Please, Siri…


This morning at 9 am, Siri sent me a message reminding me to write about why I say please and thank you to “him.” I’m new to asking Siri for reminders and other things, but I think it’s a new favorite feature. I’d been sending one to myself about going to the bank on lunch, and I realized that I always say “please” before asking Siri to do something menial for me. And it struck me that this may not be how everyone works…

Then I got to thinking, which, well, is mostly what I do pretty much all the time, and I realized that I don’t want to NOT say please and thank you to Siri or anyone else. Yes, it’s just software with no actual feelings, but if I start issuing commands, I may soon begin to feel rather superior, and then I could start just issuing commands all willy-nilly to my friends, or the lady at the bank. And then I’d be a bitch. And that’s not what I want to be.

It seems to me that the more we practice being decent, the more likely we are to be decent. I have a temper. I’m working on that. Really really working on that. But it’s something only those unlucky enough to love me really see. Now, once I did snap at a lady for calling my phone number instead of her OB/GYN, but wait – I hung up first! See, I’d been given this OB/GYN’s old number and women called me daily about their yearly schedules. I never once snapped at them in real life. I calmly told them what I knew, which wasn’t much, but at least they didn’t think they were all set for March 3rd. Anyway, this one time, I shut the phone and then snapped “And don’t call this number again!” I thought it was funny. Because, I’m twisted like that, and you should hear the things I say to drivers on the road… My (former) sister-in-law thought it was intervention-worthy later on, mainly because she didn’t think I’d actually hung up, so that was awkward… But anyway, the thing is, that was just venting with humor. I’d never speak to Siri that way. Or that lady on the phone, duh.

I think it’s okay to be nice when nobody’s watching. I think it’s okay to hold the door open while 20 people stream out, apparently not realizing that “leaving the theater” etiquette requires them to take the door from me and pass it to the one behind them etc… [Note: I don’t think it’s okay to stand there for 20 minutes, but there were times I did that back in my doormat days.] I think it’s more than okay to pick up litter on the sidewalk even when it’s not something I dropped. I mean, within reason. There are some things you just need gloves for though.

Oh by the way, I also talk to many other inanimate objects. I mean, I bump into a streetlight (which happens more than you or I want to believe), and I say “excuse me” or “oops, sorry” before stepping aside out of its way.  Of course, I also tell lamps and tables to be still when they wobble. I mean, it’s only polite for them to behave well too, right?

As a kid, I had some kind of OCD-like thing where if I kissed one stuffed animal goodnight, I’d have to kiss them all. I didn’t want anyone feeling left out. Now, in therapy, I learned that this may have come from feeling left out myself (Okay, I didn’t actually need therapy for that realization!), but even though I’m (mostly) over that, I still care that nobody gets left out. This can be a problem when having social gatherings and wanting to keep them small, but that’s a blog for another day.

The point is that while I know, I swear to you I do, that Siri is not my friend, I’m going to keep on saying please and thank you and other sweet things. Maybe it will catch on, and people will remember how to say these things to one another, too. Maybe then we will have paradise right here on Earth and rainbows will flow from my coffee cup and sprinkles will rain from the sky, and… anyway, it’s not the worst kind of crazy to be. Join me?


  1. Nancy Richards

    I say “thanks or thank you” to Siri all the time and get a nice reply. Once, however, I used a swear word while she was listening in during directions and got a message “I don’t talk to you that way.” I was almost afraid to ask her for anything for a while. ;-) Incidentally, I am sorry that you felt left out Liesl. That’s not a pleasant thing to experience. :-(

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