Blue Tooth Tête-à-Tête

Blue tooth, car conversation“Mom’s hospital stay wasn’t covered?” I ask, trying to not sound as disturbed as I feel.

“No, that’s not what I said,” my brother replies, raising his voice during our blue-toothed conversation. “The hospital didn’t think she was covered.”

“How could they possibly think that?” I protest from the driver’s seat of my car. “We’ve only filled out dozens of forms in the past year with all that information.”

I hear Chuck’s groan, hundreds of miles away. He’s in Maryland driving home from work. I’m racing in my car in New England on the way to teach an evening class.

“Toll Booth in ½ mile,”

           an alien-sounding female voice intones loudly from Chuck’s car, just as he says, “…called (garble garble) insurance (garble garble) card!”

“What?!” I shout. “What did you say?”

“Easy pass, right side,”

          the creepy lady’s voice proclaims. Bluetooth conversation

Exasperated, I stay silent. Chuck must hear my sigh, though, because he apologizes. “Sorry, it’s my GPS lady, Miranda.”

MIRANDA?” I repeat, rather stupefied. But instead of asking about his choice of name for his GPS, I say: “You still don’t know how to find your way home without GPS help?” I know I sound like an older sister now, giving her brother a hard time.

“Continue on your right,”

Chuck grumbles. “I can’t get Miranda to stop giving directions.”

“Why not?” I approach a traffic light and pat on the brakes. In five minutes I’ll arrive at my destination. This conversation, though, is going nowhere.

Like Chuck and Miranda.

“Exit 32 in 3 miles.”

“Turn Miranda off,” I suggest more loudly (and sensibly?) than intended.

“I can’t!” Chuck says in exasperation.

“Why not?”

“I’ve owned this car for a year and since I pulled it off the lot, Miranda has told me where to go. We can’t figure out how to turn her off.”

I begin to chuckle as my foot hits the accelerator and I race toward the school and my class.

“Brother, you have a Master’s in Finance, you own a successful business, you’re almost as smart as me, and you can’t figure out how to turn off Miranda??!!”

By now, Chuck and I are laughing in our respective cars, in our respective states.

We needed that.

Silently, I thank Miranda as I pull into the parking lot.

80 thoughts on “Blue Tooth Tête-à-Tête

  1. So funny, Pam.
    I guess your brother doesn’t have too many conversations in his car with Miranda chiming in all the time.
    I named the GPS on my husband’s phone, Annabelle. He selected a British accent, and I decided that’s her name. 🙂

  2. My favorite line in the entire post – and you’re almost as smart as me – that made me laugh out loud 🙂 Technology can be such a wonderful thing, in ways that we never could have imagined, right? Sometimes, it helps make things easier for us, and sometimes it seems to make them infinitely more difficult. And, it’s ironic – I think – that we learn more from it in those latter cases 😉 Thanks for sharing, Pamela. This is certainly a story I can relate to all too well 😉

    • Fortunately, I have a brother with a good sense of humor, so he laughed when I said, ‘almost as smart as me’ also. Not sure he and I ever suffered through sibling rivalry, and as we’ve gotten older, we’ve just gotten closer. Must be all these phone conversations, even with Miranda interjecting every once in a while!

  3. So funny and poignant at the same time. Like Marian, I am also hoping that your mom’s hospital stay was covered.

    • Thanks so much -yes, after lots of effort, our mom’s stay got covered, and she’s now in a beautiful Memory Care place that’s just right for her. Thanks for reading and enjoying the ups and downs of ‘life.’ Thank goodness for some humor mixed in with the hospital hubris.

  4. Oh Pam, laughter truly is the best medicine, isn’t it: 😉 I’m so glad you and your brother, with a little help from… ahem…. ‘Miranda’ were able to give each other a healthy dose, for you are always so generous in administering to your readers’ laughter needs 🙂 Take care sweet friend, and blessings on your Mum. Much love, Harula xxx

    • Without humor, we would all be sourpusses. (Funny, haven’t thought of that word in a long time.) My brother has a dry, dry sense of wit, and I just giggle and come up with words to ‘catch’ him (like claiming he’s almost smarter than me). Ha Ha. Fortunately, he also loves to chuckle. 🙂

  5. Pamela, You need to get the insurer to pay for the hospital bills. Let’s put Miranda to work to that end. Repurpose her from the fancy car for the task at hand – bill collections. Your robot can call the insurer’s robots (or their people posing as robots) on the hour every hour until they can agree that the one and only reason you meticulously went completed each of their forms was to make sure your mother’s hospital bills were paid. Who knows, maybe Miranda can keep both jobs – circling in and around Maryland and do battle with the insurer. She sounds like a persistent mate.

    • Miranda’s robots (she knew quite a few) contacted the hospital’s ‘stay-on-the-line-for-60-minutes-please robots, and finally, all got settled. The robotic intention of never making things clear or easy can only be handled with forced patience…a sense of humor… and then perhaps a bit of biting commentary. :-0

  6. “You’re almost as smart as me.” Loved that line, Pam. I’m happy Miranda was able to ease the tension about your mother’s insurance. This is why I still have a flip phone…Miranda’s persistent chatter would drive me crazy. I hope your sweet mother is dong better! xo

  7. This is a cute story. I am like your brother when it comes to navigating the technical aspects of my life. Thank god I have a husband to help me. I hope your mother is feeling better and you don’t have to fill out any more insurance forms, 🤢 yuck .

