There was no Barbie Dream house in the corner of my childhood bedroom, and I didn’t covet the tremendous collection of Barbies, Kens and Skippers that my neighbor had. Her color-coded categorized collection of evening-wear, swimwear, and casual wear held no interest for me. I was a no nonsense, matter-of-fact kind of kid, more interested in real world events than in creating make-believe experiences.
Staging a Barbie and Ken wedding never ever crossed my mind, and I didn’t envision myself as a bride, until I met the man that became my husband. By the end of our first date I knew we’d get married. A single occurrence can sometimes catapult you directly into your future, and on rare occasions something can happen to change your life forever.
Change can sometimes be planned, but more often than not it unhinges reality with thunderous immediacy. It’s not gracious, or pretty, and it has no regard for your willingness, or acceptance to do things differently. Transitions typically evolve over time, allowing for preparation, maybe even procrastination or avoidance. Transitions are characteristically gradual and don’t usually evoke unbridled emotion.
My contract specified that it was time to change from my iPhone4 to an iPhone5. Notwithstanding the fact that I’d never accomplished navigating the “4” with the swiftness that would have earned me the title of “power user,” I was adept enough at using my phone, and was indifferent about wireless communication. Having about as much interest in learning to use the new version as I had in planning that Barbie wedding, I dreaded the inevitable swap from i4 to i5.
What could have been a smooth transition from 4 to 5 was interrupted by my unexpected need to have a non-illness, but necessary surgery. Might that not have happened, I would have been able to leisurely read about the differences between the two phones prior to the trade-in. But two weeks in the hospital and three months at home to recover left me so addle-brained that I wasn’t even capable of using the remote to turn on the DVD player to switch from TV to video to watch a movie in bed. Enervated, and with a reduced capacity for logical thinking, it would have been unthinkable and impossible to learn about using the iPhone5.
Easing back into daily routine, albeit with an unsteady gait I finally resolved to go see my favorite phone salesman and ask him to help me with what I viewed as a chore. It took hours for our customary question and answer session, along with additional time to transfer data. I traded in my iPhone 4, left with the 5. Exhausted, I was asleep 15 minutes after walking into my apartment.
After five or six days I began to like the phone, and even had fun with it. The all-purpose, always-reliable Evernote I had used for dictation and reminders on the 4 had been traded in. And like a kid that throws over his bike with training wheels to enjoy the freedom of a two-wheeler, I summarily abandoned the once trusted Evernote for the newer model voice responsive Siri. The seductive dulcet tone inside the phone responded politely to the sound of my voice. Siri is brilliant, responsive, attentive, and always available. Perfect, maybe my interface with Siri would lubricate my rusty romantic relationship muscles and be useful in preparing me to look for those characteristics in a perspective human partner.
And then the inevitable, the realization that Siri is fallible. Sometimes “she” doesn’t understand what I’m saying, and “she” frequently misinterprets something. It’s not unusual for me to have to repeat myself, hoping that Siri will accept and respond to enunciated information. I’ve ended encounters with her in frustration. I’ve tabled conversations in exasperation, only to realize that “she” isn’t real, and that I’m the one controlling the interchange. Our mechanical, technical tête-à-tête isn’t really a conversation at all. But knowing that I want to be understood and make things work, I go back, thinking it will be different the next time.
Promising myself that this time I’ll speak more clearly. This time she’ll know and appreciate the subtleties of my voice and finish my sentences. I’ll hold her with just the right touch so that she’ll be immediately responsive. This is a relationship of sorts, and therefore inherently flawed. Works great when it works, and at other times a meeting of the minds requires increased effort and forgiveness. The complexities of being involved only confirm that it’s vital to say what you need and want, and that some times are better than others, but ultimately it’s a choice to be willing to participate.
All things being equal the 5 and I will be together until my next contract ends, at which time I’ll surely be offered an upgrade. The ease and fluency of Siri will most likely be included in the next generation of iPhone, making the transition that much easier for those of us who’ve become accustomed to having her around. By the end of our two years together we will have either worked out the kinks and come to accept the imperfections of being together, or the eagerness to exchange 5 for the next model will be highly anticipated.
After 18 years apart my ex-husband recently sent me an email that was not in its entirety informational, or analytical. He and I weren’t able to seamlessly transition from being married to getting divorced. The change in our relationship was catastrophic, if not brutal, but perhaps now we’re due for an upgrade.
Heart of the Matter – Don Henley
…I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
…People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
The trust and self-assurance that can lead to happiness
They’re the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us,
Doesn’t keep me warm…
There’s always a choice to be willing to participate. Always… What choices are you making?
To read about my initial introduction to the iPhone read Nelson and I broke up:
Love|Hate – Iam Tmnk http://www.menobodyknows.com/nobodyblog/
Dolls, Painting of Groom, Hearts, and “Over Time” – Jill Slaughter
Photography – Jill Slaughter