We had another fight yesterday……..

She makes me so mad! She’s intractable. She always thinks she’s right. She always corrects me in front of others. She…..oh, did you think I meant my wife? Nah, she’s a sweetheart. I’m talking about Grenelda P. Suggs.

Like most of you, I have GPS in my car.  Her first name is Grenelda and she can really be a bitch. Don’t worry; she wouldn’t mind me calling her that because that’s how she rolls. If she could, she’d call me much worse. Thankfully, her programmer didn’t install any cuss words. Still, not one to waste time with unnecessary tact, it’s her way or no way on the highway. Grenelda doesn’t care about your station in life, she just cares that you do exactly what she says. The ironic thing is, I finally break the male mold and ask for directions and what do I get? The navigator Nazi!

"OK. Hands at 10 and 2 o'clock? Check. Looking straight ahead? Check. Now keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut!"

It’s really quite simple. You tell her where you want to go and she tells you how and when to do it. Then you’d better do it. Period. End of discussion. Woe betide you if you deviate. I don’t believe she can actually understand what I think, although her tone would suggest otherwise. How else would you explain the expressive contempt with which she delivers the word “recalculating.” There can be no doubt about what she is thinking. “I gave you a command, you blew it, and now I have extra work to do!” And when she’s really lost her patience she says, with unabashed disdain, “In the first safe place, make a U-turn.” Translated: “You’re probably stupid enough to turn around in a busy intersection, aren’t you.”


Grenelda evidently feels that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Hence the constant prompting at every possible increment, “in two miles turn left, in one mile turn left, in a half mile turn left” and on and on down to 100 feet. Why, it’s as if she doesn’t trust me. Imagine. But I can’t say that she doesn’t have a sense of humor. Or maybe it’s just her sadistic nature. Just when I think we’re getting comfortable with each other, she’ll mock me with a multiple command. Commands like “turn right, then keep left, and then veer right.” I know she’s just dying to add “Shall I recalculate now or wait until after you have screwed it up?”

"May your sons have the breath of a thousand camels, Grenelda!"

It was a while before I realized there was a setting that would also display a voiceless map with street names, the distance until a turn and other useful information. Apparently, Grenelda was going to keep that to herself. I also discovered if I got real tired of her obstinacy I could switch the program over to a male voice. Turns out it’s her brother Gregory P. Suggs who has an equally irascible manner. But it’s still not as threatening as hers. My hearing isn’t what it used to be, but I swear I once heard her say “remember, I know where you live!” I knew that damn “go home”  button was a mistake. I’m starting to think I got the menopausal model by accident.

This is Grenelda's home.

No, this is definitely a love/hate thing going on. But I won’t give her the satisfaction of letting her know how she is getting to me. After all, I’ve already exposed my vulnerability by asking for directions. How much more can you expect from a man?

Here's a man who obviously has trouble taking directions from Grenelda. He's my hero.

The fact is, I actually do find places more easily in spite of the friction. And I have to admit, when it comes to triangulation, she knows her stuff. Until someone actually develops a workable transporter, a la Star Trek, I guess I’ll keep working with her. But I definitely see counseling in my future.

"And you say her name is Grenelda?"