We’ve all been there.
You’re lying on your couch, 1/2 watching the basketball game with your hubby and 1/2 scrolling through Facebook, when you receive a notification that one of your friends has posted a picture of you.
You receive a few more notifications that it has gotten a “like” or a “comment” and nervously you start to wonder which photo it is…
You’re middle-aged now. So it’s not all fun-and-games in the picture department anymore. These are serious times if you have even a shred of vanity left in you. Facebook has upped the picture game.
I remember one time in high school a friend of mine had gotten a roll of film developed from a party and brought it to school. A group of us were standing there by our lockers flipping through the stack of candids when I saw the most goddawful snapshot of myself.
On my very best day, I’m not photogenic, I have freckled skin and seriously unpredictable hair, but this picture took hideous to a whole new level. So I didn’t say a word. I just patiently waited until my friend passed the stack around, and then unobtrusively slid the offensive photo into my purse, tearing it into a trillion pieces later that afternoon.
Today is a different day. People say the internet has changed the world. Has it ever.
People are posting pictures of each other online without an ounce of malice because they truly think the picture is adorable.
My sister was the original Offensive Picture Poster. She posted horribly alarming pictures of me for all of mankind to see long before the World Wide Web existed.
On our mother’s refrigerator.
I’d arrive home for the Holidays, arms loaded down with a sweet potato casserole smiling ear-to-ear with Christmas cheer only to confront the most obnoxious photograph I’ve ever seen of myself plastered front and center of the very Gravitational Force of the family homestead.
And I knew full well that every relative we have had already seen it before I had a chance to whip it out from under the magnet, because MY family was always the last to arrive.
(In Sis’ defense it would usually be a pic of the two of us right after I have just given birth and she’s just popped over to the hospital to see the new baby. Naturally, we are both glowing with joy. It’s just that my face is fatigued and swollen with the 20 liters of glucose water they pumped into me, whereby her hair is coiffed and she has on a face full of expensive make-up.)
When my sister got a Facebook account and “friended” me in the 90s I had a very serious talk with her.
“I want to PRE-APPROVE EVERY SINGLE PICTURE YOU POST OF ME BEFORE YOU POST IT OR I’LL SUE YOU – OKAY?”
Looking back, it does seem a bit overly-aggressive, but it worked.
Back to last night’s basketball game…
I’m innocently scrolling through Facebook when I notice something odd about a picture taken on Saturday night. Something hazy comes into focus around my mid-section. I was at a costume party, so I immediately think maybe it’s the sash that tied the little fox tail around my waist. But that ribbon was black and this appears flesh-colored.
I bolted off the couch as if I personally was going to help our team rebound the ball.
“Where are you going so fast?” inquired the hubby.
“To get my glasses and a screen bigger than my iPhone!” I snapped.
Sure enough. Once I enlarged the photograph, I was able to confirm that the reason the hazy matter hovering above my waistline appeared to be flesh-colored is because, unbeknownst to me, my sweater had taken a little ride up my body throughout the course of the evening and by the time this photo was taken, it was indeed exposing around 5″ of 54 year-old fleshy midriff.
I handed my laptop and glasses over to my husband so he could render a more objective opinion.
“I kind’ve like it! It goes with the whole Foxy theme…”
Gag. He lacks objectivity, as he delusionally believes we’re both still 18.
So now might be a good time to apologize to that high school friend whose 2 cent Fotomat print I swiped back in ’81.
I’m sorry Cheryl I-can’t-remember-your-last-name…
And to my sister. I guess she can post any picture she pleases on the refrigerator now.
As I probably no longer have grounds to sue.