This past Saturday, my wife informed me that we were scheduled to take family pictures at the local mall. Neither Santa Clause nor the Easter Bunny would be involved. The first revelation was surprising, and the second was expected but disappointing. She subsequently rebuffed my request to dress as either of the aforementioned characters. We arrived at the mall that evening, without cool costumes, ready for our photo shoot.
I know what readers might be thinking: We live in an age in which every 20-year-old is an amateur photographer and indoor family portraits have been cliché for about five years. Why go to the mall? Have we learned nothing from Awkward Family Photos? Well, reader friends, the answer starts with “Groupon sent me a cool deal…” and ends with “Welcome to J.C. Penney.”
The experience was worthwhile, if only for the entertainment. We arrived at the store and found that our baby was in a fantastic mood. He was giddy. He smiled sporadically, even laughed at times, and never cried. Of course, all the smiling and laughing happened in the lobby.
Although he never cried or even pouted, the little guy refused to grin at our photographer. I cannot say for certain why he never smiled at her. She was an energetic, happy young lady with a kind heart. She kept waving a long rattling stick while using the same adorable phrase, over and over again. “Gonna get. Gonna get. Gonna get you! Ha-ha-ha-ha, I’m gonna get you! I’M GONNA GET YOU!!”
Oh, now I remember. This woman was a cackle away from being a Disney witch, and she scared all the happiness out of my child. Look at his bewildered little face. He has no idea why the stick-wielding woman is coming after him. I considered asking her to avoid phrases spouted by cartoon villains, but refrained because she was still holding the large stick. I stood there patiently until the shoot was over, purchased some photos, and departed.
Thanks for the memories, photo lady. See you in December.