The importance of face time

Face Time is a built-in app on the iPhone whereby one can video chat with a fellow iPhone user. It’s possible we use this feature more frequently than the regular ol’ phone audio because our respective parents would prefer to see their granddaughter rather than just hear her. They couldn’t care less about us, honestly. I don’t even make an appearance in the majority of our Face Time sessions, and spend most of them shirtless while washing dishes. (I am usually close to naked around the house. I am always hot here.)

These calls offer varying degrees of success, and by that I mean they are almost always unsuccessful. For example, we attempted to Face Time with my dad last week and it kept freezing. When this happens, it typically freeze-frames on your worst possible expression. So our daughter became frustrated that Pop was not answering her and confused as to why his funny face was stuck. At least with my parents, we can quickly come to a mutual decision that it isn’t working and end it.

It’s not so easy with my in-laws, and they have a faulty router that makes freezing the norm. My wife has taken to saving the pictures of the awful freeze frame shots of her mother, and has created a collage entitled, “Nanie’s expressions.” Regardless of how not well it’s going, my in-laws always want to try again, and their router will always fail again.

Because that’s the thing with Face Time—you need to be on an Internet connection to use it. Or so we thought. We Face Time-called my in-laws last week. They were driving home at the time, but my mother-in-law decided to pick up the call anyway. Now, I don’t know if the new iPhone updates allow for Face Time on 3G, or if this was a total fluke, but wouldn’t ya’ know it—it worked. The phone sat on the kitchen table in front of our daughter as this ensued:

Mother-in-law: AHHHHHH! IT WORKED! WE’RE DRIVING! Hi baby girl! We’re driving! Can you believe this?

Father-in-law: HA, HA, HA! It’s a miracle! How’s my baby girl doing? We’re driiiiiviiiiing … do you see us driving, honey? We seeeeeee youuuuuuu! We’re in the car. How is this happening? Talking to his wife … Hey, show her the car. She wants to see the car.

Mother-in-law: Tony, STOP! It’s a red light. I can’t believe this … how is my girl? Did you have a good day at school today?

Daughter: I—

Father-in-law: HOW’S MY GIRL? Do you see us driving, honey? I don’t understand how this is happening. Mike—how is this happening? We are driving …

Me: From the kitchen sink. I don’t know, Da—

Mother-in-law: Tony, you missed the turn! Are you even paying attention? Wait, hold on, honey … Talking to her husband … Did you give him the papers before? Because I don’t see them here. Where are your glasses? The light is green now, ugh! Anyway … How is my honey, doing?

Daughter: I’m doing go—

Father-in-law: I don’t know where the papers are. I can’t believe we are Face Timing in the car, HA HA! How is my honey? Did you show her the car?

This proceeded all the way until they arrived home, at which point we were all treated to a play-by-play of them trying to find the keys—which my father-in-law had somehow misplaced on his way from the car to the door—to open the door. When they finally arrived inside, the call switched to WiFi and subsequently froze.

Note: This column appears in the 11/1 issue of The Glendale Star and the 11/2 issue of the Peoria Times.