Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
Yes, you’re right, Sweetpea. That is a photo of Yours Truly. It was taken back in mid-February 2010 (which, by the way, turned out to be one of the coldest winters on record). It’s a good thing I’ve got that little fat on my bones that you’ll one day find so irresistibly cute.
Don’t worry. You’ll have a lifetime to love my fat, but do you remember when I showed you my baby and my childhood photos? Did you like them? Or, did you just do that fake smile thing where you say, “Of course I want to look at those 12 albums of you from that summer you wore neon shorts every day and thought it would be cool to do your hair up like Debbie Gibson,” but in your mind are thinking, “What have I gotten myself into here? Has this girl ever been diagnosed with Narcissism?”
I know, I know. By now, you’ve probably seen more photos of me than you’ve seen of naked women in Playboy (stop rolling your eyes, Sweetpea…), but frankly, I’ve got more sass, charm, character and clothes than those women could ever hope to have. What can I say? The camera (and you!) loves me.
So I thought I’d occasionally show you some update-to-the-minute photos of myself. My mother and sister are constantly remarking that I somehow never seem to age. I think they’re on to something here. Any theories, Sweetpea?
It’s sort of an odd trajectory when I think about it, though, my relationship with the camera. When I was younger, I was a ham for the camera. I’d have all these little poses I’d do as if I was some sort of model. OK, well the majority of my poses consisted of me pushing my head forward into the camera, as if that would somehow enhance the picture. It’s odd, I know, but that’s the only way I can describe it. My parents have albums filled to the brim with photos of me pushing my face into the camera while smiling on my birthday (random fact you should know: My first birthday party was of the Smurf-theme variety…I was in love with those little blue men!), frolicking on the beach, holding my little sister ever-so-tightly, opening my loot of presents of Christmas morning, getting down and dirty (with paints and Play-Doh; don’t get distracted on me, Sweetpea…) and of course showing off all my surgical scars and wounds with pride.
And then something happened. I’m not sure what triggered it, but I sort of went through a period where I didn’t like to look at myself. In the mirror. In photos. And especially through other people’s eyes. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to come to terms with my disability, or maybe I was just tired of all those bright lights and flashes constantly being in my face. Whatever the reason, I avoided photos for awhile.
Well, obviously, as you can see from these photos, I’m back on the wagon, shouting, “Full steam ahead, boys! Get those flashbulbs out because this girl is ready to pose!”
I’m sure you looked at every one of my photos and laughed and smiled – at the appropriate times, of course! Just like I’ll do the same for you. I can’t wait to see photos of you as a baby, a cute toddler walking around in his diaper, the elementary school and high school Casanova. Who knows…maybe someday we’ll even have a photo on record of the day we met. Wouldn’t that be sort of awesome? Until we meet…
P.S. Oh, did I mention I like to look at photos of myself again? Is that weird? I’ll let you be the judge on that one.
P.P.S. And yes, Sweetpea, that last photo is one of me lying in my comfy, cozy bed. But don’t get any ideas now…