How Mrs. Magellan Saved My Marriage

The title is a bit of an exaggeration, but I can honestly state that having a GPS like Magellan has made traveling with my husband much easier.

Back in the day when I had to use a map or directions from MapQuest, he'd invariably ignore my spoken direction. If I said turn right, he turned left. Sometimes we had to pull over so he could look at the map or read the printed directions himself. I don't think he believed what I told him to do as being correct.

Fortunately he believes Mrs. Magellan, to the point that he even talks back to her. If we choose to stop at McDonald's for an iced vanilla flavored coffee, she'll quickly tell us to make a legal U-turn as soon as possible. His reply is usually something like this, "It's okay, honey, we're just stopping for a moment. We'll do what you want when we get back to the car."

To make traveling even livelier, he likes me to turn on the GPS on my phone too, so he has two female voices telling him what to do. He doesn't really talk to the gal on the phone, I think he only considers her as a back-up.

He likes Mrs. Magellan because he frequently asks me to check he Estimated Time of Arrival, or How Fast He's Going, and even once in awhile what the elevation is.

The phone tells the speed limit of the area and if there's traffic congestion and where--though often we're in the middle of it before she announces this news.

We don't argue over directions anymore when we're traveling--and I give all the credit to Mrs. Magellan and her step-sister, the voice of the GPS on my Blackberry.

Anyone else as dependent on their GPS as we are?



Anonymous said…
I have Ms. Garmon, and I am sure she thinks I am a total blockhead, but I don't care. She is my steadfast companion on every trip.

Even though I lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years, with a 9 year Milwaukee hiatus in the middle of that time, I find I get lost more often in Springfield IL. It is a very oddly laid out town and with an east side where the Lincoln shrines and state government is, and a west side where the malls and department stores are...and in the middle, for reasons I cannot grok, there are other towns! It is goofy. So, I never go there without Ms. Garmon...she is my pal!

Oak Tree Press
I can still get around better in L.A. than other places. You can always orient yourself by heading toward the mountains or the ocean.

I have learned in the Central Valley if you're lost you can always find 99 if you head west, and I can find home if I head toward the Sierras. This works well--unles the Tule River Fog decise to come in.

Thanks for commenting, Billie.
Shalanna said…
Oh, gad, yes! My husband TOTALLY dismisses my suggestions as we drive ("Maybe we should be in the other lane-EEEEEK!!! Oh my gosh, there was the exit. NO, I don't think you should go across the grass!") and relies on the GPS. This has, however, led to disasters. Often a GPS doesn't have any idea that a new road has been built, that there is construction, that the bridge is closed, or whatnot. PLUS ours is constantly whining, "At the next opportunity, make a U-turn." NO!! Just send me in the proper direction in the first place! Also, we have driven across gravel and mud until he has finally given up. Once in Sherman, Tx, near Oklahoma border, he stubbornly followed a road "to WalMart" that led up to a working oil well. I don't know whose it was, but anyhow, I made him go back to the interstate.

There's a really cute photo I saved on my computer somewhere--a homemade sign in the headlights reading, "THIS IS A PRIVATE ROAD. A DEAD END. YOU CANNOT GO ANY FARTHER. YOUR GPS IS WRONG!! I GUARANTEE!"

Near the coast, you have the ocean, and near mountains, you have the mountain range. My elderly mother can orient herself by the sun because she's from farmers. Never, however, take a highway called "Hwy 80" because it is ALWAYS a rural route that goes nowhere, not a highway! There must be some kind of rule!

At least I don't have to try to re-fold maps now, which is impossible except for an origami expert. And the maps are always sodden with something that was spilled into the van door, so yuck. The GPS does beat that, even if it can't pronounce "Wichita." (Mine said, "We-CHEE-tuh.")
Oh, Shalanna, you made my day. It was great to read your comments about your GPS.

We've had some not so great directions at times too, that's why I do both Mrs. Magellan and the GPS on my phone.

Thank you!

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