John tells me all the time that I'm beautiful (including when I just roll out of bed) but I figure it's because it's Johnnie and that's just what he does. I believe him as far as I can and I know that I don't scare little children or anything with my appearance but beautiful is a big big stretch. As a rule, I don't take good pictures. Some people can just be and they look great ~ relaxed, unposed, natural. My brother-in-law has the most amazing perma-grin. All someone has to do is say "Ferd, look at me." and he immediately pastes on this great smile that extends from his lips all the way into his eyes. And looks natural. It's a family trait that Johnnie and his brother Whiz also have. Aggravating to those of us who can't look natural without a great deal of work.
Me? Not so much. I somehow stiffen up, look completely wooden and very uncomfortable. I've learned in the past few years how to pull myself together and quell the inner marionette but the vast percentage of pictures I'm in are fairly horrible. This isn't just me saying it, it's the truth. When I began MBA school in 1997, they warned us that one day we were going to have our pictures taken for the class photos. I deliberately picked out nicer-than-normal clothes that made me look executive-ish and spent more time on my makeup than usual before heading off for school. I thought I looked pretty decent. In the resulting picture, I strongly resemble Raymond Burr*. Seriously. In fact, that's what I exclaimed when I first saw it and my husband and daughter, while trying weakly to disagree with me, actually giggled. (Actually, Johnnie just helped me scan the RB lookalike picture and cracked up laughing when he saw what I was scanning. Nice.)
For your reference, I'm the one on the left. Deer in headlights look? Check. Helmet hair? Check. Square jaw? Yup. Stuffy looking suit? Uh huh. I'm just missing the spotlight over my head.
I started thinking about this the other day because I had taken some pains to look nice in the morning, then went back to the veterinary clinic to watch a young Shitzhu lose his manhood (about the size of cocktail onions for the record). I wore scrubs, an elastic banded cap and a surgical mask. When I got home and looked in the mirror, there was Ruth Buzzi* as sure as the day is long. Where did she come from? My hair was a frazzled mess. For the record, surgical caps are not all that helpful for attractive hair. Lucky for anyone reading this that I didn't take a picture of myself that morning.
*Raymond Burr picture taken from http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/B/htmlB/burrraymond/burrraymond.htm. Ruth Buzzi image from www.walnettosinc.com/