One bright morning we decided to explore the countryside. And then we got lost.
As long as we were lost, we thought we might try to get lost in Annapolis. We've heard Annapolis is a lovely place to be lost in - literally and possibly metaphorically - although since the Naval Academy is there it's probably not like being lost in Boulder or Berkeley.
Since we were already out and about and could not be bothered to go get an atlas, we decided we'd bite the bullet and get a gps. I happened to know where there was a Best Buy, so off we went.
Except I got us lost on the way to Best Buy, so we went to Target.
We purchased a TomTom and typed in our destination while we sat in the garage. It looked for a route to Annapolis while we looked for a route out of the parking garage. It was successful first. Sort of.
Although we were still in a place where I kind of knew my way around, I switched off my brain and let Chris follow Jane's instructions (we chose a British voice, named Jane. She's very civilized and kept telling us to take the motorway). The next thing we knew, we had reached the end of the road and were facing a lovely little footbridge and a pedestrian path that led through the woods. We were surprised at Jane's instructions to go straight and stay left. I mean really, does she not know us at all? We are in an opposite marriage (I just learned that term on NPR - before which I thought an opposite marriage was a divorce). We were both wearing jeans and comfortable footwear. How can our sociopolitical leanings be more abundantly obvious?
We found our way back out to the highway, despite Jane's protests, and were on our way. Once on the highway she accepted her fate and altered the route to compensate for our unwillingness to cut through the neighbor's back yard.
A few times, I watched the display as the Vespa which represented us jumped off the highway and went joy riding through rolling pastures. Is it possible that Jane was mapping the gps coordinates of our psyches instead of our physical whereabouts? That would explain a lot. It would explain why she took us off the highway and led us on a merry chase through a particularly groovy bit of D.C., filled with restaurants and shops.
It is possible that when you first plug in a new gps unit, it cannot be trusted.
We had put off this purchase for moral and philosophical reasons. We know that unused skills atrophy. We just didn't know that they atrophy in a matter of minutes.
We found Jane especially helpful when we were walking. This is when we were at our most exasperating. We'd see something we wanted a closer look at and wander off course from time to time. Jane tried her best to set us straight, and we expected at any moment for her to say "this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." We also considered the possibility of getting a different voice altogether. The different voice would politely explain that we had driven Jane to drink and they had shipped her off to detox. I don't know what gps units drink, but I bet Jane was looking for one after a day with us.
I wonder how she'll find it.