Saturday, December 1, 2012

Picture Perfect

“…for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7b

A few years ago, my husband desperately wanted me to have a Glamour Shots photo taken so he could look longingly at me all day at work. I refused for months and then, in a crazed holiday stupor, I made an appointment to have one taken as a surprise gift for Christmas. And, boy, was I in for a surprise! You could almost hear the silent alarms going off when I walked into the place -- “Uh, oh. Level three disaster. Team One, dig out the industrial strength make-up. Team Two, bone up on hair miracles. Team Three, start praying.” Despite the behind-the-scenes scrambling, the receptionist smiled politely and escorted me to a chair. There, I was introduced to my own personal aesthetic specialist. An anesthesiologist probably would have been better. She proceeded to fluff up my very short, straight hair which, realistically, was about her only choice since Rogaine and hair extensions were not an option. Next, she slathered on enough make-up to completely obliterate all traces of the original me, which was the whole idea anyway, I guess. From there, we moved on to the wardrobe room. After sizing me up and down for a few minutes, she went to the racks and came back with a black leather halter top, complete with metal studs and a Harley Davidson logo. I told her I really didn’t think it looked like me. She sighed and went back to the racks, this time returning with a perky little cheerleader’s ensemble with matching pom poms. I shook my head “no” and she asked, in a slightly perturbed voice, “Are these photos for you or your husband? These pictures are supposed to feed his fantasies.” I was about to blurt out that his fantasies were overfed as it was when she walked off in a huff, muttering something about my “deprived husband.” She quickly returned with a strapless velvet gown designed to show a little cleavage, assuming you have a little cleavage to show. I was afraid she might hit me if I rejected the gown, too, so I dutifully agreed to use it for one photo, all the while kicking myself for leaving my wonder bra at home. After that, I selected a few tailored suits to satisfy my own fantasies of dumping the sweat clothes, getting a job, making my own money, and coming in late to find the kiddies in bed, the dishes done, and the love slave waiting (like somebody else I know). After much discussion, Trixie, my assistant, reluctantly agreed to the suits or the “realtor look,” as she described it…“a real turn-on.” We took the three outfits, picked out some gaudy accessories, and headed for the photo studio. The photographer told me to relax and pretend I was a model. What did he want me to do? Regurgitate my noon meal and start flouncing my one-inch long hair. He pushed my head over to a very natural-looking 30 degree tilt and had me hold a fake rose over my bare shoulder. Next, he told me to give him a sensuous look with my lips moist and slightly parted. It was obvious from the look on his face that my “come hither” attempt looked more like a serious case of rabies and lock jaw. Things went down hill from there. After the photo session, Trixie took me to the front of the store, where I immediately got to look at computer-generated proofs of my photos, right along with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who strolled by in the mall. The assistants oohed and aahed, on cue, as the photos flashed up on the screen, while I writhed in my chair making low guttural noises. So as not to prolong this very painful process, somewhat akin to stories I’ve heard about bamboo and fingernails and hot coals, I quickly took out a second mortgage and bought a stack. I bought a cheap frame, put one of the velvet-rose-rabies shots in it, wrapped it in Muppet Christmas paper, and put it under the tree. Guess what? He loved it. 

Sue Busler

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