Serious dilemma this week. My kids had a semi-formal dance at school on Saturday night. I spent the requisite amount of time buying my daughter ten different fit-n-flare dresses and then returning nine of them. Luckily, my son was much easier to buy for and his outfit came together with only three visits to Bloomingdales.
The standard deal is that your kids are invited to a pre-party before the big dance. The pre-party allows parents to see their kids in the semi-natural habitat amongst their peers. And, it’s a full on photo shoot complete with tri-pods, lenses and video. Cameras are everywhere.
We were lucky enough to be able to get to my son’s pre-party, take photos, not embarrass him or utter any words out loud. Good showing by us. We moved on to our daughter’s pre–party and proceeded to mingle with other parents and take a few hundred photos of our daughter, her friends and even a few with their dates.
So far, so good. Both kids had fun at the dance, we met a few of the other parents and it was overall a good experience. Here’s where the problem began. On Monday, parents starting sharing photos online. Certainly, this is a nice gesture.
However, along with the hundreds of photos of our amazingly photogenic teens, there were a few candids of the parents. And, guess what? One horrible, unauthorized photo of me. Oh no. There I am in all my middle age glory, unedited and from a really tough angle. My mind starts racing. There it is and what do I do?
My initial panic involved some of my recurring internal dialogue that ensues when confronted with an unflattering photo.
“Is that what I really look like?”
“Two choices here: give in and head straight to Eileen Fisher (the “Nuclear Strategy” coined by my beauty mentor Sarah L.) or start battling to not look any worse (the “Reinforce the Aging Dam” strategy).”
“That’s it – I really am going Paleo!”
My secondary conversation with myself focused on the best coping mechanism known to middle aged women and all married people; denial. I thought, “How can I make this photo go away?” If the photo is gone, then denial wins. I don’t have the option to delete photos in the shared album. So, I have to directly ask one of my daughter’s friend’s parents to kindly remove the offensive photo. And, I gotta find a way to do this that allows me to not come off as a total freak. Delicate balance.
Because I don’t know the parent who posted the photo very well and he’s English (possibly less tolerant of candid photo panic), I haven’t made a move. But it’s out there. And, with Prom a few short months away, I’ve got to get a plan so that this doesn’t happen again.