Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Face that Even a Mother Can't Love :(

I don't understand how I got this reputation as an exaggerator.

Even my own mother seems to think I blow things out of proportion. Can you believe it? You'd think I claimed to have a broken neck when I slept on it wrong. Or that my head exploded when I experienced slight tooth discomfort upon biting into a caramelized onion burger at the casino. Or that mouse turds flowed from my bathroom light/exhaust fan like an indoor Angel Falls. Huh. I guess I'll just have to get to the bottom of this character-assassination conspiracy one of these days.

When I told Mom that my driver's license photo made me look like Twain's description of Injun Joe, she kind of glossed over it. "Oh, honey. I'm sure it will look better when you get your license in the mail." A regular Pollyanna is she. Never has a bad word to say about anyone. People are always coming up to me and telling me that my mom is one in a million. Such a sweet lady. They just love her. If she was on Facebook, she would have eleventy-billion friends.

Friday afternoon, Mom met me on the Walmart parking lot to pick up The Pony for a sleepover. I motioned for her to climb into the Tahoe. The passenger seat was available, you know. Because The Pony insists on riding in the seat behind me. "Hey! I thought you might want to see my picture that's going to be on my driver's license for the next six years." I held up the paper, folded over, as I prepared her. "Now remember, this is your sweet baby girl. Your firstborn child. The one who's having a birthday next week. Remember those pictures from when I was little? The white hightop corrective shoes? The topknot of hair you made into a curl and tied up with a ribbon? The innocent toddler the camera loved? THAT'S NOT ME ANYMORE!" I thrust the picture under her nose.

"OH! Val..." She recoiled. I think I saw her suppress a retch. There was an uncomfortable silence.


"Uh...I thought you were exaggerating. But...that's TERRIBLE! It doesn't even look like you."

"Thank goodness. I tried to tell you."

"I've never seen anything like that!"

"Thanks. I'm a monster."

"I wouldn't even claim you."

"Your baby girl!"

"I would never have believed it was as bad as you said."

"Now you know."

"To look at that makes me think you've been on an all-night drinking binge." Let the record show that Val has been a teetotaler since May 29, 1992. Not that anybody's counting.

"Your sweet baby girl!"

"It's just that look on your face...You look twice as old as you are!" Which would make me older than my septuagenarian mother.

"This is terrible."

"It IS! I just can't believe how bad it is."

"Thanks, Mom. You're really making me feel better."

"I'd take that back and say, 'These are the comments I've been getting...'"

"They would laugh me out of that place. Especially after looking at the picture."

"Well, I'd tell them, 'I went to cash a check, and they wouldn't do it because they didn't think that was my picture!'"

"What if I go to the doctor, and they won't treat me because they think I'm committing insurance fraud?"

"They will have to do something. This is not right."

 "You were kind of quiet when I first showed you."

"I think I was speechless."

"Maybe this will bring it back to you." I held up the paper, ready to expose the picture again.

"NO! I hope I don't have nightmares tonight."


"What is it? People open up a cross or something to keep things from attacking?"

"You mean vampires?"


"I know! I'll say I lost it. Then I'll go in, and pay for a new one, and get a new picture! I can't wait until my license gets here so I can 'lose' it. It wouldn't do to go in there and say I lost it before they even mailed it!"

"Oh, honey. Do you want me to call over there and ask if they'll take a new picture? I'll tell them I didn't even recognize you."

"No. Then they'll know it's me when I go in. They'll make it bad again. But not worse. That would be impossible."

"Something has to be done."

"I know. Your sweet baby girl..."

"Don't show me that picture again!"

Yeah. Even my angelic mother was bagging on my license likeness. It's THAT bad. I went to bed in good spirits Friday night. The solution all planned out. The loss of license. New photo. Then I woke up. And realized the license office would most likely just charge me a fee, and PRINT THE PICTURE ON FILE IN THEIR FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE.

Woe is me. And woeful is my photo.

Any suggestions?


  1. They don't have metal detectors to get into THOSE offices, do they?

    I suggest you go in there, armed with a staple gun or a shook-up bottle of soda or with Walter the Farting Dog in tow. Tell them you will either affix them to a wall or spray them or asphyxiate them, unless they retake your picture.

    (By the way, when I got my latest passport photo, they told me I could not smile. I made such a concerted effort to avoid a smile, I looked like Charlize Theron in "Monster." It was chilling...)

  2. Wait! This could be good. You have a lethal weapon to use against all vampires, zombies, attack dogs and chupacabras. You could sell copies on Ebay to be delivered in tasteful brown paper mailing envelopes. This is golden!

  3. I was a classic exaggerator for many years, and now I notice I've moved in the other direction and I seem to downplay everything.

    And they WILL charge you for a license replacement so you might as well insist on a new picture.

  4. Up here in the city they print you an instant license; you do not have to wait for the letter carrier. Trying to help you you know any politicians who will take a bribe?

  5. Getting a driver's license renewed ranks in the pain department along with root canals and childbirth. Even worse than having my driver's license photo taken was admitting to my weight.

  6. Tee-hee! Why is it that the license bureau is so brilliant at capturing the most unflattering photos?

    Critter Alley

  7. Sioux,
    NO! And no guards, either. Forget the dog. I could take a teenager who farts like a launched rocket. You're scaring me into nightmares with the Monster image.

    I'm sure there's a market for not-me somewhere. I could replace the bald guy on those magnetic wand and iron filings contraptions. As an artist, I'm sure you know just what I'm talking about.

    I would gladly pay a king's ransom for a replacement. But Missouri is the type to cut off my replacement to spite my face.

    Sadly, I am not well-connected in the political arena. My brother-in-law used to be the mayor of a neighboring town. But his influence it dead to me now.

    WAIT! You ADMITTED your actual weight? Not that I'm calling you Shamu or anything. I mean, ladies always outsmart THE MAN when it comes to weight. I didn't think twice about shaving off a few tons. Of course, your license probably shows a reasonable facsimile of your countenance, while mine does not.

    I think they have training for that. Like Walmart has bagger training. My blog buddy Kathy swears it's true. But I say the training is how to bag the WRONG way and make the customers crazy.