Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Because I have a platform to speak to the world.

While walking around Walmart yesterday, I passed the picture me! photography "studio" (and I use that term loosely*), which had a whiteboard hanging inside declaring this brilliant marketing-based message: Live each day as if it's your last- Take pictures!

Ok. Clearly I understand the reasoning behind writing this on the board. Perhaps one or two of my fellow Walmart shoppers would read it and think, You know, I haven't had the kids' pictures done in a while. And hey, I can get 574 pictures for about $9.99 here... maybe I will make an appointment. And anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit freakish about getting my daughters formally- and informally- photographed. So that part doesn't bother me in the least.

No, I am more irritated by the "live you day as if it's your last" part of it. I have read this in many other inspirational settings and it has always rubbed me the wrong way. Because if it were my last day, I would not be buying diapers, pasta, toilet paper and dental floss at Walmart. I would never go to the gynecologist. I would eat out every night. I would never pay any bills, Dan would never go to work, the girls wouldn't go to school, we would live in Disneyworld and only eat ice cream. The whole premise is ridiculous. Then I feel like if I'm NOT living each day as if it's my last, I've surely wasted my last day. It's so simplistic and irresponsible.

The better saying is to appreciate it day for what it is. Some days are going to be fun and rewarding; some are boring but really pretty decent; and some are just horrible and frustrating, but learning opportunities. Appreciate them all.

And that concludes my rant of the day. Thank you for reading.

*For those of you still interested, I do have a great story about the Walmart picture studio. For Jenna's first Christmas, I bought the girls matching plaid jumpers. They were really cute. Wanting to save a little cash, I booked an appointment for the Walmart picture studio to capture the cuteness forever. I got a late morning appointment; I bathed both girls, dried and styled Michaela's hair; timed Jenna's nap, fed them, bundled them up and drove down to Walmart. A very, very, very marginal person was the "photographer"-let's call her Mabel: she was loud and kind of caustic and tried to prop Jenna and Michaela on top of this high table covered in cheap carpeting and then yelled, "Come on, girls.... Smile!!!" over and over. Jenna of course burst into tears and wouldn't stop. At one point Mabel dragged out this beat up kids' tape player and put on a Disney music tape. The music was loud and distorted and horrible and Jenna cried harder and Mabel then said accusingly to me, "What? She don't like music?"
On top of all of this, the camera was digital and the way the woman explained it to me- which was either true and ridiculous or the result of her misunderstanding how the camera system worked- we would take a picture and we either saved it and that was the final picture or we had to delete it... but there was no saving pictures and reviewing five and picking the best one. It was a huge gambling game: you could get a decent picture and keep it or delete it and hope that a better one came later. So after each awful picture of my precious babies in their cute jumpers perched perilously high- Michaela trying valiantly to smile and be a good girl and Jenna crying in misery about the whole situation- I would have to look at each picture Mabel took on a small screen and make the split second decision to stop or go on and hope for a better picture.
After a while Jenna reached her breaking point so we stopped and I nursed her in the studio- add that to the list of exotic places I've nursed her- and then fell asleep for a short time while Michaela played with the sad toys nearby and when Jenna woke up we tried for a few more minutes, got a shot that Jenna was actually crying but looked like she was merely grimacing and we called it a day.
We immediately went over to my mom's and when I walked in the door, three hours after our scheduled appointment that started this whole fiasco, my mom took one look at me and said:
"I don't think I've ever seen you so... defeated."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that day vividly! Perhaps Mabel never was blessed with children who she was trying to have photographed and did not appreciate the HUGE effort it took to get them picture-ready! I recall taking you to the Glenmont K-Mart for summer pictures when you were about 2ish and having a similar experience which resulted in my not returning there for our photo needs! I guess Wally's is GREAT for many things but perhaps stellar photography is not one of them- BUT I was proud of you for TRYING to get the best bang for your buck! You are SO good about having the girls' pics taken and, as a result, we have many WONDERFUL pictures of them to cherish and smile when we look at! Thank you for the effort it takes to do that! Love, Mommie