My passport expired and I had to renew it today. Part of the process was to have a current photo taken to put in the new, little, blue book I'll get in about eight months if I'm lucky. When I got to the business where they took the passport photo, the very efficient clerk, told me where to sit, how to sit and the importance of sitting very still, and then she said,
“Are you ready?”
“Yes,” I answered and proceeded to make a friendly smile for the camera.
She immediately took the camera off her eye and said, “OH NO DON’T SMILE! THAT’S NOT ALLOWED!”
“Okaaaay,” I said, recovering from her overreaction to the simple happy gesture I let my lips display. Once again I got ready for the photo shoot, this time with a blank stare void of any joyful, inner emotion.
“Click,” the camera said.
“Good” the clerk said. “What d’ya think of this?”
I looked at the photo, “Holy Baloney, I look like a felon! If anyone saw this, they’d never let me back into my beloved country!” I whined.
“That’s what you’re supposed to look like,” she exclaimed. “We can shoot another one if you want.”
This time I lifted my gravity, sagging mouth, just enough for it not look like a smile, but enough for me not to look like a child molester. It worked! However, the photographer reported it was out of focus. I was running out of time, for a meeting, and decided to take the mug shot version and live with it.
This experience made me think about we who are behind “older” faces. If we aren’t careful, we can scare people, especially the young. I’ve noticed in the last ten years, when I’m trying to get a baby to smile, that it takes way longer than it did when I was younger and in some cases I’ve gotten a very concerned and suspicious stare from the offended infant.
Looking at my photo, I can see that it could easily fit a story in the local news with a headline:
Wanted, escapee in mid-seventies suspected of robbing local grocery store. Be careful, she's armed and dangerous.
I think I'll start sleeping with my head draped over the side of the bed and maybe I can reverse some of the damage gravity has perpetrated on my face. But for right now, I'm going to practice holding a Cheshire cat smile while I write and see if that'll help when I relax and go into passport photo mode.
Do you have any suggestions for young at heart people with older faces?
P.S, There's still room in Kathy Roberts and my on-line workshop tomorrow at 6:00 Pacific, 9:00 Eastern time. We're going to walk you through, getting back to basics with a daily routine plan. It'll be the perfect time to reset your desire to be organized and create a peaceful, clean, cozy home to play in. Just click on this link to sign up! https://thetidytutor.com/lets-go-with-kathy-and-pam/ Hope to see you there! Oh and I hope I don't scare you!