How did guys get from point "a" to point "b" before they started installing those fancy GPS things in their cars? Did they follow little trails of bread crumbs until they reached their destination? Did they search for hatchet marks carved on trees by other guys who had gone on before?

The answer is "no."

Here's what guys did — they handed off maps to their wives and said, "Honey, help me find a street named Owensmouth."

At least that's what my dad said to my mom once. He handed her a map when they were in Canoga Park and told her to find a street named Owensmouth, after which they drove around in circles for most of the week until my mom finally threw the map at my dad's head and said THERE. IS. NOT. A. STREET. CALLED. OSCARSJAW.

And guess what! She was right! There is definitely NOT a street in Canoga Park called Oscarsjaw.

My husband used to hand off maps to me, too, until he got a GPS, which he loves with all his heart. He loves it so much he even uses it when he doesn't need to.

Me: Dude. You don't know where the church is?

OK. Kidding about the church part.

Still, my husband just loves messing around with that thing. It appeals to the techie side of him, don't you know. I (the non-techie), on the other hand, hate the GPS.

How do I hate it? Let me count the ways.

1. I hate it because it's just one more gadget I can't reliably operate. (See also "my television since we got cable.") At least I really wanted "my television since we got cable." The GPS, however, falls into the broad category of "Stuff I Never Asked for But I Have to Deal With Anyway." (See also "anything that's been overengineered," which includes almost everything these days.)

2. I hate the GPS because while it's more than happy to tell you what to do ("turn left"), it does NOT allow you to ask any follow-up questions, such as, "Which left? This left? Or the next left?"

3. But here's the reason I really hate the GPS: My husband will listen to IT before he listens to me, even though I am MORE than happy to answer any and all follow-up questions.

EXAMPLE: "I'm not sure which left you take! It's not like I've ever been to Canoga Park before!" Then before you know it, the two of us are fighting like a couple of crazy teenagers in love — and also my parents.

The problem is that my husband is good about listening to me. Really good, in fact. Consequently, I am used to being listened to by the main guy in my life. So when he suddenly abandons my navigational input for directions from a machine you can't even have a proper fight (let alone conversation) with, I resent it.

So. Anyway. I'm not sure what to do yet about my rival, but I need to do something quick because we're on our way to California (although not Canoga Park) AS WE SPEAK. And if I have to hear that stupid GPS say "turn left" (especially when I think we ought to turn right) I think I may just lose my mind.

Suggestions are welcome ....

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