Ah Siri…how we love you, need you, hate you – all in one. You’ve heard about the guy that asks Siri (the IOS Iphone system) “Where can I hide a dead body?” and she answers, “What type of place are looking for? Reservoirs, mines, dumps or swamps?”
She’s a beast – capable of sending us to the right address, giving us the weather and disposing of the evidence. The perfect nerd for your wandering, wondering brain.
But Siri may have met her match – in my mom.
Guys, my mom needs Siri. But she also loves her! Mom cannot see well enough or remember well enough to dial a number on her own. Facebook and email remain unrealistic projects for her to tackle. But Siri is right in her wheelhouse. She and Siri have a thing going. She asks Siri everyday how she is doing and everyday Siri has a unique answer. She tells Siri to send text messages to her grandkids that are mostly bible verses and mostly sent VERY early in the morning (at least that’s what my son tells me). She asks Siri to play her voicemails and what channel the Kentucky Derby is on. But that’s not all, my friends. NO SIRRREEE, Siri.
Siri knows whether or not Cybil Shepard had twins, what animal Angora wool comes from, and the 2016 schedule for the Denver Broncos. She knows what day mom’s birthday falls on next year, where Quonset huts originated and that the Underground Weather App is really named after a historic group of revolutionaries. I can tell you that the Siri on my phone has never had to work as hard as the Siri on her phone…because of the way her brain works, my mom’s brain, that is. Mom is always curious, always noodling, always churning about… something.
And clearly by now you can see that the things mom processes are boundless; trivial, earthshattering or mind-blowingly interesting. See, she develops habits with people…and IOS systems, it turns out. She isn’t calculating or manipulative – she is surviving. This is something she has learned to do through a challenging, difficult and interesting life path.
The tables have turned swiftly in our mother/daughter relationship. She is dependent on me and so many others. She needs others for her quality of life. Through it all, she has fine-tuned the art of developing a rapport with friends that involves her cheering them on and them providing her with something (lunch, a ride to lunch, new warm socks, birthday presents for grandkids, or even a giggle).
She needs people and somehow they need her too. It's soft goods verses hard goods (her intangible love, care, wit and wisdom and their tangible errand-running, advocating). It’s an interesting relationship. I asked her about it a month or so ago, about her new life, all the people in it. I asked her if she noticed that before her stroke she was rather introverted and now seems to be just the opposite. And she didn’t even skip a beat, replying that she was still totally an introvert and cherished time to herself….except for the fact that she needs so much help. So she keeps her friends and errand runners who are one and the same, very close by.
I realize as I type this that even if I’m sad sometimes about all that was and all that perhaps could have been. My mom certainly isn’t sad. She may be missing most of the function in her left leg and arm but she’s marching on with a troupe of lovely and willing companions – of which Siri just happens to be her newest.
So the next time you ask Siri to find a good Italian restaurant “near you” or if you find yourself asking who won the World Series in 1932, think of my sweet mama. She’d be tickled…and she’d want you to tell her SPECIFICALLY what wisdom flowed from Siri’s “brain.”
Megan's Take: This post puts the BIGGEST smile on my face!! That BB is cracking me up. I love that she has this new companion. Perhaps she and Senait can throw down and see who can "out-Siri" each other. Senait can spend serious amounts of time asking Siri how she's doing (or in my case "he" -- I changed the voice). My personal limit on "questions asked" is THREE. My brain simply cannot handle answering more than three things about "how long it will take" to do just about anything. But, Siri? She's non-plussed. The only real flaw she has is trouble understanding foreign accents. Kelel -- poor dear. I checked his iPod's search history the other day ('cause I'm Mom and I can check whenever I want much to my kids' chagrin) and I saw phrases like, "kissing posters" and "hot puppies" ---- um, WHAT?! I dove in and confronted the source. Kelel was super taken-aback, "No, Mom -- I was looking for pictures of CUTE PUPPIES." Ah. Right. Idioms are also lost on him. Have you checked your Mom's search history? Maybe TMI, eh?? She is a grown woman after all....More power to her!
Holly's Take: I'm gonna take a take on Megan's Take first. I might try handing Siri to my kids after the 100th question. Siri may soon become one of my peeps, too! Now for the real take. I have seen how BB develops rapport with those around her. One thing she held onto from her pre-stroke life was her charm . . . her genuine charm. I have seen her rapport even with my 8 year old, son. They kinda have a "thing." He visited her in the hospital a couple of times, before she began to regain her color, her vision of any sort, and her Barbara-ness. He always had an uncommon comfort level with her and a special tenderness that goes both ways. To this day, if they see each other in the halls of church, they hug an unusually long, sweet, hug.
I wish that Siri had a for reals emotional side to her, because I'm sure if she did, she would be the one tickled to hear from BB, with her question ranging from the daily weather report to the most obscure.