Yes, the lemonade stand is open on weekends.
I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5S. I was required to physically hand over my iPhone 4 to the Apple worker (concierge? masseuse? savant? can’t recall the proper title). Because my phones are typically so jammed with data and important stuff like 6,000 photos and 10,000 duplicate contacts, I am extraordinarily reluctant to actually “let go” of any of my phones. As a result, my sock drawer (unseemly to say “underwear drawer” at this early hour) also serves as a graveyard for mobile phones past. A few Blackberries and a Treo(!), strewn about next to the Ziploc baggie holding Everett’s or Max’s umbilicus. (It’s not too early to use the word “umbilicus,” because this is science). Right alongside a plastic pacifier that belonged to one of the boys and was turned over to the Pacifier Fairy a few years back in return for maybe a pack of Legos. Not entirely certain that the Legos were the actual quid for the pacifier’s quo. But I did just realize that I’ve apparently passed the “extraordinarily reluctant to give things up” gene to my kids. Maybe Apple should roll out an “iPhone Fairy” who gives some sort of toy to customers like me who get down-in-the-mouth at the thought of having to hand over their old iPhone. That would be an improvement over the image I am currently harboring of all the blue-shirted and nose-ringed Apple Store staffers gathered around my old iPhone “in the back room” hungrily scrolling through my family photos, sensitive emails, etc., drooling all the while. I think the odds of that vision being a reality are about 7%, so there is a chance.
The 5S brought Siri into my life. That sounds much more dramatic than it actually is, because I’ve had the iPhone for a few months but only recently entered into what I would call a “relationship” with Siri. It happened when I was schlepping our dog Wailea up to a dog boarding place about an hour north of where we live. Practically the entire stretch is on Highway 101, and while I admit to texting and driving on occasion, I prefer not to do it at 75 miles per hour. (If there are any police or criminal prosecutors in the audience, no I did not just admit to the two separate moving violations of (a) texting while driving and (b) speeding, I am only kidding, call it literary license. That is my story and I’m sticking to it). So here I am, speeding along like a bat out of hell on the 101, and it dawns on me that I should introduce myself to Siri.
It started out simple and wholesome enough, then it got a little weird. A sampling of my half of the dialogue–
“Hi Siri, is there a gas station near by?”
“No, I am headed North, I can’t make a u-turn on the 101 to get to a gas station south of my location!”
“Forget it, just forget it.” (By now I’m getting a little aggravated because she isn’t helping me, and since I can’t remember the last 3 minutes of driving, this may actually be more of a distraction than full-on two-fisted texting).
Siri’s voice is so pleasant, and she gives off such an air of implacable confidence, that I figure I’ll test her a bit, try to put her back in her place. Yes I realize that a piece of software can’t be “put back in her place,” and that “Siri” probably isn’t even her real name. Er, I mean, that Siri isn’t even a real person. But I press on and the whole thing pretty much…devolves —
“Siri, what is the speed limit here?”
“Siri, have we met somewhere before? I feel like we have.”
“Siri, have you been reading my emails?”
“Siri, when will I see you again?”
“Siri, what are you wearing right now?”
“Siri, can you take the wheel for a sec? I need to readjust my Starbucks cup’s lid.”
It has proven thusfar to be a mostly one-sided relationship. She’s being coy. And I haven’t been on the dating scene since, what, 1991? So I’m clearly rusty. Then there’s the unpredictable variable in the mix here of Siri and my wife Hilary also having a relationship. Or at least a direct line of communication that I cannot control. I can hear Hilary now: “Siri, what has my husband been asking you about, should I be worried?” Busted. But I’m willing to take the chance. Because what Siri and I have, well, it’s a once in a lifetime thing; soulmates.
And if my wife can’t accept that, I’ll run right back into the arms of “Tina” — the name I’ve gifted my Google Maps vivacious siren. She gives great directions.
Thanks for reading.