Monday, March 24, 2008

My New Best Friend

I have a new best friend.

My sincerest apologies to everyone who has considered themselves to be my closest companion (and believe me, there are many) but a new relationship has blossomed in my life and I have to follow my heart.

Its official name is “global positioning system navigation unit”.

Many people know it as “GPS”.

I now know it as “BFF”.

I know I’m probably a couple years late getting on board with this one but I don’t care; this thing has legitimately changed my life.

Last weekend my buddy Kevin was planning to go up to Philadelphia to visit some family. He didn’t want to make the trip alone so he said that if my Girlfriend and I went up with him on Friday, we could have take his car into the city on Saturday while he was hanging out with his fam.

We were staying with Kevin’s aunt and uncle (who live outside the city) and when we arrived to their house on Friday night, his uncle said that we could use his GPS to help us get around town the next day. I was very reluctant at first because I happen to very proud of a little something that I like to call my “IPS” or Internal Positioning System.

Seriously, there’s not much that I really excel in, but for whatever reason, I’ve always been kind of freakishly good at knowing where I am and finding my way around unfamiliar places.

Like I’m borderline amazing.

Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I went to bed that night secretly hoping that Kevin’s uncle would forget all about this GPS nonsense and we almost got out of the house the next morning without it (believe me, I was trying) before he remembered to give it to us.

Of course my Girlfriend was instantly enamored with the new technology and turned it on and began playing with it. We were greeted by a synthetic woman’s voice that instantly began barking out directions and as the blood raced to my head, all I could think was, “Great, now I have TWO women telling me how to drive.”

Before we went to the city, I had planned on taking my Girlfriend into Levittown, PA – my dad’s hometown – and I called my folks from the car to get the address of the house where dad grew up.

Even though I was supremely confident in my abilities to find the house on my own, my Girlfriend took it upon herself to enter the address into the GPS and suddenly the woman’s voice began telling me what lane to be in and when to exit and when to take a sip of my coffee.

I was ready to throw it out the window when I realized two very important things: (1) It wasn’t my property to destroy and (2) I wasn’t that stressed trying to find the house because the stupid thing was actually doing a really good job.

Without breaking a sweat, the GPS got us right to my dad’s old house and I have to believe it also saved us from a disastrous argument that would have resulted in a half hour of tense silence and me begrudgingly stopping somewhere to ask for directions.

From Levittown, we were then able to enter in the location of Geno’s Steaks (the famous downtown Philly cheese steak stand) and even though I had a general idea of where I was going, the GPS got us there easily and I was never panicked while fighting the intricate downtown traffic.

After grabbing a bite to eat at Geno’s we plugged in the directions to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall area and it was during that trip that I realized the greatest GPS benefit of all: I now had something besides myself to get mad at if we ever did get lost.

A mental life saver for any man.

We found a parking lot and began walking over to the Liberty Bell when we couldn’t help but feel a little turned around on the streets.

My Girlfriend joked, “They need to make a GPS for walking.”

It was in that moment, as I was already beginning to feel the disoriented feeling of confusion, that I knew I was falling in love.

When we got back to Kevin’s uncle’s house later that night, I found myself handing over the GPS as timidly as I had taken it; but now for a completely different reason.

So as it stands now, we are currently separated but I can’t help but dream of the day when we will be reunited and I will once again follow that sweet soulless voice of technology.

Until then, my friend.

Until then.


Eugene said...

I'm so sad - I thought this whole post would have been about Max Axelrod!
a 2007 alumnus from W&M...

Anonymous said...

Yeah...he's impressive until you stay in a remote county in the middle of Pennsylvania and the stupid thing doesn't pick up any of the restaurants or roads that you need...and the ones they do pick up lead you somewhere completely different. I thought he was my best friend too...but you can have him...

Michelle Matthews

Paul said...

This was great. A perfect lifestyle column. You are a beautiful man.

Jason said...

This one is so small you can actually fit it in your pocket...gps for walking.

Dana said...

oh gps... at least summer knows one thing that is one your Christmas list!!! :)

Mallory said...

You never cease to amaze me with your writing skills Josh. I'm a fan of the GPS myself, but not a big enough fan to purchase it...

NoCureForSilverFever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NoCureForSilverFever said...

You must have had the wrong GPS, my friend. ...The one I heard spoke in a sultry, almost seductive tone with just a whisper of a British accent. She--it--was...unreal. "Turn left here", "Stay off the median", "Slow down, you're scaring me", "Take me some place nice"...

Sigh. She was perfect. So proper, so knowledgeable, so single-minded.

Just watch out, my friend. She starts off as just a chum, but if you're not careful...