Dec 12

what’s wrong with this picture?

Fancy dress

I called my mom last night for her birthday, as you do, and we had a long chat that somehow veered into the topic of Christmas cards. My parents sent us a very nice standard card this year, and I was a little amused that it said “Happy Holidays” — I think that was probably intentional and a way of respecting Chip’s being Jewish. For years, I would shop with my mom for cards on December 26 and she was always looking for Christmas cards with a religious theme that said “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays.” (Think less “War on Christmas” and more of the old-fashioned “Keep Christ in Christmas.”)

Anyway, she told me that she had thought about doing a photo card for Christmas this year, but couldn’t make it work.

“Oh, of you and Dad? And maybe the cat?”

“No. Oh, no. I meant of all you children.” (Note: the youngest of us is 30.)

She went on to explain that she had found a really nice photo of my youngest brother and his wife, which gave her the idea, and then she had a cute photo of my sister and her husband and daughter, and she had plenty of photos of my younger brother and his family, but …

“You didn’t have any of me and Chip?”

“The last one I had was from your wedding! I guess you two don’t take many photos together.”

What I haven’t mentioned is that while I was talking to my mom, I was at my computer desk at home. And as she was going on about how she has no good photos of me and my husband since we got married in 2006, I pulled up Facebook and started looking at the photos I posted there. My mom is on Facebook — she uses it mostly to look at photos her children and children’s spouses post there.

“Mom, did you look on Facebook?”

“Oh yes! But I couldn’t find anything.”

“The top photo on my page is me and Chip. The one from our friends’ wedding in January.”

“Wait, did I miss something?”

“Yes! It’s a very nice picture of us outdoors, Chip’s got this green jacket and hat we bought at Goodwill –”

“Oh, that one. I wanted a good photo, where you all look nice. Not that.”

I think my mom is nuts (and I told her so). What did she want, Olan Mills and matchy-matchy sweaters? Both of us sitting on the couch with Rufus curled up between us? (As though that cat would ever sit still that long.) The two of us dressed up in very eye-catching clothes strikes me as the perfect photo for a holiday card — lots of personality. We don’t send photo cards, but if we did, that would be the photo I would pick myself. I don’t see how you can top it.

And now I’m fighting the temptation to send my mom a belated birthday present: a photo ornament with that very picture in it (and glued down so it’s unremovable).