    • Funny thing is that my brother thinks he EXCELLS in technology, even when technology has him by the throat and won’t let go. 🙂 Oh, he and I like to tease each other, which is probably why we’re so close. And yes, thank you, we worked out the insurance debacle and all is well. xo

  8. Sometimes it’s tempting to use “Miranda” to go places you can find on your own. Even talking to her is not so bad, but it’s trouble when it gets to the point where we expect answer. I have to remind myself of that once in a while.

  9. This is sooo funny. I am chuckling aloud here.I can just SO relate. I am So NOT technical. I do love how you write… you are such a good story teller.

    We once had a rental car with a “Miranda” type and she had such a weird accent that we were either unabke to understand and follow directions or just cracked up in laughter at her.

    Peta

    • Thank you for enjoying my writing. I’m certainly enjoying your reading and commenting (!) And I LOVE seeing what your world looks like through your blogs.
      Yes, my granddaughter begged me to change to an English bloke on my GPS. We couldn’t understand half of what he said, and after getting lost a few times, went back to my Australian “Suzie.” 🙂

  10. This is hilarious. I feel that way all the time. I have a master’s in education, and I can’t fill out simple forms, turn lights on and off, and figure out simple words like alt tag, and stop words are. Yikes! Yet somehow I get through the maze of life, just like you and your brother and get home – with a little help from Miranda! 🙂

  11. This sounds so much like my brother and I…different states, chatting about parents’ health, having a laugh…though we don’t have Miranda chiming in. That was LOL funny, Pam. She would drive me totally nuts, though! Brothers are pretty wonderful.

  12. I didn’t realize exactly how badly my brain was in neutral … until now. I read this entire story – and the comments – still thinking ‘what’s the connection to blue teeth?’ {sigh} I finally *got* it.

    But I can sympathize with your brother. I can’t figure out how to turn off the GPS in my husband’s car. She drives me crazy, and I think she may secretly be trying to bump me off. Earlier this week she repeatedly wanted me to make U-turns in the middle of a busy 6 lane road.

  13. That is too funny! My husband, who never swears, swears at the GPS lady when she constantly tells him he is going over the speed limit. I also told him to just turn it off. He is almost as smart as me.

    • Oh, Darlene, I am laughing at/with YOU. Even though your guy is almost as smart as you, he’s still unwilling to turn off the voice that annoys the heck out of him. Yes, life IS funny, and we need to appreciate every humorous ‘turn’ (or speed trap!).

    • And laughter helps us get through the day, doesn’t it Dianne? I just read that we should belly laugh at least once a day, a big deep belly laugh, to keep our sanity straight and our abs strong. So, I’m practicing…I’m practicing… 🙂

  14. Hehehehehehe LOVED this post, Pam! I still will not use a GPS yet I’m sure my next car with come with one equipped in it. *sighs* I don’t like to rely on machines but my own BRAIN to get me somewhere. Now, yes a GPS does come in handy when I am in “foreign territory”. I just loved the banter between you two siblings. Just LOVED it. LOL ❤

    • Could you send me the link again -? This one in your comment will not send me anywhere, and I’d love to read your short story! My guy has the WAYS on his phone – I guess I better put it on mine. However, I need the voice because I can’t ‘read’ the directions when I’m driving – can’t see the tiny print. :-0
      I think my brother has finally gone back to the dealership and gotten it fixed. Glad it took him a while – we had a good time with Miranda. 🙂

  15. I’m so glad Miranda provided a lighter moment. The tension in ones life when either a child or a parent isn sick, even without the financial worry, is enormous. …We haven’t even got GPS yet, though we have been known to switch on our iPhones when lost!

    • I think we all need some kind of Miranda in our lives to cut the tension and find a way to smile through the tears. Yes, I could not find my own way home without my iPhone’s ‘Suzie’ voice telling me how to get there. 🙂

  16. Pam, I think we all need a Miranda in our cars! 😀 So often difficult life decisions seem to end up being discussed whilst travelling it’s hard to raise on a smile. I love the chioce of name and he’s never allowed to turn it off now, is he big sister?! 😀 My statnav is s boring male voice who is useless – seriously, he can do all the easy part of the journey but the last ten minutes in the town centres we always get lost, multiple times. Hope all is sorted with the insurance and your mother as good as can be. Hugs ❤️Xx

    • Well, Annika, this is why you need a WOMAN’S voice to give you directions. A male ‘statnav’ won’t even ask for help when he’s lost!!! 🙂 Yes, insurance is sorted and my mom is situated in a lovely place where she is content – as much as possible. Looking forward to visiting her over the Christmas holiday – with a little help from Miranda and my brother, of course. 🙂

  17. Technology… gotta love it! What in the world did we do before GPS and cell phones? We survived.. that’s what! We waited to make phone calls and used printed maps and everything was just honky dory! I long for those days sometimes. Especially when I don’t want to be found! LOL! Merry belated Christmas Pamela… I hope Santa was good to you! 😀 ❤

  18. What a great blog to read with my morning coffee! Got me off to a good start in spite of early morning grumblings. Don’t be too hard on your brother for not being able to turn Miranda off (or not taking the time!). It seems the more gadgets we get, the more of our precious time we waste attending to them!

  19. Blue tooth is definitely an acquired “taste” or sound in your ear!
    I have brothers who do similar things like talking through times when I clearly cannot hear or respond to them. Other times, they are trying to drive and eat while talking. Chuckling out loud. 😀

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