The other day I was forced to have my passport photo taken. I am most certainly not eye candy to the lens – as we all know some people photograph better than others, yet the question springing to mind: Why does EVERYone look like a criminal on a passport photo?
Don’t deny it. Don’t flatter yourself when lovingly gazing at your very own passport photo: You do look like a criminal. Maybe a petty thief rather than a fully blown bank robber – but still worthy of locking up for five minutes. Even the Angel does. And he photographs well. My sister does too – you could put her into a black bin liner and she’d still photograph well. A bit like David Bowie.
Completely lost my thread. That comes from writing long intros before getting to the point. I’ll get back to you once I am up to speed again.
And before I forget even more: You know WHY I look complete shite on a passport photo? Because NOW you are NOT supposed to smile any longer. My smile is my most important USP. I dare say my smile will let me off murder – even if it were in a court with the jury entirely female. I wish all future border control agents good luck. If you showed me my passport photo I’d only be able to (barely) identify myself by my eyes. The rest may go into the shredder.
For light relief, and please forgive me before you continue reading, I have just come across an article stating the obvious. Namely that dogs react to the way you speak to them, your intonation.
Who’d have thought it.
I once, and once only since I am not cruel, tested this on our then two cats, Fleury and Bouncer. Despite being mother and son they couldn’t have been more different in temperament. Which was great. Who wants sameness in everyone around you?
As an aside: Unfortunately (for Bouncer) he inherited his mother’s looks and his father’s brain. The other way round would have been better (for everyone) but, being placid and not destined to be an alley cat, he made the best of both his beauty and his deficiency.
My experiment? Mitigating circumstances – both my arms broken and in plaster cast, being more or less immobilized lying on the sofa, I needed diversion from watching Bette Davis films on the loop. So, there they both were and I told them truly horrendous not so sweet nothings in a soothing voice. They purred. Oh, did they purr. Not a clue what I was actually saying. It wasn’t nice. No one talks to ME like that. Then, some time later, I shouted at them that I loved them to bits. And – guess what – just on the strength of my voice they bolted through the cat flap. It broke. Served me right. Collateral damage.
Don’t report me to the RSPCA. I wanted to prove a point. And I did. As they say in the motherland: “Intonation makes the music”. Pity in many ways. I’d rather content set the tone. Still …
From a lay woman’s view. and please don’t slaughter me, we have one option.
And one only. What (for sake of argument) you lack in looks you have to make up by personality. Be it wit, charm, intelligence, warmth, empathy, generousity (of heart and mind). Anything redeeming like, say, being able to tell a good story. If push comes to shove, cook up a storm.
Yes, so you have to make up for your shortcomings. Not least when you are a man. It’s one thing to be short. It’s another to be Dustin Hoffman, Danny de Vito, Woody Allen (I particularly like the woody bit), Al Pacino, and even Robert Redford I don’t imagine to be tall.
I won’t mention names because people get arrested on fewer charges but there is one currently in the limelight on the world’s stage who is undesirable on every imaginable count. I don’t WATCH the news, mainly because I am no voyeur, find them tedious and drawn out where the written front page is concise and you can scan those news at a pace you are comfortable with. But even not watching the news will not allow me escape THE VISAGE. Someone somewhere today suggested that he who shall remain unnamed wears a mask. To be pulled off. Chance being a fine thing. Some people actually do look how they look. And that’s before we measure a hand span.
Wait till you are at his feet.
Right Sweethearts, this is not so much my Swan song as waling at what I never thought possible.
Yes. I am getting older. OUTSIDE. Once called beautiful. Now? I cannot believe it.
Obviously I do look in the mirror every day but mirrors deceive. However, do have your passport photo taken – as I did about an hour ago – and your world falls apart. I look like shit. How I am going to sell this to my parents who I haven’t seen for years I do not know. They are (always have been) easily disappointed. Dear dog in heaven. HELP. I can hear my mother now: “Ja, wie siehst Du denn aus?” (Loosely translated, not that she ever uses swearwords, but does convey disapproval in subtle and far more hurtful ways: “What the fuck do you look like?”). Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Lets’ go back to the beginning of my five year old cute self.
Don’t get me wrong. My face is (relatively) remarkably unlined. My neck so smooth is the envy of many a twenty five year old. But, by golly, there is something in that photo – well, I don’t know. Old. I suppose. Shit. Shit. And Shit. Not exactly helped by passport requirement of “neutral expression”, “no smile”. My smile is my USP (unique selling point). Whatever. Doesn’t matter. As long as it gets me in and out of the country (my passport expired two years ago, making me – effectively – a person non grata, in no man’s land, a prisoner on these isles) vanity is not important.
