NOTE: The seconds, minutes, hours, and days of retirement are often filled with the minutiae of “nil.” That feeling of less responsibility, more leisure, and a lot of hardly anything is both positive and negative. This blog attempts to paint a few slices of the sort of life that reflects the “nil” that retirement can often be.
I adore my wife. Cute as a button. Strongest person I know. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. All-around great person.
But there are those times when she is just…let’s say…too cute for words.
Let me elaborate.
She and I take our share of car trips. Not long trips, but just trips to places we have never been, either in the area where we live or in the state of Washington. And I almost always use my phone to get us there. Siri will dictate the directions and I will faithfully follow. And she gets us there almost 100 percent of the time. I like Siri.
But my wife, bless her heart, is not a fan of Siri. She prefers paper maps, the large kind that once you unfold them there is virtually no way to refold them in exactly the same configuration. Now, for the last year or so I have managed to hold these paper maps at bay. Siri has been our companion and, despite occasional grumbling, my wife has relented. But the paper maps are in the glove compartment.
So last weekend we took a trip north of our town to a beach town we had only been to once before. It wasn’t off the beaten path or anything, but it was about an hour away.
Siri took us there perfectly.
Stayed a few hours and it was time to return home. “We are not using Siri to go home,” my wife said. “We are going to wing it and use the map. Maybe go a different way.”
Hesitantly, I said: “Okay.”
“I’ll tell you how to go,” she said.
I agreed. And do keep in mind here that I was never even the least bit perturbed about any of this. I was amused and constantly told her that I was amused. Even when voices got a bit loud.
We initially made turns that got us into a neighborhood where we seemed lost. A “NO OUTLET” sign didn’t help things, but after a little backtracking we just-at-the-right-moment found the road we were looking for.
“Which way do we turn?” we asked one another. “Left, I think.” But left was a cul-de-sac. We turned right. And yes, it did seem like the map indicated a left.
Drove for a while noticing cross streets, some of which were on the map, some of which were not. But it did seem we were going in the right direction. Then it was time for another turn. I missed it, but quickly pulled in to a convenience store to turn around. Feelings at that point were “amusingly” tense.
After the turn we went on a bit further. More turns…most correct…a few incorrect. “Dammit” may have even been heard inside our car. I only asked once about using Siri. Politely received a rejection. And after a while it seemed like we were making progress, but very slow progress. Winging it was taking its toll.
Then we saw a sign for the interstate that we had taken to get there. “Can I,” I asked? Softly heard a “Sure.” Not a firm “sure,” but kind of the “sure” of surrender.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Let’s just get home,” she said.
The map was then folded and stuffed away.
Needless to say, I did not use Siri.
And I constantly told her, for the rest of the day, how adorable she was. And I didn’t even mention winging it once.