(Start with "Monday" if you can. Better cram all the laughs in now before a schmucky relative arrives and says something you fail to see the humor in... And if you dare, please subscribe to this blog. You'll get weekly blog updates and back story of the posts... and I'll get a positive shot to my otherwise low self-esteem.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Parents who torture us with their holiday photos. Sears portrait studios have been posing kids the same way for fifty years. Sit sideways, right arm over left or the ol' "lean your chin on your hand" number. Nice wintry background. Oh, it's not really Aspen in December? It's just a screen pulled down behind the kid at the photo studio at the mall? I don't believe it! It's so life-like.
How come you never see my favorite: "Winter in NYC" background? What's wrong with posing cherubic tykes in front of eighty cars parked on a city street, buried under an avalanche of gray snow, courtesy of a snow plow?
I'm always surprised people don't dress their kids in holiday attire for the class photos in September. (Yet another lame thing parents-to-be should make note never to get suckered into.) Parents have to pay up front, usually like forty dollars nowadays for school pictures. You may as well Christmas the kid up and let those thieving bastards do your holiday photos for you while they're at it.
That's another lame rip off that parents seem to fall hook, line, and sinker for: The obligatory annual mall photo shot with Santa. They wait in line for two hours for the privilege of paying seventy dollars for a few snapshots.
Okay, I know I'm from New York and not everybody thinks like us. But if you're waiting in line for hours for your turn, at some point wouldn't it occur to you to just take the kid's hand in one hand and your digital camera in the other and kind of nonchalantly mosey past Santa, lean your kid over the barracade, and yell : "Everybody smile!', snap the pic and keep on going? Something to keep in mind for your future holidays....
I know, if you're doin' the shots, and hormones, and pregnancy tests and all of the initials: IUI, IVF, ICSI... you wish you had these lame decisions to make. And the odds are good that someday you will get that opportunity. So, what can we do in the meantime to counter the onslaught of holiday baby photos?
Here's a great fantasy thought: Why can't everyone equip themselves with their own bogus photos? It would not only be the counter attack to having unsolicited photos shoved in your face, but people would be so confused, they wouldn't remember to say thoughtless things like: "So, when are we going to be seeing baby photos from YOU?" Wink, wink. Elbow, elbow.
You can buy just about everything online nowadays. There should be a site where you can buy standard "child-with-santa-hat" photos. Because, let's face it: In those photos, all children look pretty much alike. Wouldn't it be great to have a stack to hand out like bake sale flyers?
I'd personally buy the assorted collection that has every combination available: The Asian toddler. The blond-haired, blue eyed eight year old. Will Smith on a "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" Christmas episode. The more ridiculous the better. Just hand them out and keep walking, enjoying the tidal wave of BS behind you:
"I didn't know she adopted." "I didn't know her husband was Korean." "I didn't know she had twins: One white, one Filipino." "I didn't know she was old enough to have a teenager. Isn't she like twenty-two?" "I didn't know she's been to Nepal. Look, that's Mount Everest in the background!", "I didn't know Joe Jonas was her son!...Wait, she only has one son? I thought Joe Jonas..."
As I often quote the great Bonnie Raitt: "Let's give them something to talk about". And I'm not just saying that because that's the only song I ever got right in two years of watching "Don't Forget the Lyrics".
This week, I'm lucky to have an array of great Health and Non-Health Experts who have contributed their writing on the "Get Through the Holidays...Any Way You Can" theme.
Take a look at Shari Stewart and Julia Krahm's (from the Stewart Institute) wonderful article at http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642
And Eloise Drane from Family Acuity at: http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1623
Listen, I gotta go. Christmas is in just two days and I have to book my breakfast reservation at IHOP. I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.