Zoom is Slowly Destroying My Soul (and other tales from the dark side)

Okay, let’s put this out there from the start: we are all going through some truly insane times right now.

I don’t know about you, but overnight I went from bitching about the lack of a good bagel in Maine to sitting in terror watching the nightly news as a steady stream of blood spurts from my eyes. It’s a bit much to process.

So to catch up anyone who hasn’t heard–it’s pretty much a Stephen King novel 24/7 now. A real shit show. I don’t mean to trivialize any of the true life horrors that are happening. I am very much aware of the pain and suffering experienced by people right now. This post is meant to, if even for a brief second, lift you out of those heavy dark times. I hope. I’m not promising anything because I’m just winging it here…

…like this sudden transition into Zoomageddon.

I zoom pretty much all the time now. I zoom with my co-workers, my boss, my friends, my family, my dentist. If you aren’t familiar with Zoom, it’s basically like having a party. Only in a Brady Bunch format. With people you don’t like. In bad lighting. Throw in a massive dose of awkwardness and self-consciousness and you still haven’t come close to the soul-sucking magic of Zoom.

I’ve noticed there are some definite Zoom personalities:

The Techie Show-off

9 Travel-Inspired Zoom Backgrounds for Your Next Meeting

We get it, you’re on a beach in Aruba and you live in the Taj Mahal. We all know you’re just trying to cover up the fact that your living room is littered with empty Twinkie wrappers and tequila bottles.

The Tech Fail This was me at my last “check-in” with my supervisor at work.

I like Harry Potter and I’m an asshat!

The Never Mutes This person’s face repeatedly takes center stage with every minor throat clearing and fake chuckle. Also, we can hear your kids screaming, dog barking, and UPS driver yelling that your order of 50 liters of pure CBD oil has arrived.

The Barely Keeping Their Shit Together

Everything’s fine!

The Always Looking at Themselves Instead of Everyone Else “Oh my gawd! Why didn’t anyone tell me that I have three effing chins?!”

The Corporate Suck-up Convinced that the only way to keep their job is to spew an endless barrage of bullshit. “If my boss hears me yapping, she won’t furlough me, right?!”

The You-Just-Know-They’re-Naked-Below-the-Waist

Thaaaaaat’s right.

**************************************

Stupid Human Tricks

On the plus side, now that all of us stupid humans are staying home because we’re colossal morons who can’t stop touching our faces, the world’s environment has been drastically altered back to its more natural state.

Venice canals clear as residents self-isolate amid coronavirus ...
Venice canals are crystal clear.
Photos show animals roaming empty streets during coronavirus ...
Throngs of cheeky monkeys roam empty streets.

And back home in Maine…let’s just say I’ve decided to shun the conventional societal norms involving excess facial hair…

The Actor Who Plays The Bearded Lady In 'The Greatest Showman' Has ...
All the rules must be broken now!

***************************************

My own version of “flattening the curve”

How to Flatten the Curve on Coronavirus - The New York Times

I am proud to announce that by enthusiastically going braless for 52 days straight, my droopy boobs have flattened and permanently migrated south to warmer climates…where they will no doubt dry up and die, only to return with a vengeance in the winter months.

It’s incredible how quickly I shunned the evil knocker locker. Before the word “lockdown” had escaped our governor’s lips, my bra was already fluttering to the floor in a heap. The girls were free at last!

I stopped at the local Grab & Get the Hell Out grocery store last week. While standing in that dreary 6-feet-apart Hunger Games line eagerly waiting for my turn to snap up the last can of pickled turnips, I suddenly realized, holy shit! I’m not wearing a bra! And sure…I’m makeup-free and I have a unibrow and a beard and you know what? I don’t give the teeniest rat’s ass because at least I’m wearing my cloth mask made out of my 1988 Van Halen Monsters of Rock tour t-shirt, goddammit!

********************************

Getting Crafty with COVID-19!

Masks made out of discarded bras and coffee filters. Oven mitts for gloves. And let’s not forget how creative we have to be now that places we once took for granted are closed until further notice.

Last week I gave a buzz cut to my dear husband of 20 years. Nothing says love like having your wife’s pinot grigio breath in your face as she steadies her shaky hands and presses cold steel clippers to your quivering scalp.

As luck would have it (I couldn’t make this up if I tried) my husband cracked his tooth on popcorn about a month and a half ago. He’s not in a lot of pain. Yet. The dentist has canceled and rescheduled his visit twice already.

He’s okay for now. But for some reason I see this in my future:

How to deal with a tooth infection? - The Great Outdoors Stack ...

So I’m a hairstylist and a dentist now.

Anyone have a rusty ice skate handy?

**********************************

And how are you all doing?

40 thoughts on “Zoom is Slowly Destroying My Soul (and other tales from the dark side)

  1. Hilarious! I never wear a bra on Sunday but right now that’s most days too. Your hubs is a lucky man. I couldn’t even trim my guy’s hair and shorten his sideburns without messing it up! Fingers crossed the dentists are back in business before long…

    1. Funny story, a few years ago I was a medical assistant. We had to bring in guinea pigs/victims to lab class so we could practice drawing blood and I dragged in my poor husband. Jamming a needle into his vein in front of my instructor and entire class was easier than giving him a haircut.

