Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Other Woman

Samantha is her name. A few months ago I would have worried about one of the kids reading this, but they know all about her now. It hurts, but this is my reality. Samantha is my husband's new love, his dreamboat, his ideal. Samantha is the voice of the GPS.

For all these years I’ve been the navigator on our trips, near and far, with my Trip-Tiks, maps, and Post-it notes as tools. We’ve had fun, and have never gotten so lost that we couldn’t get unlost.

You know the saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Well, apply it here. As far as I can tell, we didn’t need Samantha. We did fine without her, and now she is an ‘issue’.

Sometimes the Center of The Universe wants to take Samantha with us even on a short trip. “But we know how to get there,” I’ll protest.

“Let’s just see what she says. We’ll just give her a try,” he says. Of course, once she’s up there on the windshield, she has a mind of her own, and speaks it whenever she pleases.

Even when Carl Kasell is giving the NPR news, or CoTU is theorizing on a particular set of power lines we may be passing. (He’s an electrical engineer, y’know.) But whoa—the world must stop turning on its axis so that we can all hush and hear Robo-Girl announce, “Turn right, 250 feet, Interstate 64. Then, (pregnant pause), take the freeway.”

Well, duh. We can’t exactly turn onto the interstate and NOT take the ‘freeway’, can we?

This has led to some (all-out brawls) minor disagreements between CoTU and me. “Why are we listening to her if we aren’t going to take her advice?”

“It’s just good to get another opinion,” he says. Right, another opinion that he can visualize in stiletto heels and a skin-tight fire-engine red sheath with a plunging neckline, not that I’m bitter. On the other hand, maybe he envisions her as a petite, pixie-like brunette with a heart-shaped face and a gamine haircut. (Are you listening Amy Walter???) (More on that little heart-breaker/home-wrecker another day!)

Sometimes we may choose to ignore the (bitch) voice and take a different route. Samantha will command, Turn around and go south on Main Street.” We are ignoring her, for an interim stop for gas. Turn around—nearest opportunity. I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself. You’re going to regret this. TURN AROUND NOW, DAMMIT.” Wow, talk about your control freaks…

Which brings me to another point of contention: the volume. (See previous post regarding men and hearing loss.) We have to keep the volume high so we don’t miss any little tidbit. What this translates into is, every time the voice starts up, it startles me into cardiac arrest. (Forgive the hyperbole, but it’s damn close.) I live for the moment that CoTU decides we can disconnect Samantha. "Wait, don't unplug me-- I'm here to help you-- really! Don't touch th--"

It’s all I can do to take care of the husband I have. I can’t take care of Samantha, too.


  1. I am afraid of a GPS! What if I piss it off and it leads me to the ghetto?

  2. I've heard of this phenomenon. My boyfriend turns his GPS on on short trips just because it tells him what time he'll get there. I long for a GPS. Do you think I can get a sexy male voice?

  3. Stephanie-- I believe you can download a sexy male voice in any one of a number of foreign accents! (Seems to depend on the brand and model GPS you purchase!) Enjoy! Perhaps ze ve-ry sexy Frenchman or Italian would be appealing?

  4. My husband rarely uses his GPS.

    I think because he wants to believe that he automatically knows where everything is...

  5. I wonder if you could use this as an opportunity? Whenever you do not like something your husband has said, or he disagrees with you, you can say, "Well, it's just good to get another opinion," and proceed to find someone with yours!

    Also, anyone (or thing) who interrupts Carl Kasell needs to be taken out back and shot. But, that is just MY opinion. Probably we shouldn't ask Samantha for hers.

  6. P.S. How can I reply to your comments at my place? Do you have an e-mail? Drop me a note, eh?

  7. The phrase "boys and their toys" has taken on a whole new meaning in the digital age, hasn't it?

  8. Sadly, I don't have a navigator, so I am forced to rely on Louise, or Weezy, as I now call her since I've moved to the South.

    The next time your husband asks you where something is (perhaps his glasses or his keys), tell him to ask Samantha. Let's see how well she does with that one!