The One Modern Convenience
I still play that silly game in my head now and then. And the answer is, not the microwave, not the washer, not my laptop. The answer is my Tom Tom GPS.
I named my GPS Gladys. Gladys is my mom’s name, though she’s been called Arlien her entire 93 years. Her name is Gladys Arlien. I call GPS Gladys because we have the same sort of relationship. It tells me the best way, I try something different, she was right, and I turn around.
I enjoy driving and going, but GPS Gladys has made it super fun by removing the stressful parts. I no longer have to pull off to read to check the map. I don’t worry about being in the wrong lane when the highway veers into another, or I fly past my exit. And after a pit stop, no more worries that I’m going the wrong direction, North instead of South, or East instead of West.
Gladys never shouts or panics. With exactly two miles to go, she calmly states, “Use the two right lanes to exit right in two miles.” If I miss the road that looked like an alley, no worries, she will turn me around in her pleasant voice. She’s a great navigator.
It amuses me that my super smart husband won’t use it. If he agrees to use one at all, it will be on his phone. Teeny tiny map that he holds in his hand, watching it instead of watching the road. He doesn’t trust it. I’ve talked to others about their GPS, men and women. Though I’m not an anthropologist, I’ve determined it’s a personality issue.
I’m patient. I leave with plenty of travel time, so I can stop and poke around a historical site or unexpected museum. “Making good time” doesn’t matter to me. So, it doesn’t matter that one way is two minutes shorter than another, or different than I’ve always gone. I give myself totally to Gladys’ care. It’s a trust issue, based on personality traits. People who love their GPS, are trusting people.
Others, must be in control. They must know ahead of time, every turn, every exit they will encounter the next several hours. They must know miles before GPS tells them. They have their trip mapped out and are annoyed if GPS wants to do it a different way. They can’t trust that GPS knows more, sooner, or better than they. It’s a control issue, based on personality traits.
I would never have enjoyed the many road trips with my books without Gladys. I would have gone, no doubt, because I’m determined that way. But, it would have been so much more stressful, especially driving through cities like St. Louis, Richmond, Jacksonville, or Baltimore. I make plenty of time for the trip, never rushed. I take the route Gladys planned, and I see the U.S.A. in my Chev…oh wait, that’s not my car.