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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | Directionally, challenged.

I'd like to keep his cute fanny pointed in the right direction and all in one piece.

When we first got together, my husband made some brash claims.

  • “I don’t snore” — the man revs up like a weed eater every night
  • “I’ll be finished in 15 minutes” — always means an hour
  • “I’m absolutely positive this is going to work” — translates roughly to “I’m pretty sure if I work on this for six more years I’ll find a partial solution”
  • “Pigs are my favorite animals” — substitute whatever animal he is currently looking at/dreaming of installing in our backyard

and my personal favorite …

  • “I’m a frickin’ homing pigeon”

Let me tell you, the one thing he most decidedly is NOT is a homing pigeon.  Usually, for the sake of his tender feelings, we pretend to (sort of) believe him.  But recently Eric may have convinced even himself of the fallacy of his claim.  Or maybe not.

Eric and I had gone on a bicycle ride along Braes Bayou on a gorgeous spring Sunday.  However, Eric wanted to go further  and faster than me, so we parted after 90 minutes.  As he pedaled off he assured me he’d be home in another hour and a half, when we would go to the Houston LiveStock Show and Rodeo on a “double date” at the request of his 17-year old daughter Liz and her boyfriend.  {Ah, aren’t they sweet to ask us to go with them?  Don’t you dare ask who paid, either!}

Well, none of you will be surprised to learn that Eric did not make it home in the agreed 1.5 hours.  Two hours rolled by and Liz and I were nervous: she, about getting to the Rodeo; me, about my husband who had a history of wicked bicycle wrecks.  No word from Eric despite our repeated texts.

Just as I was about to go out looking for him in the car, the door burst open.

“Sorry sorry sorry sorry, I know I’m late, but I got just a little tiny bit lost.”  In galloped Eric on his smurf-blue ice skates bicycle shoes that matched his bobble-head blue helmet.  {He picked out the shoes, but the helmet was my bad matchy-match choice.  Sorry, love!}

Liz and I looked at each other.  At least one of us rolled her eyes.

He went on, breathless, fast-talking.   “I ended up south of 610, somehow.”

“What?!?”  I spit the word out so hard that I think I splattered him with saliva.   Woops.  Luckily, he didn’t notice since his face was already beaded with sweat.

But his locational announcement was huge.  Folks, Eric was riding on a bike path alongside a bayou.  In Houston, our bayous are concrete aquaducts 50-feet deep and 150-feet across.  Kinda hard to stray FIVE MILES THROUGH CITY TRAFFIC south of a bike path alongside a bayou, and not even notice.  Plus, the path is on the north side of the bayou.  How in the hell did he get across the water?  Did he sprout wings from his bum and fly?

Eric was supposed to be at the North (top) X and crossed water and an interstate to end up at the South (bottom) X.   Note smurf cyclist w/butt wings hovering over map — could that be him??

He tried to explain.  “There was construction around the Medical Center.  I got confused.  I guess I crossed the bayou somehow.  The first time I knew I was off path was when I turned my head at a red light and saw the Medical Center in the distance.  So I looked around and saw I was southwest of Reliant Stadium [home of the Houston Texans football team, in case you wondered].”

Normally, this would be funny but not a big deal.  But during “Rodeo” at Reliant Center, traffic is insane and drivers frustrated, which makes it very dangerous for a bicyclist near Reliant.

“It’s a miracle you’re alive,” I said.

Big admission from Eric:   “I was pretty nervous about the traffic a few times.”  [Eric nearly died five years ago in a head on collision with a car, and that wasn’t even the first time it had happened to him; I’ll write about it sometime, when I’m in the mood for serious.]

“How’d you find your way home?  Did you cut across on Bellfort?” I asked.

“Nah, I didn’t want to get any further lost.  I retraced my path to the bayou.”

I just shook my head.  As in, shook my head back and forth in a “no I didn’t marry a man who is such a danger to himself” motion.

“Um, Dad, can you, like, hurry so we can go to the Rodeo?” Liz asked.  Our five kids tend to hide their concern for us well.

Eric nodded as he took off his cycling shoes and headed to the shower.  He couldn’t help one last salvo, however.  “Think how lost I would have been if I didn’t have my homing pigeon instincts.”

