It’s the End of the World as I Know It and I Feel Fine

canstockphoto14284461The Green Study’s Positively Happy Nice Story Contest is off and running. I saw a wonderful post by Cate that is exactly the sort of thing that would be a contender. The deadline is October 1st October 3rd. See here for details.

It started with a simple request.Β  I was invited to participate in a podcast. The podcast is a relatively new app that was launched to facilitate conversations on a variety of topics. One of my posts caught their eye. It’s out of my bailiwick, something I’ve never done before, so sure, sign me up.

In order to participate, I had to log into the app through Facebook or LinkedIn. For years, I’ve refused Facebook. Since Facebook is onlyΒ  12 years old, it’s lining up with my schedule of hipness. In with Facebook, out with cassette tapes.

On top of hell freezing over and me creating a new Facebook account, it became apparent that my avoidance of posting a picture of myself was starting to become an awkward hindrance. It was time for a professional head shot. Or at least as professional as someone in a department store photo studio could take.

I loathe pictures of myself. I find appearance to be the least interesting thing about myself and generally, the least interesting thing about other people. It’s a weird disconnect, but one I’ve nurtured over the years with considerable success. If by success, I mean avoidance and/or being completely disagreeable when people try to take my picture.

Then, there was this makeup thing. If I’m going to put my best fake face forward, I’d better learn how to put on makeup. The lady at Walgreen’s was very helpful, as were the 352 YouTube videos I watched on how to make things on my face “pop”, which, if I recall from my teenage years, was something to be avoided.

I followed the directions on the back of the eye shadow. 1. Put bottom color on majority of eyelid. 2. Put middle color in crease of eyelid. 3. Put light color everywhere else, then blend. 4. Wipe shit off with tissue if you look like a raccoon. Stuff makeup in back of closet with that never worn pair of heels and a skirt I thought I’d wear to cocktail parties I was never invited to in the 90s.

I made myself look in the mirror and practice smiles. I don’t often look at myself in the mirror. The translation was startling. What I thought was a sardonic and bemused look was off the mark. Apparently, I just look pissed off at the world. When I smiled a big grin, I looked like a donkey braying – gums ahoy. Okay, okay. Maybe I’m better with a serious look. Maybe I look smarter. Nope. Just look mad. Thoughtful? Nope, still mad. It’s my resting pissed face.

Now for the wardrobe. I should wear something that I’m comfortable in, since that will give me confidence. Why is everything in my wardrobe black? No, it’s not that “thinning” angle. It’s the “I only know it’s dirty if it smells” laundry saver. Spaghetti stains in witness protection.

I research what colors I should wear. I’m a fall personality. Okay, brown pants and green top. I wave my hands in the air to Morris Day’s “The Oak Tree”. Pumpkin blouse, brilliant yellowy squash pants. Peach and mocha. Now I’m hungry, which likely explains why none of those things fit right.

Props. Hmm. Pen? Weighty tomes stacked around me? Jewelry? Do I even have any? I look up “author photos”. I need a typewriter, a pack of cigarettes and a tweed jacket. Ooh, maybe a little purse dog with bows in its hair. Oh crap, I’m going to be late for the appointment. The only accessory I have time to grab is a lint roller.

So, it’s done. The pie hole here at The Green Study has a face. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.


49 thoughts on “It’s the End of the World as I Know It and I Feel Fine

    1. It’s all part of my “fake it until I make it” program. Thanks for the encouraging words. It feels like progress for me, since I’ve lived a life trying to completely avoid attention. The current environment surrounding writing as a living is forcing me to be a little more brave.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful! Yes, accept it. I just had the same experience with the whole pro photo angst. I resisted the impulse to dash to CVS for eye shadow on my way to the photographer. I ended up wearing black, but scarfed up at the photographers suggestion to “make my eyes pop” – my make up skills obviously not doing the trick. You have a terrific smile. Positively terrific!


  2. You have a lovely and friendly face and it was great to read about your photo dilemma – something that I have agonised over for months and one day I guess I’ll make the leap which is probably that little bit closer thanks to you!


  3. Loved the comment about the cocktail parties you were never invited to in the ’90s. Glad to hear someone else still has clothes in the wardrobe from way back then. Probably back in fashion next year. You don’t look at all like I imagined you. You’re an improvement on my imagination.


