I’ve liked the pictures of myself in the Highland Games well enough, but those are action shots and I didn’t know they were being taken.
But being posed and told to smile…well, it usually winds up looking like this dog, but worse.
I can trace this back to the worst of the Tourette’s years. I’ve seen too many pictures of myself where my hand is a blur, or my eyes or lips are suddenly twisted and bizarre, or my neck is craned away at a weird angle. Even now that I’m fine with it, as soon as someone says, “Okay, hold still,” I have to fight it. And if they say “smile,” it’s worse.
But I had to get a decent picture for my book, and to use for speaking engagements. When I spoke in Washington back in May, I sent them a photo. When I walked into the room and saw that picture on a poster, I realized it was time for a new one, because nobody recognized the fresh-faced boy on the poster, so full of hopes and dreams. He was four years younger than I am.
I’m not going to show you the actual photo from the book–it’s a great action shot–you’ll just have to see it on the book itself. But, if all you’ve seen of me are old pictures, here are two photos from the shoot that I don’t mind.
I’m not one for toothy grins, and I totally stopped after the umpteenth chipped front tooth. But the excellent Suzy Steed from A Moment’s Reflection Photography kept at me and somehow, out came the teeth. A little bit. When I look at this picture, I feel like someone took a handful of my features, then threw them at my face, where they lodged in odd places and perverse symmetries.
Janette likes the picture, but she married me, so her judgment is already suspect.
And this one:
I like this one a little more. It has a hint of smugness, but doesn’t quite make me say, “I bet this guy’s a dick.” And no teeth.
Now, if you want to see my absolute favorite picture of myself, we have to go back a ways:
That’s a very happy me, my sister Megan, and a super-cool clip-on tie.
I’m really glad it’s over.