My kids have called me a lot of names, sometimes to my face, but usually under their breath as they are walking away from me. Recently however, I was called a name that just left me baffled.
Let me give you just a tiny bit of history. Since the creation of the iphone, I have coveted that device. During the early years after its inception, they cost was prohibitive. And, they had an exclusive contract with AT&T, to which I did not belong. Then, after years went by, and I had a variety of different phones, the iphone became available on the Verizon network. Oh joy. At long last, I could have the phone I had only dared dream of.
So Charlie bought me an iPhone for Mother's Day. What a great gift. Everything I always wanted in an electronic device. And don't get me started about Siri. The talking phone.
And an added benefit, a feature called Siri. If you don't have an iPhone, or you've never heard of Siri, it is officially Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Basically, Siri allows you to talk to your phone, and theoretically, Siri obeys your request. If you look at the Apple information online, or if you've ever seen a commercial about Siri, you might think this development could change the world, and it could.
One day, as I was driving around Randolph, UT searching for the high school so I could interview the valedictorian and salutatorian, I asked Siri for directions. It's awfully hard to read a map while driving, and I didn't want to waste time pulling over and asking for directions. So I asked Siri.
Her response? Siri said, “May I call you succulent?” What? That is what she said. Unsure what she meant, I responded, “Sure. Now can you locate Rich County High School?”
Siri said, “Yes, Succulent. It is on the right in one tenth of a mile.”
I was puzzled. Was she actually calling me succulent? Succulent? What does that mean? So I asked, “Siri, what does succulent mean?”
And she said, “I found this.” Onto the screen popped a definition of succulent: a plant adapted to arid environments, with fleshy water storing leaves.”
Hmmm. I have been called a lot of things in my life, but never succulent. I was momentarily insulted. Was Siri calling me fat? We'd never actually met, and I thought it was a little forward of her, to start calling me succulent.
Now, when I use Siri, she always says, “Yes Succulent. Your wish is my command.” When I say thank-you, Siri fires back, “I aim to please, Succulent.”
I've never heard of Siri giving other people nicknames, and to be honest, it's a little embarrassing. What am I going to say, “What does Siri call you? She calls me Succulent?” It would sound a lot like bragging. That's not to say that I'm not succulent.
I've since looked up the definition online, and I think I've found a few words I can live with: tender; luscious; fleshy.
Yep. That's me alright. Siri may have had a moment of insight, in her robotic life. When I asked her why she calls me succulent, she though I said, “Call Succulent,” and she dialed my phone. Talk about a moment of confusion.
So, rather than try to figure out why Siri calls me Succulent, I've decided to embrace this unexpected and unlikely moniker, and accept the fleshy, luscious, tender side of myself.
We all get called by a variety of names, nicknames, and pet names. Today, I challenge you to think about the names you call people, and seek to encourage and lift them up. Even if you do have to call them succulent.