Saturday, May 01, 2010

Day-after-Birthday Rite of Passage

To mark turning 45 yesterday, I just changed my profile picture for both this blog and Facebook. I’ve been using the same 6 year old picture Scott snapped of me for everything that needed a photo, so if you Google me at “Images” that’s pretty much the only picture that shows up. When Scott took it, I thought I looked old. Now I look at it and I think wow do I look young. . . and good! This must be why they say youth is wasted on the young.

There are many reasons I’ve kept using a picture of myself as a 38 year old.

1. It was a good hair day—taken right after a haircut and blow-dry.

2. As the family photographer, I have almost no other photos. There are lots of pictures of my kids, my husband, the friends of my kids and perfect strangers who straggled into the shot, but not of me.

3. Any pictures that do exist usually are bad hair days.

4. Any pictures that do exist usually have random children hanging on me.

5. Lately, any pictures that do exist were taken by my kids, who delight in shooting me at odd angles, emphasizing my apparently overlarge nostrils, impending double chin, and whatever bad hair day I’m having.

6. Figuring out the technology of posting new profile photos and taking the time to do it felt way too daunting for a middle-aged woman like me.

7. And last, but certainly not least, I hoped I still looked the same despite the passage of 6 years.

But now that my oldest daughter spends time she should be doing homework tending farm animals on Farmville, and therefore sees my FB profile far more than I do, she greeted me the day before my birthday when I had returned from a trip to Chicago with, “Mom, you’ve GOT to change your profile picture! You’re going to be a 45 year old woman and it’s just WRONG to use that old one.”

So this morning, as I’ve spent 3 hours playing on FB because I’ve been waiting for my new washing machine to appear, and then after it did, for the service guy to come because the washing machine wouldn’t work (see blog post on Laundry which details how I don’t have the spiritual gift of appliance discernment), I decided to lessen my children’s humiliation and change the picture.

It wasn’t easy. After weeding out the bad hair/large nostril/double chin/sagging middle pictures, I was left with either a cropped picture that included my husband’s chin and second daughter’s arm wrapped around my neck like a strange boa, or another cropped shot with a male stranger in the background and some woman’s hand raised as if it’s about to stroke my head. I chose the latter. Let me know what you think. . .