THE SONIC BOOMER
I am nominating Siri for Woman of the Year.
This little app (which works through later versions of the iPad, iPod and iPhone) provides crucial information like the name of the nearest Mexican restaurant and step-by-step directions on how to get there. Because of its pleasant female voice and non-judgmental tone, it has doubtless saved countless marriages.
No one argues with Siri. Case in point:
Pre-Siri, I would unfold a cumbersome map, which would immediately rip along its fold lines and block Mark’s view out the side mirror. He would yell at me to hurry up and tell him whether to take the next exit, and I (with my vision akin to that of a star-nosed mole) would hurriedly try to assemble the map squares, hunch over them and send him down Highway 177. Too bad. The map read 171.
Fifteen exits later and upon closer inspection (which required the removal of a magnifying glass from the glove compartment and significant eating of crow), I would own up to the fact that maybe I meant Highway 171. Sorry.
This would cause Mark to huff loudly, his way of not yelling but of letting me know he is very, very disappointed in me. We have been married so long, however, that I am immune to the huffing. Not only do I not feel chastised, I resent it.
I whip off my glasses and throw down the magnifying glass and crunch the little map squares up into little map balls and holler, “Well, you find the road if you’re so smart!”
By the time we get to our lunchtime destination, it is dinnertime and we both have upset stomachs, and it is not from the Mexican food.
But, like I said, that was pre-Siri.
Post-Siri, Mark speaks authoritatively into his phone, requesting the names of Mexican restaurants within a 5-mile radius, and Siri, calm and knowledgeable non-entity that she is, lists them. Unlike me, Siri does not warn you not to go to the first one because it was featured on “Restaurant Impossible” and not to go to the second one because the servers are too slow and not to go to the third one because that’s where one of my boyfriends broke up with me several decades back.
Siri doesn’t care where you go. And if you are heading toward the third restaurant and you change your mind (or I change it for you by screaming, “I am not eating in there!”), she will promptly send you along to your next choice without editorial comment.
Similarly, if you make a wrong turn along the way, Siri will not punch you on the arm and snarl: “This is a one-way street, for Pete’s sake! Did you even take driver’s ed?” No, Siri will sweetly guide you to the next left turn and then the next right turn until you’re back on track. She’s understanding that way.
In fact, I could learn a lot from her.