And don’t all of you rally around telling me that all of our passport photos look as if we were on death row, just about to be shipped out to Alcatraz. Though that is true too.
Once the Angel materializes back from his travels I will ask him to shoot me. With his camera. To give me perspective. Oh my god. Dear dog in heaven. Who’d have thunk it?
The Angel and I can’t agree whether my dislike of the people of a (small) country amounts to rascism. He says it does, I say it doesn’t. I don’t like them, true – mainly because their faces are inscrutinable and when they smile I think it fake. But I don’t look down on them or wish them eradicated. So, I hope, that means I am not a racist. Just full of shit with regards to ………. people. Pleading mitigating circumstances: I myself don’t like my dislike. If I could un-dislike I would in a jiffy – and with relief.
One of my worst case scenarios I conjure up in idle moments when no other catastrophe to befall me comes to mind that the Angel will fall in love with a member of said country. I can see it now. I know I will be a good loving sweet mother-in-law to any of my son’s choices but please please please do spare me to test my mettle in the face of a strong and generalized dislike. Having said that: As far as I am concerned the Angel could marry an ugly snarly monster from an as yet unknown planet with charms not obvious to me and I’d trust his judgment. I just hope that his children will – both facially and temperamentally – be their father’s likeness.
And this was meant to be a most pleasant post about cats. Yes, that easily one thought of mine dislocates another.
I like doing things for people. Not because I am selfless. Not at all. Like Mother Theresa I am totally selfish because I like doing things for people. So there.
For sensible reasons I find myself a recovering perfectionist. Not being perfect is hard when you are perfect and/or have aspirations. To help me along a hopeless path, once or twice a year, the Angel will ask me to wrap a present for him to give to, say, a work colleague. Mind: “Don’t make it perfect, Mama. It’s got to look as if I could have, conceivably, done it myself.” And thus I keep learning that it’s far harder to bodge a job than to get it right. This minute I am proud of myself. No one but no one would guess that I’ve wrapped those glasses.
Nice to be needed, don’t you think?
Grow a beard.
If you are a woman – tough luck.
I am no fag hag. Or whatever they are called. Yet gay men fascinate me. Maybe some sort of defense mechanism to keep the straights at arm’s length.
As I have cried at your assorted shoulders before not that long ago a man (gay, naturally) wooed me. A woman likes to be wooed. Indeed I, woman, will woo a man. One. Anyway, it all went pearshaped with gay guy and I wasn’t so much put onto the compost heap as landfill.
Where was I? In our local co-op (cornershop) yesterday evening. The city I live in being a university town, the air wafting with young blood.
I don’t stare. Or gawp. Yesterday I gawped and stared. Sometimes you come across, I don’t know, ‘beauty’? No, it wasn’t beauty. A sort of ethereal quality – so artificial as not to be defined. Medium long blond – clearly dyed – hair, make up to the hilt, trousers even I wouldn’t wear in public. A vision. For those of my readers excitable: There was nothing sexual about my wonderment. The guy could have been my son. I don’t mean MY son but age wise.
Yes, beauty strikes where it strikes.
Anyway, on return home – son assuming I’d gone awol (absent without leave) – I related the encounter. Asked him, since the Angel is more streetwise than me. Questions like that will get you all the disdain you deserve. “What do you think, Mama? Of course he is gay.”
OK. Yet another loss to womankind.
I shall knit this into another thought – about beauty. In both the heterosexual and gay man. With and without mascara and eyeliner. And trousers to die for. Think Saville Row.
What fairy land did I live many years ago? Why does everything come to my attention NOW?
I don’t mind age. As time is ticking by at the rate of nano seconds it’s inevitable. And fine by me. Bring it on. We all know who will have the last laugh.
Sometimes I catch the glimpse of a face. And I am not talking Keith Richards.
Let’s not go where wrinkles follow. Can’t believe it. Just saw a photo of Martin Amis. A writer you can’t miss even if you never read him. That’s it. If he looks like shit what do I look like – in reality? Well, shit. Most likely. Still. It could be worse. Like Sylvester Stallone’s mother. Oh my god. I bet he never takes her to a public place. Which reminds me of Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. Naturally, the night I saw it there was a full moon on my return home. I was eighteen. My family lived in the countryside. Which involved a lot of walking. Not least at night. In the dark. Alone. Come to think of it: I am amazed my parents ever slept.
Yes, so taking a shower in the wake of ‘Psycho’ had its moments. Luckily my mother is not one to query her children’s foibles. When I asked her to check on me should I not be out of the shower within five minutes sharp all she said was: “Don’t lock the door”.