I can’t remember if I mentioned that I finally upgraded to an iPhone 5 from my previous dinosaur-era model (deductible business expense, wooo!), which means I am only recently learning the wonders of Siri. Siri and I have a somewhat difficult relationship, although nowadays if I say to her, “Siri, what’s my name?” she will gamely respond, “Your name is Miriam. But because we are friends, I get to call you Mir.” (I don’t know if we’re truly friends, but I appreciate that Siri knows how to ingratiate herself.)
It’s true that this phone means I am forever feeling my age; last night at play rehearsal I tried to record something and somehow completely screwed it up (because pushing the big red RECORD button is too hard…? I don’t know if I didn’t record it or if I somehow didn’t save it), and a younger, smarter cast member was kind enough to email her recording to me. But it’s also true that I am grateful to technology, and this phone in particular, because Chickadee communicates best with her thumbs, and I am trying to keep up.
It used to be that when she was texting me and I was in the car, she would get annoyed when I didn’t answer, and then my entire drive would be punctuated by dings and whistles as she typed “BEEP BEEP!” fifty gajillion times in a row. Because THAT’S not annoying. Thanks to Siri, I can now text while I drive.
Uh, you know I mean that I can just ask Siri to read me her texts, and then I can dictate texts back, right? I don’t text while I drive. At least not the taking-my-eyes-off-the-road, using-my-fingers kind of texting. THAT’S ILLEGAL, KIDS! Is there a name for what I’m doing when I’m just letting Siri be my secretary? Dictation texting? Dictexting? (Wait, that one might be something else entirely….) Voicing? I don’t know. The point is, she texts, I talk, and it amuses us.
Yesterday as I was driving around (not, like, randomly; I had an appointment and then I went to pick Monkey up from school) I made the SUPEREXCITING discovery that I can say “smiley face” and Siri will, indeed, insert an emoticon. Yes, I’m sure everyone on the planet except me already knew this. I then arrived at school early and was sitting in the parking lot, continuing the conversation—which quickly devolved, as you’ll see—and then later there was more from when I was driving again. You can always tell which parts are from Siri because Siri has a little wax in her ears, and often comes up with something pretty-close-yet-stupid-and-ungrammatical when I tell her things. (GOD, SIRI. Get a copy of Strunk & White already!)
Anyway, my daughter is… well, a teenager. And she makes my life, and especially my drive time, infinitely more educational. Behold:
It’s true this is not exactly what I pictured when I first considered what long-distance parenting might be like. Then again, before I had teenagers, I had never really considered that I might NEED to know how to textually represent a drunk koala (and, um, other things). THE MORE YOU KNOW!
*Upon reflection, my originally-threatened title for this post seemed like it might attract the wrong sort of readers and/or Google hits, hence the change.