Video calls: no. Just no.
Whilst Cat Daddy insists that they are “no different from meeting in person” (?), for me they have a performance element that makes me cringe. I am not a YouTuber, for heaven’s sake. And if I didn’t want to video call when I looked normal and had interesting things to report, I certainly don’t want to do it with quarantine root regrowth and when nothing even faintly noteworthy has happened in my life.
In short, I will grudgingly accept a video call under the following circumstances:
1. If you are a work colleague and I have no choice. And an agenda beforehand would be appreciated.
2. If you are 5 years old, because you will do most of the talking and I can just listen, plus your attention span is short so the call will be over quickly.
Any other reason: no.
And if you have crazy thoughts of trying to Make It A Regular Thing: HELL, no.
Puppy Mamma is an especially naughty one for trying to trick me into video calls by giving them inventive names, but I’m not falling for it. “Virtual barbecue”? Nope: it’s a video call. “Online cocktail hour”? It’s still a video call. “Distance drinks party”? NICE TRY, BUT STILL A VIDEO CALL. So, because she hates WhatsApp/text messages and I hate video calls, we have compromised by telephoning – as in, voice calls in which we can hear but not see each other. (Younger followers: ask your parents.)
Cat Daddy, on the other hand, loves his new-found Zoom adventures. He has had a couple of video chats with his family, taking care to mention my name many times in case they wonder about my absence and think we’ve split up. And his video meets with his boozy beer buddies have been continuing every Friday at 6pm.
This week’s virtual pub conversation included the following:
1. What everyone was having for dinner that night (Cat Daddy had pasta with spinach, walnut and Stilton sauce, thanks for asking).
2. The money they are all saving because of not having to pay for cabs home from the pub.
3. How to get Simon back into the call after the host accidentally deleted him.
4. Why everyone could see Mike but not hear him.
6. Tim’s quarantine haircut.
7. Robbie Williams.
8. The confusion of having two people called Nick in the group, and a Foolproof New System for differentiating between the two.
As you can imagine, I didn’t hang around for the duration of the conversation and just caught odd snippets. However, when I heard Cat Daddy say, “I’m going for a loo break, so I’ll leave you with my cat”, I never imagined that he would mean it literally. I should have known better (see below).
With lockdown, all our worlds have become that little bit smaller. But Boys’ Club is clearly going from strength to strength, with brotherly bonds that extend beyond Le Château and stand the test of time and distance.