I have developed an unnatural attachment to a personal aid…no, not that kind, you naughty-minded reader. This is one that one can use in public. I’m talking about my GPS.

I first bought my little Garmin when I moved from Little Rock to Springfield. It paid for itself within the first 20 minutes, in lost-woman-driving-around gasoline and frustration-relief alone. I would program it every once in awhile over familiar territory just to hear the voice.

From there the relationship grew. Once I got familiar with the lay of the land, GPS would give me routes not to my liking. I would stubbornly stick to my decision, listening to hear the voice tell me with increasing (and imagined) pique, “Recalculating.”

In Denver, I have discovered my love affair all over again. I am directionally challenged. And that is putting it mildly. The attachment is more necessary here: The city is bigger, many of the streets are not at north-south plumb, and the outlying neighborhoods would be impossible to find otherwise.

And therein lies the rub.

For reasons not accessible to my mortal reasoning, the little device has begun taking a long time to find its satellites. In the presence of tall buildings, it suffers minor nervous breakdowns. By the time I manage to get a signal, I am impossibly committed to the wrong direction. Sometimes it tells me to go places that I haven’t programmed. I think that it is being stubborn and sadistic. I feel that it doesn’t love me any more.

When these glitches happen, I fall back on my iPhone. But smartphone isn’t smart enough to have a voice; looking for directions on busy streets is an open invitation to rear-end collisions. Smartphone isn’t as sympathetic to dyslexics…trying to find where you are and which direction you’re heading is often more than difficult.

I have cheated on you, GPS. And for that, I am heartily sorry.

I am not a helpless woman. But I am helpless without my electronic companion. In fact, I couldn’t imagine traveling anywhere without it. GPS is the new black. “Mother’s Little Helper” has a whole new definition.

Treat me well, little buddy.

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