Gloria is our GPS system. Maggie named her Gloria because she thought it sounded like the penguin from Happy Feet. I like the name and it has stuck. Gloria lets us know which way to go. My sense of direction is worse than a ______. (Fill in the blank with the worst thing you can think of. I’m worse than that.) Gloria also lets us know when traffic is bad.
Gloria sometimes interrupts during a trip to say “Your route is being recalculated due to traffic.”
“We don’t like traffic!” Maggie replies.
Well, on my journey from my home to my parents’ home I was kind of relying on Gloria. During the first part of our journey, my kids and I spent the night in the city I grew up in. To many, that would mean I would know my way around. That is sooo not the case. I hadn’t been there in about 10 years, give or take. I was heavily relying on Gloria.
And then Gloria got laryngitis.
She stopped talking altogether. Not good.
So for the bulk of the trip on the first day I was on my own. Well, to be honest I had already pulled the directions up on my phone prior to leaving. It is a fairly straight shot with one major turn. Pretty simple, yet I was really kind of thrown that Gloria was ignoring me when I needed her most.
I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out why she was suddenly so quiet. I guess I got myself a bit flustered because I didn’t even notice I was getting low on gas. I heard the ding of the fuel indicator and realized I wasn’t going to make it without stopping. So after stopping to pump gas in a much colder climate than I am used to, I was tickled when I restarted the car and Gloria started singing out directions. Maggie and I were so surprised. And happy. And relieved.
I think I did some combination of turning the key and blinking twice while the back hatch was open. This crazy car has all sorts of hidden codes that I don’t begin to understand, but stumble into with some amount of frequency. All I know is Gloria loves me again and I made it everywhere I needed to go without getting lost.
GPS was invented with me in mind. The ironic thing is as we were stopping for lunch I thought to myself -self, this thing could lead you nowhere and you would follow it. Maybe you ought to prepare just a bit and not rely on technology so much. A map is a useful tool.
Moments later when my GPS went on strike, out came a map (on a screen, but a map nonetheless.) As someone who has literally driven the wrong direction and ended up in ANOTHER STATE, (more than once) I will try to find out what makes Gloria happy and keep her that way, but I will keep a map handy just in case.