Thursday, March 03, 2016

Pop question: Getting Lost

I was watching Still Alice the other night, with Julianne Moore as a woman who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.

And of course, I got to thinking about my mom, who passed away from the regular type of Alzheimer's in 2013, so the movie was ... not easy for me to watch.

In the movie, one of the first outward signs of Julianne Moore's character's disease is when she can't find the bathroom in her house, and ends up wetting her pants.  And I remembered how, a few years before my mom was actually diagnosed, I knew that there was something wrong.  She was forgetting things, and losing things, and then, one day, she was relating an anecdote to a few of us about how she had gotten lost in Walmart, how she had been doing her regular shopping, and then got turned around somehow, and realized that she didn't know where the front of the store was or how to find the exit.

And everybody laughed, talking about how big the big-box stores were, and how disorienting, and how everybody gets lost in one from time to time.

And I was, well, nonplussed.  Because I can't even imagine getting lost inside a store.  How could you possibly get so confused that you couldn't find your way to the exits?  And I still remember how worried I felt about my mom when she told that story, and how baffled I was that other people were relating to it, because WHO GETS LOST INSIDE A STORE?!

So:  Here's my question:  Have you ever gotten lost inside a store?  Enquiring minds want to know.


auntmeanie682 said...

Yes I have no sense of direction. I have never gotten lost in a specific store but I get confused in malls and office buildings. My family thinks it is funny but I have been doing this for years. When I am inside a building and not near any windows I can't tell the front from the back. I can get out by following the exit signs but I never end up coming out the same way I came in; then I have to try and find my car.LOL

~~Silk said...

Not in a store, but I pulled into my driveway one time and couldn't remember how to turn the car off.

spiffikins said...

I've gotten turned around in a store - but mostly because 90% of the Target stores I go in, are set up very similarly. This one time I was in a different Target store, and based on the layout, I headed to where I thought the front of the store would be, and ended up at the back of the store - I was *so* confused for a moment, just because the store was *wrong*


Domestic Kate said...

Nope, but I've always had a good sense of direction. I can usually retrace my steps no matter where I am (walking on trails or driving on streets), and big stores have never been a problem. I mean, if nothing else, just find one of the main aisles and follow it until you get to the door, right? It's one thing to get turned around in a store, but to not know what to do to get yourself un-lost would alarm me.

James P. said...

I just don't think we can say for sure that your mother's experience in Walmart was an indication of her upcoming dementia. I'm thinking of how those stores keep shuffling displays and departments around, so that the arrangement may not have been familiar when she came in. (Attention Stores: STOP DOING THAT!!!!) I also offer this: EVERY time I go to Walmart, I see people (not oldsters) walking back and forth through the parking lot, their hand shading their eyes, trying to find their car. (Mrs. Fitter learned years ago to park in exactly the same row each time, no matter how far from the front door! Yay, me!)

KJL said...

Nope. If it was some minor confusion as several described above that occurred off and on in one's lifetime, no worries. If one had never had it happen, and the episode lasted longer than a few moments to reorient, yes, that is worrisome.

Becs said...

Sometimes I get disoriented on where I am on the commute home. This especially happens in winter or after it snows. I don't recognize my regular landmarks because the snow has changed my focus. I do have a lot of incidents where I go into a room and can't remember why I went there in the first place. If you want to get really, really freaked out, Google "White Matter Disease". A friend's doctor hypothesized that she might have this. I read up on it and freaked.

Oh, and I refuse to watch "Still Alice". I would rather watch "The House That Dripped Blood" and all of the "Saw" movies with my eyes taped open.

rockygrace said...

Okay! So, it seems, some of us get lost and some of us don't. :)

auntmeanie, I get confused in hospitals. Not "lost" per se, but it can be hard to orient myself in a large, unfamiliar building.

~~Silk, I think that's what's called a "brain fart". Ha.

spiff, it seems most big-boxes are pretty much the same. Seen one, seen 'em all.

and Kate, yeah, it's the fact that she couldn't figure out how to find the cash registers that worried me. I mean, Walmarts are big, but they're not *that* big.

Ginny, I always try to make a mental note of where the car is parked. Now that I think of it, I actually once got into a car that wasn't mine. (Same make, same model, same color - so sue me.)

Kris, I don't know if this was the beginning of the end, so to speak, for my mom, but it was the first time that I remember getting a jolt of unease from something she was saying.

Becs, I often go into a room and stand there, saying, "now what?!" Safe to say I won't be googling "White Matter Disease", thanks anyway. :)

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

when I was young, my mother would get lost at the mall. And I can get turned around in stores I rarely go into.. but yeah, I'm like you, if my parent mentioned to me getting lost at walmart, I'd be concerned

rockygrace said...

haha, Tails, when *I* was young, MY MOTHER LEFT ME AT THE GROCERY STORE. True story. :)