Friday, March 02, 2012

Skype me

Skype is great.

When we first moved to Los Angeles, we carried my laptop around our new patio and house using Skype to “show” our families our new digs. Based on their reactions when they actually experienced our new digs in person, Skype likes to make things seem bigger than they really are.

My Minnesota girlfriends Skyped me in for our Christmas party at the end of which, I actually put on my first-ever, newly purchased skinny jeans to dance around my living room hoping my friends could get the idea. Did they look OK? Did they look ridiculous? Should I return them? But they were cheap. And if the bigger-then-reality thing is true, they said I looked great, but they were probably thinking, wow, her thighs have gotten much thicker!

Oh, and there was the time when B and I thought it’d be fun to begin our marriage with seven months of Skyping while he was away at training. Yes, that was a good time!

But have you ever noticed—or maybe it’s just us—Skype never goes smoothly. Never. You set a date/time with your family or friends, and something doesn’t work. One party can’t see the other. Or one party can’t hear the other. Or it freezes. Or one party’s words don’t match their mouths and it’s really hard to follow. Or it sounds like one party is in a cave or a bubble or outer space. Or when B was at training, and for some reason he was always jaundice. The screen would always be this sick yellow color. We never did figure it out.

A couple weeks ago, B and I Skyped with some family members, except we couldn’t see them. They could see us, but we couldn’t see them. We could hear each other though. I suggested just talking on the phone as Skype wasn’t working appropriately but the idea was thrown out because the other party was happy as a clam…they could see us without having to look at themselves in a little box the whole time. Meanwhile on our end, we talked into a computer screen, staring at ourselves the whole time. This also happened to be a day or two after the first bob haircut. Awful. 

It’s funny, too, when new-to-Skype users log in and then don’t understand why the other party isn’t there. So they’ll call or text and say, hey, I thought you had a Skype account. Where are you? Well, not at my computer, logged in to Skype, just waiting for one of my friends or family to come on! I guess some people probably are though.

I can’t knock Skype too much because as I’ve said, it affords a much more personal connection with friends and family who are many miles away. But it is a funny phenomenon. And now even my 87-year-old, very-hip grandpa has joined the more than 405 million people across the world who have a Skype account.