Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Backseat Drivers

Whenever I drive my husband somewhere, he becomes the backseat driver. “You’re following too close.”  “Didn’t you see that car?”  “The light is going to change, slow down.”  “The street where you want to turn is coming up.”  In order to keep my cool and not slam on the breaks, propelling him through the windshield, I have made the decision to never operate the driver’s side of the car when husband is the passenger.  When he drives, I’ve mentioned a few times that I thought he was going the wrong way, and the retort is always, “Do you want to drive?”  That shuts me up. (However, we did start out for Sam’s Club one day and ended up at Costco.)

Husband has been replaced by Gladys Garmin, who sits on my dashboard instead of the seat next to me.  Gladys is guided by the stars so she displays her god-like superiority with every turn of the vehicle.  I recently went to a workshop about 20 miles from my home, so I decided to give Gladys a whirl to test her abilities.  I was a little unsure about the route she had in mind, because she was giving me the silent treatment, so I turned down I street I knew would get me to my destination.  Her grating little British voice screeched, “Recalculating!”  I’m surprised she didn’t yell, “You bitch, I didn’t tell you to turn yet!”

There are other occasions when Gladys has reprimanded my driving decisions.  Once I missed turning right in .4 miles, and she parroted in her computer voice like she was reciting her ABC’s, “MAKE A U TURN! MAKE A U TURN! MAKE A U TURN!”  Another time, in a strange town, I was trying to find a Wal-Mart.  Gladys and I both saw the Super Wal-Mart on the left, yet she had the gall to tell me to turn right.  Just so she wouldn’t yell at me, I turned right and went down a residential street where I made sure all the doors were securely locked.

Then there’s her “A better route is available” line.  Her “better route” is usually driving through brick walls that she can’t see from her satellite perch or along the south side of the railroad tracks, at night, in Cincinnati.  No thanks; I think I’ll stick to the Interstate.

I have finally made a decision that will lower my blood pressure and still get me to my destination - a hula doll on my dashboard and my dog in the passenger’s seat.  They aren’t going to tell me how to drive.