My husband is in love with another woman. No, I’m not imagining it. He said it clear as day over breakfast today. “I’m in love with that woman.”
“In love?” I asked. “Love?”
“Yes!” he said. “As soon as I hear her voice, I feel relieved and a certain calm comes over me.”
Well, there it was. And I only had myself to blame. After all, I was the one who introduced him to her two years ago.
I remember the day. We were going to visit our son and his wife in their new apartment. We were traveling along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the right lane, watching for our exit when my husband’s face suddenly drained of all color. There was our exit ramp off the left lane and we blew right past it. “Did we really just miss the (*!#*! ) exit? Who ever heard of an exit ramp off the left lane?” he yelled. “Great! Now we’re lost in Brooklyn!”
I pulled out my iPhone and typed my son’s address into the Google Maps app and in a moment a commanding woman’s voice came over the radio saying, “Take the exit to Fort Hamilton Parkway.”
“Do you trust this woman?” he asked.
“Do we have a choice?” I asked him back. We got off the parkway, rolled up the windows, and double-checked the locks on the doors, as she took us through some very dicey neighborhoods. My husband obeyed her like a puppy on a leash, and eventually she delivered us safely to my son’s apartment building.
That’s when the love affair began. As we pulled into a parking space in the street, we both sighed with relief, and my husband said, “I love that woman!”
I loved her too because she liberated me from those days of fighting off the nausea while we drove in circles and I tried to read a paper road map. I used to dread those road trips when my husband would say, “Why don’t you pull out the map and see where we are.” That meant he was lost and it was up to me to get us un-lost.
My map reading skills are poor enough as it is. But the minute I take my eyes off the horizon and bend my head down to read a map, turning it right side up and upside down, trying to determine whether we’re traveling north or south, my head starts to spin, and all those intersecting roads just look like squiggly lines to me, as my eyes begin to blur, and it feels like there’s an egg beater churning in my stomach. I’m ready to vomit before I can determine which state we’re in, let alone which road we’re on.
Yes, we became a happy threesome for a while until a friend introduced me to Waze – a GPS app with a sensual man’s voice. He not only gave directions, he reported police activity in the area, alerted us to photo-enforced traffic lights, warned of traffic jams along our intended route and reported hazards like parked cars or emergency vehicles on the shoulder of the road. I introduced him to my husband, but he wasn’t impressed.
“Where’s the woman?” he asked. “I liked the woman better.”
“You’re just jealous because he’s a man. He can do more than that woman you like so much. She just gives us directions. My man can do all those other things.”
“Directions are all I want when I’m driving,” he said. “Why do I need all that other information; it’s just confusing.”
Then I showed him how I can choose different personas. The voice on Waze can sound like Elvis Presley or Randy or Nathan (whoever they may be). I chose the voice to give us directions in an English accent and we were instructed to “Turn the carriage to the right,” and “Turn the carriage to the left.”
“They all sound silly,” he said, “and, besides, we’re not driving a carriage.”
I had to agree with him on that.
“Where’s the woman?” he asked. “Did we lose her? Can’t we get her back again?”
So I went back to Google Maps with that authoritative woman’s voice. I picture her as a stern, sexless androgynous woman in baggy camouflage pants and black orthopedic shoes. I’m sure my husband has a different vision of her, because as soon as he heard her command, “In 500 feet turn right!” he smiled and let out a dreamy sigh.