Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What's Stamped On Your Forehead?

Are you the kind of person that everyone has to tell their troubles to? Or maybe you attract weirdos, or you're a magnet for bad boys?

Do you ever feel like you have a sign stamped on your forehead that announces something you prefer most of the world didn't know?

I only ask because even though I've never actually seen them, I know there are big red letters on my forehead saying, "Ask me for directions and/or instructions because I know everything."

It wouldn't bother me so much if I actually DID know everything, but for the most part, I'm clueless. The parameters of my functional world are actually quite small and I really don't have time to venture far beyond those borders. Nevertheless, strangers everywhere see me and think, "That lady looks like she knows how to get to wherever I'm going." Or "She must know how to do whatever it is I want to do, I'll ask her."

It never fails. I'm stopped in the mall, sidelined in stores and eateries, people even signal me while driving and ask directions at red lights. And most of the time, I have no idea how to help them.

I'm one of those people who needs a map to find my own bedroom. I don't know north from south and I get from place to place by landmarks, not street signs. Yet, at least once a week someone stops me and asks me for directions that I don't know how to give.

Last week, someone beeped at me at a stoplight. I rolled down the window and the man asked how to get to Wal*Mart. Now there's a first. A man asking a woman for directions. I should have alerted the media.

This weekend, in RagShop a woman started asking me how to pick the proper size crochet needle. I was a little more in my ballpark since I do crochet, but apparently I looked like the leading authority on the subject simply because I was wandering around the yarn aisle.

When I was in Brisbane, Australia, an elderly woman asked how to get to the nearest train station. I had to tell her I was lucky I knew what continent I was on and it was a major coup for my girlfriend and I to get back to the tour bus on time.

It's not that I don't want to be helpful, in fact I despise being un-helpful and therein lies the problem. I'm terrified of giving people bad advice - which is why I don't do it for a living or anything. Nevertheless I seem to emit these strange invisible rays that draw people to me when they have questions that I most likely can't answer.

Why is that?

Do you have a sign on your forehead? If so, any suggestions on how to get rid of it?


A. J. Cove said...

I suggest changing your facial expression. If you have that wide-eyed vacuous look, they'll think you don't know anything. Lol. Hmm, I wonder if I wear that look.

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

LOL. I thought that's the look I had! I'd better practice in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

(scratching head) I've been to your website several times--don't know how I missed your blog.

I'm like you--people have always turned to me for directions and advice. I always thought it was because I was tall. Now I think it's because I tend to look at people. Most folks let their gaze skim over others in passing, but I always acknowledge people with a smile or a nod. Unlike most Wal-Mart clerks... :D

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Maybe that's it, Robin. I have to stop making eye contact with people. Though I thought my eyes said, "I'm just as clueless as everyone else."