The Penalties of Skyping

My mind is always full of a quiet but fixed purpose. To maintain the body and face of an athlete. This is my inflexible goal. Life can get can get in the way of every objective: one has to accept that. But my failsafe rule, my emergency procedure, for maintaining self-esteem, “Avoid Mirrors” normally sees me through any  crisis involving the state of my figure.

I was reflecting on this recently,as I munched through a well-chosen slice of carrot cake. Deliciously sweet and creamy as always, but I find some comfort in the use of the word “carrot”.  Possibly each slice is helping me get one of my “five a day”. Ok, to be honest, I’m possibly get somewhere nearer thirty a day, or maybe more, but as long as you undress away from the bearer of truth you can cling to optimism: I do anyway.

I am lucky in many ways. I can still walk around with ease.  All arms and legs report for duty each morning, and perform the functions required of them. When the music starts, I can  dance with the enthusiasm of a drug crazed epileptic. I can walk up hills for fun and lift tea-bags without getting out of breath. In short nothing happens to suggest to me that I am anything older than 15. Certainly not my behaviour.

That being said, I have recently come across a difficulty which threatens to unsettle my normally sanguine powers of self deception. Family members can try to Skype me early in the morning, while I am still lying in bed, ticking off the list of calorie burning exercises I might  undertake later in the day: letter opening, egg frying and TV watching can often be found on this checklist.

I pick up my phone. One of those apple things which has more functions than a space shuttle , and look into the screen. Before I get connected, I can see my face, peering out proudly from a sea of chins. I move my head vaguely but as one chin vanishes another wobbles into view. Desperate measures are called for and I sit up. Good idea, but the chin fest is now in full swing, if you follow me, and the neck is largely lost to view. “Facing the facts” is something we like to suggest about any other life but our own, but now those “facts” are staring at me out of my phone. Those chins indicate that my ruthless sense of purpose might need an overhall.

Light dimming is considered but, even I can sense that I am giving way to some level of hysteria. Finally the call is connected and I can do nothing more than smile weakly at the camera. In the end, all you can be is yourself, and the passing years are little comfort to those small crumbs of vanity you hide around your waistline. My trouser size has not altered for some years, but the pain of getting them on has. .  Even that last sentence suggests the grumpy bewilderment of an ageing brain. Is there such a thing as too much self-knowledge. We’d better not ask.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, dieting, Health, Life, life2, old age and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Penalties of Skyping

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Mother nature is more cruel to us women.Even if we do everything to halt time, there’s no escaping gravity


  2. cyberiann says:

    Chins? Is that a ‘sea’ or ‘tsunami’? Your self-deception has a ring of truth. Excellent reading, as always.

    Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 07:15:05 +0000 To:


  3. Abby says:

    I’m pretty sure they don’t care how you look, but only want to hear what you say. However, I agree 100 percent and prefer to say behind the screen, so to speak. I’ve only Skyped once, and it was without the video crap. I prefer to stay behind the curtain like the great and wonderful Wizard of Oz 😉


  4. Oh, Peter, this was filled with so many precious and funny moments, I can’t reference them all without quoting the entire piece. Your description of your dancing style and exercise involving lifting of teas bags–too funny. And then the ocean of chins… My Phil suffers from the same condition and is similarly self-conscious about them.

    My lap top has a camera so I could theoretically skype. But every time I use it, I am shocked by that old, tired woman staring at me in the screen. She looks like she needs an IV full of something to perk her up. I really don’t want to do my hair and makeup to communicate with others in the comfort of my home.

    This was a wonderful self-deprecating piece that too many of us can relate to. But take heart. They say the camera adds 10 pounds to your appearance. So just make sure that there is never more than one camera pointed at you at any one point in time! 😉


  5. This piece of writing was carrot cake for my soul today!! I could have read on and on, just fabulous!
    It has to be healthier than chocolate cake; even the absence of carrot in tne frosting confirms this theory!

    I am sure you have fewer chins than you suggest! I always look 103 on tne skype camera; it has no idea how to boost one’s self esteem; it definitely requires re-designing. 🙂



  6. Hahaha! I have turned my web cam on by accident and have scared myself a time or two…Although I did watch a show last night and it presented the option of Face Yoga it’s suppose to banish that chin. So I will fight the aging process with grim determination.


  7. babs50nfab says:

    OMG Peter… I laughed til I cried! Had to share this. You slay me. You and all your chins!


  8. Well done Peter …another splendid piece of writing


  9. **I was reflecting on this recently,as I munched through a well-chosen slice of carrot cake. Deliciously sweet and creamy as always, but I find some comfort in the use of the word “carrot**

    Your words makes my heart smile, Peter Peter Peter!

    Have a wonderful Christmas w/ your family.

    Eat LOTS of mince pies & carrot cake.

    Life is toooo short, honey. Xxxx KISSSSsss


  10. nelle says:

    rofl… it’s healthy to a point, but it can be destructive beyond it.

    On the other hand, in 2009-10 I averaged around 7 kilometres a day of walking, with some days walking more, some less. In that time my weight dropped from 82 to 63 kg. Walking each kilometre on an 8 minute pace helped. 😉

    Forget all that over the next week or two and enjoy.


  11. sillymexox0 says:

    Was entertained the whole way through!! 😀 Haha what a writer you are! You make me feel like I know you. 🙂 I like that.

    Especially loved the part were you said, ‘could see a face, in a sea of chins’ that made my day!

    Good post, sir. 🙂 you’re British , I suppose?


  12. Funny post. I also have a dread of the Skype thingy especially as for some reason when my image pops up on the screen I always look rather too orange, like I’ve been tangoed or had a rather bad spray tan. Oh well, it’s all part of the fun.


  13. I have avoided Skype-ing thus far, and long may that continue! Another hilarious read. Wishing you a wonderful holiday-time, chin-counting free, and enjoying all that feeds you body and soul!


  14. Beth says:

    I Skype with my nephew–he’s 22-months-old and loves me. (Why wouldn’t he, right?) Everyone else can call me on the phone. Problem solved… I only Skype with munchkins!


  15. backonmyown says:

    You made me chuckle. This could be me. I look in the mirror once a day to see if I remembered to brush my hair and to put on a little lip color. That’s all the makeup I can manage. Thank God I don’t skype–well, not yet anyway. I wear a pedometer most days to be sure I don’t forget to get move enough. The pedometer helps me to deceive myself into thinking I’m still athletic.

    Another great post, Ducks.


  16. eof737 says:

    Had a good laugh over this one. One of my siblings is fond of Skype-ing me and I enjoy it up to a point… First thing in the morning? NOPE! 😆


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