From Zero to Video Chat in 60 Seconds

Instant Gratification is the Name of the Game

I had been online for all of a day and was still trying to get the feel of the site, the men (not a lot of great options in my immediate geographic area), and avoiding my usual pitfall of emailing everyone who expressed an interest. I was doing as good of a job as ever of weeding out people who really didn’t appear to be right for me. At the same time, anyone I emailed or accepted for instant messaging was immediately insistent that I give them my phone number.  Which I did not.  They could give me theirs, though, or we could take it to the next level by instant messaging so that’s where I was this Monday night after a late dinner…

I was balancing  the instant messaging act with two different men to the best of my abilities while also replying to emails (I have other reasons to be online beyond online dating).  Jay, one of the guys I was IM’ing, opted to mix things up. The next thing I knew, his voice was coming out of my computer speakers telling me to turn up the volume and, when I toggled back to our instant messaging screen,  instead of seeing his picture next to the IM, I could see him. In the flesh. It scared the daylights out of me because I wasn’t quite “camera-ready”. Plus, he hadn’t given me any kind of head’s up about his intention to switch gears on me and take it to the next level.

The Year of the Cat

Jay was determined to video chat and I was new to jdate and trying to be a good sport. I took a few minutes to compose myself and then attempted to video chat. However, it had been at least a year since I last used video chat and I couldn’t remember how to get it started.

I started pulling up menus, during which time he was complaining that he couldn’t hear me well enough and that it was late, and…who knows what else. I had been caught quite off guard.

I tried to bring up the webcam every way I could think of. Given this surprise midnight chat, I was ill equipped for his insistence on instant gratification.  While I was toying with my computer, he kept telling me it was important to find out if we had a physical connection. You can have a physical connection over the computer? Still – I was trying to keep an open mind. And, was trying to get the webcam working while listening to how important this would be for our “relationship”.

In looking at my computer menu items, the only option that made sense was a “webcam/avatar” alternative that I guessed would give me the option of my face or an avatar. And, I clicked on it. Up popped a cat. I couldn’t figure out how to replace the cat with my smiling face, but I did notice that every time I talked, blinked, or moved my head, the cat did the same. I started laughing. Jay did not.

I continued to fumble with computer buttons, further causing the cat to mirror my movements, resulting in Jay getting angrier and angrier. And, the more annoyed he became, the funnier I found the whole situation and my laughter went from mild to uncontrollable. Not good for our relationship.

No Sense of Humor

I can understand why it wouldn’t have been funny if this was an intentional move on my part. But, it wasn’t. It just happened and was particularly amusing because, it was so ludicrous. His anger escalated as I laughed. Crossly, he asserted that it was late and that he didn’t have time for this. (Wasn’t it his idea?)

After several minutes of feeling like I was being scolded by someone’s father, I told him I thought he was being a bit tough on me and reminded him that I was doing the best I could. To that, he replied with an edge to his voice, “Well then, why don’t you get this figured out with one of your Austin friends tomorrow?”  I was in shock.

I had NOT, at ANY moment in time, suggested that we video chat and he bullied me into it. Then, he yelled at me because it wasn’t working. And, had no sense of humor.

So, we went out on Saturday. Just kidding. He then tried to smooth things over by telling me what a great catch I am and how I embody so much of what he is looking for. No matter. If he is rude to someone he’s trying to woo, there’s a problem. He continues to try to IM and email me but I have nothing to say. NEXT!


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