The iPhone has not changed my life yet. Or perhaps I should say it has not changed my marriage. Or even, that no matter how smart the new phone, it has not made me any smarter.
You be the judge.
The most anticipated feature of my new phone was the GPS feature. I am hopeless at finding my way places. (For details on this, please see topical section "A Life of Losing" at right.) And not only am I often lost, I hate, hate, hate being lost and experience primal fear and hostility while lost. My beloved husband usually bears the brunt of this, as it is he I used to call to look up directions for me when lost, being GPS-less. Please, technology, rescue me!
Well, this week, I drove to the wilds of residential Orange to purchase a desk for my daughter, found on Craig's List. Jeff, being Jeff, had typed the directions into my phone for me the night before and set up the route, a feature I had not yet learned to use. I made it to the house only having to make one u-turn and this because my six year old daughter was repeating the directions to me from the back seat. Being six, she didn't do it very accurately.
All was well until I knocked on the door of the rather questionable-looking house until no one opened the door. I texted "Wendy," Craig's List seller, and told her we were out front. The door opens. A man missing most of his teeth answers. "A desk?" he says, puzzled. "Let me go ask my wife." He returns a moment later. "No, I'm sorry, we don't have a desk for sale."
I return to my vehicle, where Wendy has texted to say that she is out front of her house and I am not there. I check my written directions. I check my iPhone. There is a two-digit discrepancy in the address. I text Wendy and tell her what happened. I call my husband and tell him I would like to strangle him with my bare hands. Lovingly. He says it's easy to search for the correct directions.
I say really? How could it be? You can't even type in the right address. Children in the back seat look worried. I growl at my phone. I can find directions to the place I am already, from the place I want to be (hardly helpful), but can't figure out how to flip it around. I growl at my phone again. I go back to old ways: I call my husband and have him give me step by step directions to navigate around a street in Old Orange that has been cut up, disjointed and put back together in mystifying ways.
I arrive on the correct block. Small children, a large black lab and a smiling father approach my car, waving. Hurray! This must be Wendy's husband, come to greet me. I begin to apologize, to explain, to disparage iPhone's non-intuitive system after all, to ask to see the desk.
"I'm sorry," says the smiling father. "I have no idea who you are."
I look at his address. It is two numbers off. I get back in my car. I cry. I make a u-turn. I check the address again. I park in front of the correct house (two doors down from smiling father) and see that the family and their dog are still watching me.
Wendy and her husband come out of their garage. They are so lovely and gracious and well groomed and sympathetic as to the ills of technological navigation, that I want to beg them to take me inside and make me a cup of tea. Or possibly adopt me. Instead, I pay them $35, and allow them to help me load the desk into my trunk, from which I clumsily extract three blankets, a beach umbrella and two dirty folding chairs (humiliation upon humiliation). Wendy's husband assures me the situation is actually funny. I tell him it will be in an hour.
I drive away, apologizing to my children for losing it (both literally and emotionally) and thanking God that neither of the three strangers houses I just went to housed a serial killer or even a grouch.
What is the moral of my story? I'm not really sure, friends. I think it's a long way of saying either "Wherever you go there you or" or "A good carpenter never blames her tools." Or her husband.
In the meantime, the story has in fact become funny to me. And I think I have learned how to use my maps feature correctly. I also learned how to use my voice dial and voice texting function. Did you know your iPhone voice function can correctly spell supercalifragilisticexpialadotious and distinguish between the would and the wood in "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" tongue twister? I checked. If I ever get lost again, what a comfort this will be.
Stay tuned for more adventures in technology. You can be sure there'll be plenty.