I’ll Be Seeing You… Or Not
“Hellooo?” shouted my mother, somewhere in the vicinity of her cell phone. She did not speak into the phone. She did not look at the phone. She aimed the phone at the ceiling and spoke at it.
“Mom, this is a video call,” I told her. “You have to look at the phone so we can see you!”
She relocated the phone so it was two inches from her face.
“Is that better?” she wondered.
“Yes,” I said. “If I want to look up your nostrils.”
“Well,” I can’t see you guys either,” she replied, lowering the phone and turning it around.
I sighed. “That’s because you have the phone facing the wrong way.”
Truthfully, I was not surprised that the video call wasn’t working out that well. My parents were late cell phone adopters. After fifteen years, we finally persuaded them to step up from a flip phone to a smart phone. But the joke was on us because my parents had so many issues with using their smart phones that they primarily just used them every hour to call us… for help with their smart phones.
This being the case, I was not optimistic when we suggested my folks Facetime with us and their grandkids. They were in Florida and the kids were in Texas and we were in New Jersey, so it seemed like a nice way for us all to connect. However, getting them to download the app and figure out how to use it took nearly a week and involved two phone techs, my husband, and a UPS delivery man who stopped by to deliver a package.
We finally got them all squared away and set up a time for our video call. But then my mother forgot to charge her phone and my dad dropped his in the toilet, so we had to reschedule.
The big day arrived, and everyone seemed to be in the right place, with the right app, and dry phones.
“Grammy,” said my son, “Hold the phone away from you and look at the screen.”
My mother did as told.
“Oh, there you are!” she said. She smiled, and then the screen went blank.
“I think she hung up on us,” I said.
“What gave you that idea?” said my husband.
We called her again. My mother’s mouth moved but no sound came out.
“Grammy,” said my daughter. “We can’t hear you. You have to unmute the phone.”
My mother did as told.
“Can you hear me now?” she asked. We nodded. She smiled, and then the screen went blank.
“I think she hung up on us again,” I said.
“What gave you that idea?” said both kids in unison.
The third time we called her, we got the ceiling again. In some respects, the call was a success because we could hear her and she didn’t hang up on us. It was also the first time I noticed my parents had a ceiling fan. However, it didn’t seem like this Facetime thing was really working out the way we’d hoped.
“Carol, give me the phone!” I heard my father say.
“I’ve got it,” she protested.
“No, you don’t. I’ll do it.”
“Fine! Here,” she said.
“Hey guys don’t worry, I know how to do this,” came my father’s disembodied voice from some place far, far away, which was probably the living room couch.
We saw the phone change hands, fall on the floor, get picked back up, spun around a few times, and then my father’s face appeared.
Shockingly, he looked a lot like a ceiling fan.
Note: Tracy’s new book, “Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble” is now available! W. Bruce Cameron, author of “A Dog’s Purpose says he is “…utterly charmed by the whole thing, cover to cover.” Get your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite online bookstore.