I’ll admit it, we get the newspaper. The actual paper. Delivered to our door. I know. We’re like dinosaurs. It doesn’t make it any better that the reason we got the subscription was to please my parents during the two weeks of the year they are visiting. Or that the reason we kept the subscription was because we like to do the crossword.
That’s right. I’ll let you take that in.
We knew we’d be in the paper again since D did another interview about the DOMA decision and the paper sent a photographer out to take our picture (one portrait, she said, one candid). We didn’t expect it to be Sunday’s paper. Or on the front page.
And although I am not particularly skilled at the art of writing a short piece, I’m good enough to know I’ve gone about this all the wrong way. This post isn’t about going out to get the paper with my cane, house slippers, and dentures or about being in the gay couple of the moment in our small town. It’s about self-image. Way less interesting, I know.
I love that we are the sort of people that make it safe to be okay with marriage equality*. I don’t fear for our safety and I don’t mind being the go-to gays for the local press. But the pictures, you guys. I wish I were the sort of person whose first reaction to a front page shot was ohmygod that’s so cool and not gah I can’t share this with my friends.
Instead I think, I don’t look that lumpy in person. Or maybe I do. Why did I pick that shirt, it makes me look as if I’m wearing the same clothes as in the last photo we took. And ugh, people will think my arm is huge but it’s my scar arm** and there’s nothing I can do about it. Why don’t I have shirts with longer sleeves? Let’s face it, longer sleeves can’t help this. I can’t tell that I’ve lost 50 pounds. Oh wait, I now have the melted candle look that’s a sad side effect of going from big to less big. Surprise, it doesn’t actually come off the way you’d expect it to. I’m ashamed to show this to my friends.
Seriously. I am much more confident than this. But there it is. I’m proud of my wife for her well-spoken interview pieces and I could look at her all day and never get tired of it. My daughter, well, when I say she’s cute it’s not just motherhood talking. In my eyes, next to them I look stiff, flat featured, squinty, and wholly unattractive.
I’m not fishing for compliments here but I never want to be the person who, when someone says I saw you in the paper!, responds with Ugh, I know, worst picture ever, right?! So I keep my mouth shut and say something appropriate and then go off to die a little. I sure as hell don’t want my kid picking up any of this. So consider this the last time you’ll hear this and, if you listened this far, there’s a scar arm picture as a reward.
*You all, of course, don’t need a reason but my 70-something conservative neighbors might.
** Also, how is it I never ever showed you a picture of my scar arm!?! Obviously, it’s the day after the melanoma surgery, I’m drugged and glazed, and I’m hiding the 50 pounds I eventually lost, sort of.