I was going to write a piece this week about my GPS. And then I found out that good ol' Naftali had already written one. Such is my life.

But, seeing as I'm a lazy writer, I'll have to find some way to use it to my advantage. Gonna have to use all the writing skills at my disposal. Get ready to witness some magic, guys.


I just moved to Chicago, and I have to agree with what Naftali said about the tone of the GPS-lady when she says, "Recalculating." In my case, however, the majority of the time, it's not because I can't follow the GPS, but because I'm positive I know a better route.

You see, my GPS is top of the line. It takes into account all the possible ways to reach my destination, the traffic along the way and my calorie count (probably) in order to assess the fastest route. Even so, 90% of the time I drive to work, I know, I know that the GPS got it wrong this time. That if I go with my gut, if I really believe in myself, if I believe what my parents told me about being special, then this time I will, in fact, beat the GPS.

I think I've beaten it maybe once or twice. The rest of the time I make a turn onto the "wrong" street, and that GPS-lady says that horrible word, I am hit with a red light. Or a traffic jam. Or an old lady in a low speed limit zone.

I guess my parents were wrong about me being special. Figures.

But what's so special about being special, really? I mean, my GPS knows better than me. If I just listened to it, life would be perfect. I would hit less traffic jams, beep my horn at fewer old ladies, and probably avoid a stress-induced heart attack when I turn thirty.

See, Naftali was wrong when he said we were better than GPS's. He was so wrong. Oh, that Naftali. If only he knew that it would be better if we were all machines like GPS's. Or washers and dryers. Or toasters.

But the thing is, I called my mom to ask her about this recent crisis of mine, and she insisted that I was special. Insisted. Well, maybe it's my ego, maybe it's because I played George Washington in my elementary school play, but I believe her. I mean, it really sounded like she meant it.

Maybe I was wrong both times? Maybe I don't always know better than everyone and everything around me (crazy, I know!)? And maybe I'm also not a complete failure every time I try to find direction in life?

I can't help but think of one of my interactions with the lady inside the GPS. I forced my car towards Lake Shore Drive, despite her cries of "Recalculating" ringing in my ears. She really wanted me to go on the highway, but I knew it would be gridlock. At first, everything was peachy. As I approached Lake Shore Drive, my plan seemed to be working perfectly. I would beat the GPS.

The moment I hit the street, though, I was hit with a traffic jam. I had lost again! I cried in frustration. Screamed in agony. Pounded my fist on the dash. It was dramatic, man.

I turned toward the next exit, like my GPS told me to (I could have sworn I heard her laugh). But as I got off Lake Shore Drive, something magical happened. Ms. GPS told me to go down Sheridan Road, my second favorite street in Chicago after Lake Shore Drive. The drive was brisk, easy and there were no old ladies crossing the road.

Despite our differences, my GPS and I learned to live together that wonderful September day. For a moment, she understood that I just wanted to have a nice stress-free drive that didn't involve the freeway. And I understood that, maybe, sometimes my GPS is right. It was beautiful.

Perhaps as my relationship with GPS-lady evolves, we'll learn to work together harmoniously. To combine my desire for a nice drive with her absolute perfection. It's a day I can only dream of (for now).

To this day, I drive on Sheridan Road on the way to work. It's a little longer than driving on the highway, sure, but it's worth it. And it's special. Special like me.

Hmm. I guess my mom was right.