Husband Versus Wife: Driving

Last week, on the way to Ikea (a cliché in and of itself, yes?) this conversation happened:


Oh, I see. That is totally different.

As soon as he said it we burst out laughing at how ridiculous it was.

It is interesting that thanks to smartphones and GPS, couples don’t have to have the stereotypical “stop and ask for directions” argument anymore. Thank goodness.

We made it to Ikea just fine.



No, we didn’t see a monkey. Cool stuff like that only happens in Canada.  

I bought my Christmas present at Ikea that day. A LEGO® table. That’s right folks, all I wanted for Christmas was a LEGO® table to help remove the pieces from every single other surface of my home. We did this project but only with two Trofast units back to back because we dont’ have a mansion. 


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62 Responses to Husband Versus Wife: Driving

  1. Leighan says:

    My husband has uttered the same words, but there was no laughing at the ridiculousness. Why? He was serious. We don’t have GPS or smartphones, but he doesn’t stop to ask directions, he just finally listens to me. 🙂

  2. Carrie says:

    It’s good you both laughed. Sadly, with the mix of our past driving argument history, and my pregnancy hormones, hubby and I quickly descend into an argument with the GPS; which is to say that we argue over whose GPS directions are better, which take into consideration current traffic conditions, whether or not we are indeed following the GPS directions (this seems to happen when I’m at the wheel), etc. I usually end up feeling uncomfortable that I’ve started defending my GPS as if it were a real live person. Next time, I will take a cue from you, and do my best to laugh. 🙂

  3. julie says:

    My husband used to ask for directions, it was weird. Now we just use smartphone navigation, phew,

    I <3 Ikea!!

  4. Kara says:

    Haha, good luck keeping Lego on said Lego table… urgh…

    • Jenn says:

      Exactly. I tried gluing the plates onto an old coffee table in the hopes that the legos would be built on and stay on the plates. Nope, they have to bring the creations to every part of the house. I don’t have one lego free room. If anyone figures out how to contain legos, for the love of God, share.

  5. Rachie says:

    Omg. This happens allllll the time. Then when he’s lost he’s like “I’m just trying out a new way there” I call bull on that one. This made me laugh… Now to roll out my sugar cookies!

  6. laura says:

    i actually see the difference, though it is still funny. lost implies you have absolutely no idea where you. so it sounds like he knew where he was, he just didn’t know which roads to take to where he wanted to be. which is different from just having no directional or geographic sense of where you are at all.

  7. Cassi says:

    You’re making me wish for a nearby Ikea. I love those storage units! And that would make a terrific table for my son’s Thomas trains

    • Heather says:

      Me too! Cute idea…too bad the nearest IKEA is 5 hours from here.

    • myssie says:

      I just bought some ikea items on amazon dot com.
      I am fairly certain people/stores buy items and sell them marked up a bit. Still, it was way cheaper then driving to ikea.

  8. Ashley says:

    My husband doesn’t drive so I’m lucky that I never have this conversation. (And I always know where I’m going). That Lego table is a fantastic idea.

  9. Angela DeMeritt says:

    Thanks for posting the link to the Lego table! Awesomeness!

  10. Mallory says:

    I do all the driving. I drove us to the hospital when I was in labor and also drove us home after we were discharged with baby #2. This is for two reasons. First, he can handle huge military vehicles but give him a compact car and it’s like being with a student driver. Second, he’s horrible with directions and even though he knows it he still trys to pretend he knows where he’s going.

  11. Kristin says:

    Haha, that is good!

    Even with technology, we still have occasional arguments while driving… it happens because apparently I don’t give specific enough instructions (i.e. “in 4.5 miles, you will make a left on Hwy 3” and then I must remind again when the turn is 1/4 mile away or so…) Thank goodness, our cellphone google maps finally has the lady speaking those instructions for me so now he can yell at her!!

  12. Shea says:

    You’re going to be so tired in the mornings now! Nothing wakes me up quite like stepping on a spare lego on the floor.

  13. Kim S. says:

    Hmmm, this doesn’t happen to us. I’m married to a human map book who amazes me at his sense of direction on the windiest backroads and photographic memory of roads he’s only been on one time in his life 15 years ago. His name is Tom so I often tell him Tom-Toms were named after him. I never get lost when I’m with him.

    • brianna says:

      This would be my husband too. 🙂 I’m actually spoiled enough that i don’t even use GPS myself, I just ask him before i go anywhere and if I get lost, I call him. I know how that sounds but really, he’ll give me faster clearer directions then the gps, I’m a practical person, why waste the time?

