Today I bought and returned my first webcam. I bought it because, with all of Stewart’s travels, we decided it would be nice to be able to Skype each other. The service works with or without video — but wouldn’t it be fun to see each other while we talked? Not so much.
The camera was easy enough to figure out: I installed some software, clipped the wobbly little eyeball to the lid of my laptop, and there I was — one big, distorted nose. Then I called Stewart, and he was an even bigger nose.
“This is kind of disturbing,” he said.
We tried to get used to it, but it was no good. We goofed around for a while — made a few lewd faces at each other, satisfied our curiosity about what it would look like if you put your face really close to the lens — then I packed the tiny camera into its box and took it back to the store.
Sometimes when Stewart is away I like to spend two days wearing the same clothes, no make-up, and my dirty hair in a ponytail. Sometimes Stewart likes to work at home in his pajamas. In life, and in love, it’s just not necessary to see everything, all the time. It’s essential that we each get to tend our own small wilderness of privacy. So while Skype is great, and I love hearing Stewart’s voice from afar, we can do without the close-ups until we see each other in person. Really, a little bit of mystery goes a long way.