So my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, and I have this problem. “Other woman” stuff. If you were listening to the heated conversation in our car the other night, you would have overheard Judy going wild. “You can’t go anywhere without her, can you?” she said. “That’s not true,” I kept repeating. “You’re being paranoid.”
Then the conversation got ugly, and I sneered and cruelly added, “OK, I need her. Is that what you want to hear? I need her … need her … need her … Are you satisfied?” That’s when Judy went nuts, pushing buttons that only a wife knows how to push, which, of course, made me furious. I then shouted, “I need her! And I’m man enough to admit it.”
I said this in a way to be as cruel as I could be. Judy was hurt. She stared stone-faced out the car window. “Give her a chance. Just one time, give her a chance,” I said. “Why are you so afraid of her?” I added. “I’m not afraid,” said Judy. I wondered if she had tears in her eyes. I was thinking we were beginning to sound like Don Draper and his crazy wife on Mad Men.
It’s an emotional issue, and I must admit every once in a while we both forget the “other woman” we’re arguing over is the women’s voice in our car’s GPS system.
Why does Judy hate our car’s GPS so much? To begin with, she doesn’t even know how to use it. Then, to top it off, she has no confidence the woman’s voice is “telling us the truth.” For Judy, it’s as though the voice on the GPS is a real woman, and for some perverse reason, she is trying to get us lost.
There is some hope, though. The other night we were going to a party somewhere in the wilds of East Hampton. I started to type in the street address where we wanted to go, and instead of her usual tirade of abuse about the GPS, Judy actually said, “That’s a good idea. I got lost the last time I attempted to go there.”
This was a refreshing switch from Judy’s usual bizarre behavior when we’re going to any address she has never been to before. That’s when Judy goes into her General Erwin Rommel, Supreme Commander of the German Afrika Korps, pose, and pulls out these maps, which, when they are unfolded, are the size of Yankee Stadium.
Soon I’m trying to drive and she is sticking the map in my face and saying, “Do you see this? Do you see this squiggly red line? That’s the road we have to take. I know, because when I was seven years old my father taught me how to read a map.” My answer is, “If you don’t take that (blanking) map out of my face, we’re going to die, and on your tombstone it will read, ‘She knew how to read a (blanking) map.’”
I can’t read a (blanking) map. We never had a car when I was young—there was no reason for me to learn to read a map. So how did we get around? The Sea Beach subway (now the N train), which, miraculously, always followed where the tracks were going and didn’t need a map.
In the meantime, the GPS war between Judy and myself goes on. Next, to get Judy off my back, I plan to change from a woman’s voice on the GPS to a man’s voice, and I bet I know just what Judy will say when she hears a man’s voice giving me directions.
She’ll say, “I always suspected you were gay.”
If you wish to comment on “Jerry’s Ink,” send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.