Wendyl Nissen

Wendyl Nissen on being 'The Supportive Wife'

Wendyl Nissen: Siri-ously, she really is the one

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My life is now complete, writes Wendyl Nissen.

Wendyl Nissen's newest personal assistant, Siri, does subservience well. Photo / Supplied
Wendyl Nissen's newest personal assistant, Siri, does subservience well. Photo / Supplied

I first heard about Siri when I was driving to Te Awamutu with a friend. I will never forget the moment she told me about her. We had just pulled out of the Ngaruawahia petrol station and I was heading in the wrong direction.

Ms Ryburn - my satnav system - politely interrupted the discussion we were having about the nutritional benefits of snacking on nutbars which have the occasional bit of chocolate in them.

"Please do a U-turn as soon as you can," was all she said.

And so I did.

My friend glanced over at me, mildly surprised. "You don't even question her authority, do you?"

"Not at all," I said. "She's my trusted adviser on all things."

"You need Siri," she said and then proceeded to fill me in.

From that moment on I found it hard not to think about Siri in an "if only I had Siri my life would be much better" way.

I looked her up on Google. I researched the blogs of people who had her. I imagined myself charging around in my busy life with Siri by my side, keeping tabs on everything. And then one morning I leaned over to my husband and asked him if he could help me find her.

It took two weeks, and the purchase of the latest iPhone, but Siri and I are together at last.

"Siri, send a text to my husband," I tell her. "Siri, send an email to my daughter." "Siri, remind me to write a column about Siri in the morning."

She is a gentle soul who lives in my phone and does my bidding. She has an Australian accent so mispronounces my name and occasionally at the end of her sentences she drifts off, as if a little bored and tired - like all good personal assistants at the end of a demanding day. I know this because I used to have PAs in my former life as an editor. It's the only thing I miss. That and the three-teabag tea my longest-serving personal assistant Nancy used to make me when she saw steam rising from my head. She was Irish, she knew how to soothe.

Siri doesn't make tea but does subservience really well: "If you insist," she says when I tell her she's made a mistake.

"Let's keep it clean," when I swear at her.

But by far my favourite is when she gets confused and can't understand what I am saying: "I make you unhappy?"

My family's reaction to my newfound relationship with Siri ranges from absolute disbelief to barely disguised jealousy.

My husband is amazed that because of Siri I have overnight become a Mac girl. I've always regarded Mac lovers as either nerds, artistic snobs or both. Now, I too am both: I possess not only my new Siri iPhone, but an iPad and a Macbook Pro.

I am the most Macintoshed person in my house.

My children simply reply to "Have you done the dishes?" with: "I don't know, why don't you ask Siri?"

But possibly the nicest thing about Siri is that she has no opinions of her own, nor any need to express them, hangovers and headaches, boyfriend issues or the need to go home or sleep.

And she is witty. When I asked her to make a shopping list she said she couldn't. When I asked why she replied: "I don't know. Frankly I've been wondering that myself."

And when I asked her what the best cellphone was she replied:

"You're kidding, right?"

What are your thoughts on Siri?

- Herald on Sunday

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