I recently had to have a new picture taken for the newspaper. Apparently, my last one was a few decades old, and I guess I've changed over the years. Too bad. I kind of liked the picture of me in my younger days.
Every year I get a new picture taken, I look older. That has got to stop.
I've decided half the world is like me and doesn't enjoy having their picture taken. When I scan my Facebook entries, many of my "friends" post pictures of their cats, their kids/grandkids, their favorite cartoon characters or a giraffe.
But I've recently realized the other half of the world loves getting their picture taken, and they even prefer taking it themselves. Facebook is full of "selfies" -- pictures taken of the photographer standing in front of a bathroom mirror or holding the camera at arm's length. Every day there's a new shot of a friend looking pretty much the same as the day before, except she has a different outfit on.
Not sure why these friends want to keep me updated on how they look every 24 hours, but with cameras attached to our phones, tablets, computers and even our eyeglasses, it's the way of the future. Can you say "Instagram?"
Me, I rarely post pictures on Facebook or anywhere else. I haven't taken a good picture since the second grade -- and then my two front teeth were missing. Every year I seem to get older and larger, not something I want to share with the public. Unfortunately, one of the major problems with having a picture in the newspaper every other week is that people begin to recognize you at Target.
"Are you Penny Warner?"
Are you a process server? Are you from the police? Who wants to know?
"Yes," I say humbly, waiting for the person to either say, "I love your column" or "I hate your column."
Most often I get: "You look just like your picture," before they move on. Is that good or bad?
When I went into the Times office for the picture-taking ordeal, I was disappointed to see only a bright light, a stool and a camera in the room. No wind machine to tousle my hair. No cheese cloth to smooth the lines in my face. No time for an emergency liposuction. And no makeup artist to turn me into a camera-ready model. After doing my own makeup, I ended up looking like a street walker.
The photographer was very gentle. Although he didn't offer me a margarita to put me at ease or accept a bribe to substitute Angelina Jolie's picture for mine, he did work hard to find my best "angle." Still, I could only hold my head up so high to prevent triples chins before I fell over backward.
"Would you like to see it?" he asked after he'd finished.
"No, thank you," I said. "I'd rather not know what I look like today. I'm going to keep it a mystery."
He nodded. He understood. He's probably had to deal with temperamental models like me before. I just hope no one comes up to me at Target and says, "You don't look anything like your picture. Was it Photoshopped?"
Oh well. At least it's over. Until next year, when I'll look even older.
Reach Penny Warner at www. pennywarner.com.