With the holidays approaching, it is inevitable that people will be snapping pictures.   However, what I have realized is that there are 3 kinds of people:  the lovers, the haters, and the drunkards.  So which are ya?

Are you of the rare breed that when asked to be in a picture you actually move in closer to the other people, throw your arms around them like you like ‘em, and give a happy smile?  My husband is of that rare, but priceless group, of which I am very thankful.  Sure, there will be photos with lots of hearty thumbs ups and even more of him pretending to hump something, but at least he’s willing to let the photo happen.  I love you guys.  You make my non-shit list!

You’re the ones that make everybody else smile or at least not glare and somehow manage to guilt everyone else into pretending to have fun in the family photo.  Sometimes, I think you actually make the picture appealing enough that others can’t help but say “cheese” or “beer” when the flash goes off.  You guys are the best because you throw peace signs, fake gang wanna-be hand signs, bunny ears, and good Charlie’s Angels poses.  There’s nothing better than a picture where people seem to be enjoying themselves.   I even have a friend who when we went to Washington, D.C. suggested that we pose according to the place we were, like our “Up on the Rooftop” pose at the White House.  (You know what I’m talking about – you had to do all the hand movements to that song when you were in the Christmas program at school, too.  Don’t act like you don’t remember.)  Now, I will admit the one where somebody was spanking Eleanor Roosevelt’s ass statue in a picture was probably over the top, but those are the best vacation photos ever! 

Fun and playful photo albums are ones people look at.  We’ll even spend freaking money to read celeb mags where women stand with their legs perpendicular to look thin!   Hell, people are even willing to look at shots if you’re posed like American Gothic, but ain’t nobody lookin’ if there are 300 pictures of the same side of a mountain with no people.   That’s when everybody slinks into the kitchen for snacks to conveniently avoid looking at them, even when you’re forcing them down their throats.  So, believe me when I say I love people who break out the action shots for me.  As I said, you guys are the rarest of breeds and I will not insult you by calling you picture whores, because well, I need your type, seeing as I’m the designated family photographer.

Now, I mentioned two other types of people.  The next is probably where most of us fall:  the Happy-to-be-in-the-picture-when-I’m-drunk crowd.  I’ll admit it, I’m right there with ya.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be in the picture sober and I’ll probably look less deer-in-the-headlights that way, but I’m always worried about my double chin or my squinting eyes or the gap in my teeth or my fat rolls.  When I’m drunk that just goes out the door.  I’m just more willing to accept myself in all my lack of glory.  I think the rest of you are, too, or maybe you’re normally just too humble to say, “Hey, look at me being all kinds of cute!   Take my picture!”   Or maybe you’re aware that you have a natural smile only when you’re intoxicated and wobbly.  Me, I know I have what my friends have labeled the perma-smile when I’m drunk.  I’m not proud of it, but it makes a good photo.

The last group is, of course, the picture haters.  I’m sorry, but I don’t really appreciate you people.  You make my life more difficult (and yes, it’s all about me).  Is it so wrong to have a few pictures of you on your facebook page?  Are you scared the flash will cause some kind of future blindness?  I just don’t get it.  You are the people that suggest we just don’t “need” you in the picture.  You are the same people that will always suggest I photoshop your picture from 1999 into a group photo even if you’re standing right there in a gorgeous sweater with perfect hair and a classy stature.  I’d kill to look like you and you’re the one being pissy while I hang my flab out in the front of the photo.

You are also the ones that will walk into another room to hide from me or threaten me with my life if I take a photo of you.  Now, I understand that sometimes you have a few insecurities about how you look.  Listen, I was a bitchy fat kid in my youth with some acne and a bad case of big hair.  Should I have allowed any photos to have been taken of me at that point in time?  Hell no!  But it’s too late now, and well, how do you remember who you were and where you were if you don’t have a visual of it?  I’ll grant that some of us would rather not see photos of ourselves these days because it becomes painfully obvious that we are aging rapidly, but then I think, thank God there were some pics of me when I looked good so I can prove it to myself someday!  And why don’t you think about the fact that someday your kid might want to know if they looked like you did.  I’ve seen an awful lot of pictures these days of people that could pass for their parents or grandparents and I have to say that it’s a good feeling to know where you come from.  I’m sure you have your reasons, but none of them are good enough for not joining the rest of the damn group and playing nice for a 5 second picture and a fake I’m-happy-to-be-a-member-of-the-family smile.  Just sayin’.

And I’ll say it again:  suck it up!  If we want your ugly mug in a picture with us then we must like you despite your foul attitude, so squeeze in and act like Santa’s watching for the naughty and nice list, bitch!  Either that, or we photoshop you in as a mule.  You know what I’m sayin’.

Happy photo-taking, y’all!