(I’m typing this eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s “Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.” I hope this thing’s not turned on)
“Do I have a snaggle tooth?” I asked my husband last night, lifting my upper lip like Mr. Ed. I was testing my webcam software, seeing myself for the first time on my 14” computer monitor, realizing that on-screen it looks like I’m either missing a tooth, or have a darkened, mangled one. I’m absolutely amazed by the technology that transports images of my loved ones to a screen right in front of my nose, but I’m not yet used to seeing myself online.
While patting the computer keys is usually a task I do anonymously, I have found the new need to pay attention to the way I look at my home office workstation. A SKYPE call came in this morning while I was typing, wearing my husband’s holey t-shirt, hair was twisted up like a suma wrestler’s and a gum stimulator in my mouth. I hit the IGNORE button, ashamed.
I also need to pay attention to the background. I accidentally made a call testing my microphone functionality last night and when I got no answer forgot to hang up. On their screen, my friends saw a darkened room and an empty chair. They reported feeling voyeuristic, laughing and imaging something naughty was about to happen. I have no idea how long they stayed online waiting for something risqué to occur.
I had a dream last night that my webcam became activated by an outside source (which sounds completely feasible to me), and scanned the expanse of our bedroom. It found me shutting the door and photographed me disrobing from behind and immediately flash-transported the footage to You Tube as part of a “Video Most Likely to Make You Vomit” contest. I was getting hits by the millions.
Having a webcam is a probably a good tool to see how you really appear to the outside world. I’m not exactly a “Hang Out in Front of the Mirror” girl, so seeing me sitting there is new. What’s happened is that NOW, I am finally forced to acknowledge that one of my breasts REALLY is bigger than the other, I hunch like “No Neck” from Rocky Horror Picture Show and the mole I THOUGHT I had removed 20 years ago is back, with a vengeance, and looks as big as a bowling ball finger hole. The image also magnifies age spots. When I’m laughing, with my now obvious snaggle tooth, I really DO look like a spotted hyena.
Because I’m so distracted by my own appearance, I feel the need to make up for it--be more animated, move around. I caught myself swaying like Stevie Wonder, gesturing like Snoop Dog and “peacing out” like Richard Nixon. This has already gone beyond obsession and I’ve only had it one day.
I thought of putting a paper bag over my head with two holes cut out so I can see the other person, but the grocery bag won’t cover my body. Bagless--I HAVE to wear a bra and will likely cover my teeth with my lips like an orangutan.
If you SKYPE me, it’s best to wear sunglasses.