Friday, July 30, 2010

Global Positioning System

Callie Foreman
Last Christmas I gave my husband a Tom Tom. I had been told that it was one of the better yet more cost efficient GPS systems. What is a GPS? Most people would know the answer to that by now. I am most always one of the last people to get on board with new technology. But, for those of you who do not it is a Global Positioning System.

A GPS can tell you exactly where you are at any given moment, and once you program in your destination it can vocally guide you to the exact spot. For instance, if you were sitting in your driveway and typed in Townsend, Tennessee, the system would show you the map and an arrow would begin pointing in a certain direction. A woman’s voice would then say very calmly, “Turn left.”

Well, the thing sat on my husband’s desk for months until we went to Austria. Our rental car came with a GPS that was programmed to our hotel so if we ever got lost we could type in home and it would guide us back. This was a remarkable thing when staying in a German speaking country. She was our little English speaking guide in a tiny box. It was using the GPS on our trip that finally convinced my husband that it was a neat little gadget.

Up until then, anytime I asked him if he was using it he would say, “Why do I need that thing? I know where I’m going.” And he did. Of course he did. Until he realized he had missed a turn here or there and needed to turn around. And to me, that is the beauty of this little square. For once, a woman can dictate to male drivers. If I say, “Clay, turn left here” and he keeps going, and I say, “You were supposed to turn left back there” and he keeps going we end up in an argument.

The GPS lady says, “Turn left here.” And when my husband does not turn left she says, “Make a u turn.” And then she tells him to make a u turn again. And by that time my husband is making a u turn because you can’t argue with a woman computer. She’ll just do like a real woman and ignore you.

Personally, I really enjoyed my new GPS friend. I could just sit quietly and let another woman do all the bossing. And I noticed that my husband tended to listen to her better than he listened to me. On our recent trip to the mountains we stopped at a gas station. I walked in to find a little old lady looking at a map while a young couple was showing her where she had made her wrong turn. She looked at the couple and said, “Well, I told my husband that, but he would listen.”

And I thought to myself, “That’s because you didn’t have one of those GPS things on your windshield. It’s the only woman’s voice a man will listen to.” Of course, it’s the woman sitting co pilot that is typing in all of the destinations and then sitting back and relaxing while her female GPS friend takes over.  And when I typed in Gatlinburg / alternative route and she took us on a one lane road up, around, and over a mountain, and my husband was having a fit, and I had one hand over my eyes, my other hand was pointing at the GPS. She was turned off for a while after that. I guess men really do like these GPS things. Unlike their wives, they come with an on/off switch.