    1. I’ve finally reached the point in my life where my wardrobe is no longer aspirational, but there’s a couple of hangers-on. I had some anxiety about going from faceless to faced, but the comments have been very kind here and I’m feeling some relief.


  4. Wonderful picture – you look radiant. I used to wear makeup when I went to an office everyday, but now the stuff sits in a drawer, probably all cakey and unusable now. I prefer the natural look, although I doubt people looking at me do!


    1. Thanks. I much prefer not having things on my face as well. Many years ago, I went for a makeover as a one-off with friends. When it was done, I thought I was going to cry – I didn’t even look like myself and I hated it. It’s an odd thing realizing the comforting familiarity of one’s own face.


  5. Sweet face and warm smile – not at all what I was expecting! No hint of resting bitch face … In fact you kinda make me want to be your friend. Or read your book. Either would do… πŸ™‚ Maybe both!!!


      1. FB is how I keep up with the doings of my large and scattered family – sisters, their spouses and ex-spouses, their children, their children’s children, etc. plus friends (I mean real friends) who live all over the world. It’s very useful for that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I admit, I had that experience you refer to above: you don’t look like the picture I had in my head (for some reason, in my head you had long hair and didn’t wear glasses). But still, I love the real you and the picture. I think you and the Walgreen’s photographer did a nice job!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a happy warm face. Nice to see it/you.
    I recently took a photo of two teens. I caught them by surprise with a crack that made them smile. Snap. They hated it. Take it again. They planted their fake smiles. “Use that,” they said. “Use the one with the fake, dead eyes,” they didn’t say. Few people like their raw, emotional faces. It’s about control. Humans are weird.
    Just submitted something to you. I’m not entirely happy with it but there you go.


    1. Thanks, Ross. And thanks for the contest submission. If you were entirely happy with it, you likely wouldn’t be a writer.

      My grandmother would completely lose her mind if someone took a candid shot of her – to the point of tears. I imagine I’ll be like that – I do not have shelf appeal or hidden-away-on-the-dusty-shelf appeal in candid shots. I was happy about this picture because it actually looks like me (on a good day). Today is not one of those days. More coffee might be required.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had to come over when I saw this unfamiliar, lovely face at my place. You look great! Smiling and happy without being falsely manic about the whole business. Although a stack of weighty tomes somewhere in the background is never amiss – just sayin’.

    And congratulations on the out-of-bailiwick podcast gig. I’m even farther behind you in the technology department, so I am in awe.


    1. Thanks, Peg. When I get my first book published, I’ll get a new shot of me in front of bookshelves of unsold, dusty books.

      I’m not a Luddite, but I regard anything that has the word “social” in front of it as suspect. By the time I master Facebook, it will be defunct and some other sell-your-soul-intimate-details-firstborn app will come along. Likely in the form of a neuro implant. I hope I’m dead by then. People already look rabid enough walking down the street talking to themselves/their Bluetooth device.


      1. No,no, not dusty as in “unsold” if they’re YOUR books. That won’t happen. Dusty as in “venerable examples of the writer’s art which have stood the test of time.” Which yours will be someday.


  8. I like your photo and admire you for posting one. I, too, dislike photos of me, so I’ve never tried to take one of myself that might be worthy of the internet. I rather prefer being an abstract idea, like my icon, anyhow. As for FB, I’ve tried it a few times over the years and concluded that it’s not for me: too clique-y, too complicated, too cruel. Blogs are so much easier and fun, imho.


    1. Well, I didn’t really post a pic as some sort of fear exercise (although it felt like it). Same goes with Facebook. It was a little more mercenary, as in, I need to get over this so that I can become accustomed to self-promotion. And when I typed that sentence, a little bit of me just died. Wheee!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, you never know! I’m sorry that it was not as fun as it could have been. I hope you will remember the lightness and curiosity you approached it with, though, and I hope you don’t regret it. As Brene Brown would likely say, that you put yourself out there testifies to your active participation in life–you are in the arena, daring greatly! So Brava! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I really relate to your agony! I occasionally get dressed up, but I hate to do make-up. I skip it if I think I can get away with it and still look put together. My hubby thinks it’s funny that I can get up onstage and sing or whatever, yet I resist getting my picture taken. I like being on the other side of the camera.


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