I Had Trouble Hearing That Part Over the Roaring in My Ears

So I get a Facebook message from Kevin yesterday saying, “My baby will be dedicated at church tomorrow.  Will you take pictures for me?”

Ack!  Stand up at the front of the church with everyone gawking at me??  Are you kidding??

Ok.  Let me back up a little bit.  About 10 years ago, my friend Pam and I were talking, and somewhere in the conversation I said, “Well, you know I’m pretty shy.”  And she burst out laughing because she thought I was making a joke.  “You?  You?!  Shy?!  Hahahahahaha!”  I just looked at her.  “What’s so funny?  I am shy.”  She doubled over and tears came to her eyes.  She’s convinced to this day that I was making a joke.

It was during that conversation with Pam that I realized I am not shy.

But I used to be.  I was painfully shy in my teens and twenties. I was voted Most Shy in school one year.  I’m positive that I sat in classes for years with kids who never once heard the sound of my voice.  I was one hair away from anxiety attacks whenever Darling Husband made me go to work Christmas parties and picnics.  On our trip to Pittsburg to meet his family, I begged Darling Husband to take us home 4 days early, because I was just so stinkin’ scared at having to talk to all those people.  (He made me stay.)

The good news is that somewhere along the line it just *poof* went away.  And now I’m ridiculously over-confident and spend most of my energy on having to rein myself in.  But every now and then, I’ll be put in a situation where I’m waaaaay out of my comfort zone, and the shyness tries to ooze back in.

With that said, let’s start over:

So I get a Facebook message from Kevin yesterday saying, “My baby will be dedicated at church tomorrow.  Will you take pictures for me?”

Ack!  Stand up at the front of the church with everyone gawking at me??  Are you kidding??   

Hundreds upon hundreds of people show up at church.  And in order to take pictures, you have to stand up front with the baby and family and move around.  Move around!  And maybe even stand up on a step or two leading to the platform.  And sometimes, you even have to stand on the platform, looming over everyone.  Some churches would call their platform the altar.  Stand on the altar!  Can I pass out now?!

After a couple of hours of quivering and wimping around the house last night, thinking about everyone staring at me (picture Beaker from The Muppets), I got over it.  Honestly, I did.  My overly-confident self kicked in and everything was was going to be fine.  I mean, I wasn’t going to push the pastor aside, grab the microphone and lead everyone in a prayer, but as long as I didn’t make a spectacle of myself, I was ready to go.

Sunday morning (today), I asked Kevin and his wife, Brandi, to let me take some practice shots to get my camera settings correct before the service began.   The pastor saw what we were doing and told me to “feel free to move around during the dedication ceremony and take pictures from the steps or the platform or whatever you want to do.”  That was nice of him, but I still planned on being discrete and hoping that everyone would be looking at the babies and not me.

People started to arrive.  We took our seats, sang a few songs, then it was time for the baby dedication.  I was doing my best to blend in with the families walking up to the front, when the pastor points at me (what?!) and announces to all and sundry, “And today we have a professional photographer (what?!) taking pictures for us!” (what, what?!).  The families moved aside, the lights went out and a spotlight shone down on me from above.  I think the pastor went on to say something about how I’d be ending the show by singing ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ while tap dancing, but I had trouble hearing that part over the roaring in my ears.

Afterwards, my soup day friends snickered at me and said when they first saw me walking up with the families with babies, that they wondered if I was taking Clarisse up to be dedicated.  They assured me that while everyone else might have been looking at the baby, the Soup Group was staring at me, assessing my “professional photographer on the job” skills.  And my other friend who owns a Clarisse of her own said, “As soon as the pastor pointed you out, everyone stared at you the whole time while you took your pictures.”

I’m sooooo glad I’m not Wimpy Lizard anymore.

And honestly, while a little part of me wished the pastor hadn’t pointed me out, a much bigger part of me was glad that he did.  That way I could just go with it, and move around and stand on the platform and everyone would accept that it was ok for me to do that.

Practice shot

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You need to make sure you watch the clip from the Muppets.  Do not stop until you’re 30 seconds in.  That’s when it gets funny.  Those people were genius.

I Stayed Up Too Late, Got Stuck in a Dress, and Bought a Used Card

Started off the day by sitting in the theater watching Hunger Games. Got out of the movie at 12:47 a.m. Got to bed at 2:00 a.m. Got up at 7:00 a.m. to take Boy7 to have his roller skating lessons. Really wished I hadn’t promised him those lessons when the alarm went off this morning.