  14. jen says:

    Love this! I want one of these tables…wish I had the room!

    My hubby and I often have the conversation, that he, once again, is going the “weird way” which in reality is whatever way I would NOT have chosen to go. For someone who was a boy scout and grew up in the same town we often visit daily, you’d think he would KNOW the quicker way to get somewhere, but nope….he has to take the “weird way”

  15. Sarah says:

    It’s good that you could laugh about it. My husband and I just recovered from an awful argument that happened on the way to V-day (v for vasectomy). We got lost, even with the GPS. I suspect, though, that our wrong turns may have been a result of his fragile nerves. Poor guy.

  16. Bethany says:

    Navigating is so much easier now days. I don’t think I could find my own backside with a map, I’m so used to turn by turn directions. It’s funny, in my marriage my husband is usually the one saying “just ask for directions!” Lol.

  17. Amy says:

    We just went to Ikea this weekend too (my first time ever) and I was in charge of he GPS on the smart phone as Hubby drove as well. I think GPS is a marriage/sanity saver.

  18. Lauren L says:

    Once upon a time (last Christmas) we braved an 8 hour trip to travel home with 6 month old twins and 2 year old toddler. I drove the first hour because my husband is basically blind in the dark and we started super early. I turned the reins over to him (nursed the muchins) and we started on the ride again. I made the crucial mistake of falling asleep and woke up a few hours later only to find out almost immediately he went the wrong way and we were now further away from our destination than we were when we started. I stopped (because the gps had no idea where we were) and asked for directions at this tiny bakery, stocked up on cookies, and off we went. It took us roughly 13 hours to do that 8 hour trip. Next time I’ll just drive….

  19. reba says:

    we had a gps on one of my husband’s work trip to TN. we were in the mountain–mountains. nothing but dirt roads and excuse me rednecks. i’m from a small town in the NC mountains and this place made my hometown look like manhattan. the Tomtom took us one way to a location and a completely different way back. my husband refused to listen to my pleas that we turn around because the roads were getting more and more like trails and less like actual roads. did i mention we were pulling a back hoe? and had a three month old sleeping the the back seat of the truck? it was bad bad. Tomtom left us stranded on top of a mountain at the end of some guys driveway. he had a sign that said, “will shoot trespassers” no lie we had to back the truck with the back hoe down the mountain about a half mile before we could turn around. my husband made a promise to never blindly follow the gps. he’s mostly kept this promise.

  20. Kim says:

    “Not all who wander are lost” … at least that’s what my husband says.

  21. Julie says:

    Fortunately, IKEA has its own gravitational pull.

  22. Kendra Rogers says:

    My 3 yr old train enthusiast just stared at that train table for 10 minutes before I told him I needed to go make dinner. He agreed to get down off my lap if I allowed him to sit and look at the photo while I made dinner…

  23. Eat Already! says:

    Yep. Mine calls it “exploring”. After having more than a few fights about not asking for directions (this was way before GPS devices became affordable), we agreed that he’s allowed up to 20 minutes of “exploring”, after which he’s obligated to stop and ask for directions.

  24. Heather says:

    I just asked my husband to explain this to me and he said, “Lost implies that you don’t know where you are. So this is simply a way of saying that I know where I am, but I don’t know how to get where we are going.” Interesting perspective.

  25. Patrick Miller says:

    I was interested to read in the link you posted that, “Toronto, where the IKEA is located, prohibits the possession of non-human primates . . .”

    I must conclude that Toronto does allow the possession of human primates, i.e. humans. Wasn’t that abolished some time ago elsewhere?

    • Brandy says:

      I really hope you’re not actually being serious, but just in case:
      If you read the link in the slate article that links to the Toronto municipal code, that legal jargon makes more sense as it falls under Prohibited Animals. Generally, humans aren’t referred to as ‘animals’. Secondly, you’re correct that slavery was abolished long ago, so considering Canada has laws at the federal level around human rights and such, a municipal code that suggests that a human can be possessed would have no weight.

      Anyways…Amber, as soon as you mentioned IKEA, I was hoping for something about the monkey! I live in Toronto and the IKEA monkey store is the one I shop at!

    • Morgan says:

      Hahaha. That wording made me giggle. Non-human primates. Why use the words non-human?

  26. That table is amazing! We have an Ikea here, but just one of those square Lego bases costs over 500 baht here. That project would cost a fortune before we even picked up the shelves!

