It’s been more than 10 years since the “other woman” came into our lives. She drives us both batty. Literally.
It’s not a love triangle; it is a triangle of animosity, tension and rancor.
Her name is Jane. She’s the voice on our Waze navigation system.
We can’t live with her and we can’t live without her.
GPS Jane and my husband routinely get into it and then there I am, trapped in the middle, trying to negotiate peace. You can’t reason with either one of them.
My husband worked as a photojournalist nearly his entire career. Consequently, he knows every shortcut and side street in our city, state, three nearby metro areas and the four surrounding states.
He can cut two minutes off getting to a funeral home by taking side streets that run parallel to a main artery; three minutes if we cut through an industrial park. I remind him we are going to a funeral, not a fire.
It’s been years since we waited at a traffic light at a major intersection near our home. If the light ahead is red, we wheel into a Half Price Books parking lot, pass by Donatos, skirt McDonald’s and exit on a side street adjacent to our street.
We pull into our driveway and surprise — there is no press conference on the front step or NFL teams in the front yard ready for kickoff.
But if there were, he’d be ready.
We don’t need GPS Jane in the car for local driving, but if we’re driving unfamiliar interstate with construction, I like Jane for backup.
Jane will give a directive my husband disagrees with, and he snaps, “Is she kidding?”
As if I can explain the process of live satellites and AI while we are navigating orange cones sandwiched between semis.
Secretly, I wish just once that GPS Jane would answer him herself: “No, I’m not kidding!”
I got to thinking it might be the woman’s voice he objects to, so I tested various voice options as the husband drove.
We auditioned Ben, Randy, Nathan and the Jonas Brothers. Nothing. We tried Shaquille O’Neal, 90s pop star, a UK Accent, an Aussie accent and Zombie.
Dog and Cat were the only possible maybes.
We returned to Jane. After all, she once led us out of the Smoky Mountains in thick fog with only 3 feet of visibility.
We have history together — not to mention mileage.
We recently drove a couple hours south to a resort in a pastoral part of the state to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary with my husband’s sister, her husband and family.
GPS Jane led us on a narrow, hilly switchback under a dense canopy of trees with steep drop-offs for a long five miles. It would have been a desolate stretch were it not for five vultures in the middle of the road that had picked a dead fox clean down to the rib bones.
We headed home later that night and decided not to rely on GPS Jane. My navigator knew a state road would take a few minutes longer but get us back to the interstate. For my peace of mind, he even checked the Rand McNally atlas we brought with us.
Jane was on mute the whole way home. It was nice to have the car to ourselves.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at [email protected].