Front Page

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.

On Sunday, I flipped over the front page and there we were, D, RR and I, blowing bubbles in the backyard.

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.


19 Responses

  1. Though I know you’re not fishing for compliments, I’m going to give you one anyway. You’re beautiful, all three of you. No one is looking at your arm, it seemed like a wrinkle in the paper before you mentioned it. All I see is the joy on everyone’s faces as you have some great family time. Way to go for losing 50 pounds, that’s a major achievement!

    Please clip out that article and picture and keep it, for RR at least. I think it’s lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I loathe how I look in 90% of pictures. Sometimes that’s about weight, but mostly it’s about how does an entire other creature (sea slug? Some kind of mammal-loaf) insinuate itself into my upper neck the minute the camera clicks? I’m not saying I always love what I see in the mirror, but also, this is NOT what I see in the mirror. And I’m pretty critical.

    BUT. Have you read that “the mom stays in the picture” blog post making the rounds? Well, I did. And I am working on giving a little less of a shit about how I look in pictures and trying to make sure there are more of them.

    (And don’t even get me started on how there are hardly any pictures of me with the Bean when he was truly little because I was too sick to insist, and the ones that do exist freak me out because I look half-dead from anemia. I want the Virgin Mary ones everybody else gets, dammit. Um, sorry about the cussing, Mary.)

    Also, good on ya, poster moms! You are making it gradually easier for me to talk my wife into moving south. Step by step, y’all.

  3. Congratulations on being the example of a happy family – that in itself is a great honor. My first thought at looking at the picture was “What a beautiful family. We don’t see you flaws like you do. There is a relaitvely “famous” post floating around the internet I think called “The mom stays in the picture”. Look it up. It helps me remember to put myself self, extra 50 pounds in all, under the camera lens with my kids. As a fellow cancer survivior it is especially important that I (and you) are there to remind us all that our lives together is what is important. I was rewarded today when my daughter told her dermatologist ” Look at her, she is 47 and is beautiful, not even a wrinkle”. Not true of course but the fact that my kid thinks so means that my horrible self image hasn’t been transferred. So get in the picture – all your daughter will see is love.

  4. A) I can’t believe my mother hasn’t stormed your house for autographs already.
    B) that scar is cool

  5. Honestly when I saw the picture, my first thought was, what a cute family.

    I don’t think in that moment I thought anything about size or gender or anything like that. I just saw two parents with their young child and thought how happy everyone looked/looks.

    You are always your own worst critic. The rest of us are just happy to see you three happy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I thought it was a cute photo. And a nice feature. It left me wanting to call you up and ask what I could do to help move this state forward to the current century.

    Then again, I read it on my tiny ipod touch screen, so all three of you looked quite petite.

    And I am all too familiar with the local press publishing shots that perhaps are not the most flattering. There have been some of me published recently that I was not so pleased with – hello, did you have to make sure you published the one with my eyes half shut and my double chin featured prominently? You realize that the second chin is only prominent in not-so-great pictures, right? Because in real life it doesn’t always stand out. I’m considering bringing my own personal photographer from here on out to all my events.

  7. Your scar is awesome. So is your family. (I wrote bad a** first, without the *, and wordpress wouldn’t let me post. Clearly, a family friendly website, in more ways than one!)

  8. That is awesome! And you look great! That scar is impressive!

  9. I love this in so many ways and for so many reasons. I can guarantee that no one is going to see anything more than an adorably happy family in that photo no matter what you see. Not many people can say that they made the front page of the Sunday paper! Also–funny that the picture I’m posting later today also includes bubbles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I thought that the photo was lovely! I bet that one day RR will have it framed on the wall of her home– proud of her beautiful family.

  11. Honestly? I saw that picture before reading the text and smiled hugely at a gorgeous happy family having a lovely time. I know – I do the same when I look at photos which include lumps and bumps and more than one chin. I know that’s all you see, but I try to also know that no-one, no-one at all sees what you see.

    However, I really wish you hadn’t included the scar picture.

    Also, AMAZING that you guys are the local lezza pin ups, that you’ve been picked out to be the nuclear family, the happy, friendly, level headed lesbians who aren’t going to do unthinkable things to heterosexual people.

  12. Oh, how I can relate to you here…
    Recently I had my partners grandchild on my arm and we were feeding elephants in the zoo with carrot sticks. That was so much fun with that really brave 16 month old in front of these huge animals. My partner took pictures and after looking at them she stated how she loved seeing her little one leaning so trustfully onto me. But all I could see were the bulges under my shirt and I thought “I never wear that shirt again!!!” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  13. As usual, you all are the best. You’re right, she will take pride in the pictures and since this is how she sees us (and she loves us) she won’t see the photos as critically as I do. Hell, bodies aren’t important. The memories, the experiences, and the statements are. Now, if I can only remember all of this the next time we’re in the paper… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. So this (they actual article, I mean, not your blog post) showed up in a “hey your friend Liked this article” post in my FB newsfeed recently. I saw it, thought “that looks familiar” and whoa, worlds colliding.

    But mostly I wanted to say, did you see the article that was going around last month or so? The one that starts “Dear Mum, I was 7 when I discovered that you were fat, ugly, and horrible.” Seemed to resonate with a lot of people.

  15. That is a fabulous photo. Your worries make sense to me (and sound so much like my own) but that photo is fabulous! This post oddly enough made my day yesterday. I’ve been feeling shitty about the way that I look but between this post and the link above to huffpo I’m turning things around. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I love this!! You three are so awesome. And that picture is SUPER cute!!!!!

    I laughed and laughed at the “melted candle” bit. Katr and I are experiencing the same thing since we went all caveman and it is HILARIOUS. We call it “the pudding”. As in “I feel this new top really accentuates my arm pudding” or “What was that noise at the end of yoga class?” “That was my gut pudding hitting my thigh pudding.” I feel you, is what I’m saying.

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