Homing pigeon, my ass.

Gotta love him.  And buy him a GPS.


p.s.  Eric thinks I only write embarrassing stuff about him (or the clothing on his posterior).  While it is hard to resist good material, I do occasionally make fun of myself.  As proof, I offer up:  1) “Really, there’s nothing under the canoe, honey,” he said;  2) Bitten by the five second rule; and 3) I’m pretty sure this is inappropriate.


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36 Responses to Directionally, challenged.

  1. I would like to personally volunteer to pitch in for a GPS for Eric. It would break my heart if he broke something. Or worse. Oh Geez, now I’m worried. Just let me know where to send the check. tsk tsk (young people these days)

  2. I love how he twists it to make it still seem like he knew what he is doing!! Such a man. I don’t know whether to be happy that your 17 year old wants to “double date” with you or sad because I was holding on to hope that at some point my hubby and I would be able to shake them and go places on our own.

    • Pamela says:

      LOL re “shake them and go places on our own.” When she has cash, she vanishes into thin air. They like us a lot better when they’re broke :)

  3. Alexandra says:

    I am so directionally challenged, that not even the GPS that hubs bought me helps.

    I piss her off, too.

    She quit after I had her recalibrate for the umph time.

  4. LBDDiaries says:

    Sad but true, Alpha Son is 28 (w/wife) & of course they still love us very much, especially when we pay. Every now and again he will surprise the heck out of us and take us out AND pay for it but usually when he calls to see if I want to go to lunch… I pay. Sneaky butt. LOVED this directionally-challenged story – he must have huge angels following his butt wings around.

  5. LBDDiaries says:

    oh yeah and p.s. Eric – cute bootie!!

  6. Eric Hutchins says:

    All of Pamela’s Blogs need to come with a warning label “things that appear here may not be as factual as they appear”.
    :) AND I AMMMMMM a frickin homing pigeon.

  7. ridgely says:

    I loved this- tell Eric my IPhone talks to me- tells me where to go… I am but a moving blue dot on the map on the screen. ps- just read the floater story 😉 you two are the greatest.

  8. You know what? This cracked me up. Hilarious! I love that he thinks he’s a homing-pidgeon. Definitely buy him a GPS.

    ps – thanks for visiting my place!

    • Pamela says:

      There’s no other solution. Without a GPS, someday he won’t find his way home. And I couldn’t stand that. Gotta have the man come back :)

  9. Eric Hutchins says:

    Floaters Rocks. You need to read “Of cardinals and Men” also

  10. Irene says:

    I always know my husband is going to get lost when he ventures out (except to work). He goes into “The Twilight Zone” or something. When he comes home, there’s ALWAYS a story. And we have TWO GPS’ in this house! He has NO clue how to use them! Sad, very sad. When he comes home now, I just tell him to talk to the hand. It’s really kind of embarrassing. And this is a man that can design power and nuclear plants!!! WTF?

  11. Ally says:

    I can laugh, because I am as directionally challenged as they come! I’m not allowed to venture off on my own. LOL.

  12. Grace says:

    Okay, I don’t want to compare him to my ex. Because, first and foremost, yours is a good guy. But I have to tell you what my ex calls his directional capabilities. Are you ready? He proudly claims to have terrific “map sensory acuidness.” I suppose he means “acuity”?

    Be glad you have a homing pigeon.

  13. Sandy says:

    Oh goodness…this is TOO funny! Sounds vaguely familiar…as in, I also live with a man not capable of admitting defeat…:)

  14. LBDDiaries says:

    Still a very hysterical post – and still has a cute bootie!!

  15. JennyBean says:

    I can’t comment in good conscience. My sense of direction sucks.

  16. No sense of direction here whatsoever. That’s why I live in Vegas. I’m too poor to go anywhere, couldn’t find my way if I could afford it, so I just drink and gamble and wait for you all to visit me. But, whatever you do, don’t ask me for directions when you get here. I have no clue. I just know where my favorite casino and the In n Out Burger places are.

  17. Eric Hutchins says:

    Really not much I can say except….


  18. […] AKA “Directionally Challenged Bicyclist Lost in Houston.” […]

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