    My extended family all use Garmins. They call it/her Carmen. We just use the map feature on our phones. Works well enough.

  27. Madeleine says:

    I was in that IKEA in Canada on the monkey day and still didn’t see him 🙁 ! We also had similar conversations on the way due to him relying on GPS and me having checked the way on a map beforehand.

  28. Shelagh says:

    Best way to clean up Lego? Give each child a dustpan and then they can scoop them up easily. Works on carpets and floors. BTW I love your illustrations and stories!

    • Suzanne says:

      Best way to clean up lego: get a large sheet or blanket. Play lego on top of it.

      When done: pick up blanket at corners and pour lego back into bin.

      Alternative: put blanket in bin with the lego still in it.

  29. tara says:

    That is a sweet looking table! Can I come over and play?

  30. Jessica says:

    Was it the one in Carson? I’m near Seattle now, but used to walk to the Carson Ikea back in the day

  31. Eva says:

    I actually have been saying that one a lot lately to my kids who are old enough to be concerned when they don’t know where we are. We recently moved to a new part of town and I have a good general sense of the area but don’t know all the back roads yet (and don’t own a GPS). I often venture onto the back roads not knowing exactly which to take or where it is going to dump me but knowing I can’t stray too far without hitting a road I know. Then, when the kids get worried and ask if we are lost, I say “no I just don’t know exactly where I am going”.

  32. when Hubs ignores her
    she gets a little snippy
    GPS lady

  33. Breann says:

    hold the phone… there is a lego table?! I must have this!

  34. Lauren says:

    Hold the Phone… YOu don’t have a mansion! no one told me! hahaha I love Ikea and I love Ikea Hacks even more! haha

  35. Samii says:

    I live 2 miles from an Ikea– you’d think I would go there more often. It’s quite a committment, though!

  36. Molly says:

    “Wizard is never late… he arrives precisely when he means to”
    – it’s a guy thing.

  37. Christina says:

    My husband grew up around here so he knows where everything is. My son(22), on the other hand, still gets picked on 4 years later for the time we were heading to an appointment (he was driving) and I asked if he knew where he was going (we were headed the wrong way) and he uttered these words “I know where I’m going, I just thought I was somewhere else”.
    Yeah, he doesn’t think it was nearly as funny as we all do.

  38. Claudia says:

    We actually call out SatNav the ‘anti-argument’ device. It’s not about getting there, it’s about not having a nervous breakdown. Otherwise my beloved got in a rage about being lost, I got stressed about him being angry and scared of having to be the one looking at the map giving directions, which I might not do right and make the situation even worse.

  39. sarah says:

    So, um, concerning the link to the lego table project … Does anyone elses kids ever play that well organized? The Lego city on top of the table is pretty cool, but my boys would never leave it so official looking. Without a doubt, there would be some sort of dinosaur/giant chewing the city. The bus would have wings…. um yeah…

    • amber says:

      I doubt it. Ours is a mess on top already. But they have been managing to keep spare parts IN the drawers. So far so good!

  40. Megan M M says:

    The IKEA next to LAX is impossible to find!!!

  41. erin says:


    Whew, that was funny…no, not the part where he was all “I’m not lost, I just don’t know how to get there.” (well, that was funny, but that’s not why I’m laughing)…I’m laughing because you said “…help remove the pieces from every single other surface of my home.”


    Oh man, there I go again…yeah, that line…that was golden.

    Whew, I think I just burned off a cupcake with all that laughing…time for another one!

  42. Lisa says:

    Huh. We don’t have a GPS … we do have a smart phone, but aren’t smart enough to use that “ap”. So we do still have this conversation. Funny … ouch!

  43. Nadine says:

    My mom said once, “I’m not lost. I just changed my mind about where I wanted to go.”

  44. Ezekiel Piszczek says:

    Older IKEA stores are usually very large blue buildings with yellow accents (also Sweden’s national colours) and few windows. They are often designed in a one-way layout, leading customers counter clockwise along what IKEA calls “the long natural way” designed to encourage the customer to see the store in its entirety (as opposed to a traditional retail store, which allows a customer to go directly to the section where the goods and services needed are displayed). However, there are often shortcuts to other parts of the showroom. Newer IKEA stores, like the one in Mönchengladbach, Germany, make more use of glass, both for aesthetics and functionality. Skylights are also now common in the self-serve warehouses; natural lighting reduces energy costs, improves worker morale and gives a better impression of the product.;`^;

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