I’d just finished putting the DragonMonkey to bed when I happened to walk by the large mirror we have hanging in the entrance.
What I saw there stopped me in my tracks.
I looked good.
No, no, I’m not being vain. You know what I’m talking about. Some days, no matter how hard you try, or how many layers of makeup you slather on, you just look awful. Everyone has those days – you got a great night’s sleep, you spent time on your hair, you just finished some disgustingly healthy lunch and chased it with more than enough water, you’ve got your most flattering outfit on….. and yet still look like you just finished three straight days of hard drinking and partying in a dirty section of Tijuana.
Last night I should have looked like that. I was tired. The kids have been sick. I had run a brush through my wet hair twelve hours earlier and not touched it since. It was late, and I felt beat. I didn’t have a lick of make up on.
Yet when I looked in the mirror, my eyes were bright, my skin was clear, and my hair was falling in glorious, luxurious waves around my shoulders.
If I sucked in my belly and twisted my hips juuuuust so, I not only looked good, I looked really good.
Unfortunately, with the kids in bed and The Bean in his night class, there was no one around to witness it.
After a few minutes of preening in front of the mirror and admiring all the gorgeous neat things my hair had decided to do simply because there was nobody was around to witness it, I finally figured out what to do.
I needed a picture of this minor miracle.
I mean, I needed to be practical about what was happening. By the next morning whatever magic I’d been dusted with would have faded and I will be back to looking disheveled and exhausted.
I needed photographic evidence.
Besides, if I took a really nice photo, then I could update my Facebook profile pic. See, it wasn’t just narcissistic. I was being practical. Right? Right.
I had seen those cute photos that girls were always taking of themselves on Facebook. All you had to do was hold your camera at arm’s length, smile, and voila! Instant cuteness.
How hard could it be?
Famous. Last. Words.
I grabbed my cherry chapstick to add a little color to my lips, picked up my camera phone, and snapped a quick pic of myself.
It was too dark to see it.
So I turned on the kitchen light and the flash on the camera, and tried again.
In addition to making an incredibly stupid expression, I blinded myself with the flash. Ow.
Well, that wasn’t going to work.
Obviously I was going to have to do one of those “I’m looking pensively off in the distance at something that is causing me to appear deep in thought” type pictures if I wanted to be able to avoid permanently blinding myself with the flash.
I took another pic and looked at the result:
Wow. Uh…… Wow. That was so not the look I was going for. I look like I’m about to be attacked by something evil that’s going to try to eat my face off.
I mean, I look pretty calm for the fact that I’m about to be devoured by an evil worm monster, but it really wasn’t what I had in mind to show off to the world.
Obviously I needed to just look kind of forward, and let my face relax. I wanted a candid, normal looking picture, not something that was heavily posed.
Okay, maybe I didn’t need to look that relaxed. I looked like a stoner. A smile. That’s what I needed, a nice, normal looking smile.
I took another photo.
- Nobody is making me take these pictures. I want to take them.
- There is no time limit on taking these pictures.
- From the time I lift my arm to take the picture between the time I actually snap the picture it’s only about 3-4 seconds. Think about this. I got bored and distracted in a 3-4 second time frame in the middle of a project I am voluntarily working on.
- There’s nobody in the house with me except for the two sleeping kids and the sleeping dog. Who am I even talking to? What am I saying? What on earth was so important that I just HAD to start talking to myself right then?
I took about thirty photos.
Crooked photos. Blurry photos. Photos where my glasses are crooked. Photos of the wall. Photos of the underside of my chin.
In at least half of the photos my eyes are closed.
The other half of the photos have my eyes open abnormally wide, in a desperate attempt to not have yet ANOTHER photo with my eyes closed.
In each subsequent photo you can see my facial expressions became increasingly annoyed.
By the end of my modeling session my photos were turning out like this:
Just in case you ever get the chance to meet me in person, I think I’ll give you fair warning: If you ever see this expression on my face — RUN. Just turn around and run. That is not a smile on my face. That is a barely controlled snarl. This is what happens when I take my “HOLY CRAP I’M SO ANNOYED I’M GOING TO CHEW UP AN INNOCENT BABY KITTEN AND SPIT OUT BULLETS” look and then try to cover it up with a fake smile.
Thirty photos, people. Thirty. I ended up with one semi-serviceable photo that I got by accident when I was testing the different camera functions.
No, I don’t look happy. No, I’m not smiling. No, it’s not in color. But it’s not blurry, both my eyes are open, and I don’t look like I’m about to leap forward and attack the camera… or worse, run away because I look like the camera is about to leap forward and attack me. I consider this photo to be an overwhelming success.
So, what’s the point of this blog post? Well, let me just say this. I learned a lot about myself last night.
I learned that professional modeling is not in my future.
I learned that I apparently have a deep-seated phobia of cameras – at least, that’s what it looked like judging from my wide-eyed, frightened expression in the majority of the pictures.
I learned that I was born without the “smile for the camera!” gene. I imagine this gene is paired with the “ability to do makeup“, “put together nice outfits“, “likes to go clothes shopping“, and “do something other than stand around awkwardly when another woman bursts into tears” genes. Apparently, I am missing that entire subsection of genes. I think they have been replaced by an extra helping of the the “Must Read Books” and “Look! A horse! LOOOK! A HORSE!!!!” genes.
I learned that I have the attention span of a gnat. I mean, I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was quite that bad.
And, finally, I learned that I’m more than a little jealous of those girls who squish their faces together and take easy, adorable self-portraits.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to the things I’m good at. I’ve got a half-finished book and an entire Internet full of horses to be looked at and drooled over.