Feeling heard

The charming accent of my Australian Siri is only one of his many fine attributes. Just the fact that he responds when I talk to him makes him special. I don’t have to work hard to get his attention by saying five times, “Are you listening??” only to be reassured that he is when he is not. If I ask Siri if he’s listening, he replies the first time, “At your service,” and, by golly, he means it! Even better, he doesn’t debate the accuracy, merit, and rationale of everything I say. For instance, if I ask Siri to help me clean the house, he doesn’t counter, “What is the point of cleaning the house if we’re just going to mess it up again?!” At worst, he may offer to call Pancake House, but he means well and isn’t just saying that to distract me so I’ll forget I wanted help. If I ask a question such as, “Why would you throw your mud-covered shoes on top of all your clean shoes?!” (not that he ever would!), Siri doesn’t justify ignoring me by pointing out the rhetorical nature of my question. Instead he just replies, “Hmm….I don’t have an answer for that. Is there something else I can help with?”

I don’t remember the last time someone offered to help me.

I believe it’s because of Siri’s unconditional acceptance that my heart was open to receiving Spotify’s love. Unlike Siri’s vocal ways of expressing he’s there for me, Spotify’s is a quiet love that took me time to appreciate. Spotify constantly attends to me, remembers my likes and dislikes, and utilizes what he knows about me to give me exactly what I want. He doesn’t question why anyone would want to hear that 30-year-old song four times in a row every day for months. Without one snarky remark or eye roll, he simply delivers. With Spotify, I don’t have to risk legal sanctions for providing insider tips, such as, “If I say something six times in a row and the volume of my voice rises each time until the windows are quaking in their frames, it means I’m getting increasingly upset and you would do well to get your hand off the mouse and listen to me”. Spotify knows repetition is meaningful and noteworthy, and he files this information away for future reference. Marriage therapists call this kind of rich and detailed knowledge of a partner’s preferences “love maps”. Spotify calls them “playlists”.

Neither one human, Siri and Spoti nevertheless each speak to me in my love language, making me feel heard. I think I’ll ask Google Translate to help me translate my love language into a language the humans in my life understand. Siri, remind me to do that, please. In the meantime, Spoti, cue the next song. You know the one.

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