I hate being photographed. I’m not hideous or anything, but I am overly critical… of my hair, my skin, my shape. Every time I see a picture of myself, I quickly look away, or critique it mercilessly. It drives Mike crazy and he makes a point of saying “don’t delete it” every time he takes a picture of me. I do make a point of getting pictures of me with the kids. I have very few pictures of me with my mother when I was young and I wish I had more.
So, given my distaste for pictures featuring moi, imagine my horror when I was asked to have my picture taken for something at work. I was given no notice, and it was on a day when we were moving some boxes and furniture, so I wasn’t exactly dressed in office attire. I didn’t even ask where the picture would be posted. I suppose I imagined it in some obscure little newsletter or scrapbook.
I arrived at work Tuesday to find that it accompanied the top story on the university’s web site. If you typed in the university’s url on Tuesday, my picture would pop up. Tuesday, the day after Labour Day. The day when every student logged on to get the calendar of events for Frosh Week. Did I mention that the picture was HORRENDOUS! I’m not the only one who thought so. People were saying “nice picture” in that drippy, sing-songy, sarcastic way mean people have. My hair was naturally bad, but the worst was that I looked huge. There were two other guys in the picture who were short. They were standing further back in the picture, which made them look smaller and me like giant. I looked beefy too. Thick arms, thick legs… beefy. I was mortified and I was thrilled that the story had dropped off the front page by Friday.
Enter Saturday. I was at a soccer tournament with the kids and several people told me they saw my picture. Really? Hmm. Why would they be looking on the university’s website? Then someone clarified; the picture was in the newspaper. What? Are you kidding me? Sure enough, we picked up the paper on the way home and there was my big beefy self, smiling like a moron in a giant colour version of the picture. Kill me now.
This is how my life works. It would never happen that I would take a good picture and have it plastered everywhere. I will never run into someone from my past when I look good. No, I’ll run into an old crush when I’m make-up free, wearing a baseball hat with three screaming kids in tow. Just imagine all the people who saw that awful picture and commented “time has not been kind to her.” I want a do-over. WAAHH!