Categorized | Features, Laurie's Scribbles

Finally Making Peace with Alexa


Laurie’s husband, Randy, would rather have his toenails pulled out than listen to her meditation music mix on Alexa.

By Laurie Stone

At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this strange cylindrical object sitting on our kitchen counter, courtesy of my husband Randy. “Have a nice day,” it would say in a cool, female voice or give the local weather forecast or play whatever song we asked. Five years later, I’ve not only made peace with this cloud-based artificial intelligence device but have grown dependent on Alexa for three odd reasons.

As a Timer

It’s a little thing, but I had no idea what a chronology-driven creature I was, till I learned Alexa could help structure my day. “Alexa, set the alarm for 20 minutes” is a constant refrain. For some reason, I like doing things in 20-minute increments — reading, straightening the house, even talking to my husband (maybe I’m taking this too far).

Before Alexa, I was constantly glancing at the clock to see what I should be doing next. Now it’s nice to have someone else keeping its virtual eye on the minutes, like my own personal assistant, to remind me of appointments, chores or not to sit too long.

As My Own Radio Station

It started innocently enough. I got sick of having to think of music to play while making our bed or folding the laundry. So I started my own Alexa playlist and now easily have 100 songs. It’s fun. Every morning when I’m wiping down the kitchen, I’ll say, “Alexa, shuffle my playlist,” and there they are.

Sometimes I think I have every song I could possibly want, but there’s always more. The other night I watched a show taking place in 1960s Britain. Before I knew it, Herman’s Hermits’ There’s a Kind of Hushand Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying were added. Something tells me this list will never end.

As My Own Spa

By late afternoon, the day has caught up to me. If I feel anxious, I ask Alexa to play meditation music. Before I know it, sweet, ethereal strains of harp, piano and violin fill the room. Light and delicate, this music is perfect for my own sometimes fragile (depending on the news) mood

I know these slow, tinkly pieces aren’t for everyone. My husband, for example, would rather have his toenails pulled out than listen. “I feel like I’m checking into the Westin,” he says whenever he hears it. Fair enough, but I like it.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve grown fond of Alexa. Okay, she’s probably eavesdropping on every conversation we have, gathering secrets for Jeff Bezos. I console myself with the fact that we’re boring. If there are people listening, I picture them slumped over their desks by now, snoring.

Yes, Alexa has ingratiated herself into my life in good, unexpected ways.

I was going to recap, but the 20-minute timer went off. I must keep moving.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

One Response to “Finally Making Peace with Alexa”

  1. I’ve lived without Alexa so far and hope to continue to live without her.


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