Posted by: deadmousediaries | January 14, 2010

The Glamour Shoot – another true story from Mitchell Kyd

   It was only 10 bucks.  A friend of mine was selling appointments for glamour photos as a  fundraiser for her cheerleading team and it included hairstyling, make-up, and an extensive array of wardrobe changes. In the end, you walked away with an 8 X 10 photo of a fabulous new you. Nobody warned me about the in-betweens.

   I bought two appointments, one for me and one for my daughter Katy.  We we were both glamour shot virgins and it seemed like a fitting rite of passage for us both.  After all, we got our first two tattoos together. We giggled the whole way there about my plans to surprise her dad by revealing a side of me he hadn’t seen since 1986. 

   My daughter is a beauty and on those occasions when people tell me she looks like me, I know they mean before time and gravity took control.  I knew her photos would all be fabulous and I was hopeful that I would get something a least a little sassy out of my sitting. I was very naïve in thinking we would have some sense of privacy to make that happen.

  Upon arrival, we walked into a gymnastics studio filled with other beautiful young girls on the cusp of womanhood.  Wrinkle-free faces and flawless complexions radiated above bustlines still under control and at an appropriate height – members of the cheerleading team, no doubt.  I decided then I would not be having a good time at the glamour photo shoot.

   The make-up artist/hairstylist worked on each photogenic face in full view of the rest of us.  Behind her on the barre, hung a variety of tube tops; it was required wearing for the prep work and the photos.  At the other end of the floor, the photographer was busy arranging and rearranging leather jackets, furs, boas and fake diamonds.

   My number came up before Katy’s and I was directed to the dressing room.  First stop was the balance barre to pick up a tube top.  The only thing I saw that might possibly fit was the pillow case they had been packed in.  I shot a mournful look at the stylist and she suggested  – with empathy — that everything would stretch.

“Try the yellow one?” she queried.

“On which one?”  I questioned.

   A moment of respectful silence ensued before she burst into laughter.  I held up the yellow tube top to one side of my chest before she headed over to help me sort through all the choices.

   “If you hear a thud when I’m in the dressing room,  don’t be alarmed,” I warned her.  “It will just be the fallout.”  More muffled hysteria.

   All eyes were on me when I headed to the transformation chair but not before I announced that it would be best for everyone to look away lest they grow up never feeling like an adequate woman. The cheerleaders were clearly embarrassed; my daughter just smiled.  She has grown accustomed to my brand of defense.

   Twenty minutes later I stepped down off the chair being careful to support my non-secured womanliness with folded arms.  I now had a pound of pancake batter on my face and decollette and rather than looking glamorous as promised,  I looked even more like a a tired old lady. Still I had hope; Photoshop is a wonderous thing.

   The photographer clearly thought he knew who he was dealing with because he began festooning me with the old lady hats and feather boas (If only I had been sporting my purple hair back in October) .  Big clunky clip-on earrings accented every costume change and even without my glasses, I knew this was getting ugly.  If this 10 bucks was to be salvaged at all, we needed drastic measures so I started talking. His name was Jerry and it turned out it was his birthday.  The next thing I knew, we too were in hysterics.  In a moment of pure genius, he pulled the zebra-stripped cowboy hat off the rack and my imp became apparent.

  Katy of course had been oblivious to my struggle to find an authentic me as she was doted on by the stylist, but I hung out to watch her flash her million dollar grin in shot after shot.  Jerry was blown away by how great she looked in the red hat, the black hat, the straw hat, the black jacket, the fur coat, the feather boa, etc. etc. etc.  She and I talked trash about the S&M look the biker garb created while all the little girls and moms looked on, wishing now too that there had been more privacy.

  Twenty minutes later, we were wisked away to the only private moment of the whole experience when we got the chance to see our digital proofs.  The sales rep began with a litany of package offerings, canvas prints, full portfolios and the licensing rights to all the prints.  I had dug in and was settled on our free 8 X 10 – until I saw the photos. 

   Every single one of Katy’s pix looked like a Cosmo cover and with Christmas right around the corner then, I viewed this as a shopping opportunity. Okay.  So we would buy all her photos and get the free 8 X 10 of me. 

   When my pictures flashed on the screen, a frumpy old lady in borrowed clothes paraded by, photo after photo.  The promised freebie was the one in the sparkly drape and it looked like a sad graduation photo that had been impacted by an age simulator, the kind of thing you might find on the back of a carton of prune juice if your grandmother had gone missing but had left no recent photos.

   And then the heavens opened and the trumpets blared, wolves howled and codgers dropped their teeth as the wild woman in the zebra cowboy hat made her appearance. Sassy, sexy and only a little bit scary, it was the perfect Christmas gift for my husband. 

   Three weeks later we picked up our glamour shots but not before dropping off a check for $325 because we wanted the rights to all those photos.  Everyone got pictures of Katy and loved them, but I gave away just one of Mitchell Kyd.  After 28 years of marriage, Doug got a chance to see that  naughty glimmer in my eye and a playful hint of my cleavage, framed and ready for hanging. And it was worth every penny.

Copyright 2010.  Mitchell Kyd.  All rights reserved.

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Responses

  1. What a fabulous way to start my morning! I sure enjoyed the opportunity to read about your mother/daughter adventure. I found myself giggling out loud and thinking about my next planned adventure with my daughter and the fun and stories we will have.

  2. You are one of the gutsiest women I know, kiddo, and I don’t mean the kind of guts that get squoze into a tube top. You rock!

  3. way to go, glamour puss!

  4. I saw MK’s glamor shot. Believe me folks, she is one glamorous woman outside and in, and one of those friends you could only hope for. Am I right, Doug?

  5. Loved it – but was hoping to see the glam shot???

    • Sorry, Cheryl. I can’t post that photo. Doug will stop feeling special and the paparazzi will never stop hounding me. Peace. Mitchell Kyd

  6. Love this story – I think so many women can relate to this experience!

  7. Aww… This story touched my heart. It makes me think of the mother-daughter outings I have had with my Rachel. I know the pride U feel for ur daughter is the same . Those days when U look forward to her shining and having so much fun. Then for U to be so happily surprized was very touching. I am sure your husband REALLY appreciated it. Way to keep the marriage fresh! 😉

  8. Guess I am reading this a few years later, but I sure belted out a few loud laughs. So good to imagine your voice and see your mannerisims as I read. I surely miss you. Sounds as if your a fantastic mom and phenomonal wife!
    Till then,
    Ginger

  9. LOL! Ginger’s comment brought your story to the top of list, so I re-read it and enjoyed it all over again.

  10. Sooooooo incredible submit, I like a few words so
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  11. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work! Thank you!

    • All righty, then! Thanks for reading — I appreciate the observation and your offbeat perspective!


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