Siri and Me

Here’s why Siri is going to be my new best friend just as soon as I buy her… Oh – sorry, Siri – that makes you sound cheap, as if your love is for sale. Which it is, of course, but like that haircut my friend got in high school that made her look like a Storm Trooper, sometimes the nice thing is just to keep your mouth shut about it. Just to be clear: I don’t think you’re cheap because you’re for sale. Apple has seen to that.

I didn’t mean to start off by hurting your feelings, Siri. Let me get back to why I think you’re the best.

It’s not that you take direction well and don’t get all resentful after you’ve done it. No, as with so many things, it’s how you do it that matters. That woman in the ad just goes, “I’m locked out,” and you are right up on that with three locksmiths. A.) That is fucking awesome efficient, and b.) this is what I’ve been waiting for all my life: I don’t even have to form a direct question when I want something from you.

Me: I left my water downstairs.
[long pause]
R: Do you want me to get it for you?
[long pause]
Me: All right.

See that? I need my water. It’s a fact. No, it’s not a request, but the request is implied in my bothering to state the fact out loud in a room where R.’s able-bodied self appears more ready to go get water than I am. Why else would I say it out loud?

This is the losing argument I’ve been having with him for an age and a half. I don’t want to be demanding and bitchy like those girls who tell their man to go get their water. I’m just putting the fact out there: there’s thirst in the room. Do with that what you will. If you feel a question in the ellipses that follows the statement, that’s because you are perceptive and nice, which are just two of the many reasons I love you.

R. calls my habit, “passive requestive,” and would prefer that I state my preference in the form of a question, but I am the anti-Jeopardy. I have tried to get better at this to please him and maintain domestic tranquility, but improvement is slow going. I’ve tried to think of why.

  1. I am from the ivied northeast where indirect etiquette is the norm. Don’t flaunt your wealth, only wear madras in summer, and don’t ask directly for favors: just wait until someone lovely thinks of it themselves.
  2. I am Swedish. Don’t say anything about anything except over afternoon coffee and when prefaced by a conspiratorial, “Well,…”
  3. I don’t like to ask for things in case I don’t get them, in which case I would be disappointed, so let’s skip the asking and I’ll just be happy if my unspoken wish comes true.

Wherever it comes from, my habit remains stubbornly unbroken and Siri, you are my new best friend/solution. Like the nicotine patch before you, you address the immediate hazard but not the underlying addiction, portable and happy-making.

Now I can go back to saying, “I could eat,” and you won’t come back with a tone and a remark about how I never help decide where we go for dinner. You’ll just tell me how far away the tater tots are. Or the Greek food. Or the dog food. Whatever. What’s a little passivity and inaccuracy among friends?

Categories: Made Me Laugh, My Day


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