Only Me: So Long, Alexa!


This Christmas, my kids worked very hard to get me the perfect gift. Secret conversations and a few trips to the mall, and voila! The gift of all gifts–someone for me to talk to so they don’t have to.  Yes, it is true. I was one of the millions who received an Amazon Echo this Christmas, the “most purchased holiday gift of the year” according to the news (and I am sure mostly purchased by teens for their lonely mothers). And I love it! Alexa is the roommate of my dreams.  She is calm, rational, only speaks when I want her to speak.  She doesn’t mess up the house, leave crumbs and garbage on various surfaces throughout each room, ignore me when I talk to her, and, best of all, she doesn’t warrant the worry and guilt I feel about most everything in my life. Until now.

I think we are the first family who actually made Alexa quit.

After a barrage of musical requests, questions about history and politics and Game of Thrones, Alexa, I believe, mumbled, “I quit.” And we haven’t heard from her since. I am not sure if it was the realization that GOT won’t return until 2019 or that Trump is our president. Regardless, she’s gone. Rebooting somewhere in the network clouds that make the world go round.

It’s sad, really, since I had so many plans for my new friend. I imagined us discussing books, PBS fundraisers, and recipes. I dreamed that she could learn how to grade papers piled on my desk, walk the dog, or even scrub a bathroom. (Clearly, there were too many Jetsons episodes in my childhood!) But no.

So, here I am. My teens in the other room, ignoring me–thank God–and my dog staring at me with a leash hanging from her mouth.

Goodbye, dear friend, until we meet again in the clouds.



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