July 5, 2014

Analyzing our relationship with GPS

Is it normal to harbor ambivalence toward a GPS? Out of sight, my feelings for our GPS are friendly — sort of bemusement mixed with contempt.

I think things like, “Wouldn’t it be cute if the GPS adopted the accent of whatever state/country that it passed through?” and “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we kept missing turns and getting lost and it finally gave up on us and gave us the silent treatment?”

How adorable. And, “Wouldn’t it be divine if we named her (Gladys) so she felt part of the family?” But, it is when Gladys is on the clock that things get complicated.

My husband is mystified by Gladys; in fact, he tries to outsmart her. When presented with an estimated time of arrival, he smirks and says, “We’ll see about that.”

He takes the ETA quite personally; it is a challenge, a gauntlet that is thrown down in the face of his very manly driving. Time and time again, he is thwarted by our GPS/genie; reaching our destination precisely at her predicted moment. I swear I can hear Gladys chuckle.

Subsequent to any trip, my husband can be seen pacing with furrowed brow. Muttering, he ticks off points on his fingers, quietly cataloging the various factors that should have foiled Gladys’ calculations: traffic vs. no traffic, varying speeds, his own Mario Andretti racing moves that would baffle any mere machine. And, therein lies the answer.

I believe that Gladys is much more intelligent than my husband allows. Sure, she calculates miles and rerouting; but I also think she has become attuned to the strange traveling patterns of our family circus.

For instance, she knows that:

At mile 15, Princess Pee will panic that she “might” have to go to the bathroom as she has drank at least .005 ml. of liquid. Stop 1.

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