My friend Erin told me about a web site last week, and thought I should mention it on awkward Tuesday. But I spaced it off until now.
Whoever came up with this site is absolutely brilliant.
First let me paint the picture for you...
It usually happened on a Saturday. Very, very early on a Saturday. Baths would be taken, outfits would be chosen.
It was family picture day.
Mom would go into hair Nazi mode and pull my down-to-my-back hair into the tightest pony tail one could ever concoct. My eyes would peel back toward my forehead as she looped the band tighter and tighter. By the time she was finished, I looked like a Caucasian Asian.
As icing to the cake, Mom was never satisfied with the first attempt, so I got to endure this travesty nine or ten times.
My brother would be shoved into uncomfortable corduroy slacks and, if the day was extra special, bright red suspenders. Mom would wash his hair, but it would never lay down properly, so she spent much of the morning licking her palm and applying her saliva to the back of his head in an attempt to force the offending follicles into submission.
Dad wore his best suit, and inevitably picked the incorrect color shirt. Mom would yell and tell him to change. And request that he get his eyes checked because "That shirt is clearly not blue. It is GREEN! The rest of the family is wearing BLUE!!."
Mom wore eyeliner and heels, and my sister would get to wear blush because it wasn't a school function and no boys would be seeing her. Then she would be told she needn't have a purse in the family photo because nobody else would have a purse in the photo. Yes, we understood that having a purse is exciting and she is almost 10 years old, but the purse was not to appear in the pictures.
She would cry.
Eventually, the fam would pile carefully into the van (Ford Aerostar to be exact) and be instructed to "PLEASE sit very still. And don't touch each other."
Ten minutes later we would arrive at whatever torture chamber of a studio these shoots took place.
Chaos would ensue.
A man that looked an awful lot like an escaped pedophile from Leavenworth would lick his greasy mustache and arrange our family in poses that involved kneeling, leaning and tilting our bodies into positions that no one in their right mind would ever agree to.
Then the photographer would have one-sided conversations with himself that went something like this:
"Little girl in the tight ponytail...yes, you. Can you see me? Your eyes seem a little...never mind, it's because of your hair. Just move your head to the left. NO, not that far. That's your right. The other way. YES! Up a little further. No, down. No, up. THERE!
"Mom, you look lovely. Your shoulder pad is a bit cock-eyed though, can you adjust that? Great. Now place your hand on Dad's shoulder and the other on your daughter? Yes, that's right. No, the daughter with the purse. Oh, we're not going to have the purse? Okay, little girl, you can put your purse over there on the desk. Please don't cry...no one has purses in pictures."
"Okay, Dad, lookin' handsome! Look at this lovely family you have. Can you put your hand on Mom's back? No touching now, this is a family place. Mwuah ha ha ha ha ha!" (wiipes away tear of laughter.)
"Little boy, can you pretend you like your sisters and squeeze in a little tigher? Great. No, there's no need to give rabbit ears. Just smile. Well, that's close. You kind of look angry. Can you do a happy smile?"
"All right, family! Let's do this. Everyone look at Emily, she's the one with the squeaky duck. Everyone look at her and say "Money money money!"
Is it coming back to you now? I'm sure it is. If you're breaking out in hives remembering these times with your family, check out this website.
The next time I'm at my parents house, I'll dry to drudge up some of our own gems from the back of our photo albums....you can't say you haven't been warned.