Why Can't You Be More Like My GPS?

Carol, my gps
Carol, my gps

When someone asks me if I know how to get to where we're going, I usually say: "No, but Carol will tell me how to get there." My gps sounds like a nice librarian so I named her Carol. That is, she used to sound like a librarian, but lately Google has given her a more youthful, more casual voice.

I didn't care about the voice, the old Carol was just fine, because what I really like about her is that she never, ever gets mad at me. I can ignore her while I'm tuning my music and she never says: "You never listen. I'm talking to you and I know you're not listening because you missed your turn back there."

Now that's another thing. Carol would never say that last part. If I disregard her clear instruction to take Exit 3B, she never says, like some people I know, "I told you to take this offramp and now we're going to have to go five miles out of the way, turn around and come right back here!"

The exclamation mark illustrates another thing Carol doesn't do--she doesn't raise her voice. If I miss Exit 3B, she merely says: "Continue on Freeway 5 south for five miles." Unlike others riding with me in the car, she doesn't even drum her fingers and look sullen and angry while the 5 miles go by. No, she patiently waits awhile and then gives me another heads up: "In two miles, take Exit 3B."

Meanwhile, Sullen #1 says: "Now do you think you can find it THIS time!"

Now Carol would never imply that I was a little slow. I could miss that exit 500 times and she would still act as if I was the smartest person in the world, about to take an important turn in my life, and be so proud to be a partner in this epic direction.

Usually about the same time as Sullen #1, Angry #2 chimes in: "I don't have time for this. We're going to be late and it's all your fault!"

Did I mention that Carol has never blamed me once for even the stupidest activity. I once ignored her helpful direction and decided I knew a better way. Even after I got hopelessly lost in a part of town where most people would never go and usually don't return from, she patiently took me street after street until I was safely back on track. I was sure I would hear something when my mad dash made me run out of gas and Carol had to power down until I got back. When I got the car started and turned her back on, she not only did not complain, but simply picked up where she left off.

If that had happened to others I know, they would never have trusted me to drive again.

Now I'm not saying that all my loved ones should become robots or programs. I'm just saying that it's strange to me that the milk of human kindness, patience and forbearance is often more present in my gps program than in the actual human beings that use them. For example, special occasion days.

For some reason, the remembering of a special date in a relationship is so important (especially to the female humans) that it becomes a barometer for the amount of love we possess or how much the offended one considers their devaluation by our forgetting said event. It is almost like there should be in the wedding vows: "Do you promise to love, honor and cherish and to prove it by remembering the anniversary of everything you did right in the relationship?"

It's not enough that you worked your tush off trying to get that first date or ponied up to make that lifelong commitment, you have to prove it wasn't just a fluke effort by remembering and commemorating your few romantic achievements every year for the rest of your life. Your scorecard will determine the validity of the acts themselves, so you better keep up and never lose track...

And women wonder why men never ask directions. We don't want to admit we don't know because it would be like not remembering.

Until Carol.

If she were like most wives, she would wait until I got to that all important turn onto Exit 3B and as I passed it, she would say: "You forgot, didn't you?" Then after a painful silence, she would burst into tears: "I told you how important this turn was. I have told you many times that you need to take this turn--in fact, it was just before this turn that you first turned me on and let me tell you where to get off on a regular basis.

No, that's not Carol. She not only warns me well in advance of the all important turn, but she gives me a nudge just before and even reveals the correct side or lane which will insure that my distracted brain will not miss it. Carol would never let me go past it just to judge me for my incompetence or lack of concern for her. That's why I am not ashamed to ask her for directions.

Real men use gps and if they were more like Carol, they would probably even ask their wives.

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Comments 23 comments

Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida

This was a funny read for me. I talk about over reaction and lack of patience and kindness a lot. You know you will be in trouble when they read this right?

Just to give you some info on the other side. I have Carol like tendencies and most people have trouble accepting it. They say that my inability to react to stress gets on their nerves and that I lack urgency. Very few men know how to appreciate not being hounded by their women. I guess you guys need the 'extra' guidance in a strict, strong tone.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi L,

I'm glad you found it entertaining. I wanted the lessons to be subtle and maybe even subliminal. I would not be one of those unappreciative people, you sound just right. Your dialogue with distraught James prove you are capable of human caring and patience. Btw, Carol's tone is neither strict nor strong, merely pleasant and supportive. It's her other characteristics mentioned above that appeal to us.

Thank you for the kind words and visit. =: )

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great fun! I need to get me a Carol soon, because the older I get the more missed turns I experience!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha, thanks Billy. With Carol, you can even have fun missing a few on purpose. =: )

Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida

Thanks Winsome. The tone of strict and strong was my way to nicely describe naggy or kinda bitchy... LOL. It was meant to describe the 'non-Carols'. I guess I over masked it.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

What a great advertisement for a pleasant GPS, Winsome. Do you know if it also comes in a 'Carl' model as well?

