Soon after I moved here, I found myself hopelessly lost along the back roads of Bucks. (Can one find him- or herself lost….?) My husband bought me a bunch of maps, which I stuffed under the driver seat, and then didn’t need after downloading VZ Navigator onto my nifty new Apple iPhone.
Now, my husband has an iPhone as well but refuses to pay 4.99 a month, so instead, he uses the Maps app that comes with the phone, its silent blue dot charting the entered course. If he calls after work from the car, instead of asking him what time he’ll be home, I’ll say: “So… Where’s your blue dot?” I like to make fun of it.
Anyway, at first, I had a powerful girl crush on my GPS, whom I named Penelope, until her holier-than-thou attitude began to bug me. So one night as I exited the parking lot of Panera Bread in Bethlehem, instead of the left Penelope commanded toward Route 22, I turned my wheel to the right, toward downtown, challenging her.
“Recalculating route,” Penelope said politely. “Make the next available u-turn.” I didn’t. “Recalculating route,” she repeated. Again and again, I passed Penelope’s suggested turns. “RECALCULATING ROUTE!” I imagined her throwing up her hands in disgust. It wasn’t until I was close to the Sands casino when she must have realized this was not going to end as she’d planned. “Turn left onto Route 412 and continue towards your destination.” I showed her who was really the boss, er, the driver, in this relationship.
So after that, in recent weeks, I believed Penelope and I had struck a respectful balance until the Sunday afternoon when my husband and I, en route to an event in Washington Crossing, pulled over so I could enter the address. (Focusing on anything but the road makes me car sick.) Did you mean…? Several addresses came on the screen, none of which was even in the state of Pennsylvania. “She doesn’t know where we’re going,” I said, and as I turned toward my husband, I found myself nose to nose with his phone. “Where’s my blue dot, you ask? Right here,” he said in even beats, tapping his screen with the bobbing orb, which got us to our event in time.
I was fearful at first that Penelope was exacting revenge for the Bethlehem “incident.” I had images of her one day leading me into the bowels of faraway nasty neighborhoods for the fun of it all. You know how mean those mean girls can be. But I centered myself, put an end to the Vietnam flashback to my 8th-grade schoolyard, stopped personifying my iPhone – remembering this is a phone – and did what comes naturally: blamed Verizon.