Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FBW: A Face for Writing

I'm gonna cut to the chase: You're only getting one post this week, and this is it. And I'm going to fill this post with pictures of me. Note, however, that I am not trying to just weasel out of writing; I'm also incredibly self-absorbed. I'm going to a conference this weekend, so I'll be back to my normal schedule next week and, if I learn a thing or two at this conference, I might even write something that makes you say, "Wow. That post didn't feel like a total waste of my time at all!" 

Today's post is brought to you by 38 years of self-loathing. It's a pictorial of sorts.

I'm going to a blogging conference this weekend  (BlogU), and in preparation for said conference, I ordered business cards. From what I understand, the cards are a good way to introduce yourself to other bloggers who will make a snap judgement about your talent on the basis of your blog tagline and your head shot.

Here's the thing: I don't have a blog tagline. And I hate my face.

As for the tagline, I tried. Kind of. But "I write about my kid and I try to make it funny but sometimes it veers into heartwarming even though I'm uncomfortable expressing love, which is why I talk about poop and boobs a lot" was too long. And "Better living through chemistry!" was already taken.

Truth is, taglines don't really cream my Twinkie (Note to self: Use this sentence for possible ironic tagline. Very meta.). I can carry on without a tagline though. Comparatively, carrying on without my face is much more difficult. Nose holes are really handy for breathing. And where would I put the mascara if I didn't have eyes?

Look, I'm not about to fish for any compliments. "Oh, but you have a perfectly nice face! You're eyes point in the same direction and everything." It's okay. You don't have to console me or prop me up. I may not be smizing for Tyra Banks anytime soon, but I've smooched a few guys in my day, and they weren't all drunk.

The fact of the matter is that I am not photogenic. I am, in fact, the opposite of photogenic. Photoallergenic maybe? For one, I'm white. Not just your run-of-the-mill Caucasian white. I'm like the damn North Star. If you're ever lost in the woods, stumbling around in the dark, alone, afraid, and you suddenly see a soft glow on the horizon, walk toward it and you'll eventually end up in Northern Virginia. My light-emitting qualities are a fun little party trick, but they make for blindingly bad photos.

And for two, I panic every time someone whips out a camera. My smile ends up conveying gastrointestinal discomfort rather than warmth. My eyes squint accusatorially. It's like I'm saying, "You, behind the camera! You are to blame for my emotional constipation!"

Long story short: I had a teensy-weensy self-esteem core meltdown while trying to select a photo for my business cards. Let me walk you through my "process":

I started with the picture below. I actually like this picture. I look confident, sassy even. I've baked cookies, yes, but that hand on my hip suggests that I'm no June Cleaver. No, not this gal. Snatch one of those cookies and she's gonna throw hot coffee in your criming face!

And speaking of faces, you can only see half of mine, which is probably why I like the photo and also why it's not a good candidate for the business card.

No, you may not have a cookie. 

Next I opted for a motherly photo. This pic was snapped on Mother's Day of 2013, when Pork Chop was just shy of 3 months old. My hair is noticeably gray. I look 20% happy and 900% exhausted. Pork Chop did me the favor of hiding my still-jibbly gut, but, well, he was less than enthused about it.

Maybe not.

Thanks, son.

Oh, here's a nice recent photo. I was rehearsing for the Listen to Your Mother DC show. And, by the looks of it, actively shitting my pants while my waxen skin melted into my neck.


I think I'm gonna need a wardrobe change.

This one is fun. I think it gives me a tough girl vibe. Check out my sweet shiner and busted nose! The night before, I got a stomach bug, fainted in my bathroom, and smashed my face on the tile floor. This selfie was evidence of the damage. Which, now that I say it, doesn't sound all that tough. It actually just sounds sad and weird. Why did I take this picture? It looks like a mug shot. Or like a woman who wanted to document her boo-boo for sympathy.

Okay, pass on this one.

And that's how I broke my nose for a third time.

In an effort to get in touch with "the real me," I decided to consider the following photo (because "the real me" cannot control herself around baked goods). My darling husband snapped this while we were on our honeymoon in Costa Rica. I don't know what that delicious little powdered delight was called, but I do know that I rather pornographically ate it. Judging from my dopey, wall-eyed gaze, I may have been noshing on a kilo of coke. 

