Stay or Go
I am arguing with her again, and now I am yelling. We are on the highway, time frame looming, still a ways to go before the next exit. She calmly says, “Take a right onto Oak Street.” I yell at her “There is no Oak Street, we are on the highway!” She counters, in her always and forever calm and unruffled voice, “Recalculating.” There is nothing to recalculate. We are on the highway, there is no Oak Street. I try to remain calm. But, she is confused, and I cannot be late. I get on my cell phone and call my husband to get some directional help from him. As I brief him on the situation, she suddenly changes her tune. “Drive 17 miles on Interstate 91.”
So, has she gotten jealous about me seeing somebody else for directions? I hang up with my husband, and she remains focused and on task for the rest of this journey.
Our relationship started out a little rocky. She was misunderstood, yes, I know. It was a while into one of my first journeys with her that I realized my 5 year old had programmed her to indoor simulation. No wonder we could not connect and understand each other. But, we worked this out. Some fiddling around with her settings helped us reconnect. Then, another rift. We just were not seeing eye to eye. Yes, my 5 year old, again. This time he had switched the language to Spanish. This took me longer to figure out the fix for. But, she waited patiently for me. She is always so patient, no matter how many times I ignore her. She keeps recalculating and offering options, calmly and politely. I once heard her say “When safe, complete a U-turn.” She was so forward, that time.
There are many times she is troubled, and she tells me. But, this she is not able to share out loud, so I read her message. “Trouble acquiring satellites.” This, she tells me, sometimes for miles. Then, I go elsewhere; I call my husband again. I inform him of her silent treatment, her troubles. He then guides me, using his iPhone. One time, she shared with me her trouble finding satellites, asking me if she should continue searching. I select “No”. She continues to search to locate a satellite, so she tells me in a message. She is sending me mixed messages again. I inquire, “Why bother asking if you are going to do what you want to anyway?”
All weekend she competed with my husband’s iPhone as we traveled around. She never did acquire a satellite the entire time. I wonder if she thought she was not really needed, so why bother.
I have been considering looking out there to see what else there is. I thought about breaking it off completely, turning perhaps to my iPhone, and moving her along to my kids to play with. But, I like how she talks to me; I need that. What I mean is, I cannot read a map to save my life. My directional impairment makes it extremely difficult. Also, the small print requires reading glasses, which are difficult to navigate using while driving; it’s downright unsafe. This is why the voice prompts are essential.
My husband, he says she can be helped, something about an upgrade or an update, a technical intervention. For now, I will stay with her. I know her nuances, her idiosyncracies. And, she doesn’t give up on me; she tries, as best as she can.