Right is Left, and Left is Lost…

Or, don’t talk about left and right with me!

The other day I had this incredibly stupid encounter.

In a hurry to the train station, I’m stopped by a couple in a car (about 50 meters from the station) asking me how to get to the station by car – I’m on the sidewalk. (In their defense, Solna station, where this happened, is pretty complex.)

I point (to my right, with my whole right arm) and ask them if they see the (large, clearly) red buses. The guy goes, “uh-huh, so it’s to the left then?”

Instead of verifying which hand I am pointing with, I take him on his words saying, “uh yeah right…”

He sounded so sure, I assumed he knew what he was talking about. And I had this really clear picture, in my head, of where they should go… (Guess they didn’t see it… Hehehe…)

My feel for left and right is slightly above the level where my driver’s ed teacher had to write a large “L” on my left hand when I took my license, but it was close!

Even though this was a harmless situation, my tendency to not verify the left-right thing, but just judge from the tone of the guys voice, is a bit dangerous, and it wouldn’t be the first time I put too much trust in what another person thinks about something… (And if I had to identify the cause I’d say it’s probably impulsiveness from ADHD, combined with some poor mentalization from AS…)

Of course, the couple in the car head off in the totally wrong direction and I go, duh! (I actually suspected he had the same left-right issues I have, once I’ve realized my mistake – 2 seconds after the encounter.) In my defense though, there were no damn buses where they were heading, and I was pointing with my whole arm!

After a while it hits me; one of them was most likely getting off at the station, the same station I was heading for! I should have told them to get out of the car and follow my lead (through an underpass and another 25 meters to the station)…

I can always congratulate myself to have had this revelation only a half hour or so after it happened. In extreme cases it takes years, and if I had seen the situation clearly just as it happened, it would have made a large impact.

It’s actually almost funny how the time to figure things out seems to be positively correlated to the importance of the decision… Ah well…

On the other hand, we don’t say “hindsight is 20-20” for nothing, do we?

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