Soooo, not my most professional look.

Mmmmm, stimulants!

Here's another fine honeymoon snap. The margarita glass covers much of my nose, which is no small feat. The glass, however, fails to cover my ugly mumu. What the hell was I thinking? It was my honeymoon. Well, I guess I can pinpoint the exact moment I realized that Shelby was legally in too deep to ditch me. 

Good job at looking like an alcoholic retiree, self. 

Mmmm, sedatives!

This photo made it into the running because (1) bacon pajamas and (2) it looks like I'm cooking. Sadly, it's a bit too busy for a business card. But, seriously, how rad are my pajamas?! (If you are my husband, you do not get to answer that question.)


Now here is a lovely shot. Just not of my face. Those are some fantastic pre-baby boobs right there. I can't imagine why I look so pissed off. Oh, wait, it's because I have to be in the photo with my friend, Meredith, who looks like one of those lusty beauties carved onto the front of a pirate ship. (Stop winking at the camera, Meredith. It already loves you.) 

It's a good thing Mer is such a loyal cohort, because I look like the baboon end of the chain of evolution chart when I stand next to her. Thanks for ruining this one, "friend."

Can someone hideous please sit next to me?

And here we have the one photo of myself that I have ever liked. The one. It's not even photoshopped. My skin looks dewy and even a touch rosy. My hair is glossy. My eyes are bright. I look like I smell delicious! Not to get weird, but given the chance, I'd get myself pregnant. 

Problem is, this picture is too good. It feels dishonest. I can't give folks at the convention a business card with this picture on the back. A few weeks from now, when they find the card at the bottom of their purses or in the pocket of their favorite jeans, they'll wonder, "When did I meet her? I'd remember her. She looks so nice and so creamy and so delicious-smelling. And everyone at that convention looked exhausted and smelled like stress." 

I should note that this photo was taken in the mystical time before motherhood. A time of regular showering, of deodorant use, and of days on end spent not touching poo. Like I said, the photo just feels like a lie now. A clean, sweet-smelling lie.

Even I want to smell me.

At last, we come to the photo I ended up using. It's the same damn photo on my blogger bio page.  Shelby snapped this one at my birthday jamboree. I'm not usually enthusiastic when confronted with a camera, but there was beer involved. And French fries. For the record, I was demonstrating how to use a Shake Weight. I am also dislocating my jaw so that I can more easily consume your soul. And blogging is all about devouring the time and life essence of others, so this photo fit the bill. 

And that's it. That's the end of this post. Were you waiting for me to share some moral wherein I explain that we should love ourselves just as we are and that our imperfections are what make us beautiful?

Haha. No.


  1. You chose wisely. And I stand by my casting pick for the movie of your life. It's Olivia Wilde. Because Jennifer Aniston is too old.

    1. Well, Jennifer Aniston and I do have mega chins, so . . .

  2. Very entertaining post. If I wasn't already half asleep at 6pm, I would write more wonderful things. Love ya sista! Enjoy your convention and show those other bitches what real writing looks like (the bitches comment is not directed at your LTYM costars).

    1. If my writing is what real writing looks like, then I feel sorry for the future of America. But not so sorry that I intend to ever stop blogging. Because I'm an attention ho.

  3. Glad to hear that someone else is photogenically challenged (P.C.). Taglines are for wimps.

  4. I like your choice, too, but for the record, I really love the photo with you and Pork Chop - I thought they were highlights, not grays (seriously), and it is a lovely picture of you...but the one you chose screams "BlogU" with a little more of the sass we have all come to know and love here ;)

    1. Yeah, I think BlogU really calls for a face that screams "I am super fun when I drink!"

  5. You know, we learned in Women's Studies about the diminishing power of the Male Gaze, but the truth is that nothing's tougher than a woman's gaze upon her own image. To the world, you are gorgeous in all of these photos, but you can only see the flaws. I am exactly the same way. We all are. Male Gaze be damned; we gotta soften up on our own selves!