Tania, where’s the lake?


This is how every argument would begin; with that question. Okay, the truth is, it started when I would ask my dad for directions and he would answer it with a question.

I’ve always been a bit directionally challenged and my father would take each and every one of those opportunities to try to teach me my norths/souths/easts/wests. Except I didn’t care to learn. I just wanted to know how to get where I was going.

You see, before the time of cell phones and Google maps and GPS’, I would either have to use an actual map, or ask my dad if I wanted to know how to get somewhere. Luckily, this was also the time of 43¢/litre gas, so it didn’t cost as much to drive around aimlessly for a while.

Then cell phones came around, and I could call him, enroute, if I unexpectantly got detoured, or {ahem} lost!

My dad is a walking-talking road map. He could get me out of almost any city, anywhere, anytime. The problem was, it almost always included an argument.

Me: “Dad, I was detoured off the highway and forced to go north. I got off and turned aournd, but there is no option to go back south and now I don’t know where I am. What do I do?”
Dad: “Tania, where is the lake?”
Me: “What?! I don’t know. I just passed A Street.”
Dad: “Tania, are you going east or west?”
Me: “I don’t know, dad! I just passed B Road.”
Dad: “Well, the lake is – “
Me: “Dad! Just give me left or right! Seriously! Let me talk to mom!”
Dad: (laughs) “Why are you getting upset?”
Me: “C Street!”
Dad: “…I’m only trying –“
Me: “D Avenue!”
Dad: “…teach you directions so this doesn’t happen again.”
Me: “Please dad. Just tell me which way to turn. I will learn them another time.”

Usually he would continue tourturing me, until I was either close to tears or I lost my mind and then he would tell me a direction to turn, or my mother would overhear his side of the conversation and come on the phone and save me. (For the record, she is also good with directions, and knows I want a left or right turns and then we’re back on track. No lessons from her.)

In the end, he always got me home. But it was never without a struggle. If it were up to me, I would drive until I couldn’t drive any further – maybe even into Lake Ontario! But I was usually on my way somewhere, and wanted to get there. And besides, what are dad’s for? And why did I have this cell phone, if not for emergencies?

And by emergencies, that meant me being late for where I wanted to go, not me not knowing where the lake was!

I’ll give it to my dad though. He is persistent! (I wonder where I get it from?!) After any said incident, he would try to talk me through the lesson of ‘if Tania knew where the lake was, she wouldn’t get lost.’ However that too, would end in frustration, since I was safely at home and didn’t care anymore. More importantly, I’d like to point out that we didn’t live anywhere near the lake, so why do I care where it is!?

I still don’t care, really, as long as I know where I’m going! So, now I print out a map (going to and coming back from any destination). I don’t have a GPS, but always make sure my cell phone is charged. And if something happens, I now call my mom!


Was there a hot button topic that you argued with your parents about? What was it?

2 responses to “Tania, where’s the lake?”

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