I know “hate” is a very strong word, especially when dealing with non-sentient artificial intelligence, but it strangely fits.
We have a couple of Alexa devices in our home, and a bunch of Siri devices as well. Everyone knows that Siri is terrible, so the expectations are not really very high.
But Alexa is light years ahead of Siri. She is quick to respond, seems to know a lot of stuff, and even has a sense of humor. Best of all, Alexa understands most anything anyone in our family says to it.
Except my wife.
For some reason, Alexa hates my wife. Sometimes the conflict is blatant, while sometime Alexa displays some real passive-aggressive behavior.
She has a tendency to ignore what Chrissie says. Sometimes she interrupts her while in the middle of a request. Sometimes she just talks over her. Sometimes I thinks she just trolls her by completely misunderstanding what is being asked.
Brad: “Alexa, what is the weather going to be like today?”
Alexa: “It will be a beautiful day. 72 degrees and sunny – don’t you just love Arizona?”
Contrasted to this:
Chrissie: “Alexa, what is the weather going to be like today?”
Alexa: “Im sorry, I cannot respond to your question. But I do have a recipe for vegan cat chow.”
See the difference? It has been going on for some time. Sometimes Chrissie will persist and fight for a correct answer, but sometimes she will throw her hands in the air and say, “She hates me.”
Based on what I’ve seen, I must agree. It isn’t pretty.
The funny thing about it is that the only person on the earth (sentient or non-sentient) that doesn’t love Chrissie is Alexa. Everyone else knows her to be sweet, gentle, kind, caring, loving, generous, and all those words you would find if she were featured in a thesaurus.
I’ve known this for 30+ years, but I know people who have known her a lot longer than I have who say the same thing. She is universally loved. (Except Alexa)
How she ended up with me, I’ll never know, but I fall back on the “opposites attract” trope.
As I think on these things, I must confess that sometimes I am preoccupied when Chrissie is trying to talk to me. Sometimes I cut her off. Sometimes I talk over her, or I hear her – but don’t really listen. I can be a little Alexa-ish at times.
But this post is not about my shortcomings, it is about how wonderful my sweet wife is. (Did I mention that she is extremely patient? I’m sure you can imagine that being married to me would require bucketloads of patience.)
Yet still she loves me, and I love her. Something about being together for almost 33 years has given us lots of time to learn how to be an “us.” I expect that will only get better with time. It makes the concept of achieving “oneness” somewhat more comprehensible.
I was head-over-heels in love when I married Chrissie, but that pales in comparison to what we now experience. It didn’t happen automatically. It is a gradual, selfless process that must be enhanced by time, effort and practice.
As Chrissie and I move through life, we understand each other better, communicate better, and have a increased understanding of each other’s backstory – warts and all. (Wait! Please don’t misconstrue that I am implying Chrissie has warts of any kind, She doesn’t. I am the “toad” in this story. Did I mention she is “wart-less?”)
Chrissie is my favorite person I know. She is my “best friend” but that term seems awfully inadequate for what I feel. I do not tire of being with her. I find her fascinating and fun. Because of her shy nature, few people truly know how smart and hilarious she really is.
For example: Last week I posted a joke on Facebook that got a big response: “My wife rejected my idea of buying Smarties and Dum-Dums for our Primary class and handing them out based on their answers.”
Truth? I stole it from Chrissie. 100%. She made the joke, I posted it and took all the credit. And she didn’t care. Did I mention “Generous?”
While some people need “Alone Time” or to get away from their spouses, I feel just the opposite. If I had to live out my days in a Unabomber cabin in the woods, I would be fine with it, if it had good wi-fi, and Chrissie.
I can barely wrap my head around how my feelings for her have grown over the years, and can scarcely imagine what another 32 years will bring – let alone another 32 million years.
As I have said for most of my life – it wouldn’t be heaven if Chrissie’s not there with me. When I refer to her as my E.C. – I mean it – in a very literal sense. A huge part of what I strive for in this life is directed by my faith in that potentiality.
Why a post about all of this? First, as a reminder of what is possible, even for a doofus like me.
Mostly, it is because today is Chrissie’s birthday, and I can’t think if a better way to start it than by embarrassing her in front of thousands. (Did I mention forgiving?)
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!