Last year, at Wal-Mart’s Black Friday sale, I picked up a TomTom GPS for about $60. I’d wanted one for years and I couldn’t pass up that price. And it has definitely been a help finding places I haven’t been to before, with an occasional spectacular exception such as the time it took us along a railroad right-of-way and directed me to turn left onto a railroad track 50 feet overhead. And while the routes it plans do get me to where I want to go, they often are not the optimal routes.

But my husband and family have all relentlessly made fun of it, ignoring all the times it worked just fine and harping on the occasional exception. My 18-year-old son, in particular, laughed hysterically when he was going to Denver and I suggested he ask to take the GPS along – he’d rather call us whenever he gets lost and have us puzzle out from Google Maps where he should go. So when my husband and I planned a trip to Denver to take my son to a parkour event, I knew they would have fun razzing me about the GPS once again. Meanwhile, the little TomTom got me from my favorite dim sum place to the park and then across town to pick up some composting worms and back to the park … where my son announced I was going to lead a caravan to a parkour gym that no one knew where it was. Apparently after quite a bit of discussion about how to find it, my son said “My mom has a GPS” and volunteered me to get them there. Yes, this is the same son who has been making fun of it for almost a year … I pointed out that I at least need an address to plug into the GPS, but he did have an address, and I led two other cars through Denver roads to the gym. (There was a third car, but when I had to pull out of an exit ramp rather quickly, the third car didn’t keep up with me.) The GPS saves the day!

I also used the GPS to get to a restaurant for dinner, and then back onto I-25 heading home. And for some reason, no one made fun of it.

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