Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Whoever Said Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words Probably Regrets That Now

So today was picture day for me to be in the church directory.  I hate pictures of myself, and so, of course, I make myself anxious.  I read all the advice they give you, noting that they're probably giving advice because I'm not the only person to dread this event.

Remember that the camera adds 10 pounds.  Yeah, about that... This is 2014.  Isn't it about time for the camera to add something nice, like a positive self-image and a puppy?  Or maybe we could have competing cameras, where you get to choose which one adds the most benefit to your life.  This camera adds another 5% to your 401k, but that one adds a free trip to Disney World!  Oh, and that one adds front row tickets to the concert of that boy singer that all the tweens and creepy moms like.  See?  These are options I can work with.  I don't really need an extra 10 pounds, thanks.

I went through my entire closet, trying to pick an outfit, as if this were the most important decision of my life, but then I would remember that they recommended solid colors.  Oh, don't forget the long sleeves.  Nobody cares if you spontaneously combust, so long as that picture gets taken first.  (And I guess I agree with the long sleeves thing, because I hate my bye-byes.)  I went through the closet, discovered I had nothing to wear, and had to start all over again.  Finally, I settled on something I didn't hate.

Consider bringing with you a sentimental item or an item that says something about you.  What exactly would that be, a book and a jar full of sarcasm?  At the moment, I wish I could bring a margarita from Chuy's, but I see how that might be inappropriate for church pictures.  "Hey, really, this margarita means a lot to me.  You have no idea."  At best, I could show up with something I baked, because that would make sense, and also possibly draw attention away from my face.  "Hey, camera, focus on this beautiful rum cake, all right?"  I thought about bringing something completely random, like a Jew's Harp or a washtub bass, because those things would probably say a lot of interesting things about me, but I am all out of hillbilly instruments.  And what if I decided to bring an object that says something about someone else?  It might be more appropriate, in any case.  Who cares if I end up on Awkard Family Photos?  That's more my style, honestly.

To add to the stress of the day, I also had to bake four separate dishes and prepare my apartment for my parents, who decided to visit for the holiday weekend.  I swear I never make a bigger mess than when I am trying to clean.  Suddenly, I realize I must go through everything I own for that one thing I remember needing to donate, or I find that I am overcome by an intense urge to remove every cookbook from the bookshelf and rearrange them by color.  This is so much more important than cleaning, of course.

So I was preparing my final dessert, pitting fresh cherries for browned-butter cherry bars, and they turned out lovely.  Then I looked down at my hands and realized they were so purple, I looked like I'd just killed Grimace with my bare hands, just in time for picture day!  I was on it.

Sorry, childhood.

Somehow, I managed to get everything clean and started on the process of covering myself in make-up, lest my face be washed out by the flash.  Everything came together, at last, and I headed out the door with my desserts, a change of slightly-less-stuffy clothes (a brewery t-shirt and capri pants), a water bottle, and my purse.  

As I got to the bottom of the stairs, juggling everything and searching for the unlock button, I saw, just one second too late, that my car was covered by a flock of pigeons.  This probably deserves an explanation, and the short version is that everyone in my apartment complex is crazy.  One such crazy lady believes her porch to be Luby's for the hungry animals of Austin, and the space in front of her apartment is usually the only one I can find.  So why was I too late?  Because I had already unlocked my car, and the horn went off, sending a hundred pigeons flying every which way, and literally scaring the shit out of them.  Thankfully, none of them landed their droppings on me....oh, but wait, what's that running all down my shirt?  So then the process started all over again, until I could find the second least hated outfit in my wardrobe. 

To make matters worse (because no one ever begins a sentence by making them better), my neck started itching.   When I looked in the mirror, I saw it was covered in red blotches that were either a physical manifestation of all my emotions or an allergy to bird poop.  The entire hour long drive to the session had me thinking over and over that I needed a turtleneck.  What if I looked like I was covered in hickeys for a church photo?  Re-check the mirror.  No, it definitely looks more like I rubbed up on a cactus.  Maybe a large paper bag over my head would solve the whole problem, and I could even count it as an object that makes a statement, so long as that statement is, "She really hates pictures of herself."

Really, none of this is worth it.  I think next time everyone should just submit drawings of themselves, or maybe a picture of their favorite person from history with an explanation as to why they chose that person.  At least that would be more interesting, right?  And, because I like being alone, I could also use it to determine who is worth facing my social anxiety for.  "Oh, yeah, you chose Edison.....I think this isn't going to work out."

I arrived just in time for my photo and signed in, when I saw a friend of mine.  I asked her to give me a once over, though if Jesus himself came back and said I looked perfect, I'd still think my nose was too big, my teeth too small, and my smile too lame.  In Texas humidity, my hair was near-afro, and she admitted that it looked smooth and fine as long as I pulled it down.  Once I let go, I could go back to 1980 and shoot JR.  My favorite part, though, was when the photographer helped me to pick out the best picture.  We settled on the only one that wasn't awful, though as he put it, "No, really, it is the best, and you probably should always take pictures from this side."  When he asked if I wanted to purchase extra, I almost smacked him.  

There should be a reward for getting through this day.  (In fact, I'm still up for a margarita.)  I know a picture may be worth a thousand words, but I'd much rather submit the essay.  

Still regretting the fact this wasn't in my picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment