I’ve been posting a lot of TBT (Throw Back Thursday) photos on my personal Facebook page. I’ve had so much fun looking back over the years and scanning photos — yes, real paper-based photos — to upload and tag. In doing so, I realize that I don’t take all that many of myself. It’s a mother’s lament, really. Lots of photos of the kids, but few or none of Mommy. But here’s the issue: I’m not even taking photos of myself when I’m not with the kids.
Case in point: This week my elementary school had a big dinner dance fundraiser. There was a photo booth there complete with props, hats, funny glasses and boas. I walked past the booth. I looked at the props. But I didn’t take a single shot. I was there with people who I consider friends. They all took photos in the booth, posting them on Facebook almost immediately. However, if you go by Facebook I wasn’t even there. I didn’t exist.
Looking back, I realize it was because I felt uncomfortable at the event. I wasn’t dressed to the nines, with my hair and makeup done like many of the girls were. Sure, I looked nice, but I wasn’t fancy. And I was still nursing laryngitis so I felt like I wasn’t even really talking to anyone, either. I felt like an outsider. So instead of going and jumping into a photo, I stayed back at the table and let the photo ops pass me by.
It’s not really an unusual occurrence. My not-so-new-anymore friends are really, really tight with each other. I don’t always feel like I am part of the group all the time even though I know it’s all in my head so when they group up for a photo I sometimes hang back. At family gatherings I’m the one taking the pictures. When I’m with my other friends we focus on the kids, snapping shots at birthdays and playdates, but we rarely turn the lenses the other way. Aside from big birthdays — someone turning 30 or 40 — and the occasional game night candid shot (see exhibit A: Me with feet in my face) we’re pictureless.
After spending time looking at all the pictures in my many, many albums and scrapbooks I think it’s time to change that. Selfies, here I come, I guess!