A New Unit of Measurement

Hey Darling Ones,

I had a Zoom today. Is that a proper noun yet? Are they Zoom calls? Video chats? Is the proper terminology “I zoomed today”? Can we get the Chicago Manual of Style to make a ruling that I will promptly ignore? I have been Zooming my ass off lately because I’m a very important business lady who does the business all the time.

Because I’m zooming all the time I’m keenly away for my zoom performance. Usually I start out awkward with the nervous laughter and TOO LOUD TALKING. Eventually I calm down a little and conduct myself like a Yeti raised by humans. I manage to moderate my volume and the little voice in my head is so busy chanting “don’t swear” that I usually don’t say anything stupid. Then the end of the Zoom comes and the sheer force of my uncaged awkwardness leaves my Zoom meeting partners looking like that old Maxell Ad.*

It’s so bad. I do not know how to end Zooms. I’m a Minnesotan, we are bad at leaving things. I was raised to pat my knees and say, “Well, I suppose.” That mean it’s time to get the hell out of here. It worked on the phone too, sans knee pats. However it does not translate to Zoom.

In the olden days when I had to go to meetings they were in a room, in a building, and I just got up and left when the meeting was over. Now, I grin stupidly at the camera doing the Forest Gump wave while trying to find the “get me out of here” button. In all the Zooms I’ve done since the pandemic began I have never exited one with elegance and aplomb.

To be fair, I have not done much with elegance or aplomb in my nearly fifty years on this planet so I’m not entirely sure why I think I should do this one thing well.

I’m not sure who the official in charge of units of measurement is, but I would like to petition them for a measurement we could use to accurately convey the amount of awkwardness one exudes in any given situation. A Yetimeter? They could name it after me, a Jodi if they wanted to. Maybe something like a gigawatt would work. Because after my Zoom today I exuded at least 1.22 gigawatts or metric fucktons or shitloads of awkwardness today.

Gracelessly yours,

P.S. Whenever I think of units of measurement, I think of the poem “By the Light of the Silvery Silvery” by Mike Doughty (a line of which is featured in the header image). I had an MP3 of him reading the poem which I’m 99.9% sure I downloaded from AudioGalaxy back in the wild west days of the internet. I had to dig that MP3 our of the iTunes deeps to listen to it, and then I inadvertently fell in an early-aughts nostalgia hole and I haven’t quite climbed my way out of it yet.

*Hi, child of the 80s here. Grew up with two fingers hovering over the record/play buttons waiting for the DJ to play my song so I could make the perfect mixtape. I was today-years-old, as they say, when I learned they are Maxell tapes and not Maxwell. Huh.

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  1. creamcitian 17.Apr.22 at 2:18 am

    Ah, crud. Another instance of the Mandela Effect.it was totally Maxwell.

    1. Jodi Chromey 17.Apr.22 at 10:17 am

      I’m glad I’m not alone in this delusion.


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