Wednesday, February 20, 2008

North By Northwest

I met a new woman this weekend. I love her madly. When I ask for advice, she gives it. When I ask for quiet, she is. She doesn't criticize me. We never argue. If we disagree, she's the one who changes. I expect our relationship to last a long, long time. The only drawback is she's a machine.

Did I need a new GPS? No, I suppose not, if you're talking about "need" in the sense of food or oxygen or shelter. If need, however, means what my children say it does, then yes, I needed it in the worst way, the way it is when money is burning a hole in your pocket and you're itching to blow it on a bender that can only end in sorrow and regret. For some people this feeling leads to criminal charges and a head full of pain. For others, to ill-advised wars. In my case, a GPS.

Fortunately, I had gift cards, the result of a trade with my two youngest kids for an old iPod and the promise of a new baseball glove and shoes. After dropping my oldest at tennis it was off to the big box, the two younger ones in tow. We strolled around nonchalantly, acting as if we had nothing particular in mind, but I knew what I wanted. Pressing my face against the glass case, I grunted and hooted until the salesperson unlocked it and handed me my future.

And that's what I have. I program in a destination and that's where it tries to take me. It's a metaphor for my life, really. If I give it my work address, that's where I end up. If I program in the beach, I go in circles, never getting any closer. It's not my new friend's fault. "Turn right in 90 yards," she says, notwithstanding that's just a dream. She's doing her best, trying to take me where I say I want to be.

The other day my middle son asked me, "Do you love your GPS as much as your TV?"

I told him, "A man doesn't love anything as much as his first big screen."

We'll see.


Jennifer said...

You're such an electronics pig, Snag! Are you going to put an 8x10 of your new GPS on your desk? Will you carry a wallet photo of her?

God, wouldn't it be great if they made a GPS for life!?!?! "I need to get to X by the time I'm 35..." and then it chuffs out the directions you need to take. Ah, that would be heaven.

fish said...

I got one for Xmas. She better not be cheating on me already.

Anonymous said...

If only everyone was this easy to keep track of.

Keep buying those things, America.

Elmo said...

bartering for your kids gift cards? Damn, why didn't I think of that!!!

Righteous Bubba said...

Covet the power of my Firewire audio interface!