Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Picture Day

I hate getting my picture taken.

I have always hated getting my picture taken.

Well, no, I guess that's not true. I remember one time, bugging my grandfather to take my picture, but he wouldn't, because he wanted to get a picture of me when I was not expecting it; so I looked natural. But, I think I was about 4 or 5 then, and time, and trial and error have left their marks on me, like a dentist's chair leaves it's mark on some people.

Just the idea of sitting in front of a camera and worrying about whether I should smile with my teeth or not; or whether I have enough makeup on my eyes for them to be seen under my glasses; or should I take those off altogether, makes my blood run cold. I have all kinds of pictures for the Wall of Shame, believe me. No, you wouldn't believe it.

My sixth grade picture is a study in the horrors of Picture Day. Oh my God...I can't even describe it. Suffice it to say that I was in mid-laugh, my sweater had a hole in the shoulder and my cowlicks (all 5 of them) were manifestly untamed. However, it was my mother's favorite: "Awwww....It looks just like you!" I wanted to burn it (and still do). I still am not sure whether she likes it because "it looks like me", or because she doesn't want me to get a swelled head about my beauty. If I really believed that this picture was representative of how I "really" look, I would jump in a lake.

I have witnessed others' horrible pictures, too. My brother has an infamous one of him in a tie with a horse on it. We all refer to it as "The Horse Tie Picture". John has been steadily destroying all the copies he can find for the last 20 years, or so, but I still have one. His 40th birthday is going to be SO fun!

My son also has a famous school portrait. I think it's his 1st grade picture. He was told to smile, but not to use his teeth. So he didn't. Unfortunately, the effect was a Stan Laurel smile. I swear, it looks just like he stepped out of a Laurel and Hardy movie. It gives my father-in-law such a chuckle to this day.

I fret and fume for days before pictures are taken. I spend hours deciding what to wear, how to wear my hair, what makeup colors to use, whether or not to do my nails...the list is really endless. In the end, of course, none of this really matters. I am still an overweight white woman, aged 39, with too much grey in my hair for my age and an awkward smile. No clothes, or makeup or pose is going to cover all that up. I just look like I look.

I think the best picture I ever had taken was taken by the Deputy Registrar the day I went to change my name on my driver's license after I got married. I was so sad when I had to surrender my license to get the new one when I went to renew it. The second best was, by happy accident, a picture of me at a Mardi Gras Party. I looked good and I was very proud of the job I'd done with my costumes for Michael, the kids and me. Well, I guess my Senior Picture was pretty good. But, I didn't wear my glasses and I am not so sure it looks like me.

So what brings all this angst up? My manager informed me this afternoon that we would be having our annual staff picture taken on June 17th at 8:30 in the morning, sharp.
Love the man...he loves to torture me.

Who the heck looks their BEST at 8:30 in the morning?!? Not me. I told him I was going to have to get up at 4 AM, just to get the bags out from under my eyes. He just looked at me and raised his eyebrows.

Darn 30 year old men! What do they know about having bags under their eyes? Plus, last year he had me sit for the picture (not an attractive spot for a woman with a belly from having kids)!

But, we've been trying to get this picture taken since April, so there's no escape for me this time. The best I can hope for is that I pick the right outfit, smile the right smile and that the stars align correctly enough that my sister and I can get my hair colored. I have no problem looking like my kids' mom, but I have no desire to look like their Grandmother. Heck, I have two weeks to pull this off.

Other than that, I'll just have to channel that happy, "newlywed" smile and be proud of my accomplishments in the past year at my job. I have come a long way, I have learned a lot and I am proud of the job I do. Last year's picture wasn't so bad, I guess. Maybe this year's picture will be even better.

1 comment:

  1. This is your Mother speaking. I look at faces in pictures (except ones of me,then I only look at my butt). That picture looks like you because your face is totally unmasked and the joy is shining through. There is another I can't think when it was taken but again you were unprepared and look totally joyful.