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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Zooming Through the Pandemic by Bea Tifton

I have a confession to make. I. Hate. Zoom. Am I alone? How many people actually like it?  By now we’ve all heard about the supervisor who appeared as a potato in an onscreen meeting. And of course, the hapless attorney who appeared as a cute little kitten during a legal meeting and couldn’t figure out how to turn off the filter. I feel their pain.

But in these socially distanced, please-stay-home times, Zoom is a necessary evil. Something I had previously never known existed has become a part of my life. 

The first time I used Zoom, I was appalled at how bad I looked. I strongly resembled one of the walking dead. But, when I got over the initial shock, I unmuted and joined the meeting. A group of church ladies I meet once a month for coffee were ready and waiting. We had been in lockdown for about a month. One of my gregarious, quirky older friends immediately exploded, saying she felt like a prisoner, that this was so stupid, etc. I must have twitched or something, because suddenly I had her full attention. She said, “Oh, but it’s so much worse for poor Bea. She’s never been married and she doesn’t have kids. She’s just totally alone. She’s stuck at home with no one in her life. No one to talk to. Completely alone.”

I tried in vain to interrupt, but she barreled on. Finally, a friend managed to interrupt and changed the subject. Whew! I felt like I was stuck in a rerun of the old Mary Tyler Moore show for a minute there.


My Sunday school class Zooms once a week, purely socially. We have one guy who’s a whiz at PowerPoint and one week we may send in pictures from our childhood, another week places we'd love to visit. It’s actually fun once we get started even though I have to drag myself to the screen initially. But, Ranger, my oft-mentioned Maine Coon Cat, decided to Zoom bomb.  People oohed and ahhed, which only encouraged him. Ranger decided to plop his 26 pound body onto my head. He loves to sniff my mousse for some reason. Just sniff. I think maybe it has catnip in it or something. But, since we were on camera, he decided to groom me. To my horror, he licked my head. One of my friends said, “Hey, Bea. I have a question. How often does your cat do your hair?” Amidst the snickers, I fumbled and tried to explain. I think it sounded like I regularly let him groom me. Spoiler alert--I do NOT, but I won the weirdo of the week award, I’m sure. 

Ah, to Zoom or not to Zoom. I have to say that it does serve a purpose, and will continue to do so for the next few months. I confess, though, that I look forward to meeting in person again. I hope the other people meeting with me then don’t speak too quietly. I’ve gotten so used to yelling, “You’re on mute!”

10 comments:

  1. Jewel, my miniature Poodle, has learned that when I have my headphones on, I am trapped. So she grumbles for a treat, with her voice getting louder and louder until she barks. Then I pick her up and settle her on my chair with me, She likes the attention, but only for a little while until she gets bored and wants down. Bad enough with friends, but worse on business zooms.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's hard on pets when we disappear into our computer. Thanks for your comments.

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    2. #WalterTheDaredevil never comes in my office except for when I'm on Zoom. He has radar for it, I swear.

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  2. Although it serves a needed purpose now, I'm not a fan of Zoom. Isn't it surprising that some people think everyone feels exactly as they do?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. And those people call many Zoom meetings. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. The story of your kitty grooming you just made my day.

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  4. I don't think anyone is a "fan" of zoom. It's only purpose is to allow people to interact and often collaborate and work together. I guess we need to be thankful we have it. Many companies are using it to stay in touch. Me? I try to avoid it. lol

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  5. It's definitely a mixed blessing. Lol. Thanks for your comment.

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  6. Thanks for the laughs, Bea. I don't do Zoom. The closest I've come to anything like it, is when my kids did a video call from FB messenger on Christmas Eve. About the cat, he just wants attention. When I have my laptop on the dining table, my cat jumps up on the table then parks himself at the edge of the table between me and the keyboard. Sometimes I play cat videos to entertain him. Eventually, I have to set him on the floor and usher him on to find other entertainment.

    I enjoyed your post. I needed a few laughs.

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  7. I don't mind Zoom or other apps at all. It's especially good since I could join my old yoga class in Seattle. (The downside is the yoga studio shut down, so now it's Zoom only, which is the pits for those who live there.) Anyway, I'm happy to have one yoga class a week since I'd been unable to find one here. I've also had quite a few author conferences and that's been interesting. And I took a gardening class, with gardening 102 coming up in a week. And in a few days, we'll be able to see/hear the concert played by the local college orchestra, which we're looking forward to. So overall, I've been happy with Zoom. #WalterTheDaredevil did yoga on my head last yoga class, though, so there is that. If one has a cat, one has to expect a certain amount of humiliation. Done deal.

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