Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aging Awkwardly

     I've got a book coming out next month.  Very exciting stuff.  I'm going to need a photo for the jacket cover.  So I have my husband take a few pictures of me posed in various natural settings.  Well, the man is no artist, I'll tell you that.  Each picture is worse than the one before.
     Obviously, I need a professional photo shoot.
     I make the appointment.  Get looking at my hair and decide I'll go in and get it puffed up a bit before the session.  I mean, this is not the last book I'll have published.  Unlikely I'll look any better as time takes its inevitible toll.  May as well spring for the picture now.
     The day comes and I go into the gallery.  Walls covered with glowing brides and soft skinned babies.  Wow.  This guy seems good.  The photographer, thank you Jesus, turns out to be about my age.  The last thing I need is some thirty year old looking down the length of the camera with those eyes that telegraph, 'Gotta make arrangements.  If I ever get this old, have someone shoot me.' 
     The guy takes about twenty pictures in three different poses.  He reminds me that in the old days (meaning forty-five years ago when I had my high school picture taken), they put all kinds of filters on the camera before they took the picture.  Nowadays, everything's digital.  The proofs come back harsh, sort of -what you see is what you get.  He's careful to explain that he'll send them to me via a webpage.  Then, once I choose a couple of poses, he'll go in and retouch, soften, do whatever I ask him to do.
     Okay dokey.  So, I got the proofs today.
     Holy crap!  Who is that old woman?  Have I had some kind of silent stroke?  Why is my face all cockeyed?  Did it used to be symetrical?  And when did my shoulders get all hunched over like my grandma's used ot be?  Mother-of-God!  Could I really be that fat?
     Twenty-two pictures and in every single freakin' one, I appear shockingly old.
     Very humbling and a teeny bit frightening.
     I immediately chose the three least horrible photos and fired off an email telling the photographer to remove my double chin, the black circles under my eyes, and the forty excess pounds the camera seems to have added.  Airbrush my right eye so it's the same size as my left.  Straighten out my mouth so it looks less like I'm grimacing and more like I'm smiling.  Basically, I ended the email, just retouch the photos to within an inch of cartoon character.
     Sheesh!  Good thing I've spent a little of my extended years doing my best to develop some inner beauty.  Lord knows my outer beauty has gone straight to crap.


  1. Pam, you're beautiful from the outside, as you are on the inside. It's just that you're a very harsh critic of yourself, lol, but I know exactly how you feel. You just expressed it so much better than I would have!

  2. Ditto what Madison Woods said - every word of it! Can't wait to see your book, Pam!

  3. OMG. I laughed so hard I about fell off the chair! I know just what you're talking about. The pictures of my birthday party were gross! Double chin, double gut, dingy teeth. Just an old frumpy middle-aged woman. How can that be? Inside my head I am a hot mama! You are so funny, Pam. I enjoyed reading this.
    Dixie Ruth