Does anyone else swear they would prefer to have their arm lopped off to having their picture taken? Or is that just me? It’s not that I’m horrifying, definitely not Elephant Man ugly, but I’m shy (ish). Still, it’s de rigeur to have an author photo, so after much gentle prodding by the fabulous Traci (Hi, Traci!), I finally put on the big girl panties and made an appointment with a local photographer.
The day dawned bright and sunny… but I didn’t see it. You see, for the first time in recorded history The Man, in a rare burst of self-control, decided to deprive himself of my morning awesomeness (if by awesomeness you mean rat’s nest hair and an amazing ability to growl while yawning). This never happens. He’s up daily at 4 am, and so never sleeps past 6am, even on the weekends. EVER. And he loves me so much (HA! He wants breakfast) that he can’t live without my gentle laughter (Lies. I’m a zombie until I’ve sucked down at least two cups of coffee) past 7am. You can set a clock by his adorkable (yeah. right) routines. Until this Saturday morning. THIS Saturday, the one time I really did have to be up early to get my crap together before heading off to the photog, he let me sleep in. So you can imagine my chagrin (see, Stephanie Meyer? I can use that word, too.) when I opened my eyes to sunshine flooding the room and the sound of late morning cartoons wafting through the house.
This timeline should give you some idea of my day:
9 am: *yawn, stretch* *glance at clock* *shriek so loud dogs heard me in China*Appointment with hair and makeup goddess starts right now. I’ll never make it.
9:02 Step on Lego. Shriek some more. Curse Miniman, tiny plastic assassin, and entire Swedish nation.
9:05 Tell self to calm down. Sweaty is not a good look for anyone except Channing Tatum. You know, in that scene in (every movie) where he has his shirt off and he’s working out, and… Tell self to get a grip. We have SERIOUS BUSINESS to do today Search for headband to get hair out of the way while makeup magic is performed. No headband, no brush to be found.
9:06 Run downstairs, cursing Daughter #2. Find all hair accoutrements for all family members stuffed under her bed.
9:07 Run back upstairs. Step on another Lego and teeter at edge of stairs. Consider whether it’s worth a gaping hole in the head to let myself fall and thus avoid photography expedition.
9:10 Think calming thoughts (Island breezes… hammock… Mai Tais… Nathan Fillion…) Realize these are not calming thoughts and start again (Bathroom cleaner… Pot roast… Car repairs…) Feel self dropping into a coma and realize ‘calming’ can’t be ‘boring’. Back to island breezes and Mai Tais, but ix-nay on the hammock and Mr. Fillion…
9:12 Eye puffy stuff and moisturizer have had time to set, so pull out make-up case. Blow off dust. Open and realize it’s mostly empty. Growl.
9:13 Back down stairs to collect makeup from Daughter #1’s secret hiding place (It’s in her bottom drawer. But don’t tell her that I told you). Trip over large hairy snoring dog. Briefly fantasize about lying down next to her and going back to sleep.
9:15 Despair of covering large Gordon Ramsay-style forehead wrinkles with anything less than industrial spackle.
9:25 Make up finished, hair repair commenced. Check clock. Panic.
9:30 Back downstairs in search of hairspray. Leap Lego “Walking Dead” village (That’s my boy!). Kick dog (sorry, girl). Bathroom door is locked.
9:35 Bang on door. Growl. Threaten to eat soul of child on other side of door if he doesn’t open up and give me what I want. Avoid eyes and raised eyebrows of The Man as he wakes from his nap on the couch (He was up early, you know).
9:45 Out the door. Assure self that fifteen minutes is PLENTY of time to get downtown (but I know I’m lying. I can see it in my eyes. I’m a terrible liar.) Pull Lego out from beneath my butt and toss it into the backseat. Start car and turn on A/C. Nothing happens. Bang head on steering wheel.
9:55 Traffic is light. I’m gonna make it! Or not. Forgot today was first day of Farmer’s Market. Finally find parking three blocks from studio. Hustle down the street, dodging zombie shoppers. Vault small children and dogs. Wonder if it might be easier to throw myself under the train that’s next to me. Sadly, it’s only moving about 5 MPH and is three tiny cars. Give up on idea. Vault more small children and dogs.
10:05 Enter studio, apologizing profusely for being late. Photographer stares, then forces a smile and offers use of bathroom. Close door and study self. Sweaty (and not Channing sweaty either). Hair slightly askew. Crazed look in the eye. Yep. I look like me again. Adjust hair and exit bathroom, laughing. Notice I’m walking funny and pull Lego from bottom of shoe.
There are morals to this story: first, SET YOUR ALARM. No one can be trusted. Second, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. The Universe IS out to get you, so you might as well get used to the idea and be prepared. Finally, DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. Life’s too short not to enjoy yourself.
My lovely (and frankly magical) photographer sent me the final product of our work a couple of days later. With that in mind, I have a final request: When you look at it and find yourself making a side eye and thinking, “She looks like someone’s mom”, remember that I am.
Blame the children.
That’s my motto.