Every family has ’em.
Piles of throw-away snapshots that you can’t bear to throw away.
Before digital cameras, our generation put every picture — no matter how bad — into a photo album. After all, they were precious – and we shelled out big bucks to have them developed.
Then there are the CLASSICS. The ones you should have thrown away, but instead you frame them. This one is ours.
Seeing this snapshot made us think. If it were taken on a digital camera, we would no longer have it – it’s simply too easy to delete photos right after they are taken.
Think about it, we thought we were sitting for a lovely family portrait. Clearly, all heck is breaking loose and none of us could have been in an outstanding mood. We would not have found this picture the least bit funny at the time – we know we would have deleted it then and there.
When Veronica’s mother got her photos back from the camera shop a full month later – enough time for the horror to subside – then, and only then, could a grandma find the hilarity in a picture like this. And boy, did she.
The photo was blown up, passed around to our extended family, even hung on walls. Our family is a bit twisted that way, but — hey — it’s a crazy funny picture.
It was the holiday season and the first time Veronica’s family had gotten together in California since we started procreating. Grammi (Veronica’s mom, far left in her festive red sweater) was beside herself with glee to host Christmas at her home with her only grandkids.
Uncle Jeff (Veronica’s brother, the guy beaming in the middle, obviously pre-children by the relaxed look on his face) hadn’t met our girls prior to this visit.
David (far right), with his ’80s permed mullet is worth a place on anyone’s wall. We believe he’s wearing a leather tie – ala Duran Duran, a truly tragic time capsule. Clothing always dates a photo, but David circa 1988 single-handedly harkens back the smell of Aqua Net. Still in his twenties, he looks like he could be the youngsters’ other grandmother (just in the photo, not in real life!) – awful on so many levels. Strangely, he seems to be finding humor in the situation.
Veronica (hunkered over at the top) is trying her best to look her best holiday-happy, but her hunched shoulders under her weirdly nautical shirt with the scary big bow betrays her underlying horror. In her cold sweat, she must have pushed back her mall bangs – exposing what Uncle Jeff calls the family “five head” (most folks can raise their hands to their foreheads and lay four fingers there – hence, forehead. The Stewarts can do five). She looks as though she’s muttering the s-word under her breath.
We can only now imagine the joyful noise the two toddlers – our girls, The Piglet and Decibel, were making. And just how did we keep them sitting there? Had Grammi installed seatbelts on her good, special-occasion couch?
We had to be chasing them around and setting them back down. That further explains the sweaty lack of mall bangs – no amount of Agua Net can “Extra Super Hold” under those circumstances.
Funny thing – what we both remember most is the cackle coming from Veronica’s wickedly amused stepfather from behind the camera.
And the day the photo arrived for Valentine’s Day, framed and matted, from Grammi.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
YOUR TURN: Do you have a favorite “bad” family photo? What do you think of ours?