  2. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to shave my head myself for many years now. I feel for everyone who needs/wants to get a hair cut / coloring, etc! Loved this line: “Only in a Brady Bunch format. With people you don’t like. In bad lighting.”

    As someone who has been stuck managing and administering Zoom calls and webinars on a daily basis now for work, I have enjoyed the funny “Zoom fails”. I collected a bunch here.
    https://lifeafter40.net/hilarious-examples-of-video-conference-call-fails-while-in-quarantine/

    1. That’s good you can shave your own head…I think I might tell my husband to try that. Now that I did such a good job with the buzz cut he wants me to cut it every month and I’m like, “Honey, there’s not enough pinot grigio in the world.”

  3. Hah I am SO heading for a rusty ice skate moment to slice off all my hair which is CRYING for a cut, literally SOBBING. As for bras – what bras? I have never felt so free. Although I did find myself staring longingly into my wardrobe the other day at all my clothes that I haven’t worn for 6 weeks because why would I wear jeans or a skirt when I can wear leggings? Every single minute of every single day?
    Fab post thank you for making me laugh 🙂

    1. Yay! Another woman who has embraced the droopy boobs! Leggings are my life now. But I try and mix it up and bust out my jeggings for those “night of the living dead” beer runs to the store.

      And my hair hasn’t been this long and ratty since my early 90’s grunge-patchouli-ganja days. It’s kinda freeing though, isn’t it? I have given up on pretty much everything that isn’t comfortable. When this quarantine is finally over and I come outside, I pity my neighbors.

      1. Thank God I’m not the only one doing ‘Night of the Living Dead’ beer runs!
        Happily, I don’t have a single female friend whose hair hasn’t been scrunched up in a messy bun for 6 weeks – and I don’t mean the cute, chic, YouTuber messy bun either – I mean a scraggly, unkempt, really messy bun.

        1. yep, nothing I do know can be considered even remotely cute or chic, but I have embraced the scraggly bun look. My hair is so long now it’s my only option. I suppose I could have my husband shave my head like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.

      2. I thought they only had Stop & Get the Hell Outs in Jersey! Well. I guess I can last a little longer on pickled asparagus if it means the dolphins get to yuck it up in Venice.

  4. Oh, G-d, this was hilarious! I am so glad I’ve never had a Zoom call; they sound awful! My wife offered to cut my hair just last night, but now I’m now I’m going to hide the wine just in case. I would kill for your Van Halen mask: I suspect you’re not interested in a trade for mine made of a yarmulke stapled with two rubber bands? – Marty

    1. Yes, stay away from the Zoom! and your wife giving you a haircut! Just walk away, trust me. I would love to trade my mask for your yarmulke. My mask still reeks of wine coolers and Love’s Baby Soft perfume.

  5. Thanks for the laugh! I really needed it. Once a week I’m forcing myself to put on pants and a bra to make sure they still fit. And once or twice a day I force my teenager to come out of the cave that is his bedroom, to see daylight and eat something besides the junk food he’s hiding in his room. I’m enjoying having appointments online most of the time – saves me a 30 to 40 minute drive each way.

    Truthfully, the hell that has been my Kundalini awakening makes all this Covid stuff seem like child’s play. A blip on my radar. That said, things are gradually improving in that arena (chronicling it on my sister blog).

    1. I tried on jeans last week for the first time in a month and it was shocking how tight they had become. And wearing a bra is like prison to me now. Well, it was always like prison to me…

      My kids are coming out of their caves for their little Zoom classes, then they eat everything and go back to their caves. It’s so weird how all of us have Zoom meetings and caves now. So primitive and yet so futuristic. I hate Zoom so much, whenever I have a meeting I sit there for 30 minutes before just dreading it. The anticipation is the worst. I’m an extreme introvert so it’s hard to be “on” like that, very draining for me.

      I’ll have to go check out your other blog to see how you’ve been doing! My husband actually had an appointment with that woman here in Maine I think I told you about who is trained in quantum healing hypnosis therapy. His appointment was early April so it was canceled, such a bummer! He really wanted to get info on his past lives etc. Anyway, she wants to do a Zoom hypnosis with me now and I’m not sure it’ll work but I’ll try it…

      1. You may be pleasantly surprised about doing an online hypnosis session. The gal I’ve been working with for almost a year and a half is in Australia! We use Skype. I’m excited for your husband – wish my husband was interested.

        1. I’m hoping that we can make this work through Zoom. My husband has never really been that interested, but he’s coming around. I got him to read Life after Life by Raymond Moody last week so he’s exploring the whole notion of past lives now etc.

