This morning, I saw the results of a Mother’s Day poll indicating that half of all moms have to ask their kids for technical support with their phones, computers, and Kindles. I’m ashamed to admit that I fall into that technologically inept group of women, even though I did show my grandfather and grandmother how to operate their new Kindles. Sadly, this past January, during my first semester of teaching, I had to call my daughter in Colorado in a panic not once, but twice, because I couldn’t figure out how to copy my Powerpoint lecture onto a flash drive.
Last week, my son dropped his iPhone into a swimming pool. He checked our AT&T account and was excited to see that we were due an upgrade. But he was not so thrilled when I told him that since I was paying for the new phone, I was taking the iPhone 5 and he was getting my old one.
In fact, he was so irritated that he posted this to his sister’s Facebook wall: “I’m getting Mom’s old piece of shit. She’s getting a 5. She doesn’t even know what Siri is.”
I have been acquainted with Siri, but I don’t know her well. So yesterday, I decided we should to have a talk. I was driving, and I needed to call Claude’s Chocolates in St. Augustine to order some Mother’s Day boxes. “Siri, please find me Claude’s Chocolates in St. Augustine,” I said into my new iPhone 5.
“I found fifteen places matching ‘parts’ . . . eight of them are fairly close to St. Augustine,” she replied.
I tried to say it more clearly, “Claude’s Chocolates. St. Augustine, Florida.”
This time, Siri went to Europe and found me something sounding like Choc Haus. It was in Germany. “I found some places, but they’re not close to St. Augustine,” she said apologetically.
I gave up and Googled Claude’s. It took me eight seconds. But I decided to give Siri another chance. I had to change my haircut appointment, so I pushed her little button and said, “Siri, please find me Panache Hair Salon in St. Augustine.”
That bitch had me calling a salon in Davidson County, Tennessee, which is basically Nashville. While I always wanted to be a Hee-Haw girl, that’s a long way to drive for a cut and color. However, I have taken the oath of Annelle in Steel Magnolias, vowing that my personal tragedy would never interfere with my ability to do (or in my case have) good hair, so I persisted. Siri found five hair salons around me, but since I wasn’t at home, Panache wasn’t around me. I Googled it.
Determined to get something out of Siri that I could boast about to my kids, I said, “Siri, play Jimmy Buffett.”
I have over three hundred Jimmy Buffett songs on my iPhone. I have “Margaritaville,” “Fins,” “Come Monday,” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” his biggies. But the one Siri chose for me and immediately began playing was “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw.”
I don’t even want to think about what that says about me. Still, Siri had gotten something right. Encouraged, I decided to text while driving. “Siri, text Lauren Testing Siri I love you,” I said.
“Alright, here’s your message to Lauren: ‘Testing Siri I love you.’ Should I send it?”
It was perfect. Overjoyed, I said, “Yes! Send it!” Two minutes later, my girl replied, “I love you, too.”
I got my message across, and I didn’t have to ask a kid for help. Happy Mother’s Day to me.