Driving (Me Crazy)

Do you ever argue over directions?  Everyone thinks their way is the best way, but I always say the closest distance between two points is a straight line or, you know, as the crow owl flies. Which way to the beach?! 

Do you ever find that others take far different routes to destinations than you would take?

This happens to me a lot with my spouse. Not long ago, he drove the “wrong” route to a restaurant where we were meeting friends for breakfast, although he continued to insist it was the most efficient.

Our conversation pretty much went like this:

“Why are you going this way?”

“Because this is the way to get there.”

“But I never go this way.”

“I always go this way. See, how quick and speedy it is?”

“No, it's not. We would already be seated if we’d gone my way.”

Then I threatened to buy him a GPS system because I’ve heard they magically select the best route (which of course is MINE). “I don’t need a GPS, I never go anywhere,” protested the man who works from home.

“Well, you’re going somewhere now and it’s the wrong way,” I replied.

Our discussion continued to deteriorate. When we finally reached the restaurant, I asked the couples waiting for us: When you drive, do you take the same routes that your spouse would?

I bet you can figure out the answer -- none of them do. Why is this? Is it because men and women think differently? Although that's a good explanation for many things, I don't think it applies to driving patterns because my mother is always asking me “why are you going THIS way?”

I suspect there are many factors that impact our route preferences, like whether we want to get somewhere fast or enjoy the scenery. Or maybe we want to avoid traffic lights, or a certain bridge, intersection or traffic bottleneck. It's also possible that we pick routes based on habit. But why did my spouse develop such bad habits when I did not? (I'm still talking about driving here.)

One of the other husbands at the breakfast proclaimed that the reason people make different choices is "this is America."

Yes, but I don’t think that explains the driving direction controversy.

And, after a little Internet research, I discovered this phenomenon intrigues folks in other countries, too. I found a study done in Korea. Although the translation to English was a little rough, I believe I found the best answer for why people make different driving route choices:

Fuzzy logic. Yep, they blamed a mathematical technique, one that's used to deal with imprecise data and problems that have many solutions rather than one.

Fuzzy logic. I like it. And it might help explain a few more things about my husband, too.

So, does it also drive you crazy when others can't see that your routes are the best?


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