By J.D. Neeson, President
I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but I never know what to do with those photographs of their small children that my friends give me. Now, I am happy to look at them, admire them, comment on them and agree that they are a chip off the ol’ block. But what I don’t want is to have the handy wallet size picture given to me.
Now, I have enough compulsory pictures in my wallet of my own child (which, if you want, I can show you for you to agree that isn’t she the cutest thing imaginable) along with receipts, credit cards, driver license, business cards, notes to myself, notes from my wife of items that should be either purchased or work done, clippings and, oh yes, a dollar or two if I am lucky. So I really don’t need another picture.
But it is darn difficult to say no. The parent (strangely fathers are worse as they hand the picture to you in such a way that you just know they will be emotionally crushed if you refuse it) looks into your eyes and says something like, “We knew you would want to see these right away.” And you have to say nice things. You can’t recoil in horror and you have to be very careful what you say. I lost a friend one time by saying how rugged his child looked and what a linebacker he’d make. My friend snatched the picture back (come to think of it, it was the only time I escaped) and said, rather testily I thought, “Yes, my daughter is a bit big boned.”
A month or so ago I was cleaning out a drawer and I found an envelope containing about twenty-five pictures of small smiling (or grimacing) children. Now, some parents kindly and wisely write the child’s name and the date on the back. I say wisely because, no matter what you may think, all small children look pretty much the same and the inscription somehow makes it harder to throw the pictures away. One says to himself, “Gee, they went to all the trouble of giving me the pictures and they even spent the time to write ‘Chris __ Halloween ’98’ on it. It would be wrong to throw it away.”
Now I use “Chris __ Halloween ’98” as an example because, of all the parents I know, his are the ones that have most committed themselves to aggressively thrusting pictures into my hand. I have numerous pictures of Chris in various Halloween costumes. Chris seemed to have a penchant for costumes requiring masks. “Chris __ Halloween ’99” is a blend of the Lone Ranger and one of the Teenage Ninja Turtles (Donatella, I believe), while “Chris __ Halloween ’02” has Chris dressed as Zorro holding a sack with dollar signs on it.
Yesterday, I ran across Chris’s father. He promptly, and with a defiant pride, gave me the “Chris __ Christmas ’11” picture destined to join its fellows in my drawer. I thought that Chris looked rather handsome in his orange jump suit. His father tells me that he should be out by Easter.
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October 26, 2011 / JD Neeson / 0
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Margaret Graham Neeeson
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