Oh, my dear little personal blog! How mama’s missed you! Even though I may have crossed over into software development for my 9 to 5, while still juggling consumer event business until 10p, you have been on my mind!
Today, especially, I had a story that I knew I needed to get posted here before I accidentally burst with enthusiastic, yet, inappropriate, whimsy while writing something about data feeds or eBay policy for work! You see, it all started with an assignment at work to write a blog post. (Sweet! I’ve done that before!) But within my enlightening blog post I needed to stick to the ‘It’s not about you, dummy’ mantra, except for the 66 word bio and thumbnail photo of you at the bottom. Excuse me? A photo? Oh dear…you’ve awoken the beast! Look out, everyone! Little Miss Vanity has stirred from her shallow slumber! Arghhhh!
It’s true. I know you’ll be surprised to read it, but I, loyal readers, am actually quite vain. I know, I know…you never saw that one coming! But seriously, I have a real problem with photography! Dave and I joke that we are the least photogenic couple in the world! If there is a camera around, chances are, once of us is going to ruin the picture with a weird one-eye-is-half-closed grimace or an odd nose-angle thing. I tried to put today’s blog-photo off, since I really did not want my afternoon-make-up (a.k.a. faded and not really impressive) to be caught on film (or memory card, in this instance). But then I remembered that I really liked the sweater and top I was wearing today, and that there were such things as Photoshop Healing Brushes that could easily tidy up my embarrassing ‘Why-do-I-still-get-these-things-even-though-I’m-not-14?’ blemishes. So I got ready to pose.
Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that this gal has had some experience posing, people! I practically turned my house upside down tonight to try and find my old modeling (although I use the term loosely!) portfolio that featured a fresh-faced, barely 16 year-old thing in a downtown Los Angeles warehouse. But it’s managing to stay hidden : ( Now those were some fun pictures! Ridiculously expensive for my dear parents, who would rather shell out over a thousand bucks for a Beverly Hills photo shoot than be faced with the awkward situation of telling your budding and severely moody teenager, “Um, sweetie…we love you so much, but, well…you really are a lovely girl, but we just don’t think you’re modeling-material.” Can you imagine?! I can see them now talking about it in their room, “Are YOU going to tell her?” “Who, ME?! No way! You tell her!” But no…I ended up getting to playing dress up for a day in Los Angeles with a professional make up artist, a hair stylist and two very feminine guys (I think one was named Claude) who picked out my outfits. I was scared stiff, and had never modeled (nor would I ever!) but by my third or fourth outfit, I was getting the hang of things! Look out Star Search! Your next spokesmodel was on her way to scoring 5 out of 5 stars! Ha ha ha…not even close. Not even one little star…
When I look at the photos, I notice that I have the exact same facial expression in all of them: the look of casual seriousness. When we first got started, I beamed my newly straightened smile at the camera and was told, “Don’t smile.” Bummer…I was pretty proud of those newly aligned chompers! Braces were awkward, painful and super-nerdy, but I was still thankful that I got to have them and avoid the harsh reality that thumb sucking until I was 8, was not the best thing for my smile. Yikes! But there is not one photo from that shoot that shows even a peep of my pearly whites!
Zoom in your time machine with me to a time in the not-so distant past – 2010. My husband, an avid collector of tattoos, always said he wanted to get a pin-up tattoo of me, but he needed a good picture to take into his loyal ink-man. (Is that a term for tattoo artists? Makes sense to me…) Anyway, I conspired and snuck around and managed to set up a photo shoot with a friend who is actually, a very talented fashion photographer, so I could surprise Dave for our 10th wedding anniversary. So, at night, when it was about 42 degrees outside where we were shooting and we were surrounded by mosquitoes, I posed for some sassy photos of me pretending to be a pin up gal. It was so much fun, and I especially like the fact that I got to smile in a few : ) Plus, I was old enough to enjoy a cocktail during the whole process, so that surely helped things this time around.
Those mock-modeling instances resulted in photos I was proud of. Were they realistic? Of course not! That’s why they were awesome! Ha! Recently, Dave and I have struck gold by finding a local photographer to take some family pics of us that have turned out really well. If you are in Chico and haven’t been photographed by Crystal at Tres Bebe Photography, you are missing out. She is a magical being who can capture what you think you look like, and make you actually kind of look like it! Brilliant!
But today at work, I looked at some of the shots the photographer (a very nice fellow-employee who exudes hipness and youth and therefore, unfortunately, reminds me that I am kind of like the old mom in the room) took of me at my desk. I was glamorously posed in front of a cubical wall and some random bookshelves. CHEESE! When I opened the image files he sent me I nearly choked on my afternoon snack. What the___? Darn my squinty-left eye! Is that really what my hair looks like?! I had forgotten that I had talked a friend into trimming my bangs over the weekend, and even though they feel great and out of my eyes, and they are exactly what I asked her for, they are VERY short…short enough to make you see me and think, “YIKES! When did Jenny’s forehead get so huge?” They will grow, and I’m telling myself not to be overly concerned about it, but wowsers…talk about horrible timing for a photo op! I was thinking about tracking down one of those ‘bang’ extensions that Katie Holmes wore to the Oscars, but I figured that would only make matters worse.
I was reminded of a troubling reality: I really am not as good looking as I think I am. I actually would like to aim some blame for this on my husband, if I may. He truly thinks he is a super lucky guy to have a stunning catch like me. Sure, I’ve got a zippy personality; of course I’m a catch, right? But no, he actually thinks I’m one of the prettiest gals out there. Insane in the membrane! Since I’ve been hearing his opinions about my appearance for over 13 years now, I think they started creeping in and little by little, I started to believe him. But then there was today’s photo disaster and all I could do was laugh at myself for being so out of touch with reality!
So tomorrow will come, and I will still have awkward-length bangs and my squinty eye that got inured by a snowball when I was in 7th grade. I’m going to try and tell myself that it can be like a trademark, like Tina Fey’s face-scar. That will help make things cooler! There’s not much I can do with my overzealous shnozz that my mother apologized for passing down to me when I was younger. I need to win the Publisher’s Clearing House to take care of that issue! I will also work on reminding myself that, honestly, it’s ok to look/feel awkward. I tell my kids all the time, that it’s your heart that really matters – not what you look like, what you are wearing, or how fast you can swing a lightsaber. Here’s to hoping I can remember that truth tomorrow when I get in front of that lens and the old familiar ‘Work it, super-star!’ anthem begins to play in my head…