Roller Skating Lesson

This afternoon I visited Kevin (from Photo Club) and his wife Brandi who just had some new babies. Here are pictures of their new babies. One is named Branson. The other hasn’t been named yet. They still call him Baby Boy ipad.

The new baby. Babies.

This is their fourth child.  There are only two gifts required for someone’s fourth child:  diapers and food.  But I don’t know if they have a freezer or even want my food, so I got them a gift card to a local pizza/sub/spaghetti place.  A few weeks from now when all the casseroles have been eaten and no one feels like making dinner, they can get a pizza or subs or spaghetti.

The guy at the pizza place put their giftcard in a little envelope.  When I left the restaurant, I took it out of the envelope to write the dollar amount on the card.  And when I did I was in for a surprise.  Look at this “brand new card”:

Reduce, REUSE, recycle

Yeah.  It’s not a brand new card.  It was completely beat up.  They take ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ seriously in our small town.  I had to try to convince Kevin and Brandi that the card wasn’t one that I’d had lying around in my wallet for the past four years, and that I really did buy it brand new for them.

This looks stupid

I also went dress shopping.  Groan.

I always try on so many dresses that I forget what they look like on me, and then have to re-try them on.  But after trying on about five dresses, I realized I could use Clarisse to keep track of what they looked like.  So here are the clothes I tried on once I realized I could take pictures.

The one in the picture above looks stupid on me.  And it’s not just because of the socks.  It needs sleeves.  And it’s too girly for someone with short hair.  It fits me, but it doesn’t fit me.

Horizontal stripes. Really? Who makes these patterns?

They’re right about horizontal stripes making you look wider.  Most women do not want to look wider.  Why do they make dresses with horizontal stripes?!  This is a no-go.

Does NOT fit

This one is too girly again, and really didn’t fit.  It doesn’t show up very well in the picture, but the top of this dress was so roomy I could have stored an entire loaf of bread in there.  This dress is for a very buxom woman.   Another no-go for me!

Almost. But not really.

Meh.  The neckline is funny looking.

Getting better.

This one is ok, but still something about it bothers me.  I think it’s the rounded neckline.  I look better in a v-neck.

This is a good one.

This is a good one.  The neckline is rounded, but it looks better than the last one.  I might get this one.

Not the mirror

After trying on so many dresses that didn’t look right (including the first five I didn’t photograph) I started to wonder if I was the one that looked wrong?  Or maybe it was the mirror?  So I took a picture in my own clothes that I wore today and they look fine.  In fact, they look better in the picture than in real life, so I think they must have warped mirrors in the dressing room trying to make you look better in the clothes.

And if that’s the case, then those dresses were really bad!

The pants I should have bought

Maybe instead of dresses, I could find some dressy white pants for spring/summer.  I tried these on and they fit great, but I didn’t get them because they were a denim material.  I should have bought them anyway.  But I didn’t.  And now I wish I had, because I can’t remember where they were in the store, and I don’t feel like going back to look for them.  (And–click on the above picture to see it better.  Who’s taking the picture!?  And where did my other hand go??)

Tall people clothes

Even when I stood on my toes, these were too long.  And you can see the pockets.  Which means you could see my underwear.  What do other people do about see-through pants??  Don’t the rest of you have this problem?  Who buys see-through pants?

I tried on two more pairs of white pants, but they look pretty much like the ones above, so no pictures. And a pair of pink pants.  And a pair of tan pants.

What?! More tall people clothes.

These were supposed to be capri pants (should hit mid-calf) and were the same size as the others…but they don’t fit right!  These are silly pants!  They look like something a very short man would wear.

This is all I bought

At the end, I found this dress.  I bought it.  Sleeves.  V-neck.  Hits at the knee.  Fits at the waist.  And has ruffles!  I’ve wanted a top with ruffles for about three years now, but usually can’t pull it off.  I’m happy with it.  And it has yellow.  I like yellow.

During the course of trying on 12 dresses, 7 pairs of pants, and 2 shirts, my hair (what little of it is left) had flattened to my head, I was pretty tired, very thirsty and famished.  What a workout!  I had to wait in line for the dressing room twice, got stuck in two of the dresses–one time was so serious I  thought I’d have to open the door and ask another customer for help, and my skin got stuck on three different zippers.  Ouch.

Darling Husband called while I was out and said, “Hey.  Can you pick up those pants I wanted from Kohls?  You can find them on the rack right outside the men’s dressing room.”  He gave me a waist size and leg length and, voila!  His shopping was done in under 2 minutes.

Sometimes I really hate men.