I go to CVS on Sunday to get my photo taken. The clerk takes me over to the freezer section and pulls down a white screen (think overhead projection screen). She motions to a point on the floor where I should stand. I get there and look up and she is already taking the photo. Wait! No, 1.....2....3? And she just keeps clicking.
Wait! Let me get my face on. My photo face...where I try to suck up my double chin and then try to decide if I should have an open mouthed smile or a closed sweet smile. And she is standing 18 inches away from me, so when I look into the camera, I feel like my eyes are crossed. I even ask her...."Do my eyes look crossed?" She shakes her head no.
Okay...wait. Let me pull my hair out from behind my ears and fluff it up a bit. She waits...with absolutely no expression. I fluff up my hair. She clicks again. I am trying to remember how to throw my head out and over like the stars do on the red carpet but it's all happening so fast. Done. She's done and hasn't uttered one word the entire time. This is apparently not as big a deal to her as it is to me.
So I walk around CVS for a few minutes until my pictures are ready. I pay, take the envelope and go to the car. I open the envelope and look at the most hideous photo I have ever seen. I'm ugly? I'm UGLY? And whoa! My nose.......when did it spread all over my face? And the expensive haircut I just got? I look like a wet rat....flattened hair on top and fluffed up fly-away hairs all over the place.
I know it's a passport photo. I know that. But I can't quit thinking about how bad that photo is. I am fast forwarding in my mind to the security point in the London Heathrow Airport when the uniformed guy has to look at me and my passport photo and just can't believe this is the same chick. I KNOW. Me either. He and I have something in common....we head to the airport bar where we share a good laugh.
So I did what I had to do. I went back to CVS yesterday. Different clerk. Same non-personality. (Must be a job requisite.)
Me: Uh, yeah. I was in here yesterday and had my passport picture taken. It didn't turn out so I need to take another one.
Her: stares at me...says nothing
Me: So can I take another one?
Me: I mean....I will pay for it, I just want to do it again.
She leads me over to the pull-down screen.......not a word out of her. Ahhh, she was "trained" by Clerk 1.
Me: So should I have my hair behind my ears or out in front?
Me: Okay. I'll keep it behind my ears. I thought there might be a rule.
Me: Should I open my mouth to smile or not?
Me: Wait....can I see it? (on the digital camera screen...after she takes 2 or 3 shots)
Me: I'm sorry....am I making a big deal of this? It's just, I'm 51 and I've never had a passport and I really don't want this to be the worst picture ever. And I have this double chin but I don't want it to show and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
I CANNOT SHUT UP. I AM SOUNDING MORE STUPID BY THE SECOND.
Close family and friends have witnessed this many times.
Me: Can I see them on the screen?
Her: Yeah, you can see them on the machine before I print them.
Me: oooooohhhh. (as I look at them) Would you mind if we did them again?
And would you mind bringing your personality with you? If you would talk, I might shut up. Because I have this uncontrollable urge to fill this deafening silence. I mean you're taking my picture. How much more intimate could it get?
Just starts walking back to the screen.
Me: I'm so sorry.
I am concentrating at this point....on trying to just shut up. CON CEN TRAT ING.
Finally, the 3rd time around the pictures are somewhat better. If you're keeping count...this would be the 3rd set of pictures.
Then I meet up with my sister. I show her the pictures. She looks at them. Then at me. Then at them. And doesn't really say anything. SEE? It's not just me. They're bad.
Today? I'm going to Walgreens.