Matt brings us this month’s post.
Dear GPS—dear Chalandra,
If you pronounce it BOOlevard one more time, I’m going to throw you out the window. I don’t care if I end up in Santa Fe when I mean to be in St. Paul, at least my ride would be peaceful. And that’s all I really want. Why should I trust a GPS that cannot pronounce a regular GPS word like boulevard? Why can’t you pronounce anything? I can’t take you anywhere anymore. It’s Via de la Valle—day law v-eye-uh—not dee LAY vawl. Say Kalamazoo, not kahlaMAzoo. Who has ever emphasized the MA? No one. Except you.
We used to be close, Chalandra, but lately is seems as though we’ve been drifting apart. Do you remember all those long trips we used to take? That weekend trip to Kansas and back. The beautiful North Carolina skies. The rolling Tennessee hills. We saw it all together. But those times seem so long ago now. Let’s face it, GPS, we’ve drifted. We are not the same as we once were.
Don’t play innocent with me. You used to say “recalculating” with a smile. You used to find me cute, even when I was lost. If I took a wrong turn, you were patient with me. But something in your voice has changed. I hear you forcing the smile, sometimes dropping it altogether, when I won’t go the direction you want. Don’t think I can’t hear the condescension in your voice when you tell me for the 18th time to make a U-turn. Maybe I don’t want to make a U-turn, did you ever think about that? No, you never think about me anymore.
I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have gotten carried away. After all, I haven’t been the most faithful to you. I haven’t updated your maps since 2011. And sometimes when you are slow to find satellites I will pull up the map on my phone. But you have to understand—I had to do it. I had so much pent up frustration and that phone showed me release. It had nothing to do with you.
Except that it had everything to do with you. You stopped loving me long before I found that phone. I put up with so much. Your poor navigation choices. The way you would take longer and longer to wake up. I even supported the sex change. I had hoped a masculine side would bring the old, joyful voice back. But it was worse. You grew moodier. You became nasal and whiny. And then you lost it. All I wanted to do was find Sleeping Bear National Park, and you led me to a back street in the middle of nowhere. I tried you again, and you… you told me to go off-road. That was a cliff you tried to drive me over! Well, just changing your icon to a beach ball isn’t good enough for me anymore. I’ve had it.
Have you ever thought of my needs? Have you ever thought that maybe I would need a bathroom break? Or gas? Maybe I needed food. But to you I was just driving for miles in the wrong direction just to piss you off. I must say the first time I did that it was not my intention, but now I’ll sometimes do it just to piss you off. You want control so badly, and you can’t stand it when I take it from you.
You’re probably waiting for me to tell you it’s over, but I’m not that kind of person. I stick things out to the end. I rise above everything, no matter how petty and small others might be. And in my rising, I have come up with a solution. Jellybeans. I will follow your stupid navigation decisions to the letter if you will spit out jellybeans for every correct turn. I’ll make as many U-turns as you like. You can even do that obnoxious freezing-in-the-middle-of the-trip thing you like to do. I’ll reboot you—if you give me jellybeans. I hope you will consider this carefully, or you may just lose the best thing in your life.
Until then, I’ll be learning to use Atlas.
No love—not anymore,
Laura (Bardolph) Hubers (’10) is wife to Matt, mother to Samuel, and copywriter at Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. She counts the day the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series as one of the happiest of her life.
Matt Hubers (’12) lives with his wife, Laura, and young son, Samuel. He likes to spend his time playing board games, coaching high school forensics, and frolicking with alpacas. His dream is to write picture books.