Rose's Room: At least my husband will finally listen to one lady

Rose Padrick

Rose Padrick

My husband and children have once again attempted to drag me into the 21st century…successfully…well, sort of.

I have to commend their collective tenacity. When one declares, "I give up! Someone else please try!" and is answered with, "Not me! I spent two weeks with her when Dad gave her the new cell phone!" I am assured that one of my offspring who is the most concerned that modern technology will totally pass me up (and who coincidentally needs a temporary guardian for their offspring within a two-week radius) will step up to the plate and attempt to explain the workings of the latest electronic gadget we have acquired.

My husband's newest "had-to-have" is a GPS navigation system. Touted on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines as the next great saver of the human race: "All you have to do is enter your destination and PRESTO! You're there!"

I'm here to tell you that ain't necessarily so.

The act of programming the thing is fairly easy, but what you have to program is a little more difficult. Especially when most of your driving is done within 15 miles of your home.

Is there anyone alive that knows the street address of their grocery store? If you enter Winn Dixie – or "anywhere skinless chicken breast is on sale," the silly thing just sits and blinks at you. I thought about driving there and asking for the address, but that seemed to defeat the purpose.

My husband programmed the thing every time he got in the car. We listened in wonder (OK, maybe not "wonder") to the female voice issuing directions (I absolutely love that concept!) while driving everywhere, from the library to the 7-11 store until he allowed we needed to go on a road trip to "really test her out."

As I was pretty sure they had tested her while still in the pre-sale stage, I agreed to relinquish my job as navigator to a 6-inch by 6-inch conglomeration of electronic hardware we named "Gertrude."

I was begrudgingly willing to forgo the position in the name of technological advancement, even though I would sorely miss the fun of trying to refold the map as we approached an intersection at 60 miles an hour — with all the windows open — while my husband yells, "Which way do we turn?!"

Of the several different ways to program your route, my husband favors the "quickest" one (go figure). The fact that whoever enters the map information into the machine had no knowledge of the area proved to be a tad problematic.

We programmed our little road trip partner and set out with the rising sun — our pleasant little voyage quickly turned into an educational field trip.

We learned Gertrude is more persistent than a 13-year-old requesting a cell phone. Should she instruct you to turn left on Road X and you choose not to, she will continue to instruct you how to get back to Road X until you cave in, manually override her commands or shut her off — which surely defeats the purpose.

We learned if the shortest route is over old Florida farm roads that rise 10 inches above alligator-infested swamps, and if you can't figure out the manual override, that's where Gertrude persistently takes you.

We learned if a part of the quickest route is lined with men holding guns and the police are doing a chalk drawing on the street, I am able to verbally override her commands — eight octaves higher and with a death grip on my husband's arm.

Actually, I must say Gertrude and I have come to a kind of understanding; I don't program her and she doesn't nag me. I must say though, I greatly admire anything whose sole purpose for being is to tell the male species where to go.

And they listen.

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Rose Padrick says she is just an average Grammy with an extraordinary family and an ability to see and enjoy the foibles of everyday life. She invites everyone to smile with her — if just for a moment.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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