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Twenty somethings unite!

How to Get a Terrible Picture Taken for Free August 17, 2012


Church pictures.  Something I thought I’d never be a part of at 27 years old.  I vaguely remember being a part of them as a child.  I know I’ve seen pictures of myself at 5 years of age, permed bangs hair sprayed up 4 inches, and my parents in matching white shirts in front of a gray backdrop.

Yet, as a member of a great church today, I found myself in the same mortifying moment 22 years later.  They advertised “100% participation” in the bulletin for our church photos week after week.  So I signed the hubbie and I up for our photo shoot and what we got was an awkward moment (and photo) to remember…

We walked in at our scheduled time wearing shirts in semi-matching hues (hey, I checked pinterest for tips on how to dress for photos!)  As we waited for our turn, I noticed the hubs had on a pair of blue plaid shorts that completely clashed with my navy striped shirt.  We were off to a wonderful start.  A nice older lady walked up and told us she was ready.  The gray background made me cringe, but I rolled with it.  She directed me to sit on one of two stools.  She stood back, assessed the situation, and said to the hubs, “I’m going to have you sit on the other stool behind her.  Straddle her.”  I fought back a laugh.

My husband did as he was told, we looked at the camera and waited for the click.  I begged the lady to crop out the plaid shorts and smiled.  We smiled for what seemed like 5 minutes… you know when you smile for so long that it begins to look like your third grade school picture?  I knew it wouldn’t be pretty when the shutter finally clicked, but at least it was over.  I stood up and turned to leave.

“So, we’re done?”

“Um, no.  Unless you really want to be.”

How could I walk away from this nice old lady?  She was just doing her job.  OK fine.  She had us stand and face each other.  “Let’s show off this pretty ring!” she said and propped by left hand up on my husband’s chest.  Can you see this in your mind?  It was one of those cheesy engagement picture shots that just make my roll my eyes in the back of my head.  I mean seriously.  Who does that?

I blurted out, “I can’t do this one!!”

Startled, she said, “Why not?”

“It’s too cheesy.  Sorry, I just can’t.”

Instead she had me wrap my arm around his waist so we were now just in a standing hug position.  Not much better than the cheesy engagement photo pose.  This was God’s punishment for being difficult.

Pose number three had my husband sitting on a stool with me behind him.  I was told to wrap my arms around his neck and lean forward.  Really?  Now I was just going to roll with it and get the pictures done.  Finally, the photo shoot was over and we sat at a desk with our photographer.  She brought up all of our pictures on a computer screen and I screwed my face into a horrified expression.  Ew.  The florescent lighting, navy blue shirt, and gray background did nothing for me.  I looked like a meth addict who had been locked in a closet for 3 years.  Not exactly the church photo I had in mind.  I looked about the hubs who could care less what he looks like and even he was cringing.  She clicked through all of our pictures and we decided on one.

She assured us our free 8×10 would be arriving in the mail within a few weeks.  Oh yes.  That is for sure going on the mantle.  When we thought the awkward church photo experience was over, the photographer offered to… um… spruce up our photo.

“Would you like me to add some words to your 8×10?”

???

“For example, I could add something like, ‘Love’ or ‘Together Forever’ on the bottom of your photo.”

“Uh, no thanks.  I think we’re OK…. yep… plain is fine.”

We slinked out of church that night with 2 shreds of dignity left.  We got in the car in silence.  I was clutching a piece of paper containing our black and white photos in thumbnail size.  We looked at each other and burst out laughing.  The whole things was just weird.  These photos would haunt us for years to come – and lucky us!  They’ll be published in our church directory for thousands to see.

I texted a photo of our pics to my mom.  Her response?

“LOL those look like the photos you see on the news when the wife disappears.”

Thanks mom.

The point?  If you can’t laugh at an experience like this, you’re taking life too seriously.  Chill out, laugh at odd situations, and get your church pictures taken.

 

Never Buy X-Mas Cards that Require Extra Postage December 21, 2011


So the lady at the post office through my credit card at me with the most pissed off look I have ever seen.  I looked from my credit card back to her in disbelief.  “Oh, so we’re doing this?”  I was ready to fly over the counter and show her the true meaning of Christmas.

OK let me back up a bit here.  You see, last Saturday I made a quick trip to the post office.  We live in a small town and I thought I’d just run in real quick and get some stamps.  Shutterfly gave me 10 free Christmas cards in October, so I picked out the most extravagant (and pricey) cards they had.  Hey, they were free!  The catch was that they were those perfectly squared cards that for some reason require extra postage.   Hence my visit to the post office last Saturday.  Ten 64 cent stamps.  That was my mission.

I walked in, bedhead and all.  There were at least 25 people who turned to look at me who were also making a quick trip to the post office the Saturday before Christmas.  I found my spot in line and listened to two older women in front me talk about what was in their packages.  Gifts for their grandkids… “Teenage boys are so hard to buy for!”  I patiently waited 35 minutes for my turn in line.  The lady in front of me paid just under $22 to ship her gift (Are you kidding me??)  and then I approached the counter.

“Hello!  I’m going to be an easy customer today.  I just need ten stamps for these square cards and I’ll be on my way!”  I was so cheerful and pleasant it was almost sickening.  I figured this poor woman could use a break from crankiness.

“Oh,” she said, “We’re out.”  Scowling.

“Really?  Out?  I know it’s not your fault or anything but… I’ve been here for 35 minutes waiting for these stamps.  Maybe you should put a sign up or something.  Then people will see it and leave if that’s what they came for.”

“Do you want me to make an announcement or something,” she groaned.

“No, just thought a sign might prevent someone from waiting like I did.”

“I can sell you a book of stamps and you can just put 2 on every card,” she suggested.

SIIIIGH “Fine.  I’ve waited this long, might as well get them mailed off.”  I ran my credit card through and she asked to see it.  She tossed it back at me and it landed on the counter.  Wow.  Really?  We’re doing this?  This is happening?  I’m so going to fly over this counter at you cranky post office lady.  I looked up and saw a surveillance camera.  This changed my mind. 

“Sorry,” she said with the same scowl.  I took my stamps, walked over to a different counter and began sticking them on my envelopes.  Suddenly the bright red marker I used to address all of them didn’t seem so cheerful anymore.  As I worked on my cards, the post office lady said in a loud voice to the entire post office….

“IS ANYONE HERE WAITING FOR 64 CENT STAMPS?”  (Crickets…. total silence.)  I glanced around mortified and my face flushed.

“WELL, THIS GAL OVER HERE (points at me) SAYS I SHOULD MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THEM!”

I died a slow death as this woman embarrassed the supreme crap out of me.  Enraged, I turned around.  I waved my arms around and wiggled my hips, “YAH!  BECAUSE THEY’RE OUT!”

I shoved my envelopes into the mailbox, avoided any and all eye contact with the long line of customers and left the post office.  Merry Christmas to you too lady.  Merry Christmas indeed…

I swore that while traipsing across the parking lot I would be ambushed by cameras and people screaming, “You got punked!”  My eyes darted around the lot and saw no cameras.  I got in my car and just started laughing.  The past 40 minutes were something from an SNL skit that could appear on their Christmas special.  I called my mom and together we laughed so hard that I literally cried while describing what had just happened.  It’s times like these, where if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.  And if the story is really good, you’ll do both!