So, every party has a pooper, right? You know what I mean. There's always that one person who is a kill-joy, that doesn't want to go along with the group, or who sits and sulks because something didn't go their way. Some party poopers don't have a clue that they are pooping on everyone else's parade. However a true party pooper knows what they are and doesn't care! I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit, this weekend I might be a party pooper.
Here's the deal. My mother in law will be 89 on April 12th. This past year has been a very tumultuousness one for her, full of illness and lots of changes. Right now she appears to be over the hump and back up on the good side of the mountain. Her grand-daughter-in-law decided we should all join in to help her celebrate another year of life by honoring her with a surprise birthday dinner. Part of the surprise is the party is three days before her actual birthday. She won't have a clue when her caretakers take her to dinner tomorrow night that she will be walking into a room filled with loved ones. Especially sweet will be the presence of her middle son, his wife and daughter, and his two granddaughters, who are driving up from Florida to attend the party.
We will be meeting at Red Lobster, one of Alice's favorite restaurants. We've had many family dinners at this restaurant so it only seems right that it is where we will end up there for her birthday celebration. Here's a scrapbook page from 1999 when we ate there. Please don't judge the page, it's before I really figured out the whole scrapbooking thing. The journaling on the page reads: An annual event in May as the Fraziers and Stettlers get together to celebrate Ken & Alice's anniversary and Ken's birthday. Remember the year Grandpa found a crab leg under his chair? dated May 22, 1999
(Side note: funny thing about my MIL, she goes by many different names: Mother, Mary Alice, Alice, Mawmaw, Grandma, Gigi .... it seems like everyone has their own special way of addressing the matriarch of the family. The current favorite is Gigi - this name was given to her when her great-grandson Jonathan was born. It was his way of shortening Great Grandma. Corky and Frank, who are her caregivers have taken up calling her Gigi and many other family members are now deferring to that new endearment.)
Peaches, the grand-daughter-in-law who is spearheading this event, has made a request to all the family. She wants everyone to bring a photo of themselves to present to Gigi (see, even I am calling her that now). I believe the plan is for Peaches to put all the photos together into a scrapbook for her so that she will have something to flip through and enjoy.
Here's the part where I am the party pooper. I HATE having my picture taken. It starts with posing which makes me feel very uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I tend to start babbling ... photos of people talking seldom look good. If I'm not babbling I'm making some goofy face. Again, not for the most photogenic results. And then there's the fact that I am way over weight, which makes me feel uncomfortable knowing that me, in all my fatness, will be forever captured for all to see. People tell me to smile. I can't do it. All I can think of is my crooked lips. And don't even think about showing teeth - we just won't go there.
Prime example: everyone here looks happy except me, well Steve looks a little serious ... but me? I look I have a bad case of gas. Face it, I'm just not photogenic.
All this adds up to is there are very few photos of me available. And the ones that exist make me look like an idiot. Consequently, I don't have a photo of me to share with Gigi, at least not one that I want to see in her scrapbook.
My husband suggested using this one that was taken two years ago at my cousin's wedding. It's a great photo of him. And Ian. And Andrew. But then there is me .... ugh! I promise you that is NOT an attempt at a smile, it's me talking through my teeth "get this over with, take the picture dang it!" Add to it that it was 101* outside and I had been melting for about two hours. Note the flat, stringy hair. And that dress - what was I thinking? Can we say "fat arms"?
There's this photo, also taken in 2009. Look at those chubby cheeks, and again with the chubby arms. Why do I keep wearing tops which show my flabby arms? Oh yeah, it's because I cannot stand being HOT! If I weren't so fat I'd just around naked all the time in order to cool off. Of course I wouldn't be hot all the time if I weren't so fat. Hmmmm, what's the answer here?
I found the last two professional family portraits we had taken but I'm thinking they're a little too old to use. This one was taken in 1994. Look how wittle the boys are. Ian has quite the comb over and Andrew looks like a mischievous little elf. I want to pinch those cheeks. Look at all the dark head and facial hair Dale has. Look at those humongous glasses I have on, nice hair though. Wish it were that thick and dark now! I just look so serious, prim and proper, gah!
This photo was taken in 1998 I was beginning to get pudgy here and look at all that hair. I was however, actually smiling in the photo and looking half way normal. There's my sweetie without facial hair, looking HOT (and I don't mean in a bad way!) The pics of the boys aren't that great. I remember I was so mad at them when this was taken. It was for our church directory and they had spent the hour before outside playing with friends. Andrew looks like a little sweat ball and Ian desperately needs his hair combed. Also, this was the time period where Ian was sporting a huge gap between his two front teeth. Unlike David Letterman, his teeth finally grew together. Of course nowadays it's seems to be quite the thing to have a gap there. I've even read of people purposely creating one. How stupid is that?
I just don't think either of these two family photos is what Peaches is asking for though so I decided to create my own, one where we look like one big, happy family. What do you think, will it pass snuff for Gigi's scrapbook? 'cause if not, I don't have a photograph to bring and I will be the party pooper.