I have realized that if you don't really care about sex and physical intimacy...you never have to see anyone in person anymore to have a relationship. If you don't mind that tactile void in your life, our technology has taken care of our everyday needs and companionships.
I was skyping with my daughter the other day, and seeing her on camera, as opposed to just speaking on the phone, gave me such pleasure...as it always does. I love seeing her face and looking into her eyes because it feels like we are right there with each other...except for the fact that she can't just stretch out her hand for a twenty. Works for me. And my house stays so much cleaner. And my food bill is lower and there’s no sisterly fighting…oops…sorry. Got off track a little. But what really made me realize that you can be miles away from someone and still have a close relationship, was right after I disconnected with my daughter, an old high school friend skyped me. We had never skyped before. We haven't seen each other in almost 40 years. In fact, we weren't even really friends until facebook. But through the miracle of social networking, we have become pretty close. It's just so odd. There's so much about social networking that's odd [in a positive light] and that's what made me think about being in the same place at the same time with people. It's really not necessary. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE being in physical proximity to people because I'm a hugger and a toucher and I just love that touchy feely kind of thing. (Hence...why I have a dog...she doesn't put restrictions on my hugs.)
But since I live relatively far from so many of the people I care for the most, I think social networking has rescued, or has the potential to rescue, many lonely people. And it does give you that feeling of immediacy and being in the now with each other.
I mean, who needs a real date? If you don't give two shits about ever having sex again for the rest of your life; never having that man touch you like no one else ever has, with long, deep kisses, his muscular arms wrapped tightly...oh sorry...got off track once again...then you can just skype with someone at any time and call it a relationship. You can communicate as if you’re right there next to him. And look at how much cheaper it is [well, for him maybe]. It’s amazing. You could go to the movies, hold your phone up to the screen, and have him watch with you, without ever purchasing a second ticket.
You have a built in date! You can eat your popcorn, drink your diet coke, pig out on milk duds and raisinets, maybe a few nachos, and no one is the wiser. Then after, once you wipe the evidence off your face, and try to pick up your bloated body out of your seat, you can discuss and critique the film when it’s over. And he's not aware of how you just pigged out and ate yourself into oblivion. [Although I'm not quite sure how you can manage holding the phone and eating all that with only one hand, without spilling something all over you.] But I digress again.
Then, if you’re not really into him, you don’t have to make excuses about wanting to go home and not wanting to go out for coffee or dessert after; (God forbid going for dessert, after what you just ate in the theater, you porker), or going back to your place for a little hanky panky (although who could have sex after all that crap you just inhaled.) You just say, "Ok, I’ve gotta go now. Can't drive and skype.” And that saves you the embarrassment of not wanting to kiss good night, if in fact, you don’t want to. It’s almost too perfect. And if you really do like the person, then it just builds up the excitement for when you actually are physically together, but still giving you more time with each other while apart.
If you just decide to sit home at night...you can talk to any person you want for companionship because someone else is always at home on a Saturday night, too. (Aren't they?) You really never have to be alone. Then when someone asks, "What did you do this weekend?" You just say..."Oh, I had a date with 'fill in the blank.'"
If only the elderly would be more open to learning all the technology we have at our fingertips. Think of all the ways they could keep their brains stimulated and keep active. If their families couldn't visit them too often because of their busy schedules, or because they're too f**king selfish to think of their parents there all alone in the assisted living places, [where they're actually probably more active then three quarters of the people half their age]...they could take 5 minutes to skype and say hi. And look how much grandma would have to look forward to without nagging at her family to come see her, or instilling that guilt that so many parents try to do to their kids without actually thinking that's what they're doing. Well, maybe 'thinking' isn't the right word. Trying to 'mask' it behind something else, I would say is more the case. But whatever...it's a win-win for everyone. The grandkids don't have to sit there bored out of their minds, for God only knows how long...they can just pop their little dirty faces in the camera and yell, "hi gramma" and the adults can talk for a few. How much easier and better can it be? The grandparents don't have to worry about leaving early to avoid all the traffic, because as we all know...no matter what time they leave, they will for sure hit traffic. And then if they are stuck in traffic...oh my god...what if they have to pee? Or run out of gas so they need to get gas first but what if there's no gas station close by that may be 3 cents less than they can get at home, so they travel 20 miles out of their way to save 30 cents, although they just spent $5 traveling to find the cheaper gas station. So this way...everyone is where they want to be and no one can f**king complain about it. Geez. (Wow...I just got worked up more than I realized. I'm exhausted, and I didn't even have to visit anyone yet.)
Of course, there are always a few downfalls to skyping that sometimes get in the way; especially when you haven't seen someone in a very long time and plan to "meet" on camera. There's always that lovely camera angle that makes you look like you're eating your nose. Your nose could be the size of a peanut, but yet...there it is...making an anchor like shape on your face in conjunction with your mouth. It looks like a fat carrot hanging down covering half your top lip, if your head is the least bit tilted downward or the camera is up too high. If the camera angle is too low...you end up with the chin that looks like the length of California. Always attractive. And if you keep your head down...you get that rolly polly neck thing going with the rippling effect. So basically...you look like this:
And you probably would never hear back from that 'friend' you haven't seen in 20 years.
And if you are hanging out in your pajamas or other comfy, clown looking clothes, no make-up on, hair piled on top of your head in some big lumpy moppy thing, or hanging down all stringy, hoping no one, and I mean no one, would ever see you...
...then you hear that distinctive skype ring and think...oh shit. It's someone you really want to speak to. Do you pick up? I've sat debating long enough where it finally stopped ringing. So I ran into my bathroom, quickly dabbed on a little make-up, changed my shirt, [because no one can really see you below the shoulders if the camera is set up right], brushed my hair, and called back that person. "Oh...I see you just called. I didn't hear it...isn't that strange? I must've been downstairs."
Then there is the fib. Well, another fib. You tell the grandparents that their grandchildren aren't home at the time of the skyping, because you know the kids would rather not talk, so you help them out. But you didn't make them aware that you were saying that, so they walk in, in the middle of your conversation. "I thought the kids weren't there?" [Said with that sarcastic let's instill the guilt tone]. "They must've just walked in." Oops.
But the advantages far, far outweigh the disadvantages. It’s been unbelievably exciting to reconnect with so many friends after all these years and not only audibly, but visually. Although I have to say, sometimes maybe we are better off just leaving the visuals to our imagination. If you notice, you have that choice on skype…Answer with audio only. Answer with audio and video. Those skype inventors…they knew what they were doing when they came up with that option…they must’ve had some dog ass ugly friends and family. Oh sorry…did I say that out loud?