Last month two semi devastating things happened to me. I turned 30 and my driver's license expired. Really, I was fine with 30, but the driver's license broke my heart. Unfortunately I wasn't able to renew it online which meant that I had to give up the best picture of all time. Seriously, the photo on my license was probably one of the best pictures of me ever taken, which was kind of a shame that it was wasted on a little card that people rarely saw. but I loved it. Oh, how I loved it. I was a 23 year old newlywed, tan and skinny. Now, well let's just say things look quite a bit different. I had to come to grips with giving up this photo and let's face it, people were starting to question if it was really me whenever they asked for ID and frankly that is embarrassing.
So I hit the DMV determined to make the best of this new picture situation. I actually brought a hairbrush and make up with me and spruced myself up in the parking lot, which in retrospect now seems sad. I also wore the exact same shirt from my 2004 picture. Yes, you read that right, I have and still regularly wear this one fantastic black sweater. I've actually owned it since I was a sophomore in college and love it like a child. Bottom line: I spent more time planning this one excursion to the DMV than I spent planning the birth of one Hudson Hill. I was ready.
I got to the counter (A female clerk! A good omen!) filled out my paperwork and then it was picture time. I told the nice lady the whole story and how nervous I was about the new photo. She stared at me for a second and then told me to stand in front of the blue screen. Now, knowing that in terms of picture taking (and maybe just life in general) the farther one stands away from me the better, I backed myself so far against that screen that I literally pushed into a man seated at a desk behind the screen taking his commercial license exam. I should have felt bad especially since I had already overheard that he was on his last attempt at this test after two previous failures, but I didn't have time to dwell, that lady was ready to click! One slight head tilt, smiley eyes and a millisecond later we were done. I rushed back over to the counter and asked if I could see the picture. She kindly agreed and turned the monitor to me. I about fainted. It was the most hideous photo I have ever seen. I don't know if you know this about me but I suffer from a debilitating disease called Fat Face. It is kind of the long lost 3rd cousin twice removed of unfortunate diseases and no one is hosting a celebrity filled telethon to raise money for it's eradication, but trust me, it's real and it's tragic. To rub even more salt in the wound the clerk then created a split screen of my last photo and my new one for comparison. Even she said, "Yeah, that's just not great." At least we were on the same page.
I took a deep breath and went into damage control. I told the lady, "Okay, I think this is fixable. I feel like the camera was zoomed a little aggressively. See on my last photo, it is shot from the collarbone up. The new one starts at my double chin and that is never a good place to begin a photo. You can't see any of my sweater. Also I'm thinking I should have pushed either one of both sides of my hair behind my ear. What do you think?" I then demonstrated both a one, then two sided hair tuck. She was quiet for a minute and then said, "I think both looks better. You see more of your face." Okay, now we were in business. I moved back in front of the blue screen and said, "Thanks so much! Remember the farther away the better." She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "Oh, there's no retakes. It's a done deal."
What. The. Crap.
I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Had we not just had a lengthy conversation about what I could have done to make that picture better? A conversation she willingly participated in? And for what? Nothing! I signed off on the worst picture I have ever taken and then was forced to pay for it (that really hurt). I left feeling demoralized and discouraged and added the DMV to the list of places where a piece of my soul has died (it's now #2 behind Chuck E. Cheese in case you are wondering). Matt tried to encourage me by saying that it would probably look better on the actual license.
Well guess what? It doesn't.
So I tucked that little friend behind my old license and plan on showing it only under threat of arrest.
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