Tonight, Sherry and I go to church to have a portrait shot for a new church directory. And I’m really not looking forward to it.
For our donation of time we get an 8×10 print of the portrait we select and a copy of the directory when it’s printed.
I suggested to Sherry that we instruct them just to use the photo taken last time, probably six or seven years ago.
That won’t work, she said. She said we don’t look like that anymore. It seems our hair has lightened up since then.
Years ago, when we were raising four children and trying to pay the bills on one income so Sherry could remain a stay-at-home mom, we looked forward to the directory photos.
They provided us a free family portrait we could not otherwise afford. And we scrimped and bought some extra photos for the grandparents.
Those days are gone. The kids have grown up and moved out. We now have some money for discretionary spending. And the grandparents are deceased. So I’m really not looking forward to going tonight.
One thing is good. I’m dressing in comfortable clothing this time.
Years ago, they suggested men wear sport jackets, dress shirts and a tie.
But society, including me, is much less formal in 2011. It is suggested we dress in clothing we are comfortable in. Now for me, that would be coach’s shorts and a colored T-shirt with writing on it in the warm weather months and sweatpants and a long-sleeve, colored T-shirt in the cool weather months.
But I know that won’t fly with management, so instead I’ll wear khaki slacks and a sport shirt, open at the collar. No tie. And no sport jacket, thank you.
My wife, who obviously has more class than me, is wearing a dress.
The thought of church directory pictures does bring one smile to mind. It was in the early 1980s and our family portrait appointment for the church directory was the evening of the day I’d had a vasectomy. I was in lots of pain.
In addition to chairs, the photographer had boxes of various heights in his makeshift studio used to pose everyone just right in the photo. He also had a round stool.
“Straddle that, Mr. Roberts,” he said, pointing to the stool, “just like you’re riding a Harley.”
My wife and I shot quick glances at one another, and I sat down. I still remember the pain from doing so. If I smiled in that portrait, it was certainly a forced smile.
Copyright 2011 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises.