December 19, 2018



I enjoy looking at pictures. Whether they are in an album, on a smart phone, or in a book on the coffee table. I enjoy seeing the pictures of families that come on the Christmas cards we receive. If you haven’t gotten our card yet, don’t worry, for the 48th, or maybe 49th year in a row, they are lost in the mail.
I often wonder how many marriages get off to a rocky start because of pictures. You know. It’s 115 above. Hot and humid. The bride and groom are dressed as uncomfortably as they can be. The father of the bride has a suit on that is too tight and hasn’t been worn since the funeral of Uncle Eddie. The mother of the groom has purchased a new dress, and not realized that it did not breathe the hot humid air.
The photographer spends hours lining people up and realigning by weight, height, age, and attractiveness. The ring bearer and the flower girl are crying by now, and the whole celebration is rapidly going down-hill. Well, not rapidly. Perfect pictures are not rapid.
But many dollars and many years later, the pictures will be cherished. If the house burns, wives will run back into a burning house to save the pictures and the cat that is sleeping on the bed. I grab a beer out of the fridge on the way out.
Back to the pictures.
It doesn’t have to happen like this. I learned this fact just the other day.
We took a family picture when down at Will and Jen’s ranch. Just Shirley and I. And all of the grandkids. It actually was a neat deal. I was afraid it would ruin my day, but I guess all of my whining over the years has sank in. Shirley and I sat down in a couple comfortable chairs, Grams held Susy, and the other boys lined up around us and “Click,” the picture was done.
A picture with Shirley, I, and all of our grandkids. Well, almost all. Our oldest, Gracy, who for years was my favorite granddaughter, wasn’t there. Being older and wiser, she had previous commitments that wouldn’t allow her to be with her loving grandparents.
On her smart phone, Jen sent the picture over to Carm and Gracy. Nice. A few minutes later, “Ping.” Our phones all dinged. There was the family picture. And standing right behind Grandpa, as pretty and natural as could be, was Gracy! She had photo-shopped herself in. Or whatever you call it.
So I’m imagining a new world. Where you don’t have to stand there in that suit, sweating and swearing. You just hire a young person to put all your pictures in the perfect family photo. May as well start your married life out without a fight.