Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Driving Up Memory Lane with Siri

Driving Up Memory Lane
By Stephanie Jeannot (c) 2016

I got into my car and was ready to head up north on an adventure of my lifetime. I love to drive and to get in the car to drive far away from Kensington any day, is a day that I know will be great. 

I remember days of old when my parents would gather us into our Vista and take us on a journey elsewhere. I think I learned how to get to everywhere by car based on my being a backseat driver.

We always had a great time scoping out things on the road and visiting places that were foreign to us for the first time. I always liked when my father would put on the radio and we would just break out into song while strapped to our seats of the vehicle going about 75 miles on the freeway. My face was always tapered to the glass of the windows excited about the view. Then boom, we’d arrive to Niagara Falls or boom, we’d be cruising into the Hershey Park entrance. Life was always great on the road and it is no different for me today.

I put on my GPS and Siri began to give me directions. The problem is that I hardly ever listen to her. She tells me go left, I go right. She tells me get off at the next exit, I stay on the road and keep driving; even to the point of getting lost. 

I still do not understand why I don’t take heed to what she is saying because her map is supposed to give me the shortest route from point A to point B. Yet, being the back seat driver that I am, sometimes I feel that my directions are more direct, even though they are not always right. To put the GPS on and to ignore it hardly makes any sense. But . . .

Three exits past the one that Siri told me to get off at, left me in a different state. It didn’t look like Kansas anymore. Nothing but road, and trees surrounding us.  Nothing but doubt and confusion taking over me. And no ruby red slippers to click me back to my exit. Perhaps it would have been better if I had made the U-turn that Siri had told me to make 5 miles ago. And all of that lead me to here.

Sometimes you should listen when someone talks to you. Yes, I am referring to Siri as a someone. Sure she is in a box but she is my personal assistant and I respect her. We have gone through a lot together these past few years and I so admire her for keeping me lazy to think without doing my own research on how to get somewhere before actually going there. I guess all modern technology has effects like this.

I remember knowing everybody’s phone number by heart. I could recite any number for anyone asking me and dial without having to look in a book for the digits. Now, if it is not saved in our phones, the numbers are out of sight and will probably never be called. I remember digging into a lexicon to find the definition to a word, but now, Merriam Webster is accessible on any phone. I’m actually glad because I’m going to need the Webster function a little later to do language translations from French to English for me.  

We often get the I told you so from our family and friends when not listening to something they tell us and absorbing it as fact. But thank God Siri can’t do that. I mean, if she could, she wouldn’t be wrong. I should have listened. I should be at my destination already and I shouldn’t be miles and miles away from where I am supposed to be right now. But I am. I am even more thankful that Siri has reconfigured and is leading me down the right path. I think this time I will not alter my destination and follow her instructions.

Now, I’m back on the road and going 150 miles an hour. Thank God there are hardly no cars in sight. Every other driver is looking at me as if I just stole the wind from their surf. I hope to get to my cousin’s wedding on time. I want to see her walk down the aisle. Her and her husband-to-be have such a beautiful love story and I am so happy that they will spend the rest of their lives together. From the way that she described the wedding, I know it is going to be beautiful. The only thing is that the ceremony will be conducted in French and I do not understand the language that well. Hence the translator function. Siri always seems to come in handy somehow. 

Suddenly my automotive acrobatics have been simmered down to a slow progressing movement down this darn highway. What a messed up situation to now be sitting in all this traffic that was not there when I originally started. All of a sudden, I am moving bumper to bumper on a different road with a set of different directions because I got lost. Even if I don’t make it for the ceremony, I’ll be right there with an open plate for cocktail hour.  I guess I’ll have to gather from memories of others to hear about the ceremony. These cars are barely moving and my cousin is about to take her vows at the ceremony. I should be there to see her off.  

I had been planning this day forever. I thought I’d drive down in style and pull up like a Queen entering the village with the Gestapo guarding my surroundings. I thought I’d have time to parlay with family, go grab some Checkers wings, chime in on Facebook and watch Scandal on demand before heading to the church. But it seems as if I will have to drive straight there. 

I thought I’d take selfies with the bride-to-be before she did the grand march down the aisle. But instead, I’m photobombing with barely moving cars on a highway that looks like a big parking lot on the road. Smh! That’s my selfie story of which I am hoping Siri did not autocorrect; though it will be easy to divorce this draft and rewrite my future editions because that's what writers do and I am one. Thank God! 

Disclaimer: I am not an employee of nor will I receive compensation from Iphone, Checkers, Hersehey Park, Niagara Falls, Merriam Webster, ABC, Scandal or any of the businesses mentioned in this short story. 

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