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At Least Say "Please" When You Tell Me I'm Doing it Wrong

"You are off route," the monotone voice said.

"You are off route," it repeated.

I glanced around and wondered how it was possible I was off route when there hadn't been a single cross road or exit for miles. Glancing down at the GPS, I realized it had been smoking crack in between downing bottles of crazy pills. According to the GPS, I was sitting smack dab in the middle of a golf course.

Except, I wasn't. I was smack dab in the middle of a freeway, driving 55 mph as other cars zipped past me.

I smacked at the GPS a few times to shut it up and hoped it would get a clue before I reached the portion of the journey that I actually needed help with. Of course, it didn't. I wondered aloud to Alexis why we even ask the GPS for directions when it is so frequently wrong.

She wondered why we ask the GPS when it is so clearly lacking in manners. It drives the poor kid absolutely insane that the GPS doesn't say "Please" and "Thank you" as it bosses you around. Alexis doesn't have to worry about turning into her mom in 30 years; she's already there. Together we shall nag the universe into having good manners. Just call us the Please Police.

Alexis continued on to ask if the GPS was smart. I responded by saying that it was sort of the expert on how to get places.

And then I thought about it some more. I realized the GPS is a lot like every other kind of expert there is. Parenting experts . . . social media experts . . . all experts . . . they're quick to give you advice, often being bossy and rude as they do it, but they don't always really know what they're talking about. Unless that expert is in your shoes, seeing all the things you see, they sometimes can't tell the difference between a golf course and a freeway.

Screw the experts.

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Reader Comments (16)

This is spot on.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Screw the Experts! I concur. Excellent battle cry, by the way.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Perfect!!! I love this...

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermisty

Amen! Screw the "experts"! You know, I used to work with A LOT of PhD folks (Dr. This and Dr. That) and I learned that they are, indeed, experts in whatever their thesis work was but when it came to MOST other things (including life in general) they were complete idiots. A degree - however fancy sounding it is - does NOT make you smart...or even competent! This is why no one gets special treatment from me because of a title. Ever. You have to EARN that respect. (BTW, you have it :)

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mommy

I'm surprised you haven't told Alexis that there's a tiny little person in there that knows all about roads. And if she doesn't behave, the little person will get you lost.

Geez, I'd be such a horrible dad...

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbluzdude

@bluzdude--I'm telling her that tonight. Oh, yes, I am. Thank you for the genius form of torture!

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle (burghbaby)

You Please Police crack me up. Bee is the same way with her manners...well, with Please and Thank You, at least. The others needs to be refined just a leetle bit. For instance. My IO gave Gracie $5 for her report card. I knew he was going to do it, so I had practiced manners with Bee beforehand.
Me: "You cannot ask someone for money. It isn't polite."
Bee: "I can say, 'Please can I have some too?'"
Me: "No, it isn't polite. But if they offer it, you say 'Thank you.'"
So what does Bee do? When my IO hands Gracie the money, she pipes up with, "I can't ask you for money, but you can give me some if you want to."

Mom fail.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA

A-friggety-men. (Is that total sacrilege to say? Not that I care, just curious)

I wonder if there's been some sort of satellite interference lately. This past weekend when we were camping, I used my Delorme laptop GPS to find some stuff, and it was constantly marking us as driving 50 feet south of the road. Kind of annoying when you have to make a turn and you realized you missed it 50 feet ago...

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

A-freakin'-men! When I was pregnant and after Oliver was first born my mom told me I was reading way too much. I didn't believe her now, but I sure do now.

And Alexis is right -- how much more pleasant would it be to listen to a GPS if it said Please and Thank You?

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadame Queen

I prefer the GPS lady in Swedish. She gets me just as lost, shouts just as much, but she's Swedish and therefore she sounds very sexy.

If someone's going to be rude to me, they might as well sound sexy doing it.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatwoman

I think that's a great philosophy and one that I often follow. Although if you come to me asking for advice in my field of specialty, I'll be sure to remind you of this post and wish you luck. (just kidding, you know I could not NOT help the ultra cool you and the super cool Mr. H).

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy T

Great analogy! I refuse to use Jim's GPS, because it usually results in me trying really, really hard not to swear in front of my kid.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Our GPS kind of freaks out in downtown Pittsburgh. At one point, it had us driving across the river, without a bridge, when we had turned right a long time ago. We somehow ended up in the middle of PNC park.

Except we weren't.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom

I think that will be my new battle cry "screw the experts"! Especially as they try to tell me what my son with Autism can not do or is not capable of. When I sit in my son's IEP meeting and the educational "expert" is baffled by his performance exceeding his "potential", I will just keep repeating that in my head to keep from going insane. Thanks!

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVarda (SquashedMom)

We call our GPS "Jane" and trust me, sometimes we and Jane have NOT gotten along to so well...

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine
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