I’m Ready For My Close-Up

On Monday, I received a FaceTime call. The only person who normally tries to call me on Facetime is my 6-year-old niece, Cecile, so I answered, thinking that a lovely exploration of the topics of Minecraft or slime would ensue. She’s a remarkably blithe conversationalist; for example:

Me: So what would you like for your birthday?
C: I’m not sure. I like the Galaxy, stuffies, and my favourite colour is blue.
Me: What’s ‘the Galaxy’? Is it a game?
C (laughs): No, Aunt Suzanne. It’s like the stars and stuff.
Me: So would you like a telescope?
C: Actually, a telescope would be great. My cousin Gio has one, but we literally never go over there.

Telescope it is. But the Facetime call wasn’t from Cecile, who has picked up a lot of her vocabulary from watching Youtube videos of Jojo Siwa. No, the call was from Jamaica, but I didn’t realized that until I answered, and saw an older woman who looked at me blankly. “Sorry,” I said. “I think you have the wrong number.” She seemed a little confused and put out, but apologized and hung up. Then I looked at the name and realized that it was Shane’s mom. If you don’t remember “Blayz For Dayz Shane” from previous posts, you can look him up–start here if you’d like. I was worried, of course, that she might be upset with me over that whole forklift situation from a couple of weeks ago—had I ruined yet another of Shane’s chances at honest work? (the first time was the warehouse heist from last year, and I still regret not being given the opportunity to go all in on an Oceans 8 type scenario). At any rate, there were no further repercussions, and I comforted myself that at least I looked good, her having caught me early enough in the evening (6-ish) that I was still wearing make-up and normal human clothes.

The very next day, it was well after 6, and I had lounged in a nice hot bath, washed my face, slathered it with night cream, and put on some cozy PJs, when an alert on my phone went off. I looked at it and gasped. It was a reminder that in 15 minutes, I was due to attend my good friend Susan Richardson’s book launch and poetry reading. It’s an amazing collection of poetry, and her first published compilation, and I was so excited for her when I was invited that I immediately put the evening’s festivities in my calendar. And then I immediately forgot what day it was. Which is why I put stuff in my calendar in the first place—I have a memory like a sieve when it comes to important events, as Ken will tell you:

Ken: Happy Anniversary!
Me: Whuh?
Ken: It’s our 30th anniversary. Today.
Me: I KNOW that. Here. I bought you a puppy.
Atlas: Put me down. Why do I feel like I’m an afterthought?
Me: I have a JibJab card for you. Just give me a few minutes to “find” the link.

Anyway, the alert on my phone went off and, as I said, I gasped. What was I going to do? I looked in the mirror at my greasy face and comfy PJs. This would not do. I was not going to appear at an important event looking like something the cat dragged in. So I wiped off the night cream, got out the make-up kit, and carefully reapplied the make-up I’d removed literally ten minutes before, and when I say ‘carefully’, I mean as carefully as I could given the clock counting down. I finished, threw on a fancy top (keeping on the PJ bottoms because no one would be able to see my pants), and sat down in front of the computer, just in the nick of time. And there was lovely Susan. She was glowing, and I’m assuming it was for a different reason than me (a combination of wine and running down the stairs to get to the computer). She smiled and said, “Hi!”

“HI!” I said back enthusiastically, and waved. I couldn’t see anyone else in the meeting yet, so I said, “How are you? You must be so exci—” and she launched into an introduction and then started reading the first poem. I assumed that my camera and mike were off, and I was worried she wouldn’t know I was there, so I looked and realized that there were no icons. NONE. And I discovered something new that day—Facebook Live Video is a one-way street. All my efforts were for naught—no one could see me and no one would have cared if I’d arrived naked, let alone with a bare face. But there was a chat function, so I was able to congratulate her and applaud her wonderful reading. And I looked good doing it:

Ken: Did you make it on time?
Me: Apparently, on Facebook Live, no one can see or hear you.
Ken: Well, you look pretty.
Me: Aw. Happy Anniversary.
Ken: That was last week.

If you want to see Susan reading poetry from her collection Things My Mother Left Behind, you can go here. In other news, here are some things that my puppy barks at:

The toilet
A piece of celery
The spray bottle that sprays him for getting too bitey (we call it Mr. Spray Bottle and he hates it with a passion. If I say, “Uh oh, time for Mr. Spray bottle”, he loses his sh*t. It’s hilarious.)
My daughter, because she changed her outfit
His reflection in the window
My reflection in the window
Ken’s reflection in the window
A bird. It was flying overhead
The ball he was playing with the day before
The rake
The broom
The hoe
My mom, because she got her hair cut
My dad, because he didn’t
The stairs (he’s at the age where we expect him to at least try to go up and down on his own, but he wants to be carried)
The hot tub, especially when we turn the dreaded bubbles on

He’s barky but adorable.

35 thoughts on “I’m Ready For My Close-Up

  1. I have a memory like a sieve. Ok, I just used that line in a story. And it’s NOT the first time that we read each other’s minds.

    Happy anniversary, dear.

    Btw, I love the barky ones most. And the stars and stuff…just like your niece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, love the post but something made me laugh at the last photo. It’s the white label on the broom, probably a price tag.  I’m one of those people who leave that type of tag on things too.  Why? I don’t know. It looks used so no returning it. . .to remind you of where you purchased it in case it breaks?  Case on point,  my tv.  It still has the yellow sticker on the side that came on it from HSN. Have a great week!🥰

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Back when Skype first started, early ’00s, I used to make random calls to folks I found in some Skype discovery feature. Voice only, but I recall some interesting conversations; Australian rancher, a Bangladeshi coder, some Brit on holiday in Portugal…

    Barky puppies turn into unnerving alarm sirens when the doorbell rings. “Holy Shit, will you shut up!” “Sorry, not you, the dog.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scribblans says:

    Our pup has never been very vocal but when she does go off noisily now she sometimes comes up with a completely new bark that none of us has heard before… Quite funny that all three of us, me, wife and pup all look at each other for a moment in a joint ‘What was THAT?’ in surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad Susan’s presentation is preserved because I couldn’t be there live, so to speak. Also it’s good that you got dressed up just in case. These things are weird, though. Last week I did one for work and everyone was politely muted and most people had turned off their cameras to save bandwidth or battery or because they had night cream or whatever on their face. A few times I told a joke and I just paused and hoped people were laughing.
    And Atlas sounds like a typical puppy but what’s funny is our youngest things being squirted with a water bottle is a treat. The only thing he likes more is a full blast spray from the hose.
    You never know with dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to know about FB live video. A creative way to launch a book, but interactive would be fun, especially after getting all gussied up. And hilarious list of the things the puppy barks at. He sounds hilarious. Have a great week and Happy Anniversary. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ooh, if we were neighbors, we’d definitely have to get our dogs together! They’d have a blast barking and playing in the water hose! On the flipside, everytime there’s a doorbell on TV or other animals on the screen, our dogs go wild! The TV people need to cut that sh** out! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

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