  6. I feel ya, Maineiac. I’m Luddite to the core. My first Zoom (a family reunion orchestrated by my sister) was a steep learning curve. I messed with the audio and video for 5 minutes before I remembered I had (back when being spied on was a threat) turned off my speakers and put tape over the camera. I free-boob it when I feel like it. My mask is a “no-sew” one made from a cloth handkerchief (light purple with Edelweiss on it) and two rubber bands. I haven’t cut any hair yet, my own or anyone else’s. I briefly considered clipping the dog’s nails myself; I learned he’s got a pretty good right jab. Teeth suffer all sorts of issues, don’t they, when no dentist will touch them with a ten-foot pole? One of my crowns came out as I was chewing a Tootsie Roll. I got some OTC tooth cement at Drug Mart and did my best to glue it back on. I held out for almost a month before I groveled for an emergency dental appointment. Hope you’re keeping your mum supplied with Sanka and enough antacids to combat all that “spicy” food she eats. Yours is the most true-to-life COVID post I’ve seen yet. 🙂

    1. I do think Zoom was designed to kill all of us. I have had to learn and relearn technology so much in the past few years now that I’m back in the working world. But Zoom? Pure evil. Some of my co-workers say they like it because it’s so good to stay connected. Nope, we have things called phones for that. Why should we be forced to see each other’s faces? Especially when all of us look like we’ve been through a war?

      Well, I’m happy you got your emergency dental visit. I keep telling my husband to tell them it hurts and they’ll get him in and he’s like, nah. Meanwhile he could chisel diamonds with that thing it’s so sharp and jagged now.

      My mom is slowly going batshit crazy. I just got off the phone with her. “Darla! Why can’t I go shopping Darla! I need to go shopping! It’s all that I have! I can’t watch The View forever y’know! Whoopi Goldberg’s looking sickly, Darla! I think she’s got the Crona! Take me shopping Darla! Please!”

  7. Jeezum crow, you can Zoom like a champ! I downloaded it on my phone and my laptop because it’s the clear program of choice for the apocalypse. Got the camera to work only twice. I can’t figure out what the hell I’m doing wrong. So frustrating.

    I so hear you on the bra thing. I have a little scrap of cotton and Lycra that I don to avoid hitting myself with my knees while walking around the house. We are going over to a friend’s house for happy hour in the driveway tonight -I can’t wait! Only problem is I’m going to have to unearth a regular bra, and try to squeeze into my jeans again.

    1. Peggles!! I have been zooming like a fool for over a month now and I still break out into cold sweats just before a meeting starts.

      I dread the day I have to put real pants on again. I might have to switch to Lycra everything permanently now. My diet was blown to bits during this pandemic. Nothing but carbs all the live long day.

  8. crike, that was an exhaustingly-entertaining post! My sympathies to your boobs. I hadn’t realized that they’d been imprisoned so cruelly for so long. My frames of references for this… just aren’t. And I love facial hair! Just not on my face. really sorry about you husband, hope he gets that tooth taken care, I’m not dentist but I’m pretty sure the rusty heel of a skate is not really the way to go.

    All good here, bored but it’s sunny out these days and that’s just wonderful. Everything is still wonderful, isn’t it? Please tell me I’m not deluded.

  9. We’ve kept the family together… sort of… on Facebook and some other meeting app – the name of which is so memorable I’ve forgotten it. Talking to my daughter today, (who is working from home) – she said her company now realizes they should get help from at home teenagers who are a whole lot better at pulling together a decent Zoom meeting than the talking heads of her company can.

  10. Agree on the hatred for the Zoom calls – blah! on Thursday we rec’d notice of a Tuesday Happy Hour “Check-In” call – anxiety for days. And I don’t drink. Jeezum Crow!

    snorted my coffee at the “Hunger Games” reference – ha ha ha !

      1. I survived and it was actually ** gasp ** fun. Of course the Extroverts loved it and dominated but this introvert didn’t die. I probably enjoyed seeing people’s kids and dogs most of all 🙂 MJ

        1. That is awesome! It is fun to see everyone’s house or pets. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a textbook introvert and could just let loose and have more fun with these things though.

  11. Ah, Zoom. It’s been a bit of a learning curve for everyone. My church is using it for services until we can start meeting in person again. The first couple of weeks involved a lot of “how does this work, exactly?” We’ve pretty much gotten the hang of it now, but we’re very much looking forward to lockdown being over.
    As for the bra thing, well, I guess I’m one of those weirdos who always wears one, but then I almost exclusively wear sports bras, so I’m actually quite comfortable. 😛

    1. You are good! Sports bra are even more agonizing to me than regular bras. Speaking of church, I recently had a Zoom get together with four elderly parishioners from the church I used to work at and it was such a hoot! We all had a good laugh and they were actually very good at using the technology, I was impressed. I think it’s because they have been zooming church services every week too.

  12. Every meeting stops if a dog, cat or small child comes into the room. I wore a rainbow afro wig and mask to the last one, and put a sign up behind me saying “Rita! Mute your mic!” It’s an amazing technological advance when people who already annoyed you in person can somehow annoy you even more on a computer screen.

    1. Dave!! So good to see you around these parts! How the hell are you? I hope you and the family are doing well considering the craziness that’s going on. And you are so right, it’s incredible how people I could barely stand in person are even more annoying in a tiny little Brady Bunch box on your computer screen.

        1. Yeah! Good to have goals. I’ve broken two records: one for wearing the same pair of sweatpants the longest and one for eating a diet consisting of nothing but carbs for 2 months straight.

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