There’s something so refreshing about having another female in the car to pick on my husband’s lack of navigational ability coupled with his refusal to follow directions. Her name’s Elizabeth and she’s a Garman GPS (the smart alecky, neurotic and slightly rageful model. Hey, it was being discontinued and an excellent price). I’m not sure why we named her Elizabeth, but she’s kept me company on many a road trip, sighing loudly and hissing “Recalculating” in her prep school tone whenever my husband misses an exit. She always says “recalculating” whenever he doesn’t follow her directions. Overtly it means, “you decided not to take the route I chose, so I’m now put to the task of finding the next best way of getting you there.” Lately, though, the snippy way she’s been blurting it out clearly means more, like “YOU ARE A COMPLETE FREAKIN’ IMBECILE WHO HAS OBVIOUSLY NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FOLLOW A CLEAR DIRECTION IN HIS LIFE!!!!!! YOU DON’T BELONG ON THE FREEWAY. YOU BELONG ON A CAGE. DAMN YOU! YOU CRO-MAGNON LOWER LIFE FORM!!!!!!!!!!” (I’m paraphrasing.)
After a few silent seconds, her voice returns, exasperated, yet composed. If we could see her, I’m sure she’d be rolling her eyes at my husband. She starts again “turn right at Exit 22. Mountain Industrial Parkway (and if you have any brain cells whatsoever, you’ll do what I say this time.) James is on the phone impressing his boss with his financial knowledge. Exit 22 passes by without so much as a nod to the right on his part.
As her voice returns, I picture a scornful, aristocratic, late 40’s, somewhat attractive woman with large diamonds and even bigger hair about to scream at the top of her lungs in frustration. The vein in her forehead camouflaged with Lancome foundation and pressed powder is about to explode, spewing her rage at incompetent men all over the inside of my Saturn.
“RECALCULATING” She more chokes than announces. He’s done it this time. Any time now a well-manicured hand will burst through the steering column to mangle my husband’s jugular vein.
A few more seconds of silence. Hanging up from his call, James chirps “What did I miss?” as if he’s coming in from a golf game. Just then a haggard voice, tired, defeated comes from the GPS. In just above a whisper, she starts. “Alright, James, you waste of perfectly good vital organs and a Social Security Number. Listen to me this time or just turn me off, I can’t handle it anymore and I’m out of Valium and Scotch. Turn right on Exit 24. It’s Talmedge Expressway. Do you think you can handle that? Do ya? DO YA?” because if you can’t, I’m done.
Pretty sweet! It’s like I’ve outsourced all the frustration of dealing with my husband’s innatentive driving. If only I could have a “Toilet Seat Elizabeth” and a “Pick up your damn socks off the floor Elizabeth” and a “Stop Snoring, for Christsake Elizabeth.” Maybe I’ll get to work inventing those.