Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do Not Say "Cheese"

"A little nonsense now and then
is cherished by the wisest men."
-Roald Dahl

Lay the blame on Cabin Fever or March Madness if you will. Spouse and I spent thirty minutes last evening attempting to take a Serious photograph for a Serious matter- applying for a travel document. Lots of paperwork would be involved in the matter we must undertake, and passports must be sent with the chosen picture. Red tape would abound, although in truth not as much as we have been through for other matters.
Spouse needed my digital picture, and it needed, as I said, to be Serious.
Could I look at the photographer without smiling? Could the photographer look at the subject without shaking?
Could we have an ordinary, reasonably solemn-faced, passport-sized picture of said subject?
No, we could not. Not with any ease.
At one point it occurred to me, while my Spouse was fighting increasing tension and weariness at the approach of the twentieth try, that if I did not stop smiling I could not travel to India.
The thought was so absurd that I immediately grew Serious and my Spouse took the picture. Not a twitch, not a glimmer of a smile is on that photograph and it is well worth one half hour of our time.


mouse (aka kimy) said...

seriousness is seriously overrated & I must say if I had the prospect of travel to india I would never (capital n) be able to restrain myself! very exciting!!!! oh gee smile on!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I don't think I'll be going any time soon but I need to have the paperwork ready for when it happens. I've never been to India but I am looking forward to it already.
The laughing thing is over now, anyway. I don't know why we can't be smiling in our photos anyway- surely when it comes time to travel we'll have big smiles on our faces so they wouldn't recognise us anyhow if our photo is serious. They got it backwards.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wow, we can't smile in official photos? must be a new rule - I have smiled in all my passport and driver's license pics to date - well except for that one year when I didn't realize they couldn't recycle my previous license pic (I was just changing my address) and I was having a very bad hair day and my look is neither serious nor smiling - but alarmed with the realization that I would be sporting the bad hair on my license for the next few years!

well, my motto has always been 'resist much, obey little' so if they say no smiling, I'll just smile anyway.....what will they do? pinch me?

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Actually, if it's an Embassy involved and you're looking for a visa, they can reject your application. I spent more than a year apart from my Spouse, sorting through papers and doing everything to avoid giving them an opportunity to turn us down- they in fact look for reasons to cast you aside! Even on lighter matters I still won't give an Embassy a grinning photo in case my application falls into the hands of a guy having a bad day. Because they have the last word.
I've had bad hair photos too. Mine always look 'menacing' somehow. I'm nice, really... :)

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