Because I am a delightful mass of contradictions, no one can predict which technologies I will embrace the instant they are available and which ones I will shun until a loved one drags me, kicking and screaming, into the century of the fruitbat.*
Example: though I complain about delays of microseconds** everywhere else in my life, I will beta test any game that appeals even a little bit. I also howled in frustration when my phone wasn’t one of the first hundred or so delivered. But I only agreed to download the goddamned parking meter app because A) the meter charged my card double the day before and B) I forgot my wallet and it was my turn to pay for parking again. No choice there, and I was getting shame for not having already done it.
Also, I only just got an Echo for Christmas.
To be fair, I’ve been using the Alexa app on my phone for a bit, but she’s sort of neutered on that platform—google made a hell of a deal and there’s no getting around it. But yeah, until very recently if I wanted a light turned on or off I had to walk over to it, raise my arm all by myself, and manually flick the switch like some sort of primitive.
But no more! Alexa is here to make it all better.
ME: Alexa, pause.
ALEXA: (pauses music)
ME: (drunk on power) Alexa, resume.
ALEXA: Hmm… I don’t know that one.
ME: What the… Alexa! Resume!
HIM: This is what 2019 is going to be like.
ALEXA: Sorry, I can’t predict that.
ME: (to him) Shut up!
ME: Alexa, shuffle my playlist, All Things Christmas, on repeat.
ALEXA: Playing your playlist, All Things Christmas, on loop.
HIM: Did you run out of Christmas?
ME: I think that’s why she’s been stopping.
HIM: You’ve got thousands of hours of music!
ME: (shrugs) (tilts head, listening) Alexa, next song.
ALEXA: (begins The Stowaway)
ME: Alexa, next.
ALEXA: (begins Cantiga de Santa Maria)
ME: Alexa, next.
ALEXA: (begins Gloucestershire Wassail)
HIM: What are you—
ME: Checking to see if it’s actually shuffling. And it isn’t. Alexa, shuffle.
ALEXA: Turning on shuffle mode.
HIM: How could you tell?
ME: Because it played the two singles at the top of the list, then it started playing from the same album. How could you not tell?
ME: Oh my God… it all sounds the same to you!
ME: How are we married?! (storms off)
HIM: I tricked you. Remember?
I did eventually teach her a few tricks and we’re getting on much better now, but it was a rocky start.
And not everyone seems to understand that her routines are just for me.
HIM: Alexa, goodnight.
ALEXA: (turns off lights) Goodnight. Sleep like a log.
HIM: (joins me in bed) Alexa told me to sleep like a log.
HIM: So I’m going to make sawing sounds—
ME: NO, that is not what that means.
HIM: (laughing) Dunno, sounded like permission to—
ME: LOGS DON’T MAKE ANY NOISE ONLY SAWS MAKE NOISE LOGS JUST LIE THERE.
HIM: (laughs himself to sleep)
* Please tell me you got that reference so we can be best friends.
** Yes, really.