My parents have Facetime, so don’t be naked

Posted on April 11th, 2012

Illustration Copyright David Castillo Dominici

My parents just got new iPads. Now before you wonder why I’m telling you this, let me just say one thing. My parents are no technological wizards – but they aren’t afflicted with a disease I like to call we-think-we’re-technological-whiz-kids-but-really-we-don’t-know-a-thing-about-technology-and-can-barely-use-the-TV-remote.

No, my parents can operate a remote. It’s Harry’s parents that have issues with all those buttons. Seriously. They once called us to ask why they had no sound on their TV. Fortunately, Junior was visiting at the time and successfully found the MUTE button for them. He was 9. And this is why nobody wants them to have a cell phone that could in any way be labeled as “smart.” Also? Why they have a 7-year old computer that is only used to decorate their office. How they managed to raise an engineer (Harry) is seriously up for debate.

But back to my parents. While my parents are usually able to operate the remote for their TVs and they have been quite able to get what my 90-year old grandma calls “that nice Siri lady” from their iPhones to be polite to them and not to recommend where my father might find an escort service, my parents do have a technological disease. It’s called oh-it’s-the-latest-gadget-and-I-must-have-it-and-then-annoy-the-entire-planet-with-it.

Seriously. It’s a very common disease and you probably know someone suffering from it. Someone like me, in fact.

The second day after my parents received their shiny new iPads, they discovered Facetime. For those of you not familiar with it, Facetime is the thing we all read about in science fictions novels in the 80s and were terrified would come true. Yes, I’m talking videophones here.  And yes, I know they had them on their iPhones, but my parents are not spring chickens. The tiny screens prevented any facetime happening because honestly? There is a reason my dad needs a 50-inch TV to sit two feet from him.

So the first time they facetimed me (and yes, I know “facetime” is not a verb), was 8 AM on a Sunday morning. My parents live in Texas and for them it was 10 AM. They’d already been up for half the day. I, on the other hand, had just gotten out of the shower and put my giant, black cast back on my arm when they called.

Have I mentioned I was only wearing an arm cast? Because that’s all I was wearing. And yet, I still answered for one very important reason. They are my parents. If they are calling at 8 AM on Sunday, something is wrong.

Turns out that something was my parents’ ability to tell that it was two hours earlier in California.

And after they said “hello” and confirmed that nothing was wrong, the only thing I could do was scream, “I’m naked!” To which my father replied. “Yes, we know. The camera is on you.” And mom added, “You should put on a robe before you answer the phone. Now show Dad your arm so he knows how big your scar is.”

And that’s when I hung up. I mean, honestly, isn’t that what any sane person would do when confronted with a videophone at 8 AM Sunday when they weren’t dressed?

Turns out after torturing me, they moved on to torture my sister, who was dressed. And the next day, they called me again, just so my grandmother could see me. Luckily, I was dressed. However I didn’t have makeup on, which caused my grandmother to ask if I was ill, ask to see the scar on my arm and follow that up with, “these aren’t the most flattering cameras, are they?”

Imagine what she would have thought the day before. No, wait, don’t. I wouldn’t everyone to suffer the way I’ve been suffering. Anyway, the important thing here is this: all those years ago, in the 80s, I was so right to be frightened of videophones.

Because they are here now and there is no escaping them.

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8 Responses to “My parents have Facetime, so don’t be naked”

  1. Gina Smith Says:

    All I can say, it God Bless you! You answered their call, and did not scream, cuss out or banish them from your life, and still live to blog this! Thank you for sharing! I have not used facetime( mainly becuase I don’t have an IPad or phone) but I will say that webcams are not always the best inventions. A few years ago, my husband was deployed, I was on military duty at the same time, so my parents had our daughter at their house. My parents set up a webcam session with my husband, and I joined in. Well, needless to say, after a few hours we all logged off. Or thought we (read : I ) The next morning, my daughter hopped onto their computer and renewed the session with all of us. I was also just finishing a shower and dressing for the day. My daughter started chatting with me. My dad had no idea my daughter knew how to use the cam and chat (with voice. She is smart but at 3 typing and spelling were not her strong suits). He though she was just chatting away to herself. Nope. She was talking to me as I dressed for the duty day. That was when he walked into their room with the computer to find my girl. Oh , and he found me on the large monitor.. Atleast by that point, I had uniform pants, and a bra on while I pulled my hair into a bun. So I wasn;t completely naked. Though he was not happy to see the tatoo on my shoulder blade. And was a little shocked to see empty beer bottle by the bed and “something” else (hey, hubbys was deployed, no kids around). Needless to say, I changed the permissions and settings on web voice service and cleaned the room, and required a call ahead before next web chat. My parents still laugh about this. So does the family. I can laugh now, but I am still embarrassed.

  2. Laurie Says:

    @Gina, I love that :) Your daughter is a pretty smart girl! Thank goodness you were dressed, tho. I still can’t believe I answered the phone naked.

  3. Monica DeLaCruz Says:

    ha! this is my new favorite post title. excellent. the convo with your grandma nearly made me spit my coffee out. thanks for the laugh!

  4. Laurie Says:

    @Monica, Thanks! You should hear most of my convos with Grama. She’s a total kick at 90, and has absolutely no filter :)

  5. Kristi Says:

    Followed a BlogHer link to your post-hilarious. I always feel weird even breastfeeding in front of the video cam (while it’s off, obvi) just in case someone were to google chat me or something. I know I could choose not to answer but I’m afraid in a moment of panic I might end up exposing a little more than planned, like you!

  6. Laurie Says:

    Hi Kristi, thanks! I am terrified of online chat. When I first got my iMac with the camera built in, I asked my husband to tape over it so nobody could accidently see me writing in my jammies. Yeah, I’m paranoid and technologically stupid :)

    Thanks so much for reading my blog!

  7. Caraline Says:

    Ha! SO glad I’m not the only one with these kinds of issues! Only in my case it was my FIL and I didn’t stay on the line long enough to chat:

  8. Laurie Says:

    LOL. Thank goodness my FIL is technologically impaired :)

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