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha Doc,

Good to see you, well that is between you and your personal preference. I think Google will accommodate and I know Carl will never ask for directions. =: )

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rgmg50 4 years ago

Awesome and funny Winsome. Seems you are never to old to learn, has taken a new dimension with Carol-gps. What an awesome example, rephrase: (Carol is the awesome example s0) What an awesome example of an awesome example. Any way, I think we can all take a few tips from Carol and be more lenient, kind and mindful towards, especially, our loved ones. Thanks for sharing and tapping us over our fingers so subtly and gently, just like Carol.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi RM,

It was fun to write and thank you for your warm appreciation. I find it helpful to ask myself if I am making a long-term difference in whomever I'm talking to (or reacting to.) We get so caught up in the little mishaps of life that we miss opportunities to change lives by the simple change of our attitude. =: )


ZipperConstantine profile image

ZipperConstantine 4 years ago from United States

So true, I am embarrassed to say, there have been a few occasions when my husband would have preferred Carol. Good creative writing.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Considering the fact that many a truth is spoken in jest, Winsome, this is a clever, relatable, familiar read. All kidding aside, the most successful products ride along side extensive research. I would imagine that behavior specialists and psychologists provide valuable input into products then tested on consumers. It is no coincidence that the voice you pay to listen to while driving is calming, non-reactive with no shrieking, pleasant and well-modulated. The last person I want to meet in busy traffic is someone arguing, upset, rattled or enraged. High-blood pressure is a killer and having a stroke or heart attack behind the wheel is a scary thought for everyone on the road. I never thought of a GPS voice as a teacher, but listening just might enlighten passengers to the importance of civility while being chauffeured.

Very entertaining, well-written and winsome topic, Winsome. Thank you.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi ZC,

I'm sure you very helpful in ways Carol would never have thought of. Thank you for the kind visit. =: )

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Amy,

Oh they will get to it. One day soon, just to make it interesting, they will hire a comedian to spice up the commentary and make it more like home. You know we choose partners that echo our parents or other dysfunctional relationships because we are comfortable with that sick way of relating. Here's hoping Carol won't change too soon. I like the health coming my way, even if it is just for a short ride.

Thanks for an always entertaining comment and for the gracious words. =: )

MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Very creative. Sure, Carol makes life pleasant for you, but eyery now and then, you still need to ask your wife so she doesn't feel left out (kidding).

Voted Up, Funny and Interesting!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Dora,

You are so right. We are fine as long as we have Carol to keep us on track. We men are not afraid to ask directions of others just so long as they don't turn Carol off so we actually have to follow them. =: )

Thank you for the kind words and visit.

Ana Louis profile image

Ana Louis 4 years ago from Louisiana

Very interesting this relationship you have with Carol. I also am a GPS. I come equiped with maps, red markers, a magnifying galss (with a light), an emergency charger (coffee is bad, bad, bad as a stimulant. It makes you have to pee. Male drivers don't like that), advanced emotional controls, a soft gracious voice, and the patience of a dead person...oh...and a remote to shut down my system when the trip is over. My man depends on me to keep him going in the right direction and I am programed for that purpose, but once he has reached his destination, my wiring is beginning to hang out all over the place. Bless his heart, he has no sense of direction and has trouble seeing the signs as he passes them at 80 miles an hour and the 70's are rocking us into the future. Just kidding...mostly.

I like this one...as usual. It really spoke to me. : )

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha, Ana you could never be a robot. I am sure your man is thoroughly entertained as well as secure in his destination. Your description is very funny, however, and I really appreciate the visit. I'm glad it spoke to you, I wrote the piece, of course, for fun, but I was compelled to see some teachable moments in Carol's dead-pan patient instructions.

Thank you for your always entertaining comment. =: )

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Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

It's been too long since I have read your writing. It's like a tall glass of water after a long walk. Definitely what I needed to end my night.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Phoebe,

Thank you for the kind simile. Sometimes all you need is a denation, and a comforting voice for company and a tall glass at the end.

With some people you get all three. =: )

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Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

And all of those just so happen to describe what your writing does.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

=: )

annart profile image

annart 4 years ago from SW England

This is great! I often think the gps voices would make a great sketch scenario. My partner and I actually talk to ours (she's Jane and quite posh) but we're rather rude; things like 'no, we don't want to go that way' and 'shut up, Jane', so the boot's on the other foot! You're right, though, she never argues, never gets upset and is always helpful. She does, however, sometimes land us in the middle of a farmyard! Voted up and funny.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Annart,

I agree about the sketch, Jane is listening to her masters rag on her without reacting to it and being perfectly polite and helpful then somehow they end up in the middle of a farmyard. The occupants of the car think they hear a polite little Jane sounding snicker. =: )

Thanks so much for the great comment.

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