Three years of hard work and it was finally here-our first book signing! Longing to present my best self, I went to the mall two days before the event to scout a new outfit. I didn’t have much time, so my mission had to be quick. I checked out the fabulous tendy jeans, complete with shredded rips up and down the legs. The sizes confused me- they were all European. Just as a salesperson asked if I needed some help, I noticed the price tag- $239! My measly budget of $50 didn’t come close. Dejected, I headed off to accessories. Surely I could afford something to update my look. I spotted a fun, tie-dye blue headband – perfect for our book’s 1970’s theme! I hit the cosmetic department last and overspent on a fabulous orange lipstick called, “Mischa.” I was ready!
The day of the book signing, I was able to leisurely shower, dress, and primp. I even applied clear nail polish to my chewed fingernails. I met Kim for lunch, where we indulged in a glass of wine and teeth friendly food (no spinach). We reviewed what excerpts we’d read and how we’d sign our name -cursive writing with a whimsical comment. We were prepared.
Slightly anxious, we got to Symposium Books in plenty of time for the reading. Friends and family began to arrive. Everyone congratulated us. Soon, it was time to start. Kim did the opening remarks explaining our journey to creating this book (yes, it took us three years to write a 124 page book!) We both read from our chapters in Conscious Unparenting and people chuckled at the appropriate times. It was wonderful!
After the signing of books, Kim’s friend Jill took a few pictures of us. Having passed into the realm of “middle age,” it was important that we review those pictures before posting them. Directives were given-hold the camera high so we don’t have double chins.
We weren’t as extreme as Barbara Streisand, but we knew what features should be turned away from the camera. Later that night, Kim sent me the pictures in an email. Most came out nice, but there were a few that could immediately go to trash. The nice thing was, we had control over what was going on-line.
That night, I went to Facebook to check our blog. I received a message saying there were two photos I was tagged in. It’s great to see people posting pictures, but the down side is that I sometimes don’t feel the pictures chosen are as flattering as I would like. Like this one:
Could I have morphed so quickly from acceptable 47 year old female into “She’s had a rough life” 57 year old? Had mother nature been that unkind to me? I was beside myself. Worse, I realized these photos would be viewed by many on the internet. I asked my husband his opinion of my least favorite photo. Aggravated, he responded, “You’re talking in that picture. What’s the big deal?” No, I thought, I look like I’m in desperate need of a facelift!
I realized then, that although I would like control over every photo published, it was not realistic. Was I being too dramatic and shallow? Did I have a thick enough skin to participate in an on-line market? Lots of people would be judging me on my writing. Did I really care what they thought about my physical appearance? What will happen if we end up on tv? Ellen, the Today show? Imagine all the preparation and one camera guy gets a bad angle of my ass?!! It’s hopeless. Perhaps I need to consider radio?!
For now, I’ll have to live with my sagging self. If you see me with bandages all over my face, don’t take my picture! I’ll be a remodeled work in progress. Here’s to embracing aging, facebook, and our complete lack of control over social media! Say, “Cheese!”