While many of my friends have a rough time maintaining a long distance romantic relationship, I tend to puzzle and cringe over handling the long distance relationship with the folks that made me. See, I live all the way across the country and I barely see my family anymore — which blows, because I really love them. Unfortunately, I have not been blessed with a Scrooge McDuck-sized fortune and cannot fly home at a moments notice. I fly back to NYC a few times a year, for random amounts of time. The solution to my absence has been to Skype with my parents.
Skyping with my family is a test of sheer willpower. Everything will go wrong and every awkward possible thing will happen. I don't know if it's a scientific thing related to entropy or just my bad luck, but I have never had a glitch-free Skype session with the parentals. Technology in general is a very tricky thing. If you think about it, what we get to do on a moment's notice has not been around for more than a few years! No one in the early 1900s could FaceTime with their family back in England! They would just have to patiently wait to find out how an election went, a war ended, or if a family member arrived at their destination. I would love to take a second to appreciate modern technology but it seems like too many things are going wrong. So here is my list of awkward things we all inevitably have while Skyping your parents:
1. Explaining To Your Parents That No, You Cannot Skype Them Right This Second
Even before you actually talk to your family, things will get awkward. Taking the time to really explain why you cannot Skype right this second with your mother is torturous. I don't want to tell her that my personal grooming schedule demands hours. She birthed me so I feel terrible putting her off until I am free. In fact, scheduling a time to talk to my family never really works. Instead I usually end up...
2. Getting Ambushed With A Skype Session
Since scheduling has become impossible, the more awkward option has arrived. Being ambushed with a Skype call or a FaceTime session is as awkward as awkward gets. You might be in a car with a human you like, or at a movie with that one friend who loves to scream answers to a movie trivia quiz. Either way you have to politely excuse yourself and answer that loud call coming through your computer/phone. This technique is effective and something your parents developed through evolution.
3. They Forgot Their Login
Even if you planned to talk to your loved ones there will be obstacles to overcome. My favorite is the scramble to figure out their login information for a half hour. Somehow it was your responsibility to remember their passwords. Don't worry, usually it all resolved itself because they used your name and birthdate in a loving tribute. How can you stay upset when you find that out?!
4. Adding You On Skype
If it's your first time Skyping, you might have to go through the awkward of having them add you as a friend. You will have to breakdown each step for them until you can finally talk face to computer screen.
5. Their Video In Blank
Inevitably, your amazing story of how you met Hugh Grant will be interrupted by someone pressing the mute video button. The next five minutes will be a lot of yelling and cursing as you watching them try to figure out why the video cut out.
6. The Volume Is Way Low
I think telling your parents that you can't hear them is very awkward. Especially when everyone starts making jokes about you being the young one. You will have to awkwardly laugh about it while your insides burn with passion.
7. The Volume Is Way Too High
Maybe you are dealing with the opposite phenomenon, where your parents over estimated how loud their voices can be over Skype. You press the "talk" button and all of a sudden you feel the insides of your ears start to bleed. I love my family, but I also love the perks of being able to hear.
8. They Will Make Comments About Your Room
My friends bought be a ring toss game at a sex shop for my birthday. The origin of the gift should explain why it was in the shape of a penis. Unfortunately, this was something I had to explain to my mother over Skype because it was in the background of my video. Let the Awkwardness Award go to me this year.
9. You Look Tired, Sweetheart...
Being ambushed by a call can also mean not looking your best. I look tired because I haven't slept the last two nights, but thank you for pointing it out!
10. Everyone Will Try To Cram Into Frame
I just want to talk to someone for a quick minute or two, but that never ends up happening. Instead I have to watch every family member squeeze into the frame in order to make that penis ring toss comment. Sorry Grandma, this was all my friend's doing.
11. The Picture Cuts The Tops Of People's Heads
Even if they manage to get everyone into frame, someone's head will get cut off. You will be staring into someone cleavage you did not ask to see or you will be looking straight into their noses because of the angle.
12. They Will Walk Away In The Middle Of A Conversation
Once I was in the middle of a story when my father got up and left the room. He came back with a Yankee tree decoration and proceeded to act like nothing happened. Awkwardness maximum level reached.
13. Can You See Me? Can You Hear Me?
Instead of talking, you will have to deal with at least five instances of your family making sure you can hear and see them.
14. Who Is That?
If a roommate or significant other walks by, that will become the topic of conversation. I hate having to explain why my roommate doesn't wear a shirt but because of Skype I have to!
15. Call Drops A Million Times
I don't know what is more awkward — reminding your parents not to Skype from the basement in fear of a dropped call, or having to repeat the same story six times because the dropped call thing actually happened. One day I will make up my mind...
16. Kissing The Camera
Your parents will kiss the camera as they say goodbye — they might even hug it. Because you love them, you will put up with the awkwardness of having to put your arms around an inanimate object as you part ways. Oh technology, when will you be less weird and embarrassing?
Images: ABC, Giphy (16)