or if men stop having vasectomies.)

Another thing this condition makes difficult is filling out forms. When I look at a page with a lot of information, I go on overload. The worse is trying to fill out forms on the computer.

But I have found some great compensation methods. I mean, I married my husband for a reason, right? And he does a good job.

Most of the time.

Yup, paybacks are hell.

You see, as I write this I’m on my way back from California. I’ve been there doing workshops for Orange County RWA and San Diego RWA. (Waving to all my new Ca. friends.) Mid-trip, Hubby flew to Los Angles to drive me to San Diego. (He’d heard vasectomies and pink mail boxes were on the decline out west, and California wasn’t forgiving to dyslexic women driving on the wrong side of the Interstate 405.) And because I hate doing forms and such on the computer, he also went online to make our flight reservations.

Gotta’ love him, right?

Yeah, I do.

And I even praised him. I praised him right up until Saturday night when my writing partner called me in San Diego to inform me that I’d gotten an email from my airline confirming our flight. Luckily, she’d noticed that yes, we were scheduled for a 12:50 departure as I had told her, however, it wasn’t p.m., but a.m.. I guess, I’m not the only one with dyslexic tendencies.

We slung everything into our suitcases, checked out of the $200 hotel that we’d been in for less than an hour, and drove like maniacs out of San Diego to get to LAX.

As we were being seated in the sold-out airplane, at one in the morning, my husband asked, “Do you think everyone in here is as big of an idiot as I am and just booked the wrong flight?”

I just smiled. Some things husbands should be allowed to figure out themselves.

“You aren’t too mad at me, are you?” he asked.

I smiled again. He gets a suspicious look in his eye. “You aren’t going to blog about this, are you?”

“Would I do that?” I ask.

Convinced, Hubby leans back and goes to sleep. As the bald guy starts snoring, I start working on my blog. Hey, I didn't say I wasn't going to blog about it. Like I said, some things husbands need to figure out themselves.

So, anyone else directionally impaired? Can anyone explain why men always think they get the arm rest on planes? Why is it that some men can’t sleep if one hand isn’t in their pants? Can anyone tell me how I can politely tell Mr. Bald Guy to stop drooling on me?

Crime Scene Christie

28 comments:

Faye Hughes said...

LOL, Christie.

I can just picture you on the plane now, sitting next to that gorgeous hunk.

But I am jealous about your trip to Cali. I can't wait till National this summer in San Francisco!

Faye

Christie Craig said...

Faye,

California was fabulous! I met so many super nice people at the writer's meeting. I think the writing gene just makes us bond with other writers. Too bad it doesn't work with bald drooling men!

Thanks for popping in.

Crime Scene Christie

Vicky Dreiling said...

As my friend Ellen says, I can't find my way out of a paper bag.

Honestly, with all the business traveling I've done the last 2 years, it's a miracle, I'm not still wandering around some foreign country.

My last almost disaster occurred in January at Stratford Upon Avon. After exiting Shakespeare's birthplace, I got the vague impression this was not the same cobbled street I'd entered the house from. There were in fact only two ways to go: Right or Left. I went left, and two other ladies dressed in saris followed me. When I heard the tour guide's voice, I knew then, I'd not only turned the wrong way, I'd led others down my mistaken stray path!

Christie, your husband stories crack me up!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Vicky,

Okay, we need to travel together, girl. We'd never get anywhere we were going, but I bet we'd have fun getting there and stumble across a lot of good stuff being lost.

Oh...I have one buddy who has as good of direction as I do, we travel together a lot. We mostly manage to get where we're going, except to one funeral. We were all decked out in black. We did have a nice lunch that day.

Also, my writing partner has such bad direction that when we're together, she lets me lead. Sad. We're a real pair, too!

Thanks for posting girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Wendy Roberts said...

Too funny! Since one of the characters I've been trying to write is directionally challenged this was a great way to kick start my day LOL!

Christie Craig said...

Wendy,

Oh brother! I have plenty of data you could use. i.e. When I'm with someone, I never panic about being lost, but when I'm by myself, I get a little edgy. I fix that, though. I simply start following the person in front of me. Since they know where they are going, I feel better.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Keri Ford said...

hehee, I just giggled my way through this whole post. Here's something we don't have in common.

For starters, I would NEVER leave the plane/hotel/restruant/you-name-it booking up to my husband. By the time he finished asking me a hundred question of how to do, I could have paid, got confirmation, and had time to fold a load clothes.

If there's landmarks of some sort (like a tree with a funky limb in a whole line of trees), then I have a really good memory when it comes to backtracking. I can remember parking outside the J.C. Penny, women's clothes exit when we christmas shopped in 2006.

I'm hoping to see San Francsico this summer myself!

Lucy said...

Sadly I'm directionally challenged too and do the sunrise/sunset thing as well. But like you mentioned, that's hard to do if you don't actually see the sun do its thing. And it doesn't help that road signs will say stuff like "North 5" and "East 9" and direct you to ONE road so that you're on North 5 AND East 9 at the same time. Am I going north or east? Who knows?!?

Fun post, as always.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Keri,

Thanks for posting. Maybe, I'll start calling you to make my reservations and get me around town! ;-)

And I would love to meet you in SF. Do look me up. I'll be doing three workshops at the conference.

Take care...and thanks for posting girl. Oh yeah, one other wiring issue, just because I get some place, doesn't mean I can get back. That's a whole other ballgame.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Lucy,

I hate those road signs. I mean, I'm already confused and they just manage to mess me up a little bit more!

