5. There’s No Place Like Video for the Holidays


Since Josh and I did not go home for Christmas this year, we tried our best to make our family members feel loved. We sent them all a Christmas card, which I’m sure was read with baited breath. We also sent gifts to all of them. I imagined them opening the gigantic shipping box and digging through to see what was in store for them.
We also called my family to say hello, which was nice.
Oh, and we had a video chat with Josh’s family. That was, well, it was quite the experience. Josh’s parents set up a video camera in their Minnesota living room and invited Jon & Emily (with their 2 little girls) and Grandpa & Grandma Hastings. In our California living room, Josh and I prepared for our end of the video chat. I waited patiently while the resident techies messed with the video camera, discussed server caps, and other geeky things. Then, the computer rang with an incoming video chat and – BAM! – there they were!
Only… they were different. They looked nothing like the photos in the Christmas cards we had received from them a few days earlier. They looked all… cubic and legoish. It was as though they had been abducted by a sinister alien clan and transformed into something mathematical and garish.
When I first saw them, I imagined the late Phil Harman doing an SNL spoof on Soylent Green, running onto the set shouting, “The pixels are PEOPLE! It’s PEE-POL!!!!!!!!!!”
Anyway, they saw us clearly on their end, and we saw this on our computer:

I will forever remember the joy of our pixelated three-year-old niece as she sang us a beautiful Christmas song. Or of little cubist-style Maia shouting, “Yay! Yay!” while playing in the tent we had given them. And. I will cherish Josh’s grandparents wishing us a Merry Christmas in a mangled, matrix sort of way.
Sigh. Gotta love the technology. It makes all things possible. Sorta.