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Navigating married life


Navigating married life

Ashley Robinson has learnt the hard way that he’ll always be heading in the right direction if he’d only just listen to his wife.

Recently, I wrote about all the fancy bits you get in vehicles these days, compared with when I was kid – a time when we never had a radio in the car until I was about 15.

I was reminded by a few people this week that I never mentioned Siri – you know, that sexy voice that tells you about speed limits, red-light cameras and directions to your destination. It made me think that maybe a GPS and Siri are only accessories you need if you are single, because all of us with partners know very well that the person sitting beside us in the car has all these things covered.

Take Old Mate, for instance. How I drove around without her telling me what to do is a bloody miracle. For instance, I have learnt road rules from her. I didn’t know you couldn’t change lanes at traffic light intersections. But every time I did it in our first years of marriage, she would read me the riot act. “That’s illegal. If you get fined, I’m not paying it” – which would start robust debate until eventually I complied, just for the serenity.

She has a built-in radar and knows precisely when I exceed the speed limit – prompting more threats of fines, loss of points and “you are on your own” conversations. Of course, if she has made us late for an important date, she switches off that skill.

Then there is the indicating, I could be the only car in the middle of the bloody Nullabor Plain and turn in for fuel without indicating and away she would go. I would argue that it didn’t matter as we are the only vehicle in a 500km radius. That would start another robust debate that she eventually would win (you guessed it, for serenity). I now indicate in my driveway, just so she and my dog George know what’s going on.

She has directions covered – being very good at telling me where to go and how to get there the best way, as well as saying: “Why did you come this way?”. Finding a park is another skill she has, unless there isn’t any … and that, of course, is my fault.

There are exceptions, though.

Occasionally, after giving me directions, we get to a point where she says, “I thought I knew where it was”. Now, I have never heard Siri say that but “hey Siri” is a female, so she is never wrong. Imagine if Siri was a male? We would never get anywhere.


Ashley Robinson is the manager of Alex Surf Club and the chairman of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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