August 14, 2008
I just saw the photos from my recent vacation. There were photos of me looking hungry while desperately wishing I were eating instead of posing in front of a table full of delicious food as it got cold and the flies attacked it. There were pictures of me looking at the camera instead of gazing at the breathtaking views behind me. There were pictures of me thirstily posing with my drink instead of drinking it. And there were pictures of me standing in unnatural positions while wishing I could be slouching or sitting. Ironically, we managed to capture all of the moments of the vacation that I wish hadn’t happened. Everything that happened just before and just after the camera started flashing was great.
Being the only one in my marriage who dresses for efficiency over fashion, I usually get nominated to carry the camera and the cell phone in my voluminous pockets of my shorts. Add to that my wallet, keys, and maybe some sea shells and you can see the issue. The merchandise bangs against my leg every step. I feel like Rodney King jogging through LA during a hail storm.
For me, posing for pictures is the opposite of being on vacation because getting photographed is part of my job. This afternoon, for example, a photographer will be at my office taking pictures for several hours. When a lawyer goes on vacation he doesn’t have to sue someone every time he walks past an interesting landmark. A dental hygienist doesn’t have to clean any teeth every time the sunset looks pretty. But I have to pose for a picture, sometimes three. It doesn’t seem fair.
One thing you don’t want on your vacation is anyone telling you what to do, as in “Stand over there” and “Smile” and “Straighten your shirt so it doesn’t look like a food baby.” It’s more than even Pinocchio would put up with.
I like having photos of my vacations, but there has to be a better way. My proposed solution involves buying stock photos of landmarks and using Photoshop to superimpose stock photos of me looking happy. It’s not dishonest if I was actually at those landmarks, and both the landmark and I look exactly the way the photos suggest.
Am I wrong?