Thanks for posting girl. It's good to know I'm not alone.

Crime Scene Christie

Keri Ford said...

Will do Christie! it would be a blast! Golden Heart results come out next week...

*insert longwinded dream keeping me up at night of accepting award*

...and on the off chance I final, I am sooo going to be there. If not, there's next year!

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Hope to see you in SF, with a big, "I'm a GH finalist" smile on your face.

Crime Scene Christie

Faye Hughes said...

I can attest to Christie's "when in doubt, follow the person in front of you" approach to getting around places.

When we were in NYC last March, we had walked from our hotel a few blocks (felt like a few miles) to the theater. (Okay, so we'd gotten a teensy bit lost on the walk there.) When we were walking back to the hotel, Christie started walking really fast and said, "Follow me," and I did. We practically raced across streets at certain points. (I figured she really had to go to the bathroom or something.) Anyway, we get back to the hotel and I tell her, "Hey, you did great! I thought you said you were bad at directions?" That's when she pointed to these people in front of us. "I am," she said. "I was following them. I thought I recognized them from the conference and figured they would lead us back to the hotel."

Smart move.

Of course, we had people staying at two different hotels for that conference... LOL.

Faye

Christie Craig said...

Faye,

So next time you lead! :-)

It's really scary when Faye and I go some where together. She's as bad at directions as I am.

Crime Scene Christie

Jenyfer Matthews said...

The airlines outside the US use a 24 hour clock to note flight times which actually comes in useful once you get the hang of it :)

Otherwise, I have a pretty good sense of direction - though I couldn't point out compass directions at night!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Jenyfer,

Thanks for stopping in. My husband in one who appears to have an internal compass in lodged in his head. Heck, maybe it comes with all those electrical shocks he's had. :-)

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Virginia said...

Your not by yourself. I don't know my lefts and rights unless I think about it. I use a watch on my left arm to remind me that is my left hand and I still have to think about it a second. I have a lot of problems with spelling. Reading I do ok but am slow at it and love to read. I think women have more problems with left and right then men do.

Estella said...

I grew up in the country where landmarks are the only directions you give or get.

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. We should start a faulty wiring club.

And I think you might be right. Women seem to be more likely to have directional problems, or maybe it just seems that way, because men won't ever ask for directions. :-)

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Estella,

I can totally relate. In my hometown, we got directions like... pass the house with the broken Chevy in the front yard, and go until you see a big black dog barking at you beside a row of pecan trees.

It amazes me that we ever got anywhere.

Crime Scene Christie

catslady said...

You really had me laughing out loud. I have no sense of direction but although my husband is a bit dyslexic (he transposes letters and numbers)he's good on directions but he never gets am and pm right lol.

catslady said...

Oh and as far as the drooling seatmate - I clear my throat really loud or cough, squirm - whatever it takes to make them turn in the other direction (in this case it would have been your husband hahaha). I do this all the time with my snoring husband too and it works!

Jana DeLeon said...

Too funny, Christie! My brother is dyslexic so I saw some pretty interesting things growing up with him. (and your husband doesn't need to know about the blog - it'll be our little secret) :)

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

Okay...so you and I can travel together too, huh? We could get lost together and I'll let you elbow all the drooling guys to keep them from snoring.

Thanks for stopping by. And be good to your hubby, the a.m./p.m. thing could be worse. He could be the drooling and bald.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Jana,

Bad wiring can lead to some funny situations. I've learned to just live with my issues and laugh my way through things. And there are plenty of things to laugh about.

Oh, my hubby is on to me. He actually checks out my blog every week and sends his buddies to read all of the posts that are about him. I think he gets his feeling hurt if he's not mentioned.

Gotta love him. Yeah, most of the time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crime Scene Christie

Ms Terry in Gadsden Alabama home town of Christie Criag said...

All I can say is if any of you ever get a chance to meet CHRISTIE in person, don't pass it up. She is a show everywhere she is.
Just a little bit of how entertaining Christy is , when she was in Gadsden signing books at my shop there was a lady there demonstrating Cookware. Due to the way Christie talks about how much fun her book is , the lady bought the book and didnt put it down the whole time she was there.

Christie
Your directons post made me think of a comedian here in Alabama. He said he went out in the country and asked a young boy, directions of how do you get to the Movie Theater. The young country boy says Momma usually loads us all up on the car and takes us there.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Terry!

We had fun when I was in Alabama, didn't we?

And yup, in small-town Alabama, people are likely just to offer to drive you somewhere if you're lost. Hey, maybe that's part of why I'm so directionally impaired, never had to find my way, because everyone was always doing it for me.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

LOL, Christie!

I struggle with keeping my sense of direction, as well, and your post brought to mind one night when I was working the midnight shift as a road trooper in the middle of a blizzard. On a perfectly clear night I can get turned around. A snow storm with near zero visibility? Fuggetabout it.

I ended up driving into a median with no idea what mile marker I was at or what exit I was closest to. No way was I gonna call in and tell dispatch I needed a tow truck since I had no clue where to have them send it. I ended up digging myself out, rocked the car until I had a running start, and gunned my patrol car through the median until I came to a place I could drive out. And no one was any the wiser.

Until now.

That experience taught me to pay very close attention to the mile marker I was closest to from then on.

Thanks for the laugh!

~Bullet Hole~