I got an Iphone for Christmas. Finally I didn't have to be embarrassed about taking my phone out at a restaurant dinner party. Finally, I would be able to show people more photos of my kids than anyone thought possible. Finally, I could check e-mail in the car (only after parking) of course.
And finally, I had my own personal assistant. I had Siri.
The first time I put Siri to use was en route to my friend's naked spa birthday party between Christmas and New Year's. I had checked directions the old fashioned way, on my laptop, and then copied them down on paper because my laptop isn't connected to a printer. Don't hate. Writing helped me get the directions in my Swiss cheese slice of a brain.
Still, I thought it would be lovely to have the added reassurance of turn-by-turn GPS-informed guidance. I'm not a confident highway driver - the only thing more unnerving to me would be chowing down on a platter of week old sushi, or running sprints in Lady Gaga heels. I wanted -- needed-- all the help I could get.
I got in my car, and looked up the spa. Dutifully, Siri found it, and I commandeered her to give me driving directions. She was on point getting me out of my neighborhood and onto Lake Shore Drive. Her smooth, yet robotic voice made me feel like I had my own personal tour guide. I had arrived, baby.
But then on I-55, things began to go so very WRONG! I knew I was supposed to take the exit onto I-94, but Siri directed me to continue toward St. Louis.
WTF, Siri?! I thought you had my back!
I tried to stuff my e-genie back in her bottle but she was fiercely determined to remain in the world and to be a pain in my ass. I tapped wildly on the phone, trying to reprogram her, to redirect her, to make her worthy of my trust again, but it quickly became clear that I had to choose between getting Siri in sync with my needs, or wrecking my car. I don't know what Hubs would have done if the gift he'd given me not five days ago had caused the untimely death of his stupid, can't-drive-for-shit, multi-tasking wife.
Siri directed me off the highway at every single exit. When I finally parted ways with I-94, she persistently, in a tone that I heard as not only exasperated, but downright hostile, told me to turn around. I felt mocked and betrayed.
I wanted Siri defenestrated, as one of my former bratty private-school students had done with her decidedly unworthy phone circa 2001. My I-phone had become I-backseat driver. How could I shut this bitch up?! I was at once alone and a dysfunctional couple arguing all the way to their destination.
I continued following my notes and praying that I wasn't going to wind up in Iowa. My first Iphone journey had been an abysmal failure.
When I got to the spa, I saw what had gone so horribly wrong.
Siri had been directing me to the King's Health Spa in Downer's Grove, not King Spa and Sauna in Niles. God bless America, I had touched the wrong location. It was all my fault.
After that things got a little better. I fired Siri from navigating long drives and hired Google Maps. Siri was now relegated to being my secretary -- her sole function making phone calls in the car.
Usually she was great. I loved saying "Raina Jenks Mobile!" or "Call Tom Cell" and getting hooked up. The kids giggled at these requests and chanted, "Raina Jenkins mobile! Raina Jenkins mobile!" But every now and then Siri demonstrated that she was in serious need of an ear candling session. And as every mom knows, car time is some of the most precious time around. When I lost valuable time interpreting for Idiot Siri I was PISSED. And her patronizing and calm was beyond irritating.
Asking for Tina Jacobs Connor was met with this snippy reply:
Like a bitchy teen forced to shop at the mall with her mother, I repeated my request, caustically enunciating every syllable. I said, "Ti-NA Ja-COBS Con-NOR."
Siri replied with this:
"I SAID TI-NA JA-COBS CON-NOR," I shouted, practically panting with rage.
Siri came right back at me with this:
Siri came right back at me with this:
I know you did not just get all patronizing on me! Oh, Hell no, Siri! I began hurling profanities at her (yes, at a machine), before dialing the number myself.
A few days later I tried again. "Christine Williams," I said, as clearly as possible.
"Do you mean Chrissy Williams?" Siri asked.
"Yes," I answered.
"Dialing," Siri replied. She paused slightly before adding cheekily, "Keesha, what would you do without me?"
God only knows, Siri. God only knows.