Oh dear, I’m traumatised.
What happened I hear you say? (I have a good imagination). Well as I was happily going about enjoying last Friday night, I received a facebook message that stopped me in my tracks. It was from the husband of one of my oldest friends. She lives in the US and was to celebrate a big birthday on Saturday. His request was simple, could I please send her a skype video message?
Aw, I thought, what a lovely thing for him to organise for her.
Filled with happy thoughts for my friend I began to imagine her receiving messages from those here in Ireland who would miss her big day. However as time passed I began to think more practically. I’d to send a video. Sweet Jesus a video, in which I can be seen, and I can be heard, with my mismatch of accents, and a face meant for radio. Yikes. I don’t even do photos and if I’m asked to smile for the camera I’ve been known to say, ‘Sorry I’m in witness protection’. Now I’d committed to a video!
However this lady means the world to me. I’d no choice, so I set about investigating the logistics of what I’d agreed to do.
Firstly, get skype.
I set about this and it was surprisingly easy. Bursting with pride at how high tech I was, I added the contact details I’d been given and yahoo ready. However it was a little unsettling, and a bit too real, when my new skype buddy immediately typed ‘Hi’. Was he now sitting there awaiting my video? Well good luck to him if he was, because he’d have a long wait. I’d no clue how to even begin.
At the corner of the screen I spotted a video camera. What an eejit I was, obviously just click that and I’d be sorted. So I clicked it. Nothing. I tried numerous times and various other buttons before deciding it must be my laptop. Taking a few good slugs of wine, to calm my nerves, I reached for my husbands laptop and joined skype all over again.
All was going well until it refused to let me move on without identifying myself by saving a photo. For Gods sake I looked ninety. However for the sake of my buddy I’d little choice, so moaning loudly I picked any old photo and moved on.
At last I was back to the part where I could once again see the video camera. My youngest had decided to join me having arrived for the photo shoot. I straightened myself up, fake smiled at the screen, pressed the camera and action…
Ring, ring, ring.
‘Feck what’s happening?’ I shouted pressing the video camera a million times.
‘You’re phoning him’ shrieked my daughter, bursting her sides laughing.
‘Stop it’ I roared.
Ring, Ring, ring.
‘Do something!’ I yelled as my daughter wiped tears of laughter from her cheeks.
Just then the ringing stopped.
I looked at myself in the little screen.
‘Look at the cut of me. My hair looks like it’s painted on my head’ I said to my still laughing daughter. ‘I think I’ll have to change this jumper, I look like someone in the midst of an apparition the light is shining off it so brightly’. So off I went. I chose a dark pink slightly dressy jumper, which made me look a lot less pasty and I confidently sat behind my laptop again.
‘Oh no, will you look at me now I look topless!’ I said. My jumper was a wide neck, too wide for the small screen. So off I went for outfit number three. My new criteria was a jumper which didn’t make me look terminally ill or as if I’d forgotten to get dressed.
At last I returned to continue my birthday skype message, an hour after beginning. I decided the wise thing to do was to warn my new contact that he was not to answer me no matter how often I rang him. He kindly assured me he’d had a similar difficulty that morning.
Thanks to youtube I soon discovered the error of my ways and having banished my youngest, I was at last sitting ‘pretty’. I was assured I could preview whatever I recorded, so with the help of the remainder of my glass of wine I began to relax and sat for a moment to think what I wanted to say to this friend of mine.
I wrote a post to her recently after she lost her dad, but this was different. What do I say in three minutes to someone who has had a huge impact on my life, who was part of so many happy memories as we nursed together, and who walked beside me, holding my hand on the darkest of days when we said good bye to my dad?
After much thought I decided this was not the time for such heartfelt thoughts. This was her birthday, the first without her dad. She needed something lighter. So I ran back upstairs and found a couple of old photos of the two of us. You know those embarassing old photos which you look back at and wonder what were you thinking? Well I found two of those and returned to my new friend Skype. The time for thought was over. Without any rehearsal I recorded my piece, not caring what I looked or sounded like. This wasn’t about me, it was a simple message from me to her on her special day.
Thankfully I have no memory of what I ended up saying last Friday night, but here on my blog, without the distraction of my face, I would like to repeat part of my message,
Especially to you ‘mo chara mo chroí’
And to the rest of you reading it’s official, I will never, ever be a vlogger.