Face Time Up Close & Personal by Sharon O’Donnell

I remember not too long ago people said that ‘one day’ we could make phone calls to someone and see each other on a screen during our conversation. And I remember thinking then — “Why would anybody want that?” It seemed like an invasion of privacy that I wasn’t ready for.  Quite frankly, I don’t want to feel I have to always look halfway presentable in case someone calls. No with Face Time, the future is here. Of course, we can choose whether to be a part of a Face Time conversation or not, so it hasn’t taken over every call that comes in.  And I can see where situations like soldiers overseas being able to call home and SEE their families, and then there are other loved ones, too, who live far apart or don’t get to see each other a lot.  But this are phone calls that you CHOOSE.  Thank goodness we still have that choice.

I am not one who keeps my cell phone with me at all times. Sometimes I leave it in the car when I come in the house, and sometimes I’m not really sure where it is, but I know I’ll find it later.  I don’t have to have it attached to me all day like my college aged sons do.  So a few days ago, I happened to be sitting on the coach with my husband, and I picked up my cell phone that had been lying on a nearby table and discovered that someone had been calling trying to Face Time me. Three times they’d called already, and I hadn’t answered because I hadn’t heard the call since it was on vibrate. I didn’t recognize the number at all, and although I was curious, this was one of those  moments that I was relaxing and didn’t look my best, and I didn’t want any surprises like an old boyfriend calling out of the blue.  It had been a long day, and we were tired. My husband had had his second eye surgery in six months and was sitting on the couch beside me wearing a huge gauze pad over his left eye.  I had gotten home from work, gone by the grocery store, and then come home to cook dinner.  So afterwards there we were on the couch.  And ladies, I was tired and my eyes were itchy. Yes, I had done the thing with the palm of my hand where I scratched my eyes, ruining my eye make-up, which left me looking like Rocky Raccoon with dark smudges under my eyes.  I really didn’t want to be face timing anyone.  I surely wasn’t going to call them back.

Then my phone buzzed again.  Figuring it was probably a wrong number, I answered it. But not knowing how this whole thing worked, I thought there would be a little transition time, like I’d slide the screen to answer and then I’d hear a voice first and then a photo. Nope, there suddenly in front of me was the face of one of my 13-year-old’s friends. He smiled and WAVED, meaning he SAW me, raccoon eyes and all. Instinctively, I flipped the phone over to my husband, and said, “It’s Brandon, one of Jason’s friends.”     My husband, complete with gauze-pad-covered eye, looked into the phone screen, and said, “Hey, Brandon buddy, Jason’s not home right now.”  He then explained that Jason’s phone number was different from mine, and he gave the boy the correct number.  End of conversation.  Poor Brandon. We probably scared the crap out of him, looking like we did. This kind of thing is inherent with Face Time.  I’m really, really thankful that we didn’t have this technology when I was in high school and college during the ‘dating years’.  If I wanted to have Raccoon eyes or unkempt hair, then I could do it without the fear of having my phone ring and then someone see me. 

And our apologies to Brandon.

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