My nemesis: Picture Day

September 20, 2011

This morning, I looked at the calendar and saw, in red ink, the three words I dread every year: School Picture Day. It’s coming for me, Readers. Tomorrow. I’ll be cowering in fear the rest of today and into tomorrow morning, until I wave Miss D.’s curly-haired head onto the school bus and pray for mercy.

Is there a Picture Day God? If there is, he clearly doesn’t like me and definitely shows no mercy. How did I piss you off, Picture Day God? Why you so mad at me, huh?

Picture Day God nearly destroyed me last year, remember? What? You don’t remember HamsterGate? For that little bit of carnage, click  here. Last year suckity-sucked.

But honestly, every Picture Day is bad business for the T. progeny, and I do pity my girls. Because those sweet girls have been cursed with a mommy who lacks the Hairstyling Gene.  Seriously.  My skill level at hairstyling is

It’s pathetic.  Doesn’t God know to give hairstyling-impaired mommies boy children? If anyone deserved boys, it’s me. But no. God– that sadistic puppy–gave me girl children. And he didn’t just give me girl children, he gave me girls with Indian hair. This  is nothing short of a disaster. I can’t even manage my own hair, and it’s thin little duck fuzz.  How on Earth am I supposed to deal with the thick, curly, temperamental mess that is Indian hair?

I deal with it badly, that’s what I do. Suckage-level badly.  Every morning, the girls and I walk to the bus stop and I marvel at the braided, bowed, pigtailed, barrette-laden girls of other mommies. They are specimens of wonderment and beauty. My girls, in contrast, look like their hair was attacked with a weed whacker.

The hair of my girls is disobedient, mercurial. Just try to contain that stuff, I swear.  It’s a force of nature. No matter how I try to tame it, the stuff sproings free of any styling accoutrement known to man.

I think the worst thing about picture day is that it’s concrete proof of my failure.  Those school pictures expose me for the fraud that I am.  What kind of mommy lets her children attend school looking like that? Good heavens, are those children raised by wolves? Just look at them–poor, unkempt, static-headed little hooligans.  It’s shameful.

Which is why I never fill out the order form to purchase school pictures. Not ever. Why torture myself? And excuse me, what kind of arrogance is at work with the portrait company, who requires you to pay in full for picture packages before a single frame is even snapped?  I mean, who commits to pictures without being allowed to deem them decent first?  Why invest cash in the unknown?

Well, in my case, it’s not the unknown, because I know already that my offspring will look like one of the Artful Dodger’s orphans in the finished photos.  Consider the history. Miss D.:  refused to smile and had hooded, toad-like eyes in her kindergarten picture. In first grade, she was missing more teeth than a pirate with the scurvy. Second grade, I forgot that it was picture day, so she’s clad in a frayed Superman t-shirt and has toothpaste on her face. Third grade? Unfortunate ears and HamsterGate face.

This year, I fear we will fare no better. Miss D. has braces on both rows of teeth and is adamant that she needs to grow out her bangs. Bangs growing out = follicular suicide.  Nobody, not even queen Gwyneth, looks decent when the bangage is growing out. It’s just an awkward affair, no matter how you slice it.

So wish me luck, Readers. Pray to the Picture Day God for me. Not that he listens. Because this year? I now have two girls with picture days. I’m smelling failure already.

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