Letters of Life

Word of the Day

Yesterday, I learnt a new phrase: Skype date. A visiting missionary friend based in Yangon used this phrase over a dimsum lunch. His girlfriend was back in Myanmar, and he made full use of Singapore’s superfast high-speed Internet connection to catch up with her.

It is one thing to say you are skyping a friend; quite another to say Skype date. I latched on to it the moment I heard it. It’s like an R&B song: Fast, catchy, progressive.

OK, it’s a romantic term for videoconferencing, but I’d never done it before. Skype was created around 2003, but Skype videoconferencing only became available about three years ago. I love new phases, and new phrases. So I’m fascinated by the novelty of the Skype date.

I imagine it must be a whole lot of fun. . . from a woman’s point of view. Make that a fashionista’s point of view. It is effortless dressing because all you have to do is doll yourself from the waist up. Simply throw on a smart tee (what’s that, you ask? I’ll show you over a Skype lunch) swipe on lipstick, and let the pixellated screen do the rest.

The best part is, I can still lounge around in skanky pajama pants and leave the toenails unpolished. Because all I’m doing is talking to my monitor. Like those glossy newsreaders I imagine in the television studio. Furry bedroom slippers, track pants, and an ivory silk blouse from Prada.

From the guy’s point of view, it must be whole lot of fun too, seeing as it’s virtually free. The only downside I see is its two-dimensional aspect; how the virtualness of the experience must dull in comparison with dynamic face-to-face contact.

A girlfriend has Skype dates almost everyday with the guy in her life, and short of sharing food, she has had endless hours of conversations, bible-study, and prayer. Once he Skyped her early one morning, so she had little choice but to go sans makeup and put on her glasses to chat. No time for contact lenses.

He doesn’t mind, she says. They haven’t met in person yet, but he’s already seen what she looks like in the morning. Kewl.

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