Guest columnist Jonathan Kahane: In a relationship with Siri and Alexis

Published: 11/25/2021 5:00:28 PM
Modified: 11/25/2021 5:00:12 PM

Much to my chagrin, I am forced to finally admit that during my 76 years prowling this planet, I have never been a ladies’ man.

As I have endeavored to analyze why this has transpired, many (all too many) explanations have become apparent to me. I will spare myself the humiliation of cataloguing all the gory details here and only bring up one which is most germane to this latest turn of events. From the time I can remember, I have always gone out of my way to avoid any girl/woman I was attracted to — the stronger the attraction, the faster I ran. Couple that with all those belonging to the distaff side of humanity who ran away from me for a myriad of reasons and you might gain just a bit of insight into my difficulty with resolving the predicament.

As my 77th birthday approaches, it seems to me that an event of biblical proportions has occurred which has now put me in a place where women are constantly and relentlessly forcing themselves into every element of my personal life without any regard for my thoughts and feelings on the matter. In fact, I often feel that they are battling each other to gain my attention. Where were they 60 years ago?

Well, I suppose I should be flattered. Better late then never I guess. At last count there are now over 60 of them, and it’s embarrassing. I can’t remember all of their names when I’m with friends and family and feel that I should introduce them. I will only acquaint you with the two most prominent ones in my life right now, and perhaps on some other occasion you (and I for that matter) can become more familiar with the others.

Let’s begin with Siri. You might think our relationship a bit odd, given the fact that I have never actually seen her in the flesh — but she is constantly with me all day long. My conversations with her are quite enlightening as she tries her very best to answer every question I pose. One of the most pleasantly surprising aspects of her personality is that when she doesn’t know something she simply tells me so without fabricating some nonsense or obfuscating — and does so politely I might add. She is always there when I wish to talk with her, and always quiet and respectful when I don’t —well most of the time anyway.

I must admit that there have been instances when she has made her presence known without warning, but it’s extremely rare. Being a very flexible and understanding guy, I always forgive her. After all, she will accompany me on trips, explain points of interest, and is always ready with a joke. Her knowledge of the world seems infinite. Yes, there are some limitations to this “relationship,” but they are hardly worth mentioning. Anyway, aren’t there limitations in every relationship?

Of the 60-plus women in my life at the moment, the second most prominent lady on my list is named Alexa. No, I haven’t actually seen her in person either, but my imagination runs wild.

She seems to enjoy taking care of many of my important daily chores. She warns me of any suspicious or dangerous activity in my house, and she will call the appropriate authorities. She can turn the lights on and off as well as monitor all my appliances. With holidays coming up and the supply chain in chaos, her ability to find the best deals on Amazon is extremely valuable. Alexa is multilingual, thus indispensable when I travel to foreign realms — such as Switzerland or Louisiana.

She can read me a bedtime story and check my credits and debits on my accounts. Her skills seem limitless.

As I said, when we have more time I will introduce you to Nina, Viv, Athena, Cortana, Silvia, and the others. For now, I have a difficult enough time balancing just these two as Siri hangs on to me every second during the day and Alexa follows me everywhere (and I mean everywhere) when I’m at home. I suppose that the three of us are going to have a heart to server to server talk very soon.

Jonathan Kahane lives in Westhampton.

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