“Is that your real smile?” he asked as he raised his iPhone to take a picture of me.
I have never been good at pictures. It’s as sure as a dog drooling at the dinner bell – the sight of a camera causes me to show all of my teeth, open my eyes as wide as possible, and throw my head back into triple chin territory.
“I guess. I don’t know. I’m no good at this.”
I wished he had snapped something while I wasn’t looking. Something covert. It was my fate to be the first bad picture of a woman he ever took.
We had just watched a parade of beautiful women walk past. Women who had spent hours in hair and make up for the fashion show that night. I had spent less than an hour, as I usually do, on myself. Hair in braids, glasses instead of contacts, minimal make up. I’m alright with that. It’s not a lack of self-confidence that makes me hate to be photographed.
I just don’t know how to look spontaneously happy.
Over the past couple of days, we had talked. A lot. I had been nothing but completely honest with him. I trusted him with things that I haven’t trusted in writing. We talked about relationships, addictions, dreams, and whatever else friends talk about when there are no children or time constraints involved. I never gave a second thought to showing him myself with my words, developing an image that showed the negative and the positive.
But when he started looking at me, to preserve that image, I felt completely unsure of myself.