Happy Festivus, Frank  Costanza’s holiday for the rest of us!

I regularly read a lot of newspapers online, including The Boston Globe, for which Robin Abrahams writes a weekly etiquette column called “Miss Conduct.” I usually don’t read that type of column, but her latest one caught my attention because she airs grievances in accordance to Festivus tradition. That got me thinking about a particular grievance I wish to air about Boston.

Driving in Boston is the pits! My wife and I spent a week in New England last fall and the only complaint we had about the whole trip was the difficulty we experienced while trying to navigate the streets of Boston. Keep in mind that I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I am well-versed in the ways of big-city driving. The traffic didn’t bother me, nor did the aggressiveness of drivers, really. The inability to reach our chosen destinations did.

I’m the type of driver who likes to know where he is going before heading there, so I mapped out our route to Harvard University, where we simply wanted to walk on the campus of the hallowed learning institution. After battling traffic just to get near Harvard, we couldn’t actually find our way onto the campus thanks to road closures and inadequate detour signage. Thus we decided to find Fenway Park instead, and that turned into a bigger debacle. We tried to follow signs to the ballpark, but that didn’t work. It seemed as if every time we got close to Yawkey Way, we actually got further away thanks to rotary intersections that turn unsuspecting drivers away from their desired destinations. (To visualize what I mean, think about that scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation when Clark Griswold can’t navigate his way out of a traffic circle. When you aren’t used to driving in rotaries, they can be hard to navigate.)

We never did reach Fenway Park, though I caught a fleeting glimpse of it as we drove past it via Interstate 90. That gave me a feeling of deja vu. While in Boston a decade earlier, my road trip companion and I couldn’t get to Fenway Park and had to settle for a quick glimpse of the ballpark’s light fixtures after deciding that trying to navigate the confusing roadways in that area of Boston wasn’t worth the hassle.

I hope to find Fenway Park someday, but I’m not sure that actually is possible without the help of a taxi driver.

Now that I’ve aired a grievance in honor of Festivus, it’s your turn to gripe about something. Post a comment accordingly and feel better that what’s bothering you will finally be off your chest. Extra points if you type your gripe near a Festivus pole.

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