They say opposites attract. Katie and I are quite opposite...sometimes. Sort of. Okay, so we're really not at all -- we both love to laugh [I prefer mine snort-free, however] and have fun, we both love the non-food at Kleiner with an unhealthy abandon, we both love our friends and families more than anything else in this world, and we are both directionally and domestically challenged. It's true; as much as we may want to, Katie and I could never live together, because we would burn the house down with our "cooking," and then we'd get lost whenever we left on a desperately needed fast food run. I'm sure our mothers cringe at the very idea.
Regardless of the fact that I cannot read, give, or follow directions at all, there is one circumstance under which my inner compass resembles my father's instead of my mom's, and that is in a mall. I know, I know, it's pathetic, but it's true -- ask any of my friends or my sister, when there is shopping involved, I have the nose of a bloodhound. Even if I have never been INTO a certain mall, I instinctively know where to find the stores I want, I sense when I am going the wrong way, I can find whatever I am looking for. It is beyond strange.
Because of this, I had enough faith in my shopping-center savvy [and GoogleMaps, naturally] to think that even Katie and I could find Woodland Mall on Wednesday morning. The last time I went there was with my genius friend Alyssa, and it was easy to get to...of course, Alyssa uses words like, "north" and "east" in regular conversations, so maybe she and I are more opposite than Katie and I...but either way, the mall was one turn off the highway, and Katie and I were already IN the general area, so how hard could it be to find??
Though construction tried to thwart us, nothing gets between two twenty-year-old girls and the notion of spending the money that they should save for things like food and rent. We suffered minor delays and opposition, but when we pulled of the highway at the correct exit, we were one turn, 8.9 miles, and approximately 17 minutes from our destination. Sure, it confused us a little bit that we passed Rivertown, the shopping mega-center that so delighted us when we were younger. "I thought that they were on opposite sides of town..." we said to each other. We re-examined our directions, though, and according to them, we were right on track. So we kept going.
I don't know what our first clue was. Maybe it was the fact that we were looking for 28th street, and I noticed that we were crossing streets like 46th, 52nd, 78th, 83rd...but then again, maybe the street numbers start over after 100, so we kept going.
Maybe it was the fact that civilization slowly started to trickle behind us, a distant memory by the time we reached the first cornfield. Maybe it was around the time that the cornfields became so plentiful that they gave way to cabbage patches and darling little farms, complete with the red barns and the silos that Julie loves so much...maybe then we should have figured it out. But then again, maybe a burst of commercialism awaited after the next light and we were almost there, so we kept going.
Maybe by the time we passed the North Door County Store, we should have known that a mall was nowhere nearby. I mean, I'll bet the little shack still accepted credit from Ma Ingalls and bartered for fresh eggs. Something was definitely wrong, even though we had followed the directions PERFECTLY. In a last vain attempt to find the ever elusive mall, we kept going.
Finally, we lost hope. Choking on laughter at our ridiculous situation, we decided that at the next light, we would turn around and try to figure out where we were going. We didn't even get that opportunity, though, because there WAS no "next light." The pavement ended. We had driven until we ran out of road.
Obviously, we turned around, and by the time we pulled over at the North Door County Store, there were two people sitting on the front porch [see? a store with a front porch...because they've made on of THOSE in the past one hundred years...] and I rolled down the window. "You lost?" they asked, inherently knowing out situation.
"Um, yeah," I said. "We're trying to get to the Woodland Mall."
Their mouths dropped open, and they stared at us incredulously. The red-headed woman barked a laugh. "You're really lost," she said.
The nice hillbillies gave us directions to Woodland, but at that point, we didn't really want to risk it...so we ended up at Rivertown, safe, familiar Rivertown.
And so, our shopping adventure turned into quite another adventure, but hey -- we figured out where Woodland was NOT. And it was hilarious. And it merited a blog. And we still got to hang out and start this year right. And Katie and I have the rest of our lives to figure out directions. And learn how to cook. I think we're going to be all right.