Call me lazy, but I am sick and tired of having to make decisions. Things that used to be simple have gotten crazily complicated. And I don’t like it.
Take… school picture day, for example. When I was a kid, you showed up at school and they took your picture. And that was it. Well, maybe the photographer insisted on combing your hair some stupid way you never wore it, but really, that was about it. Later, the pictures would come in, and you’d grimace at the way your hair looked in the photos, but there was nothing you could do about it except hope your mom didn’t choose that year’s school photo for her new silver frame sitting on the mantel.
That was then.
NOW you get a warning notice sent home from school about a week ahead of time, telling you that picture day is coming up. But that’s odd, because they just took school photos back in the fall. And the school year is only 180 days long… and you’re only a few weeks past the 100 day mark… Ah, but then, the children were dressed in FALL clothes then. And now it’s SPRING. Right? Or maybe, even though you are holding the flier in your hands, your husband is right, maybe it’s a flier for school picture “make up day”. For the kids who were sick or otherwise absent back in the fall. And they just forgot to put “make up day” on the flier. Yeah, that’s probably what it is. NOT.
Exactly 17 hours before picture day you get another reminder, complete with a small form that proudly states there is “No charge for picture day!” Your child will get their picture taken regardless, and you don’t have to pay a thing until the photos come home and you decide whether or not to buy them.
But nothing’s ever free. In lieu of parting with your hard earned cash on picture day, you have to choose which one of five poses is more ‘you’, or you know, more ‘your child’. And then you mark that box and send in the form so the photographer knows which way to position the kid before he snaps the photo. You can write any special instructions you want to the photographer on the form too. Like, “LEAVE THE HAIR ALONE!”
But this is where I fall apart. I can’t make decisions like this. Take the picture and send it to me. If I like, it I will fork over a kajillion dollars for a small package of two 5×7’s and eight wallet size photos. If I don’t like it, well, I’ve got a digital camera and I know how to use it.
But this, this… Pose 1 shows the child sitting in a chair. Pose 2 shows the child with chin in hand, bored like, but still smiling. Pose 3 shows the child lounging somewhat precariously across two bean bag chairs. Pose 4 has the child leaning on a bean bag chair with arms crossed, all defensive like, but still smiling. You lookin’ at me? And Pose 5 is simply the child’s face.
I think what threw me the most was Pose 3, where the child is sprawled across the bean bag chairs. A handy suggestion next to it says “Pants recommended!” And so I wonder if this has really been a problem. Do parents really send their children to school without any pants? Certainly that’s in violation of school dress codes, is it not? Or did the photo company do one too many photo shoots at an elementary school smack in the middle of a nudist camp? Or, perhaps, it’s a reminder to the photographers. Maybe some of them used to work for that magazine with the bunny ears.
I’m torn. Not one of the five poses is “Snags”. If they had a pose that said “Snags” it would be my child before bedtime, protesting my comment that he looks tired, all the while sucking on two fingers and holding his old tag blanket up to his nose so he can sniff one of his favorite tags. Only, the form doesn’t say, “favorite blankets recommended,” and I, having gone through school myself, have personal experience with school photographers. If they don’t want your hair parted on the left, they sure as hell aren’t going to let you shove a couple of fingers in your mouth and sniff on the tag of a blanket for your school photo. Not even if you have pants on.