Living far away from your parents always has its rough moments… those cold winters when you need some homemade soup… the fevers and chills that are only comforted by your mom’s care.. those words of wisdom from your dad just when you need them the most…
But thanks to technology, the world wide web has found ways for us to stay connected. I convinced my parents a year ago to buy a webcam and set it up for them when I visited (because walking them through those directions over the phone would have been straight up ridic). I set up a Gmail account for them and strategically wrote the password down in several different places so they never lost it (that worked for like a week). I showed them the steps and everything. We had many successful chats with some hand holding and walking them through steps that had to be repeated at every session. I thought they were getting the hang of it. Success!
Now we come to present day, May 24, 2010.
My mother: “I want to skype today! Do you have time?”
Me: “It’s Gchat (for the 56th time), and yes definitely!
…. a few hours pass by ….
Phone call from my mother. “Ok I’m ready. What do I do?”
Me: “ok open up internet explorer. Type in gmail.com on the address bar.”
… I’ll spare the actual conversation because it was NOT going well. A condensed version of it from her: “gmail isn’t working, it’s not showing up, I don’t see chat, I can’t log in, there’s no place for username and password!!!”
Little did I know (and apparently she didn’t know this either)… her homepage is google.com and she was typing in gmail.com in the ginormous search bar on the page so she was getting 216,000,000 results for gmail.com. Ironically, the first result is the bloody webpage for gmail and all she had to do was READ it and SELECT the first link. That would have slowed the gray hairs from popping out on my head.
This took us about 28 very long minutes to figure out, sorry for the craptastic quality of the picture folks.
So once I get her to find the address bar at the top of the page, she successfully types in gmail.com, types in her username and asks me for her password. Doh! “Umm… try… icecream.” No I kid. Yeah I really didn’t remember, but thankfully she did within a few minutes.
Success! We are now logged into gmail. “I don’t see chat. Where is chat? I think it’s not working”. Oh good lord slow down woman. I tell her to take deep breaths and relax. I send her a quick “hi” on gchat and she says “OHHH look NOW the chat shows up. Now the list is there. It wasn’t there before!” Ok mom, I believe you.
She knew how to answer my call/request for video chat. Success! We are now seeing each other. “Hiii mom”, I say, although I’ve been on the phone with her for what seems like an hour at this point. She fidgets with the small webcam. “Mom leave it alone, turn the speaker volume up, stop talking into the webcam itself, mom put the webcam down, leave it on the desk”. Oye ve.
After all that madness, and me looking at her face zoomed in while she held the webcam for most of the time, we did have a great conversation and my night ends well… until next time.