Sunday, November 8, 2009

Driving ... me crazy

Husband No. 1 took the wrong route to the restaurant where we were meeting friends for breakfast today, although he continues to insist it was the most efficient.

I should note that my definition of “wrong” here is selecting the route I would NOT take to this destination. Mine would have gotten us there in record time and ease, though he foolishly disagrees. 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 it would choose 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 you're going the wrong way,” I replied.

The 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 that?

Is it because men and women think differently? Although that's a good explanation for many things, I don't think it explains driving patterns. Just yesterday, for example, my own mother asked me more than once “why are you going THIS way?” while I was in the driver's seat.

I suspect there are many factors that impact our route preferences, like whether we want to get somewhere fast or just 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 Husband No. 1 develop such bad habits when I did not? (I'm still talking about driving here.)

One of the men at today's breakfast says the reason people make different choices is "this is America."

But after doing 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 Husband No. 1, as well.

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


MaxWriter said...

What drives me crazy is when someone is giving me a ride to a place that person goes regularly, and asks me which is the best way to go, for example, "Should I go 95 or Rte 1?"
Since I always go Rte 1 from Ipswich to Amesbury, that's what I say. And then I have to direct her to the various side roads that I consider the right way. On the way home, she just goes the way she apparently always does: 95! So, one wonders, why did she ask? We could also wonder why I didn't say, "Oh go the way you prefer" or something like that.

Husband #1 used to pull this maneuver all the time and then criticize me for my opinion. That's one of the many reasons he's no longer husband # Anything for me!

PatRemick said...

That is so funny, Edith. I have had that happen, too -- they ask for the route and then return another way.

I really thought more people would be commenting on this post -- maybe the issue only bugs some of us!