Sunday, May 10, 2009

Travels with GPS Lady

I learned a lot from my two days of traveling alone with GPS Lady. We didn't always agree. There were times when I knew which way I wanted to go, and it was not the way she thought I should go. So I would ignore her advice and then endure her earnest, repeated attempts to steer me her way. 

In the process I was reminded that although I often rebel at doing what I'm told, I have a fairly low threshold for "disappointing" another--even  just a computer! (Didn't I really detect a note of disappointment and disapproval in her voice, as she declared "Recalculating" in response to my every insubordination?)

As I got attuned to her ways, I even started warning her when I knew I was going to disobey her directions. "Sorry to disappoint you, but..." When she would finally readjust her bearings and come round to my chosen route, I pumped one fist with a "yes" (while the other hand stayed safely on the wheel of course)! 

GPS Lady saved my skin once in a big way, when I deliberately ignored her instructions and then made a too-quick wrong move when faced with an unexpected choice at highway speed. A wrong move that I didn't recognize as a significant error until it was way, way too late to fix simply by turning around. I really needed help, serious directional help.

So I threw myself on her mercy and wisdom, told her that I was counting on her, and pledged my faithful obedience, at least this time. She got me where I needed to go, and I thanked her.

I did notice that sometimes GPS Lady had a hard time waking up in the morning. I suppose it might have had something to do with her having been hunkered down over night in an underground garage, but I couldn't help wondering if she had been out carousing in the city and needed some caffeine to help shake it off. There was nothing to do but wait while she pulled herself together.

In the end I have to say that while GPS Lady can really help sort things out, she's not always quite precise enough or quick enough with her spoken directions. And besides, there's nothing quite like having a human companion to read a map and road signs. Not to mention the conversations you can have and the laughter (even if the aforementioned do cause you to miss an occasional exit, sending you almost into the bowels of Newark Airport--which then requires solving a puzzle together by your own collaborative human ingenuity). 

After many hours and miles of GPS Lady on Saturday,  Bekah finally declared: "We're shutting you down, Lady; you've screwed us over too many times!" By then we really did know which way to go anyway, and we were eager to get home. 


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