Google's script editor giving run error when entering negative column/row offset values

"The coordinates or dimensions of the range are invalid. (line 10, file "Code")"

I am trying to set up a simple x,y style table lookup script in Google's script editor. The inline function couldn't quite give me the tools I needed to make this script work.

I am in the very early steps of conceptualising my function, so it is extremely barebones while I figure out how to use this language.

I just need a simple functionality to read the cells to the left of the active cell, it seems the offset function is my best bet.

function getDistance(){
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();

  var main = ss.getActiveSheet();
  var distances = ss.getRange('Distances!A1:Z100');
  var home = main.getRange(3, 3); //my attempt to initialize the variable to 
                                  //get rid of error message

  var home = main.getActiveCell();

  var cell1 = home.offset(0, -2); //this is where error occurs
  var cell2 = home.offset(0, -1); //if line above is set to positive, an error occurs here

  return distances.getValues();

From what I could find in Google's API Library, the Range.offset() function does take negative values (other forum posts suggest this wasn't always the case). The offset is working, as I tested it in a spreadsheet. It correctly reads the cells to the left of the active cell. I'm just worried that, since this error won't go away, it won't detect any errors in the code past that point as the function is more developed.

Is this a glitch or can I initialize the var home in a way that removes this error?