Thursday, April 2, 2009

you sure you don't want to change first?

as a nod to the many incongruities we experience every day, i offer you the following discussion about family portraits.

it all began this morning when my husband, who happens to be the funniest human being alive, showed me his corporate weekly rag with a huge photo of the newest new york regional director front and center. now i must say that this was interesting to me because the old big boss left in somewhat of a flurry of drama and mystique, as much as can be expected in the financial world anyway, and they found a new guy really, really quickly.

back to the photo. it's clearly professionally done. husband on the left, big toothy smile, one arm wrapped around wifey, the other lovingly resting on boy child's lap. oh yeah, and let's not leave out the most important detail, they all matched. mom and pop in pale blue button-downs, mom's collar open wide enough for you to see her glorious string of pearls. little boy, maybe only 18 months old, in his blue pinstriped polo shirt, complete with the little polo player logo shouting from his chest 'hey! hey you! we have more money than you!'

they look like the typical lexus-driving, golf club membership-holding, run-of-the-mill yuppies. when i pointed out the matching garb to my husband, hoping for a 'let's burn them up for being so lame' session, he surprised me with 'oh yeah, they all do that. you know, it's what you're supposed to DO for family portraits.'

to which i replied 'um, not OUR family portrait. ever. period. never ever. ok? you clear on that one? NEVER.'

b comes back at me with 'but they do that so you don't look like a douchebag in the picture.'

natural response, 'funny, because the end result is actually that you look like a douchebag in the picture.'

now this is the absolute last thing i would have expected from b. he continually spends his days dressing the part at his office, keeping his real personality under wraps. he then comes home in an explosion of hilarity, finally letting his true self emerge from the confinements of his job.

i won't mention the name of his company, for fear that the evil compliance officer (who won't even let b have a facebook account) will come running in here screaming about how many rules b's breaking for being human and not a drone. but suffice it to say that the b i know loves to come home and tell me about how bad he wants to tell big huge corporate land to suck it.

so maybe now that the shock of the portrait controversy is starting to hit you, i ask who's right here? as i ponder my own gut instinct to not falsify my family with an image that could cost a pretty penny and then lurk in our house for years and years to come, i wonder, am i being too quick to judge?

then just as i was sinking into a foggy gloom of doubt, b bends over to kiss the baby goodbye and says to me, 'fuck it, let's just all match her pink and brown flowery pajamas in our family portrait, 'cause that's a picture i'd hang in our living room.'

i almost teared up a little. that's the b i know and love.


Brian said...

I can't believe you've never seen the 'traditional-each-member-of-the-family-is-wearing-the-same-outfit' photo shoot. Don't you have a little yuppie in you? Do you want some? Lol, get it?

Kristine said...

There's one of me and my brother in matching sweaters. It'd be cute if we weren't like, 18 at the time :(

Lana said...

haha! aww, well, i can see how it's something for the kids. there's definately a pic of me and my bro in matching sailor dress/suit gear, but we were also like 1 and 3 and it was the early 80's.

i think i was just more annoyed at how phony the whole thing felt. looking at that picture was like looking at that neighbor who has all the goods on the outside but probably fights with his wife all the time and owes like $150k in back taxes or some crap.