Catsinger recently blogged about her experience at the DMV (which I am sorry to say are universally wretched). I got to thinking about the last two "photo opportunities" I had, my new driver's license and my passport renewal picture.
First, I want to make it clear than a ravin' beauty I ain't. I consider my appearance serviceable. All the features on my face work - well, my eyesight isn't what it could be, but that's another tale. I have two of all the bilaterally symmetrical parts, and my nose is centered where it should be. I have no vanity.
But my driver's license picture was the final insult after a terrible day waiting in lines followed by dealing with insolent employees followed by more waiting in lines. How to describe it? Grim might be a word. And haggard, in that special fluorescent-lit way - her camera flash did nothing to color balance the result. I'm praying I never get pulled over because not even a policeman should see that picture.
I realized last month that my passport will expire in July and figured that I should get a jump on the process and have the photos taken soon. So I thought, aha, I will circumvent part of the inherent problems in this situation and get the picture made right after my hair is cut and fixed. At least one problem solved.
So that's what I did. Right after I left the beauty shop I stopped at the local camera store that takes passport photos. Well, that didn't turn out like expected.
This guy was in a hurry. A big hurry. He took my ten dollars and motioned for me to sit on a stool in front of his backdrop. I was almost settled on the seat when - snap! went the camera, leaving me to sputter that I wasn't ready. Did that matter? Nope. One shot, one shot only.
He counted off the time and peeled the polaroid off its backing. Oh lord. It was dreadful. My mouth is set in a sort of rictus, every bit of my crepey chicken neck (gee, thanks for that gene, Mom) is exposed, and my eyes are sort of bugged out, probably from being startled by the flash. I took them in a kind of "Well, gee THANKS" way and slunk off to the car. If possible, it's even worse than my driver's license. The photos are sitting in my jewelry box until I get up the courage to try again.
But my hair looked fabulous.