Lately I have been experiencing something that I will refer to as the “um, what?” phenomena. Apparently the public at large has received word that I need to be taken down a peg or two so as to reduce the size of my large head. And by large head, I don’t mean large because “I’m full of myself” head. No, I actually kind of have a large head. But I digress.
The first incident occurred when I went to see my doctor. He had performed surgery on me a few months back and this was a follow-up visit. Doctor visits are not exactly my favorite thing. They have to poke and prod in places I would rather forget that I have but at my age it just a fact of life that I must go and accept that my orifices must be explored. During this visit and while exploring said orifice my doctor announces the following: “Wow, you could drive a truck up there”. Um, what?! He was pretty self-satisfied too. Like he had just created a pathway likened to the Lincoln Tunnel but with the deft artistry of Michelangelo.
If you could have been in the room you would have witnessed my wonderful doctor with his headlamp and tools with a self-satisfied grin and me trying not to look pained physically and emotionally. The only thing saving this moment from being any worse was that this doctor was my ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) doctor and not my gynecologist.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the next “um, what?” moment occurred today when I went to do the thing that I dread almost as much as getting a pap smear or a root canal. I had to go to the DMV to get my new license photo. The only reason I went was because my husband kept harassing me to get it done since I was driving around on an expired license. It was only over due by a few days and I hadn’t had time to work out or lose the 40 pounds I intended to lose before getting my new picture taken. Men just don’t understand these things. He insisted that it was more important to have an license that was valid then an expired license with a picture that I find “okay”. It also doesn’t help that I just had a birthday and after 40 each year seems to accumulate more of the things I’m trying to avoid (wrinkles, excessively dry skin, sagging, etc,) at an exponential rate. So I RELUCTANTLY got myself as dolled up as possible at my age without looking like the town hooker, and headed off to pose for my mug shot.
Things started off well, no lines, the guy at the counter was friendly, so I was starting to get that anticipatory ”it will soon be over” feeling. Now I have to tell you that I had spent a few moments doing my “practice” face. You know what I’m talking about, so stop looking confused. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at my face from different angles, posing and smiling to see what would make me look less grotesque. This is the sure sign that you are getting older. You stop trying to figure out which pose makes you look cute and start trying to figure out which pose hides your double-chin. So now I am starting to feel like maybe this whole situation won’t be so bad.
The guy behind the counter tells me to sit down and look at the camera. On the camera is a conveniently placed smiley face, so you know where to look, which I’m pretty sure is mocking me. It looks like less of a smile and more of a smirk. He tells me that I can smile if I want but I have practiced my smiling poses and there was a little too much of a resemblance to Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” (see the picture below if you’ve never watched the movie). So I decide on the coy, but still friendly, half smile. If I get pulled over I want the police officer to think that I’m friendly, right? So I get myself situated and strike my pose and he presses some button on the computer keyboard to capture the image. He then points at the monitor near me and says you can look at the picture there and see if it’s okay.
So I’m relieved. We are almost done. It wasn’t as painful as I thought. Or so it seemed. As I’m staring at the computer monitor waiting to see if the new picture will horrify me, the guy says: “Oh we have to take it again, the camera doesn’t like your face”. Um, what?! I think he realized that I might just break his stupid camera with it’s smirking “have a nice day” sticker on it because he laughed and said: “Oh I mean it doesn’t like the way you are holding your face”. Nice. I’m pretty sure he is lying now and that his camera really doesn’t like my face but I have to get this stupid picture taken or I won’t be able to face my husband.
The next picture that he takes actually works but I look angry…gee I wonder why. So we take two more and we finally get one where I don’t look crazy or angry and apparently the camera likes my face enough to produce a picture that is acceptable to the state of Pennsylvania. I don’t have to take another picture for a license until 2015 and I’m going to be prepared for that picture. I’m hiring a professional photographer and someone who mastered in air brushing to help me out. If the camera didn’t like my face now it’s not going to like it any better 4 years from now.
I don’t know what is going on lately but I’m starting to develop a complex here. This old lady could use a compliment once in awhile. The constant look of embarrassment and shock as a result of these experiences is starting to form lines that will require plastic surgery to remove. So if you happen to run into me I would like to request that you try not to insult me. You don’t really want me to end up looking like this do you?
Signed – A Batty Broad